Study in Depth of Luke 21:24
H. Grotheer 1984
RECENT ADVENTIST LITERATURE ON LUKE 21:24
1952 Bible Conference
1952 a Bible Conference was held in the Sligo Seventh-day
Adventist Church, from September 1 - 13. Various theological
and prophecy studies were presented at the Conference. One
topic, which was assigned to Arthur S. Maxwell, then Editor
of The Signs of the Times, was "The Imminence
of Christ's Second Coming." In the presentation of
his study, Maxwell listed three areas of unfulfilled prophecy
- developments in the United States, developments in Palestine,
and the Seven Last Plagues.
"developments in Palestine" concerned the fulfillment
of Luke 21:24. Keep in perspective the time of this Bible
Conference - 1952. Just four years prior in 1948, the Jewish
state of Israel had been re-established. In the light of
this background, observe carefully Maxwell's penetrating
observations. He said:
recent dramatic restoration of the nation of Israel has
focused the attention of mankind once more on Palestine.
Many Christians have mistakenly permitted themselves to
believe that the return of thousands of unconverted Jews
to their native land is a fulfillment of the promises to
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not realizing that, since the
death of the Son of God on Calvary, there is no salvation,
nor any eternal homeland, except for those who believe in
Him and accept His sacrifice.
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.
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. A Mohammedan mosque
still stands upon the site of Solomon's Temple. 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
could be the reason? Only that the times of the Gentiles
are not yet fulfilled.
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.
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
2 -- 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 (See Exhibit #1)
1952, the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was
alerted in regard to the prophecy of Jesus concerning Jerusalem.
While the studies given at the Bible Conference did not
carry the "imprimatur" of the General Conference,
the theologians of the Church, and the Administrative leaders
of the world field were all present at this conference.
It is interesting to note that Dr. Rebok, secretary of the
Bible Conference, had this to say in his "Introductory"
remarks in Volume I of the Conference report. He wrote:
General Conference as a body is in no way responsible for
the studies presented. They are not an official pronouncement
of the church. They do, however, represent the best thinking
on the part of sincere, honest, earnest, devoted, loyal
men - Seventh-day Adventists, first, last, and always -
who have tried to give expression to our conception of the
great truths believed, held, and taught by Seventh-day Adventists
generally in all parts of the earth." (Ibid.,
Vol. I, p. 13)
W. H. Branson, president of the General Conference at the
time, in a report that appeared earlier in The Ministry
(July, 1952), enumerated who were to be in attendance at
the Bible Conference. He wrote:
to the action of the Autumn Council, the personnel of the
conference will consist of the following individuals:
'The members of the General Conference Committee who will
be in attendance at the 1952 Biennial Council, and others
who may be invited to the council:
'From North America:
'a. Two Bible teachers from each senior college, to be chosen
by their respective boards.
'b. One Bible teacher from each junior college, to be chosen
by their respective boards.
'c. One to as many evangelists from each union conference
as there are local conferences in the union, to be appointed
by the respective union committees.
'd. The editors of our leading periodicals.
'e. The book editors of our leading publishing houses.
'f. Representatives from the Theological Seminary.
'g. From the overseas divisions: a minimum of three in addition
to the president of the field." (Ibid., p. 14)
was before such a gathering of the leadership of the Church
that Elder Arthur S. Maxwell called attention to the significance
of Luke 21:24. I was there as a delegate under section "c"
and can tell you what happened in my case, and I do not
believe that my response was much different than the others
present.. I heard, but did not perceive, because of the
conditioning we had received over the years in regard to
the Jews returning to Palestine.
Twentieth Century Bible Course
is well known that The Twentieth Century. Bible Course
is a means used by the Church to gain converts. It represents
the teachings of the Church in regard to interpretation
of Bible prophecy and points of theology. In Lesson 5, captioned
- "Time Running Out" - the prophecy of Luke 21:24
is declared to be fulfilled in our day. The second question
"What sign did Jesus give that would indicate when
the destruction of the city [of Jerusalem] was at
hand?" Luke 21:20 is given as the Bible answer.
Then this note follows:
city of Jerusalem was surrounded by the Roman armies in
A. D. 66. After a period of time the army withdrew and the
Christians, recognizing the sign given by Christ (Matthew
24:15-20) fled the city and did not return. In A. D. 69
the Romans returned, and destroyed the city in A. D. 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.
The temple was burned to the ground as Christ had foretold
(even though the soldiers had orders not to destroy it).
Christ foresaw the future and outlined it to His followers
so that they could be saved." (Emphasis theirs)
third question reads: "How long did Christ say that
Jerusalem would be trodden down?" Luke 21:24 is
given as the place in the Bible to find the answer. Then
this note follows:
Jerusalem and the temple site has 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!" (See Exhibit #2)
School Lesson Helps
Witness of Jesus" was the subject of the second Quarter's
Lessons (1980) of the Adult Division of the Sabbath School.
Dr. Jean Zurcher not only authored these lessons, but his
book, Christ of the Revelation, was translated into
English as a "Helps" for the Quarter's lessons.
In this book was noted the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy
of Luke 21:24. Dr. Zurcher wrote:
shall not linger over the numerous signs given by Jesus
in this discourse. [Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21] One
only will occupy our attention, the one that especially
deals with time. Even in our days it constitutes a critical
point in the political world: Jerusalem. In fact, Jerusalem
is both the beginning and culmination of Jesus' prophecy.
For Him, as for Daniel the prophet, the history of nations,
as that of the people of Israel, is written in the setting
of the tragic history of Jerusalem. The latter is the sign
by which the fate of the former is determined. So having
predicted the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion
of the Jews "into all nations," Jesus declared,
'Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until
the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled' (Luke 21:24).
today would deny the precision of this prophecy. The destruction
4 -- 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 different 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.
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
is not a matter of our seeing in the return of the Jews
to Palestine and in the Israeli conquest of Jerusalem a
sign of the approaching conversion of the Jews, as so many
Christians think. Nothing in Jesus' prophecy allows such
an interpretation. However, 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'?
order for us to understand Jesus' statement, three questions
need answering. First, what exactly does the expression
'times of the Gentiles' mean? Then, what should be understood
by the fulfillment of the times of the Gentiles? Finally,
what connection is there between the retaking of Jerusalem
by the Jews and the fulfillment of the times of the Gentiles?
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'
believe that the times of the Gentiles began in AD 34, when
the prophetic seventy weeks that God set aside for the people
of Israel ended... And if I have understood the prediction
of Jesus properly, this time will be 'fulfilled' when Jerusalem
shall cease to 'be trodden down of the Gentiles.' The fact
that since 1967 Gentiles no longer have occupied Jerusalem
means, therefore, that we are now living at the end of 'the
times of the Gentiles.'
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." (pp. 71-72) See Exhibit #3.
1952, the ministry of the church was alerted to the coming
fulfillment of Luke 21:24. In 1980, the whole Sabbath School
was given an opportunity to know that the prophecy had been
fulfilled. During this same period, those studying the doctrines
and teachings of the church, were told - "This portion
of Christ's prophecy was fulfilled in our day!" With
this background, as found in Adventist literature on prophecy,
1 it should be irrelevant to spend
time in proving the validity of the fulfillment of Luke
21:24 to Seventh-day Adventists. We should rather be seeking
to discover the significance of this already fulfilled prophecy
to our own work and mission. We should know and appreciate
what Jesus was
5 -- giving
in prophetic legacy to His followers. We should also become
aware of the large amount of historical data which adds
significance to the dates which mark the fulfillment of
the coming chapters we shall discuss and give that data,
then we shall devote the last part of the study as to the
meaning of Luke 21:24 for the work and mission of the Seventh-day
-- In 1974
a series of three Bible Conferences were held in the North
American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. At
each of these conferences, Dr. Herbert E. Douglass presented
a topic on "The Unique Contribution of Adventist Eschatology."
In these presentations, he stated - "Adventists
do not see theological importance in the establishment of
the Jewish state in 1948 or the annexation of Old Jerusalem
in 1967." (p. 6) Then in his book - The
End - published by the Pacific Press in 1979, he makes
the same assertion, however, changing the emphasis to a
prophetic significance. In the book Douglass stated - "Although
Seventh-day Adventists are premillennialists, they do not
see prophetic importance in the establishment of the Jewish
state in 1948, or the annexation of Old Jerusalem in 1967..."
should be noted that in the above chapter, none of the sources
cited refer to the date, 1948, as having any prophetic importance.
However, both Dr. Zurcher, and the author of the 20th Century
Bible Lesson saw definite significance in the retaking of
Old Jerusalem by the Israelis in 1967. In fact, Zurcher
emphasizes the point that if one cannot see "that
Jerusalem is an exceptional sign of the times,"
he could be placing himself in the same category with the
"religious leaders who knew how to 'discern the
face of the sky' but could not discern the obvious 'signs
of the times.'"
is not listed among the delegates to the 1952 Bible Conference,
and so perhaps was totally unaware of Maxwell's presentation.
The English translation of Zurcher's book came one year
after the Pacific Press had published his book on The
End. However, Douglass' assertions are given without
support or documentation. They do indicate an awareness
of the prophecy and what could be its fulfillment. One is
left with the impression that Douglass is most reluctant
to come to grips with this prophecy because of the significance
its fulfillment has for his own church's mission.
same Pacific Press that published Douglass' book - The
End - in 1979, published some eighty years earlier in
1898, a book by James Edson White, The Coming King.
In this book, Edson White had written:
also read that 'Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles,
until times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.' Luke 21:24. Jerusalem
has never again come into the 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) See Exhibit #5
LUKE 21:24 IN CONTEXT
of Jesus' Prophetic Legacy to His Church
prophecy of Luke 21:24 is a part of a prophetic outline
which Jesus gave to His disciples on the Mount of Olives,
Tuesday evening prior to His great sacrifice on Calvary.
What Jesus said is recorded in all three of the Synoptic
Gospels - Matthew 24; Mark 13; and Luke 21.
Monday, after His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem the day
before, He cleansed the temple the second time. He charged
the Jewish leadership with making His house "a
den of thieves." (Matt. 21:13) On Tuesday, upon His
return to the Temple, He was met and challenged by the chief
priests and elders of the people as to His authority to
do what He had done. (Matt. 21:23) After putting them to
silence, Jesus spoke in the hearing of the multitude, the
most scathing denunciation of the religious leaders of Israel
they had ever heard. (Matt. 23: 1-36) Then He declared -
house is left unto you desolate... and Jesus
went out." (Matt. 23:38, 24:1)
pronouncement and act of Jesus shocked the disciples. Hurriedly
following Him from the Temple precincts, they sought to
bring Him to reality as they perceived reality to be. One
of the disciples - speaking the sentiments of them all -
said to Jesus: "Master, see what manner of stones and
what buildings are here!" (Mark 13:1) What were they
saying? "Jesus, you spoke too hastily. Look here; See
these great buildings. Look at the massive rocks which have
been used in the building of the Temple. How can You say,
that this Temple, the center of all our religious worship
is now desolate? Is it going to be set aside?" Jesus,
not backing down one inch said in response - "Seest
thou these things? there shall not be left one stone upon
another, that shall not be cast down." (Mark 13:2)
This stunned them. Silence reigned during the entire walk
from the Temple to the Mount of Olives where they would
spend the night.
sitting together on the Mount, four of the disciples ventured
to ask Jesus, "When shall these things be? and what
shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?"
(Matt. 24:3) To the disciples, if the Temple was going to
be destroyed, that had to be the end of the world. So to
them, it was just
7 -- one question. In answering their question, Jesus
mingled the signs marking the two events. But in giving
general signs which would apply to both events, Jesus outlined
three specific signs which would mark major epochs from
the time of the Apostles to His second coming. Note these
events as given in Luke 21:
"And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies,
then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let
them which be in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them
which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them
that are in the country enter thereinto." (Luke 21:20-21)
"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the
moon, and in the stars." (Luke 21:25) ["The sun
shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
and the stars shall fall from heaven." - Matt. 24:29]
"Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until
the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21:24)
is important to understand that these three prophetic signs
were not given in symbolism. They were given in literal
language so that when the event would occur, one could look
back upon the historical happening and say - "Here,
see what has taken place. This fulfills what Jesus said."
Then the one recognizing the event could ask further - "Since
this has happened, what is Jesus saying to me now?"
applying the prophetic principle of literalism to the prophecy
of Jesus, as found in Luke 21:24, we are but following a
principle used by our spiritual forefathers. In A Symposium
of Biblical Hermeneutics, Don F. Neufeld presented a
section on "Biblical Interpretation in the Advent Movement."
One principle which was paramount to these students of the
Bible was - "The Bible must be interpreted according
to the plain, obvious, and literal import unless a figure
of speech is employed." Then Neufeld comments - "This
rule was a recurring theme at a time when critics attempted
to demolish the positions taken by the Adventists."
should be clearly understood in the study of Luke 21:24,
that when Jerusalem, or the nation of Israel, is referred
to in its present historical setting, it is not that the
city of Jerusalem is to be considered as the holy city of
God, or the nation of Israel, once more His chosen people.
This relationship is forever past. The times of the Jewish
nation as the people of God ended in 34 AD in harmony with
prophecy. (Dan. 9:24) However, this fact does not exclude
an equally important consideration that events in the history
of Jerusalem can still fulfill Bible prophecy. For example,
Jerusalem was not the holy city of
8 -- God in
70 AD, yet the destruction of the city by Titus did fulfill
the prophecy which Jesus gave, and the surrounding of the
city by the Roman armies under Cestius in 66 AD was a sign
to the Christians to flee Jerusalem.
find that in the Greek language, the word translated - "Gentiles"
- is the same word for "nations" - ta
eqnh. In Old Testament times, the inhabited world
was divided into two groups - the Gentiles, or nations,
and the people of God, which was Israel. In the New Testament,
it is again the nations, or the Gentiles, and the New Israel
or the Church. As God committed His message of grace as
revealed in the Sanctuary service to Israel to give to the
nations, so also to the Church, God committed the message
of Christ, the Word made flesh - the New Tabernacle - to
be given to the nations. But in the giving of the outline
of events which were to serve as signs to His church, Jesus
connected two of those signs with historical events in the
history of old Jerusalem.
of this parallel relationship between Israel of old, and
the New Israel of God, it is mandatory that we clearly understand
the use and meaning of the term, "Jerusalem,"
in prophecy and history. In both the Old and New Testaments,
when Jerusalem is referred to, it is primarily in a purely
historical setting - a very literal city. Such is the case
in the prophecy of Luke 21:24. The same city that was surrounded
by Roman armies is the same city which is to be trodden
down of the Gentiles till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
The term, "Jerusalem," is also used to represent
the Church. (Ezekiel 9) It is so used in the Writings of
Ellen G. White in connection with Ezekiel 9. (Testimonies
for the Church, Vol. 3, p. 267) Paul uses the term to
refer to "the mother of us all," but in so doing
assures us that this "mother" is above, and is
not an earthly institution. (Gal. 4:26; Heb. 12:22)
also needs to be kept in mind that even though the question
about the end times arose over a discussion as to what was
to take place in regard to the Temple, Jesus did not say
that the Temple was to be trodden down of the Gentiles till
the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. He clearly indicated
that the same city which was to be surrounded by the Roman
armies was to be the sign by which Christians could tell
when the times of the Gentiles would be fulfilled.
ANALYSIS OF LUKE 21:24
Distress of Nations"
Verses 24 and
25 of Luke 21 are closely associated together. The King
James Version tends to obscure this close relationship.
In both verses, the English words, "Gentiles"
and "nations" are translated from the same Greek
word. Using the word - nations - in each instance, these
verses would read - "And Jerusalem shall be trodden
down of the nations (eqnwn),
until the times of the nations (eqnwn)
be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in
the moon, and in the stars, and upon earth distress of nations
(eqnwn), with perplexity."
In other words, the ending of "the times of the Gentiles,"
or nations is closely associated with "the distress
of nations, with perplexity."
Greek word for "distress" is sunoch
which 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 on them financially, or the inability
to solve the monetary stress. (See The Vocabulary of
the Greek New Testament by Moulton & Milligan)
is an interesting fact that the same year which marked the
closing of the times of the Gentiles - 1967 - is also the
year which marked the beginning of the financial woes of
the nations. In a Special Issue (July 4, 1974) of his Myers'
Finance & Energy, C. V. Myers stated: [Gordon Tether
in the London Financial Times (June 28, 1974) noted
Myers as being "the well-known Canadian financial expert."]:
has now been established over the course of the last seven
years - since 1967 - that there is nothing in this world
the international monetary authorities can do to stem the
advance of gold, or to stem the collapse of inflation -
or to avoid the enormous deflation - the global liquidity
crunch - and the resulting depressions. Don't doubt this.
The monetary morons have demonstrated it to you time and
again. Fail! Fail! Fail!
seven years things have gone from bad to worse; the US $
has been devalued; inflation has undermined world confidence
in money; and now the bankruptcies come." (pp. 2-3)
in 1975, Myers wrote:
all that I have observed of international [monetary] conferences
10 -- 1967 I do not believe that any conference is going
to come up with any workable answer. It seems that the situation
will just continue to deteriorate.
six months ago we heard every monetary authority in the
world shouting, 'either we lick inflation or we are doomed.
This is the battle of the century.'
Ford said, we have a war, and we intend to fight this war
against inflation. The way he is fighting the war against
inflation is to add a $70 to $100 billion deficit to the
U.S. budget. What happened to all the dire predictions of
the result of inflation?
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 repeatedly said in
these letters - and especially after attending the big world
meetings of the IMF - the answer is a total collapse.
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. Those governments would be dictatorships.
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."' (Ibid.,
March 11, 1975, pp. 1-2)
the May 24, 1976, issue of his financial letter, Myers again
cites the year 1967 as the base year for the beginning of
the monetary perplexities which have gripped the nations
since then. He wrote - "An enormous war has been going
on between the forces of paper and the forces of gold since
1967 when SDR's were first proposed." Then he lists
a "score card" in the battle between gold and
the paper Special Drawing Rights:
The IMF recommendation of Special Drawing Rights in
(2) The IMF official acceptance of SDR's, 1969, and
the creation of 9.5 billion SDR's during 1970, 1971, and
(3) Nixon's break with gold, August, 1971, and the
end of the world monetary system as devised at Bretton Woods.
(4) The IMF decision to sell 25 million ounces of
gold at 16 auctions over the next two years - thus depleting
the international monetary system of important gold reserves."
(p. 1. See Exhibit #4)
a letter dated, April 23, 1976, Myers had noted that "Gold
is to money what a DEITY is to religion. Without a deity
the moral code disappears. Without gold the morality of
money disappears: Morality, because money loses its store
of value, and the man who sweated and worked has lost the
fruits of his labor, and that is immoral." In Newsweek
(June 19, 1978, p. 21) in an article on the tax revolt,
the writer noted - "Since 1967, the value of the dollar
has declined 47.6 per cent, and the average American working
family is now barely better off
11 -- in real
dollars than it was a decade ago." The connection between
the sign Jesus gave to mark
the conclusion of the times of the Gentiles or nations,
and the beginning of the "distress of nations"
is inescapable. The fact that we are living in this very
time should cause us to do some very serious thinking.
Word - "Until"
times in his Gospel, and in the book of Acts, Luke uses
the Greek word, acri or acriV,
which is translated, "until." However, in Luke
21:24, and in two places in Acts, the word is combined with
the relative, ou. To understand
the force of this word combination as far as Luke 21:24
is concerned, we need to take time to observe its use in
the book of Acts.
first instance of its use in Acts is in Chapter 7. The verse
in context reads:
when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn
to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, till
another king arose, which knew not Joseph. The same dealt
subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers,
so that they cast out their young children, to the end they
might not live. In which time Moses was born." (17-20a)
It should be observed that these verses indicate the "time"
when the promise "drew nigh" and the children
of Israel "grew and multiplied in Egypt, till a king
arose" who with his counselors initiated a genocide
program. This program did not begin immediately and it covered
a period of time. In fact, Moses was born in that "time."
Here the idiom is used to indicate a short definable period
find the same indication in the second use of the idiom
in Acts 27:33. Paul was on his way to Rome. Adverse weather
conditions had made the voyage extremely hazardous. To Paul
it was revealed that they would be "cast upon a certain
island." All on board had fasted for fourteen days,
and when it appeared they were approaching land, Paul advised
that they should "take some food." Luke writes
that Paul gave this counsel to all on board "while
(acri ou) the day was
coming on." From the time the first faint light on
the eastern horizon heralds the coming dawn until the sun
arises and dispels all darkness, the day is coming on -
a brief, but definable period of time.
1967, the armies of Israel recaptured the Old City of Jerusalem,
yet the capitol remained at Tel Aviv. In 1980, the Knesset
declared Old Jerusalem to be the Capitol of Israel. The
period which marked the closing of the times of
12 -- the
Gentiles can be thus clearly defined. (See Appendix C)
The "Times" of the Gentiles
only does Luke present the prophecy of Jesus concerning
the fate of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., in the discourse as given
on the Mount of Olives; but also in describing the Triumphal
entry of Jesus into Jerusalem a few days prior, he quotes
Jesus as saying concerning the city - "Thine enemies
shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee around,
and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even
with the ground, and thy children within thee: and they
shall not leave within thee one stone upon another; because
thou knewest not the time (kairon)
of thy visitation." (Luke 19:43-44) This picture is
merely an enlargement of what Luke quotes Jesus as saying
on the Mount of Olives - "And when ye shall see Jerusalem
compassed with armies" (21:20) - making it a sign for
His followers. In other words, when Jerusalem was destroyed
it had had its day of grace - its time of
is in this setting then, that Luke reports the words of
Jesus stating that the Gentiles would also have an allotted
time (kairoi ), and that a certain
event would mark the closing of that period. Even as in
the case of the Jewish nation, it does not mean that all
the Gentiles will be converted, even as all the Jews were
not "converted" to Jesus the Messiah. The force
of the concept is the same as stated in Matthew - "This
gospel of the kingdom shall be world for a witness
unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (24:14)
The sign then that will mark the time when the witness has
been preached "unto all nations (Gentiles)" has
to do with events connected with Jerusalem. In this case
it is the time when the city is no longer under the control
of the Gentiles.
is a distinct parallel in the closing of the times of the
Jewish nation and the closing of the times of the Gentiles.
According to the prophecy given to Daniel, "seventy"
weeks of years were set aside for them. In the final week,
Jesus came with His last appeal to the chosen people. During
this ministry, He cleansed the Temple twice but was unable
to change the course of the religious leadership. The mid-point
of that final week was marked by the crucifixion of Jesus
the Messiah. It closed with the stoning of Stephen in 34
AD Yet time lingered for the individual Jew who worshiped
in the synagogues throughout the Roman Empire. Here they
had the opportunity to decide whether they would accept
the decision of their hierarchy concerning Jesus as the
Messiah, or whether they would accept the proclamation of
the Gospel that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed
13 -- the
fulfillment of the promises given them under the covenant.
Then followed the literal destruction of Jerusalem, in whose
fate, "we may behold the doom of a world that has rejected
God's mercy and trampled upon His law." (GC,
p. 36) Jesus gave us a prophecy by which we may know when
"the time of visitation" is completed for the
nations. Then is to follow the "wrath" of God
poured out without mercy. We stand between these two events.
word translated, "trodden down," is a present
participle of the Greek verb, patew.
The force of the present tense is that Jerusalem was to
be continuously trodden down till the times of the
Gentiles would be filled full. This has been true. From
70 AD till 1967, only Gentile powers controlled Jerusalem.
Greek verb,patew, according to
Thayer's Lexicon, means "to tread under foot,
trample on, i.e. treat with insult and contempt: to desecrate
the holy city by devastation and outrage." (art. patew)
Arndt & Gingrich in their lexicon (A Greek-English
Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 640) defines the verb
thus: "tread, trample of the undisciplined swarming
of a victorious army through a conquered city. Its heedlessness,
which acknowledges no limits, causes patew to take on the
concepts 'mistreat, abuse.'" These definitions describe
exactly what Jesus said would be the fate of the city in
"the days of vengeance, that all things that are written
may be fulfilled." (Luke 21:22) This resultant condition
was to continue till the times of the Gentiles would be
& Milligan cite contemporary use of this Greek root
word in The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament.
One source reads - "to tread (pathsai)
the crops in the sand." The substantive use was noted
in the clause - "One who treads (paththV)
grapes with their feet." (p. 498)
a detailed study of Luke 21:24-25, the conclusion cannot
be avoided that we have seen fulfilled before our very eyes
a prophecy of Jesus, even as our spiritual forefathers saw
the fulfillment of the other signs which Jesus gave - "And
there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in
the stars." (Luke 21:25) To the significance of these
signs, we shall devote the next chapter.
REVELATION OF THE SON OF MAN"
in the Heavens
quoted Jesus as saying - "There shall be signs in the
sun, and in the moon, and in the stars." (Luke 21:25)
In discussing the sign which would warn His followers of
the approaching destruction of Jerusalem, Jesus had called
their attention to the book of Daniel, the prophet. (Matt.
24:15) Also in the same book is given knowledge of a judgment
to precede Jesus' "coming and the end of the world."
(Matt 24:3) Daniel was shown the scenes in the heavens when
"the judgment was set and the books were opened."
(Dan. 7:9-10) In another vision, the hour when this Judgment
would commence was stated in prophetic time: "Unto
two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary
be cleansed." (Dan. 8:14) This time period would reach
to 1844. Prior to the culmination of this prophetic period,
the signs in the heavens foretold by Jesus did occur.
May 19, 1780, the sun was darkened and the moon did not
give its light. (Matt. 24:29) This extraordinary darkness
began about 10 o'clock in the morning, and continued until
midnight. Covering the whole of the New England States,
the reports of this sign which Jesus gave are to be found
in the records and historical journals of that area. Observers
near Boston reported that by 11:30 a.m., the darkness had
become so intense that "in a room with three windows,
twenty-four panes each, all open toward the southeast and
south, large print could not be read by persons with good
eyes." (Boston Gazette and Country Journal,
May 29, 1780) This same report noted that "in the time
of greatest darkness some of the dunghill fowls went to
their roost. Cocks crowed in answer to one another as they
commonly do at night. Woodcocks, which are night birds,
whistled as they do only in the dark. Frogs peeped.
In short, there was the appearance of midnight at noon day."
darkness the following evening was probably as gross as
ever has been observed since the Almighty fiat gave birth
to light," so wrote Dr. Samuel Tenney in a letter dated,
Exeter, N.H., December, 1785. (Collections of the Massachusetts
Historical Society, Vol. I, 1792) Tenney continued by
15 -- "I could not help conceiving at the time,
that if every luminous body in the universe had been shrouded
in impenetrable shades, or struck out of existence, the
darkness could not have been more complete. A sheet of white
paper held within a few inches of the eyes was equally invisible
with the blackest velvet."
years after the Dark Day, the stars of heaven fell (Matt.
the night of November 12-13, 1833, a tempest of falling
stars broke over the earth. North America bore the brunt
of the pelting. From the Gulf of Mexico to Halifax, until
daylight with some difficulty put an end to the display,
the sky was scored in every direction with shining tracks
and illuminated with majestic fireballs." (Agnes M.
Clerke, History of Astronomy in the Nineteenth Century,
significance of these events were noted by Ellen G. White
in the Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. IV, in the chapter preceding
the account of William Miller. She wrote:
"While unconscious of their condition and their peril,
the church and the world were rapidly approaching the most
solemn and momentous period of earth's history, - the period
of the revelation of the Son of man. Already had the signs
which Christ himself had promised, - the sun clothed in
darkness by day and the moon by night, - declared his coming
near." (p. 195)
Period of the Revelation of the Son of man
period of time - not a single event - is marked by three
manifestations of Jesus as the Son of man. At the time "the
judgment was set, and the books opened," Daniel also
beheld, in his continuing night visions, "one like
the Son of man" coming "with the clouds of heaven"
"to the Ancient of days," there to be given "dominion,
and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and
languages, should serve Him." (Dan. 7:13-14) The Son
of man, as High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek is
involved in the judgment. (Heb. 9:27-28) When on earth,
He told the caviling Jews that "the Father judgeth
no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son."
He also told them why - "The Father... hath given him
authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son
of man." (John 5:22, 26-27)
all must appear "before the judgment seat of Christ"
in the record of their life's deeds (II Cor. 5:10), it is
assuring to know that One who has been touched with "the
feeling of our infirmities" will plead our case and
render the decision. (Heb. 4:15) Wonderful is the promise
given that he who heeds the word of the Son of man, and
believes on Him who had sent Him - the Ancient of days -
"shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from
death unto life." (John 5:24) This understanding of
the revelation of the Son of man at
16 -- the
beginning of the Period, and His continuing ministration
through the Period is essential that we might properly relate
to the other two manifestations of the Son of man.
hope of glory - when the kingdom received by the Son of
man from the Ancient of days is "given to the people
of the saints of the most High" (Dan. 7:27) - is dependent
upon Christ being formed within us; in other words, "Christ
in you the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27) All who "come
unto God by Him, Jesus is able" to save "to the
uttermost" "seeing He ever liveth to make intercession
for them." (Heb. 7:25) This "uttermost" revelation
of God in man, as He was manifest in the Son of man, results
from Christ's final atonement in the Most Holy place of
the Heavenly sanctuary. Then "the earnest expectation"
for which the whole creation has been waiting will be realized
in "the manifestation of the sons of God." (Rom.
relates this manifestation of the sons of God with the signs
in the heavens. He wrote - "The stars of heaven and
the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the
sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall
not cause her light to shine." (Isa. 13:10) Then the
prophet pictures the time when God will "shake the
heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in
the wrath of the Lord of hosts, in the day of His fierce
anger." (13:13) The final wrath of God is the Seven
Last Plagues which come following the close of probation
when the Son of man has completed His intercession. (Rev.
15:1, 8) However, between the signs in the heavens, and
the final wrath of the Lord, Isaiah pictures the determination
of God - "I will make a man more precious than fine
gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir." (Isa.
13:12) This also is what Paul tells us is to be in connection
with "the manifestation of the sons of God," for
he wrote - "For whom [God] did foreknow, He also did
predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son."
the fulfillment of His work as the Son of man before the
Ancient of days, and the completion of His revelation in
the 144,000 resultant from His final atonement, the long
awaited "hope of the ages" will transpire. The
Son of man will come in the clouds of heaven to reap the
harvest of earth. Picturing
this scene after describing the messages of the Three Angels,
I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one
sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden
crown, and in his hand a sharp
17 -- sickle. And another angel came out of the temple,
crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust
in Thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for Thee to
reap: for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And He that
sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth; and
the earth was reaped." (Rev. 14:14-16)
"period of the revelation of the Son of man" commenced
in 1844, and will continue through His second coming in
the clouds of heaven. He is manifest as the Son of man in
His work as High Priest in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly
Sanctuary; He is revealed as the Son of man in the lives
of those in whom His final atonement is accomplished; and
He comes as the Son of man to take into His everlasting
kingdom those given to Him by the Ancient of days.
Period in Diagram
1844 - Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14; John 5:22, 27
2. Close of probation - Isaiah 13:10-13;
Romans 8:19, 29-30; Colossians 1:27
3. 2nd Advent - Revelation 14:14-16
NOTE: Jesus in giving the signs in the heavens - the sun
and moon darkened; the stars falling - was directing attention
to events that would transpire in heaven. The final activity
of God in the resolution of the sin problem was to begin.
Where sin began, the final atonement would be made. Jesus'
other sign concerned an event on earth by which men could
know the distress of nations had begun. The final scenes
of the sin drama on earth would commence. Thus the last
two major signs Jesus gave to His disciples on the slopes
of Olivet directed the attention of men first to the beginning
of the final ministry in heaven, and then to the events
to occur on earth that man might know the heavenly ministry
was drawing to a close.
GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS AWAY"
outlined three major events which were to take place between
His first and second coming. These events tower like mountain
peaks above the general course of human history, as that
history relates to those who believe in Him. First, as we
have noted, Jerusalem was to be surrounded by Roman armies.
This would be the sign to Christians to flee the city and
its environs. Then came the signs in the heavens - the sun
darkened, the moon not giving its light, and the stars falling
from the heaven. This marked the period of the revelation
of the Son of man - first in Judgment, then His coming as
King of kings. Finally Jerusalem was to be freed from the
domination of the Gentiles, marking the closing of the times
of the Gentiles, and the beginning of the distress of nations.
We have yet to look closely to what this means to us who
are living in the very time of this fulfilled prophecy.
completing the enumeration of these signs, and certain details
concerning them, Jesus stated to His disciples:
I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till
all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but
my words shall not pass away." (Luke
generation in which these major events occurred has perceived
itself as living in the end of time. This does not exempt
the generation living prior to the destruction of Jerusalem.
Paul wrote his first epistle to the church at Thessalonica,
he described the coming of Christ and the first resurrection,
(I Thess. 4:16-18) While they were to be comforted by the
thought of the resurrection, they were also warned to take
heed that the day not overtake them "as a thief."
(5:4) These new converts became convinced that the second
coming of Christ would be in their day. Paul then had to
write a second letter telling them that certain things were
first to take place before the event. (II Thess. 2:3) Nevertheless,
he noted that " the mystery of iniquity doth already
work." (2:7) The message comes
19 -- through
- "Not just now, but not too far away."
his prison epistle to the Church at Colosse, Paul told them,
"not to be moved away from the hope of the gospel,
which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature
under heaven." (Col. 1:23) That hope of the gospel
included what Paul in his letter to Titus called "that
blessed hope, [even] the glorious appearing of the great
God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." (2:13) In describing
the extent of the proclamation - "to every creature
which is under heaven" - Paul is alluding in concept
to the words of Jesus when giving the signs of His coming.
Jesus said the gospel of the kingdom would "be preached
as a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
(Matt. 24:14) Paul said this had been done. The essay to
the Hebrews begins with the concept that God "in these
last days" has spoken to us in a Son. (1:2) The early
Christians thought of themselves as living in the end times
- and it was the end times for the Jewish nation of that
fact dare not be overlooked that the Christians who saw
the event which Jesus had prophesied for that generation
- Jerusalem surrounded by alien armies - lived to see the
event fulfilled in every detail as prophesied. It did not
pass away until all things were fulfilled in regard to the
destruction of Jerusalem. The Roman armies under Cestius
surrounded the city in 66 A.D., and then suddenly withdrew.
In a little less than four years - 70 A.D. - the Roman legions
returned under Titus and captured the city. Jesus words
did not pass away; they were fulfilled.
Diagram of This Period
Second Major Sign
second major sign was to be in the heavens. These signs
in the sun, moon, and stars occurred during the period
of 1780-1833. Following this period there was a world-wide
stir concerning the coming Christ. The followers of William
Miller and finally Miller himself proclaimed that Christ
would come October 22, 1844. Joseph Wolff heralded the
message of Christ's soon return throughout the Near East.
Other voices were raised in England, and in Sweden, young
20 -- children moved by the Holy Spirit proclaimed the
soon return of Jesus.
the fact comes through - the generation who saw the signs
in the heavens, and who heard the proclamation that they
were living in what was perceived to be the end times, also
lived to hear the message concerning the event to which
the signs given by Jesus directed mankind - His ministry
in the heavens, the beginning of the period of the revelation
of the Son of man.
Diagram of This Period
now come to the final major event which Jesus declared
would be the sign when the times of the Gentiles would
be fulfilled. This has happened in this generation before
the eyes of the whole world. Thus this generation which
has seen fulfilled the final event of Jesus prophecy will
not pass away till all be fulfilled. We have reached the
end of time.
Diagram of This Period
we next turn our attention to the data which surrounds
the closing time of the Gentiles, we shall see that all
prophecies concerning the end are moving to their final
climax. Well would it be for us, to carefully ponder the
words of Jesus, who after telling the disciples that the
generation which saw these things would not pass away
till all be fulfilled, said:
"And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your
hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness,
and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you
unawares, for as a snare shall it come on all them that
dwell on the face of the whole earth.
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always that ye may be
accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come
to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke
OF HISTORY AND 1967
1975, a section of The Readers Digest was devoted
to articles on Jerusalem and peace in the Middle East. One
of these was captioned - "Jerusalem - Too Holy For
Its Own Good." The author - David Reed - wrote:
stone wall, rising starkly in the Walled City, figures strongly
in Israel's adamancy over not wanting to give up East Jerusalem.
This is the Western Wall, a fragment of the western rampart
of the platform on which the First Temple of King Solomon
and the Second Temple of King Herod stood. The Second Temple
was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70, when the Jews were
driven into diaspora,
or dispersion. Throughout 19 centuries of diaspora,
the wall or the memory of it, served as a spiritual beacon
and a symbol of a lost homeland to Jews the world over.
During this time, Passover and Yom Kippur services ended
with the incantation in Hebrew: 'Next year in Jerusalem.'
the British withdrew from Palestine in 1948, the Jews and
the Arabs fought for the control of the state, the Jews
managed to hold West Jerusalem and proclaimed it the capitol
of the new state of Israel.
tantalizingly, the Western Wall remained just beyond reach.
Jordon annexed East Jerusalem as well as the West Bank of
the River Jordon, a territory that surrounds the city on
three sides. For 19 years, a no-man's-land separated the
two sectors, and the Jordanians refused to allow Jews to
worship at the Western Wall.
war came again in 1967, Israel urged Jordan's King Hussein
to stay out of it, promising, in return, not to attack Jordon.
But, egged on by Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser and other Arabs,
Hussein sent artillery shells crashing into West Jerusalem.
Israeli soldiers counterattacked, and poured into the Walled
City. Their religious fervor was such that many headed directly
for the Western Wall, where they paused to pray. For the
first time in 19 centuries, the wall was under Jewish control."
gives concisely the events and Jewish feeling connected
with the retaking of Old Jerusalem in 1967. It signalled
the first step in the fulfillment of the prophecy of Jesus,
and marked the beginning of the closing "times of visitation"
for the Gentiles, or nations.
the actual event which Jesus gave as the sign when the times
of the nations would be fulfilled,, a number of other happenings
in the religious world occurred which marks 1967 as a significant
is the Catholic Charismatic Movement. "Catholic sociologist
Andrew Greely estimates that two million Catholics have
attended charismatic meetings." (Christianity Today
(CT), June 6, 1975, p. 45) This same journal reports:
22 -- "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. ...
conference which in previous years had met at Notre Dame
University, convened in Rome in conjunction with the Holy
Year proclaimed by Pope Paul. The theme was the same as
the Holy Year - 'Renewal and Reconciliation.' Participants
came from over sixty nations representing more than one
million Catholic charismatics in several thousand prayer
groups. Several Protestant Pentecostal and charismatic leaders
also attended as 'official ecumenical observers.'
sessions were held on the outskirts of Rome in a large tent
over the catacombs of St. Callixtus, a meeting and burial
place for early Christian martyrs. ...
Pentecost Sunday, the conference moved to St. Peter's for
the mass celebrated by Pope Paul. Although the charismatics
were a minority in the throngs who filled the church and
the square outside, their presence was apparent as the mass
progressed. Spontaneous singing of the charismatic anthem
'Alleluia' competed with the pipe organ at the beginning
and the end of the service. At the consecration of the host,
a soft murmur of 'singing in the Spirit' (chanting in harmony
in glossolalia) filled the cathedral. While the Pope continued
the mass, hands were raised in praise, and at one point,
a priest fell to his knees and asked to be baptized in the
Holy Spirit. Several persons laid hands on him and prayed
climax of the conference came at St. Peter's on Monday,
May 19, in a mass conducted by Cardinal Suenens, who was
assisted by twelve bishops and more than 800 priests. This
was the first specifically charismatic service ever held
in St. Peter's. Suenens delivered his sermon in typical
Pentecostal style. The cathedral reverberated with the shouted
responses to his 'hallelujahs.' Such Pentecostal choruses
as 'Spirit of the Living God' and 'Alleluia' were sung with
hands upraised. Several times the well-filled basilica resounded
with singing in the Spirit. ...
the close of the mass, Pope Paul arrived to give special
greetings to the conferees. As he entered, the congregation
broke into cheers and applause. Most of his message was
given in French, with short summaries in Spanish and English.
the end of his prepared text, the Pope broke into impromptu
remarks in his native Italian. Reflecting on his encyclical
on joy that was proclaimed the day before, he exhorted the
charismatics to share their joy with the world. The conference
erupted in applause as the Pope ended with, 'Glory to the
Lord, hallelujah!' Before he exited, the Pope embraced and
kissed Cardinal Suenens and greeted about twenty leading
charismatics. Many wept openly. ...
to Catholic theologian Kilian McDonnell of Minnesota, it
was a 'triumphant day,' while to Balthasar Fisher of Trier
University, Germany, the meeting was 'historical - of enormous
importance.' To Protestant Pentecostal spokesman David du
Plessis, it was 'the greatest charismatic and ecumenical
event in ecclesiastical history.'
Suenens summed up the feelings - and hopes - of many when
he declared that by his actions and warm words of approval,
'the Pope opened his arms and heart to the charismatic renewal.'"
(Ibid., pp. 45-46)
23 -- However
the bottom line of this Catholic Charismatic breakthrough
in 1975 was reported in CT, June 22, 1973, p. 37:
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."
one perceives the charismatic movement as a manifestation
of the working of the power of Satan, the event at Duquesne
University, and the date, 1967, become significant. Here
is an outward display of demoniac power in angelic garb
moving into the Catholic church, the government of which,
prophecy indicates will figure so largely in the final scenes
of this world's history. This is not saying that such power
has not resided in the Papacy since its inception as indicated
in prophecy (Rev. 13:2; II Thess. 2:9), but does serve as
a sign heralding the time for such manifestations in the
devil's final movement to deceive the world. (Rev. 16:13-14)
to another event, we find that 1967 marked the 450th Anniversary
of Protestantism. The World Book Encyclopedia made
Protestantism celebrated its 450th anniversary in 1967 and
encountered some of its most troublesome issues in its history.
Most Protestants consider October 31, 1517, as the symbolic
beginning of the Reformation. On that day, Martin Luther
issued his Ninety-Five Theses criticizing the Roman Catholic
Church and pointing toward a fresh understanding of God's
grace. In October, 1967, Protestants gathered - quite often
with Roman Catholics - in countries throughout the world,
to recall that event." (1968 Year Book, p. 468)
the same encyclopedia under the topic - "Eastern Influence"
- an interesting summary was given of the introduction of
Eastern philosophy into Western thinking. The summary stated:
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 midsummer, 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 nonviolent 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." (Ibid., p. 476)
-- Revelation pictures Satan under the symbol of a
"dragon" or "serpent." (Rev. 12:9; 20:2)
In Rev. 16:13-14, the symbol is changed to "like frogs"
- an animal which catches it prey by its tongue.
24 -- Through
the prophet Isaiah, God spoke concerning "the last
days" that a people professing His name would prefer
a "law" going forth from Jerusalem rather than
accepting what He had already proclaimed from Mt. Sinai.
This people would be "replenished from the east."
happening which marks 1967 is a mix between religious elements
and the toy industry. John Godwin in his Occult America
describes it thus:
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. Since then approximately ten million of these
boards have been sold, making them a $50,000,000 business
and assuring that a basic minimum of 20 million Americans
have played with them.
picked out a fairly random lot of thirty dedicated Ouija
players and asked them if they could tell me where the game
originated and what the name meant. Most of them, as it
turned out, believed that it was a Far Eastern device, its
origins lost in antiquity, its title meaning something or
other in either Chinese, Hindi, or Korean. One lone individualist
held out for Hebrew, another had it on the authority of
her card-reading girlfriend that Ouija meant 'spirit' in
either Sanskrit or Persian.
fact is that the Ouija board was invented and patented in
1892 by one William Fuld of Baltimore, Maryland. At first
he and his brother called the contraption Mystifying oracle,
but found the label too long and hit on the combination
of the French and German word for 'yes' as an alternative.
Until 1966 the boards were made exclusively by the Fuld
family's Southern Toy Company. Then Parker Brothers - who
also manufacture Monopoly - bought the rights. To their
astonishment the new acquisition outsold their No. 1 hit
from the word go!
was of course, a certain amount of sales push behind it.
Ads - 'Give One to a Friend' - in magazines, and a crescendo
ditty, 'Hey, Ouija, we needja' blasted over various rock-orientated
radio stations. There was the war in Vietnam, confirming
the pattern noted during both World Wars and Korea that
Ouija boards always sell well in wartime. But their current
dizzying surge is the result of a totally unexpected market
combination. The usual wives, mothers, and sweethearts of
service men were joined by millions of teenagers, right
down to the thirteen-year-old level, who had never previously
shown much interest in these gadgets. And while the involvement
of servicemen's relatives had obvious reasons, the sudden
enthusiasm of the teeners remains a mystery - even to Parker
Brothers." (pp. 271-272)
as the charismatic movement with its overtones of Spiritism
garbed in angelic light, signals the arrival of the final
manifestation of Satanic power to deceive, so also does
the emergence of the raw spiritistic Ouija board signal
the same thing - the time for the marvelous working of Satan.
Both made a dramatic re-birth in the same year that the
sign Jesus gave concerning the times of the Gentiles began
to be fulfilled - 1967!
OF HISTORY AND 1980
prophecy of Jesus as recorded in Luke 21:24 indicates that
the ending of the times of the Gentiles or nations is a
brief but definable period of time. Luke used the idiom
- akri ou - translated by our word - "until."
(See p. 11) We have focused on events which marked the beginning
of the brief period in 1967, now we turn our attention to
an event in 1980, which marked the close of this period,
and some other events which preceded this date which are
also inter-related in the over-all picture of prophecy.
There was no way to tell in 1967 just how long this period
would be, since we are not dealing with a time prophecy
which foretells in advance how much time must elapse till
the next event, but with a prophecy which concerns events,
so that when the event does occur, we can say - "This
1967 a man had a religious experience which came to effect
many lives in the Fall of 1979. Jeffrey Hart in a syndicated
column dated May 7, 1976, (Oroville, Ca., Mercury Register)
writing on "Carter and Religion" stated:
1967,' says Carter, 'I had a profound religious experience
that changed my life.'"
obscure, mediocre Governor of Georgia had by 1979 been catapulted
into the White House. There on October 6, 1979, President
Jimmy Carter welcomed Pope John Paul II with these words:
welcome you to the White House the symbolic home of all
our people. On behalf of every American of every faith I
also welcome you into our nation's heart. God bless you
for coming to our country. We are proud to have you here."
(RNS, Oct. 8, 1979, p. 1)
was a man, a Southern Baptist by confession, and whose religious
devotion was such that he taught Sunday school while serving
as President of the United States; who in 1967 had such
a "profound religious experience" that his life
was "changed;" and who now twelve years later
reaches across the gulf and clasps hands with the representative
of the Papacy. (See Exhibit #6) This was done on behalf
of "every American of every faith."
News Service observes that the reception for the Pope
26 -- the
largest ever held in the White House. Over 10,000 invitations
were issued. At this reception were gathered representatives
of all three branches of the American government - executive,
legislative, and judicial. "At the conclusion of the
reception the pope surprised the audience by saying, 'the
pope wants to bless you -- with the permission of the president
of the United States.'" (Ibid., p. 2) Carter
made no objections, neither did any other officially appointed
or elected leader of government. It was stated by Ellen
is at the time of national apostasy, when, acting on the
policy of Satan, the rulers of the land will rank themselves
on the side of the man of sin - it is then the measure of
guilt is full; the national apostasy is the signal for national
(GC Bulletin, Vol. 4, #19, p. 259, April 13, 1891)
You will observe that when "the rulers of the land"
- not just the President - rank themselves on "the
side of the man of sin," in accordance with the"policy
of Satan," that God marks it as "national apostasy."
Within weeks, American prestige suffered the most humiliating
defeat of its 200 year history - the insult at Tehran -
and Carter could do nothing to alter the situation; he was
completely ineffective. The blessing of the Pope was turned
into a curse.
series of events were taking place during the final year
of the Carter administration. These events involved Jerusalem.
As early as the second session of the United Nations (Nov.
29, 1947), the General Assembly had approved a resolution
on Palestine. This resolution was re-affirmed in two following
sessions (Dec. 11, 1948; Dec. 9, 1949). On April 14, 1950,
the Trusteeship Council approved a "special statute"
based on the General Assembly's decisions. This envisaged
a setting up of a "corpus separatum" for Jerusalem
and the surrounding area, to be administered by the Council.
This "territorial internationalization" of Jerusalem
was never put into effect due to the 1948 conflict, when
Israel was re-born as a nation with the division of the
city, and the Arabs retaining control of "Old"
Jerusalem. 1967 changed this picture; still the Capital
of Israel remained at Tel Aviv.
June 30, 1980, the Charge d'Affaires of the Permanent Observer
Mission of the Holy See asked that a Text of the Papal position
on Jerusalem as published in Osservatore Romano,
be circulated as a document of the Security Council. It
was duly done on the orders of the President of the Council
as document S/14032. (See Exhibit #7) The Papal position
called for putting into effect the "special statute"
formulated by the Trusteeship Council in 1950.
months earlier, the Egyptian parliament called for the establishment
27 -- Jerusalem
as the seat of the Palestine autonomous authority. The government
of Israel considered this as a "flagrant, unprovoked
interference" in their internal affairs. The Israeli
parliament - the Knesset - responded by adopting a Private
Member's Bill - Basic Law: Jerusalem - on July 30, 1980.
This law declared - "Jerusalem united in its entirety
is the capitol of Israel." It is to be "the seat
of the President of the State, the Knesset, the Government,
and the Supreme Court." (See Exhibit #8)
action on the part of the Knesset set the limiting date
required by the idiomatic expression used in Luke 21:24.
In 1967, the Israeli armies re-occupied Jerusalem - the
Jerusalem of which Jesus spoke - and the end of the period
of the Times of the Gentiles began. In 1980, the entire
government of Israel was transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
This completed the fulfillment of the times of the Gentiles
or nations. If the prophecy of Jesus means anything, it
means, at least, the nations of earth are no longer under
the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit, and Lucifer
is now permitted to work his will in their gathering together
for the final confrontation at a place called in the Hebrew
tongue - Har Magedon (Har Mo'ed) - Mount of the Congregation.
(Rev. 16:16 RV; Isa. 14:13)
1980, events are moving swiftly toward "the battle
of the great day of God Almighty." Carter was followed
by Ronald Reagan. During this administration, United States
has officially recognized the Vatican and exchanged ambassadors.
This was done with the aid and counsel of "the voice
of Protestantism" - Billy Graham. Church and State
noted, based on a report in the Chicago Sun-Times,
"that evangelist Billy Graham helped to lay the political
groundwork for the U.S.-Holy See diplomatic exchange."
The article continued:
evangelist was asked by former National Security Advisor
William Clark [a Catholic] to assess the reaction of evangelicals
to the diplomatic venture. Graham contacted such leaders
as Jerry Falwell of the Moral Majority, the Rev. Pat Robinson
of the Christian Broadcasting Network, the Rev. Billy Melvin
of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Rev. David
Hubbard, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, and the
Rev. Gilbert Beers of Christianity Today.
a seven-page letter last spring, Graham advised that moderate
evangelicals would present few problems, especially if the
Vatican were recognized purely in a political way and without
religious implications. Graham predicted that Falwell would
be in a difficult position because his Moral Majority constituency
reportedly includes both Catholics and conservative Protestants.
The evangelist noted, however, that 'some people (like Jerry
Falwell) could be persuaded to keep quiet on the issue.'
honestly don't know what I personally would recommend that
28 -- do,' Graham wrote. He added that Reagan 'would
need to cover his political bases' and bring into the picture
'people who might cause him trouble - Jews, Catholic Bishop's
Committee, National Council (of Churches), etc.'" (March,
1984, p. 7)
should be observed Graham suggested the plan be put forward
as a "political" recognition of Vatican State
rather than a "religious" recognition of the Holy
See. This was to suggest a deception to accomplish a desired
end. Less than 110 acres of land is hardly justification
for diplomatic recognition by the United States. It was
the Papacy which the United States recognized. Both the
legislative and executive branches of government affirmed
the action, and a possible challenge in the courts will
give the judicial branch an opportunity to rule on the Constitutionality
of the diplomatic recognition.
way in which this issue was put through Congress; the almost
total and callous disregard for the opposition by both the
legislature and executive branches of the U.S. government,
should tell us something. No longer are the "angels"
holding "the four winds" as was done in every
other previous confrontation. The times of the nations are
Papacy has again expressed its policy toward Jerusalem.
On Good Friday, April 20, 1984, Pope John Paul II issued
an "Apostolic Letter" called Redemptionis Anno.
In this letter, he stated - "Jerusalem stands out as
a symbol of coming together, or union, and of universal
peace for the human family." He called for peace as
the fruit of redemption, and because of this peace, it -
Jerusalem the living sign of the great ideal of unity, of
brotherhood and of agreements among peoples according to
the illuminating words of the Book of Isaiah: 'Many peoples
shall come and say: Come let us go up to the house of the
God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we
may walk in his paths.' (Is. 2:3)" (See Exhibit
remains but one more prophetic sign regarding Jerusalem:
he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the
seas in the glorious holy mountain (Jerusalem; Dan.
9:16) ; yet he shall come to his end and none shall help
him." (Dan. 11:45)
policy indicates that this is its objective and desire.
The Word of God indicates that when this happens, the next
major event is the close of all human probation: "And
at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince
which standeth for the children of thy people." (Dan.
have arrived at the end. This generation shall not pass
away till all things are fulfilled.
you had been living in Jerusalem in 66 A.D. You were a Christian.
As a tradesman you were providing a modest but adequate
living for your family. You were aware of the prophecy Jesus
had given concerning the coming destruction of Jerusalem,
having heard it from the lips of the Apostles. Furthermore,
it was also a matter of record in the Gospels already written,
and you had heard it read frequently in the Christian assembly.
But no Roman or alien armies had as yet surrounded the city.
There were rumors, but Jesus had not said to rely upon rumors.
one morning you awakened to the fact that the Roman armies
had surrounded the city, and all the gates were closed.
How were you to leave the city? It appeared there was no
way out. What did Jesus mean? Had you waited too long? No,
suddenly the armies of Rome withdrew for no apparent cause.
The Jewish forces pursued, and the gates were now open.
What would you have then done? What should you have done?
the words of Jesus, you hurriedly left the city with what
you and your family could take with you. It was a complete
uprooting of your life, and meant the leaving behind of
many a cherished possession. You did not stop till you were
safely across the Jordon, and located in a small village
in the region beyond. There you sought to re-establish a
form of existence. It was most difficult; life was hard.
As time went by, news reached you that the armies of Rome
had not returned. Things were not exactly normal, but from
the reports, those in the city were faring far better than
you were across the Jordon. What would you have been tempted
to do? What should you have done? You chose to stay where
you were, and continued to struggle to make ends meet for
your family needs.
70 came. The Roman armies returned. You received news of
the terrible slaughter and devastation which resulted when
the city was taken. You were glad, though life was far from
easy, that you had believed and obeyed the words
30 -- of Jesus. Your very life - salvation -
depended upon your faith in what Jesus had said.
you had been living in a small New England town in the year
1832. One day during the week as you were reading the notices
on the bulletin board in the village square, you read the
announcement that one William Miller was going to lecture
the coming Sunday night in the Town Hall on the soon return
of Jesus. The next Sunday morning found you sitting in your
usual place at church as your pastor introduced his sermon
with the announcement you had read. He then proceeded to
decry the fanaticism of thinking that Jesus was going to
return to earth in just a few years. He ridiculed the prophecies
as mere dreams with only an allegorical meaning. You had
planned to go that night to hear Mr. Miller. But the pastor
also had some things to say about him, too. So you decided
not to go, and you didn't.
next year - one morning, well before daybreak - you were
suddenly awakened with the sound of cries and the terrified
voices of your neighbors. Looking out to see what was causing
this unusual disturbance, you saw what they saw - the stars
of heaven were falling. You began to tremble, because you
knew what Jesus had said, and what was written in the book
of Revelation which was being so vividly fulfilled before
your eyes. What were you to do? - you recalled distinctly
your decision of the previous year - now with deep regret.
pass, and again as you one day read the bulletin board in
the village square, you discover that William Miller will
speak in a near-by church the next Sunday night. Regardless
of what your pastor will say on Sunday morning, you are
determined to go and hear Miller. So you do, and you are
completely convinced that the presentation of prophecy is
accurate. The end of all things is at hand, and so you start
attending the study group organized to prepare folk for
the coming of Jesus, and to provide support that others
may also hear.
you believed expectantly that Jesus was going to return
on October 22, 1844, you gathered with those of like precious
faith, uniting with them in prayer and watching all that
day. Into the hours of the night you waited; but still Jesus
did not come,. The little sleep you got the rest of the
night was fitful, and with the dawning on October 23, you
could not rest. Your mind was
31 -- agitated; your heart was torn with disappointment.
What should you do? What could you do? Where in the Word
of God could you turn for an answer?
Midnight Cry which had established the date, October 22
- "the tenth day of the seventh month" - had also
opened minds to the further and deeper study of the type
and antitype relationship between the earthly and heavenly
sanctuary. One who lived through this experience has written:
subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the
mystery of the disappointment, showing that God had led
His people in the great Advent movement. It opened to view
a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, and
revealed present duty as it brought to light the position
and work of God's people." (SP, IV, p. 268)
that the study of the sanctuary brought "to view a
complete system of truth" and "revealed present
was that duty? Again from the pen of one who lived through
those trying days following the disappointment, we read:
passing of time in 1844, was followed by a period of great
trial to those who still held the Advent faith. Their only
relief, so far as ascertaining their true position was concerned,
was the light which directed their minds to the sanctuary
above. As has been stated, Adventists were for a short time
united in the belief that the door of mercy was shut. This
position was soon abandoned. Some renounced their faith
in their former reckoning of the prophetic periods, and
ascribed to human or Satanic agencies the powerful influence
of the Holy Spirit which had attended the Advent movement.
Another class firmly held that the Lord had led them in
their past experience; and as they waited and watched and
prayed to know the will of God, they saw that their great
High Priest had entered upon another work of ministration,
and following Him by faith, they were led to understand
also the closing work of the church, and were prepared
to receive and give to the world the warning of the third
angel of Revelation 14." (Ibid., pp. 271-272;
- those who followed Jesus by faith were led to understand
"the closing work of the church." They
also perceived the Third Angel's message was to be given
to the world.
of the disappointment, being sincere and believing the Word
of God, you chose to unite your interests and endeavors
with those who would be proclaiming to the world the Messages
of Revelation 14. You looked for the time when the message
would swell into a "loud cry" as foretold in Revelation
18. You rejoiced to hear the messages of Elders A. T. Jones
and E. J. Waggoner when they came to South Lancaster to
give what they had presented at the Minneapolis
32 -- General
Conference Session in 1888. Then one day a few years later,
you opened the Review & Herald, that had just
come in the mail. In it you read:
time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third
angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness
of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer. This is the beginning
of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole
earth." (Nov. 22, 1892, p. 615)
caused you to rejoice. The Loud Cry had commenced. Revelation
18 was about to be fulfilled. Soon Jesus would come. You
recalled that experience which filled your soul on October
22, 1844. Surely you would not again be disappointed. But
then time dragged on. Nothing happened. The revival that
had been so evident at the South Lancaster meetings died
out. What had happened? You were getting older, and had
hoped, O so much, to be alive and see Jesus come. Many of
your friends who had shared this same hope had already fallen
asleep in Jesus. Must this too, be your experience?
more years pass, and you heard about a letter which Ellen
G. White wrote to Percy T. Magan. It had said:
may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination
many more years, as did the children of Israel, but for
Christ's sake, His people should not add sin to sin by charging
God with the consequences of their own wrong course of action."
(Letter dated, Dec. 7, 1901)
the full effect of the letter comes home to your mind, you
ask - "How many is 'many more years,'?" The same
day a friend visits you, and you both discuss things dear
to your heart - the coming of Jesus; the advancing years
of your life; - your hopes and expectations. This friend
tells you about another letter, also written in 1901. You
want to see a copy. In a few days your friend returns and
brings you a copy of this letter. You take it, and read
it very slowly and carefully. It tells you:
the twenty-first chapter of Luke, Christ foretold what was
to come upon Jerusalem, and with it He connected the scenes
which were to take place in the history of this world just
prior to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven
with power and great glory." (Letter 20, 1901; CtoW&E,
evening when you had time to think it through more carefully,
you asked yourself the question - "Why did Ellen White
just ask us to note Luke 21? Why not Matthew 24 and Mark
13? These are also reports of what Jesus gave in prophecy
that night long ago. Why did she specify that what Luke
had recorded about events to come upon Jerusalem would be
'connected [with] the scenes which were to take place...
just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the
33 -- clouds of heaven with power and great glory'?"
Then you took your Bible and re-read thoughtfully Matthew
24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. You discovered that the only thing
that Luke said about Jerusalem that Matthew and Mark did
not was in regard to Jerusalem being trodden down of the
Gentiles till the times of the Gentiles would be fulfilled.
the evening hours lengthened into the dark shadows of the
night, you continued that year in the early 1900's, to ponder
what you had read. Jerusalem was still under Gentile control.
But you did recall reading in the newspaper of the first
Jewish International Congress in 1897 for the purpose of
promoting a Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine. Would this
Jewish state - if it could be achieved - free Jerusalem
from Gentile control? Thinking, wondering, pondering - would
it be in your day? - you fell asleep.
CHAPTER I X
20th Century dawned with the Seventh-day Adventist Church
in crisis. The message of 1888 which was to prepare a people
for the coming of the Lord had received only lip service
at best. The professed people of God still clung to their
"works" hoping for acceptance with God. In 1901
- December to be exact - the messenger of the Lord had written
to Dr. P. T. Magan - "We may have to remain here in
this world because of insubordination many more years."
Earlier that year the General Conference had convened in
Battle Creek. As soon as the conference was officially opened,
Ellen G. White came forward and stated unequivocally:
who are educated in the office of publication should see
exemplified the principles of heaven. I would rather lay
a child of mine in his grave than have him go there to see
these principles mangled and perverted. The principles of
heaven are to be carried out in every family, in the discipline
of every church, in every establishment, in every institution,
in every school, and in everything that shall be managed.
You have no right to manage, unless you manage in God's
order. Are you under the control of God? Do you see your
responsibility to Him? If you do realize this responsibility,
you will realize that you are to mold and fashion minds
after the divine similitude; and then those in the different
institutions here, who are being trained and educated to
become workers, will work for God, to hold up the standard
my soul is drawn out in these things! Men who have not learned
to submit themselves to the control and discipline of God,
are not competent to train the youth, to deal with human
minds. It is just as much an impossibility for them to do
this as it would be for them to make a world. That these
men should stand in a sacred place, to be the voice of God
to the people, as we once believed the General Conference
to be, -- that is past. What we want now is a reorganization.
We want to begin at the foundation, and to build upon a
different principle." (1901, GC Bulletin, No
1, p. 25)
from this earnest appeal, a new Constitution was adopted
without the office of President of the General Conference.
In its place was a committee of twenty-five with power to
organize itself. While the report given to the delegates
in 1901 setting forth its organization indicated that A.
G. Daniells had been made "Permanent Chairman"
(Ibid., #17, p. 377), the concept was understood
that the committee would reorganize itself each year. W.
C. White during the floor discussion of this new constitution
indicated a sentiment prevailed that "no one should
be chairman of this committee for a period of more than
twelve months at a time." Ibid., #9, p. 206)
Daniells, at a minority meeting of the Committee on February
14, 1902, said "that in harmony with the plan adopted
35 -- the
late General Conference, the General Conference Committee
should organize itself from year to year." With only
six of the twenty-five members present, and a few observers,
it did reorganize itself, with Daniells remaining as chairman.
the surface, it would appear that the type of organization
as envisioned in the 1901 Constitution would give the Church
a very inadequate and ineffectual leadership; however, if
the organization under that constitution had been permitted
to continue, it would have produced a group of men
leading the Church governed by its Unseen Head. In the end
the human element prevailed, and what might have been was
not attained. (8T:104-106) In 1903, at Oakland, California,
the General Conference was again reorganized under a Constitution
which provided for a visible head in the office of President
of the General Conference. Responding to the "Majority
Report" of the Committee on Plans and Constitution,
Dr. P. T. Magan - the one to whom Ellen G. White had written
in December, 1901, and who as an observer had attended the
minority meeting of the General Conference Committee in
1902 held in Daniells' office - declared:
may be stated there is nothing in this new constitution
which is not abundantly safeguarded by the provisions of
it; but I want to say to you that any man who has ever read
Meander's History of the Christian Church, Mosheim's,
or any of the other of the great church historians, - any
man who has read those histories can come to no other conclusion
but that the principles which are to be brought in, are
the same principles, and introduced in precisely the same
way, as they were hundreds of years ago when the Papacy
was made." (1903, GC Bulletin, #10, p. 150)
G. White was also quick to respond to the new situation.
Within twelve days of this discussion, she wrote from St.
Helena, California, the following:
the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist
church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges
and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience
does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite
cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have
not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her
will be pronounced the sentence, 'Found wanting.' By the
light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged."
[Observe this is written in the future tense: - "is
to be," and "will" with the third person.
The Church was not judged in
closing this testimony, Ellen G. White gave a solution.
She wrote -
the church, which is now  being leavened with her
own backsliding, shall repent and be converted, she will
eat the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself."
(Ibid., p. 250)
was not an ordinary call to repentance - it was a call to
denominational repentance. The "church" was to
repent. As a corporate body, she faced the
36 -- judgment
of the sanctuary, and unless the church repented, she would
be pronounced, "Wanting."
is a prophecy that dare not be overlooked. In unmistakable
language, it was declared that "the Seventh-day Adventist
church is to be weighed" in the balances of the Heavenly
Sanctuary. This is stated as future to 1903 - "is to
be" and "on her will be pronounced." The
greatest question facing the individual member of the Church
today is simply - "Has this prophecy been fulfilled?"
And, if it has, what decision was rendered? God is on record
that He will not do anything, but that He will reveal it
by prophet and prophecy. (Amos 3:7) This is no minor decision,
for such a decision would declare that the organizational
vehicle He chose to use for the completion of His final
movement on earth had betrayed its sacred trust. If so judged,
as a corporate entity it would be - "Found wanting."
Continued involvement in such a corporate structure would
then have eternal consequences. Such is the gravity of this
prophetic testimony written in 1903.
1903, time continued. In the newspapers, one could read
accounts of wars and rumors of war, earthquakes in divers
places, famines, and pestilences. But no single major event
could be assigned to a specific prophecy. It seemed that
the prophetic clock of God had been stopped. Then came 1929.
In an agreement reached between Italy and the Papacy, the
"deadly wound" was healed, and a modern, rejuvenated
Papacy was born, not only politically, but also financially.
As a Church, Seventh-day Adventists believed in the guidance
afforded by prophecy. In her Statements of Belief the church
was on record as affirming:
prophecy is a part of God's revelation to man; that it is
included in that Scripture which is profitable for instruction
(2 Tim. 3:16); that it is designed for us and our children
(Deut. 29:29); that so far from being enshrouded in impenetrable
mystery, it is that which especially constitutes the word
of God a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Ps. 119:105;
2 Peter 1:19); that a blessing is pronounced upon those
who study it (Rev. 1:1-3); and that, consequently, it is
to be understood by the people of God sufficiently to show
them their position in the world's history and the special
duties required at their hands." (1914 Yearbook,
last sentence of this confession of our spiritual forefathers
is worthy of repeating. Prophecy "is to be understood
by the people of God sufficiently to show them their position
in the world's history and the special duties required at
their hands." But in 1931, a new Statement of Beliefs
appeared in the Yearbook. This statement on prophecy
was omitted! At the very moment that God's prophetic time
clock of events began ticking off the final hours of human
history, we chose to delete this statement from our beliefs.
37 -- In 1948,
the State of Israel was formed. True, no prophetic significance
could be attached to this event, per se, but coming
events were casting their shadows before. This fact was
recognized at the 1952 Bible Conference. (See p. 1) But
something else had happened within the Church. As human
history was revealing the stage for coming events, God was
not leaving Himself without a witness. To the newly formed
1950 General Conference Committee, two young men, missionaries
to Africa, addressed the issue, and echoed God's call for
denominational repentance. In their monumental manuscript
- 1888 Re-Examined, they wrote:
is now abundantly evident that 'we' have traveled the road
of disillusionment since the Minneapolis meeting in 1888.
Infatuation with false teachings has taken the place of
clear, cogent, heaven-inspired truth, as regards 'righteousness
by faith'. By the hard, humiliating way of actual experience
with counterfeit, Israel has brought herself to the time
when she is ripe for disillusionment. The simple faith to
believe, which was spurned at Minneapolis, is now replaceable
with the bitter tears of humble repentance, occasioned by
our history. The following prophecy has been fulfilled,
and awaits only its realization by the church:
the church, which is now being leavened with her own
backsliding, shall repent and be converted, she will
eat of the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor
herself. (8T 250.)
an experience will be a repentance very similar to that
of Mary Magdalene, whose faith and love were spoken of by
the Saviour as that of the model Christian. The genuine
repentance of heart-broken love is righteousness
by faith." (p. 242)
must be observed in this invitation to repentance, Elders
Wieland and Short indirectly called the attention of the
leadership of the Church to the very prophecy uttered in
1903 by the messenger of the Lord. They noted the condition
God required lest the Church be found wanting. Thus God
through these men was telling the church, the hour was approaching
when it would be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary.
The need for repentance which God called for cannot be divorced
from the reason for the need - the Church was to be weighed
in the balances of the sanctuary. Specific criteria were
given upon which the judgment would be based. If she failed
these criteria, she would be found wanting.
answer to the challenge of Wieland and Short was not long
in coming. In 1952, W. H. Branson, who in 1950 had succeeded
to the high office of the presidency of the General Conference,
called a Bible Conference. Its underlining motivation was
to proclaim the message of 1888, and thus in an indirect
way to circumvent the call of the brethren from Africa.
Branson himself, presented the studies on Righteousness
by Faith. Concluding these studies, he said:
a large degree the church failed to build on the foundation
laid at the 1888 General Conference. Much has been lost
as a result. We are years behind where we should have been
in spiritual growth. Long ere this we should have been in
38 -- the Promised Land.
the message of righteousness by faith given in the 1888
Conference has been repeated here. Practically every speaker
from the first day onward has laid stress upon this all-important
doctrine, and there was no prearranged plan that he should
do so. It was spontaneous on the part of the speakers. No
doubt they were impelled by the Spirit of God to do so.
Truly this one subject has, in this conference 'swallowed
up every other.'
this great truth has been given here in this 1952 Bible
Conference with far greater power than it was given in the
1888 Conference because those who have spoken here have
had the advantage of much added light shining forth from
hundreds of pronouncements on this subject in the writings
of the Spirit of Prophecy which those who spoke back there
did not have. The light of justification and righteousness
by faith shines upon us more clearly than it ever shone
before upon any people.
longer will the question be, 'What was the attitude of our
workers and people toward the message of righteousness by
faith that was given in 1888? What did they do about it?'
From now on the great question must be, 'What did we do
with the light on righteousness by faith as proclaimed in
the 1952 Bible Conference?'" (Our Firm Foundation,
Vol. II, pp. 616-617)
one reads the messages given at the 1952 .Bible Conference
on the subjects of the atonement, and the mediatorial work
of Christ in the most holy place of the Heavenly Sanctuary,
it must be happily admitted, the presentations reflected
historic Adventist belief. Branson had indicated that the
conference "should be called for the particular purpose
of reaffirming those great and fundamental truths that have
most certainly been believed amongst us throughout all our
history." (Ibid., Vol. I, p. 45) Those beliefs
Wieland and Short's prophetic insight into the real condition
of the church - that she was "infatuated with false
teachings" and "ripe for disillusionment"
was not long in surfacing. Within three years, under another
administration, the conferences between Seventh-day Adventists
and the Evangelicals - Barnhouse and Martin - took place.
The very doctrines confirmed at the 1952 Bible Conference
were denied by the Adventist conferees. The resulting book
- Questions on Doctrine - sought to confirm to the
Evangelicals that there was a change in position by the
Adventist leadership in the matter of the Atonement, but
at the same time to couch this apostasy in language so as
to camouflage this change from the rank and file of the
membership of the church. To questions raised the answer
was simply - "It is just a matter of semantics."
The Adventist conferees became deluded by this same concept
themselves. T. E. Unruh, chairman of the conferences, reported:
"We came to see that many misunderstandings rested
on semantic grounds, because of our use of an inbred denominational
vocabulary. Our friends [the Evangelicals] helped us to,
express our beliefs in terms more easily understood by theologians
of other communions." (Adventist Heritage, Vol.
4, #2, 1977, p. 40)
39 -- Again
the Lord did not leave Himself without a witness. M. L.
Andreasen, the Church's greatest theologian, protested.
In a letter of response to a report that he had recanted
in his opposition to the apostasy, he wrote:
me assure you that I am in good health - not a mental case,
not senile, not even dead, as has been reported. But I am
so busy that I cannot keep up with my correspondence. I
am all alone in my work.
I have not recanted. The denomination is departing from
the fundamentals, and I must protest." (Letter, Posted
June 8, 1959, Glendale, California)
protest he did through Letters to the Churches!
joined in the challenge to the book - Questions on Doctrine.
The local elder of the Baker, Oregon, Seventh-day Adventist
Church, A. L. Hudson, brought into the open the long suppressed
manuscript of Elders Wieland and Short - 1888 Re-Examined.
Hudson's pressure on the leadership of the Church caused
a "Further Appraisal of the Manuscript - '1888 Re-Examined'"
to be released by the General Conference in 1958. This Appraisal
addressed the issue squarely but tragically. The General
Conference leadership rejected the only solution
given by the messenger of the Lord to the Church in 1903.
solution proposed, of the denomination making confession
of the mistakes of men made in the 1880's and the 1890's
and of a denominational repentance, is not possible nor
would an attempt to do so be of value. The experience of
the church is the collective experience of its members and
leaders, and thus rightness with God is a matter of present
day personal relationships." (A
Warning and Its Reception, p. 259)
in this answer, the leadership of the Church ignored not
only the specific counsel of the Lord as given in 1903,
but also the plain teaching of Scripture on corporate accountability.
One illustration from the Old Testament is the sin of Achan
and how it effected all of Israel, and in the New Testament,
Peter on the Day of Pentecost charged the whole of the "house
of Israel" with the murder of Jesus. (Acts 2:36)
the book - Questions on Doctrine - was not republished
after the first edition, its apostate teachings were confirmed
in the book -Movement of Destiny - which in its first
edition carried the imprimatur and nihil obstat of the Presidents
of the General Conference and North American Division, respectively.
came 1967. The recapture of Jerusalem by the Israeli forces
marked the beginning of "the last week"- figuratively
speaking - of the times of the Gentiles, as foretold by
Christ that night long ago on the Mount of Olives.
CHURCH - 1967-1980
permitting the final sign given by Jesus to be fulfilled,
God was seeking to tell the Church something, even as God
used John the Baptist to seek to tell the Jewish Church
something in that day: -- there was only a brief period
of time left in which to bring forth "fruits meet for
repentance." (Matt. 3:8) It dare not be overlooked
that "the trust" committed to the Church - the
Three Angels' Messages of Revelation 14 (9T:19)-
was a message to every "nation" as well as to
individuals. With the times of the nations about to be fulfilled,
the Church faced a crisis of the greatest magnitude - either
the work had to be finished; was finished; or else the Church
had failed in its trust before God. Further, if the Church
has altered the basic beliefs of the Three Angels' Messages,
how could they in reality profess before God that they were
still able to carry to completion that which had been committed
to their trust? This is not a theoretical question, and
the answer is written with indelible ink on the pages of
the second session of Vatican II, a Seventh-day Adventist
"representative" and a staff member of the World
Council of Churches concluded that informal talks between
a group of Seventh-day Adventists and an equal number of
representatives of the WCC would "fulfil a useful purpose."
The first informal meeting was held in 1965. This was followed
by formalized meetings with the "blessing," authorization,
and funding by the employing bodies of the Adventist participants.
(So Much in Common, p. 98) The results of these meetings
were quick in coming.
January, 1967, issue of the official paper of the WCC -
Ecumenical Review - carried an article on "The
Seventh-day Adventist Church." Our official organ -
Review & Herald - responded through its Associate
Editor, Raymond F. Cottrell, in three editorials (March
23, 30, and April 6, 1967). In the last editorial, Cottrell
is no small measure of regret that SDA's do not find it
possible, as an organization, to be more closely associated
with others who profess the name of Christ. On the other
hand, if the Secretariat on Faith and Order, for instance,
were to invite SDA's to appoint someone competent in that
area to meet with their group from time to time and represent
the SDA point of view, we could accept such an invitation
with a clear conscience. Perhaps the same might be done
in other areas of Christian concern. On such a basis we
would concur with Dr. Handspicker that the WCC is 'one more
place' where SDA's might bear their distinctive 'witness
41 -- to the full truth of the Gospel.'" (pp.
invitation was not long in coming. The Central Committee
of the WCC appointed Dr. Earle Hilgert, Vice-President for
Academic Administration of Andrews University as a member
of the 120 member Commission on Faith and Order. The leadership
of the Church endorsed this selection. (See Exhibit #10)
Events moved so rapidly in 1967, that Dr. Hilgert was able
to attend the triennial meeting of the Faith and Order Commission
held in Bristol, England, July 30 to August 8, 1967, as
the first Seventh-day Adventist to serve on such a Commission. 1
hierarchy of the Seventh-day Adventist Church loudly proclaims
to the laity that the Church is not a member of the
World Council of Churches. But the request and subsequent
appointment of a Seventh-day Adventist to the Faith and
Order Commission have far greater implications than appears
on the surface. Cottrell sought to cover his suggestion
as "An Opportunity to Witness." (Ibid.)
This naive stance betrays - or seeks to cover up - the real
objective of the Faith and Order Commission. It must be
clearly understood that the World Council of Churches is
"a fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus
Christ as God and Saviour according to the scriptures and
therefore seek to fulfil together their common calling to
the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit."
(WCC Constitution) The WCC does not perceive itself
as "a universal authority controlling what Christians
should believe and do." However, they are striving
as a "community" to "realize the goal of
visible Church unity." To assist this "community"
this goal, the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council
provides theological support for the efforts the churches
are making towards unity. Indeed the Commission has been
charged by the Council members to keep always before
them their accepted obligation to work towards manifesting
more visibly God's gift of Church unity. So it is that the
stated aim of the Commission is 'to proclaim the oneness
of the Church of Jesus Christ and to call the churches to
the goal of visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic
fellowship, expressed in common worship and common life
in Christ, in order that the world might believe.' (By-laws)".
(Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, pp. vii & viii;
Faith and Order Paper No. 11, Emphasis mine)
is what the Church through its official organ asked to become
a part of in 1967. Then we forwarded this whole process
toward "Church unity" by placing in the Statement
of Beliefs voted at Dallas, Texas, in 1980, the full Constitutional
statement of the WCC, which is required for membership in
-- Dr. Hilgert has since become an ordained Presbyterian
minister and is serving on the staff of McCormick Theological
Seminary in Chicago. His replacement on the Faith and Order
Commission was Dr. Raoul Dederen, also of Andrews University.
1968 the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has
been actively represented at the annual meeting of 'Secretaries
of World Confessional Families'. This participation is largely
the result of WCC/SDA Conversations and contacts made at
the time of the Uppsala Assembly [of the WCC]" (So
Much in Common, p. 100) This association led to the
separate audience granted by Pope Paul VI to the "participants
of the Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional
.Families." (RNS, May 19, 1977, p. 19) The Secretary
for the Conference of Secretaries was Dr. B. B. Beach of
the Adventist Church, who on the occasion presented the
Pope with a gold medallion, "a symbol of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church." (Review, August 11, 1977)
Thus in symbolism the Church was given into the hands of
the Antichrist. No greater affront could be given to the
God of Heaven than for His chosen people through a representative
to wantonly defy the message of the Third Angel as was done
on this occasion. This act was done with the full approval
of, and prior arrangements with the Northern Europe-West
Africa Division Committee. [For full details, see Special
Report: Pope Paul
VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader]
fraternization with the World Council of Churches on an
international level reaches down to the local units of this
"community" - the Ministerial Associations. The
Southern Tidings, official paper of the Southern
Union Conference, in the Telex news section for April, 1975,
reported that an Elder Robert Hunter, then pastor of the
Morganton, North Carolina, district, joined in the local
ministerial association's "Pulpit Exchange Day."
He exchanged pulpits with Thomas Burke, parish priest of
the Roman Catholic Church. "The theme of the city-wide
program was 'Blest Be the Tie."'
strong contrast envisioned in the Third Angel's Message
between those who were to be entrusted with the giving of
this message, and the power symbolically represented by
"the beast" was nullified in a Brief presented
in the United States District Court for Northern California.
The Brief read:
it is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly
anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint, and the term 'hierarchy'
was used in a perjorative sense to refer to the papal form
of church governance, that attitude on the Church's part
was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery
among conservative Protestant denominations in the early
part of this century and the latter part of the last, and
which has now been consigned to the historical trash heap
as far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned."
(Reply Brief for Defendants in Support of Their Motion for
Summary Judgment, Civ. No. 74-2025 CBR) [See Footnote, p.
41, Excerpts - Legal Documents; EEOC vs PPPA] (Webmaster
note: for manuscript see Legal
43 -- In the
same Brief, the legal counsel for the Church's leadership
quoted from an affidavit given by one of the Intervenors,
Mrs. Lorna Tobler, in which she had sworn that during her
training and instruction in Adventist schools and churches,
she had been taught that the Adventist Church strongly disapproved
"the Roman Catholic system." To this, the reply
in the Brief read:
several ways this illustrates the dangers incurred by an
individual church member who presumes to deny the authority
of the duly constituted officials and governing bodies of
the Church. In the first place, it is true that for a period
in its history, the Seventh-day Adventist Church had an
aversion to Roman Catholicism and especially to the papal
form of church government -- an aversion shared by virtually
all Protestant denominations. While, however, Adventist
doctrine continues to teach that church government by one
man is contrary to the Word of God, it is not good Seventh-day
Adventism to express, as Mrs. Tobler has done, an aversion
to Roman Catholicism as such." (Ibid., p.
must the God of Heaven have felt when the Church to whom
He had committed in sacred trust the giving of the Three
Angels' Messages no longer shared the "aversion"
with which the book of Revelation indicates He holds the
only did God entrust His chosen people with truth, and the
final message to the nations, but He also entrusted them
with the means to carry out this primary purpose of their
calling. How have these means been handled, and when were
fateful decisions made? In an article - "Investment
Practices of the General Conference," Elder Robert
E. Osborn of the Treasury Department wrote:
the General Conference is responsible for a large pool of
capital, the controlling investment and securities committee
decided in 1967 to retain professional investment
counsel. (This took place at the time the 'unitized funds'
program, described later in this article, began operation.)
Lionel D. Edie & Company, Inc., of New York City, was
chosen to do the research, analysis, and selection of securities
for the General Conference portfolio. Members of the investment
section of the Treasurer's office work very closely with
Edie & Company and keep in communication by telephone
and in-person conferences for detailed review of current
and projected trends in the economic and money markets."
(Spectrum, Vol. 5, #2, 1973)
"unitized funds" program, as explained by Osborn,
"operated in a manner similar to mutual funds. All
unit holders (conferences, unions, divisions, the General
Conference, and church-owned institutions) own a proportionate
share of the unitized funds, on the basis of the amount
invested; and unit holders share in the investment income
and capital appreciation." [And loss?] (Ibid.,
no report is available to this writer of the losses sustained
in playing the stock market by the General Conference since
1967, a window into the results of this type of monetary
practice is to be found in reports of investments made
44 -- by one
conference in the Pacific Union. The Pacific Union had chosen
to set up their own investment program. One conference -
the Northern California - during a period of six years -
1968-1973 - had a "paper loss" of over $2 Million.
This loss involved funds of trust deposits, and revocable
trust funds. A Lay Advisory Committee reporting on the investments
and the losses stated - "If the trustors and trust
depositors should elect to withdraw their money the fund
would be insolvent - unable to honor these withdrawal requests."
This committee made the following two-fold recommendation:
That the Conference and the Association adopt a policy of
making no additional stock investments after this date and
of eliminating all investments in common stock and stock
investment funds and that the time for accomplishing this
be no more than two years." (Report #2, p. 8, Sub-Committee
on Conference Organization & Finance of the Steering
Committee of the NCC-LAC)
member of the Steering Committee, Ken Cortner, reported
in the Adventist Laymen's Pipeline, July 1, 1983,
the full picture of these investment procedures. The report
publications have been silent concerning some seven (7)
million dollars of Northern's [Northern California Conference]
funds turned over to the Pacific Union Conference in the
late 60s and early 70s for investment in the stock market.
The market had seriously declined thereafter, and in January
1974 conference officials, without disclosing either the
investment or the loss to the church members ordered the
sale of shares of stocks that had cost $837,402.97 for $500,000.
The realized loss in that single transaction that was sustained
by Northern California Conference and/or Association was
the fall of 1974, a then independent Northern California
Conference Lay Advisory Committee (NCC-LAC), chaired by
a lay person in contrast to the present (1983) chairmanship
being held and under the control of the conference president,
discovered the investments and asked the Conference Executive
Committee to call a halt to any further dealings in the
stock market and that divestiture of all stock held be completed
within two years. The Conference administration accepted
and adopted the first recommendation but rejected the second,
refusing to agree to sell out within a two year period.
They contended the $2,053,298.42 loss of stock value from
1968 through 1973 was 'only a paper loss' and that by waiting
for whatever time it took the market would recover and possibly
even bring a profit. LAC members, generally, did not agree
with that decision but lacking authority and having only
an advisory capacity felt that they had done their job.
and Union Conference officials had characterized the stock
purchased as 'all of the blue chip variety' and that they
had been selected by 'a group of experts to whom we gave
complete authority to buy and sell in our behalf.' Laymen
learned that the 'group of experts' contained not one single
Seventh-day Adventist Church member and that the portfolio
of stocks described as 'all of the blue chip variety' consisted
of such companies as Ringling Bros., Barnum and Bailey Circus,
and among others, a host of small, insignificant, virtually
unknown and highly speculative businesses."
in mind that this is but the story of one conference and
45 -- Some
units of the General Conference "unitized funds"
program disatisfied with results turned to the glowing possibility
of the Dr. Davenport investment schemes. The story of the
resulting scandal need not be recited here.
only did the SDA-Evangelical Conferences of the mid-1950s
signal a doctrinal revision of some of the basic concepts
of the Advent Movement, but by the mid-1960s, "for
the first time in the history of the church, a whole generation
of scholars with doctorates from secular universities became
active in church institutions." (Spectrum, Vol.
15, #2, p. 23) Further, there were Adventists with a similar
training in gainful employment outside the church institutions.
Some of these became convinced that individual participation
within the framework of the church was an ineffectual means
of dealing with the issues of the 20th Century they faced
in the society in which they moved. Others met in small
groups both here and abroad "with the primary aim of
trying to understand how the secularizing and divisive trends
[could] be reversed." These groups were formed around
academic and professional people.
further this spontaneous search for meaningful participation,
the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists invited
representatives from several of the groups to meet with
them in October of 1967. The purpose was to discuss
possible methods of establishing a cohesive program to provide
for dialogue between church leadership and this segment
of the laity and to involve the latter more significantly
in the activities and concerns of the formal church. The
outgrowth of that meeting was an action by the officers
of the General Conference (taken at the 1967 Fall
Council) to approve the establishment of an organization
known as The Association of Adventist Forums." [AAF]
(Spectrum, Vol. 1, #1, Winter, 1969)
is the Association of Adventist Forums which publishes Spectrum.
This Association with its publication has been on the "cutting
edge" of liberal trends within the church structure,
manner of life, and doctrinal revision. While they prefer
to see themselves as "progressives," both the
liberals within the church institutions, and the liberals
of the Adventist community outside of the payroll structure
find common cause. It was the Association of Adventist Forums
which provided Dr. Desmond Ford the podium from which to
launch his attack on the sanctuary teaching of the Advent
the Church administration of R. R. Figuhr, not only was
approval given but firm support maintained by Figuhr himself
in the publication of Questions
46 -- on
Further during his administration, provision was made for
a study program in geology which led to the establishment
of the Geoscience Research Institute. In the early 1960s
a change was made in the leadership of the Institute, and
"by the mid-1960s, the progressives' [liberal's] study
of the issues led them to conclude that harmony between
Genesis and geology required some kind of a theological
accommodation by the church." (Spectrum, Vol.
15, #2, p. 26) This conclusion led to the appointment of
two men with theological backgrounds from the Seminary.
The reason - "At that time the most theologically
flexible products of the Adventist educational system were
its seminary graduates." (Ibid.)
resolution of the problem in the eyes of the liberals required
much more time be allotted than six literal days, and a
creation six thousand years ago of "the earth, the
sea, and all that in them is." (Ex. 20:11) Any altering
of the concept of six literal days for the creation of the
earth ex nihilo (out of nothing) strikes at the very heart
of the Sabbath commandment. In such a schema, the Sabbath
ceases to be a specific memorial, and the emphasis on the
seventh day irrelevant. It can then be thought of as a celebration,
a weekly rest for man's restlessness.
dare not be overlooked that all of these major actions which
laid the groundwork for the acceptability of liberalism
in the Church, and an open agitation of the same, was done
with the full approval of the highest officers of the Church,
starting with Figuhr in the mid-1950s, and culminating with
the Pierson-Wilson official blessing in 1967. 1
1979, the Annual Council voted a new Statement of Beliefs
to be presented for adoption at the 1980 Session of the
General Conference in Dallas, Texas.
-- It must be said in all fairness, that at the 1984 Annual
Council, Elder Neal C. Wilson read a prepared statement
- which was strictly personal and on which no vote was taken
- in which he said: - "The time has come for a re-examination
of the church's relationship with the AAF and the church's
1967 expression of 'sympathy."' He indicated that
after consultation with the GC officers and division presidents,
he wanted to make clear that the Association of Adventist
Forums is no longer a "denominationally sponsored
or endorsed organization," neither its publication
- Spectrum - "a voice of the Seventh-day
Adventist academic world." (Adventist Review,
Nov. 15, 1984, p. 5) But as the editor of SDA Press Release
observes in commenting on Wilson's statement - "We
feel that Elder Wilson made the right move, but it was five
years too late. The Adventist Forums will continue to be
the largest lay group and they will remember that they represent
the layman and not the church." (Vol. 2, #2) Prophetically,
Wilson is four years too late. The closing of the final
period of the times of the Gentiles ended in 1980.
47 -- The
full disclosure of all that took place in the formulation
of the Statement of Beliefs voted at the Annual Council
and the final adoption of a Statement of Beliefs at Dallas
has yet to be written. There are gaps in the story as known.
This detail is beyond the scope of this manuscript. However,
certain actions in this story must be understood. The Statement
as adopted by the Annual Council was written by a group
of theologians at Andrews University. (Spectrum,
Vol. 11, #3, p. 61) It was sent out to "the division
committees immediately as well as unions and overseas colleges.
It was given to the Adventist Review for immediate
publication in the hope that as many reactions as possible
could be received from the field prior to the General Conference
quinquennial session in Dallas. Unfortunately, for reasons
never disclosed, it did not appear for four months,
until February 21, 1980." (Ibid., #1, p. 6;
changes from previous Statements of Belief were apparent
in the Andrews University formulation. Sections on the Godhead
were expanded; other sections contained new terminology
which altered historic Adventist concepts; and new sections
were added not covered in any previous Statements. Section
2, captioned, "The Trinity" read in part:
"That there is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
a self-existing Unity in Trinity." Elsewhere in
the Statement, "the oneness of the triune God"
is noted. The death of Christ is spoken of as "This
act of atonement" and declared to be "a
complete and perfect atonement." Such a position
makes any concept of a final atonement irrelevant. The heavenly
ministry of Christ is described as simply "making
available to believers, the benefits of His toning sacrifice
offered once for all on the cross." Then in 1844,
Christ merely "entered the second and last phase
of His atoning work." Baptism and the Lord's Supper
are noted as "sacraments," and "the
service of foot washing" is noted as "a
means to seek renewed cleansing." The "ministries
of the Church" as defined in the Statement include
"the ministry of intercession." All of
these expression have Roman Catholic overtones. The Church
itself is defined to be "the company of believers
who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour." (Adventist
Review, Feb. 21, 1980, pp. 8-10)
the time came for a discussion of the Statement of Beliefs
at Dallas, the delegates received a different formulation
than had been adopted at the Annual Council and no explanation
was given as to why. This brought expressions of shock and
dismay from a number of delegates. "Those who had been
involved in formulating the earlier draft felt that the
new version was disastrous in form, if not content. Gone
was the balance, the beauty and the sensitivity to words.
Clumsy rhetoric prevailed." (Spectrum, Vol.
11, #1, p. 8) Substantive alterations
48 -- were
also apparent. The statement on the Godhead was modified
to read - "There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit, a unity of Three co-eternal Persons." Although
there was considerable discussion over this new wording
(Adventist Review, April 22, 1980, pp. 11, 14), it
was made a part of the voted Statement with only cosmetic
alterations. The terms, "sacraments" and "means"
were deleted as was also the idea of a minister in the role
of an intercessor. The Cross was still referred to as the
"act of the atonement." This was changed
in the voted Statement to read - "this perfect atonement,"
which in reality changed nothing, still nullifying the
concept of a final atonement. If the Cross is the "perfect"
atonement nothing can be added to that which is perfect,
lest it become imperfect. In historic Adventism, the Cross,
typified in the Altar of the Court, is the place of sacrifice;
the atonement following through mediation which resulted
in either forgiveness, or cleansing. The section on the
Church was rewritten and divided into two statements, but
when finally voted, a key wording from the Andrews University
Statement was restored - "The church is the community
of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour."
retention of the definition of the Church from the Andrews
University Statement when coupled with the statement on
the Trinity - a statement never appearing in any prior formulation
from 1872 to 1979 - is significant. These two concepts are
borrowed from the Constitution of the World Council of Churches.
The first article of that Constitution reads - "The
World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches which
confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according
to the Scriptures and therefore seek to fulfil together
their common calling to the one God, Father, Son and Holy
Spirit." Further the idea of "one God: Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons"
was first formulated by the Council of Constantinople in
381 A.D. (Early Christian Doctrine, p. 88)
all three Statements - the Andrews University Statement,
the one given to the delegates, and the one voted by them
- there appears a phraseology describing the heavenly ministry
of Christ which also had never appeared in any previous
statement of Adventist belief. It read in its final form
- "There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle
which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers
in our behalf, making available to believers the benefits
of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross."
This language was first used in the book - Questions
on Doctrine, (pp. 354-355, 381), where it stated - "Jesus
our surety entered the 'holy places' and appeared in the
presence of God for us. But it was not with the hope
of obtaining something for us at that time, or at some
future time. No! He had already obtained it for us on
the cross. And now
as our High Priest, He ministers the virtues of the atoning
sacrifice for us." (p.
381, emphasis theirs)
during the morning session prior to the final reading and
voting of the Statement of Beliefs in the afternoon was
Bishop Robert Terwilliger, a representative of the Anglican
Consultative Council. He had been reading the proposed Statement
of Beliefs, and had listened to some of the discussion.
When he responded to Dr. B. B. Beach's introduction, he
said - "As I have read the beliefs set before you
for revision, I had hoped to find some degree of disagreement.
I had the most awful disappointment. I found increasingly
that we are together in our faith. Therefore the unity that
we share is not simply a unity of good will and fellowship
but unity in faith increasingly, a unity in Christ."
(Adventist Review, May 1, 1980, p. 16)
can God finish His work on the earth through an instrumentality
that has so altered the faith committed to it in trust that
an Anglican bishop perceives a growing unity with that which
he believes? This culminating denial in a series which began
in the 1950s, left God with no alternatives. The Church
weighed in the balances of the sanctuary was found to be
wanting. He had given prophetic warning in 1967 when the
military forces of Israel retook Jerusalem that the final
period had begun - the achri ou (until) of Luke 21:24.
Now that period was up. Three months after the Statement
of Beliefs was voted at Dallas, the Israeli Knesset voted
to move the entire government from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The times of the visitation of the nations being ended,
God would take things into His own hands for the completion
of the Advent Movement which He had begun in 1844. We are
now in the tarrying time as events move rapidly to the final
conflict of the great day of God Almighty. The end of all
things is at hand.
50 -- Blank
9 and Luke 21:24
As Seen in Testimonies for
evidence indicates there are three testimonies which are
in themselves inter-related and coincide in their fulfillment
with the prophecy of Jesus as given in Luke 21:24. These
testimonies are to be found in Vol. III, pp. 266-267, Vol.
V, pp. 207-216, and Vol. VIII, pp. 247-251. The relationship
between the first two of these testimonies is very obvious
- both quote directly from Ezekiel nine. In Vol. III, p.
267, after quoting Ezekiel 9:4, the instruction is given
- "Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel." The reference
in Vol. V, quotes Ezekiel 9:1, 3b-6 at the very beginning
of the chapter.
relationship between the first two references and Vol. VIII,
pp. 247f., is not so obvious, but can be readily deducted
by comparing what is written within each testimony. In the
chapter on "The Seal of God," it speaks of the
time when "the glory of the Lord had departed
from Israel." (V:210) In the chapter, "Shall
We Be Found Wanting?" the same language is used - "My
Father's house is made a house of merchandise, a place whence
the divine presence and glory have departed!"
(V111:250) Thus both chapters are describing the same condition
and time. Using the geometrical axiom that if a = b, and
b = c, then a = c; we find all of these testimonies interrelated
time on which these events focus is given in Vol. V, pp.
207-208, where it reads - "Jesus is about to leave
the mercy-seat of the heavenly sanctuary, to put on garments
of vengeance." In Adventist terminology, this means
simply that the events as noted in Vol. V, pp. 207-213 are
to take place just prior to the close of all human probation.
The last paragraph on p. 212, begins with the quotes of
Daniel 12:1, and then the comment is made - "When
this time of trouble comes, every case is decided; there
is no longer probation, no longer mercy for the impenitent."
is, however, another time mentioned in this chapter. On
p. 208, the example of the Amorites is cited as to how God
has dealt with the nations in the past. Then the conclusion
unerring accuracy, the Infinite One still keeps an account
with all nations. While His mercy is tendered, with calls
to repentance, this account will remain open, but when the
figures reach a certain amount which God has fixed, the
ministry of His wrath commences. The account is closed.
52 -- ceases. There is no pleading of mercy in their [the
next paragraph inter-relates this time with Ezekiel 9: --
"The prophet [Ezekiel], looking down the ages,
had this time presented before his vision."
One reads in vain for any reference to "the nations"
in Ezekiel 9. Ezekiel 9 is concerned with the church, and
the sealing of those who sigh and cry for the abominations
done within it. But the time of the events prophetically
symbolized in Ezekiel 9 are pinpointed as taking place at
the time mercy is no longer extended to the nations. Jesus
in Luke 21:24 gives that sign as the city of Jerusalem no
longer under Gentile control. This brief period began in
1967 with the taking of Old Jerusalem by Israeli military
forces, and ended with the transfer of the entire civil
government from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 1980. Thus we are
living in the time when the events portrayed in these three
testimonies are or have been fulfilled. And these testimonies
relate to the church!
III, pp. 266-267, indicates this is the time of "the
closing work for the church," -- the "last
work" as prefigured in the charge to the man clothed
in linen with a writer's ink horn by his side.
V, pp. 209-213 tells us two groups will be developed - "the
little company" also called "the faithful
few... who have preserved the faith in its purity, and kept
themselves unspotted from the world." It also tells
us that "the church - the Lord's sanctuary - was
the first to receive the stroke of the wrath of God."
VIII, pp. 247-251 indicate the Seventh-day Adventist church
as a corporate body is to be weighed in the balances of
the sanctuary, and if she is judged as having failed the
trust committed to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence
- "Found wanting." Further, the servant
of the Lord hears the Divine Instructor asking - "How
is the faithful city become an harlot?" This is
the question! The once faithful city
- who during the 1940s and 1950s - experienced the golden
years of an evangelistic thrust which proclaimed the full
message worldwide - the sanctuary, the mark of the beast
- all! - now declared to be "an harlot." How?
The answer is simple, and found in the testimony itself.
The Church refused to heed the call to repentance asked
by God even though He sent two messengers with this call
in 1950. The results followed; she first played the harlot
with the Evangelicals, then with the World Council of Churches.
When she altered her doctrinal position to include both
the thinking of the Evangelicals and the WCC, God indicated
He had been betrayed enough, and permitted the final sign
given by Jesus to be fulfilled.
WILL THE FINAL WITNESS BE?
are those who when confronted with the significance of Christ's
prophecy in Luke 21:24, ask - Does this mean that when Jerusalem
was no longer under Gentile control, probation had closed
for all individuals? The answer is - No! Only the times
of the nations were fulfilled. Then another question follows
- If the present work is for the church - "the closing
work for the church" - then how and when will the final
witness be given to the individuals who perhaps have not
heard the truth for this time?
The same night that Jesus gave the prophecy concerning Jerusalem
which would serve as a sign when the times of the visitation
of the nations were ended, He also told what the final witness
would be. This part of the prophecy is found in Mark's gospel.
take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to
councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and
ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake,
for a testimony against them." (Mark 13:9)
The tenth verse is interposed parenthetically - and it gives
the time location, reading: "And the gospel must
first be published among the nations." When the
gospel has been given as a witness to the nations, their
times of visitation are fulfilled, and the end period begins.
After giving this time setting, Jesus continues the thought
of the ninth verse:
"But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up,
take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither
do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in
that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but
the Holy Ghost."
men and women to merely open their mouths, and the voice
of the Holy Spirit is heard can mean only one thing - they
are completely filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit.
The final atonement of Jesus will have accomplished its
objective, and the fulness of the latter rain will have
been experience by "the faithful few" who have
overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and who are now ready
to give their testimony, loving not their lives unto death.
(See Rev. 12:11)
alone will be exalted in that day. It will not be men nor
institutions which will be headlined by this experience.
Those who bow their hearts before God in surrender in the
closing moments of human probation as a result of that final
witness, will be known only by God. It is our responsibility
now to understand what it means to be so completely emptied
of self that the Spirit of God will alone appear not only
in our manner of conduct, but be able to take over our minds
and voices. The image of Jesus, who "emptied Himself"
(Phil. 2:7 RV) and
54 -- who
declared, "of mine ownself, I can do nothing"
(John 5:30) will be mirrored in such lives.
and Luke 21:24
University Press published as Vol. XI II in the series,
"Studies in Religion," a monograph by Dr. Hans
K. LaRondelle captioned - The Israel of God in Prophecy.
One section - #10 - involves what LaRondelle calls "Problematic
Texts." The last one to be considered is Luke 21:24
with the question asked - "Is Jerusalem no longer trampled
on by the Gentiles since A.D. 1967?" LaRondelle devoted
three pages of discussion to this scripture - pp. 164-167
- and never comes to grips with the question. He first quotes
a "dispensational" writer and the Scofield
Reference Bible. This is understandable since the whole
of the monograph is a "continual dialogue with dispensationalism."
(Book Review, Seminary Studies, Vol. 22, #3, p. 373)
bottom line in the consideration of Luke 21:24 emerges as
a discussion of the force of the conjunction, "until"
(achri). LaRondelle stated - "The conjunction
'until' does not always imply a promise of restoration to
a preceding situation. The precise meaning of 'until' depends
on the context in which it is used." (p. 166) Then
after quoting Hendriksen, he stated further, "It
is definitely true that the conjunction, 'until' (achri)
does not contain, in itself, the suggestion of a change
to a previous situation." (p. 167) Four illustrations
from the Bible are given to substantiate this point - BUT
none are from Luke! The conclusion is then drawn in
regard to "until" - "The context alone
indicates whether the conjunction 'until' intends to convey
the idea of change." (Ibid.)
seems that the whole objective of Christ's prophecy is missed.
The events in the history of Jerusalem are being used only
as signs for something else, rather than signalling
a "change" in the status of Jerusalem or Israel
before God. The special status relationship ended in 34
AD, but Jerusalem still continued to be a sign for
His "new" Israel to watch. First, the approach
of the Roman armies and their surprise withdrawal served
as a sign for the Christians to flee the city. Lastly,
the return of Jerusalem to Jewish control - to the same
people who had controlled the city in 70 AD - signalled
the end of the time of the days of visitation for the nations
of earth. The change of status indicated by the word, "until"
was in the status of the nations before God, not a "second
chance" for the Jews.
55 -- In Luke's gospel and the book of Acts, the word,
achri or achris
occurs 20 times, and in three of these times, it
is combined with the relative, ou. Let us note some
of these references, and observe how change is consistently
conveyed by the word,
achri, and what kind of change is indicated:
1:20 - "And behold thou [Zacharias] shalt be dumb,
and not able to speak, until the day that these things
shall be performed."
Luke 17:27 - "They did eat, they drank, they
married wives, they were given in marriage, until
the day that Noe entered into the ark, and
the flood came and destroyed them all."
Acts 1: 1-2 - "The former treatise have I made,
0 Theophilus, of all that Jesus began to do and teach, until
the day in which He was taken up."
Acts 3:20-21 - "And He shall send Jesus Christ
which before was preached unto you: whom the heavens must
the times of restitution of all things."
Acts 13:11 - "And now, behold, the hand of the
Lord is upon thee [Elymas], and thou shalt be blind, not
seeing the sun for (achri) a season."
Acts 20:11 - "When he [Paul] therefore was come
up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a
long while, even
the break of day, so he departed."
both places in the book of Acts, where achri is combined
with the relative ou, a change is also indicated.
In Acts 7:17-18, a change is noted in the favor of the Egyptian
king toward the Israelites from previous Pharaohs. In Acts
27: 32-33, Paul is pictured as urging those who have been
fasting to eat bread, and this "while (achri
the day was coming on"- or until the break of day.
Thus the use of the same idiom in Luke 21:24 indicates a
change - a change in the control of the city, not in
its status before God. The change in the control of
Jerusalem, however, did signal a change in the status
of the nations before God.
is so caught up in his dialogue with "dispensationalsim"
that he is looking at Luke 21:24 only as it is taught by
the various schools of dispensational thought, and thus
misses the whole import of what Christ is saying by this
sign. It may well be that many, aware of the evangelical-dispensational
teaching regarding Jerusalem, find it difficult to separate
the rubbish or error from the prophetic truth Jesus was
seeking to convey in Luke 21:24.
When one believes that the prophetic utterances
of Jesus has significance for His followers, then the historical
parallel between events in secular history and events in
the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church speaks with
force. When one understands that "the most solemn
truths ever entrusted to mortals" were given
to Seventh-day Adventists (9T:19); and that the Church
"is to be weighed" in the balances of the
sanctuary regarding "the work entrusted to
her" (8T:247), this historical parallel
becomes terrifyingly significant.
- The Lambeth Conference of Bishops of the Anglican
Church adopt four principles as the basis for church
unity. This became know as the Lambeth Quadrilateral.
(This was the first step that led to the Faith and
Order Movement and then ultimately to the World Council
Minneapolis General Conference Session and the Message
of Righteousness by Faith. (This was to be the
beginning of "the loud cry" and the sounding
of the angel of Revelation 18.)
- 1897 - Jewish State Proposed; First Zionist
Congress in Basle, Switzerland.
reveals how He viewed Church's reaction to 1888 Message:
"All the universe of heaven witnessed the
disgraceful treatment of Jesus Christ, represented
by the Holy Spirit. Had Christ been before them, they
would have treated Him in a manner similar to that
in which the Jews treated Christ." Jan. 16,1896
(Series A, #6, p. 20)
to P. T. Magan - "We may have to remain here
in this world because of insubordination many more
years as did the children of Israel."
Conference Session in Oakland, California. God's evaluation
and counsel: - "Unless the church, which is now
being leavened with her own backsliding, shall repent
and be converted..." (8T:250)
- First World Conference on Faith and Order
Church History (cont.)
- "Mussolini and Gasparri Sign Historic
Roman Pact" "Heal Wound of Many Years"
Head lines San Francisco Chronicle, February 12.
Statement of Beliefs placed in Year
Book. Omitted statement on purpose of
and phrase that Papacy was the "man
- World Council of Churches formed; State
of Israel created in Palestine.
missionaries give God's call for
Denominational Repentance based on 8T:250.
Conferences. Fundamental Beliefs denied and compromised.
on Doctrines Published
The arms of Israel conquer Old Jerusalem. Jewish
University Professor appointed
to Faith & Order Commission of WCC;
Major entry into the Wall Street Stock
Market; Liberal Element in Church gains
The Closing Period
of the Times of the Gentiles (Nations) Begins. Could be
compared to "the last week" of the 70 weeks of
Daniel 9 for the Jewish Church.
||Movement of Destiny
published with official blessing of both Robert H.
Pierson and Neal C. Wilson.
||Symbol of the Church placed in
the hands of Pope Paul VI by B. B. Beach.
- Pope welcomed to the White House with "handclasp"
by President Jimmy Carter (October 6)
Council approves Andrews University Statement of Beliefs
for recommendation to General Conference in Dallas,
Texas. (October 9-17)
- The Knesset of Israel voted the move of government
from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (July 30)
Conference in Dallas voted new (apostate) Statement
of Beliefs. (April 25)
The Closing Period
of the Times of the Gentiles (Nations) Ended with Government
of Israel fully operating from Jerusalem.
58 -- Blank
59a -- Exhibit
p 59b -- Exhibit
60 -- Exhibit
61 -- Exhibit
p 61a -- Exhibit
62 -- Exhibit
63 -- Exhibit
66 -- Exhibit
67 -- Exhibit
68 -- Exhibit
69 -- Exhibit
70 -- Exhibit
of the Gentiles END