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Copyright © 2009

Eugene Prewitt

Cover design and layout


Michael Prewitt

Text editing and layout


Harvey Steck

All emphasis in quotations added


by the author unless otherwise indicated.

All scriptures are quoted from the KJV (King James Version)
unless otherwise indicated. Those attributed to the YLT
are quoted from Young’s Literal Translation.

Printed in the USA

ISBN 978-1-61658-234-0
Contents

Dedication. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Acknowledgments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Section I: Questions From Those Within. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9


The Judgment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Laodicea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Hebrews Problems and Ballenger. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
An Invisible Remnant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Section II: Questions From Those that Are Without. . . . . . . . . . . . . 62


The Day of Cleansing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
More on the Mark and Much on the Seal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Conditional Prophecy and Predestination. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Brief Thoughts on Michael in Scripture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
Satan Burns “For Ever and Ever”?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120

Section III: Questions Regarding the Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127


The 1290- and 1335-Day Prophecies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
The Seven Times or the 2520-Year Prophecy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Reapplications, Multiple Fulfillments, and the Story Line. . . . . . . . . . 156

Section IV: Testimony Tidbits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169


Index of Scripture References. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
Dedication

T
o Vivian Prewitt, teacher, truck-driver, and my loving mother. In her
recent retirement she has collected bits of my writing from my first
years in school and has encouraged me from that time to now to use
my talents for God’s purposes.


Acknowledgments

I
want to thank a small army of volunteer editors who gave hundreds of
hours of their time helping a helpless writer. Chief among these are Mara
Nophsker, Warren Downs, and Eric Nelson. A thousand unnamed seekers
have also, by asking me probing questions during the last decade, done their
part in making this book possible. Then there are six individuals who I think
would rather remain unnamed. They, without conferring with each other,
financed the printing of this book and are the reason I had courage enough
to go forward with the project. Finally, I want to acknowledge my wife Heidi
who, when I was plagued with doubts regarding the book, would volunteer
her assurance that it would be a success.


Introduction

W
illiam Miller, after the Great Disappointment, reminisced about
the opposition he received while preaching the Advent near. Doc-
tors of divinity and scholars had assailed him. Books had been
written against him.
How often, you might ask, was William Miller confronted with an argu-
ment that confounded him momentarily? How often did a new line of Bible
reasoning catch him off guard or cause him some embarrassment?
That has happened to me often.
But William Miller testified that never once did anyone bring an argument
against his central position that he had not studied and laid to rest already.
How could that be so? He wrote:

Various difficulties and objections would arise in my mind, from


time to time; certain texts would occur to me, which seemed to weigh
against my conclusions; and I would not present a view to others, while
any difficulty appeared to militate against it. I therefore continued the
study of the Bible, to see if I could sustain any of these objections.
My object was not merely to remove them, but I wished to see if they
were valid. . . . In this way I was occupied for five years, from 1818 to
1823, in weighing the various objections which were being presented
to my mind. (William Miller, William Miller’s Apology and Defense,
pp. 13, 15)

What was the result of five years of such study, conducted while Miller
was yet employed full time in secular occupations? Twenty-two years after
those five years of study, even after the Great Disappointment, Miller answered
that question in a way that still seems incredible to me.

During that time, more objections arose in my mind, than have


been advanced by my opponents since; and I know of no objection
that has been since advanced, which did not then occur to me. (Ibid.,
p. 15)


Introduction

But it is not likely that you or I could honestly say the same, not likely that
no objection against our Adventist faith has ever arisen but such as we had
previously put to rest for ourselves.
This book is the first in a short series that is intended to move us closer,
as a people, to an experience like that of our pioneers. We want to be settled.
And in this book we want to be settled on questions related to prophecy.
The shaking is ruthless. May we “step fast” and forward.
Probably the two most important chapters in this book are those on the
judgment and on the final test over the mark and the seal. Do you know your
Bible well enough to persuade a seeking neighbor that Sunday observance
will be the mark of the beast? If that question is to test the world, don’t you
think we ought to know that topic well?
These chapters are progress reports. No month goes by but some Bible
thought opens up to me like it never has before. Will you find a new line of
evidence that affirms the precious truths for our time? Tell me about it. I want
to hear. I want to learn.
Other books will follow this one. They will touch more directly on the
gospel and on the practical life of persons seeking Christ’s righteousness.
Those books will seek the blessing mentioned in this passage:

A minister, after preaching a Bible discourse which brought deep


conviction to one of his hearers, was accosted with the question, “Do
you really believe what you have preached?”
“Certainly,” he answered.
“But is it really so?” asked the anxious questioner.
“Certainly,” said the minister, as he reached for his Bible.
Then the man broke out, “O, if this is the truth, what shall we
do?”
“What shall we do?” thought the minister—“we”? What could the
man mean? But the question forced its way to his soul. He went away
to plead with God to tell him what to do. And as he prayed, there came
to him with overwhelming force the thought that he had the solemn
realities of eternity to present to a dying world. For three weeks his
place in the desk was vacant. He was seeking an answer to the ques-
tion, “What shall we do?”
The minister returned to his charge with an unction from the Holy
One. He realized that his past preaching had made little impression
on his hearers. Now he felt upon him the terrible weight of souls. As
he came to his desk, he was not alone. There was a great work to be
done, but he knew that God would not fail him. Before his hearers he
exalted the Saviour and His matchless love. There was a revelation of
the Son of God, and a revival began that spread through the churches
of the surrounding districts. (Gospel Workers, p. 33–34)


Deeper

But for now, in this book, this is the blessing I am seeking for the
readers:

Let us give more time to the study of the Bible. We do not under-
stand the word as we should. The book of Revelation opens with an
injunction to us to understand the instruction that it contains. “Blessed
is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy,” God
declares, “and keep those things which are written therein: for the time
is at hand.” When we as a people understand what this book means to
us, there will be seen among us a great revival. We do not understand
fully the lessons that it teaches, notwithstanding the injunction given
us to search and study it. (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 113)

—Eugene Prewitt, July 24, 2009


Section I

Questions From Those Within

A
dventistS are generally aware of a shaking that is to take place
among God’s people. Those that can be shaken will be shaken. Those
who, on the contrary, are settled into the truth intellectually and spiri-
tually so that they cannot be moved, will remain with the truth.
I have, in my brief lifetime, received many studies, books, and articles
that asserted that my salvation would hinge on whether or not I accepted the
propositions set forth in them. Many of them were charitable enough to say
that God would wink at the times of my ignorance. But precious few of the
authors seemed to believe that an honest seeker for truth, led by the Holy
Spirit, could read the documents and remain unconvinced.
If I were only to take into consideration those studies that met the fol-
lowing eight guidelines, there would still be more theories to investigate than
you might guess:
1. The author is a firm believer in the Spirit of Prophecy as manifest in
Ellen White;
2. The author is very knowledgeable;
3. The author has carefully examined the arguments urged against his
views;
4. The author has prayerfully and humbly pleaded for guidance from
heaven;
5. The author has a disdain for sin, avoids display, advocates helpful
reforms;
6. The author has a very significant list of statements from Inspiration
proving his/her position;
7. The author has a theory that makes many otherwise difficult passages
easy to harmonize with each other; and


Deeper

8. The author has more than one passage from Inspiration that indicates
that one’s salvation may hinge on how one receives the message being
presented. And these are buttressed by other statements urging that
we should be ready to receive new light.

Yet, if I were to believe only the studies that meet these qualifications, I
would at the same time believe that our God is three persons and two. I would
believe that we should keep the feasts and that we should not. I would believe
that we should stay in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, join the Seventh-day
Adventist Reform Movement, leave both, and start a third. I would believe
that two modern prophets that rejected one another were both true. I would
pronounce God’s name only in Hebrew. I would also believe that the move-
ment to pronounce that name aright is the fourth angel of Revelation 18. I
would also believe that the Shepherd’s Rod is that fourth angel. I would also
believe the literature work of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination is that
angel. I would also believe that the call to leave the Seventh-day Adventist
denomination for non-denominational Sabbath-keeping is that angel. I would
also believe that the Reform Movement is that angel. And I would believe
more things than can be well recounted about Daniel 7 through 11.
With that said, I propose we acknowledge that having these eight identi-
fying marks is not sufficient evidence that a matter is true. Consequently, if I
conclude from my study that “I don’t believe that teaching,” I am not neces-
sarily accusing the document of lacking any of these eight evidences.
We will have to give account in the judgment for the use of our time and
energies. That is reason enough to motivate me to “take heed how [I] hear.”
(See Luke 8:18)

Charity in Judging
I fear men, not because they are a member of one group or another, but
because they are men. Men, even the best and most honest of them, are err-
ing and contradictory. They make mistakes and retract them or defend them
to the bitter end. The evangelist Bunyan, breathing the very atmosphere of
heaven, wrote with ability against the Seventh-day Sabbath. Luther and Carl-
stadt attacked each other. On nearly every point of difference, Luther was in
the wrong. A few of our pioneers opposed Andrews’ opinion that Sabbath
begins at sundown. And nearly all early Adventists kept it incorrectly in that
respect for several years.
We ought, then, to be charitable in judging. Men may be sincerely wrong,
and while we must strenuously oppose the worst of their errors, we may count
the erring men as better than ourselves.

10
Questions from Those Within

But there is a class with whom we cannot be as charitable, in the social


sense of the word, as with others. That class is made up of prophets, true and
false. A person that speaks for God is His servant or His enemy. The prophet’s
ministry is not a harmless mistake; it is of the devil or of God. Most prophets
acknowledge this.
Victor Houteff (the founder of the Shepherd’s Rod movement, known often
today as the Branch Davidians) falls into this last category. Speaking of his
own material, Houteff wrote “It cannot be anything else but some wonderful,
plain, clear-cutting Bible truth which could not be contradicted.” (Shepherd’s
Rod, p. 95) A man that claims to be a prophet (see page 196 of his book) inad-
vertently makes a statement about inspiration, and thus about the Bible. If he
is mistaken in detail, then the Bible may be also. If he can change his written
views over time, then portions of Scripture may also be outdated. The Bible
has no kind words for false prophets.
Yet false prophets may repent and be converted. Two young ladies in Ellen
White’s day were self-deceived until instructed by her. They both returned to their
position as learners in the school of Christ. I would rather have their position in
the judgment than that of many persons who have left the truth never to return.
Many Adventists are losing confidence in the fundamental teachings that
define us. They are shocked and disappointed to discover many sensible and
Biblical arguments against things they have long believed.
The 1844 judgment, for example, has been attacked as fictitious by many
able writers and with many scriptural reasons. The first chapter of this book
addresses this question Biblically.
The second chapter addresses the first prophecy in Revelation intended
specifically for the Christians in our own day. And the truths in this chapter
about love and truth have the potential of solving the heart problems that make
faulty arguments so deceptive.
One Adventist evangelist, Albion Ballenger, turned against our church
over what he perceived as a proof in the book of Hebrews that the sanctuary
message of the church was fundamentally flawed. I read an editorial when I
was a young man that said that no one had ever written a sensible Bible study
that countered the Biblical arguments of Ballenger. The third chapter in this
section is just such a study.
The last chapter in this section critiques the Adventist doctrine of the
“remnant.” Who are part of that remnant that seems to raise the ire of the
dragon? Does the remnant include persons in your baptismal study that have
not yet been baptized?
It is by addressing these questions that I hope to make a contribution to
the edifice of truth that was built by so many before me.

11
Chapter One
The Judgment

A
dventists alone teach the doctrine that we have named the
“investigative judgment.” Our neighbors in the Baptist or Catho-
lic communions have ideas about death that make such a judgment
unthinkable.
What are the defining characteristics of this Adventist doctrine?
First, there is timing. We teach that the judgment began in 1844. That
means a great deal. It means, for example, that the judgment didn’t happen
at the cross. And it means that the judgment won’t happen at Christ’s second
coming. And it precludes a judgment at the moment of death.
In place of all of these options, it places the judgment that decides the
destinies of Christians, near the end of time, yet beginning prior to many of
the final events.
Second, our doctrine is related to the long-standing controversy between
Christ and Satan. We teach that the judgment is not for the purpose of inform-
ing the Father so that He may make a right decision. No, the judgment is for
the angels and other unfallen beings. They are the ones who witness the cases
being decided. And they are the ones who testify that God’s judgments are
“just.”
Third, our doctrine is related to the gospel and to how men live their lives
on the earth today. We teach that the judgment compares the lives of men to
the Ten Commandments. Destinies are decided on the question, “has this
person been an overcomer? Have they loved and obeyed?”
The judgment does not ask, “What were his opinions?” but, “What evi-
dence does his conduct give regarding whether or not the law was written in
his heart? Was the Spirit a resident there?” The cleansing blood of Jesus stands
able to wash away the record of a man’s sin, and it will if there is evidence that
the man gave Jesus opportunity to clean up his life while on earth.
These three characteristics combined—a pre-Advent judgment for the
benefit of the angels that determines destinies by comparing the lives of men
to the Ten Commandments—make our doctrine unique.

12
The Judgment

And it is hated.
So here is a little history from the perspective of its enemies:

Unambiguous Evidence?
Raymond Cottrell wrote a paper on the investigative judgment called
“Asset or Liability?” In that paper he indicates that there is no unambiguous
Bible evidence for the Adventist doctrine of the judgment. The thesis of his
paper is that the doctrine is built on an erroneous understanding of Daniel
8:14. In the paper he writes:

In 1958 . . . I determined to try once more to find a way to be abso-


lutely faithful to both Daniel and the traditional Adventist interpreta-
tion of 8:14, but again found it impossible. I then formulated six ques-
tions regarding the Hebrew text of the passage and its context, which
I submitted to every college teacher versed in Hebrew and every head
of the religion department in all of our North American colleges—all
personal friends of mine. Without exception they replied that there is
no linguistic or contextual basis for the traditional Adventist interpreta-
tion of Daniel 8:14.

Again, you would think, from reading the article and other attacks on this
doctrine, that the Adventist doctrine is based on a misunderstanding of Daniel
8:14. Further, that if Daniel 8:14 is explained correctly then the doctrine of the
investigative judgment evaporates.
So we are about to look at Bible evidence for this Adventist doctrine. And
when we are done, look back over the passages that we have quoted. You will
find not one reference to Daniel 8:14. There is unambiguous evidence for the
Adventist’s investigative judgment doctrine. We will get to Daniel 8:14 in the
chapters on Ballenger and on the Atonement.

Unambiguous Evidence for the Timing of the Judgment


The Bible refers, in a number of passages, to a judgment. These passages
do not all speak of the same event. The question raised by the scholars men-
tioned above (in a remarkable fulfillment of Daniel 12:10’s “none . . . shall
understand”) is whether any of these passages amount to solid evidence for
the doctrine of the investigative judgment.
Here are some simple Bible observations from three chapters—Daniel 7,
Revelation 14, and Revelation 6. Each of these chapters has a prophetic story
line that gives us an ability to locate the timing of the judgment in relation to
end-time events.
. More properly, “The ‘Sanctuary Doctrine,’ Asset or Liability?” This paper was first delivered
at the “Jesus Institute Forum” on February 4, 2001. It is readily available on the web.
13
Deeper

1. What do we find in Daniel 7? After the rise and fall of Babylon, Persia,
Greece and Rome; after the rise of proto-European tribes, and then after the
papacy rises with its blasphemy and persecution, we find a judgment opened
in heaven that utilizes “the books.”

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of
days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his
head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and
his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth
from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and
ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment
was set, and the books were opened. (Daniel 7:9–10)

After this judgment we find the papacy being destroyed by fire at the same time
that its dominion comes to an end. The other nations, by way of contrast, continued
to exist as non-superpower nations after their fall from world greatness. (Behold
Iraq, Iran, and Greece in existence even today, their life “prolonged.” Verse 12)
Then we see in heaven, a transaction between the Father and the Son. The
Son receives the kingdom of the whole earth “which kingdom shall never be
destroyed.”
In point of time, this judgment looks like the one identified by Adventists.
It is late in earth’s history, yet ends before the final climactic scenes.
2. What do we find in Revelation 14? While probation still continues,
before the gospel has been preached to every nation and people, an announce-
ment about the arrival of the time of the judgment is made.

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the
everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and
to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with
a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his
judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth,
and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Revelation 14:6–7)

This is followed by two other warnings related to the mark of the beast and
papal corruptions. God’s commandment-keeping people are pictured as faith-
fully enduring persecution. Next in Revelation 14 comes the Second Coming
under the symbol of two ripe-related harvests—first of the righteous, then of
the wicked for destruction.
Related to time, this Revelation 14 announcement that “the hour of His
judgment is come” is united with the final campaign to evangelize the world
and precedes the most climactic events that, themselves, precede the Second
Coming. In timing, this too looks like the judgment Adventists teach about.

14
The Judgment

3. What do we find in Revelation 6? While probation lasts, and after some


period of serious persecution of God’s people, the blood of the saints cries out
for vengeance. The lives of the martyrs are represented as being “under the
altar” in heaven. When they cry for vengeance, they are told that they must
rest a little longer until another wave of persecution should bring another
wave of martyrs.
But, in the meantime, they are given white robes.

And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord,
holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them
that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every
one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for
a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren,
that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (Revelation
6:10–11)

Their cry for vengeance is followed by signs in the sun, moon, and stars
and then by the personal appearance of Jesus Christ.
The giving of the white robes to the faithful martyrs follows the persecu-
tion of the Dark Ages and precedes both the persecution of the last age and
the Second Coming. They receive their white robes neither at death nor at
their resurrection. They are at “rest” while awaiting vengeance against their
murderers.
This pre-Advent declaration of their destiny looks, time-wise, like the
doctrine Adventists teach.

Common and Uncommon Elements


These three passages share two common elements. In regard to timing,
they each picture a divine judgment following papal activity and preceding
the earth’s final events.
In regard to location, they each indicate that the judgment is an other-
worldly event. In Daniel 7, it occurs before angels in heaven. In Revelation
6, the souls being vindicated refer to those that dwell “on the earth” as you
might refer to someone who lives in a different land than yourself. Finally, in
Revelation 14, the need for an announcement presupposes that the beginning
of the judgment is not readily apparent to those on earth.
In addition to information regarding timing and location, Daniel 7 offers
its own clues as to how this judgment relates to the heavenly “books.”
The student of Scripture finds, after a study of these books, that names can
be “written,” and names can be removed. See Exodus 32:31–34; Deuteronomy
29:19–20; Revelation 22:19; Luke 10:20.

15
Deeper

Jesus in Revelation connects the blotting out of names with a scene very
similar to the judgment scene in Daniel 7. And more than this, He connects
that judgment scene with the granting of white robes. This statement of Jesus,
in this respect, reminds us of Revelation 6. It brings together two of our three
timeline passages.

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white rai-


ment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but
I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
(Revelation 3:5)

Another passage that speaks of “blotting out” something from the books
used in the judgment is found in Peter’s post-Pentecostal sermon. There,
in regard to time, the blotting out is future and coincides with an end-time
pouring out of the Spirit’s power. This power, used to lighten the world with
Christ’s glory, must precede the close of human probation. And it immediately
precedes the sending of Jesus back to earth.

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be


blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the pres-
ence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was
preached unto you. (Acts 3:19–20)

This is the second passage that has connected the judgment with a set time.
The other was Revelation 14:7. This brings us to the question of the Adventist
Great Disappointment.

Prophecies of the Great Disappointment


Many detractors from the doctrine of the investigative judgment suggest
that this doctrine was created by Adventists to cover their embarrassment
about the non-appearance of Christ in 1844. But Habakkuk 1–2, Malachi 3,
Hebrews 10, and Revelation 10 all refer, prophetically, to that time of trial
and misunderstanding. According to these four passages, the fulfillment of
prophecy would appear to tarry, but it would not tarry, and men were still to
keep waiting for Christ’s return. They would be seeking to see Him in the
clouds, but He would instead come to His temple.
They would need patience to inherit His coming kingdom and would be
tempted to throw away their confidence. They would preach His coming with
great enthusiasm but then would cease. Finally, they would be bidden to take
up the work again. They would love the sweetness of their message until they
understood it thoroughly, then it would be a bitter disappointment.

16
The Judgment

Each of these four passages throws additional light on the topic of the judg-
ment in heaven. There are also a number of parables that illustrate the truth.
Solomon concludes his words of wisdom with a reference to that event.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and
keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For
God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing,
whether it be good, or whether it be evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14)

Paul preached that there was a day for this judgment. He connected it with the
future justifying of those that were currently obeying the commandments.

As many as have sinned without law shall also perish without


law: . . . (for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the
doers of the law shall be justified . . .) in the day when God shall
judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
(Romans 2:12–16)

Who will be blotted out of the book? Those that “sin” against the Lord. See
Exodus 32:34. But doesn’t that include us all? Yes, human cases would be hope-
less if the overcomers were not each offered a “white robe” during the judgment,
a blotting out of their sins, prior to the final decision of their cases. This gift of a
white robe is the future “shall be justified” of the current “doers of the Law.”
In both of these passages—Ecclesiastes 12 and Romans 2—the judgment
is made a motive for commandment-keeping. This is also the case in the three
angels’ messages. We glorify God by keeping the law that is a transcript of
His character. Compare Ecclesiastes 12 and Revelation 14. These passages
differ primarily in that Solomon places the judgment future while earth’s last
warning places the judgment at present.

Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment
is come: . . . here are they that keep the commandments of God,
and the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:7, 12)

Fear God, and keep his commandments: . . . For God shall
bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether
it be good, or whether it be evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14)

The Cleansing of the Sanctuary


We have observed already that, from the books of heaven, names may
be removed and sins may be blotted out. Both of these processes cleanse the

17
Deeper

heavenly books in the heavenly sanctuary from the record of sin. As each case
is decided, either sins are blotted out and a white robe is given, or a name (and
its record) is removed from the book of life.
In the antitypical day of atonement there was one more step in processing the
sin problem after the cleansing of the sanctuary. There is one who has tempted
and prodded, cajoled and trapped, bringing men into his ranks of sin slaves. The
Devil is, in this way, guilty for all the sins he has caused men to commit.
He is not guilty in their stead. Only the innocent Jesus could bear their sins
as a substitute. But this wicked one is guilty in his own stead for his part in their
falls. In the symbols, this Azazel is blamed for the sins he has caused. (See
Leviticus 16:8, 10) He has injured Jesus through His saints, and now justice
returns the pain into his own bosom. He is led into the wilderness.
If we call Azazel a “scapegoat,” we must clarify that Azazel is not an underling
blamed in order to take the heat off from a superior. A more backward description
of the relation of sin to Satan could hardly be imagined. Satan is the ultimately
guilty one rather than the unfortunate last stop for the passing of the “buck.”
To answer the question, “How is this blaming of Satan related to the judg-
ment in heaven?” we need only note the observers of the judgment.

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of
days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his
head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and
his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth
from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten
thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was
set, and the books were opened. (Daniel 7:9–10)

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment;


and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess
his name before my Father, and before his angels. (Revelation 3:5)

Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men,


him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God.
(Luke 12:8)

The prominent place given to the angels, one-hundred million strong, reveals
that the judgment scene is for them. God knows those that are His. (See 2 Timonthy
2:19) The investigative judgment is for the information of the holy angels. It is they
who have an interest in the blame that belongs to their once-honored Lucifer.

. Azazel is the Hebrew word translated “scapegoat” in Leviticus 16. When Adventists have
pointed out that Azazel represents Satan, some have accused us of making Satan into our
sinbearer. These paragraphs show the fallacy of that accusation.
18
The Judgment

The relation of the angels to the judgment was woven into the sanctuary.
Not only were two angels sculpted there in a position of reverence and inter-
est in the law and mercy, but the entire fabric of the inner curtains was woven
with cherubim. (See Exodus 26:31; 36:35)

The Relation of the Investigative Judgment to the Great White Throne


Judgment
There is a judgment in the book of Revelation that seems, in some ways,
similar to the one in Daniel 7. It is, however, different in a few other significant
details: timing, location, and purpose.

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from
whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found
no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before
God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened,
which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those
things which were written in the books, according to their works.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell
delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged
every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast
into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was
not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
(Revelation 20:11–15)

When does this judgment happen? Very apparently it is finished after


the 1000 years mentioned in the verses just before it. We can tell this by the
statement that the consequences meted out by this judgment are referred to as
“the second death.” It is also apparent by the fact that the lake of fire happens
after the 1000 years as God breathes down fire on the armies that surround
the Holy City. (See Revelation 20:1–10)
Also, notice that in this judgment there is no intercession by Jesus. And
who are the witnesses of this judgment? Rather than the angels, this judgment
serves the lost, those that are being judged. They are resurrected to hear their
cases decided and to be convinced of their wickedness.

. It is a fact that Ellen White applies both Revelation 20:11–15 and Jude 14–15 to Christ’s second
coming. And this is accurate in much the same way that Peter’s application of Joel 2 to the
day of Pentecost is accurate. At Christ’s second coming, all living nations are gathered before
Him. He accuses the wicked of their neglect of the needy and of their lawlessness. Matthew
7:23; 25:40. He comes bringing all the “holy angels” with Him. Matthew 25:31. All elements
of Jude 14–15 fit the Second Coming perfectly well. But in a more thorough sense they apply
to the post-millennium judgment where “all that are ungodly” are judged and where Christ
executes “judgment upon all.” Ellen White also plainly applies Revelation 20:11–15 to the
post-millennium execution of the wicked in The Great Controversy. See p. 666.
19
Deeper

During the 1000 years just ended, there was a special judgment for the
benefit of the saints. This millennial investigation is the judgment alluded to
in Psalm 149:6–9, by Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:3, and by John in Revelation
20:11.
Then, after the 1000 years are over, the great white throne judgment scene
is finally fulfilled. There the dead are convinced that the judgments against
them are just. Just as the wicked at Christ’s second coming are accused by
Jesus for their wrongdoing, so will be the resurrected wicked after the thou-
sand years.

And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these,


saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly
among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly
committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners
have spoken against him. (Jude 14–15)

These two instances when Christ sits on His throne and judges resurrected
persons happen, naturally, in conjunction with the two resurrections. Both the
judgment that precedes the 1000 years and the judgment after the 1000 years
are a fulfillment of this passage:

But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at
nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat
of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall
bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one
of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:10–12)

Not all these knees bow simultaneously, however. These two resurrec-
tions are those mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:23–25. The saints, the wicked
survivors of the plagues, and special rebels will meet their destiny first. The
wicked dead will meet it later. As it is written, all will share the same experi-
ence of giving account of themselves before God.
Some may wonder why we call attention to the judgment in heaven when
our own turn at the bar of God is yet future. The answer is that men ought
to learn of the judgment going on now while there is time to set their lives
in order. To learn of the judgment while being punished will be to learn of it
far too late.
There is, then, plenty of unambiguous evidence for a multi-phased judg-
ment of the human race. The books of record are intimately related to every
phase of that judgment. Their contents are examined in heaven during the
judgment for the angels. At that time sins and names are blotted out as desti-
20
The Judgment

nies are forever fixed. Then the books are brought forth to convince the survi-
vors of the plagues of their lawlessness. Then the books are examined by the
saints during the 1000 years. Finally, the wicked dead are resurrected to face
the books. Then those whose names are not in the book of life are destroyed
in the lake of fire.
Only the first phase of this judgment is coincident with human probation.
Only that current phase is announced as a warning to the last generation to
ready themselves for Christ’s coming. We ought to spread that warning while
the cases of past generations are still being decided.

Conclusion
So, what about the doctrine of the investigative judgment? Biblically, it is
a judgment that happens in heaven for the benefit of the angels. Biblically, it
happens near the end of earth’s history but prior to Christ’s coming. Biblically,
its timing is announced, and this shows that its timing has been prophesied.
Biblically, the Ten Commandments are the standard in the judgment; there-
fore, men are called to keep them in view of their pending cases. Biblically,
the judgment reverses the decisions of human tribunals that have killed the
saints, thus condemning the papacy while cleansing the books of record from
the sins of the overcomers.
Biblically, the doctrine stands. Unambiguously.

21
Chapter Two
Laodicea

T
here have always been messages that were more timely than others.
Truth seems to come alive when its time has come. At its appointed
moment, the currents of thought and politics in the world work together
to make the message most relevant. Or its revelations may describe so perfectly
the condition of God’s people that the student’s mind finds itself flooded with
a sense of its truthfulness.
Some messages have always been timely.

We must keep Jesus our pattern ever before us. This is and ever will
be present truth. It was by beholding Jesus and appreciating the virtues
of His character that John became one with his Master in spirit. With
spiritual vision he saw Christ’s glory, the glory as of the only begotten
of the Father, full of grace and truth; and he was changed from glory to
glory into His likeness. (The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 135)

Today, the message to the Laodiceans (Revelation 3:14–21) is speaking to


men again, to a greater number of them, and with greater force. 
Laodicea converses each weekend regarding salvation, assurance, and the
gifts of grace. These topics are broached in Sabbath school with characteris-
tic boldness. We, as members of the church, are looking forward to Christ’s
coming. But we don’t understand these topics. We wouldn’t expect a prophet
to say to us:

Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end
is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. As if
a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the
house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.
(Amos 5:18–19)
. This chapter is adapted and abbreviated from a longer study by the same title available at
www.bibledoc.org.
. “You that desire the day of the Lord” is a phrase that, in our day, has been abbreviated into a
single word: “Adventist.”
22
Laodicea

Amos uses metaphors familiar to us—the serpent, the lion, the comfort
of getting home after danger. Perhaps we are not as mindful of the bear, that
animal called by God to punish the mocking of His special messenger. (2 Kings
2:23-24) Amos indicates that Adventists, waiting and hoping to go home to
heaven, anxious to escape the roaring lion on their track, will find at last that
they have been deceived by the serpent and that their treatment of Heaven’s
prophet has not endeared them to Heaven.
We are represented by Amos as expecting great things from the coming of
Jesus. Our riches, whether or not they include material prosperity, include an
assurance that all will be well with us in the end. Laodicea knows, in a super-
ficial way, that her destiny depends on her love and her faith. She is aware that
those with a faith/love relationship are the ones that are justified. But rather
than being a source of worry, this thought comforts her from day to day. She
is confident enough of her standing with God to speak of it.

“I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing”

There are certain conditions upon which we may expect that God
will hear and answer our prayers. One of the first of these is that we
feel our need of help from Him. He has promised, “I will pour water
upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground.” Isaiah 44:3.
Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, who long after God,
may be sure that they will be filled. The heart must be open to the
Spirit’s influence, or God’s blessing cannot be received.
Our great need is itself an argument and pleads most eloquently
in our behalf. But the Lord is to be sought unto to do these things for
us. (Steps to Christ, p. 95)

Laodicea might be more conscious of her need if she understood the nature of
faith and love. These, according to James and Paul, are the riches of the gospel. But
James speaks of men who “say” they have faith, yet do not. (See James 2:14–20) And
John speaks of men who “say” they have love, but have it not. (See 1 John 4:20)
It is interesting, in this context, to notice that faith in God’s truth and self-
less love were the two significant virtues missing from the Laodicean church
in Paul’s time.

For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and
for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in
the flesh; that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together
in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding,
to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father,
and of Christ. (Colossians 2:1–2)

23
Deeper

James speaks of those that are “rich in faith” and identifies them as the
same class as those that “love” God.

Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor


of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath
promised to them that love him? (James 2:5)

Our God Himself is spoken of as being “rich in mercy.” This is shown by


the “great love wherewith he loved us.” (Ephesians 2:4) Faith and love are com-
bined in a number of other passages. A working faith can never be separated
from love, for “faith works by love.” (Galatians 5:6) It would be appropriate
for Laodicea to take a moment to probe the meaning of these golden values.
An understanding of faith and love might wake her to a hungering and thirst-
ing after righteousness.

The Nature of Faith

The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17)

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that pro-
ceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of


God. (Romans 10:17)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. (Colossians 3:16)

Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to


save your souls. (James 1:21)

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what


ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)

Compare Romans 1:17 and Matthew 4:4 above, and you will see that faith
must be living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Faith is
a relationship with the Word. Faith submits to the Word. It lives and acts as if
the Word itself has power to do the thing it promised.
What does faith look like? That depends on the nature of the Word that
faith is resting on at the moment. When faith comes to a warning, faith looks
like preparation and “taking heed.” When faith comes to a rebuke, faith looks
like confession and repentance. Faith lets the principle of the Word become the
. See 1 Peter 1:7–8 for another correlation of “faith” with “gold.”
24
Laodicea

ruling power in the life. When faith comes to inspired history, it looks to the
world to be akin to naiveté, to believing the Bible over scholars and science.
It takes the Word at face value. Faith recognizes the creative power in the
Word of God. When faith comes to Calvary and lets the glory of that story
move the will, faith looks like tears, penitence, humility, courage, and selfless
love. When confronted with counsel, it looks very much like a desire to please
God. When considering an inspired hymn, faith may even look like music.
This could be partially expressed in a chart:

The Nature of the Word.................The Appearance of Faith


A Warning.........................................Preparation
A Rebuke.............................Confession and Repentance
History................................................ Belief
A Promise..............................................Hope
A Command........................................Obedience
Counsel..................................... A Desire to Please
The Story of Calvary.................... Tears, Penitence, Humility,
Courage, Selfless Love
A Spiritual Hymn................................Spiritual Music

When the Bible asserts that we are saved “by hope” and justified by
“works” and excused by our “thoughts” and condemned by “idle words” (see
Romans 8:24; James 2:24; Romans 2:15; Matthew 12:36), the Book makes no
contradiction with those statements that faith alone can save us. The repeated
statements that we are judged according to our works and even the statement
that we are justified by our “words” are only a development of the theme that
man “shall live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
The Word “every” must be allowed to have its meaning. Unbelief is selective.
It may incorporate portions of the Word, the promises and stories, while spurn-
ing the counsels and commands. It may acknowledge the laws and regulations
while slighting the Sacrifice. Unbelief has never saved a soul and never will.
James says that a man may try to show his faith without works, but then
James says, I will “show my faith by my works.”
Just as Laodicea has falsely supposed she had a great deal of faith, she
has been misinformed regarding love and does not recognize her dearth of
the treasure.

. Colossians 3:16—“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and
admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in
your hearts to the Lord.”
25
Deeper

The Nature of Love


Love is a fruit of the Spirit. (See Galatians 5:22) Unspiritual people do
not love. “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 John 4:8)
And those with Jesus in their hearts most certainly do exercise love. “Every
one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” (1 John 4:7) “That Christ
may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
may . . . know the love of Christ.” (Ephesians 3:17–19) Love is so rare that its
possession attracts the attention of the world. “By this shall all men know that
ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)
This is not to say that unconverted mothers do not love their children. Nei-
ther can we justly deny that an unconverted man may truly love his converted
wife. But sentimental, selective love is a mere reflection of the virtue itself. Jesus
made this contrast in Matthew 5. He suggested to His audience that the love they
showed their families and friends did not prove any relationship to their “Father
in heaven.” If they would be His children, they must love their enemies.
Loving our enemies does not change the fact that they are our enemies.
Love is not an ecumenical cover-up of differences. Love is, on the contrary,
selfless service. Service to others, at the expense of one’s own interests and
comfort, will be an identifying mark of God’s last-day people.

Love in the Last Days


The Bible makes a number of statements regarding the significance of
love to end-time events. We observed earlier that the first-century church of
Laodicea (see Colossians 2:1–3) had a crying need to be “knit together in love.”
This need, a characteristic also of the last-day church, is signified in the term
“lukewarm.” What is spiritual heat in this end-time context?

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax
cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
(Matthew 24:12–13)

Enduring love characterizes the finally saved. The cooling of this selfless
principle characterizes the church in its Laodicean condition. But prophecy
foretells more than a love that survives. Paul speaks of end-time love as one
that thrives.

And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one
toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to
the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before
God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with
all his saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:12–13)

26
Laodicea

Our love, if we are to be found blameless at Christ’s coming, must be


growing for our leaders, our fellow members, and for those that are “without.”
If it is not growing, it will be dying.

Visit your neighbors in a friendly way, and become acquainted


with them. . . . Those who do not take up this work, those who act
with the indifference that some have manifested, will soon lose their
first love, and will begin to censure, criticize, and condemn their own
brethren. (Christian Service, p. 115)

What does love look like? That depends on the need of the one that is
brought into our sphere of influence. In the home, love looks like a father
cheerfully doing the dishes day after day. Love looks like disciplining oneself
to keep tracts on hand to give away at gas stations and supermarkets. Putting
the needs of others first, true love may look like printing fewer pictures and
giving a larger offering to Missions.
When a brother is found doing wrong, love looks like patience and cor-
rection. When a brother is in danger, love looks like a solemn warning and a
helping hand. If your brother has done you wrong, love looks rather like faith-
ful rebuke and attempted reconciliation than like gossip. Lest we miss this
last point, Jesus used it as example of what His own love means. He wrote to
Laodicea, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.”

Hot or Cold
Somewhat selfless Christians make the universe confusing. The Lord of
glory, with sympathy for those whose destinies will be decided by the vac-
illating witness of the church, says that He is repulsed by half measures in
self-denial.
His promise to “spew out” those that continued on with their mixture
of self-interest and God-pleasing ought to lead our church to remember
Jerusalem.
Jesus, John the Baptist, and Jeremiah all argued against the smug “we are
the people” mentality.
To this point we have discussed Laodicea’s opinion of itself. We have felt
rich and our misunderstanding of love and faith has led to this delusion. The
True Witness finds words to point out a true condition.

Wretched, Miserable, Poor, Blind, and Naked


The Greek word talaheeporos, translated “wretched,” is found in only
one other passage in the Scriptures. There, in Romans 7, Paul describes the
experience of a man that is in bondage to the law of sin and death, a man that

27
Deeper

Do Not Resist Him


Do not resist Him Do not resist Him
When He is calling When He is calling
The peace we now have The peace you now have
May not always be May not always be
The Holy City— The Holy City
God’s own chosen— God’s own chosen
In His favor In His favor
Thought she’d always be Thought she’d always be

When the walls were burning and Like a mother hen, He said
Lighting a million tear-stained face That he would have gathered them
And the cedars that were there If they would have come to Him
Were making mountains glow When the prophets called
All the soldiers had been told But they all went their own way
“Do not destroy that place” To their chosen problems
But the God of heaven said And they left God no way
“It must be brought low” To save them from them all

And when Jesus tried to tell Do not resist Him


The people of their danger When He is calling
They reminded Him of what The peace you now have
it seemed had slipped His mind May not always be
But He said that to the faith The Holy City
of Abram they were strangers God’s own chosen
And it would not help them if In His favor
their blood was from his line Thought she’d always be

wants to do right, but who finds another law bringing him “into captivity” to
the law of sin. (See Romans 7:23–24)
This man, like all those that have not yet been set “free from the law of
sin and death” (Romans 8:2), cries out, “who shall deliver me from the body
of this death?” (Romans 7:24) Wretched Laodicea does not know Jesus. She
wants to do right but is unable.
Eleeinos, “miserable” in Revelation 3, is also found in just one other
passage of Scripture. Paul, in arguing the reality of a physical resurrection,
describes the condition that we would all be in if there were no rising from
the dead.

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men


most miserable. (1 Corinthians 15:19)

28
Laodicea

In other words, if there was to be no resurrection, our Christian hope would


be a delusion. The hope of most Laodiceans is just such a delusion. To think
that you are bound for heaven when you are not, that is miserable. Wretched
and miserable, wanting to do right and hoping for heaven while captive to sin
and doomed to death—this is our general condition.
The gold of Revelation 3, the gold of Scripture, is faith that works by
love and purifies the soul. Laodicea is poor in the same sense that she is
lukewarm.
Luke’s gospel presents “the poor” as the recipients of Heaven’s choicest
blessings. There Jesus came to preach the gospel to “the poor.” He called
“His disciples” “ye poor” and blessed them saying “yours is the kingdom of
heaven.” The poor are to be invited to Christian feasts before friends and rela-
tives. And when, in this gospel, the invitation to the heavenly feast is refused
by others, the command is to “go quickly” into the highways and call, among
others, “the poor.” (See Luke 4:18; 7:22; 6:20; 14:13, 21)
The rich ruler is invited to sell all he has and give to the poor. Sadly spurn-
ing the offer, his crown went to another. In the next chapter, the wealthy Zac-
chaeus is invited by the Spirit to do the same and volunteers his willingness
to do it. Finally, it is the “poor widow” that out-gives the wealthy in the book
of Luke. (See Luke 18:22; 19:8; 21:2–3)
But our church is not “poor in Spirit” in the beatitudal sense that would
bring the blessings of which Luke wrote. She is “proud, knowing nothing” of
her condition, arguing “about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh
envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,” 1 Timothy 6:4. Her contentions do not
tend to increase her affection and selfless disposition.
So, as we have compared the Bible writers’ use of different terms, we
have learned that “wretched” means “captive to sin”; “miserable” means hav-
ing a deluded assurance of salvation; “poor” means having little of the riches
of James 2:5, faith and love. More than these, Laodicea is both “blind” and
“naked.”
The Pharisees were “blind leaders of the blind.” They were offended at
Christ’s instruction in Matthew 15. When the disciples tried to apprise their
Master of how these leaders felt, Jesus said, “Let them alone: they be blind
leaders of the blind. And . . . both shall fall into the ditch.” (Verse 14)
They were making of none effect the testimony of the law of God (verse
6) and were shutting out the very light that might have saved them.
Jesus spoke with great plainness to these men. He said, “Ye blind guides”;
“fools and blind”; “fools and blind”; “blind guides”; “blind Pharisee.” (Mat-
thew 23:16, 17, 19, 24, 26) They missed the idea of true spirituality. Their
religion was superficial. It was focused on the largeness of the institutional

29
Deeper

offerings and ignorant of the smallness of institutional piety. But when certain
Pharisees asked Jesus, “are we blind also?” He answered almost cryptically:

If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see;


therefore your sin remaineth. (John 9:41)

It was not Jesus who denied their blindness. They denied it in their own
hearts while asking about it with their lips, and Jesus quoted to them their
hearts’ answer. This is precisely Laodicea’s problem. She may even come to
Jesus and ask “am I blind?” But her question is unbelief. Jesus has already
told her that she cannot see and offered to heal her eyes. The question is a
denial of the illness.
What a tragedy it is, for wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked per-
sons are the very ones the gospel has been custom made to help. It was, in
fact, the call of the apostle Paul to open spiritual eyes to the light that they
might receive “forgiveness of sins.”

To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light,


and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive for-
giveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified
by faith that is in me. (Acts 26:18)

The four words we have studied thus far are all code for “unconverted.”
Jesus has said to Laodicea, “you are unconverted, unconverted, unconverted,
unconverted.” And He says it again with the word “naked.”
We are familiar with the idiom of wearing Christ’s righteousness. We
think we are clothed. How embarrassing to find that we are not! Our confusion
stems from our ignorance of Christ’s righteousness and of how to put it on.
Jesus offers us “white raiment,” and we will study that offer after considering
His first proffered gift—gold.

I Counsel Thee to Buy


The heavenly Merchantman has presented His wares in the Old Testa-
ment as well. There we learn how one as poor as Laodicea may “buy” riches
as Christ offers here.

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that
hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for
that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth
not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good. . . .
Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live.

30
Laodicea

. . . Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while
he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man
his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have
mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
(Isaiah 55:1–7)

Isaiah does not say that listening carefully to God and forsaking our evil
way is the cost of God’s blessings. His mercy is “without money and without
price.” But these willful actions are nonetheless the condition upon which we
may “buy” and satisfy our soul hunger.
What can we pay in our poverty? We can pay attention. We can “hearken”
and “incline our ear” and “hear” when God says “Ho!” Is that how we get
the gold? “So then faith cometh by hearing,” by hearing “the word of God.”
(Romans 10:17)
Isaiah 55 is too much for many persons. They cannot see consistency in
having conditions attached to a free gift. “If we have to buy it, it is not free.
If it is free, we don’t have to buy it.” Let them argue with Jesus in Isaiah and
Revelation. We only want to believe the marvelous offer and to seek the Lord
“while He may be found.”

Thou Mayest Be Rich . . . Be Clothed . . . and See


Pause here and drink in the glory of the promise. From the wretched state
we are in, we are told in the plainest language, “there is hope!”
So we come to Jesus for the gold of faith and love. How do we buy them?
By an ongoing act of the will. Faith and love are fundamentally the very
same thing. They are a choice on our part to let God’s creative Word live
through us. Then we can choose to live by each portion of the Word that
we find, to put the needs of even those we have never met before our own
conveniences.
Everything here depends on the right action of the will. If we will “let the
Word of Christ dwell in [us] richly” and “let love be without” falseness, God
will work in us “both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (See Colos-
sians 3:16; Romans 12:9; Philippians 2:13) These heavenly plants—faith and
love—grow prodigiously when cared for by the constant exercise of the will.
Our decisions to help others incline our wills even more in that same direc-
tion. Our choice to deny our desires so that we may live by a God-breathed
principle makes us more like Him that spoke the principle.

And White Raiment


Perhaps the clothing that Christians wear is one of the least understood
aspects of righteousness by faith. In the minds of many, this spiritual robe is

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Deeper

about equivalent to having “pardon” written by our names in heaven. But this
is not the way Paul and John present it.
In Revelation 3 we are given two reasons to buy and wear the garment.
The first is to avoid nakedness itself. The second is to prevent the shame of
that nakedness from being witnessed. This last point hints that this robe is
more than forgiveness. The world can see when we are “naked,” and though
we are unconscious of our exposure, it is shameful nonetheless.
Paul speaks of what it means to put on the robe. He does not speak of
covering filthy garments with clean ones, but of removing the first to make
room for the second.

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast
off the works of darkness . . . But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
(Romans 13:12–14)

That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old


man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be
renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new
man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his
neighbour: for we are members one of another. . . .
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil
speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind
one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God
for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. . . .
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk
in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for
us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
(Ephesians 4:22–25, 31–32; 5:1–2)

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blas-
phemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to
another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after
the image of him that created him: . . . Put on therefore, as the elect
of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness
of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and for-
giving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as
Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on
charity, which is the bond of perfectness. (Colossians 3:8–14)

This “true holiness,” as it is called in Ephesians 4, stands very distinct


from the sham righteousness that is called “Christ’s” by those who know Him

32
Laodicea

not. What a light Laodicea would be in the world if she were stripped of her
filthy rags and covered with Christ’s robe of lovely living!
The man in Matthew 22 that accepted the invitation to the wedding but
failed to put on the wedding garment typifies Laodicea. He thought that accept-
ing the invitation was all that was required.

There are many who are represented by this man. They have
accepted the invitation to the marriage supper, but have failed to comply
with the conditions for entrance to the feast. They will not lay aside the
garments of their own self-righteousness, and put on the robe prepared
for them at an infinite price. They have accepted the theory of the truth,
but they do not possess and cultivate the faith that works by love and
purifies the soul. They do not appropriate the truth to their individual
needs, and become partakers of the divine nature. They are not will-
ing to have the earthliness removed from their character, in order that
the heavenly graces may be imparted. They will be speechless before
the King when he comes in to examine the guests, and asks them why
they have not put on the righteousness of Christ. (The Youth’s Instruc-
tor, October 28, 1897)

And Eyesalve that thou Mayest See


We have observed already that “blindness” is a lack of spiritual under-
standing. Paul expresses this thought in Ephesians in such a way as to make
it clear that the eyesalve is the work of the Holy Spirit.

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may
give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge
of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye
may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of
the glory of his inheritance in the saints. (Ephesians 1:17–18)

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory,


to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that
Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and
grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what
is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the
love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled
with all the fulness of God. (Ephesians 3:16–19)

Our need of the Holy Spirit and the ability of that Spirit to bring us all that
we need—these were the favorite themes of Jesus. A thorough study of the
promise of the Spirit would dwarf our study of Revelation 3. We will notice
here only a few important points.
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Deeper

A special outpouring of the Holy Spirit is promised to the church at the


very time that Laodicea is counseled to receive it. The conditions of receiving
that gift are few and simple.
• Our faith, working by love, must bring obedience (Acts 5:32)
• We are to be asking for the gift (Luke 11:13; Zechariah 10:1)
• We must move forward to know God more and more (Hosea 6:1–3)
• We must turn from our sins (Joel 2:12–23; Proverbs 1:23)

As Many as I Love I Rebuke


The love of Jesus would not be appreciated by many. Those that perceive revul-
sion in rebuke and condemnation in correction could not bear the searching love
of our Sin-bearer. The church age that is warned of its lack of true love is given
an illustration of the nature of that love in the love-inspired rebuke of the True
Witness. Indeed, to refrain from giving needed instruction is a type of hatred.

Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any
wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. (Leviti-
cus 19:17)

This is not to say that all rebuke is produced by selfless service. If some
“preach Christ of contention” there can be no doubt that some rebuke “for
strife and debate and to smite with the fist of wickedness.” (See Philippians
1:16; Isaiah 58:4) But all the false-hearted instruction ever given will never
make true-hearted instruction less needed.

Reproofs of instruction are the way of life. (Proverbs 6:23)

Not only does Jesus reprove, He also “chastens.” “Despise not the chasten-
ing of the Lord.” Proverbs 3:11; see also Job 5:17; Hebrews 12:5. This thrice-
repeated maxim reflects the deep-seated antipathy of men for having their
wrong course pointed out. One of the most self-deceiving ways of despising
reproof is to simply avoid hearing it. “For every one that doeth evil hateth
the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” John
3:20. That this is a danger for Laodicea is apparent in the Spirit’s admonition
to “hear.” Revelation 3:22.

Be Zealous and Repent


This passage is evidence enough that zeal and repentance are also func-
tions of the will. We choose what we dzaylohoe (Greek for “earnestly desire”).
34
Laodicea

This is the sense of “be zealous.” And we choose from what and to whom
we will turn. This is repentance. But it is manifest in this message that some
source of information must inform the soul of just what it is that he is to
zealously repent of. Misguided zeal and undirected repentance cannot be
intended.

They zealously affect you, but not well. . . . But it is good to be
zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am
present with you. (Galatians 4:17–18)

The question, “Repent of what?” is answered by the implications in the


next verse.

Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock


This is the last of the code phrases for “unconverted.” Jesus wants to dwell
“in [our] hearts by faith.” (Ephesians 3:17) Yet, for unbelieving Laodicea, He
patiently waits at the door. The Prince of Peace is outside; therefore, peace
itself cannot be inside.

The Saviour says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any
man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will
sup with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20. He is not repulsed
by scorn or turned aside by threatening, but continually seeks the lost
ones, saying, “How shall I give thee up?” Hosea 11:8. Although His
love is driven back by the stubborn heart, He returns to plead with
greater force, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.” The winning
power of His love compels souls to come in. And to Christ they say,
“Thy gentleness hath made me great.” Psalm 18:35. (Christ’s Object
Lessons, p. 235)

Two Conditions to Christ’s Entrance

If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to
him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)

Hearing His voice: This is the first condition. Deaf persons today often
have doorbells that trigger lights in their house to blink on and off. Unless
they are sleeping, this signal will alert them to the presence of a guest. Jesus
presents the case to Laodicea as if it is not a matter to be assumed that she
will “hear” His voice. If she does not hear His voice, she will not think to
open the door.

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Deeper

What is Jesus saying at the door? In Revelation 3:19 He is saying, “Repent.”


Repent of what?

Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all
the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil
ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to
all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to
you by my servants the prophets. (2 Kings 17:13)

We read that “the Lord testified . . . by all the prophets. . . .” “The testi-
mony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10) Prophets have
always called the people to obey the various counsels and commandments of
God. But those who will not read the testimony of the prophets will not hear
the voice of Jesus. The last-day church not only keeps the commandments
but has “the testimony of Jesus.” (Revelation 12:17) Prophetic counsels have
come to her as the voice of Jesus calling her to repent, to open the door of the
heart by turning from her evil ways.
Those who will not read the Spirit of Prophecy have neglected the first
of the two conditions for special fellowship with Jesus in our day. For them
the command to repent in verse 19 is a vague call, perhaps for someone else.
They would rather excuse their wrong on the basis of their fallen nature and
are not keen on reading testimonies that would make them feel the account-
ability that accompanies their depravity.
Open the door: Here is the second condition. This is the only reasonable
response to hearing the voice. But those who are unfamiliar with Jesus may
not be comfortable opening a door to Someone who demands so much. If they
have not learned to recognize the love in His life-giving reproofs of instruction,
they will rise up against them. Rather than let the Guest in, they will confound
Him with an enemy and treat Him spitefully.

If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to this


straight work, it should convince them that they have a work to do to
overcome, if they would not be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord.
Said the angel: “God will bring His work closer and closer to test and
prove every one of His people.” Some are willing to receive one point;
but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it
and stand back, because they find that it strikes directly at some cher-
ished idol. Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts
that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and
their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus. Individuals are tested and
proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols and heed
the counsel of the True Witness. If any will not be purified through
obeying the truth, and overcome their selfishness, their pride, and evil

36
Laodicea

passions, the angels of God have the charge: “They are joined to their
idols, let them alone,” and they pass on to their work, leaving these
with their sinful traits unsubdued, to the control of evil angels. Those
who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be
the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness,
and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation.
(Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 187)

I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that
it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel
of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon
the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and
pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimo-
ny. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking
among God’s people.
I saw that the testimony of the True Witness has not been half
heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church
hangs has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This tes-
timony must work deep repentance; all who truly receive it will obey
it and be purified. (Early Writings, p. 270)

This, then, is the end result of the message. It will purify some and harden
the rest.
Now some have been frightened, almost as if the shaking will cause weak
Christians to lose their way. But it is not weak Christians that refuse the voice of
Jesus. It is false ones. Not the small grains of wheat, but the chaff will be blown
away. What a precious promise is found in the promise of the shaking!

For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among
all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least
grain fall upon the earth. (Amos 9:9)

So, has Satan frightened your soul with the thought that you do not have
enough strength to survive the shaking? Heed him not. Not the “least grain”
will be allowed to fall to ruin.

I Will Come In and Eat with Him


The “food” that Jesus offers is His truth. Truth is food? Prophets are rep-
resented as eating scrolls. (See Ezekiel 2; Revelation 10) Jeremiah wrote, “Thy
words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and
rejoicing of mine heart.” Jeremiah 15:16.
On the surface it might seem that all have access to this feast, but it is
not so. They may eat the words alone, but if they would eat them with Jesus,

37
Deeper

they must open the door. And the words, without Jesus’ indwelling, will not
be of true profit.

For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but
the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith
in them that heard it. (Hebrews 4:2)

Does Revelation speak of any special meal of truth being made available
to Christ’s followers? Any special Word from Him? Certainly. The testimony
of Jesus, as given to the remnant church, not only invites the church to open
her door but proffers a true abundance of good things for those that do invite
Christ to enter.

To Sit with Me on My Throne


“This honor have all his saints.” Psalm 149:9. We then, a kingdom of
priests here, will reign also as kings and priest above. (The twenty-four elders
already reign this way. See Revelation 5:10) Already we are a “royal priest-
hood.” 1 Peter 2:9.
Our royal destiny, to sit on an eternal throne, makes certain behaviors
unacceptable. This is why Adventists must not drink alcoholic drinks.

It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine;


. . . lest they drink, and forget the law. (Proverbs 31:4–5)

And regarding priests,

Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with
thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye
die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: and
that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between
unclean and clean. (Leviticus 10:9–10)

Our calling to being judges in the future sets us apart as teetotalling


priests even today.

Even as I also Overcame


This study opened with a statement on one unchanging element of pres-
ent truth. Beholding Jesus ever has been and ever will be current theology.
In closing His message to the Laodiceans, Jesus presents His own life of
self-denial and service as a model for those who would be overcomers. The
most notable overcoming on Christ’s part was the defeat of His own inclina-
tion to escape the cross. “If it be possible,” He prayed in human weakness,
38
Laodicea

“let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
(Matthew 26:39)
Not my will. That is the way that Christ overcame. “Even as I also” did,
He invites, “you may also.”

Long afterward, when John had been brought into sympathy with
Christ through the fellowship of His sufferings, the Lord Jesus revealed
to him what is the condition of nearness to His kingdom. “To him that
overcometh,” Christ said, “will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even
as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.”
Revelation 3:21. The one who stands nearest to Christ will be he who
has drunk most deeply of His spirit of self-sacrificing love—love that
“vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, . . . seeketh not her own, is not
easily provoked, thinketh no evil” (1 Corinthians 13:4, 5)—love that
moves the disciple, as it moved our Lord, to give all, to live and labor
and sacrifice even unto death, for the saving of humanity. (The Acts
of the Apostles, p. 543)

Amen.

39
Chapter Three
Hebrews Problems and Ballenger

Brief Idea: Adventism has nothing to be ashamed of regarding its posi-


tion on Daniel 8:14. From tsdaq to the relation of the little horn to the
sanctuary’s defilement, from Hebrews 6 to Hebrews 9, we stand on solid
ground.

M
any persons have left Adventism over various objections to our
doctrine. And one objection that rises periodically is that our belief
in the “sanctuary message” is founded on a faulty translation of
Daniel 8:14. The sanctuary was to be justified, not cleansed. So the argument
runs.

Arguments About Words

Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them


before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but
to the subverting of the hearers. (2 Timothy 2:14)

When we ask, “What does that verse mean?” we may search for an
answer in other verses. But when we ask, “What does that word mean?”
we may find men challenging our position by referring to sources beyond
our ability to evaluate. We, the average readers, are not able to compare the
merit of various lexicons and of various authorities in the field of Biblical
languages.
Neither can we take the word of the man speaking to us. Nor can we dis-
count it. So, in essence, Paul said, “Don’t let Bible discussions degenerate to
this level. Keep them on the level of comparing scripture with scripture, or
your hearers will suffer.”
This is particularly important when studying Daniel 8:14. We have enough
scholars on our side to confidently move forward in the business of comparing
scripture with scripture.

40
Hebrews Problems and Ballenger

Seven Translations
The primary translators of seven Bible versions validate the rendering of
tsadq as “cleansed”:

And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred
evenings and mornings; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.—
American Standard Version

And he said to him, For two thousand, three hundred evenings


and mornings; then the holy place will be made clean.—Bible in
Basic English

And he said unto me, Until two thousand and three hundred
evenings and mornings: then shall the sanctuary be vindicated.—
Darby’s Translation

And he said to him: Unto evening and morning two thousand


three hundred days: and the sanctuary shall be cleansed.—Douay
Version

And he said to him, Evening and morning there shall be two


thousand and [three] hundred days; and then the sanctuary shall
be cleansed.—English Translation of the Septuagint (from the Online
Bible CD-ROM)

And he said to him, “For two thousand and three hundred


evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary shall be restored to its
rightful state.”—Revised Standard Version

And he said to me, Until two thousand and three hundred days;
then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.—Webster Translation

What I haven’t pasted here are translations like the New King James;
King James Twenty-First Century; and Revised Webster. These three agree
with the translations “cleansed” but seem, from their titles, to be less original
translation work than the eight above.
But there is an easier way to get to the conclusion that the sanctuary is
cleansed in Daniel 8:14. The sanctuary is defiled in Daniel 8. Then this is
resolved. The opposite of defiled is cleansed.
And there is another way to get there. Daniel 7 discusses a judgment that
takes place in God’s presence. In that judgment, books are cleansed of names
and sins (as we have noted in the study of the judgment). This judgment (fol-
lowing Persia, Greece, Rome in Daniel 7) is parallel to the tsadaq of the sanc-

41
Deeper

tuary in Daniel 8 (following the same nations). That leads us near to the word
“cleansed,” even if we didn’t know the meaning of the word.

Ballenger and Hebrews 9


Ballenger challenged the Adventist church’s position on the sanctuary by
sharing a word study on the meaning of “within the veil” in Hebrews 6. What he
found is that the phrase “within the veil” and its equivalent renderings always refer
to the most holy place. And as Hebrews teaches that Jesus entered “within the
veil,” Ballenger concluded that Jesus entered that apartment at His ascension.
His study failed on account of three key points that overthrow the foun-
dations of his claims:
1. Many Old-Testament prophecies of New Testament events are written
in present tense. His quoting of Old-Testament prophecies of Christ’s
intercession as proving that Christ was in the holy place prior to His
incarnation fail on this account. It can be shown that they are prophe-
cies of future events. (See, for example, the tenses in Isaiah 53; Psalm
22.)
2. Christ’s throne, and that of the Father, are mobile according to Daniel
7:9 and Ezekiel 9-10. To show that Jesus went to the throne in AD 31
and then reason that He must have gone to the most holy place ignores
this simple fact.
3. The “veil” in Hebrews 6 is parallel rather to “hanging” and “door” in
the Old Testament than to “vail” there. There were two “hangings”
in the Old Testament, and there are two katapetasma, “veils,” in the
book of Hebrews. (See Hebrews 6:19; 9:3)

More than this, when the tenses of the verbs are given literally, Hebrews
9 teaches that the way into the most holy place was not yet revealed in Paul’s
day. And Paul says that he cannot “now” speak particularly of the most holy
place services.
This harmonizes precisely with what Seventh-day Adventists would expect
after Daniel’s prophecy of the cleansing of the most holy place was “sealed”
till the time of the end. The passage below quotes Young’s Literal Translation
from verse seven.

And over it [the Ark of the Covenant] the cherubims of glory


shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particu-

. One of his key texts was Isaiah 6. I address the timing of this passage in the article “Within
the Veil” at www.bibledoc.org.
42
Hebrews Problems and Ballenger

larly. Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went
always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
(Hebrews 9:5–6, KJV)

And into the second, once in the year, only the chief priest, not
apart from blood, which he doth offer for himself and the errors
of the people, the Holy Spirit this evidencing that not yet hath been
manifested the way of the holy places hagion, the first tabernacle hav-
ing yet a standing; which is a simile in regard to the present time,
in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered, which are not able, in
regard to conscience, to make perfect him who is serving. (Hebrews
9:7–9, YLT)

The passage in Hebrews 9 uses the term “second veil.” This, by simple
implication, defines the veil of Hebrews 6 as the first veil—the entrance cur-
tain to the sanctuary.
And the phrase “into the holiest of all” in Hebrews 10:19 should have been
rendered “into the holy places.” The same holds true in Hebrews 9:8. There,
“of the holy places” is more literal than “into the holiest of all.”
With these observations, the force of Ballenger’s argument falls flat.

Some Details
Old-Testament Forgiveness: Ballenger reasoned that if Christ’s interces-
sion is indispensable to salvation, then the sanctuary must have been active
in the Old Testament with Christ ministering there.
Paul briefly addresses the issue of Old-Testament forgiveness in Romans 3.
How could God forgive men and grant them righteousness prior to the cross?

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that


is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation
[mercy seat, margin] through faith in his blood, [YLT] for the
shewing forth of His righteousness, because of the passing over of
the bygone sins in the forbearance of God—for the shewing forth
of His righteousness in the present time, for His being righteous,
and declaring him righteous who is of the faith of Jesus. (Romans
3:24–26)

Though Jesus was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, all
forgiveness that antedated Calvary was apparent injustice to those not knowing
the future. It was a forbearance that might mar God’s reputation for justice.
The cross showed, in the present time of Paul, that the passing over of past
sins had been, indeed, just.
. YLT (Young’s Literal Translation) quoted from this point to the end of the passage.
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Deeper

The Father and the Son understood the nature of the sacrifice to be made
and treated men, such as Abraham, with the same quality of righteousness that
is granted to us today. Nevertheless, this “everlasting righteousness” was not
brought in until the cross. (See Daniel 9:24)
The pre-cross application of this righteousness is the meaning of Revela-
tion 13:8. The term “before the foundation of the world” is used by Peter, Paul,
Matthew, and John to refer to God’s ordained plan for saving men.
This did not make the cross superfluous when the time came for the sacri-
fice. Nor did it make Christ’s intercession superfluous when the time came for
His mediation to begin. Nor does God’s plan make the judgment superfluous
now that the books have been opened.

Within the Veil: Ballenger’s technical mistake was that of equating the
New Testament “veil” (a covering) with the Old-Testament “vail” (poreketh,
or curtain). When he found an Old-Testament passage that spoke of “within
the vail,” the passage would point quite consistently to the most holy place.
So when Hebrews spoke of “within the veil,” he concluded that, biblically, it
must mean that Jesus entered the most holy place at His ascension.
What was wrong with that line of reasoning?
The Old-Testament passages regarding the entrances to the holy and most
holy places use three words with which Adventists should familiarize them-
selves. They are “door,” “hanging” and “vail.” Their derivation is briefly
outlined below:
“door” (Hbr: pethack) — Strong’s: “opening, doorway, entrance.”
“hanging” (Hbr: macak) — Strong’s: “hanging” from a root meaning “to
cover”
“vail” (Hbr: poreketh) — Strong’s: “curtain” from a root meaning “to
separate”

The summary of the data is that there are two hangings (macak) that are
called “door” and “vail” respectively. These names relate to the purpose of
the two curtains. The first (“door”) forms the entrance to the sanctuary. (See
Exodus 26:36; 35:15, 17; 36:37; 39:38; 40:5, 28; Numbers 3:25, 26; 4:25, 26)

Poreketh Pethack

2nd Macak 1st Macak

44
Hebrews Problems and Ballenger

The second (“vail”) separates the apartments. (See Exodus 35:12; 39:34; 40:21;
Numbers 4:5)
Priests could find an “entering in” to the tabernacle at the “door” (Exo-
dus 35:15) and a “vail” that would “divide” between the “holy place and the
most holy.” (Exodus 26:33) What is the purpose of the first hanging? It is an
entrance. What is the purpose of the second? It is a separation.
In Hebrews 6, 9, and 10 these three words all find their parallels. Jesus
has “entered” the sanctuary ahead of our hope that “entereth” there within
the door hanging, the first macak.

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and


stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the
forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for
ever. . . . (Hebrews 6:19–20)

The ark of the covenant is “after the second veil” that separates between
the holy and most holy described in Hebrews 9.

For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the
candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the
sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called
the Holiest of all; which had the golden censer, and the ark of the
covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden
pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables
of the covenant. (Hebrews 9:2–4)

The short of all this is that “vail” in the Old Testament is the name for
the second curtain. When we read, therefore, of “within” and “without” the
“vail” we are referring to the most holy place and holy place respectively. This
was an accurate observation on the part of Ballenger. “Within the separating
curtain” would sensibly be understood this way.
But the New-Testament “veil” corresponds to the Old-Testament “hanging”
where the first is an entrance and the second is a separation. Hebrews 6:19–20
is clearly a reference to the entrance veil; Hebrews 9:2–4 to the separation veil.
And so Adventism shines, and Ballenger’s view loses luster.
Yet it was not a technical fault that felled that evangelist. God gave the
church the gifts of the Spirit to prevent us from falling prey to our own mis-
taken views. And to the extent that Ballenger despised the counsel of Ellen
White and of those brethren gifted as evangelists and pastor-teachers, to just
that extent Ballenger rejected the very means chosen by God to save him from
winds of doctrine. (See Ephesians 4:11–14)

45
Deeper

At the Father’s Right Hand


The summary of another one of Ballenger’s argument regarding the
sanctuary is,
1. Jesus went to the right hand of God at His ascension; and
2. The right hand of God is in the most holy place.

He proves by abundant scriptural evidence point 1. But before progressing


to this data, he proposes a question to this effect: “To which apartment did
Jesus go at His ascension?” In answer, he presents the evidence that He went
to the right hand of God.
We have noted already that the throne of God is mobile (see also Daniel
7:13; Ezekiel 10). Does “at the right hand of God” mean most holy place?
Apparently the answer to that varies if God can and does move from place to
place as pictured in Daniel 7.
What if Jesus is at the “right hand of power” even when coming in the
clouds of heaven (Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62)? What if the throne of Rev-
elation 5:1 is in the room with the seven lamps of fire (Revelation 4:5)? What
if the prophecy of things “soon to come” (the book of Revelation) includes
Christ’s ministration at the altar of incense (Revelation 8:2–5)?
These passages all testify that our Lord Jesus is the second in command
in this universe wherever He is. Even when returning in the clouds, He is at
the right hand of power. And so point two of the two-step argument withers
into no point at all.

Conclusion
Ballenger attacked the present and precious truth. He fell prey to seduc-
tive arguments and refused the help that was offered him.
He thought God’s “right hand” was a location in the most holy place when
in reality God’s throne moves from one place to the other place. He thought that
Hebrews 6 teaches that Jesus went into the most holy place when it really teaches
that Jesus entered the sanctuary. And the entrance was a curtain into the holy place.
And Ballenger thought that Old-Testament forgiveness was evidence of Christ
doing priestly work before the cross. But in reality, Old-Testament sins were
forgiven by the “forbearance” of God until they could justly be atoned for at the
cross, after which Jesus became a high priest by virtue of His own sacrifice.
And what about Ballenger’s other argument? He argued that the book of
Hebrews says nothing of the Adventist idea of Christ’s entering into a judg-

. Ballenger, in Cast Out for the Cross of Christ, concedes as an obvious fact that God’s throne
is mobile. What he denies is that God’s throne was, in fact, in the holy place prior to 1844.
46
Hebrews Problems and Ballenger

ment phase of ministry near the end of time. If that doctrine were true and
important, Ballenger reasoned, it would be noted in the New-Testament book
on the sanctuary service.
In answering this final argument, let us return to the passage in Hebrews
that mentions the most holy place:

And over it [the ark of the covenant] the cherubims of glory


shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particu-
larly. Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went
always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
[YLT] And into the second, once in the year, only the chief priest,
not apart from blood, which he doth offer for himself and the
errors of the people, the Holy Spirit this evidencing that not yet
hath been manifested the way of the holy places hagion , the first tab-
ernacle having yet a standing; which is a simile in regard to the
present time, in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered, which
are not able, in regard to conscience, to make perfect him who is
serving. (Hebrews 9:5–9)

We reply to Ballenger that Paul could not in his own day explain the most
holy place ministry. It was sealed by the order of Jesus in Daniel 12. And,
in fact, this is precisely why there were two apartments. What was the Holy
Spirit thus “evidencing”?
Namely that the meaning and purpose of the most holy place would not
be revealed while Christ was still officiating in the holy place, while the “first
tabernacle” yet was a symbol of the present.
So Hebrews teaches exactly what Adventists expect it ought to teach about
the most holy place.
And that is simply true.

. YLT (Young’s Literal Translation) quoted from this point to the end of the passage.
47
Chapter Four
An Invisible Remnant

Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant accord-


ing to the election of grace. (Romans 11:5)

I
am part, I believe, of the remnant. There are Adventists who do not believe
that we are the remnant church, but most of them don’t believe a lot of
other true things either.
But I think that many of my faithful friends would be surprised if they knew
what I think the Bible teaches about the remnant church of Revelation 12. I don’t
believe that an unconsecrated Seventh-day Adventist is part of the remnant.
In other words, I don’t believe that the remnant is the “visible church.”
And why do I, typically an enemy of dissident movements, have such a view?
“The Bible tells me so.”
But this chapter is much more than an answer to the question, “Is the
remnant visible or not?”
Indeed, this chapter is an introduction to a system of metaphors that gov-
erns much of how Old-Testament prophecies should be understood in our time.
I tried to put too many ideas into this chapter, and the result is that you should
either skip this chapter or prepare to read it slowly. Complex metaphors require
deep thinking. Think deeper. That is how to be settled on the prophecies.

The Remnant and Captivity


Even in ancient times God planned to reach the nations of the world despite
the apostasy of His people. A plan to reach the world through the faithfulness
of His people would never have materialized. The Lord said “Cursed be the
man that trusteth in man.” (Jeremiah 17:5)
. By the term “visible church,” men refer to the organized body of believers, the members of
which include both wheat and tares, faithful and unfaithful persons.
By “invisible church,” I mean the “wheat”—truly consecrated persons. Since man does
not read the heart, man cannot say with any certainty who are and who are not the members
of this church.
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An Invisible Remnant

God’s model of international evangelism harmonizes with this precept.


His method of reaching the world involved international dispersions. When
His people became like the nations, He would punish them by national captiv-
ity. He would scatter them among all nations.
A minority of the scattered ones would recognize in their lot God’s chas-
tisement. These would revive and reform their lives. God would show Him-
self mighty to bless this “remnant” and would gather faithful persons back
to their nation.
The various empires that ruled the known world—Egypt, Assyria, Baby-
lon, Persia, Greece, and Rome—all became keenly aware of God’s power
on behalf of His faithful people. An obscure defeated nation testified, by its
apostasy and its remnant’s repentance, to a large portion of the heathen world.
Jehovah’s power and forgiveness became internationally proverbial.
As one step in this process, God promised to scatter His people among the
heathen when they would fail to keep His commands. (See Leviticus 26:14–33;
Deuteronomy 4:23–37; 28:15–68)
Scattering was appropriate. The first scattering afflicted the first Babel.
(See Genesis 11:9) When God’s people would imitate the stubborn spirit and
confused state of the Babel builders, they would be treated in the same way.
In other words, when God’s nation appeared like Babylon, it would be scat-
tered by the descendants of the Babel builders.
These cycles of scattering and remnant gathering characterize the his-
tory of God’s chosen nation. The last of the Biblical scattering episodes, the
Babylonian captivity and Persian gathering, is the local setting for the larger
portion of Old-Testament eschatological (end-time) material.

The Spiritual Remnant and Spiritual Babylon


God made use of the scattering by Nebuchadnezzar and the subsequent
remnant gathering under Cyrus to picture the history and end of the Chris-
tian age. In the New Testament, the major players from this Old-Testament
period—Babylon, Persia, Jerusalem, remnant—are all spiritualized into end-
time metaphors. (See Revelation 18:10; 16:12; 3:12; 12:17)
They become illustrations that unlock much of the Old-Testament informa-
tion regarding the end of the world. The way Revelation uses these symbols
helps answer the troubling question, “How did an end-time verse or prophecy
end up in the context of an ancient conquest or disaster?” If you have never
asked such a question, you have probably not spent much time trying to under-
stand the minor prophets.
The summary of the story line in the end-time Babylon-Persian remnant
story is this: God’s special people are unfaithful to their trust and, largely, turn

49
Deeper

away from His covenant of Ten Commandments. As a judgment, God uses


Babylonian errors (“wine” in the type) to confuse and scatter their power. Then
many, even of God’s faithful people, are captive in Babylon (like “Daniel” in
the type). They witness there to the leading men of the world.
After a time, a small, faithful remnant are called back to join God’s orga-
nized people, Jerusalem in the type. They restore there the damage done by
the earlier assaults of Babylon. Then wave after growing wave of remnant
people return from their dispersion to thicken the ranks of God’s people under
the protection of the Kings of the East, symbols of the Godhead. (See Revela-
tion 16:12)

The Remnant and Prophets


God’s spokesmen focus on the remnant. In Bible history, when God’s
people are about to be taken captive, He sends prophets to tell them how to
behave in Babylon.
And as the time approaches for their gathering from captivity, prophets
arise to guide the formation of the remnant. They even assist them with their
reconstruction. (Jeremiah 25:1; 51:64; Ezra 5:2)
Here is an interesting truth: The prophets that served the gathering remnant
were given prophetic warnings for Egypt, Tyre, Chaldea, Moab, Assyria and
many other nations that were not even aware that the prophet existed, much
less that he had received a message addressed to them.
The nations were unwittingly dependant on members of the remnant to
communicate to them their heaven-sent instructions. Only occasionally, as in
the case of Jonah, did the prophet himself give the message.
When the remnant appears in Revelation 12, the Spirit of Prophecy aids
the returning remnant much as other prophets did in ancient times.
False prophets also proliferated during the periods of God’s special work.
Jeremiah and Ezekiel opposed them during the captivity. And Nehemiah met
false prophets while forwarding the reconstruction. (See Nehemiah 6:14) In
Revelation, these false prophets find their parallel in the miracle-working power
overtly supporting Babylon. (See Revelation 13:14; 16:13–14; 19:20; 20:10)
In short, God’s work of regathering brings a resurgence of prophetic activ-
ity—both true and false.

The Elect Remnant


The elect remnant correspond to the members of the “invisible church.”
Elijah could not perceive their existence and so felt all alone. (See Romans
11:2–3) They, rather than the visible church, are the ones that experience
2 Timothy 3:12—

50
An Invisible Remnant

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer
persecution.

The woman of Revelation 12 is, in fact, the invisible church. She is clothed
with the sun, dressed in pure white. (See verses 1–2) In other words, she is
righteous. That can’t be said of Laodicea, the visible church. She, by contrast,
is “naked” near the end of time while the Revelation 12 woman is beautifully
adorned.
And in Revelation the church is one woman, though she exists through
both the Jewish and Christian age, through the time of the Waldenses, the
Reformers, and then of the Advent movement.
The remnant is that “seed of the woman” that is at enmity with the “seed”
of the serpent. (See Genesis 3:15) That enmity is played out in the wrath of
Revelation 12:17. The Devil is angry, not at his servants and dupes, but at those
who, like Abel, will not surrender their faithfulness.
In a time of gathering, the elect and invisible remnant begins to approximate
the visible church. During a time of scattering that approximation vanishes.
Where are we, as a Seventh-day Adventist denomination? Are a large por-
tion of the remnant scattered? When will they be gathered? Are the world’s
Daniels in Babylon today? Will the world’s Ezras and Nehemiahs be coming
to Jerusalem soon? Will the wall be rebuilt in troublous times?
Much of the Old-Testament story information testifies that the answer is,
Yes, the large portion of the remnant is scattered, but they will soon return to
“Jerusalem”—and it will be in troublous times.
Then is it accurate to say that we, the Seventh-day Adventists, are the
remnant church?
In one important sense, it is very accurate. We are the Jerusalem to which
the remnant is being gathered slowly. The portion of the remnant that has been
gathered already is in the Seventh-day Adventist church. More precisely, the
remnant that keep the commandments of God and that have the testimony of
Jesus have been gathered to form the Seventh-day Adventist church.
And while we seem to be in a time of scattering, there will be another
gathering. Like Daniel, we must be faithful until that time. And like him,
may we live to see Babylon overthrown and the way of the Kings of the East
prepared.

The Remnant in Type and Antitype


Three times Scripture tells the first story of a remnant being blessed.
Good King Hezekiah had led a national revival in Judah. He burned idols and
desecrated their shrines.

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Deeper

His father had bought peace with Assyria by using gold from the temple.
Hezekiah, zealous for God’s glory, rebelled against the Assyrians, which had
already carried the idolatrous neighbor kingdom of Israel captive. But Heze-
kiah expected God to favor the reforming nation of Judah.
Then Assyria took several of the fenced cities of Judah, Hezekiah’s cities. The
king wavered. Assyria had demanded submission guaranteed by a rich present.
Hezekiah did like his father. The temple pillars that he had covered with silver, he
stripped. This, with other precious metal, was forwarded to the waiting king.
But the God who had blessed Hezekiah’s faithfulness did not bless his
weakness. The gift failed to repel the invaders, and the Assyrians besieged
Jerusalem. The extremity seemed to bring Hezekiah back to his senses. Mean-
while, outside the city gate, the Assyrian general blasphemed the God of
heaven.
Then Hezekiah appealed to the prophet Isaiah. He also spent personal time
on his knees acknowledging the victory of Assyria over false gods but claim-
ing the victory of the only true God over the proud oppressor. God answered
the personal praise and prayer session with prophecy:

The virgin the daughter of Zion hath despised thee [the


King of Assyria], and laughed thee to scorn. . . . Whom hast thou
reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted
thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy
One of Israel. By thy messengers thou hast reproached the Lord,
and hast said, With the multitude of my chariots I am come up. . . .
With the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of besieged
places. Hast thou not heard long ago how I have . . . [given power
to kings like you over other nations]? Therefore their inhabitants
were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded. . . . But
I know . . . thy rage against me. Because thy rage against me and
thy tumult is come up into mine ears, therefore I will put my hook
in thy nose . . . and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou
camest. (2 Kings 19:21–28; see also Isaiah 37:22–29)

Assyria and Babylon prefigure the great apostasy featured in the Bible’s
apocalypse. In this prophecy of Isaiah, God’s newly reformed nation of Judah
is represented as speaking by its “virgin” daughter. (See Jeremiah 31:4 for a
similar usage.) Think of it. The nation under Hezekiah, so recently in apos-
tasy, is now called a “virgin.” This is a gospel prophecy of how God looks at
His struggling people.
And this usage informs our understanding of Revelation 14, where the
144,000 are found to be virgins that are the “seed” of the woman (Revelation
12:17) that have despised the power of Babylon.

52
An Invisible Remnant

God ordained that the scattering of the bulk of His people would be fol-
lowed by the gathering of only a few converted ones. Moses had long before
outlined the process:

And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon
thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and
thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the
Lord thy God hath driven thee, and shalt return unto the Lord thy
God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee
this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all
thy soul; that then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and
have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from
all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee. If
any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from
thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will
he fetch thee: and the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land
which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will
do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the Lord
thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to
love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul,
that thou mayest live. And the Lord thy God will put all these
curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which
persecuted thee. And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the
Lord, and do all his commandments which I command thee this
day. (Deuteronomy 30:1–8)

The prosperity of the remnant, under Hezekiah, hinged on their repentance


and a revival of obedience to God. The Bible notes that participation in the
sanctuary service was the mainspring of that revival. (See 2 Chronicles 30)
The king, on his part, revived the sanctuary services. God, on His part,
revived the hearts of the remnant as prophesied in the words, “the Lord thy
God will circumcise thine heart . . . to love the Lord thy God with all thine
heart, and with all thine soul, that thou mayest live.”
Hezekiah’s efforts to restore the temple were accomplished by the “rem-
nant” under his grandson. (See 2 Chronicles 34:9) Further apostasy reversed
the gathering back to a prophesied scattering of those that remained. (See
2 Kings 21:14–15) And this prophecy was soon fulfilled. (See 2 Kings 25:11)
Judah was nearly annihilated as a national body. So general was the cap-
tivity under Assyria that Isaiah wrote:

Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant,
we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto
Gomorrah. (Isaiah 1:9)

53
Deeper

Besides the very few left behind, a “remnant” would return from
captivity:

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel,
and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again
stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the Lord, the
Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, even the
remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. For though thy people
Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return.
(Isaiah 10:20–22)

And though the people of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a


remnant of them shall be saved. (Isaiah 10:22, English Translation
of the Septuagint)

Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of


the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be
saved. (Romans 9:27)

Pay Close Attention—The Remnant Is Saved


Note that Isaiah’s “return” from captivity is translated “be saved” in the
Septuagint of the same passage. And so it is in Paul’s use of this same passage.
There, in Romans 9:27, the process of captivity and remnant’s return is spiri-
tualized. Following Paul’s use of Isaiah 10 to its logical conclusion, Assyria
becomes, with Babylon, a type of institutionalized error.
This false system captures “nations” by making them “drink” of her wine.
Some escape. Men who are converted from the “error” of their ways are souls
“saved” from death. James 5:19–20. They are the remnant elected by grace.
In other words, the “elect” remnant are those who have been “chosen” by
God’s foreknowledge for their submission to the Spirit’s work of sanctification
and for their belief in the truth. (See 2 Thessalonians 2:13)
God has not “cast away His people.” He “foreknew” a remnant chosen
by His grace for their faith. Though unknown to each other, they are known
to Him. From Elijah’s day to ours, this remnant has existed. It was stronger
in his day than he expected by a factor of 7,000. It is, accordingly, stronger in
ours. (See Romans 11:1–5)
When a man is saved by faith, he is part of the “remnant” that is to be
gathered. He is part of the “Israel” that “obtained” the sought-for prize. (See
verses 6–7)

54
An Invisible Remnant

The Remnant Responds to Jesus


Beginning with these prophecies in Isaiah 1 and 10, the Bible’s use of
“remnant” enters into prophecies that are shown by New-Testament writers
to speak of the Christian age.
The Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 11–12, for example, foretells the work
of Jesus under the figures of a rod, a branch, and a root of Jesse. There Jesus is
filled with the Spirit (11:2) and is equipped to judge hearts (11:3). He executes
the wicked with the breath of His mouth (11:4) while justifying the defenseless.
He is clothed for war with righteousness and faithfulness (11:5).
He will reorder creation so that animals of prey become harmless vegetar-
ians (11:6–8) in His “holy mountain.” This is the result of “the earth” being
“full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (11:9). In nine
verses the entire period from Christ’s baptism to the restoration of Eden-like
scenes is captured.
“And in that day”—in the day when Jesus was anointed to begin His
work—He became an “ensign” offering “glorious” “rest” to trusting “Gen-
tiles” (11:10). This is the passage that Paul quotes as evidence that Christianity
should embrace non-Jews. (See Romans 15:12)
And it is a passage that establishes the spiritual nature of the second gath-
ering of the remnant. The “ensign” that Jesus becomes is a beacon for recov-
ering the remnant that have been scattered to the great nations of the world.
As the “outcasts” pour in from “the nations” in the four quarters of the earth,
old rivalries within the church vanish with their causes.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his
hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people,
which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Path-
ros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from
Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an
ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and
gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the
earth. The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries
of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah
shall not vex Ephraim. (Isaiah 11:11–13)

God’s people unite in a sweeping campaign that subjects their enemies


(11:14). God blesses their efforts to such an extent that the Egyptian language
becomes extinct (11:15). A supernatural highway is established for those leav-
ing Assyrian captivity to join the “remnant.” They will break forth in songs
of deliverance that have become familiar to many already.

. See Review and Herald, March 14, 1878, the twelfth item in the section Testimony Tidbits.
55
Deeper

And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people,


which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day
that he came up out of the land of Egypt.
And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee:
though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and
thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust,
and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my
song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye
draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye
say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among
the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the
Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the
earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the
Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee. (Isaiah 11:16–12:6)

In summary, the remnant people are the invisible church. They are the few
members of the visible church that are “saved.” Bible prophecies describe our
time under the figure of a scattering and subsequent gathering.

Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of


the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be
saved: for he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteous-
ness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us
a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomor-
rha. (Romans 9:27–29)

The Scattering of the False Shepherds and Gathering Around Jesus


If a timeline were to be labeled with the phases of the final scattering-gather-
ing process, the gathering of the faithful would follow the scattering of the false
shepherds that have themselves been scattering the flock. These are removed and
replaced by faithful pastors prior to God’s promised effort to gather the faithful.
This truth is revealed in the first passage to use the word “remnant” in
a clearly apocalyptic setting, Jeremiah 23. There God promises to bring the
scattered believers back into the true fold. With this is His promise to hire
faithful shepherds and to remove hirelings. In its wording the promise is very
similar to the prophecy to Hezekiah.

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of
my pasture! saith the Lord. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of
Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered
my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold,
I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord. And

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An Invisible Remnant

I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither


I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and
they shall be fruitful and increase. (Jeremiah 23:1–3)

The raising of true shepherds (verse 4) precedes the conclusion of the


gathering. Then the wicked are destroyed and God is glorified by a gathering
far more significant than the gathering of the Israelites from Egypt. (Verses
5–8) Jesus leads this gathering as the Good Shepherd, breaking a way through
obstacles that inhibit the sheep. (See Micah 2:10–13) The weak and suffer-
ing people will be formed by God into a “remnant” for Himself. To these our
lovely Lord will restore the “first dominion.” The kingdom “under the whole
heaven” is “given to the people of the saints of the most High.” Micah 4:7–8;
Daniel 7:27.
What is it that arouses true shepherds to take their positions? In the chapter
that introduces the new covenant, Jeremiah 31, we find the answer. The gath-
ering movement begins with “watchmen” who respond to God’s love. God’s
love is an ensign that gathers men.

The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have
loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness
have I drawn thee. (Jeremiah 31:3)

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto
me. (John 12:32)

The aroused watchmen intercede with God, saying, “Save thy people,
the remnant.” Jeremiah 31:7. The intercession is followed by God’s action.
He moves the scattered remnant to begin to assemble as a collection of weak
souls that make a “great company.” Jeremiah 31:8.
In God’s providence, that spiritual “birthright” blessing of the patriarchs
followed consecration rather than birth order. It passed from Abraham to
Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Ephraim (Jeremiah 31:9), without ever once follow-
ing the prescribed pattern of first-born, bypassing Ishmael, Esau, Judah, and
Manasseh. Any child could, if he would, be associated by faith with the only
begotten Son of God and be spared accordingly.

And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day
when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth
his own son that serveth him. (Malachi 3:17)

God, like no other, pardons iniquity and passes by the remnant’s transgres-
sion. He delights in mercy; He will “turn again” from retaining His anger. He
57
Deeper

“will subdue our iniquities” and cast away our sins. He will fulfill His ancient
promises of truth and mercy to Jacob and Abraham. (See Micah 7:18–20) Then
it is that their spiritual descendants inherit the land of promise.
Micah explains that the captivity would not be gathered until after the
cross. The Messiah there became “the peace.” “Then the remnant of his breth-
ren shall return” to Israel from their scattered positions. (See Micah 5:2–5)
The preciousness of these promises that God will spare us as His own son,
that He pardons iniquity like no other, that He will subdue our iniquities, that Jesus
will be our peace, does not excel that hidden promise in the phrase “his brethren.”
(Malachi 3; Micah 7, 5) The gathered ones are claimed by Jesus as His family.
Though scattered in location they are gathered in spirit and are a victorious
body. (Micah 5:2–8) Especially will Jesus be a defense when the Babylonian
power “treads” within our border. (Micah 5:6) The meaning of this passage
must be related to 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Daniel 11:45; Ezekiel 8.

Gathering to Build
When God undertook to gather His faithful from the Babylonian captivity,
He gathered them by giving them a mission. They were to build up the walls
and restore the worship services of the broken city of Jerusalem. Building up
the waste places became an illustration of the work entrusted to God’s people
in the last-day gathering.
They are to “build the old waste places” and “raise up the foundations of
many generations,” and those who obey will be called, “The repairer of the
breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” (Isaiah 58:12) The restoration of
the Sabbath is identified as one of the restoration projects to be undertaken.
(See Isaiah 58:13)
In the story (see Zechariah 8:4–15), God promised the builders that, as
they had begun to build with strength, He would change His relation to them
from inciting differences to prospering their work and reputation. This would
be no great difficulty for Him. The implications for us and for the resolution
to our internal differences are profound.
The gathering to build the temple suffered a setback of discouragement.
In the last day of the last feast of the Jewish year, the day that prefigured our
arrival into heaven, a message came to the church that had gathered to help
rebuild the temple. Those who had returned were the “residue” (remnant) of
the people. The eldest of them had seen the splendor of Solomon’s temple.
(See Haggai 2:2–9)
It seemed to these older people that the work of God was regressing even
while it was progressing. The ambitions of the current architects did not even
equal the achievements of the past, much less enlarge on them.

58
An Invisible Remnant

God sent a message of comfort to these men. The temple under construc-
tion would receive the Messiah. They were to build with confidence, for “I
am with you, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Haggai 2:4)
The story of the rebuilding parallels the work of the church today, espe-
cially for those workers who realize the extent to which we have fallen as a
people. These might be surprised at the up-beat message. And is the passage
not an end-time passage? God promises to “shake the heavens, and the earth,
and the sea, and the dry land” prior to the coming of the Messiah and to fill
the temple now under construction with “glory.” (See verses 6–7) While it
was literally so in the temple they were literally building, the “shaking” in this
passage reminds us of that in the very end in Hebrews 12:26–27.
The building up of Jerusalem could have given way to a tragic scattering. It
did not happen in Ezra’s day, but he did not presume that it could not happen.

Should we again break thy commandments, and join in affin-


ity with the people of these abominations? wouldest not thou be
angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be
no remnant nor escaping? (Ezra 9:14)

The graciousness of God to the “remnant” is presented as being granted


on conditions, especially to those that claim it as a certainty for themselves.
This is the message to Adventists today, those “who desire the Day of the
Lord.” See Amos 5:10–20.

The Remnant Doubts the Prophet and Seeks Affinity with Egypt
Almost one eighth of the uses of “remnant” in Scripture are found in the
story of Gedaliah and Johanan. (See Jeremiah 39:9–44:28) The “remnant”
was taken captive to Babylon by a general, except for a free “remnant” that
was left in Judah under Gedaliah. The captive remnant included Daniel. The
free remnant included Jeremiah.
In the story of these five chapters, Johanan discovered a threat on Geda-
liah’s life and offered to privately execute the primary conspirator. Johanan
felt that if Gedaliah was murdered by the conspirator, the remaining ones
would be scattered, and “the remnant in Judah” would perish. (See Jeremiah
39:9; 40:11; 40:15)
Gedaliah refused Johanan’s offer and so was later slain by the conspira-
tor (Ishmael). Then Johanan went into action. His plan to save the remnant
involved three steps, namely: (1) win the allegiance of Jews now following
the assassin Ishmael; (2) win the support of the prophet Jeremiah; and (3) win
the support of Egypt as an ally against Babylon.

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Deeper

The first point was successful. The second appeared pious. Johanan’s group
came to Jeremiah to request guidance and prayer. (See Jeremiah 41:16; 42:2)
The remnant promised solemnly to do whatever God would show through
Jeremiah. (See Jeremiah 42:3–6) Ten days later Jeremiah had a message.
God promised to build and plant the remnant right where they were—on
condition that they would stay there, trust Him, and not fear the king of Baby-
lon. God promised to give them mercy in the king’s sight and, in this way, to
deliver them from him. But the prophecy also warned that seeking Egypt’s
friendship would be a lethal mistake.
The first step to Egypt, Jeremiah explained, would be a step of rebellion
against God’s counsel. They would die in Egypt, for God’s fierce anger would
be poured out there. (See Jeremiah 42:7–17) As Jeremiah closed his plea against
the proposed trip of the “remnant,” God revealed to Jeremiah that their promise
to “obey” whatever God would say was dishonest.
Thus failed the second of Johanan’s points. When the prophet could not be
influenced, Johanan leveled the charge of influence against the prophet. He
ascribed the content of Jeremiah’s message to Jeremiah’s secretary, Baruch.
He took “all the remnant of Judah” that had returned “from all nations” and
made plans to travel. (See Jeremiah 43:1–5)
The story, told in uncharacteristic detail in the Scripture, seems uncan-
nily parallel to our time. The church, situated between Babylonian error and
Egyptian worldliness, has its Johannans. These are gifted men, professedly
going for wisdom to the Spirit of Prophecy but leveling a charge of influence
against the testimonies that rebuke their ways. The fate of these and their fol-
lowers is ominous in the type.
Their trip to Egypt well represented the results of the shaking that is cur-
rently underway.

The Shaking of the Remnant in Ezekiel 9–14


The familiar and fateful sealing-slaughtering scene of Ezekiel 9, which
will follow the sealing, will be fearful for these church members. The prophet
that saw the scene fell on his face and “cried, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt
thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jeru-
salem?” (Ezekiel 9:8)
In the fascinating prophecy of Ezekiel 11–12, the prophet mourns the death
of Pelatiah as an omen of the destruction, the “full end” of the remnant. (See
Ezekiel 11:13) This question, “Will you destroy all?” was asked again and
answered later in the negative.

Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought


forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto
60
An Invisible Remnant

you, and ye shall see their way and their doings: and ye shall be
comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem,
even concerning all that I have brought upon it. (Ezekiel 14:22)

Few passages so clearly show as do these chapters of Ezekiel that char-


acter determines destiny and that the remnant will be reduced to a pure and
faithful body by the bloody phase of the shaking, the phase in which “all the
sinners of my people” who have a false assurance will be killed. The comfort
in these passages is that the shaking will not remove even the “least grain”
from the church. The shaking removes false Christians, not weak ones. (See
Amos 9:9–13)

Summary
So many passages throw light on end-time events. When we understand
the Biblical theme of scattering and regathering, Old-Testament stories and
passages come alive with meaning.
We should know what is written there. Since 1844 we have already been
through at least one cycle of gathering and scattering. The evidence is that we
need another gathering. Let us do our part to bring it about.

The Lord showed me that He had stretched out His hand the
second time to recover the remnant of His people, and that efforts
must be redoubled in this gathering time. In the scattering, Israel
was smitten and torn, but now in the gathering time God will heal
and bind up His people. In the scattering, efforts made to spread
the truth had but little effect, accomplished but little or nothing;
but in the gathering, when God has set His hand to gather His
people, efforts to spread the truth will have their designed effect.
All should be united and zealous in the work. I saw that it was
wrong for any to refer to the scattering for examples to govern us
now in the gathering; for if God should do no more for us now than
He did then, Israel would never be gathered. . . .
The view that the Lord “had stretched out His hand the second
time to recover the remnant of His people,” on page 74, refers only
to the union and strength once existing among those looking for
Christ, and to the fact that He had begun to unite and to raise up
His people again. (Early Writings, pp. 74, 86)

61
Section II

Questions From Those that Are Without

I
am often invited to teach church history as a guest lecturer. But I will let
you in on what is not much of a secret: I don’t know much about church
history.
Not that I have no interest. I suppose I have read more than 15,000 pages
on the topic. And I have repeatedly interviewed several persons that seem
like veritable treasure-stores of knowledge on how things have come to be
the way they are.
Yet the field of history is far too broad to be mastered by me. I won’t give it my
full attention. I won’t stop teaching Bible to take it up uniquely even for a year.
And my memory isn’t very accurate for stories. The more I tell them, the
more useful they seem to become, and I am afraid that they might be morph-
ing as I tell them.
So I prefer to teach Bible and to answer Bible questions.
And there is another reason that I prefer to answer those questions. I con-
cluded when I was but a teenager that, statistically, the chances were slim that
I had been raised in the church that had the most truth.
Since that time, I have been asking myself the same kinds of questions
that non-believers and other believers would ask. I am searching as they are
searching. And this section is a collection of answers that I have found in my
own search.
Many “outside” fault our church over the things we write and say about
“atonement.” We, they think, belittle Christ’s sacrifice by saying that atone-
ment is going on today. And frankly, I can see where they are coming from.
The first chapter shows how right they are but without undermining how right
we have been.
But the next chapter is not less important. The “mark of the beast” is the
inanimate villain of four entire chapters (13–16) of Revelation. And the “seal
of God” is the mark that characterizes God’s servants in Revelation 7.
In the primary story line in that prophetic book, the mark and the seal
separate the lost from the saved, and in Revelation 13 the mark is made a test
62
Questions from Those that are Without

of the entire world. Could you explain this Bible topic to your neighbors?
Could they verify what you shared with them without wearing out the library
secretary that handles inter-library loans?
This chapter presents more Bible data on this topic than any document that
I have ever found—enough, I think, to settle the issue from the Bible alone.
I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I am writing this sentence while listen-
ing to a young person preach an evangelistic sermon on the gift of prophecy.
She has just told a large audience that true prophets are always right except
when they give “conditional prophecies.” She is doing a great job. I won’t raise
my hand and trouble her.
But if, in a more appropriate setting, I would ask her, “How do we know
which prophecies are conditional and which are not?” And how can we test a
prophet if we say that all his failed predictions were only conditional?
I address this question in conjunction with another one. Have you ever
been perplexed by Romans 9? That is the chapter that goes on and on about
predestination and that is full of Old-Testament illustrations of the doctrine. My
aim is that after you read my chapter that discusses Romans 9, it will trouble
you no longer, and you will have a reliable method for telling a conditional
prophecy from one that is not at all conditional.
To learn how to answer questions from those that are without is to escape
being a statistic. Whether or not you were born into the right church, you can
end up in it. Discover whether or not you are in the church that has the most
truth.

63
Chapter Five
The Day of Cleansing

I
realized months ago that though I had been using the word “atonement”
for twenty years, I would be at a loss if I was asked to give a concise defi-
nition. Was atonement forgiveness? Is atonement the same as sacrifice?
Is mediation the same as atonement?
We live in the Day of Atonement. What does that mean? Is atonement the
same as judgment?
While searching Scriptures, I learned much about truth and duty. And now
I know what “atonement” means for those living in the Day of Atonement.
First, many Adventists have entered into argument about the timing of
the atonement. Did it occur at the cross? Is it going on now? And the latter
question, if answered in the affirmative, seems to imply that the cross was
somehow incomplete. Hence the strong feelings on this topic.
So we will start with the issue of timing in our study of atonement.

Timing: Atonement Happened Year Round


The Jewish year was a prophecy of redemption history. Early in the year,
the Passover was killed, representing the death of Jesus. Pentecost occurred
fifty days later as a figure of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In the seventh
month, representing the end of time, there was a feast of trumpets that repre-
sented a warning of coming judgment. Then came the Day of Atonement.
But atonement was made long before the Day of Atonement. It occurred,
for example, on both the Passover and the Feast of Trumpets. (See Numbers
28:22; 29:5)
At the cross, Jesus made “reconciliation for iniquity.” The word “reconcili-
ation” in Daniel 9:27 is the same translated “atonement” elsewhere in the Old
Testament. And it is this atonement to which Romans 5:11 refers. Atonement was
made at the cross. And as Romans 5:11 is the only New-Testament verse to use
the word “atonement,” a New-Testament atonement was made by the sacrifice of
the life of Jesus. (The word translated “atonement in Romans 5:11 is elsewhere
translated “reconciliation.”) That sacrifice was complete and lacked nothing.

64
The Day of Cleansing

But let us get back to the Old Testament, where atonement is the subject
of many prophetic statements.

Who Needed Atonement, and When?


Atonement was made for sins whenever men confessed them and offered
a sin offering. Leviticus 4 and 5 emphasize that even unknown sins require
an atonement. When men became aware of their past wrongs, they were, and
are still, to confess and repent.
And atonement was made for persons in connection with their cleans-
ing from defilement. Lepers needed atonement. Persons with an open wound
needed an atonement. Even buildings corrupted by fungal infections needed
an atonement in connection with their cleansing.
But though atonement occurred all through the Jewish year, there was a
focal point of atonement in the seventh month. The Day of Atonement differed
markedly from the daily atonement business in three ways:
1. Atonement was made on the Day of Atonement for unknown sins that
had never been discovered—and hence, that had never been confessed,
had never been objects of repentance;
2. Atonement was made for the altar and for the sanctuary itself; and
3. A non-sacrificial atonement was made with the scapegoat.

When we have established the meaning of “atonement,” we will return to


these three elements and to their meaning in our time.

Agents of Atonement
Atonement, in the Bible, is made with blood. That is, in fact, part of the
reason given by God for the prohibition against eating blood:

For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to
you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the
blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. (Leviticus 17:11)

Atonement may be made sacrificially with the gift of blood mentioned in


Leviticus 17:11.
It may also be made by the death of the sinner for his own guilt.
Such non-sacrificial atonement is mentioned in Scripture. Phinehas exe-
cuted willful sinners, leading out in a purging of the camp, and this zeal for
God “made an atonement for the children of Israel.”

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Deeper

And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the cov-
enant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his
God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel. (Numbers
25:13)

But the most solemn reference to this kind of “atonement” is yet future.
The Hebrew word kaphar (“atone”) is rendered as “cleansed” in Numbers
35:33 and as “purged” in Isaiah 22:14. The latter passage shows that the final
death of the wicked will be a kind of “atonement.”

. . . The land cannot be cleansed [kaphar] of the blood that is shed


therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. (Numbers 35:33)

And it was revealed in mine ears by the Lord of hosts, Surely


this iniquity shall not be purged [kaphar] from you till ye die, saith
the Lord God of hosts. (Isaiah 22:14)

Day of Cleansing
This latter atonement will be made when the wicked are destroyed. The
two verses just quoted give us a hint at the definition of “atonement.” It is a
cleansing process, removing weaknesses and imperfections. It comes from
the idea of using pitch to make a vessel seaworthy.
Its connection with cleansing can be shown from the two verses above. But
it is even easier to simply observe the connection of atonement with cleans-
ing. Consider Leviticus 14 alone, where lepers and infected homes receive
“atonement”:

. . . he shall pour [oil] upon the head of him that is to be cleansed:
and the priest shall make an atonement for him. . . . (Verse 18)

And the priest shall offer the sin offering, and make an atone-
ment for him that is to be cleansed from his uncleanness; . . . (Verse
19)

. . . and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and he
shall be clean. (Verse 20)

. . . he shall put [oil] upon the head of him that is to be cleansed,
to make an atonement for him before the Lord. (Verse 29)

. . . the priest shall make an atonement for him that is to be


cleansed . . . (Verse 31)

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The Day of Cleansing

But he shall . . . make an atonement for the house: and it shall
be clean. (Verse 53)

And in relation to the altar we find the same idea—that atonement is a


cleansing process:

And thou shalt offer . . . a sin offering for atonement: and thou
shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it,
and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it. (Exodus 29:36)

And thou shalt take of the blood thereof, and put it on the
four horns of it, and on the four corners of the settle, and upon the
border round about: thus shalt thou cleanse and purge [Literally, make
atonement for]
it. (Ezekiel 43:20)

And on the great Day of Atonement we find that the people were to be
“cleansed” so that they might be “clean” before the Lord.

For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you,
to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the
Lord. (Leviticus 16:30)

And as if this evidence were not sufficient, you could arrive at the meaning
of atonement by thinking about the needs of the sanctuary. Does the sanctu-
ary need to be forgiven? Is it guilty? Obviously the answer is, “No.” But it is
defiled. And what does it need? It needs to be “cleansed.” (See Daniel 8:14)
Sin separates men from God. Cleansing reconciles them. And so atone-
ment is a cleansing process that reconciles men to God. Tyndale coined the
word from “at one ment.” So if we put together the thoughts which we have
found thus far, we get the following:
The cross was an act of cleansing sinners. It was an atonement. Since that
time, whenever men would confess and forsake their sins, Jesus would be
faithful to forgive and cleanse them. He has been making atonement.
But in the end time in which we are living, Jesus is doing a special work
of cleansing. Many unknown sins are being forgiven during this time, sins
that were never confessed because never known.

But into the second went the high priest alone once every
year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the
errors [ignorant acts] of the people. (Hebrews 9:7)

And the sanctuary is being “cleansed” from its defilement.

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Deeper

End-Time Cleansing
When are deceased men forgiven for their unknown sins? Manifestly,
this happens when their names come up in the judgment. This is when Jesus
confesses them before the Father and before the angels. This is when their
sins are blotted from the books of record. This is when they are given “white
robes.” (See Revelation 3:5)
During this same time period of the judgment, there is another work of
cleansing that Hebrews calls the cleansing (purging) of the conscience. (See
Hebrews 9:9; 9:14; 10:2; 10:22) According to the logic of chapter 10, the yearly
process of sacrifices that finished with the Day of Atonement was a figure of
cleansing the character and life of the people.
The idea is that if the symbols had been as effective as the reality would
be, the process would only have been completed once. After that, the worship-
pers would have had no more “conscience of sins.” (See Hebrews 10:2)
But as the symbols were just symbols, every year was another repetition
of the ceremonies.
There will not, however, be another repetition of this world’s history. And
we would do well to ask what kind of cleansing is going on during the end of
the earth’s history.
Jesus is doing the work. And just as there was an atonement made for the
priestly families on the Day of Atonement, so in the end of the earth’s history
there is a special cleansing of the same body:

And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall


purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that
they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. (Mala-
chi 3:3)

It is apparent that the object of this cleansing process is holiness in the lives
of the priests. This kind of object requires some level of cooperation on the
part of the people. And this was also prefigured in the Day of Atonement.
The people were to have an “holy convocation,” “afflict” their souls, make
offerings, and do no work because it was a day of “of atonement, to make an
atonement for you before the Lord your God.” Leviticus 23:27–28.
The people were to fast as outlined in Isaiah 58. They were to break every
yoke and to put away besetting sins, such as “speaking vanity” and accusing
. The metaphor of a robe is used more than one way in the New Testament. In the earlier chap-
ter on Laodicea we observed that church members should today be wearing “white raiment.”
That robe represents the character of Christ that should adorn believers. In Revelation 3:5
and other similar passages the metaphor of a robe is used to illustrate the final blotting out of
sins. This double-use of a metaphor is common in Scripture. Lions, salt, water, leaven, wine,
and other common items are used to illustrate more than one idea in the Bible.
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The Day of Cleansing

others. Isaiah 58:9. They were to deny themselves for the good of others. And
they were to give the Sabbath its proper honor.

Cleansing By Blood
This purification of their lives was the cleansing of the conscience. Someone
might ask, “In what sense is this kind of cleansing accomplished by blood?”
There are several true answers to this question. But first, let’s establish
that Christ’s blood does indeed cleanse from sin.
Jesus uses His own blood. What does He do with it?

. . . Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his
own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his
Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
(Revelation 1:5–6)

And we are to use His blood. What are we to do with it?

And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me,
These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed
their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev-
elation 7:14)

From what does the blood wash us? Not only from guilt, but also from
our bad behavior.

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corrupt-


ible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation [behavior]
received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious
blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
(1 Peter 1:18–19)

In summary, our minds are cleaned. This cleaning of our minds is a coop-
erative work. Jesus sits as a purifier. We wash our robes in His blood. This
same idea—that the blood cleans us when we cooperate with the process—is
the subject of 1 John 1:7, 9.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellow-


ship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleans-
eth us from all sin. . . . If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The cleaning of our minds is not uniquely an end-time process. Men have
been cleansed at all times of earth’s history. But the end of time is a special
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Deeper

time for the church to focus on this work. It is the time when, according to
the logic of Hebrews 10, the work will be finished.
What kind of cleansing could benefit the holy precincts of the heavenly tem-
ple? There, we learn from the types, is a record of sin. There, we learn from New
Testament revelations, are books of record. It is these books that are cleansed.
And this cleansing of the books is also the atonement for unknown sins.
When the judgment reveals that a man has been faithful, he is forgiven for
the unknown sins that never plagued his conscience. These sins of ignorance,
with those sins he has confessed, are blotted from the record.
This leaves only one step in the cleansing of the universe from sin. The
righteous have been cleansed. Their records have been cleared. Remaining in
the universe are impenitent men and angels.
These receive the non-sacrificial cleansing. They are purged from their sins
by their burning in the lake of fire. Satan, who burns there longer than others, is
represented by the scapegoat. The end of his existence is the last step in the eradi-
cation of sin from the universe and marks the end of the great day of cleansing.

The Timing and Completeness of Atonement


Words often change in meaning over time. This has happened with “atone-
ment.” Now it is used by religious persons as a synonym for reconciliation or
sacrificial payment. And this may have come to be because this is how it is
used in its one New-Testament occurrence, Romans 5:11.
But atonement is an Old-Testament idea. It occurs 65 times in Leviticus,
Exodus, and Numbers and only five times elsewhere in the Bible.
When one realizes that atonement is a restoring/cleansing process, it
becomes apparent that it cannot be fixed at a point in time. When we say, for
example, that Friday is a special day of cleaning, we do not mean to preclude
dishwashing on Monday. Nor do we mean to belittle the purchase of cleaning
supplies on Sunday.
When are men cleansed? Their cleansing is a two-part process. One part
was completed at the cross. This part invites their participation in a two-
way transaction. Jesus bore our sins to make it possible for us to have His
righteousness.
Not everyone accepts part two of the transaction.
For them, God’s grace is received in “vain.” The gift at Calvary long ago
fails to move them in their “day of salvation”—the here and “now.”

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that
we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that
ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard

70
The Day of Cleansing

thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured


thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of
salvation.) (2 Corinthians 5:21–6:2)

The grace showered on us has, as an object, our restoration. It is intended


to make us active temples through which God can live and move. Where it
fails of achieving this object it is “in vain.”

But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which
was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abun-
dantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with
me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)

What Adventists discovered was that the time when the books “were
opened” in Daniel 7 was the judgment where sins were blotted from the record.
The books are purged in the judgment. Names of defeated persons are blot-
ted from the book of life.
And sins are blotted from the records of the vindicated ones as Jesus con-
fesses their names before the Father and the elect angels. They receive “white
robes”—a symbol of the fact that they have indeed been made righteous.
Those who have already died depending on Christ are represented as
being “under the altar” of incense. (See Revelation 6:9) There Christ has
interceded for them, mixing His holiness with their petitions. (See Revela-
tion 8:3) (We recall that when Aaron interceded for sinners, his intercession
was an “atonement.” See Numbers 16:46–47.) And while this purging process
proceeds on high, saints on earth are washing their robes in the blood of the
Lamb. They are cleaning up their lives in view of the ongoing judgment and
soon-coming end.
So if a man says that the atonement was completed at the cross, we don’t
need to argue with him. He means, by atonement, a sacrificial payment. This
was completed at the cross.
But neither does he have the Old-Testament idea of atonement in mind.
And we should. We live in the Day of Cleansing. In our day Isaiah 6:7 will be
fulfilled. Our “iniquity” will be “taken away” and our “sin purged kaphar.”
Blood is the agent of this purging, as we have already seen. Christ’s sac-
rifice shows God’s mercy. It moves men to repentance. This mercy is the
beginning of the cleansing process and also the means of it.

By mercy and truth iniquity is purged kaphar: and by the fear of


the Lord men depart from evil. (Proverbs 16:6)

. The antithesis of “overcomers.”


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Deeper

. . . the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? (Romans


2:4)

Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name:
and deliver us, and purge away kaphar our sins, for thy name’s sake.
(Psalm 79:9; see also Psalm 65:3)

By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged kaphar;


and this is all the fruit to take away his sin. . . .  (Isaiah 27:9)

The Septuagint uses a version of hilaskomai (see Strong’s Greek #2433)


for “atonement.” This word is used only twice in the New Testament. The
publican that beats his breast also prays saying, “God be merciful hilaskomai to
me a sinner.” (Luke 18:13) Jesus said about him that he went down to his home
“justified.” In other words, the sinner asked for the equivalent to an Old-Testa-
ment atonement, and he received a New-Testament justification.
The second use refers to Christ’s ministry as our priest. He was made
like me so that he could be a “merciful and faithful high priest” “to make
reconciliation hilaskomai for the sins of the people.” As He became a priest at His
ascension, as it is from there that “he is able to succor them that are tempted,”
we know that this atonement is made from heaven.

For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took
on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved
him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merci-
ful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make
reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself
hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are
tempted. (Hebrews 2:16–18)

The Day of Cleansing Revisited


The three rites that were unique to the Day of Atonement were atone-
ment for yet-unknown sin, the cleansing of the temple, and the scapegoat
atonement.
The altar was cleansed by a “sin offering.” (Exodus 30:10) This shows, as
can be seen several other ways, that the sanctuary is being cleansed from the
sins of the people. (See Leviticus 16:16, 20, 33) The symbol well represents
the fact that when sins are blotted from the record in our day, it is by virtue
of the sacrifice made long before our day.

. Currently I don’t understand the context of this passage well. Hence the partial quote of the
verse.
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The Day of Cleansing

The cleansing for unknown sins shows how persons can be admitted into
heaven despite unconfessed sins on their record—if those sins had never come
to their attention.
And the atonement made by Phinehas that cleansed the camp by killing
the rebels shows how the end of the scapegoat rites can be called an atonement.
The camp is cleansed when the guilty goat is no longer there.
While justice is served by blaming the devil for the sins which tortured
Jesus, the justice is not the atonement. It is nearly a coincidence that the same
devil-death that satisfies justice also cleans up the universe by bringing an end
to sin’s existence. In the Day of Atonement the sending away of the scapegoat
did not occur until the completion of the atonement for the sanctuary. (See
Leviticus 16:20, 24)
Perhaps a fourth unique element was the completeness of the atonement
made on the Day of Atonement. Atonement was made for “all their sins once
a year.” (Leviticus 16:34)

Conclusion
Now is our special time of cleansing. Now, as the blood is cleansing me,
it is also making me into a priest. And Jesus is cleansing the Levites at this
very time. I live in the time of earth’s history set aside for cleansing. Then to
me, more than to my ancient ancestors, the following applies:

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse


your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
(James 4:8)

73
Chapter Six
More on the Mark and Much on the Seal

I
n our little church plant in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, we had a collection
of regular attendees. They were not Adventists. But they had heard most
of what Adventists teach, were glad they were learning, and wanted to
know more.
We thought the time was ripe to hold an evangelistic campaign. Our con-
tacts attended well.
But we lost them over the mark of the beast.
No, they didn’t stop attending. In fact, they came back each night after that.
But we lost them in terms of attitude. The contrast between the other studies
and the one on the mark was plain: The other studies were Bible studies. This
one had been a history lecture with several quotes from Catholic sources that
made the point that the change of Sabbath to Sunday was the mark of their
authority. The Scripture passages used, if taken alone, would not have proved
anything like that to anyone.
But quoting history is not a foolproof way to make a point. Consistency is
a jewel, and if we were to be thoroughly consistent, we would have to admit
that the Catholic church claims to have changed, not only the Sabbath, but also
the various Jewish feasts. And authoritative Catholic writers have opined that
the doctrine of the Trinity is the basis of all Catholic teaching.
Though in this chapter I do not intend to address either feast-day keeping
or anti-trinitarian movements, I do intend to make a point: history is limited
in its usefulness.
Now here is the good news: God does not make major tests for the world
over issues that are obscure in the Scriptures. If the world will be tested over
the mark of the beast, then common fourth-grade students ought to be able to
understand the arguments involved.
And those arguments ought to be Biblical.
I think they are.
The following is a Bible study in the form of a dialogue between two
men.

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More on the Mark and Much on the Seal

It will be most useful to the reader who does not treat it as a story but rather
as an intense fact-filled lecture to an inquiring student. The conversation may
move too fast for you. Don’t just hold on and keep reading. No, stop, go back,
use your Bible. When you can follow understandingly, go forward.
I am using this form as the closest to how I imagine these arguments would
sound if challenged by a sincere searcher for truth.

—————

Roger: “I’m worried, Matt, The Mark of the Beast


about receiving the mark
of the beast. What do you Those with the Mark:
think it represents?”  Worship the beast [Rev.
13:15]
Matt: “one thing I know: there  (so don’t honor God as
isn’t any verse that begins, Creator)
‘The mark of the beast is  (so don’t keep
. . .’ But I think I have found commandments)
enough clues to know with  (don’t receive the seal)
certainty.” Those Who Obey God:
Roger: “Now, Matt, I don’t want  Worship God as Creator
[Rev. 14:6]
to have to trust you. ‘Clues’
aren’t exactly what I am look-  Keep Commandments [Rev.
14:12]
ing for. How about evidence?
 Receive the seal [Rev.
What does the Bible say?” 7:1-3]
Matt: “okay, let’s begin with a Concluded: Those with the
few observations from Rev- mark are persons that break the
law of God and neglect to honor
elation. Those with the mark Him as Creator.
also worship the beast. That
is point one and is found in
Revelation 13:15. Those who obey God worship him as Creator. That
is the second point, and is from Revelation 14:7. That latter class,
you see a few verses later (v. 12), keep the commandments.”
R: “So you are saying that, by way of contrast, the men with the
mark must be those who are neglecting to honor God as Creator and
neglecting to keep the commandments?”
M: “Yes, and there is more. God’s servants at the end of time are
those who receive the seal of God according to Revelation 7:1–3. So
everyone eventually receives either the seal or the mark.”
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Deeper

R: “So you put these four passages together, and that is how you
know that the mark of the beast is breaking the commandments. But
what about the fact that it goes in the forehead or in the hand? And
what about the beast behind the mark? I think you haven’t really
settled the issue.”
M: “Did I say I was done? The Worship Law
And I never said that the Those with the mark submit to
mark was breaking the a national worship law [Revelation
13:16].
commandments, only that
those with the mark break Those that are sealed by God
resist the pressure of the national
them. But you asked about worship law [Revelation 15:2]
the beast. That is the Roman Concluded: There will come a
Catholic Church State.” worship law that requires persons
to disobey the Law of God.
R: “State? You don’t see
This happened anciently in the
the initials RCCS anywhere. stories of Daniel 3 and 6.
Why do you say ‘state’?” The persons with the mark,
in Matthew 7:21-23, sincerely
M: “That church doesn’t believe they worship Jesus,
show up in prophecy until it but they are condemned for not
becomes a state. Beasts rep- knowing Him and for not obeying
the law.
resent nations, not churches.
What, then, were they
This is why the Little Horn worshipping?
in Daniel 7 rises after the
other horns. The church
rose before the tribes descended into Europe. But it became a state
after they descended.
“And this is why Daniel and Revelation can both pinpoint the
length of its first existence at 1260 years. It is very hard to pinpoint
the year that a church comes into being or the year that it ceases to
exist. Two or three persons can be a church. But it is easy to date
the rise of the Catholic church to statehood when she was given the
rule of part of Rome. And it is easy to date the end of her statehood
at 1798 when Rome was made again to be a republic.
“So in Revelation 13, when Rome becomes a state again (and it
is a small state today), it is honored by laws enforcing the mark of
the beast. Those that receive the mark are those that submit to the
pressure (see Revelation 13:16), and those that are sealed are those
that resist the pressure. (See Revelation 15:2)”
R: “So you think there will be a law that pressures people to dis-
obey the law of God?”
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More on the Mark and Much on the Seal

M: “I think we have evidence of that just by remembering the stories


in Daniel. The three friends
were threatened with death The Beast
if they would not bow to the A beast in prophecy is a nation.
image and to the law that (See Daniel 7:17, 23) So the
Roman Church doesn’t show up
demanded the bowing. Isn’t as a beast in Revelation until she
that where we find the same becomes sovereign over Rome in
metaphors as are used in 538 AD.
Revelation 13? An image to And the beast “dies” when she
loses her civil power over Rome
the Babylonian power? in 1798.
Forced worship? Babylo-
nian fire?
“Then in the story of the lion’s den you find Persia making
another law that forces worship contrary to the Ten Commandments.
Daniel is threatened with death. If those two stories were written
‘for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come’
(1 Corinthians 10:11), then I have good reason to expect just such
a forced-worship law in the future.”
R: “That is deep, Matt. I will have to spend some time thinking
about it before I respond.”
M: “May I share more?”
R: “Please, go ahead.”
M: “Those that are lost, at Christ’s coming, are described in the
Sermon on the Mount. Let’s read Matthew 7:21–23 from the New
King James version: ‘Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,”
shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My
Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord,
have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name,
and done many wonders in Your name?” And then I will declare to
them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice law-
lessness!” ’ (Matthew 7:21–23, NKJV)
“Can you see, Roger, that these must be the same persons that
worship the beast? But they sincerely think they have been worship-
ping Jesus! And they haven’t been pew-warmers in a dead church.
They have been active missionaries experiencing miracles by the
power of Jesus’ name. Neither have they been hypocrites, for they
approach Jesus boldly, saying, ‘Lord, Lord.’ ”

77
Deeper

R: “That gives me the creeps. How do I know I won’t be one of


them?”
M: “The issue, Roger, hinges End-Time Issues:
on the commandments. Worship, Law
Jesus says, ‘. . . You who Those with the mark submit
to a national worship law [Rev.
practice lawlessness.’ Now 13:16]. They are sincere and
put all these ideas together: think they worship Jesus. But
The marked persons will they do not submit to His Law.
submit to legal pressure to [Matthew 7:21-23]
disobey God’s law, but they Those that are sealed by God
resist the pressure of the national
will think they are serving worship law [Rev. 15:2]
Jesus. The sealed persons Those that are sealed keep
will resist the legal pres- God’s law [Rev. 14:12]. They
sure. They will honor and honor God as Creator. [Vs. 6]
worship God as Creator. Concluded: The Sabbath
“You know, Roger, I Command will be the test. It is
the command that:
think that it is already pretty
 Honors God as Creator
clear which commandment
 Is opposed by laws
will be at issue. There is
 Is opposed by many
only one commandment miracle-working Christians
that is about worship, that
honors God as Creator, and
that men can break while still sincerely thinking that they are work-
ing for Jesus.”
R: “The Sabbath. So this is how you get to that? We haven’t even
read a single verse about the Sabbath. Am I missing something?”
M: “Roger, we have just started. The Bible has a lot to say on this
topic. Are you with me thus far?”
R: “I can see that worship and the law of God are the two issues in
the end of time and that one class obeys human laws and the other
God’s laws, and both claim to serve Jesus.”
M: “Good. Now, you asked earlier about the mark being in the fore-
head or the hand. You can see that it goes there in Revelation 14:9.
And the seal of God, in the passage we already referred to (Revela-
tion 7:1–3) is placed in the foreheads of God’s true servants.”
R: “So that is why people are always talking about bar codes and
under-skin computer chips and laser readers?”

78
More on the Mark and Much on the Seal

M: “Yes, but they didn’t get any idea like that from Scripture. In
fact, the Bible is quite explicit about the kind of sign that is like a
mark between the eyes and
like a mark on the hand of The Seal of God
God’s servants. When we The law of God was to be like
a sign in the forehead and the
read it, you will see how hand. Deuteronomy 6:5-8.
nicely it fits into the picture. It is to be written in our hearts
It looks like Satan has tried in the new covenant. Hebrews
to copy God’s sign with one 8:10.
of his own making. Let’s This is the sealing. Isaiah 8:16.
read Deuteronomy 6:5–8.
The Mark of the Beast
And thou shalt love The law of God is attacked by
the Lord thy God with the beast, especially the Law in
all thine heart, and with regard to “times.” Daniel 7:25
all thy soul, and with all The new covenant is attacked
thy might . And these by the beast. Daniel 11:28, 30,
words [the Ten Com- 32.
mandments; see Deut . This is how the Bible has
5], which I command “marked” the beast when it was
thee this day, shall be first introduced in scripture in
in thine heart: . . . And Daniel 7.
thou shalt bind them for Two commandments have
a sign upon thine hand, been changed in the Roman
and they shall be as Catechism—the second and the
fourth.
frontlets between thine
eyes . The second was the issue with
the worship laws in Daniel 3 and
6.
“We could also read The fourth will be the issue
Deuteronomy 11:18 or Exo- of the worship law in Revelation
dus 13:9, 16 to get the same 13-15.
idea. The Ten Command-
ments were to be bound on the hand and to be like a seal between
the eyes. Do you know where we find these two words again? Bind
and seal? Turn to Isaiah 8:16:

Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my


disciples .

R: “Wow. I never even knew that there were verses that so clearly
spelled out the seal of God in the forehead!”

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Deeper

M: “God hasn’t left these questions to perplex us. In fact, the idea
of the law being written in the forehead is a theme of Scripture long
before one comes to Revelation. It is the core of the new covenant.

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house
of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my
laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and
I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.
(Hebrews 8:10)

R: “Okay, so what you have shown me so far is that the idea of


writing the law into the heart and mind like a seal is an illustration
as old as Exodus. And you have shown me that when the Roman
church uses its power to make worship laws, then men will have to
choose between obeying God’s laws or man’s. But, Matt, why is the
coming worship law called the ‘mark of the beast?’ ”
M: “First, Roger, have you ever noticed how solemnly the warning
about the mark is worded? Here it is:

And the third angel followed them, saying with a


loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image,
and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the
same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which
is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indigna-
tion; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in
the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the
Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for
ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who
worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth
the mark of his name. (Revelation 14:9–11)

“The beast, the civil power of the Roman Papacy, is marked, or


characterized, as attacking God’s law. In Daniel 7:25, the papacy is
accused of thinking, in this connection, to change ‘times.’
“The law of God includes a commandment that honors God as
Creator, establishes His authority on earth, and identifies Him as
the Sovereign of the universe. It is the fourth, the command related
to ‘times.’

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days


shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh
day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt

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More on the Mark and Much on the Seal

not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy
manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy
stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord
made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is,
and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed
the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:8–11)

“You know that Jesus clearly indicated that this commandment


would extend beyond His death and that it was kept by the apostles
and even by Gentile believers. (See Matthew 24:20; Acts 13; 17;
18)
“So, Roger, we should ‘remember’ the command that begins
with ‘remember.’ Doesn’t that make sense? And isn’t it sensible that
Satan would work to lead men to forget a command that began with
that word? Maybe tomorrow we can study more about this topic,
what do you think?”
R: “I am just glad that you don’t want to do it now. I need time to
think these things through. But, yes, I want to study whatever more
you know about this topic.”

Take time here to make sure you understand Matthew’s points. Tomorrow’s
conversation will assume you have done so. Test yourself. What does Mat-
thew 7 have to do with the Mark of the Beast? What about Deuteronomy 6?
Can you see how these men concluded that “worship” and “the Law” are
the end-time issues?

The Next Day


R: “Matthew, I reviewed yesterday’s study. I am surprised that so
much of a book titled ‘The Revelation of Jesus’ is about the beast
power. Any ideas on this point?”
M: “Yes. First, many of God’s people are found in mystical Babylon
just before Babylon is destroyed. Babylon is a Roman Church that
controls the Roman state. That is why she is pictured as a woman that
rides a beast. And God’s people are called out of her in Revelation
18. If they knew her history, they would be in a hurry to get out.”
R: “I hope you aren’t about to give a history lecture. I’ve heard that
you do that.”
M: “Roger, I won’t force it on you. But the Bible summarizes the
history precisely. In Daniel 7:7, 19 the Roman power crushed ‘the

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Deeper

residue [remnant] with its feet.’ Then, in verse 21, it ‘made war with
the saints, and prevailed against them.’ Then, in verse 25, it spoke
‘great words against the most High, and . . . [wore] out the saints of
the most High, . . . and they . . . [were] given into his hand.’
“This is the story line of Daniel 7. The papacy fights God’s
people, and God responds by judging her (‘him’ in the verse) and
vindicating the saints in the heavenly judgment. Notice what the
judgment does to the papacy’s authority:

But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away
his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the
kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the
people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is
an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and
obey him. Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me
Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my coun-
tenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.
(Daniel 7:26–28)

“And, Roger, the same story fills Daniel 8. There the Roman
power ‘waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down
some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon
them.’ (Daniel 8:10) His power is ‘mighty’ to ‘destroy the mighty
and the holy people.’ (Daniel 8:24)
“An angel asks how long the Roman power will be permitted
to oppress the ‘hosts.’ The answer is, until the ‘cleansing of the
sanctuary.’ (Daniel 8:13–14) Maybe I can take time to prove this to
you later, but that is just another way of saying ‘until the judgment
of Daniel 7.’ ”
R: “Wait up, Matthew. Let me process. So the papacy destroys the
saints and then is judged and destroyed herself. Is that what you are
saying?”
M: “That is what the Scriptures are saying. Daniel 11 makes a dis-
tinction between those that ‘understand’ and others among God’s
people. The understanding persons are the ones that the Roman
power hates particularly.

And they that understand among the people shall


instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by
flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when

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More on the Mark and Much on the Seal

they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but
many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them
of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and
to make them white, even to the time of the end: because
it is yet for a time appointed. (Daniel 11:33–35)

R: “So where is the judgment of the papacy in this prophecy?”


M: “In Daniel 12:1:

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great


prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and
there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since
there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time
thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found
written in the book. (Daniel 12:1)

“The time of trouble is the execution of the judgment. Can you


see in the verse who is delivered from the trouble?”
R: “Umm, those found in the book?”
M: “Yes, it is these who are vindicated in the judgment. They must
be the same class that responded well to the message, ‘Fear God,
. . . for the hour of his judgment is come. . . .’ ”
R: “Okay, Matt, but I asked you about the book of Revelation ten
minutes ago, and you gave me a Daniel study.”
M: “Patience, Roger, patience. Revelation 12–16 presents the same
picture, but even in greater detail. The saints suffer under the oppres-
sion of the papal power for 1260 years. (Revelation 11:2–3, 12:6, 14;
13:5) Then they are relieved by an announcement of the arrival of
the hour of judgment.
“And in those passages we see that soon the beast will suffer
the verdict imposed by the judgment. The world is warned against
honoring the soon-to-be-destroyed power. Nevertheless, in Revela-
tion many honor that power to their own everlasting shame.
“This is the connection between the first angels’ message
and the latter two. The judgment that favors the saints also pro-
nounces against the beast. The first angel announces the judgment.
The second states both the charge and the guilty verdict for the
beast. The third announces the sentence. Here the messages are
abbreviated:

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Deeper

[1] . . . the hour of his judgment is come: and worship


him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the foun-
tains of waters .
[2] Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because
she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her
fornication . . . .
[3] If any man worship the beast and his image, and
receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same
shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God; . . . and he shall
be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of
the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: . . . and
they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and
his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name .
(Revelation 14:7–11)

R: “I thought the judgment


was just a judgment of those End-Time Conflict: Beast vs.
God’s Commandment Keepers
whose names were in the
book of life?” Daniel 7

M: “Those are the only  Beast vs. those who “serve


and obey” God.
names that Jesus confesses or
denies. They are the names Daniel 8
that are vindicated or sen-  Beast vs. “the mighty and
tenced. But the papacy is not holy people.”
a person. While her mem- Daniel 11
bers each have their own  Beast vs. “those that
day before the great white understand among the
throne, the papacy herself is people.”
destroyed by Christ’s com- Revelation 12-16
ing. Her judgments must be  Beast vs. those who “keep
meted out before that time. the commandments.”
The judgment sees to it that [12:17; 14:12]
she does not go unpunished
for her work.” Concluded: Final conflict
will be between Roman
R: “So are we still studying Church and Commandment
the mark of the beast and the Keepers
seal of God? It doesn’t seem
like it.”
M: “We are studying the beast that enforces the mark and the saints
that receive the seal. Bear with me.

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“All four lines of prophecy (Daniel 7; 8; 10–12; Revelation 12–


16) present the same picture in ever-increasing magnification. The
judgment relieves the saints, pronounces against the beast, and pro-
ceeds at once to the execution of the sentence. This is followed by
the establishment of God’s kingdom.
“Who are these saints? Daniel 7:27 says that those that enter
God’s kingdom will ‘serve and obey Him.’ In Daniel 8:24, they are
‘the mighty and the holy people.’ In Daniel 11 they are ‘those that
understand among the people.’ In Daniel 12 they are those found
‘in the book.’ In Revelation 12 they are those ‘that keep the com-
mandments of God and have the Testimony of Jesus.’ In Revelation
14 they are those that endure persecution and who ‘keep the com-
mandments of God.’
“Do you see it, Matthew? Taken together, these four lines of
prophecy teach that the final scenes on earth will feature the beast
warring against commandment-keepers.”
R: “I see. So the issues will be worship and the law. God requires
honor as Creator. Is this related to the pope’s recent statements in
favor of evolution—that it is more than just a ‘theory’?”
M: “Yes, the Bible story ends as it began, with a command of God
being slighted by the Devil speaking through a medium. In Genesis,
the medium was a snake, and now it is the Roman Church. But this
time there are some who refuse to join the woman that fell, despite
her affectionate encouragement to take a bite.”
R: “Deep, man, Very deep.”
M: “Does that mean you would rather take up the study tomorrow
and have more time now to, as you say, ‘process’?”
R: “Yes. Precisely.”

Take time here to make sure you understand Matthew’s points. Tomorrow’s
conversation will assume you have done so. What is the New Covenant? How
does the beast relate to the covenant in Daniel 11? Can you see the trial, ver-
dict, and sentence in the three angels’ messages?

The Third Day


R: “Can I begin with a few questions, Matt? Or should I just
listen?”

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Deeper

M: “Let me get started and then I will take your questions. Maybe
I will answer them before you ask.”
R: “Okay, so what is next?”
M: “Today, we are going to look at the relation of the beast to the
covenant. You might remember that Daniel prays to God who keeps
‘the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that
keep his commandments.’ Daniel 9:4.”
R: “Is that the old covenant or the new one or some other?”
M: “Hold that question. Look later in the chapter at verse 27. Jesus
is to ‘confirm the covenant with many’ during His ministry here
on earth.”
R: “Okay.”
M: “Then, when Jesus is crucified in Daniel 11:22, he is styled ‘the
prince of the covenant.’ And it is only a few verses later that we find
the Roman power first having a ‘heart’ ‘against the holy covenant’
and then becoming indignant ‘against the holy covenant.’ Then he
has conspiracy ‘with them that forsake the holy covenant.’ Finally
we find him flattering those who ‘do wickedly against the covenant’
and corrupting them by his flatteries. (See verses 28, 30, 32)”
R: “I heard that many are leaving the Adventist church after they
study the covenants. But I don’t ever recall hearing about the Roman
power being against the covenant.”
M: “Yes, the covenants are a big issue in Daniel and Revelation.
And to answer your question, all these passages are about the new
covenant. That is the one Jesus confirmed while here on earth, the
one He died to ratify, the everlasting one that depends on His blood
and mediation. (Hebrews 12:24; 13:20)
“It is that covenant where the law of God is written in the
heart.”
R: “Oh, yeah. So now we are back to our topic?”
M: “We never left it. The papacy is going to be destroyed for cast-
ing ‘truth’ (Daniel 8:12) down to the ground, for confusing people
regarding the covenants, for daring the change God’s law, and for
persecuting those that keep the law. This is the idea behind the
prophecy of the mark of the beast.

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“You asked that I refrain from giving a history lecture. If you


take it back I will give you one.”
R: “I don’t take it back. Let’s stick to the Bible.”
M: “Okay, there are two stories there that are good illustrations of
the issue of the mark of the beast. Stories are a normal way for the
Bible to explain things. Do you remember the story of Uzziah?”
R: “No. What does it have to do with the mark of the beast?”
M: “Uzziah was given a plague-spot of leprosy in his forehead. It
was a mark in his forehead that doomed him to death.”
R: “What did he do to deserve that?”
M: “Uzziah started as a good king. That is the ironic part of the
story. ‘But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruc-
tion.’ (2 Chronicles 26:16) He eventually decided to try to be both
a priest and a king, to unite the state to the work of the church. He
entered the temple to offer sacrifice, and when he was rebuked he
was enraged. Then the ‘leprosy even rose up in his forehead.’ (Verse
19) That is what God thinks of trying to unite church and state.”
R: “What is the other story?”
M: “The Passover was when the people of Israel were led from
Egypt. God looked for a special sign. Those that had it were spared
from suffering the last plague. In Revelation, those that have the
seal of God are spared from suffering the last plagues.”
R: “That is interesting, but does the story actually teach you any-
thing helpful about the seal of God?”
M: “Listen and see. The sign involved killing a lamb, bringing every-
one in the household into the home, and painting the outside of the door
with blood by means of hyssop. Inside, everyone was to be dressed
to go and to eat the lamb with bitter herbs. The sealed persons were
living in preparation for the Exodus. The story is in Exodus 12.
“The angel passing by was not to enter homes covered with the
symbol of Christ’s atonement. All others received the worst plague,
the death of their first born. By this it was shown, even in the plague,
that their sin had caused the death of God’s only Son. Those not
availing themselves of the offered mercy, who counted the blood of
the covenant as an unholy thing, were thought worthy of the ‘griev-
ous sore.’ (See Revelation 16:2)

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“With these stories in mind we are ready to address the issue


of worship.
R: “Everybody is talking about worship these days. The issue is
dividing churches.”
M: “And according to Revelation, that should be no surprise. Wrong
worship is part of the mark of the beast. About one third of the New-
Testament references to worship are in Revelation.”
R: “So this isn’t just a distracting issue—it is a real one?”
M: “In fact, Roger, the third angel speaks twice of those who ‘wor-
ship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead,
or in his hand.’ (Revelation 14:9; see also verse 11) And the first
plague rests ‘upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and
upon them which worshipped his image.’ And when the beast is
finally destroyed, it will be with ‘deceived’ ones ‘that had received
the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image.’ (Rev-
elation 16:2; 19:20)
R: “So those that receive the mark also worship the beast or his
image. That sounds a lot like the stories you shared two days ago
about the three friends and about Daniel with the lions. Those that
submitted to those laws also worshipped the civil power. But how
can the marked persons worship the beast when they think they are
worshipping Jesus? That doesn’t make any sense at all.”
M: “That is a good question. But before we answer it, notice one
more thing in the three stories. The seal of God, in the Exodus illus-
tration, was read by an angel. But the mark of the beast in the figures
of Daniel 3 and 6 was noticed by the persecuting governments. The
same is true in Revelation. God gives a seal that He can read. The
world government gives a mark that it can read. And this is what
we should expect:

For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh
on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the
heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)

M: “Roger, that is a fundamental principle of worship. Have you


ever noted who receives the seal of God in Ezekiel 9? It is those that
‘sigh and cry for the abominations’ around them. God is looking for
persons who, in their hearts, are saddened by sin.
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More on the Mark and Much on the Seal

“Now contrast that with Nebuchadnezzar. If the three worthies,


for example, had in fear bowed to the image, Nebuchadnezzar would
have been unconcerned with the insincerity of their worship of the
image. Conformity was all that he was seeking.
“Man accepts, and God
utterly refuses, heartless wor- God and Satan on Worship
ship. Look at Matthew 15:8:
God looks on the heart.
God refuses outward worship of
This people draweth
persons with hearts far from him.
nigh unto me with their Mt. 15:8
mouth, and honoureth me
Those that worship God must
with their lips; but their do so in “spirit and in truth.” Jn
heart is far from me . 4:23-24.

Satan gladly accepts, even


R: “So you said that wor- desperately seeks for, outward
ship was a theme of the worship.
book of Revelation. Now He tried to bribe Jesus to
worship him contrary to the Law!
you are saying that the beast He doesn’t care if your heart is in
will gladly accept heartless it. Mt 4:9.
worship?” Satan even accepts inadvertent
worship. If one bows to an idol,
M: “That is right. Satan has or bows to the papacy, Satan
never been so particular as accepts that as worship to
to require true devotion. In himself! Rev 13:4.
Revelation he is contented Satan uses miracles and food
to bribe or cajole people into
to receive even third-party honoring him above God’s law.
worship. Those that honor 13:16-17. Sincerity is not essential
the beast worship ‘the in order to honor the devil.
dragon which gave power This is why the Seal must be
unto the beast.’ (Revelation in the Heart; but the Mark may
be either in the heart or in the
13:4) hand.
“Satan’s willingness to
accept whatever kind of ser-
vice he can get was showcased in the temptation of Jesus. The devil
stooped to bribe Jesus to worship him.

And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if
thou wilt fall down and worship me . (Matthew 4:9)

R: “I never thought of things that way. So the devil is kind of des-


perate for worship, isn’t he! That is pathetic.”

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M: “Sure is. And Satan does the same in the case of the mark of
the beast. Hungry men are offered the things that money can buy if
they will only bow. (See Revelation 13:16–17) By bribe, by hunger,
by superstition-inducing miracles, the devil in Revelation draws
inadvertent ‘worship’ to himself.
“The Creator, on the other hand, accepts only willful worship
without competitors. Listen to Jesus:

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it
is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him
only shalt thou serve. (Matthew 4:10)

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worship-
pers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the
Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they
that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
(John 4:23–24)

R: “So is this the reason that the seal of God must be placed in the
forehead, while the mark of the beast will be received by some only
in the hand?”
M: “You got it. Where Satan is willing to accept the ignorant
worship of idols as directed to himself (See Deuteronomy 32:17;
Psalm 106:36–37), God cannot. How does He relate to ignorant
devotion? In kindness, He overlooks it as long as possible. He
cannot accept it.

For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found


an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN God.
Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto
you. God that made the world and all things therein, see-
ing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in
temples made with hands; . . . seeing he giveth to all life,
and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all
nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth. . . .
For in him we live, and move, and have our being. . . . We
ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or
silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the
times of this ignorance God winked at; but now comman-
deth all men every where to repent. (Acts 17:23–30)

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R: “You can move on. You have made this point several times.
God only accepts loving obedience. The beast accepts fearful
conformity.”
M: “One more point, Roger. We cannot say that God always over-
looks ignorant worship. When light is presented, Paul teaches, God
now commands all men everywhere to repent. When the Jews, cen-
turies before Jesus, sank down into idolatry, their worship was not
winked at. Their opportunities to know better prevented their igno-
rance from winning them grace. See Jeremiah 44:18–25.”
R: “I am not sure I can summarize all that you have shared with me
today. But let me try. Satan hates the saving covenant. Through the
papacy he has sought to change its terms. He has sought to modify
the law that is to be written in the heart.”
M: “Good. And what about worship?”
R: “Worship of God must be true heart worship by obedient persons.
That is all that God can accept. He winks at other sincere worship,
but He cannot accept it. Satan, however, craves whatever kind of
honor he can get. If he can bribe or threaten you into ‘worship,’ that
is what he will do.”
M: “Right. And how does this relate to the seal and the mark?”
R: “Satan will accept coerced and insincere bowing to his wor-
ship law. He always has been willing to do that. So the mark may
be received either in the hand or in the mind. God’s seal must be
written in the mind. God is looking at the heart. Men may not even
be able to see if you have the seal.”
M: “So, Roger, tomorrow we may finish. We need to look at the
relation of worship to the Sabbath and of the Sabbath to the sealing.
And many evangelicals believe that the Holy Spirit is the seal. They
have good reason for thinking that way. We will look at that, too.”
R: “In one day? Looking forward to it.”

Which covenant is offered by Jesus in Daniel 9? Why can the “mark” be


received in the hand while the “seal” must be in the heart? Did you under-
stand the relevance of Uzziah’s story? Or of the story of the Passover? Just
how does God relate to ignorant worship?

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Fourth Day
M: “Yesterday we talked about Matthew 15:8, where Jesus speaks
of worshippers who use praise lyrics but whose hearts were far
from Him. The very next verse shows that distant hearts and vain
worship come from doctrines that enforce men’s commandments.
Let’s read it:

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines


the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:9)

R: “So doctrine can make worship vain? I thought worship was the
element that transcends doctrine. Can’t all men worship together
even if they don’t see eye-to-eye?”
M: “That is a tricky question. Men don’t need to see everything
eye-to-eye to worship together, or even to work together. But heart
obedience is the type of worship God is looking for. And when men
are infected with human commands, their ‘worship’ is obedience to
man—and God can’t accept that. Worship is a heart-acceptance of
God’s will and way. When men don’t know either, they are incapable
of heart-acceptance of either.”
R: “You said we would study the relation of Sabbath to worship.
So what is the relation?”
M: “God seeks worship based on two of His attributes: He is Cre-
ator, and He is Redeemer.
“Angels herald Him as worthy of worship because ‘thou hast
created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.’
(See Revelation 4:10–11) And the elders add, ‘Worthy is the Lamb
that was slain to receive . . . honour, and glory’ because He has
‘redeemed’ them. (See Revelation 5:9, 12, 14)
“These attributes are written into the second and fourth com-
mandments. Jehovah shows us mercy in the second, and He reminds
us that He is our Creator in the fourth. It is the latter command
that is alluded to in the worship command that announces the
judgment.

Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to


him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him
that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains
of waters. (Revelation 14:7)

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R: “So the Sabbath is a command to worship God as Creator. That


is the relation between worship and the Sabbath?”
M: “Can you see, Roger, why Satan brought Sunday laws to the
United States just as the doctrine of evolution was becoming
popular?”
R: “Bible, Matt, Bible. Verifying what you say about history is too
difficult.”
M: “So here is some future history: God will avenge His saints by
destroying the beast and its human-law worshippers. Their judgment
hints at their crime.

And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever


and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship
the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark
of his name. (Revelation 14:11)

R: “So you think that Satan had a purpose in the timing of the doc-
trine of theistic evolution that many mainline churches, including
Catholicism, have adopted?”
M: “Did you know that God predicted the rise of that doctrine in
the end of time? The six-day creation and the literal flood would
be denied by the same persons who doubt that judgments are soon
to fall. These same persons would scoff at the fundamental idea of
Adventism.”
R: “Where do you find a prophecy like that?”
M: “Turn to 2 Peter 3:

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days
scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is
the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep,
all things continue as they were from the beginning of the
creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the
word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing
out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that
then was, being overflowed with water, perished. (2 Peter
3:3–6)

“This kind of scoffing is honor enough for Satan. These scoff-


ers are ‘ungodly’ in verse 7. The Greek for ‘ungodly’ is asebaes,

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which means to be without due reverence, worshipless. What have


they been scoffing at? Very apparently, the First Angel’s Message.
They refuse both to acknowledge that the ‘hour of His judgment is
come’ and to ‘worship Him’ as Creator.”
R: “So you mean that when some Adventists scientists and theolo-
gians give the nod to theistic evolution, they are fulfilling a prophecy
about scoffing at the Adventist message?”
M: “You said it, not me.”
R: “Okay, so when God looks at the heart, what is He looking for?
The Sabbath? Faith? What?”
M: “You may remember from Revelation 7, Roger, that men are
God’s servants before they are sealed. God’s judgments wait for
His servants to be sealed. So while God looks for faith and love to
know who is His servant, He is looking for something more when
looking for the seal.”
R: “So you mean that there are two sets of conditions? Men last
year go to heaven by having faith and next year by having the special
seal?”
M: “No, not at all. Let me explain. In the day that He will judge
the secrets of men, Judge Jesus will be looking for the works of the
law to be written there. Our thoughts and actions will bear witness
whether the law has been written into the heart.

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by


nature the things contained in the law, these . . . shew the
work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience
also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while
accusing or else excusing [each of them] in the day when
God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ accord-
ing to my gospel. (Romans 2:14–16)

R: “Does this passage teach that heathen persons can be saved?”


M: “Indeed, Roger, it does. While most men will never submit to
the Spirit’s work in their lives until they are touched by the power
of the gospel story, there are men who have submitted. Their lives
show that they have an indwelling Savior, even if they do not know
His name.

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“But in our day the heathen will hear the gospel. And in the
context of the close of human probation, Revelation 22:14 blesses
those that ‘keep’ the commandments of God. God brings them to the
world’s attention. Two passages, Revelation 11:19 and 15:5, indicate
that God will reveal that the heavenly sanctuary houses the law of
God.
“Have you ever considered that the announcement of the hour
of the judgment plays a part in bringing the Ten Commandments to
the attention of all?”
R: “I heard that preached in our Revelation Seminar. They showed
that in the judgment men’s works are compared to the Ten Com-
mandments. They used James 2:8–12 to show that God’s ‘royal law’
is the Ten Commandments.”
M: “So let’s review a thought from a few days ago. What command-
ments would it be that professed followers of God could break and
still dare to say ‘Lord, Lord’ to Jesus at His coming?”
R: “I see. The Sabbath seems most likely. But they might be break-
ing lots of them in a spiritual sense, don’t you think? That is how it
seems to go in my life.”
M: “Yes, and that is the point of having a simple test of loyalty.
“Circumcision was a sign and a seal of Abraham’s faith. It sepa-
rated him from other basically ‘good’ heathen neighbors. It showed
that he respected God’s word and would do it with precision even
at the cost of considerable pain and loss to himself.
“And of the commandments, the Sabbath seems most like the
sign/seal of circumcision. It is the commandment that does not appeal
to unaided moral senses any more than the command to avoid the
tree of knowledge of good and evil. Some authors have rejected it
particularly on this ground—that they could not see the morality
in it.”
R: “Then why use it as a test?”
M: “Like the tree of knowledge, it settles the question of faith. Do
we take God at His word when our senses and society and personal
interest all say that it must not be God who is being so particular?
“The Sabbath has been set apart as a special sign of the work
of sanctification, of living our lives as if ‘the Lord God [were] in
[our] hearts.’

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But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready


always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a
reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
(1 Peter 3:15)

R: “Umm, what is ‘Sanctification?’ ”


M: “I think of it as the new-covenant process of writing the law in
the heart. God made the Sabbath holy; He sanctified it. He makes
me holy; He sanctifies me. Maybe that will help you understand why
He chose the Sabbath as a sign of sanctification. Let’s read a few
verses:

Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath,


to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a
perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children
of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and
earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
(Exodus 31:16–17)

Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign


between me and them, that they might know that I am the
Lord that sanctify them. (Ezekiel 20:12)

And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign


between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord
your God. (Ezekiel 20:20)

R: “Finally.”
M: “Finally . . . what?”
R: “Finally, you are using some of the verses the Bible study guide
on the seal of God uses.
M: “I’m glad that pleases you. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit. Paul
says ‘ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.’ (Ephesians
1:13)
“Jesus received the seal from ‘God the Father.’ (John 6:27) And
He was, for the record, filled with ‘the Holy Ghost.’ (Luke 4:1, 18)
“The last generation of righteous persons will have the same
experience. They will be filled with the Holy Spirit and thus sealed
by God the Father. You can read of that in Joel 2 and in the passages
already noticed in our study—Ezekiel 9 and Revelation 7.”
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R: “And you are still saying you believe the Sabbath is the seal? You
just proved to me that the filling with the Holy Spirit is the seal.”
M: “We aren’t done. Being filled with the Spirit is like a down-pay-
ment on redemption, on the gift of a new nature at the resurrection.
Paul said of some that God ‘hath also sealed us, and given the earnest
of the Spirit in our hearts.’ (2 Corinthians 1:21–22)
“Now, Roger, I am about to preach a five-minute sermon. Don’t
interrupt. Just try to listen carefully.
“The Bible locates the sealing work of the Spirit ‘in our hearts.’
The same idea is expressed in Revelation where the seal, or the
Spirit, is placed in the forehead.
“The seal of the Holy Spirit is given to those who meet the quali-
fications for salvation. In the time of Noah, for example, it would
not be put on anyone who would not get in the ark. If the seal were
given to someone who had not met the conditions of salvation, it
would be a false promise.
“Now nothing is clearer in our dear country than that many
unsanctified persons have exhibited what are called the gifts of the
Spirit. The Sabbath, as an outward sign, serves to reveal the body
of believers that are commandment-keepers, that are new-covenant
Christians, and that are being sanctified by the writing of the law on
the heart. As a sign of the Spirit’s seal, it helps clear up confusion
regarding what the Spirit is and is not doing in the world.
Today, the commandment-keepers are preparing for Christ’s
return. They are not building an ark, but they are engaged in an activ-
ity as distinctive and as significant to the final scenes of this earth’s
history. They are being sanctified by the special work of the Holy
Spirit. (See 1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2;
Romans 15:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:23) This is the sealing process.
The Sabbath is a sign of the special work of the Spirit on the
heart. Or, stated another way, we could say, ‘The Sabbath is the seal
of the work of the Spirit.’ In a shorter term, we would say that the
Sabbath is the sign or seal of the Spirit’s work of sanctification.”
R: “I must interrupt. So you are saying that the Sabbath is a sign
or a seal of God’s work of sanctification. And you are saying that
when we are filled with the Holy Spirit in the latter rain, that will
be the sign that we have been ‘sealed,’ that the sealing work is done
in our lives. Right?”

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Deeper

M: “I really didn’t get that far, but thank you for clarifying. Look
now at a little chart I have put together that describes what we have
learned in the last few days:

An Outline of What We Have Learned So Far

The Lamb The Beast


Is the Prince of the covenant Heart against the covenant
Confirms the covenant Works, plans, cooperates
against the covenant
Stands for the saints Opposes the saints
Helps them Pursues them
Gathers a remnant Scatters the whole
Executes vengeance Executes saints

The Everlasting Covenant


Saints are forgiven
The law is written in their heart  This is the sealing
They receive the kingdom The Sabbath is the sign

The Beast’s Arrangement


Claims to give forgiveness
Claims to change the law  This is the marking
Forces compliance Bowing to man’s law is the mark
Holds last earthly kingdom

R: “Can I keep a copy of this chart?”


M: “Be my guest. We will try to finish tomorrow.”

Review the material. Why was the Sabbath chosen to be a sign of sanctifi-
cation? How can a heathen person be saved? How can we harmonize the two
ideas of being sealed by the Spirit and of the Sabbath being the seal?

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Day Five
M: “Okay, Roger, turn to Revelation 13. Think about what you
remember from Daniel 7 and tell me what you notice about the beast
in the first verses of this chapter.”
R: “I can see two things that you might be thinking. One is that
the metals and animals here are like those in Daniel 2 and 7, and
second, this beast sounds like the fourth beast in Daniel 7. Is that
what you were looking for?”
M: “Precisely. Today we are talking about the ‘name of the beast.’ And
we are told that the beast has the name of ‘blasphemy’ on its heads.”
R: “Are we going off-topic again? I mean this is interesting, but
what about the mark?”
M: “This is the point, Roger, the mark is called the ‘mark of his
name’ in Revelation 14:11. That makes this blasphemous name of
particular interest to our study. Did you ever notice that the five
monarchies had a problem with blasphemy? Babylon demanded wor-
ship through the image; Persia through a prayer law; Rome accepted
it through Herod in Acts 12; and the Papacy does more than these
three combined, eventually becoming a medium for impersonating
Christ in 2 Thessalonians 2.”
R: “So why is the mark called the ‘mark of his name’? Do you mean
it is the mark of blasphemy?”
M: “Basically, yes, it is honoring the papacy with the very authority
it claims for itself, the ability to change God’s law.”
R: “Okay, I get it. What next?”
M: “Now we are going to study what I call the battle for the
forehead.”
R: “Seal versus mark?”
M: “More than that, Roger, turn with me to Jeremiah 3:3.”

Therefore the showers have been withholden, and


there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s
forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed. (Jeremiah 3:3)

R: “What am I supposed to notice?”

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Deeper

M: “The papacy is described as a great whore whose seal in placed


in the foreheads of her followers. What does this verse say about a
whore’s forehead?”
R: “That a whore refuses to be ashamed of her wickedness?”
M: “That is it. When I refuse to repent, when I do not let the wonder-
ful sacrifice of Jesus melt my hard heart, I am cultivating a whore’s
forehead. I am preparing for the mark of the beast.”
R: “Wow. I understand. You mean that when I reject correction,
I am getting into the very kind of habit that leads to receiving the
mark in the forehead?”
M: “Yes. When the beast and lamb face off in the final conflict, they
will use very different weapons. The former will use miracles, as
we studied earlier. This evidence will be sufficient for those who
have already been hardening their hearts against the Spirit’s appeals.
And the Lamb will use love to move persons to repentance. But
those who have hardened themselves with a whore’s forehead will
be impervious to His gentle methods.”
R: “Is this just a battle of ideas? Are there actually physical
casualties?”
M: “The followers of the Lamb face beheading (Revelation 20:4)
for refusing the combined authority of the powers of earth. Though
decapitated, they are counted victorious (Revelation 15:2) over their
enemies. Like saints before them (Revelation 6:11), they overcome
by their testimony and by Christ’s blood while sacrificing their lives.
(Revelation 12:11)
“Remember that we have observed repeatedly how the law of
God is to be written in men’s minds. Satan also has a character that
he works to have planted there—the unashamed forehead we have
just read about.
“We are rather to ‘let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ
Jesus: who . . . became obedient unto death.’ (Philippians 2:5–8)
Thus, the last-day faithful ones are represented as having foreheads
like the Father and the Son in Revelation. (Revelation 14; 22)”
R: “So it is hard-headed persons against soft-headed ones?”
M: “Not really. What both camps have is a hardened forehead. This
idea is illustrated in the experience of Ezekiel, who was called to give
fearful warnings to a stubborn (literally, ‘stiff-foreheaded’) nation.
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More on the Mark and Much on the Seal

To preserve his faithfulness God strengthened Ezekiel’s forehead


to be able to stand against their opposition.

But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for
they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel
are impudent [Hebrew: stiff-foreheaded] and hardhearted.
Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and
thy forehead strong against their foreheads. As an adamant
harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not,
neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebel-
lious house. (Ezekiel 3:7–9)

“These stiff foreheads are similar in their rigidity. They differ


widely otherwise. One is the result of God’s transformation of the
human heart, the other of conformity to the world.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye trans-


formed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove
what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
(Romans 12:2)

“The ‘mother’ of harlots (Revelation 17) has promoted confor-


mity. The compliance of the masses has deluded individuals into
refusing to be ashamed; it has duped them into accepting the essence
of having a ‘whore’s forehead.’ ”
R: “Maybe this is the most practical material you have shared yet. I
am understanding that my day-to-day life now is writing a character
into my forehead that will be revealed in the final tests.”
M: “Are you ready for another idea?”
R: “I think I had better cultivate being ready for instruction and
correction.”
M: “Now we are asking, ‘What will the sealed ones be doing with
their time?’ Turn to Exodus 13:9:

And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for
a memorial between thine eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in thy
mouth.

“So, tell me why the law was to be as a sign between the


eyes?”

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Deeper

R: “It looks like it is placed there so we will remember to teach


it. If the law is in the heart, that only makes sense. I have always
heard that ‘out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.’
(Matthew 12:34)”
M: “You are right on target. And the message that we are to give is
that contained in Revelation 14:6–12, the three angels’ messages. It is
the call to honor God’s law and to escape the authority of the beast.
“This is our fifth lesson. We are not close to exhausting the
Biblical themes of the mark of the beast and of the seal of God, but
we have seen enough to know with Biblical certainty what we are
talking about. I have summarized what we have learned so far in a
little paper. But you will need to review your notes for verses and
scriptures that prove the various points. And you will find a few
points about sun-worship in the short paper that we didn’t go over
at all. Be faithful.”
R: “Thank you so much.”

In review, what do Jeremiah 3:3 and Exodus 13:9 teach us about a practi-
cal preparation for the coming test over the mark?

—— The paper ——

The Mark and the Seal Plainly


The sealing is the special work of the Holy Spirit in writing the law of
God into the heart of God’s people. The sealing is the work of sanctification.
The sign of submission to this work is Sabbath-keeping. That sign distin-
guishes those that reject human authority in religious matters and thus honor
God alone.
The character of the beast is to be unashamed of its violations of God’s
law. This mindset is, metaphorically, the whore’s forehead. Those that refuse
the sealing process are hardened each time they refuse. Their unwillingness
to take up their cross and follow their Savior against the current of the world
marks them as unworthy of eternal life.
By refusing the claims of the fourth commandment, they honor men above
their Creator, the beast above the Lamb, their comfort above the truth. Their
refusal to heed the warning that the world needs so desperately marks them
for the judgments of Revelation 14:8–11. Those who have refused the Sab-

. The Biblical references for these assertions are found in the study above. They were omitted
here only to make the summary more readable.
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More on the Mark and Much on the Seal

bath rest have no “rest” during the plagues. Though sincerely deceived into
thinking they are doing right, they are not excused. Their sincerity is rather
the fruit of trusting in men than of loving the truth.
When laws enforce the keeping of another day than Sabbath, undoubtedly
Sunday as all history declares, the character of these hardened persons will
naturally submit to the coercion of the beast. Heaven is not guided that way.
They are unfit to be there. They won’t be there.
Just prior to the sealing of God’s people in Ezekiel 9 (and just prior to the
plagues on those that are unsealed), the prophecy describes the abominations
that have invaded Christendom.
Though, in the metaphor, these abominations are conducted inside God’s
temple, yet they savor of paganism. These idolatrous practices are revealed
to Ezekiel in ascending order of magnitude. The worst item, last in the list
and just prior to the command to seal the faithful servants and to slaughter
the rest, is sun-worship.

Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn
thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.
And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house, and,
behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch
and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs
toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and
they worshipped the sun toward the east. (Ezekiel 8:15–16)

To be particular, here is worship of the sun practiced inside Christ’s temple


by men who have turned their back on God’s law.

26 Men

Law of God
Altar
Sun

The illustration is particularly interesting because the worshippers might


appear, to an observer, to be worshipping the lamb on the altar.

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Deeper

Ezekiel 8–9, written entirely in figurative speech, indicates that just prior
to the end of the world men will turn their back on the law of God and on
Christ in His temple to honor the sun instead. All the while they will be in
God’s church.
Sun-worship is the most ancient kind of false religion. Job says that
had he secretly admired the sun, he would be deserving of punishment by
the Judge of the earth. (See Job 31:26–28) Through Moses, God warned
His special people regarding worshipping this gift of God to “all nations
under heaven.” (Deuteronomy 4:19) Josiah’s great reformation involved the
cleansing of God’s house from horses and chariots dedicated “to the sun.”
(2 Kings 23:5, 11)
And the temple had purposefully been built to prevent the very type of
abomination figured in Ezekiel 8. As worshippers entered the court in the
morning, their backs were to the sun. They faced forward to something they
could not see—the most holy place—and imagined what they knew to be
there—the law of God in a special box built to honor it.
But when souls persist in ignoring God’s requirements, He may give them
up to honor the hosts of heaven despite themselves. As the fall into idolatry
marked old Israel for captivity in Babylon (Acts 7:42–43), so the fall of Christi-
anity into the worship of religious men was a fall that put them into a spiritual
state called Babylon in the book of Revelation.

Those that Sigh and Cry


In the pictures of Ezekiel 8–9, who is spared? The seal of God is placed
on those that “sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done” in the
professedly Christian churches.

And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city,
through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads
of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be
done in the midst thereof. (Ezekiel 9:4)

In particular, they mourn over the honor given to the sun and over the
dishonor shown to the covenant. In figure, these faithful souls are in the same
place as the 25 sun-worshipers—they are between the porch and the altar. But
they are facing the opposite direction.

Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the
porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord.
(Joel 2:17)

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More on the Mark and Much on the Seal

Just as those with the mind of the whore refuse to be ashamed, those with
the “mind of Christ” seek pardon for their persecutors. Jesus prayed, “Father,
forgive them.” His faithful, sealed believers pray in a similar vein.
And so the universe comes to see that the seal of God and the mark of the
beast are no arbitrary designations. They rest on two categories of men with
entirely different characters.
And that, friend, is precisely why they have entirely different destinies.

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Chapter Seven
Conditional Prophecy and Predestination

H
Conditional Prophecy and the Sovereignty of God
ow do you know which prophecies are conditional and which are
not conditional at all? How can we test the reliability of prophecy if,
every time a Bible prophecy “fails,” we conclude that it must have
been “conditional”?
On a different topic, to what extent does God superintend our life here on
earth? If the Lord chose Pharaoh and raised him up only to destroy him, how
can I be sure that our Calvinist neighbors do not speak truly when they say
that in all things “God is sovereign”?
Neither set of questions need trouble us. The Bible clearly defines how
we may tell a conditional prophecy from one that depends not on the choices
of men. And the Bible declares plainly the extent to which God rules in the
affairs of men.
Let us begin by reading three key passages on the issue of conditional/
unconditional prophecy.

At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concern-


ing a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;
if that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their
evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And
at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning
a kingdom, to build and to plant it; if it do evil in my sight, that it
obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said
I would benefit them. (Jeremiah 18:7–10)

And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is


one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do. . . . What
God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh. . . . And for that the
dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is
established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. (Genesis
41:25–32)

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Conditional Prophecy and Predestination

Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the
mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the
brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made
known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream
is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. (Daniel 2:45)

When God speaks of punishing or blessing a nation, that prophecy is made


for the benefit of that nation. The nation may avert disaster or forfeit blessings
by changing the conditions that led to the prophecy.
But not all prophecies are of this nature. The famine brought upon Egypt, for
example, was on “all nations.” The submission of the Egyptians to the prophet’s
counsel did not avert the famine, though it did spare them from destruction.
God indicated the non-conditional nature of this prophecy by giving it
twice under different symbols. In this respect, the prophecy strongly resembles
those of Daniel and Revelation. Those prophecies are repeated as they are
expanded. More than that, they are given in symbols.
They differ from the prophecy of Jonah, for example, in both respects.
Prophesies intended to call men to repentance are couched in language that
those men can understand.
The prophecies of Daniel 2 that point out the destruction of the earth’s king-
doms are like those of Pharaoh under Joseph. In fact, both were given originally
to a secular world ruler who was intimately connected to one of God’s faithful
men. This remarkable parallel is bolstered by the parallel conclusions of God’s
interpreters. Daniel wrote “The dream is certain.” There was no changing it.
Daniel’s later prophecies parallel those of Joseph in terms of the time ele-
ment. That is, as Joseph’s unconditional dreams were time prophecies, so too
were Daniel’s later symbol-rich dreams.
What principles do we have to help us tell determinate (unconditional)
prophecies from those that are conditional? The latter are given as warnings
or as encouragements. The former are given to show God’s wisdom. The lat-
ter are intended to be understood by the subjects of the prophecy. The former
may be couched in symbolic language.
And the former may be repeated under different symbols as evidence that
they will certainly be fulfilled. In the case of Daniel, parts are even sealed
until the future. The repetition also indicates imminence.

Conditional Elements in Unconditional Prophecies

Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs


be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence
cometh! (Matthew 18:7)

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The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe


to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for
that man if he had never been born. (Mark 14:21)

There are some events, both of a blessed nature and others of a negative
nature, that are essential elements in the plan of redemption. The death of Jesus
was one of these. The prophecy of His death, through the sanctuary service,
for example, was a determinate prophecy. There was no getting around it.
But that prophecy did not involve Judas by name. It could have been
fulfilled through another. Judas’ part was neither coerced nor excused by
Heaven.
Other prophecies of God’s blessings on His faithful people, on the chil-
dren of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are “without repentance.” In other words,
they cannot be annulled. Yet the individuals singled out for blessing are by
no means determinate.
This was the confusion of the Jews. They confused the determinate proph-
ecy (that God would bless the children of the faithful, as per the second com-
mandment) with the conditional element that included them, as individuals,
among the children of the faithful.

I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I
also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benja-
min. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye
not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession
to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets,
and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my
life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved
to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the
image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a rem-
nant according to the election of grace. . . . And so all Israel shall be
saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and
shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto
them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel,
they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they
are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God
are without repentance. (Romans 11:1–5; 11:26–29)

And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and


keep my commandments. (Deuteronomy 5:10)

Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful
God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him
and keep his commandments to a thousand generations. (Deuter-
onomy 7:9)
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Conditional Prophecy and Predestination

Paul reasons, in Romans 11, that God’s promises to the Jews have never
been abrogated. Rather, those promises were only made to the faithful. Accord-
ingly, most Jews have been cut off from the blessings, and many Gentiles have
been included as members of true Israel because of their faithfulness. As such,
“all Israel” will be saved.
The “chosen” ones among the nation inherit the promises. The rest are, on
the whole, enemies of the gospel. Yet, they are to be beloved as family, being
the literal descendants of faithful Abraham. For more on spiritual descent as
character likeness, see John 8; Romans 2:28–29; 8:14; Galatians 3:29.
This issue, the conditional/determinate nature of the promises to “Israel”
is perhaps the primary issue dividing Adventism from the rest of Evangelical
Christianity in terms of prophetic interpretation.
And parallel to that difference is a difference between how we and they
view the sovereignty of God.

God Exercises Special Oversight of the Nations


Men that are in earthly authority are there by God’s decision. This may
be, at first inspection, an uncomfortable doctrine of Scripture.

By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princ-


es rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. (Proverbs
8:15–16)

Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me,


except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered
me unto thee hath the greater sin. (John 19:11)

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there
is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
(Romans 13:1)

These men are God’s “ministers,” entrusted with lethal power for the
dual purpose of repressing evil and encouraging well-doing. (See Romans
13:2–8)
Nebuchadnezzar was nearly destroyed by the thought that he had placed
himself at the head of the world’s greatest empire. This is the backdrop of
Daniel 4.

This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand


by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know

. The chapter is more than a personification of wisdom; it is a description of Jesus under that
title. He is the Person named “Wisdom.”
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Deeper

that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to
whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. . . .
And they shall drive thee from men . . . until thou know that the
most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whom-
soever he will. (Daniel 4:17, 32)

Daniel 4, by figures, also reveals the purpose of earthly kingdoms. They


promote peace and protection and suppress anarchy and fear. They are used to
punish each other. They are vehicles for God’s wrath. There, under the protec-
tion of government, the beasts enjoyed repose and the birds made safe nests.

King of Kings
As the one that uses the nations for His own purposes, God reserves to Himself
the ultimate title of King of Kings, though lesser emperors have often used the title
more or less accurately to describe themselves. (See Daniel 2:37, 47; Ezra 7:12)
When God gives nations their local sovereignty, He gives them the right to
rule their subjects. And so the New Testament bids us obey our governments.
Does this right to rule extend to the papacy? The papacy claims the role of
King of Kings as well. (See Daniel 11:36) She has been given substantial power
for a limited time. (See Daniel 7:25) But her claim to rule beyond the bounds
of her civil state (the Vatican, today) is an unwarranted assumption of power.
In other words, she has not been given power over other sovereign nations.
This truth was used by Wycliffe to great effect and the long-term result was
that England became Protestant.
God chooses the boundaries of nations.
In fact, God even has purpose in His arrangement of national borders.

And [He] hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell
on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before
appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek
the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though
he be not far from every one of us. (Acts 17:26–27)

Further, God has purpose even in bringing the “basest” of men into power.

For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose
have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my
name might be declared throughout all the earth. (Romans 9:17)

Far from raising only good men to positions of civil power, God promised
to raise cruel men to that position if that would be in the eternal interest of His
people. (See Deuteronomy 28:47–56) If they would reject His gentle leading,

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Conditional Prophecy and Predestination

they would be given a taste of Satan’s style of administration. It was God’s


hope that such national disaster would lead men to seek Him.

For I will be . . . as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even


I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue
him. I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their
offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.
(Hosea 5:14–15)

As God established kings and governments to protect the rights of men,


He reserves the right to overpower their judgment in things pertaining to the
subjects. They are free to rebel against their Creator, but they may be, for the
benefit of God’s faithful, restrained in their executive decisions.

The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of


water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. (Proverbs 21:1)

He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with


his servants. (Psalm 105:25)

He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them


captives. (Psalm 106:46; see also Ezra 7:27–28; Nehemiah 1:11)

If men object to this doctrine that God surely did not raise Innocent III,
Hitler, or Lenin, let it be remembered that the blood of martyrs is seed, that
in darkness men search for God who otherwise would never do so. We can-
not see all things.
Can those who know truly say that the wonderful freedoms we enjoy in
the United States have been a more prosperous ground for Adventism that the
repressive regimes that sought to crush the church in other lands? Our numbers
are larger here. But where are we the most spiritual?
God’s ruling in the affairs of state and His placement of men at the head
of other men both aim to secure a seeking populace if “haply they might feel
after Him and find Him.”
Because of His overarching rule in the kingdoms of men, we can rightly
say that Jesus is the “only Potentate” and the King of Kings, the prince of the
“kings of the earth.” (See 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 1:5; 17:14)

God’s Sovereignty and Predestination


Some men have, however, failed to notice the distinction between God’s
management of nations and His management of individuals. For these men,
God’s sovereignty means that nothing happens but what God wills.
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Deeper

As evidence for this, they cite the fact that God had chosen certain men
to salvation. If this is true, it is no large jump in logic to say that those not
chosen are, well, very unfortunate.
Before criticizing Calvin’s version of the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, let
us acknowledge that he had grounds for his belief. God has, indeed, chosen
men to salvation from the foundation of the earth. (See Revelation 17:8)

But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you . . .
because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation
through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. (2 Thes-
salonians 2:13)

Predestination
Calvinists fail, however, to understand the relation between foreknowledge
and predestination. The relation is spelled out a few verses before Romans 9.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be


conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn
among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)

This is the Bible doctrine. God knows the way that we will take. He can
see the future like we can see the present. He knows those that are His. (See
2 Timothy 2:19) Foreknowledge is the ground even of the choosing, or elec-
tion, described in 2 Thessalonians 2:13 above.

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,


through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprin-
kling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be
multiplied. (1 Peter 1:2)

What was God looking for in His foreknowledge? Sanctification by the


Spirit’s power, obedience to the faith, belief in the truth. These qualities declare
a man to be a child of God and a true child of Abraham. God will never cast
away such people. They are the faithful remnant we studied in an earlier in
this lesson. You may remember this verse:

God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.


(Romans 11:2)

But what about Pharaoh in Romans 9 and in the story of Exodus? Was he
predestined to be lost?

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Conditional Prophecy and Predestination

If God intended to manipulate the will of the Pharaoh, He could have used
any Pharaoh. The fact that God chose Pharaoh is evidence that foreknowledge,
rather than captivity of the will, was at work. The word “endured” reveals that
not all that happens is the will of God.

For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same pur-
pose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee,
and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. . . .
What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power
known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fit-
ted to destruction. (Romans 9:17–22)

God had to look carefully to find someone as stubborn as Pharaoh, some-


one that would resist God’s will so defiantly that God’s full power in defense
of His people could be shown.

Conditional and Unconditional Elements in Relation to God’s


Sovereignty
When we come back to consider the death of Jesus, we have an interesting
unconditional prophecy. On the one hand God determined that Jesus would die
for our sins. This was certain. If no men had been found to do it, evil angels
would have been permitted to do it. But there was no lack of evil men. God
knew, by foreknowledge, the parts that the various actors would play in the
crucifixion. Their words as well as their actions were prophesied.

Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and fore-


knowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have cru-
cified and slain. (Acts 2:23)

Romans 9 illustrates the truth of foreknowledge by the births of Isaac


and Jacob. God prophesied of their future state before they had done either
right or wrong. Their life, and the lives of their brethren, demonstrated the
accuracy of God’s foreknowledge. This is the argument that is concluded in
chapter 11 with the declaration that God has not cast away His people that
He foreknew.
Following are two statements from Ellen White that touch on the old term
for predestination, “divine decrees”:

Every question of truth and error in the long-standing controversy


will then have been made plain. In the judgment of the universe, God
will stand clear of blame for the existence or continuance of evil. It
will be demonstrated that the divine decrees are not accessory to sin.

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There was no defect in God’s government, no cause for disaffection.


When the thoughts of all hearts shall be revealed, both the loyal and
the rebellious will unite in declaring, “Just and true are Thy ways,
Thou King of saints. Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy
name? . . . for Thy judgments are made manifest.” Revelation 15:3, 4.
(The Desire of Ages, p. 58)

The doctrine of the divine decrees, unalterably fixing the char-


acter of men, had led many to a virtual rejection of the law of God.
Wesley steadfastly opposed the errors of the antinomian teachers and
showed that this doctrine which led to antinomianism was contrary to
the Scriptures. (The Great Controversy, p. 261)

In closing, let it be understood that not everyone is chosen. Many are called;
few are chosen. But all may be. All may meet the requirements that God’s
foreknowledge was seeking when He said He knew those that were His.

. Though this issue may seem small to us, it is by no means small in Christianity, being a pri-
mary division point between Protestants. Extensive works have been written to defend the
doctrine of “God’s sovereignty,” the divine decrees. A short, yet comprehensive, work that
might be of interest to those that would like to see a very scriptural defense of the error can
be found at www.onlinebible.net. It is titled, “Antidote to Arminianism.” If you read it, read it
while you have person available that can help you through it. Then again, perhaps this chapter
is all you would need.
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Chapter Eight
Brief Thoughts on Michael in Scripture

M
any Catholic churches and schools are dedicated to “Saint
Michael.” In other communions he is highly revered as the highest
of the angels. But when persons discover what Adventists think
about Michael, they think we honor him far too much. Do we?
The Scripture testimony regarding “Michael” is quite brief. The following
are all the passages in Scripture referring to Michael:

But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and


twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one [ first, YLT] of the chief princes,
came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. . . .
But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth:
and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael
your prince. (Daniel 10:13, 21)

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which
standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time
of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that
same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one
that shall be found written in the book. (Daniel 12:1)

Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he


disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a
railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. (Jude 1:9)

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought
against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels. (Rev-
elation 12:7)

From these passages we can gather several points with certainty:


• Michael is an exalted being, one sent to help Gabriel in his struggles;

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Deeper

• Michael is either “one of the chief” [KJV] or “the first of the chief”
[YLT] among the angels;
• Michael is Daniel’s “prince” and a “great prince”;
• At the time of trouble, Michael stands as prince in defense of Daniel’s
people;
• Michael is the archangel;
• Michael fought with the Devil regarding the resurrection of Moses’ body
(and won); and
• Michael was over the angels that fought against the Devil and his
angels.

The positions ascribed to Michael in these verses include “prince” of God’s


people (i.e., Daniel’s people), archangel, and captain of the faithful angels.
When Jesus returns to this earth several things will happen that seem
relevant to what we know about Michael.
• There will be a resurrection of the bodies of the saints;
• Commands will be given to the loyal angels to gather the saints;
• The kingdoms of this earth will become the kingdoms of Christ; and
• The faithful will sit with Him on His throne.

The resurrection will be called for by the mighty voice of Christ.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is,
when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that
hear shall live. (John 5:25)

The commands will be given by the voice of Christ.

And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet,


and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from
one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:31)

And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together
his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth
to the uttermost part of heaven. (Mark 13:27)

. Or, . . . with a trumpet, and a great voice . . .


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Brief Thoughts on Michael in Scripture

The kingdoms will be ruled by Christ.

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in
heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the king-
doms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever
and ever. (Revelation 11:15)

It is interesting, and sensible, in light of this that the name “prince” is


reserved for Jesus. On earth there are many princes, but in the kingdom of
God we find one:

And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the
dead; whereof we are witnesses. (Acts 3:15)

Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and
a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
(Acts 5:31)

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the
first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.
Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own
blood. (Revelation 1:5)

As the devil made an issue over even a single resurrection, that of Moses,
it must come as a complete overthrow of his entire authority when all the
saints are resurrected. And we should note again that they are resurrected by
the voice of Jesus:

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that
are in the graves shall hear his voice. (John 5:28)

And the voice of “the Lord” that is connected, by Paul, to the resurrection
is the “voice of the archangel”:

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and
the dead in Christ shall rise first. (1 Thessalonians 4:16)

This brings us to a good question. Is Jesus the captain, or prince, of the


armies of heaven? Or might He have an angel working under Him in that posi-
tion? We find a definitive answer by comparing two texts of Scripture:

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And he said, Nay; but as captain [or, prince (margin)] of the


host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the
earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord
unto his servant? (Joshua 5:14)

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See
thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have
the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is
the spirit of prophecy. (Revelation 19:10)

Notice the contrast. The “captain of the host of the Lord” receives the wor-
ship of Joshua. The mighty angel of Revelation refuses the worship of John.
These observations lead, it seems to me, to the following inescapable
conclusion:
Either there are two captains of the Lord’s hosts, two beings with the voice of
the archangel, two beings exalted to be “prince” over God’s people, two agents in
the resurrection of the saints, two beings giving commands to the angels of God,
Or. . .
Jesus, a name chosen by God for our Savior, had the name “Michael” in
the Old Testament.
It is interesting, in this connection, to note that the New-Testament refer-
ences to Michael are all references to Old-Testament events—the fall of Lucifer
and the resurrection of Moses. We find no use of the name “Michael” for any
being after the day that God’s Son is named “Jesus.”
Now another passage fits in nicely here:

For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my
Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a
Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth
in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels
of God worship him. (Hebrews 1:5–6)

Worship was given to the “captain of the host of the Lord.” Even more
than this, Joshua was commanded to put off his shoes. The place where he
was standing was holy. (See Joshua 5:26) Doesn’t this remind you of Moses at
the burning bush? Who was it in that bush that made the ground holy, before
whom Moses worshipped unrebuked? It must have been our Lord Jesus.
And what does the Bible call Him?

And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire
out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush
burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. (Exodus 3:2)

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Brief Thoughts on Michael in Scripture

And more than that, when Malachi predicted that Jesus would come, what
did the prophet call Him? He calls “the Lord” the “messenger of the covenant.”
This word “messenger” comes from a Hebrew word that is translated “mes-
senger” almost 100 times and “angel” some 111 times in the Old Testament.

Behold, I will send my messenger [John the Baptist], and he


shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall
suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant,
whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.
(Malachi 3:1)

Jesus, Michael, our Prince, our coming King, Captain of the host of the
Lord, the Archangel, Creator, not created, will descend and rout the prince of
this world, send the holy angels to gather the saints, and we will reign with
Him.
Amen! I so look forward to it.

119
Chapter Nine
Satan Burns “For Ever and Ever”?

W
hy do we say “for ever and ever”? Isn’t it a bit like saying “for
eternity and eternity” or “never ending and never ending” or “to
everlasting and everlasting”?
We say it because we read it in the Bible. The Puritans’ use of Scripture
was so wonderfully relentless that many Biblical phrases entered into our way
of talking. In the case of “for ever and ever,” the phrase worked its way into
fairytales. And maybe it is from the fairytales that many of us adopted this
singular and redundant way of talking. Yet the phrase is not redundant when
used in Scripture.
The term “for ever and ever” is used 46 times in the Old and New Testa-
ments. That is a small enough number that we can take the time to be a little
technical. Not every time is the expression derived from the same Hebrew or
Greek words. We can categorize the various renderings on the basis of the
way they are worded in Hebrew or Greek.
We will begin with a review of the various words used for “ever” in
these passages. As the average reader could not read the original Hebrew or
Greek words, I will refer to those words by their number found in Strong’s
Exhaustive Concordance, which is used in the most common Greek and
Hebrew lexicons today. For this reason, these numbers are called “Strong’s
numbers.”
And under each of these words I will note how that word is used in Scrip-
ture. Of particular interest to Seventh-day Adventists is the question, “Does
‘ever’ mean ‘eternity’?”

. Please note: In the original Strong’s numbering system, a Hebrew word and a Greek word
could share the same number, being differentiated in the concordance only by the fact that the
numbers for Greek words were italicized. In this book, we are using a convention common
in many later references keyed according to this numbering system: The numbers for Hebrew
words begin with a leading zero (0), whereas the numbers for Greek words do not.
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Satan Burns “For Ever and Ever”?

Words Translated “Ever” in the 46 Passages

Word #05769 Used 439 times in the Old Testament


Incidents where it is clear that this word does not denote an
eternal volume of time include Genesis 6:4, where it is translated
“of old.” An interesting use is the first use—Genesis 3:22. Here
those that eat of the tree of life “live for ever.” For this reason
Adam and Eve were removed from the garden. Young’s Literal
Translation renders #05769 most consistently as “age-during.” The
Rotherham translation renders it as “age-abiding” and in the past
as “age-past.”

Word #05703 Used 49 times in the Old Testament


Incidents where it is clear that #05703 does not denote an eter-
nal volume of time include Habakkuk 3:6, where the “everlast-
ing” mountains are scattered by Christ’s coming. In Amos 1:11,
the descendants of Esau are condemned for having kept their anger
against their brother “for ever.” Rotherham often renders it “to futu-
rity” or “perpetually.”

The phrase “for ever and ever” is derived from these two Hebrew words
almost every time it shows up in the Old Testament. The other three Old-Tes-
tament occurrences use three other words.

Word #05331 Isaiah 34:10


This word is used 43 times in the Old Testament. It is often used
in parallel with #05769 and so should not be much distinguished
from it. It has some usages that are unrelated to the question—“vic-
tory,” “strength”—and is often used in questions and in negatives.

Word #05957 Daniel 2:20; 7:18


This is the Aramaic of the Hebrew word #05769. It is used
uniquely in Ezra and Daniel, where it occurs 20 times in uses very
similar to the way that #05769 is used elsewhere.

Word #05705 Daniel 2:20; 7:18


This is the Aramaic of the Hebrew word #05704 (not a typo for
#05703). It is used uniquely in Ezra and Daniel, where it occurs 32
times. Only when used in conjunction with #05957 does it denote
“ever.” In other passages it is translated as “until,” “season,” “end,”
and in various other ways that designate a limited time.

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So these are the five words translated “ever” in Old-Testament phrases


“for ever and ever.” The word “ever” is in the phrase twice, and the following
chart shows how the phrase is formed in Hebrew/Aramaic.

Formulations of These Five Old-Testament Words Translated “For Ever


and Ever”
Formula
Designation
(See below) Order of Words References
A 05769 05769 1 Chronicles 16:36; 29:10;
Nehemiah 9:5; Jeremiah 7:7;
25:5
B 05769 05703 Exodus 15:18; Psalm 9:5; 10:16;
21:4; 45:6, 17; 48:14; 52:8;
119:44; 145:1, 2, 21; Daniel 12:3;
Micah 4:5
B2 05703 05769 Psalm 111:8; 148:6; Isaiah 30:8
C 05957 05705 05957 Daniel 2:20
D 05705 05957 05957 Daniel 7:18
E 05331 05331 Isaiah 34:10

As noted initially, we would not in English write “eternity and eternity”


or “to everlasting and everlasting.” These would seem redundant. We do,
however, say “for ever and ever” and have probably picked this up from
the Bible.
But in the Bible it appears that this is no redundancy. The individual
words “ever” do not, of themselves, necessarily indicate eternity. The habit
of using them in repetition is enough to demonstrate the truthfulness of this
assertion. Rotherham and Young’s Literal (two of the most literal transla-
tions available) translate these two formulas as follows:

Formula
Designation
(See below) Rotherham
A 05769 05769 “one age even to/unto another” “age
even unto age” “age to age”
B 05769 05703 “age-abiding and beyond”

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Satan Burns “For Ever and Ever”?

B2 05703 05769 “futurity, to/unto times age-abiding”;


“perpetually—age abiding”

Young’s Literal
A 05769 05769 “from the age [and] unto the age”
“from age even unto age”
B 05769 05703 “to the age, and for ever”; “age-
during—and for ever”
B2 05703 05769 “for a latter day . . . unto the age”;
“for ever to the age”

What Kind of Persons or Things or Events Last “For Ever and Ever”?
The subjects of these formulas—the persons or objects that were to last
“for ever and ever” are differentiated below. The designation A represents the
first formula, B the second. B2 represents the reversed order pairs. C and D
represent Daniel 2 and 7 respectively.

Object Formula References


Jehovah A 1 Chronicles 16:36; 29:10;
Nehemiah 9:5
Jehovah B Exodus 5:18; Psalm 10:16
Blotting B, E Psalm 9:5; Isaiah 34:10
Out/Obliteration
Gift of Life B Psalm 21:4
Jehovah’s Throne B Psalm 45:6
Jehovah’s Praise B Psalm 45:17; 145:1, 2, 21
Jehovah’s Praise C Daniel 2:20
Jehovah’s Identity B Psalm 48:14
My Trust in Jehovah B Psalm 52:8
Commandments B2 Psalm 111:8
Law Keeping B Psalm 119:44
Heavens2 B2 Psalm 148:6
Record of Rebellion B2 Isaiah 30:8

2. The antecedent is earlier. It seems to include the ‘waters’ above the heavens. I am not certain
of its meaning.

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Gift of Canaan A Jeremiah 7:7; 25:5


Evangelists; Stars B Daniel 12:3
Right-Living B Micah 4:5
Saints’ Reign D Daniel 7:18

Summary: The Old-Testament formulations translated “for ever and


ever” always refer to Jehovah, His qualities, His work, or the saints. They
are often stated in terms of contrast with the wicked and the works of
men—both of which are transitory.
The only passage that is even apparently troubling to standard Adven-
tist doctrine is Isaiah 30:8. Adventists might expect the record of evil to
be erased after the final burning. But perhaps this is unfounded. Perhaps
the record of sin and all that it caused will be always available for review.

New-Testament Passages
All the New-Testament Passages are formed the same way, all from a rep-
etition of the Greek word #165. The second word is generally in the genitive
form and this is where the “of” comes from in the translations. Below you can
see how Rotherham and Young translate this Greek phrase.

Rotherham “ages of the ages”; “ages of ages”;


“times age-abiding”3; “the ages”
Young’s Literal “ages of the ages”; “age of the age”4;
“ages of ages”5

The subjects of these formulas—the persons or objects that were to last


“for ever and ever” are differentiated below.

Subject References
Glory be to God Galatians 1:8; Philippians 4:20;
1 Timothy 1:17; 2 Timothy 4:18;
Hebrews 13:21; 1 Peter 4:11;
Revelation 1:6; 5:13; 7:12
God’s Throne Hebrews 1:8

3. In Hebrews 1:8. This passage alone is singular in Greek.
4. In Hebrews 1:8. This passage alone is singular in Greek.
5. Revelation 14:11. This passage alone is lacking the definite articles.

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Satan Burns “For Ever and Ever”?

Dominion be to God 1 Peter 5:11


God’s Life Revelation 4:9, 10; 10:6; 15:7
God’s Reign Revelation 11:5
Torment Smoke’s Ascent Revelation 14:11; 19:3
Devil’s Torment Revelation 20:10
Saints’ Reign Revelation 22:5

Summary: The New-Testament formula nearly always refers to God’s


deserved honor, His reign, and that of His saints. The exceptions to this
formula refer to the ascent of the smoke of torment from the last-day wicked
persons (Revelation 14:11; 19:3) and to Satan’s torment itself.
Only Revelation 20:10 is apparently troubling to the Adventist view.
The two forever-smoke passages are similar in meaning to Isaiah 30:8 and
seem to refer to the everlasting impact of sin on those that know its history
and its sure results. They will ever be aware that sin caused suffering and
destruction. This eternal knowledge will be to the righteous as the scent
of smoke on a fireman’s clothing—evidence of what once was.
But what are we to make of Revelation 20:10?
From Ezekiel 28, we find that Lucifer will be brought “to ashes” by a
fire that God kindles from the midst of our foe.

Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine


iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth
a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring
thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold
thee. (Ezekiel 28:18)

In Isaiah 14, we find that he will be brought down to the “side of the pit”
and that those that “see” him there will “narrowly look upon” him and will
consider the irony that such a helpless criminal could be the one that destroyed
the world and its cities.

They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider
thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that
did shake kingdoms. (Isaiah 14:16)

As an apparent statement of justice, they go on to comment that he “opened


not the house of his prisoners.” Isaiah 14:17. There is no record of them seeing any-
one else. And the impact of his wickedness is spoken of entirely in past tense.

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In short, it seems that Satan will be left to suffer for some significant period
of time, apparently appropriately described as “for ages and ages.” This does
not seem entirely unlikely when one considers the possibilites listed below.
(While the numbers below are purely speculative, excepting the estimate of
world population which is more like a reasonable guess, they illustrate well
the point. The Devil has significant suffering awaiting him after all others
have been consumed.)
• That the scapegoat bears the sins of the congregation in the Day of
Atonement
• That there have been an estimated 35 to 70 billion persons alive since
creation
• That if only 1 in 700 of 35 billion were saved at last, that would be 50
million
• That if the Devil burned only two minutes for each of these persons,
that would come to 190 years.

And as the last phrase in Revelation 20:9 speaks of the fire consuming the
rest of the wicked, it seems that this contrast in burning time must be the bur-
den of Revelation 20:10 if it is to be harmonized with the rest of Scripture.

And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed


the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came
down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil
that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone,
where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented
day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:9–10)

In other words, the passage teaches that the fire that comes down from
God and devours the wicked leaves the Devil to suffer for “ages and ages”
after the wicked are no more.
And we recall the evidence that neither of the words translated “ever” is
necessarily indicative of an eternity. Together, in Revelation 20:10, they should
be understood “for ages and ages”:

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire
and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall
be tormented day and night for ages and ages.

And that will be just. Just and true are Thy ways, oh King of saints.

126
Section III
Questions Regarding the Time

T
here is a class of men that enjoy chronology. I can’t relate to them,
but I appreciate their work. They can speak of the correlation of com-
puter-dated eclipses to the ancient records of the same in the annals
of ancient historians.
And it is thanks to their careful work that we can assign dates to ancient
events. It is thanks to them that we can find reliable beginning points for the
time prophecies of the book of Daniel.
But their careful work has not stopped gainsayers. The Millerites published
a book, still available today, that drew on the works of chronologers to settle
the ancient dates used in the Millerite preaching. Titled Sacred Chronology,
written by Sylvester Bliss, it is not easy to read. But it is thorough.
In our day, in the Adventist church, questions about time prophecies are
usually of a different nature. We seem to want to reapply prophecies that have
been fulfilled in the past and show how they describe the future.
One thing that Ellen White says indicates that the fulfillment of the proph-
ecies will explain them:

Those who become confused in their understanding of the Word,


who fail to see the meaning of antichrist, will surely place themselves
on the side of antichrist. There is no time now for us to assimilate with
the world. Daniel is standing in his lot and in his place. The prophecies
of Daniel and of John are to be understood. They interpret each other.
They give to the world truths which every one should understand. These
prophecies are to be witnesses in the world. By their fulfillment in these
last days they will explain themselves. (The Seventh-day Adventist
Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 949)

But other things she said indicate that we might be a little too anxious to
find end-time applications to already fulfilled prophecies:

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Deeper

There have been one and another who in studying their Bibles
thought they discovered great light, and new theories, but these have
not been correct. The Scripture is all true, but by misapplying the
Scripture men arrive at wrong conclusions. We are engaged in a mighty
conflict, and it will become more close and determined as we near the
final struggle. We have a sleepless adversary, and he is constantly at
work upon human minds that have not had a personal experience in
the teachings of the people of God for the past fifty years. Some will
take the truth applicable to their time and place it in the future. Events
in the train of prophecy that had their fulfillment away in the past are
made future, and thus by these theories the faith of some is undermined.
(Selected Messages, book 2, p. 102)

This section addresses the prophecies at the end of Daniel 12—the 1290-
and 1335-day periods. This is, doubtless, the most commonly reinterpreted
prophecy of the book of Daniel.
And it also addresses a prophecy spoken of by William Miller, the 2520-
day prophecy. Due particularly to the work of a few expositors in our day, this
topic has been receiving much attention.
Finally, there is a chapter about the principles that govern the reapplica-
tion and multiple fulfillments of prophecies. The short of it is that, as noted
above, we wouldn’t want to take “events . . . away in the past” and make them
“future.”
Much more could be written on that last point. Speculative interpretations
of a prophecy can be invented in sixty minutes that may require scores of hours
to debunk. And so one can better avoid being duped by refusing to entertain
poorly proven points than by trying to disprove the same.

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Chapter Ten
The 1290- and 1335-Day Prophecies

T
here was a time when Adventists were mostly united in their views
of how the prophecies of Daniel should be applied. Ellen was shown
something of this early in her career as a messenger:

When union existed, before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct
view of the “daily”; but in the confusion since 1844, other views have been
embraced, and darkness and confusion have followed. Time has not been
a test since 1844, and it will never again be a test. (Early Writings, p. 75)

Stephen Haskell read more into this statement than it said. Long after
this was written, when all were again seeing “other views” being embraced,
Haskell reminded the church about this statement. On the basis of it, he held
that new views (such as the view of William White and others regarding the
“daily”) ought to be abandoned in favor of Miller’s view.
Ellen did not support Stephen in his efforts to support her. As God’s mes-
senger she refused to be a substitute for Bible study. And she refrained from
giving support to one side or another on an issue of lesser importance that
threatened to divide the brethren.
She explained:

I have words to speak to my brethren east and west, north and south.
I request that my writings shall not be used as the leading argument to
settle questions over which there is now so much controversy. I entreat
of Elders H, I, J, and others of our leading brethren, that they make no
reference to my writings to sustain their views of “the daily.”
It has been presented to me that this is not a subject of vital impor-
tance. I am instructed that our brethren are making a mistake in magni-
fying the importance of the difference in the views that are held. I cannot
consent that any of my writings shall be taken as settling this matter.
The true meaning of “the daily” is not to be made a test question.
I now ask that my ministering brethren shall not make use of my
writings in their arguments regarding this question [“the daily”]; for

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I have had no instruction on the point under discussion, and I see no


need for the controversy. Regarding this matter under present condi-
tions, silence is eloquence. (Selected Messages, book 1, p. 164)

There are other views that the brethren were united on in 1844. Their
understanding of the 1260-day prophecies and of the 1290- and 1335-day
prophecies bore a remarkable similarity to each other.
But it is not so today.

Various Views
A prominent evangelist has written a book that gives a futuristic applica-
tion of the 1290- and 1335-day prophecies. A televised Sabbath-school program
on 3ABN dished out a similarly future interpretation of these two.
And these two notable examples are only notable for the status of the
teachers. So many others have made similar interpretations that neither of
these two are remarkable for their content.
Common to many schemes of interpretation among Adventists today is the
thought that there indeed has been a historical fulfillment of these prophecies
that can be placed on a time line. But added to this is the thought that a more
important and relevant fulfillment is yet future.
And so, more than other prophecies, one’s understanding of the 1290 and
1335 hinges on how one views the question of dual application in prophetic
interpretation.
I am not interested in using Ellen White as a leading argument in settling
the question of the 1290- and 1335-day prophecies. I do think that we can settle
the question well with Scripture, and then we would do well to heed what she
has to say on this topic.

The Prophecies
The final revelation to Daniel is found in Daniel 11 and 12. There the his-
tory of over 2400 years is briefly outlined. The concluding elements are found
in Daniel 12:1–3. These are the deliverance of God’s people during the time
of trouble, the special resurrection, and the glorification of the saints at the
beginning of their everlasting life.
Then Daniel is ordered to close and seal his messages until the time of
the end:

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even
to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge
shall be increased. (Daniel 12:4)

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The 1290- and 1335-Day Prophecies

When the scroll is unsealed, when men can finally understand it, they will
move accordingly. They will unroll the scroll and hasten up and down it to
better be able to study its various parts. And they will, accordingly, come to
understand it. Knowledge will be increased regarding the book of Daniel.
But the book was sealed for the time being. An angel nearby asked the
question that Daniel must have been wondering:

And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the
waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these won-
ders? (Daniel 12:6)

Jesus swears in the next verse that it will be at the end, or accomplishment,
of a 1260-day scattering period. This is neither the first nor the last reference
to this same period of time in the Scriptures. These 1260 prophetic days mark
the period in which the papacy held the position of successor to Babylon, Per-
sia, Greece, and Rome as master over the known world.
Though the papacy was powerful even in the fourth century, though she
converted many pagan tribes in the fifth, it was not until the sixth that she
mounted the dragon that she is pictured as riding in Revelation 17. In other
words, not until the sixth century was the papacy in control of a nation. Only
then did she become sovereign in the feudal-like system.
She became a civil power, allowing her to appear in the empire prophecies
of Daniel 7 and 8, when the pope became as a feudal lord over the Franks in
508. That was the beginning of her existence as a state.
She became the world’s dominant civil power when she became feudal
lord over the city of Rome and of the Eastern Roman Empire in 538.
This was her time to rule over God’s people, to war against them, to drive
them (as it were) into the wilderness. And these ideas—connected with the
1260 days in Daniel 7 and Revelation 12 and Revelation 13—are summarized
in Daniel 12:6 as a scattering of the power of God’s people.
But these things were not understood by the prophet himself. Like the
angel, he wanted to know when the time would come for the book to be
unsealed. And as he had not understood the answer to the question, he asked
again.

And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord,


what shall be the end of these things? (Daniel 12:8)

Jesus begins to answer by alluding to the fact that there is a good reason
for Daniel’s inability to comprehend. The vision is not yet unsealed. Thinking
about it will not change this, so Daniel might as well go about his business.

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Deeper

And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up
and sealed till the time of the end. (Daniel 12:9)

But this is only the beginning of Jesus’ answer. When the time of the end
comes, Jesus explains, some will participate in a special work of sanctification.
Others will not. And none of the others will be able to understand the book
when it is unsealed. Only the “wise” sanctified ones will understand.

Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the
wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand;
but the wise shall understand. (Daniel 12:10)

Daniel had asked about the time of the end but hadn’t yet received any
more information about its timing. That information Jesus gave next. When
will the time of the end be?

And from the time that the daily . . . shall be taken away, and
the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thou-
sand two hundred and ninety days. (Daniel 12:11)

Connect or Speculate
It is ironic that persons do not catch the connection between verse 11 and
verses 8–9. Without the connection, one is left to speculate regarding the event
prophesied to take place at the conclusion of the 1290. Verse 11 says nothing
about what happens at the close of the period.
It would not be sensible to say, “It will be fourteen days from the last snow
until nothing in particular happens.” But if a prominent event has been the
theme of conversation, and a knowing person says, “And from the time of the
first snow it will be 14 days,” all would understand that the prominent event
would take place at the conclusion of the 14-day period.
What has been the theme of the seven verses before verse 11? The book
is sealed until the “time of the end” (v. 4); at the end men, will “understand”
the book (v. 5). So how long will it be “to the end” (v. 6)? The end will be
after 1260 days of scattering (v. 7). Daniel asks again regarding “the end” (v.
8). The book is sealed until “the time of the end” (v. 9). At that point the wise
“will understand” (v. 10).
Emphatically the topic has been the unsealing of Daniel’s prophecies at
“the time of the end.” So when our Lord Jesus says, “And from the taking
away of the daily it will be 1290 days,” we ought to understand that this is a
second way to arrive at the date of the time of the end.

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The 1290- and 1335-Day Prophecies

Continuity and Papal Diversity


As our pioneers noted, the word “sanctuary” is supplied in verse 11 as it is
repeatedly in Daniel 8 and 11. The Hebrew word translated “daily” is used 95
times outside the book of Daniel. Eighty of these occurrences are translated
“continual” or “continually.” Only two are translated “daily.”
When used substantively (that is, as a noun, like in its usage in the book
of Daniel), the closest English equivalent is “continuity.”
Interestingly, in Daniel 7 the fourth beast is said to be “diverse” from the
first three. Daniel asks particularly about the “diverse” beast. He is told that
it will be the fourth kingdom on the earth. And finally, in the next verse after
that, we are told what it is that makes the Roman beast “diverse.”

. . . and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it;
and it had ten horns. (Daniel 7:7)

Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was
diverse from all the others; . . . which stamped the residue [rem-
nant] with his feet. (Verse 19)

Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon
earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms. . . . (Verse 23)

And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall
arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse
from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. (Verse 24)

Do you see what makes the beast “diverse?” Look at the last verse just
quoted. It is the little horn that differs from the nations and kingdoms that pre-
ceded it. That diverse little horn, of course, dominates the rest of the prophecy
and much of the book of Daniel.
So what was it that brought an end to the continuity of empire succes-
sions in Daniel 7? It was the rise of the papacy as a small civil power. And
this happened in 508, as described above when proto-France became the first
subjugated land of this little horn. Then that little horn shows up again in
chapter eight, again taking away the continuity.
How was the little horn “diverse”? In Daniel 8 it differs from Persia and
Greece in several ways. It had power over God’s people (v. 10, “even to the
host of heaven.”) It magnified itself to equality with Prince Jesus (v. 11). The
truth (v. 12) regarding the sanctuary (v. 11) was cast down.
In short, the little horn was intent on something more than secular domin-
ion. It was domineering over the people of God and over the truth. And this
is precisely how Daniel 7 characterizes the little horn in the next verse after
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Deeper

v. 24 above. In verse 25 the people of God are given into the papacy’s power
for 1260 days, and the truth regarding the law is perverted by her.
So we are not surprised to find Daniel 12 referring back to the little horn’s
rise in two stages. In the first stage, a triple-crown power makes its first
national conquest. The diverse little horn rises. In the second stage, the little
horn subdues three others with the empire’s forces, making them her own,
and rises to world dominion.
From either of these dates men may know the timing of the “time of the
end.” It is 1290 years from the first and 1260 years from the second. Both
bring you to 1798 when, in a perfectly sensible conclusion to either reckoning,
the papacy simultaneously lost both world dominion and national existence.
Rome was made a republic by the French.
Dating from the first of these events, Jesus continues, you will find a
blessed movement rising after 1798. What do we know about the movement
from Daniel 12:12?

Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three


hundred and five and thirty days. (Daniel 12:12)

• We know that the movement is “blessed.”


• We know that the movement is a waiting movement.
• We know that the movement has a time in mind. They are coming to
a date.
• We know the date is 1843 (1335 days plus a 508 start date).
• From the rest of Daniel 12 we know that the movement is based on an
understanding of the book of Daniel opened in 1798.

So the book of Daniel concludes with a prophecy of the blessed Advent


movement, the only movement rising in response to an understanding of the
book of Daniel to wait for an event in 1843.

The 1843 Event
What event? The Bible does answer this question.
Habakkuk described this same period of time. We find the Lord referring
to some prophecy that could be written on “tables” and that men should “run”
when they can read it. Daniel had mentioned that men would run to and fro
when the book is unsealed. Habakkuk indicated that the vision had a time
prophecy regarding when it would “speak” or, as Daniel said, be unsealed.

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The 1290- and 1335-Day Prophecies

And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and
make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the
vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and
not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it
will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in
him: but the just shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:2–4)

The prophet was shown that whatever event the blessed persons were wait-
ing for, it would not happen when they expected it would. It would appear to
“tarry.” And what were they to be doing? They were to “wait for it” because
it would surely come. Also, the time prophecy would be fulfilled punctually,
despite appearances.
But what were the Daniel 12:12 people waiting for? Paul, quoting Habak-
kuk, gives us our final answer.

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great


recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye
have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet
a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul
shall have no pleasure in him. (Hebrews 10:35–38)

Taken together, Daniel 12, Habakkuk 2, and Hebrews 10 teach that a


blessed group of persons would study the recently unsealed book of Daniel,
and as a result they would make charts to warn the world to prepare for Christ’s
coming. “He that shall come will come.”
They would be looking for that coming, says Daniel 12, in 1843.
Why not 1844? The answer is plain. The 1335 days is not about the event
at its termination. No terminating event is even given in the text. The 1335
is about the blessedness of a movement that was waiting for Christ’s com-
ing based on an understanding of Daniel. And what year were the Adven-
tists looking forward to during the years leading up to 1843? Not 1844, but
1843.

Daniel Removed From His Lot


How sad it is that many persons try to place the 1335-day prophecy, with
the 1290, into the future! If these time prophecies are in the future, then the
book of Daniel is not yet unsealed. Then the Advent movement was founded
on an error. Then we are robbed of one of the most simple and direct prophe-
cies of the founding of this great Advent movement. Let it not be.
As earlier in the chapter Daniel was told to go on his way because the book
could not yet be understood, so he is told again at the close.
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Deeper

But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and
stand in thy lot at the end of the days. (Daniel 12:13)

Daniel has been standing in his portion as teacher since 1798 (the end of the
1290 days) and in his position as being judged by the books since 1844 (the end
of the 2300 days). Though resting from his labors, his book has been opened. His
lifework has been the lifeblood of a blessed movement. And that is the message of
Revelation 10 and 14, the subjects of some other Bible study some other time.

Those who become confused in their understanding of the Word,


who fail to see the meaning of antichrist, will surely place themselves
on the side of antichrist. There is no time now for us to assimilate with
the world. Daniel is standing in his lot and in his place. The prophecies
of Daniel and of John are to be understood. They interpret each other.
They give to the world truths which every one should understand. These
prophecies are to be witnesses in the world. By their fulfillment in these
last days they will explain themselves. (The Seventh-day Adventist
Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 949)

“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three


hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be:
for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days” [Dan-
iel 12:12–13]. Daniel has been standing in his lot since the seal was
removed and the light of truth has been shining upon his visions. He
stands in his lot, bearing the testimony which was to be understood at
the end of the days. (Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, p. 226)

A careful consideration of the latter of these two statements by Ellen


White will show that she placed the “end of the days” of the 1290 and 1335
in her past. That was sensible. It still is, even if it isn’t the leading argument
in interpreting this passage.
As Daniel stands teaching on earth and stands in judgment in heaven, so do
we. Our message should be like his that our judgment may be like his also.

But What About Those Who Say It Is Future?


Just this morning, while editing this book, I received yet another emailed
study that suggests that these prophecies are literal time periods in the future.
Eventually I concluded (though I never verified this conclusion) that the study
was authored by someone who had read a book entitled Daniel, written by a
popular Adventist evangelist.
While visiting A.S.I. in Phoenix, I purchased a copy of the man’s book. I
had heard that it presented a futuristic interpretation of Daniel 12, but I had
never verified it for myself.
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The 1290- and 1335-Day Prophecies

On page 155 of the book is a chart of a most disturbing nature. It shows


the three time periods of Daniel 12, the 1260-, 1290-, and 1335-day periods,
as each beginning at the setting up of the “National Sunday Law Abomina-
tion of Desolation.”
According to the chart, three and a half years later will bring us to the
close of human probation. And one month after that, the death-sentence will
be decreed against us. Then, just over six weeks later, Jesus will return.
One great irony of the book is that it repeatedly speaks of 1798 as the
“time of the end.” It correctly teaches that the book of Daniel was unsealed at
this time. But I will have to try to ask the brother how he arrives at this date
for the “time of the end.”
Why would I ask this question? Because Adventists got this idea from
Daniel 12. It was our understanding of the 1260-day prophecy as leading up
to the “end” that led us to our conclusion.
This is an important point. The placing of the Daniel 12 “1260” into the
future removes all scriptural basis for associating the date 1798 with the phrase
“time of the end.” And as Ellen White makes it clear that our pioneers were
correct in saying that Daniel was unsealed at that time, we would be amiss
to say that she doesn’t weigh in on the question, “Is the 1260 days of Daniel
12 future?”
But there is more. As one of his primary arguments, the evangelist dis-
cusses the various words Daniel uses for time prophecies in the book of Dan-
iel. He reasons that since the Hebrew word for “day” is used only literally in
Daniel 1–10, we ought to understand it literally in Daniel 12.
Ironically, on page 88 of the same book, the author correctly explains that
“God has given a rule in Bible prophecy that a day represents one year.” Then, as
evidence, he refers the reader to Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6. Here is the irony:
These two passages use the very same word for “day” as does Daniel 12.
Aside, however, from these two inconsistencies between the good mate-
rial in most of the book and that troubling chapter at the end, there is a larger
issue. How do we relate to the plain statements of Inspiration?

Our position has been one of waiting and watching, with no time-
proclamation to intervene between the close of the prophetic periods in
1844 and the time of our Lord’s coming. (Last Day Events, p. 36)

Should we advance in spiritual knowledge, we would see the truth


developing and expanding in lines of which we have little dreamed,
but it will never develop in any line that will lead us to imagine that
we may know the times and the seasons which the Father hath put in
His own power. Again and again have I been warned in regard to time
setting. There will never again be a message for the people of God that
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Deeper

will be based on time. We are not to know the definite time either for
the outpouring of the Holy Spirit or for the coming of Christ. (Selected
Messages, book 1, p. 188)

This last statement addresses the often-abused truth regarding new light.
Should we expect new light? The Spirit affirms, “Yes.” Is that an open-sea-
son for each and every new idea to be given a full hearing? The Spirit denies
that it is so.
Some persons have noted that Daniel 12 is couched in literal words; there-
fore, they have claimed that the prophecies in it must be literal prophecies.
But this is faulty. In Daniel 7, the time prophecy is found not in the symbolic
section of the chapter but in the section that is explaining the symbols.
The time prophecies in Daniel 12 are likewise found in the explanatory
section of the Daniel 11–12 prophecy. And the “daily” and the “abomination”
in Daniel 12 are, in fact, symbols.

Conclusion
Daniel 12:4–12 is a prophecy of the middle-age rise and fall of the papacy
and the Advent movement that followed. It is true that there will be another
bout of persecution. There will be another gathering of the remnant. But Ellen
White’s comparison of the Sunday law to the destruction of Jerusalem is no
reason to find in every prophecy of an abomination that desolates a prophecy
of a Sunday law.
This idea is further developed in the next chapter of this book.
Now think this through: Why do we think that if someone has done a lot
of research and collected a lot of reasons and seems sweet and nice, that they
must be right? Have we forgotten how difficult it was for our pioneers to come
together in thought? And our logic and study and prayerfulness and experi-
ence in digging truth out of Scripture pales next to theirs.
In view of that, it should not offend one of us to be accused of being very
wrong in our conclusions. Better men than we were indeed very wrong 160
years ago. May we grow brighter in our research.

. Some persons reading this book will begin by searching to see what view it takes of the “daily.”
While this chapter alludes to my view on this prophetic hot potato, a fuller explanation is
found at my website, www.bibledoc.org under “Class Materials.” I did not want this book to
be defined by its position on the daily and so omitted the fuller presentation. Of course, one
cannot discuss the 1290 and 1335 without involving the daily to some degree.
138
Chapter Eleven
The Seven Times or the 2520-Year Prophecy

I have, on the wall in my study, a facsimile of one of the more prominent


Millerite charts. For more than fifteen years I have been interested in this chart
and particularly in the more obscure portions of it. I might have been about to
leave my teen years when I first realized that Miller and others taught about
a time period that was 2520 years long.
This chapter will survey the early Adventist teaching on the 2520-year
prophecy and will then offer several Biblical observations to those interested
in understanding what the Bible teaches in regard to the 2520.

Historical Survey
For those that are not familiar with the facts of this case, Miller believed
that there were two 1260-year periods that, together, made a 2520-year period.
(2520 is 7 times 360—seven prophetic years.) One of these 1260-year periods
is familiar to Adventists. It began in 538 and ended in 1798. It was the period
of papal civil supremacy mentioned earlier in the chapters on the mark of the
beast and on the last verses of Daniel 12.
The other is less familiar. It is what Miller believed to be the “times of the
Gentiles.” Luke 21:24. He understood this to be the first of the two 1260-year
periods brought to view in Revelation 11. And he thought this to be the one
pictured in Daniel 12.
For the timing of this first 1260-year period he took 677 BC as the begin-
ning of the Jewish captivity under Assyria-Babylon and brought this forward
1215 years to 538 AD. Then he added 45 years of non-Catholic Roman (Euro-
pean) control of Jerusalem to 1798 and came to 1843. One of the most interest-
ing features of this period, as Miller understood it, was that it coincided with
the jubilee release and with the 6000th year of the earth’s existence.

. In August of 1844, the Signs of the Times printed an article by Samuel Snow showing that the
period extended to 1844.
. He differed from Usher on this point, arguing that Usher and others missed about 150 years
during the time of the judges.
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Deeper

Miller opposed, on solid grounds, those persons who looked for a rebuilt
Jerusalem as a fulfillment of covenant promises. He argued that Christ’s
coming to reign on the throne of David would be the event of the jubilee that
would free the Jews from their 2520 years of bondage under a succession
of five great world empires. Thus, he taught, the Jews would be freed from
bondage at Christ’s return after more than two millennia under bondage to
other nations.
James White later quoted the Advent Shield, an early Millerite paper, to
show that Sabbath-keeping Adventists were justified in holding to the original
Millerite dates while other Adventists were setting new and untried dates.
The paragraphs that he quoted from the Advent Shield included a pass-
ing reference to the 2520 and to the “Great Jubilee” (the 2450-year prophecy
alluded to above, 49 x 50 years) showing that both terminated in 1844.
These same paragraphs from the early Advent Shield were quoted by
Seventh-day Adventists no less than seven times, three during the first year
of publication of the Sabbath Herald, two during the first year of publication
of the Review and Herald, and two during the tenth year of the Review and
Herald.
The seven-year prophetic period of Jewish captivity Miller found in several
Bible passages. He found it in Leviticus 26. He found it also in Deuteronomy
15, figured under the “seven year” release, the Sabbatical year. He found it also,
albeit in typological fashion, in the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s grass-eating
period. And he found it also in an obscure interpretation of Ezekiel 39:9.

Seventh-day Adventism on Miller


When Adventism was splintering, the Sabbath-keeping portion held to
more of Miller’s original teaching than any other branch. They held to Daniel 2,
7, 8 and 9 as taught by Miller. They adopted his understanding, though slightly
refined, of the latter portion of Daniel 12 and more or less to his understand-
ing of large portions of Daniel 11.
But we didn’t follow Miller on Leviticus 26. That is why you never grew
up hearing about the 2520-year time prophecy.
Hiram Edson did make a stab at reinterpreting the 2520 in a way that could
fit with Adventism. (For it was clear that Christ did not, in 1844, bring an end
to the Jewish captivity—Miller’s expectation.) Edson’s article was printed, at

. A chief problem with the incidence in Ezekiel is that it finds the fulfillment of a prophecy of
a future war and post war clean-up beginning so early that the war is ended and the clean-up
is ongoing for decades before Ezekiel ever makes the prophetic prediction. Presumably this
is why the 2300 days never show up in Revelation while the 1260-day prophecy does. If one
thinks this through, he will also see that it is an argument against Miller’s understanding of
Revelation 11:2 as well.
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The Seven Times or the 2520-Year Prophecy

the request of James White, before it had been “matured.” It was long, nearly
30,000 words. That is 47 single-spaced sheets of typing paper.
Edson differed from Miller significantly in that he dated the 2520 from
723 BC rather than from 677. The earlier date of Edson was based on the
captivity of the ten tribes and extended to 1798. In Edson’s view, then, the
first 1260 years were finished inclusive at the commencement of the second
1260-year period. Thus it was the Christian church, not the Jews, that were
released in 1798.
Edson’s article, in all fairness to him, was nothing like a statement of what
the pioneers believed either before its publication or at its publication. It was
the result of his personal investigation, and he presented it with a request for
his brethren to evaluate whether or not it would be useful.

As I have not time at present to mature the subject, I send you a


portion of the broken, unmatured ideas as they are. I do not ask that
they now go out as adopted or sanctioned by the Review, but merely
for the examination and inspection of the brethren; and if the subject
by them be judged to be of service to the church and worthy of further
investigation, then it may hereafter be revised, improved, and carried
out in its further bearing and extent. (Advent Review and Sabbath
Herald, January 3, 1856)

Much of Edson’s article  was a response to the First-day Adventists’


attempts to find in prophecy an allusion to an “age to come” of peace and
prosperity on the earth, especially for the Jews.
For the most part, it was these Sunday-keeping Adventists who held to
much of Miller’s teaching on the 2520. They expected an “age to come” at the
conclusion of that time that would bring an end to the Jewish captivity and
would see a renewed Jewish state. Uriah Smith addressed these expectations
in the appendix of Daniel and Revelation, pp 784–785:

. The article takes a number of unfamiliar positions. Among them: Revelation 17 was ful-
filled between 1798 and 1844, the eighth head being the short-lived dynasty of Napoleon.
This dynasty is the “scarlet” colored beast. The ten horns are the powers that surrendered to
Napoleon. He teaches that the mountain of the Lord’s house in Isaiah 2 and Micah 4 is the
United States. He teaches that the two questions in Daniel 8:13 have different answers, one a
reference to the 2300 days, the other to the 2520 (or second 1260). He teaches that the hidden
mistake in the ’44 chart was the timing of the 2520. He gives a spiritualized interpretation to
Ezekiel 37-39 that is fascinating. The “coming” of the “Ancient of Days” in Daniel 7 he finds,
not in the 1844 judgment scene but in the 1798 judgments on the Roman Catholic church.
He teaches that the time prophecies in Revelation were also sealed like those of Daniel until
1798. Some of these positions have merit enough to warrant investigation. It does not appear
that even one of them was adopted by any other of the pioneers, nor were any of them ever
mentioned in writing a second time by Edson.
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Deeper

THE “SEVEN TIMES” OF LEVITICUS 26


Almost every scheme of the “Plan of the Ages,” “Age-to-come,”
etc., makes use of a supposed prophetic period called the “Seven
Times”; and the attempt is made to figure out a remarkable fulfill-
ment by events in Jewish and Gentile history. All such speculators
might as well spare their pains; for there is no such prophetic period
in the Bible.
The term is taken from Leviticus 26, where the Lord denounces
judgments against the Jews, if they shall forsake him. After mention-
ing a long list of calamities down to verse 17, the Lord says: “And if ye
will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven
times more for your sins.” Verse 18. Verses 19 and 20 enumerate the
additional judgments, then it is added in verse 21: “And if ye walk con-
trary unto me, and will not hearken unto me: I will bring seven times
more plagues upon you according to your sins.” More judgments are
enumerated, and then in verses 23 and 24 the threatening is repeated:
“And if ye will not be reformed by me these things, but will walk con-
trary unto me; then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish
you yet seven times for your sins.” In verse 28 it is repeated again.
Thus the expression occurs four times, and each succeeding men-
tion brings to view severer punishments, because the preceding ones
were not heeded. Now, if “seven times” denotes a prophetic period
(2520 years), then we would have four of them, amounting in all to
10,080 years, which would be rather a long time to keep a nation under
chastisement.
But we need borrow no trouble on this score; for the expression
“seven times” does not denote a period of duration, but is simply an
adverb expressing degree, and setting forth the severity of the judg-
ments to be brought upon Israel.
If it denoted a period of time, a noun and its adjective would be
used, as in Daniel 4:16: “Let seven times pass over him.” Here we have
the noun (times) and adjective (seven): thus, sheba iddan; but in the
passages quoted above from Leviticus 26, the words “seven times” are
simply the adverb sheba, which means “sevenfold.” The Septuagint
makes the same distinction, using [the noun in] Daniel 4:16, etc., but
in Leviticus simply the adverb.
The expression in Daniel 4:16 is not prophetic, for it is used in
plain, literal narration. (See verse 25)

Besides these references to Miller, Edson, the Advent Herald, and Smith,
one other pioneer early after the disappointment mentioned the 2520 period—
Joseph Bates.
In his 1847 Second Advent Waymarks and High Heaps, Bates recounts
how it came as a shock to Adventists that they and their critics had somehow
missed the fact that the periods (2520, 2450, 6000, 2300) would be fulfilled

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The Seven Times or the 2520-Year Prophecy

in 1844, not 1843. This he recounts under the head of his second of seven
“waymarks.”
Then, after the seventh waymark, Bates confronts Miller’s view that the
“mystery of God” is the resurrection. Bates comments cogently that if that
was the mystery that was to be finished, it would not be finished until after the
1000 years. Bates argues rather that the mystery of God refers to the time of
redemption and probation that had closed in 1844. Under this understanding
the “times of the Gentiles” were the times of Gentile probation that closed in
1844. Bates makes no reference to a change or end to captivity in 1844.
In the 1860s, Joshua Himes recommended First-day Adventists to read the
work of one Dr. Schmeal. The doctor found that the world would end in 1868
at the conclusion of the 2520-year prophecy, dated from a different captivity
than that chosen by Miller or Edson. The Review and Herald mentioned this
simply to refute it.
Finally, in January of 1864, the Review directly repudiated the idea that
Leviticus 26 had a reference to time.

To ignore, or treat with neglect, a prophetic period where one is


plainly given, is censurable in the extreme. It is an equally futile, though
not so heinous, a course, to endeavor to create one where none exists.
(Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, January 26, 1864)

Conclusion of the Historical Survey


Miller early published a series of lectures that discussed what he believed to
be every time prophecy in the Scriptures and the fulfillment of each. Believing
the “seven times” of Leviticus 26 to be a time prophecy, he wrote about it.
Millerite charts of the time prophecies included, originally, references to
the 2520 period.
As the movement approached October 22, 1844, preaching on Daniel 8
took precedence over other time prophecies. The disappointment led to a splin-
tering of views of the time prophecies. Sabbath-keeping Adventists continued
to emphasize Daniel 8 (making more than 2,000 references to the 2,300 days
in the 2005 edition of the Adventist Pioneer Library CD-ROM).
But the only Sabbath-keeping Adventists pioneers who ever wrote about
the 2520 directly were Bates, Edson, Smith, and perhaps James White (if he
penned the 1864 editorial). The first used the 2520 as evidence that proba-
tion had closed. The second suggested a changing of the dates on the chart
to terminate in 1798. Both the third and the fourth argued that the 2520 was
not an actual time prophecy at all. None of the three taught Miller’s view of
the prophecy.
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Deeper

Smith’s view became standard and no one after him ever published another
allusion to the 2520 as a legitimate prophecy.

The Bible Study


The Old-Testament time prophecies that are familiar to Seventh-day
Adventists are clearly time prophecies.
There are “2300 days,” literally, “2300 evenings and mornings.”
There are “1260 days” and “1290 days” and a coming to the “1335th
day”.
There is a “time, times, and half a time” and “time, times and a half.”
And the phrase “seven times” appears in 33 passages. Additionally, the
phrase “seven years” appears in 40 passages. I was interested in Smith’s argu-
ment that the “seven times” of Leviticus 26 differed significantly from the
“seven times” of Daniel 4. Here is what I found:
When the Bible writers want to say “seven years” they use two words—
sheba for seven and shanah for years. This pattern is 100% consistent in the
Old Testament for all 39 Old-Testament instances of “seven years.”
And when the writers want to say “seven times” to express so many years,
they use two words—sheba for “seven” and iddan for “times.”

Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart
be given unto him; and let seven [sheba] times [iddan] pass over him.
(Daniel 4:16)

And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming
down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy
it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a
band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be
wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts
of the field, till seven [sheba] times [iddan] pass over him. (Daniel 4:23)

That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be
with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as
oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven [sheba]
times [iddan] shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High

. Shibah is the Aramaic form; sheba is the Hebrew form. For the sake of simplification, we are
consistently using the Hebrew form of the word.
. The references for you to check in your concordance are: Genesis 5:7, 25, 31; 11:21; 25:17; 29:18,
20; 41:26, 27, 29, 30, 36, 48, 53, 54; 47:28; Exodus 6:16, 20; Leviticus 25:8; Numbers 13:22;
Deuteronomy 15:1; 31:10; Judges 6:1, 25; 12:9; 2 Samuel 2:11; 5:5; 24:13; 1 Kings 2:11; 6:38;
2 Kings 8:1, 2, 3; 11:21; 1 Chronicles 3:4; 29:27; 2 Chronicles 24:1; Jeremiah 34:14; Ezekiel
39:9.
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The Seven Times or the 2520-Year Prophecy

ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.


(Daniel 4:25)

And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall
be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass
as oxen, and seven [sheba] times [iddan] shall pass over thee, until thou
know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth
it to whomsoever he will. (Daniel 4:32)

Further, the words iddan and mowed are sufficient to indicate a year with-
out the help of a number.

. . . and they shall be given into his hand until a time [iddan] and
times [iddan] and the dividing of time [iddan]. (Daniel 7:25)

And I heard the man clothed in linen, . . . sware by him that
liveth for ever that it shall be for a time [mowed], times [mowed], and an
half. . . . (Daniel 12:7)

Finally, when the writers wish to express seven degrees of intensity, seven
occurrences, or any such use of seven that might be translated “seven times” the
writers typically use two words, sheba for “seven” and paam for “times.”
Aside from the passages above, the phrase “seven times” appears only in
five other passages. One of these is Leviticus 26.
In none of those other four passages is the phrase a reference to seven
periods of time. The passages are:

The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a fur-
nace of earth, purified seven times [shibathayim]. (Psalm 12:6)

Seven times [sheba] a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous


judgments. (Psalm 119:164)

For a just man falleth seven times [sheba], and riseth up again:


but the wicked shall fall into mischief. (Proverbs 24:16)

Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his


visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego:
therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the fur-
nace one seven times [sheba] more than it was wont to be heated.
(Daniel 3:19)

. For examples, see Genesis 33:3; Leviticus 4:6, 17; 8:11; 14:7, 16, 27, 51; 16:14, 19; 25:8; Num-
bers 19:4; Joshua 6:4, 15; 1 Kings 18:43; 2 Kings 4:35; 5:10, 14.
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Deeper

Leviticus 26 is the only other place in Scripture that translates the Hebrew
phrases in these four verses as “seven times.” So the following verses fill out
the remaining Old-Testament uses of the phrase “seven times.”

And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will
punish you seven times [sheba] more for your sins. (Leviticus 26:18)

And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto
me; I will bring seven times [sheba] more plagues upon you according
to your sins. (Leviticus 26:21)

Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you
yet seven times [sheba] for your sins. (Leviticus 26:24)

Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I,
will chastise you seven times [sheba] for your sins. (Leviticus 26:28)

Conclusion Regarding the Phrase


There is no evidence that I can see in Scripture that the number seven (or
any adverbial number) has even been used substantively (that is, as a noun) to
indicate seven periods of time. There is abundant evidence that when seven
periods of time are intended, the number is used with a noun to indicate the
fact.
And there is evidence outside of Leviticus 26 that when seven is used
without a noun that it refers to intensity or completeness. There may even be
“seven times” in “one day” of David or in one life of a “just man” or in one
cycle of purifications in a furnace.
And when time is indicated by one word, it is by a word for “time” rather
than by a number. So we find in Daniel 7:25 and 12:7.
So of the pioneers that wrote about Leviticus 26—Bates, Edson, and
Smith—the latter appears to be closer to right than the others.
And we can’t fault Miller for not noticing these things. A Cruden’s Concor-
dance, such as he used, does not differentiate between “seven times” as seven
time periods and “seven times” as seven repetitions or degrees of intensity.
But as of yet, we haven’t even begun to study the content of Leviticus
26.

Leviticus 26
The chapter begins with one of the most beautiful summaries of the cove-
nant made with Abraham, the covenant that we call the new covenant today.

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The Seven Times or the 2520-Year Prophecy

Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you
up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in
your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God. Ye
shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the
Lord. (Leviticus 26:1–2)

God reminds Israel of their obligations to the second and fourth com-
mandments, the very commandments that contain the gospel content in the
Decalogue, the very ones altered by the papacy. To a reminder of these pre-
cepts God adds “and reverence my sanctuary.”
Here are focal truths for our age. Many distracting and side issues
often claim our attention, but these deserve the attention that the side issues
claim.
And in the symbolic economy of the Jews, giving attention to these things,
walking in God’s statues and in accordance with His commandments, brings
rain in due season and a fruitful harvest. It is easy to perceive which kind
of rain and which kind of fruitful harvest the church should look forward to
today in response to the same conditions of faithfulness.

If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and


do them; then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall
yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
(Leviticus 26:3–4)

What God promised was an Old-Testament blessing of always-fresh pro-


duce. The two harvests would each last for months, food would be in abun-
dance, and Israel would be safe. They would not, however, be passive. Their
dominions would grow by unnatural victories, five persons putting 100 to
flight.

And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vin-
tage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread
to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in
the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid:
and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go
through your land. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall
fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred,
and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your
enemies shall fall before you by the sword. (Leviticus 26:5–8)

From this promise, as much as from the story of Gideon, we are taught
that God can accomplish His purposes through many or by few.

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Deeper

The summary of the blessing is found in verses 9 through 13. God promises
that they will be pressured to eat their stored food just to make room for the
new. God would “respect” them, and for the same reason that He had respect
to Abel’s offering. What is more, God would dwell with them.

For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and
multiply you, and establish my covenant with you. And ye shall eat
old store, and bring forth the old because of the new. And I will
set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.
And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall
be my people. I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth
out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and
I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.
(Leviticus 26:9–13)

Following these wonderful promises, we find a solemn denunciation, and


after that, a gospel promise that was claimed by the prophet Daniel.

The Denunciation

But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these
commandments; and if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul
abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments,
but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will
even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague,
that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall
sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set
my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies:
they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none
pursueth you. (Leviticus 26:14–17)

Note the (seven) items included in the denunciation:


• Appointed terror;
• Consumption;
• The burning “ague” that destroys the eyes and brings misery;
• Harvests eaten by enemies;
• Death in battle;
• Under hated and hating rulers; and
• Running when no one is chasing.

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The Seven Times or the 2520-Year Prophecy

These items are promised before the first “seven” in verse 18. The harvest
thefts remind us of Gideon. The running when no one is chasing reminds
us of the armies in the time of Saul. Hated rulers are a theme of the book of
Judges.

And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will
punish you seven times more for your sins. (Leviticus 26:18)

The threat of verse 18 is for refusing to be reformed by the judgments


listed above. A man that will not be reformed must needs be more thoroughly
disciplined. The further discipline continues:

And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your
heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: and your strength shall
be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither
shall the trees of the land yield their fruits. (Leviticus 26:19–20)

This part of the curse sounds like that of Deuteronomy 28, especially
verses 23–24.
And what if Israel does not respond to these events, God’s communica-
tion? He says that He will bring “seven [times] more plagues.” This is why,
and for reasons noted below, that Uriah Smith understood these periods to
be successive.
But before we get that point, observe the last part of verse 21.

And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto
me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to
your sins.

The curse foretold by the term seven is not only finite, it is proportional
to the sins of the people. Items of the curse already listed can be like that. A
famine appropriate to the rebellion, a captivity commensurate with the evil,
a military loss as the result unfaithfulness—all can be “upon you according
to your sins.”
But what about 2520 years that span two different bodies of God’s people?
Did God threaten a certain generation that if it would not hearken it would
receive a punishment of a captivity lasting more than 2,000 years?
The Ten Commandments speak of a visitation of sins to the third and
fourth generation. That kind of visitation is apparent in the captivity that fol-
lowed Hezekiah and in the one that followed Josiah. But it is God’s mercies
that extend to a “thousand generations.” (Deuteronomy 7:9)

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Deeper

In addition to the “seven times more plagues” of verse 21, God added,


“I will also send wild beasts among you, . . . and your high ways shall be
desolate.” (Verse 22) The word “also” gives credit to Smith’s reasoning. What
is the “also” referring back to? The last item prior is the “seven times more
plagues.”
And it becomes clearer. Continuing from the word “desolate.”

And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but


will walk contrary unto me; then will I also walk contrary unto
you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. (Leviticus
26:23–24)

What are the “these things” of verse 23? They can be no other than the
curses of verse 22 that began with “I will also.” The word “yet” is but another
indicator of a chronologically connected discourse.
The next step in the disaster includes pestilence that helps break up the
defenses of a besieged and starving city. And a refusal to respond to this curse
is followed up with words that were fulfilled as least twice in Jewish history.

And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk con-
trary unto me; then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and
I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. And ye shall
eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye
eat. (Leviticus 26:27–29)

But the easiest fulfillment of the Leviticus 26 curses to pinpoint is that


of verses 34–35:

Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth deso-
late, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest,
and enjoy her sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest;
because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.

This was fulfilled, indeed as Miller understood, during the Babylonian


captivity.

To fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until


the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate
she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years. (2 Chronicles
36:21)

Four more verses of curses (36–39) are followed by a wonderful


promise:
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The Seven Times or the 2520-Year Prophecy

If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their


fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and
that also they have walked contrary unto me; and that I also have
walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land
of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled,
and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: then will
I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with
Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and
I will remember the land. The land also shall be left of them, and
shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them:
and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because,
even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul
abhorred my statutes. And yet for all that, when they be in the land
of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor
them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them:
for I am the Lord their God. But I will for their sakes remember
the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the
land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God:
I am the Lord. (Leviticus 26:40–45)

This was the promise that formed, with the prayer of Solomon, the basis
of Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9. His prayer was one of acceptance. He acknowl-
edged the fairness of the sentence of captivity in light of his sins and of those
of his fathers. And he asked for a reprieve. He had been studying the 70-year
captivity mentioned by Jeremiah.
Think, dear reader. Would Daniel have been encouraged by the approach-
ing end of the 70-year captivity if he thought that the promise he was claiming
from Leviticus 26 was connected to a 2520-year captivity?
We have praying to do, judgments to accept, sins to confess, and promises
to claim. We have truth to proclaim. But Daniel wouldn’t join us in proclaim-
ing the “2520.”

Conclusion
The pioneers became right. As they studied during the formative years
of 1833 to 1863 many of their ideas changed. From the timing of Sabbath to
the timing of the 2300 days, from the identification of the two-horned beast,
to that of the scarlet beast, from the shut door of probation to the shut door of
the holy place, the pioneers were learning. Their publications show it to be
so. They were glad to admit.
It is ironic that we have picked up a teaching that they, for good reason,
were dropping. We would do well to leave it where the first pioneer to ever
really examine the source of the 2520-day prophecy left it. That was Uriah
Smith.
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Deeper

There are many other teachings that the pioneers were picking up when
they were putting this one down. These deserve more of our study: the seal
of God, the mark of the beast, the message to Laodicea, the third angel’s mes-
sage, and righteousness by faith.
Amen.

Post-Conclusion Questions
What if the “seven” items or repetitions are years? If one assumes,
despite the evidence, that the passages in Leviticus do refer to years, however,
there is no reason to read them as more or less than literal years. The other
blessings and curses in the chapter are manifestly literal.
And we could ask ourselves, were there several “seven-year” periods of
catastrophe in the history of Israel that were the result of wrong doing? There
were.

And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord:
and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.
(Judges 6:1)

Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored
to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn
wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the Lord hath called for a fam-
ine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years. (2 Kings 8:1)

A third incident could have occurred during the reign of David if he had
chosen it from a list of terrible alternatives.

So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall
seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee
three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that
there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see
what answer I shall return to him that sent me. (2 Samuel 24:13)

In summary, if Leviticus 26 is read literally, as Adventist standard prin-


ciples of prophetic interpretation would require, and if we understand “seven”
in the chapter to mean “seven years” then we could find in the days of the
judges and of the prophets several fulfillments of the prophecy.

What about Ellen White’s Endorsement of the 1843 Chart? One exposi-


tor has long taught that the “glorious land” of Daniel 11 is the United States.
He was reasonably enthused, therefore, when he found that Hiram Edson had
taught the same thing in a long article.

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The Seven Times or the 2520-Year Prophecy

That article is the one mentioned earlier in this chapter that also addressed
a “2520-year prophecy” that had been the subject of several lectures by Wil-
liam Miller.
That expositor has now been teaching about the 2520 for several years and
has been making frequent references to Edson’s article. And he has reasoned
that Ellen White’s endorsement of the 1843 chart (which includes a reference
to the 2520) is sufficient reason to have confidence in the 2520 prophecy.
Ellen White never mentioned the prophecy, but as she did indeed more
than once endorse the prophetic charts that included that prophecy, I think
something ought to be said about these endorsements.

I have seen that the 1843 chart was directed by the hand of the
Lord, and that it should not be altered; that the figures were as He
wanted them; that His hand was over and hid a mistake in some of the
figures, so that none could see it, until His hand was removed. (Early
Writings, p. 74)

I saw that the truth should be made plain upon tables, that the earth
and the fullness thereof is the Lord’s, and that necessary means should
not be spared to make it plain. I saw that the old chart was directed
by the Lord, and that not a figure of it should be altered except by
inspiration. I saw that the figures of the chart were as God would have
them, and that His hand was over and hid a mistake in some of the
figures, so that none should see it till His hand was removed. (Spald-
ing and Magan’s Unpublished Manuscript Testimonies by Ellen G.
White, p. 1)

What can be confidently stated from the endorsements is that God intended
that the charts would be made, would be used, and would be a continual source
of instruction to Adventists, even long after 1844.
And more than this, we can confidently gather from the endorsements that
no one should be searching for new dates to fulfill the 2300-day prophecy (as
first-day Adventists did when they expected the prophecy to end in 1845, 1846,
1848, 1851, etc.). The figures in the chart were as “God would have them.”
Hiram Edson thought the hidden “mistake” was the figures regarding the
2520, but the endorsement that said not a figure should be changed without
special revelation has been made to say something more than it does, namely
that every element of the chart is accurate.
This is a gentle protest against that conclusion. One of my favorite pio-
neers, Stephen Haskell, made a similar mistake in regard to the endorsement
Ellen White made of the pioneer view of the “daily.” He thought that a plain
reading of an early statement in Early Writings ought to settle the issue of

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Deeper

the definition of the “daily.” But Ellen White protested against this idea. She
indicated that he was reading into the statement more than she was intending
to communicate.
So if a modern expositor has made a similar mistake in value judgment as
Stephen Haskell, I would not take him to task regarding it. But I would offer
some helpful thoughts.
Ellen White made another endorsement the history of which illustrates
the point that broad endorsements should not be taken as recommending all
details of a publication.

I believe the Sanctuary, to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days,


is the New Jerusalem Temple, of which Christ is a minister. The Lord
shew me in vision, more than one year ago, that Brother Crosier had
the true light, on the cleansing of the Sanctuary, &c; and that it was
his will, that Brother C. should write out the view which he gave us
in the Day-Star, Extra, February 7, 1846. I feel fully authorized by the
Lord, to recommend that Extra, to every saint. (A Word to the Little
Flock, p. 12)

That article by Crosier addressed the issue of the transition between the
holy place ministry and the most holy place ministry of Jesus. It placed the
beginning of the seventh trumpet in the seventh month (Jewish) of 1844.

The opinion generally obtains that the seventh trumpet ushers in


the Age to come. The first thing upon its sounding are “great voices
saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our
Lord and of his Christ.” These voices must be heard in the world in
which those kingdoms are. It is also evident that the kingdoms sustain
a different relation to God at the time these voices are heard, from what
they did before the 7th trumpet sounded. The declaration, “He shall
reign forever and ever;” and the humble expression of thanks from the
four and twenty elders, (a symbol of the whole church), “Because thou
hast taken to thee thy great power and hast reigned,” shows that at that
time he began to reign in a special sense. Such voices have been heard
since the seventh month ’44, and produced the effects here described,
deep humiliation and profound gratitude. This change of the relation of
the kingdoms of this world to Christ, is the same as making his enemies
his footstool, (Hebrews 10:13) which event was expected by him while
he set at the right hand of the Father fulfilling the daily ministration.
vs. 11, 12. (O. R. L. Crosier, The Day Star, Extra, February 7, 1846)

Rather than arguing that Crosier was right or wrong, I would like to do a
simple deduction. If Crosier is wrong in this point, then we cannot take Ellen

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Reapplications and Multiple Fulfillments and the Story Line

White’s endorsement of his “true light” regarding “the sanctuary” as evidence


that every point was correct.
And if Crosier is right on this point, then the seventh trumpet began to
sound in 1844 (and not in 2001, as some would say).
But all we need to recognize is that God recommends persons and their
ministry without conferring on them or their works a sort of infallibility.
And such a recommendation has been made regarding what Ellen called the
“old” chart.
During Ellen White’s lifetime—in fact, for fifty plus years of her lifetime
(1861 to 1915)—the charts were reprinted without a reference to the 2520-year
prophecy, and never was the adaption of the chart to drop this point commented
on. While this admittedly proves nothing, it does indicate something regarding
how the pioneers understood Ellen White’s endorsement of the chart.

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Chapter Twelve
Reapplications, Multiple
Fulfillments, and the Story Line

I
f the church divides nicely into the categories of “interested in prophecy”
and “not interested in prophecy,” the “interested” class divides in a less
friendly way over the issue of this chapter.
Generally, Adventists recognize that there is a historical application to the
prophecies in Daniel 8, 11, 12 and in Revelation 6, 8, 9, 11 and in Matthew 24
(and its parallels in Mark 13 and Luke 21).
Agreement unravels, however, when the question is asked, “Will the por-
tions of these prophecies that were fulfilled in the past be fulfilled again?”
The “daily” and an “abomination of desolation” are the subjects of Dan-
iel 8, 11, 12 and of Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. And it is in regard to
these symbols and the story line around them that most of the questions exist
today. Other questions regarding the seals and trumpets of Revelation are only
a little less common.
The writings of Ellen White figure largely into this discussion.
If there is one treasure to be gleaned from these discussions it is a thorough
testing of our principle of prophetic interpretation and particularly in testing
our ideas for regarding how to best understand Ellen White’s writings.
Tragedies that could befall us in these discussions include mutual ani-
mosity, public divisions, and a decreased confidence in the reliability of the
Testimonies.
Even new students of Adventist history will recognize that just such disas-
ters struck our denomination over several of these very same chapters. And
so it seems that history is repeating itself.
And that brings us to a critical question that relates to these chapters and
their various interpreters.

How Does History Repeat?


That history is repeated, especially in our day, is absolutely estab-
lished by the prophets. (See Ecclesiastes 1:9–10; 3:15; and 1 Corinthians
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Reapplications and Multiple Fulfillments and the Story Line

10 quoted below.) But the nature and cause of that repetition needs to be
understood before that repetition is a helpful element in our interpretation
of prophecy.

The work of God in the earth presents, from age to age, a strik-
ing similarity in every great reformation or religious movement. The
principles of God’s dealing with men are ever the same. The important
movements of the present have their parallel in those of the past, and
the experience of the church in former ages has lessons of great value
for our own time. (The Great Controversy, p. 343)

History repeats because God, and even men and demons, operate on basi-
cally the same principles from age to age.
There are timeless truths that God seeks to bring to the attention of man.
And there are hoary lies that Satan counts as his wrenches and screwdrivers.
He uses them whenever they fit. And these truths combine with the changeless
facts of man’s selfishness and searchingness to make history déjà-vu-like.
God does not force evil men to repeat the history of their ancestors. In
fact, God warns them against doing so. He does, however, encourage faithful
persons to imitate the faithfulness of ancient worthies. In every age, mercy
pleads with both camps until hope for the former is lost through the hardness
of their hearts.

And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious


generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose
spirit was not stedfast with God. (Psalm 78:8)

Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, nei-


ther did I make an end of them in the wilderness. But I said unto
their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your
fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with
their idols. (Ezekiel 20:17–18)

In every age there is given to men their day of light and privilege,
a probationary time in which they may become reconciled to God. But
there is a limit to this grace. Mercy may plead for years and be slighted
and rejected; but there comes a time when mercy makes her last plea.
The heart becomes so hardened that it ceases to respond to the Spirit
of God. Then the sweet, winning voice entreats the sinner no longer,
and reproofs and warnings cease. (The Desire of Ages, p. 587)

The law of cause and effect doesn’t change. So the type of behavior exhib-
ited by Abel has often produced persecution by persons like Cain. Holy living

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by Jesus led to His persecution. In fact, all that live godly in Christ Jesus will
suffer persecution. Revivals are collective growth in holy living. Therefore a
great revival will be followed by a serious persecution. Thus history repeats
itself.

The apostle Paul declares that “all that will live godly in Christ
Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12. Why is it, then, that
persecution seems in a great degree to slumber? The only reason is
that the church has conformed to the world’s standard and therefore
awakens no opposition. The religion which is current in our day is
not of the pure and holy character that marked the Christian faith in
the days of Christ and His apostles. It is only because of the spirit of
compromise with sin, because the great truths of the word of God are
so indifferently regarded, because there is so little vital godliness in
the church, that Christianity is apparently so popular with the world.
Let there be a revival of the faith and power of the early church, and
the spirit of persecution will be revived, and the fires of persecution
will be rekindled. (The Great Controversy, p. 48)

As an example of how history repeats itself, we may consider the story


of the Exodus. When Moses’ followers rebelled against God, Moses was
tested over his love for them by an invitation to separate from their com-
pany. This happened in Numbers 14. It happened twice again in Numbers
16. It happened also in Numbers 20. God used the rebellion of the rebellious
to cultivate the faithful intercession of the righteous. And this happened
repeatedly on the way to Canaan, a trip representing our journey at the end
of the world.
So in our day I expect that there will be repeated tests of God’s faithful
where they will unconsciously choose between intercession for the unfaithful
or separation from the unfaithful.

What Is Repeated in Daniel 11?


Ellen White makes an interesting statement that has, in the last decade,
been sent to me by probably half a dozen persons:

Soon the scenes of trouble spoken of in the prophecies will take


place. The prophecy in the eleventh of Daniel has nearly reached its
complete fulfillment. Much of the history that has taken place in fulfill-
ment of this prophecy will be repeated. In the thirtieth verse a power
is spoken of that “shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation
against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and
have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.” [Daniel
11:31–36, quoted.] (Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, p. 394)

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Reapplications and Multiple Fulfillments and the Story Line

Do other Bible passages throw light on this? Daniel 11:31–36 is a prophecy


regarding the persecution of the Middle Ages. Will there ever be a persecution
like that again? Yes, there will be. It is mentioned in Daniel 11:44–45 and in
fifth seal of Revelation 6. There the saints who suffered in the Middle Ages
are told to “rest” yet a while longer. They are vindicated in the investigative
judgment (and so receive white robes in the fifth seal).
Yet before justice is executed in their favor there must be another end-time
persecution that would, as a prophecy, “be fulfilled”:

And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was
said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until
their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed
as they were, should be fulfilled. (Revelation 6:11)

The angels in Revelation 16 (see verse 6) recount how that final persecu-
tion has been one of the causes of the severity of the seven last plagues.
So what is repeated in Daniel 11:31–36? Just as the normal order of things
was replaced by the papacy in the sixth century, so the normal order of things
will be replaced by a church state in the end. And just as those who were will-
ing to go along with a change in the law of God initially were corrupted by
flatteries, so it will be again. And just as the faithful were objects of a variety
of persecutions that tested their faithfulness, so it will be again.
The characters of the participants being the same now as then, those that
follow the lamb-like beast will behave very much like earlier generations that
have followed the leopard-like beast.
Thus the history that fulfilled Daniel 11:31–36 will be repeated.
But that is no excuse to confound the persecution of verse 35 with that of
verse 44. If we were not careful, we could end up with a never-ending loop.
If the final persecution is a fulfillment of Daniel 11:35, then there is an even
more final persecution that is a fulfillment of Daniel 11:44. And why should
not that even more final persecution be made a third application of Daniel
11:35? And if we do that, then there must be an even more final final persecu-
tion. . . . and so on.

The Story Line


This brings me to an important point.
If I were to say, “Heidi will go for a walk with Mary’s dog, then she will
return and take a shower. Then we will go together to supper, though neither
of us will eat very much. Maybe for dessert we will have a couple chewable
vitamin C’s.”

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Deeper

You would read the sentences as a story line with chronological informa-
tion in it.

Heidi will walk.


Heidi will walk with Mary’s dog.
Heidi will return.
Heidi will take a shower.
[Heidi will join me.]
We will go to supper.
We will not eat much.
For dessert we will have vitamins.

Heidi walks every day. She often takes a dog. She always returns. She
takes a daily shower. She is usually with me. We almost always eat meals
together. And it is only mildly uncommon for us to treat each other to sweet
chewable vitamins.
But it is a very rare thing indeed to have these common events happen in
precisely this order.
So it is with history. It is not remarkable at all, for example, to predict
that Babylon would eventually be overthrown by an empire that would, itself,
eventually be overthrown.
But it is uncanny, incredible, miraculous, to be able to predict that the
fourth world empire would be divided up into small kingdoms that would ever
defy efforts to unite them into one sovereign power again.
It is the order of events, the story line of history, that gives each epoch
its uniqueness.
And it is the order of events, the story line of prophecies, that allow us to
match them to fulfillments. The relative timing of the fulfillment of one por-
tion of the prophecy can be ascertained by noting where it is in the scheme
of the entire prophecy.
In other words, the bear in Daniel 7, though we find few details in the
prophecy to help us identify it, is rather easy to identify. It is the nation that
follows Babylon. It is its relative timing that makes it easy enough for a fourth
grader to locate on a time line of world history.
A few years ago I had a dialogue with an ex-SDA futurist, Kathie, that
illustrates this point. Kathie thought that the beasts in Daniel 8 represent mod-
ern nations that would some day soon fight each other. Let me let you in on a
little of our e-mail discussion to illustrate what I am saying. Notice how the
unique correlation between the various aspects of Daniel 8 to actual history
proves that the prophecy was fulfilled in the past.

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Reapplications and Multiple Fulfillments and the Story Line


Eugene:  Who is the Ram in Daniel 8?
Kathie: WHO: Daniel 8:20 clearly says that “the ram . . . having two
horns are the kings of Media and Persia.”
WHEN: The time frame is given in verses 17, 19, 23, and 26.
“At the time of the end shall be the vision.”
WHERE: Today the area of the ancient Medes and Persians is
modern Iraq and Iran.
The 2300 “evening/morning” did not start in the days of Daniel.
It will happen “In the last end of the indignation. . . . In the latter
time of their kingdom when the transgressors are come to the full.
. . . Shut thou up the vision for it shall be for many days.” Daniel
8:19, 23, 26.
A few chapters later, Daniel is told to “shut up the words and
seal the book, even to the time of the end. . . . Go they way, Daniel:
for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” Dan.
12:4, 9.
Trying to understand the 2300 in an earlier time frame is an
exercise in futility and frustration because things don’t fit perfectly.
The future will show that everything fits precisely!!!
Stay tuned! Ram and He-goat battle coming up soon!
Kathie

Eugene: Hi Kathie,
I see. You are a thorough-going futurist in regard to Daniel 8.
You see it as a coincidence, then, I suppose, that Greece follows
Medo-Persia [as it does in Daniel 8] also in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7
and Daniel 11 and in history.
...
But it must be a coincidence that the goat of Daniel 8 comes from
the west, as Alexander did, and does fly, as the winged leopard must
have been able, and that it has a notable horn that breaks and gives
place to four horns—as Daniel 11 describes the fall of Alexander
and the break-up of his kingdom.
...

. I have highly edited these emails to increase clarity and remove distracting volumes of
documentation.
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Gabriel passes by the activities of the ram with hardly a word


except to say that the ram represents the dual kingdom of the Medes
and the Persians. In the vision (v. 3–4) these kingdoms rose in
order—the second kingdom becoming stronger. This did in fact
happen in the case of Medo-Persia. But maybe (tongue in cheek)
that is a coincidence.
...
The goat comes from the west and touches not the ground. He
attacks the ram. Maybe it is just circumstantial evidence, but the
same angel that said that this ram is Greece also said that the horn
is the “first king” of that empire.
...
Unlike the two monarchies before his, when Alexander died
his empire was divided into four segments. Four horns came up as
four heads were found on the leopard in Daniel 7. Daniel 11 says,
interestingly,

And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall
stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far
richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches
he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. And a mighty
king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do
according to his will. And when he shall stand up, his kingdom
shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of
heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion
which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for
others beside those. (Daniel 11:2–4)

But maybe these Daniel 7/Daniel 11 parallels to the four horns


on the Grecian beast of Daniel 8 are not to be understood as being
definitive?
That Greece had wings and was represented by a speedy animal
in chapter 7 might not be related to the goat neglecting to touch the
ground while running full bore at the ram.
That Alexander became very great—greater than the Persians
before him—is known by school boys. But perhaps that could be
said of many men. . . .
That his four generals formed nations N, E, S, and W of Pal-
estine, and that from one of these directions (W) came the Roman
power, parallels the prophecy of Daniel 8:8–9. I won’t say more
about coincidence.

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Reapplications and Multiple Fulfillments and the Story Line

That the Roman power became greater than the Grecians (v.
8) is manifest. That the Romans extended their empire into North
Africa (S), Persia (E), and Canaan is apparent in history, and even
in Acts 2.
That the little horn of Daniel 7 has many of the same character-
istics as the little horn of Daniel 8, and that both are blasphemous
persecutors of God’s people—this is clear. And the Roman power
cannot be said to have failed to fulfill these predictions.
That the Roman power killed Jesus and proceeded in its papal
form to supplant Him—this is abundantly clear.
The angel’s explanation in Daniel 8 shows that the kingdom of
Persia will be followed by a Grecian empire with a succession of
kings (v. 22) that will be weaker. In the “latter time of their king-
dom,” the king of fierce countenance will rise. In other words, if you
put these verses in the future, . . . the future is long indeed.
But what about your strongest argument? The fact that the
vision of Daniel 8 is related to the “end”?
The parallel of Daniel 8 and 11 is remarkable, as noted already.
Yet the latter chapter is such a clear explanation by the angel of events
beginning in Daniel’s day and extending to the end of the world that
this cannot be misunderstood.

8:19 — “For at the time appointed the end shall be”

11:6 — “for yet the end shall be at the time appointed”

11:35 — “even to the time of the end: because it is yet


for a time appointed.”

...
But more than this, and notice carefully, Kathie, there is another
time. An angel comes to Daniel and tells him that he will show him
what will befall his people in the “latter days.”
And it is the preface to the historical prophecy of Daniel 11 that
extends to the end:

Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall


thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many
days. (Daniel 10:14)

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Deeper

In other words, the one prophecy that is most obviously a descrip-


tion of events from Daniel’s day to the end of time is described as
relating to the end just as Daniel 8 is.
That is no coincidence.
Blessings to you,
Eugene


What is the point? The events in the story line of Daniel 8 make it so unique
in history that there can be no confusing when it was fulfilled.
Ironically, that is where the two symbols, the “daily” and the “abomina-
tion of desolation,” are introduced. Why, then, do Adventists try to find future
applications of these two symbols?
Today, it is because of what Ellen White said about Matthew 24. Famously,
this chapter begins with the apostles asking Jesus about the timing and signs
that would foreshadow the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world.
They had, of course, no idea that these events were separated by nearly 2,000
years.
The following sentences have been extracted from a representative col-
lection of Ellen White’s statements about that fascinating prophecy.

Jesus did not answer His disciples by taking up separately the


destruction of Jerusalem and the great day of His coming. He mingled
the description of these two events. Had He opened to His disciples
future events as He beheld them, they would have been unable to
endure the sight. In mercy to them He blended the description of the
two great crises, leaving the disciples to study out the meaning for
themselves. When He referred to the destruction of Jerusalem, His
prophetic words reached beyond that event to the final conflagration.
(The Desire of Ages, p. 628)

Christ presented before them an outline of the prominent events


to take place before the close of time. His words were not then fully
understood; but their meaning was to be unfolded as His people should
need the instruction therein given. The prophecy which He uttered was
twofold in its meaning; while foreshadowing the destruction of Jeru-
salem, it prefigured also the terrors of the last great day. (The Great
Controversy, p. 25)

While these prophecies received a partial fulfillment at the destruc-


tion of Jerusalem, they have a more direct application to the last days.
(Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 753)

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Reapplications and Multiple Fulfillments and the Story Line

As the approach of the Roman armies was a sign to the disciples of


the impending destruction of Jerusalem, so may this apostasy be a sign
to us that the limit of God’s forbearance is reached, that the measure
of our nation’s iniquity is full, and that the angel of mercy is about to
take her flight, never to return. (Ibid., p. 451)

After speaking of the end of the world, Jesus comes back to Jeru-
salem, the city then sitting in pride and arrogance, and saying, “I sit
a queen, and shall see no sorrow” (see Revelation 18:7). As His pro-
phetic eye rests upon Jerusalem, He sees that as she was given up to
destruction, the world will be given up to its doom. The scenes that
transpired at the destruction of Jerusalem will be repeated at the great
and terrible day of the Lord, but in a more fearful manner. (Selected
Messages, book 3, p. 417)

The disciples heard Christ’s words; but they did not fully under-
stand them. . . . But those who live in this age may understand the
general warning, and should appropriate it, applying it to the period
where it belongs. (The Signs of the Times, February 20, 1901)

Could I have known, without the help of these Testimonies, that Matthew
24 addresses both the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world?
Yes, I could.
In fact, Matthew 24 is “an outline of the prominent events” given in a
simple and straightforward manner.
After warning us not to be deceived, Jesus gives what Ellen White calls
a “general warning”—a warning of events that do not mark the “end.” After
mentioning these, Jesus said “but the end is not yet.” Matthew 24:6.
This general warning is continues in verses 7–8, where we are told that
famines and the like are “the beginning of sorrows.”
And what, both then and in the future, follows the general disasters and
deceptions?
Persecution. “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill
you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”
And what follows the period of persecution? A period of notable wicked-
ness that causes the love of many to grow cold. And that test of man’s love
brings us all the way to the end of time:

But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you
not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour
wherein the Son of man cometh. For the kingdom of heaven is as
a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants,
and delivered unto them his goods. (Matthew 25:12–14)

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So now what? Jesus has already traced the outline of the world from His
own time to the very end. It would be ongoing disasters, deceptions, persecu-
tion, wickedness, and the gospel to the world.
Now Jesus goes back in time and makes an application of the book of
Daniel that is the crux of all that we are discussing in this chapter:

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation,


spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso
readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judaea flee
into the mountains. (Matthew 24:15–16)

The next few verses are all about the flight from the doomed city. Its doom
was pointed out in Daniel 9 as a punishment on the Jews for their murder of
Jesus. Rome was the “abomination” that would desolate the city.
What happens after this destruction in the general outline of major
events?

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the
beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And
except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be
saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. (Mat-
thew 24:21–22)

This persecution, the one pointed out in many other passages as happening
during the 1260 years of papal civil supremacy, would, according to Jesus, be
“shortened” for the benefit of the chosen.
What would follow this period? There would be interest in Christ’s com-
ing, false messages about a secret coming, and a period of seductive miracles
that will test the chosen. (Verses 23–26) And this would be followed by the
real coming of Jesus. (Verses 27–28)
We have arrived at the end for the second time in Matthew 24. Where do
we go from here? Back to that ending portion of the 1260 where the persecu-
tion has been cut short. Jesus specified that very point for the resuming of
his narrative:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be


darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall
fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.
(Matthew 24:29)

And the signs are followed by the Coming.

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Reapplications and Multiple Fulfillments and the Story Line

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven:
and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see
the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and
great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a
trumpet [margin: or, with a trumpet, and a great voice], and they
shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end
of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:30–31)

The Two Meanings of Matthew 24


The outline that we have just considered does not require any dual applica-
tion to apply it both to the destruction of Jerusalem and to the Second Coming.
Jerusalem’s fall didn’t involve all the nations of earth morning. And Christ’s
coming doesn’t specially involve persons on the rooftops of Judea.
But the general elements of disasters, deceptive miracles, persecutions,
false prophets and false messiahs—all of these are like those age-specific
warnings of Revelation 2–3 that are followed by, “He that hath ears to hear,
let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. . . .” They are dangers that
have threatened the church at all ages, especially at the two crises highlighted
in this chapter.
The timing of Matthew 24 is written into the text. Words like “then” and
“immediately after” and “end” and “beginning” all help determine the rela-
tive timing of parts of the story line.

Non-Expository Uses of Scripture By Ellen White


One of the Ellen White statements is particularly helpful in helping us
develop a principle of interpretation. Look back at Selected Messages, book
3, p. 417. Notice that Jerusalem of old is quoted as saying, “I sit a queen and
shall see no sorrow.”
That chapter of Revelation was written about 22 years after Jerusalem
was destroyed.
And maybe for that reason I have never had an Adventist paper come
across my desk arguing that Revelation 18 is about the destruction of Jerusa-
lem. (I have had non-Adventist Preterist papers argue that way.) The obvious
facts of the case make it apparent that Ellen was quoting a characteristic of
mystic Babylon (existing in our day) as being equally true of another power
in another place at another time. She wasn’t trying to explain Revelation 18
to us. She was trying to explain Jerusalem.
And she isn’t the only prophet in history to use inspired sources that way.
This is why her passing allusions to phrases from Scripture cannot be taken
as being expository. That is why her “trumpet after trumpet” statement (some

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of you know what I am talking about) just cannot be taken as an exposition


on Revelation 8–9.
And here is the conclusion of the matter. One use of Matthew 24 is its
meaning, the historical fulfillment of the prophecy. The other is the lessons
that can be learned regarding modern parallels to that historical fulfillment.
The first is analogous to the prophecy that the world would be destroyed by
water. Both are specific predictions, and their fulfillments can be found on a
time line.
The second is more like the fact that we should learn from Noah’s day
that God’s future judgments will surely come at a time when men are not
looking for them.
But it would never do to study the size of the ark, the type of wood, the
fact that it was pitched (“atoned for” in Hebrew), or the fact that it took 120
years to build, and to look at these facts for details about how we ought to
prepare for the final conflagration.
And just so with the prophecies discussed at the end of this chapter. While
the destruction of the world in Genesis and of Jerusalem in Matthew 24 and of
Rome in Revelation 8–9 are all symbols of the final destruction of the world,
we want to make sure we understand the nature of these symbols.
These prophecies are found in story lines. Those story lines help us under-
stand the passages and their fulfilment.
And when phrases are pulled out of those story lines and are used as if
they were prophecies of a different and later time, they become just what Peter
said they should never be—“of private interpretation.”
So let us build an ark of safety (as per Elder Frazee), give the trumpet a
certain sound, and prepare to run to the mountains as did Christians in Judea.
Let us learn from the past fulfillment of prophecies much about how God
works. But let us not participate in that confusion of looking for second or
even third fulfillments of prophecies. We could lose our bearings.
And losing our bearings is just the opposite of what we want to do in the
shaking.

168
Section IV

Testimony Tidbits

Introduction
When preaching, when studying, I love to use my Bible. There I find the
most precious gems of truth buried below the surface. Bible study is how I
seek to answer the question “What is true?”
And I am an enthusiastic believer in the truths God has given to our
church through the prophetic ministry of Ellen White. Only a few months
before this book came into existence, the Ellen G. White Estate began selling
a CD-ROM with all of Ellen White’s published works and, additionally, with
hundreds of books and articles by our Adventist pioneers. I recommend that
media to everyone. Just ask your Adventist Book Center for the Comprehen-
sive Research Edition of the Ellen White CD.
During the last 20 years of teaching and preaching I have spent thousands
of hours pouring over the materials on older versions of this CD-ROM. Often I
have found that Ellen White’s most precious and relevant statements are found
in publications that are rarely read by the average person. These include her
articles, the manuscript releases, and various pamphlets.
So when I am sitting at a fellowship meal talking with believers, I often
recall some paragraph of counsel or encouragement that could make a differ-
ence in the life of the person I am speaking to. I bring out my computer and try
to find the paragraph by searching for words that I know that are in it. Some
of you know what I mean when I say that that doesn’t always work.
Here in this section, without comment from me, is a collection of materi-
als that I have often shared. I hope it is short enough that, when you want to
share one of these with someone else, you will be able to find it readily.
What kind of topics are addressed? The first few relate to the simplicity of
the gospel. The last speaks to the relation of lifestyle issues (dress, diet, etc.)
to the Christian experience. Between these are incredibly pithy statements on
how to live a Christian life, how to get along with the brethren, and answers
to many “why?” questions.
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Testimony Tidbits


My much respected brother in the Lord, I am afflicted as I learn of your
affliction. But our only hope is in Christ our righteousness. You may trust in
the Lord with all your heart. He will never fail you.
The precious promises of God are full and rich and free. Oh, how precious
they are to you in your affliction, when heart and flesh fail! It is true that all
have not the same boldness and confidence when brought into deep affliction.
And again, I am so glad that feelings are no criterion. The promises rich and
full are yours. You can say in your sickness, “The anchor holds.” Faith and
hope in the promises of God are steadfast.
You have the pledged word of Jehovah: “Lo, I am with you alway, even
unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20) Only rely with trusting faith as
a child relies in the promises of his faithful parent. Here is simple, earnest
faith and confidence in Jesus, who loves you, and has paid a dear price for
your redemption.
In the weak state of your body, the enemy may try to make his voice heard
that the Lord does not love you. Oh, He does love you. “Like as a father piti-
eth his children,” so the Lord pities those who put their trust in Him. (Psalm
103:13)
Your life may look to you to be full of mistakes; but what if there are mis-
takes? Jesus knows all about the trials, the weaknesses of humanity, and He
has placed on record the most precious promises: “If any man sin, we have
an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;” “If we confess our
sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness.” (1 John 2:1; 1:9)
I have evidence—the very best—that God loves you. He will not thrust
you from Him in your weakness, for He loves you. Do not worry yourself out
of the arms of Jesus, but just repose in restful quietude in His love. His grace
will be all-sufficient for you when heart and flesh shall fail. He will give you
His peace and His grace. Gather to your soul God’s promises, for Jesus is your
constant, unfailing friend.
Try as hard as you will, you cannot manufacture a righteousness for your-
self. Christ has woven in heaven’s loom the robe of His righteousness, and He

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will put the same upon you. And your sins—your old, defiled citizen’s gar-
ments—will be taken away. He points you to the fountain of living waters,
whereby you may drink and drink again, and be refreshed. He bids you come
unto Him with all your griefs, your pains, your weakness, and He says you
shall find rest. Only believe that Jesus is your personal Saviour, that He par-
dons all your transgressions, and then rest in His love.
Do not let the smallest doubt come into your soul, for all your feelings
of guiltiness must be laid at the foot of Calvary. Jesus says, “I have taken
your sins. I have imputed to you My righteousness. Your weak faith will I
strengthen.” Then, trust in Jesus. He extends to you free pardon. He makes
you a member of the “royal family.” Put your hand in the hand of Jesus, and
He will hold to you more firmly than you can hold to Him.
Let your soul be comforted by the brightness of the “Sun of Righteousness.”
The cloud may appear dark to you at times in itself, but when filled with
the bright light of Jesus, it is turned to the brightness of gold, for the glory of
God is upon it.
May the Lord bless these words to you, is my prayer. Love to your faith-
ful, watching wife, and all dear friends. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, p.
242–244)


Mr. T is a carpenter by trade. They have eight children. Mrs. T said,
“This preaching we are having is wonderfully different from anything we
have ever heard, and the Bible is a new book to us. We seem to be quite slow
of understanding, but we think we must keep the Sabbath. It is a very impor-
tant step. We want to understand it more thoroughly. If it is the truth, what
else can we do than to obey?” I told her I would send her Steps to Christ. She
said, “Please send us writings that are simple, and easy to be understood, for
we are so ignorant in regard to these new and wonderful interpretations of
the Scriptures. I am perplexed with the cares of a large family. We are all in
good health. Our diet is very simple. We have much to be thankful for, but I
am hasty in temper and become impatient when I think my children are doing
wrong. Will you pray for me especially, and understand I am thinking and
trying to understand my duty?”
We had a most precious season of prayer with the family, and we know
that angels of God were in the midst of us. There is help in Jesus for all such
souls. These have since come out decided on the truth, with several others.
I have thought of the request of Sister T many times since. She said, “Oh,
I want that precious faith that seems so positively necessary for me. Do send

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me something simple that my mind can grasp, that I can take hold of this faith
to believe Jesus is a present help in every time of need.” We find this is the
great want of the soul—something that the needy, longing soul can grasp,
something easy to be understood. The great reason why many do not lay hold
of this truth is that it is so easy. They think they must do some great thing,
and that God expects them to go through some wonderful process in order to
be converted, but when we present the truth as it is, in its beautiful simplicity,
they stand amazed. “Is that all?” they inquire.
We need to make the way of life just as clear as it is in Jesus, that all
may see the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Simply to take God at His word
seems so easy they hardly dare accept it. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, p.
194–195)


Now, God wants His converting power to come on this occasion. There
are some that come to our meetings—they will sit all through the meetings;
they have borne a few words of testimony now and then; they have gone home
and done just exactly [the same as], if not worse than, before. Why?
Because they had not the new heart. What is the new heart? It is the new
mind. What is the mind? It is the will. Where is your will? It is either on
Satan’s side or Christ’s side. Now it is up to you. Will you put your will today
on Christ’s side of the question? That is the new heart. It is the new will, a
new mind. “A new heart will I give thee.” (See Ezekiel 36:26) Then let us
begin right here.
Conversion is simple, very simple. Let us commence right here to come
into the kingdom of heaven. How? As a little child. Just as simple as simple
can be. You may get all your mysteries of the new birth, and you cannot make
anybody understand it, or understand it yourself. But the best way for you is
to give your mind to Jesus Christ. And the mind is the will to put it on, and
do just as Matthew did. (Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, p. 210)


Many have stumbled to ruin because of the erroneous doctrines taught by
some ministers concerning the change that takes place at conversion. Some
have lived in sadness for years, waiting for some marked evidence that they
were accepted by God. They have separated themselves in a large measure
from the world, and find pleasure in associating with the people of God; yet
they dare not profess Christ, because they fear it would be presumption to say

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that they are children of God. They are waiting for that peculiar change that
they have been led to believe is connected with conversion.
After a time some of these do receive evidence of their acceptance with
God, and are then led to identify themselves with His people. And they date
their conversion from this time. But I have been shown that they were adopted
into the family of God before that time. God accepted them when they became
weary of sin, and having lost their desire for worldly pleasures, resolved to
seek God earnestly. But, failing to understand the simplicity of the plan of
salvation, they lost many privileges and blessings which they might have
claimed had they only believed, when they first turned to God, that He had
accepted them.
Others fall into a more dangerous error. They are governed by impulse.
Their sympathies are stirred, and they regard this flight of feeling as an evi-
dence that they are accepted by God and are converted. But the principles of
their life are not changed. The evidences of a genuine work of grace on the
heart are to be found not in feeling, but in the life. “By their fruits,” Christ
declared, “ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:20)
Many precious souls, desiring earnestly to be Christians, are yet stum-
bling in darkness, waiting for their feelings to be powerfully exercised. They
look for a special change to take place in their feelings. They expect some
irresistible force, over which they have no control, to overpower them. They
overlook the fact that the believer in Christ is to work out his salvation with
fear and trembling.
The convicted sinner has something to do besides repent; he must act
his part in order to be accepted by God. He must believe that God accepts
his repentance, according to His promise. “Without faith it is impossible to
please Him: for He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He
is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) (Evangelism,
p. 286–287)


Just as long as ministers and church members sail with the current of the
world, they need neither canvas nor oar. It is when they turn square about to
stem the current that their work begins. It is the duty of every soul that is on
Christ’s side to be a witness for Him and to contend earnestly for the faith
once delivered to the saints.
What is seen by the world in the present disunion and want of harmony among
those who claim to believe the truth? That this people cannot be of God, for they
are working against each other. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, p. 319)

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The world can only be warned by seeing those who believe the truth
sanctified through the truth, acting upon high and holy principles, showing
in a high, elevated sense the line of demarcation between those who keep the
commandments of God and those who trample them under their feet. The
sanctification of the Spirit signalizes the difference between those who have
the seal of God and those who keep a spurious rest day. (The Seventh-day
Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 980)


Obedience is the life of the soul. It brings health and peace and assurance.
(Loma Linda Messages, p. 91)


Men of small minds delight to quibble, to criticize, to seek for something
to question, thinking this a mark of sharpness; but instead it shows a mind
lacking refinement and elevation. (Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 445)


Leave your business cares and perplexities and annoyances when you
leave your business. Come to your family with a cheerful countenance, with
sympathy, tenderness, and love. (Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 695)


As servants of Christ we should be faithful in the position where God sees
that we can render most efficient service. If opportunities of greater usefulness
are presented to us, we should accept them at the Master’s bidding, and His
approving smile will be upon us. But we should fear to leave our appointed
work unless the Lord clearly indicates our duty to serve Him in another field.
(Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 184)


I know [Brother Corliss’] constitution. From what has been presented to
me over and over again, I know that for a while he will take hold of a line
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of work enthusiastically, but after a time he wearies of it, and should have a
change. He is not to be held too long in any one place. He should go from
place to place, speaking to new congregations. He has done very well in San
Francisco, but it is not wisest to keep him over one congregation too long. He
has another work to do. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 17, p. 53–54)


Vigilant men are wanted in every church. Every member should be awake
and active, feeling that he is responsible for the prosperity of the church. The
reason there is so much dissension in the churches is because they do so little
for God. Satan gives them a work to do for him in finding fault, murmuring,
and talking discouragement. You will ever find that those who invest least
in the cause of God are the ones who will express great concern as to how
those at the head of the work are using the means in their trust. Those who
do least have the least faith. They are like Judas, who grudged the money that
would comfort, and bless, and honor the Redeemer. But let the church come
up individually, every one doing what he can, and all that God requires, and
these petty difficulties will not exist. The mind will be so engrossed in the
greatness of the work, in devising plans for its advancement, that they can-
not spend time to investigate their brother’s work or motives. (Review and
Herald, March 14, 1878)


My brethren and sisters, do we realize the importance of this subject? Why
are we so listless? Why are we satisfied to remain so poorly fitted to work for
the uplifting of humanity? Why is not every entrusted capability used for the
Master? Why are so many contented with the feeble, lifeless condition of our
churches? The heavenly universe is looking with amazement upon our Christ-
less work. Neglect is seen in all our borders. Slipshod work is tolerated and
passed by. How long shall this continue? Shall we not arise, and with deter-
mined, harmonious effort take up our responsibilities, laboring in Christ’s
lines with sanctified capabilities? Put away the controversial spirit which you
have been educating yourselves in for years. Educate yourselves to pray to
God in sincerity and truth. Sing with the spirit and understanding also. Much
is expected of us. (The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 138)

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A strait gate means a gate difficult to enter. By this illustration Christ


showed how hard it is for men and women to leave the world and the attrac-
tions it holds, and heartily and lovingly obey the commandments of God. The
wide gate is easy to enter. Entrance through it does not call for the restrictions
which are painful to the human heart. Self-denial and self-sacrifice are not
seen in the broad way. There depraved appetite and natural inclinations find
abundant room. There may be seen self-indulgence, pride, envy, evil surmis-
ings, love of money, self-exaltation. (That I May Know Him, p. 304)


The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the tes-
timony of the Spirit of God. “Where there is no vision, the people perish”
(Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through
different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnant people in the
true testimony. He will bring in spurious visions to mislead, and will mingle
the false with the true, and so disgust people that they will regard everything
that bears the name of visions as a species of fanaticism; but honest souls, by
contrasting false and true, will be enabled to distinguish between them.
Likewise, he works through persons who have been reproved for some
inconsistency in their religious life, for some course of action which was
dangerous to themselves and others. Instead of receiving the testimony as a
blessing from God, they refuse the means God uses to set them right. Such
apparently may be very zealous for God, but they put their own interpreta-
tion upon the Word and make it contradict what the Lord has revealed in the
testimonies. They think they are doing God’s service, but such work God has
not given them to do. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, p. 311)


It is essential that care should be taken when placing men and women
in positions of trust. You should know something in regard to their past life,
and the character that has been developed. You would better double [the size
of your Sabbath-school] classes under God-fearing workers than to multiply
teachers whose influence is not in accordance with the holy character of truth
which we profess, for their influence will be demoralizing. (Counsels on Sab-
bath School Work, p. 91)

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Consider the circumstances of the Jewish nation when the prophecies of


Daniel were given. The Israelites were in captivity, their temple had been
destroyed, their temple service suspended. Their religion had centered in
the ceremonies of the sacrificial system. They had made the outward forms
all-important, while they had lost the spirit of true worship. Their services
were corrupted with the traditions and practices of heathenism, and in the
performance of the sacrificial rites they did not look beyond the shadow to
the substance. They did not discern Christ, the true offering for the sins of
men. The Lord wrought to bring the people into captivity, and to suspend the
services in the temple, in order that the outward ceremonies might not become
the sum total of their religion. Their principles and practices must be purged
from heathenism. The ritual service ceased in order that heart service might be
revived. The outward glory was removed that the spiritual might be revealed.
(Manuscript Releases, vol. 16, p. 334–335)


The Lord blessed me in speaking. I had not the least sense of weariness.
I felt so grateful to my heavenly Father for the assurance that I could give to
others from a “Thus saith the Lord” and “It is written” that, while speaking,
my own soul was refreshed. No one spoke an encouraging word to me. I did
not need any. I was refreshed and deeply impressed that we should dwell more
upon the sacred claims of the Lord. He expects from us entire obedience to His
commandments. His law, written with His own finger upon tables of stone, is
the foundation of all truth. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 18, p. 174)


The happiness of life is made up of little things. It is in the power of every-
one to practice true Christlike courtesy. It is not the possession of splendid
talents that will help us to overcome, but the conscientious performance of
daily duties. The kind look, the lowly spirit, the contended disposition, the
unaffected, sincere interest in the welfare of others—these things are helps
in the Christian life. If the love of Jesus fills the heart, this love will be mani-
fested in the life. We shall not show a determination to have our own way,
a stubborn, selfish unwillingness to be happy or pleased. The health of the
body depends more upon heart-healthfulness than many suppose. (Manuscript
Releases, vol. 21, p. 118)


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The matter that has been brought before the people must be brought before
them over and over again. The articles that are printed in our papers are soon
forgotten by the readers. They must be brought together, reprinted in book
form, and placed before believers and unbelievers. (Counsels to Writers and
Editors, p. 145–146)


A great crisis is coming upon us. If men still yield to men, as they have
been doing for the last fifteen years [written in 1896], they will lose their own
souls, and their example will lead others astray. God’s soldiers must put on the
whole armor of God. We are not required to put on human armor, but to gird
ourselves with God’s strength. If we keep God’s glory ever in view, our eyes
will be anointed with the heavenly eyesalve; we will be able to look deeper,
and see afar off what the world is. As we discern its dishonesty, its craftiness,
its selfish eye-service, its pretence, and its boasting, its want of fair, honest
dealing in the ordinary intercourse of life, and its grasping covetousness, we
can take our stand, by precept and example, to represent Christ, and convert
souls from the world by our sound principles, our firm integrity, our hatred of
all dissembling, and our holy boldness in acknowledging Christ.
Do not let the world convert you. Hold fast your profession of faith, main-
taining your religious principles firmly but not stubbornly. Your religion cannot
be in any other man’s keeping. Honor the cross of Christ, and the cross will
honor you. Let every man stand in God, not to be bought, not to be sold, but to
reveal a Christian fortitude. Serve no man through fear of what that man can
do to you that is disagreeable. Christians you cannot be if you depend on any
other man’s conscience. Christ died to give men moral independence, free-
dom to exercise their God-given ability. His servants are to be circumscribed
by no man or council of men unless they have decided evidence that the men
or council of men are worked by the Holy Spirit. (Manuscript Releases, vol.
17, p. 193)


Jesus is not preached in very many of the pulpits of today. Anything and
everything but Christ is preached, for the very reason that the preacher is not
acquainted with Christ. Some make it a practice to study different authors, and
think this will help them greatly in their discourses. They flatter themselves
that they have a very intellectual discourse, and so they may have; but the
flock is not fed with the bread of life; the crib was placed above their reach.

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That which the world and churches need to day is the preaching of the blood
of Christ and the virtue of His atonement, and to be taught what constitutes
sin, and to have the spirit of Christ interwoven in all their labors. What the
world needs today is to know what they must do to be saved. There are many
interesting and pleasing discourses given that the speaker counts the very
height of success, but they are not thus registered by Him who weighs the
thoughts and motives of men, who looketh not at outward appearances but at
the heart, who weighs such discourses in the balances of the Sanctuary and
pronounces them wanting. The only element which could make them a suc-
cess is lacking—Jesus, the Light of the world. (Review and Herald, February
22, 1887)


Parents who would teach their children the evil of following the fashions
of the world, have a hard battle. They are met with, “Why, Mother, Sisters
A., B., and C., wear hoops; if it is wicked for me, it is for them.” What can
the parents say? They should set a right example before their children, and
although the example of professed followers of Christ causes the children to
think that their parents are too careful and severe in their restrictions, yet God
will bless the efforts of these conscientious parents. If the parents do not take
a decided, firm, course, their children will be borne down with the current,
for Satan and his evil angels are working upon their minds, and the example
of unconsecrated professors is against their efforts, which makes the work of
overcoming far more laborious for their children. Yet with faith in God, and
earnest prayer, believing parents may press on in this rugged path of duty.
The way of the cross is an onward, upward, way. And as we advance therein,
seeking the things that are above, we must leave farther and farther in the
distance the things which belong to the earth. While the world and carnal
professors are rushing downward to death, those who climb the hill will have
to put forth efforts or they will be carried down in the broad road. (Spiritual
Gifts, vol. 4b, p. 69–70)


I have been pained to hear so much jesting and joking among old and
young as they are seated at the dining table. I have inquired, Are these men
aware that there is by their side a Watcher who is disgusted with their spirit
and the influence which they exert, and is making a record of their words and
actions? Will our ministers, young and old, countenance these things? Shall

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not we who name the name of Christ take heed to the words, “In all things
shewing thyself a pattern of good works, in doctrine shewing uncorruptness,
gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned”? If the truth as
it is in Jesus abides in our hearts, it will sanctify our lives. Our speech will
not be evil. Obeying the truth we shall work the works of righteousness. (The
Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 137)


There are solemn and important decisions to be made at this meeting,
and God wants every one of us to stand in right relation to Him. He wants us
to do a great deal more praying and a great deal less talking. He wants us to
keep the windows of the soul opened heavenward. The threshold of heaven is
flooded with the light of God’s glory, and God will let this light shine into the
heart of everyone who at this meeting will stand in right relation to Him.
Some have said that they thought that at this meeting several days ought
to be spent in prayer to God for the Holy Spirit, as at the day of Pentecost. I
wish to say to you that the business which may be carried on at this meeting
is just as much a part of the service of God as is prayer. The business meeting
is to be just as much under the dictation of the Spirit as the prayer meeting.
There is danger of our getting a sentimental, impulsive religion. Let the busi-
ness transacted at this meeting stand forth in such sacredness that the heavenly
host can approve of it. We are to guard most sacredly the business lines of our
work. Every line of business carried on here is to be in accordance with the
principles of heaven. (Selected Messages, book 3, p. 336–337)


Are we as a people asleep? Oh, if the young men and young women in our
institutions who are now unready for the Lord’s appearing, unfitted to become
members of the Lord’s family, could only discern the signs of the times, what
a change would be seen in them! The Lord Jesus is calling for self-denying
workers to follow in His footsteps, to walk and work for Him, to lift the cross,
and to follow where He leads the way.
Many are readily satisfied with offering the Lord trifling acts of service.
Their Christianity is feeble. Christ gave Himself for sinners. With what anxiety
for the salvation of souls we should be filled as we see human beings perish-
ing in sin! These souls have been bought at an infinite price. The death of the
Son of God on Calvary’s cross is the measure of their value. Day by day they
are deciding whether they will have eternal life or eternal death. And yet men

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and women professing to serve the Lord are content to occupy their time and
attention with matters of little importance. They are content to be at variance
with one another. If they were consecrated to the work of the Master, they
would not be striving and contending like a family of unruly children. Every
hand would be engaged in service. Everyone would be standing at his post of
duty, working with heart and soul as a missionary of the cross of Christ. The
spirit of the Redeemer would abide in the hearts of the laborers, and works
of righteousness would be wrought. The workers would carry with them into
their service the prayers and sympathy of an awakened church. They would
receive their directions from Christ and would find no time for strife and con-
tention. (Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 28–29)


If his people have not obeyed his requirements, they stand condemned
according to their delinquencies. What, then, is required of the church at
Battle Creek? Humiliation, confession, and true, genuine repentance before
God. The spirit manifested by many at Battle Creek is, Let us not make ear-
nest, thorough work; such a great ado is uncalled for. I tell you, God calls for
repentance and confessions from his people; and those who have taken an
active part in bringing the church into her present position, will never come
to the light only by humble confessions and a sincere repentance before God,
and working to bring them to the light. The wall of separation which the Lord
himself has established between the things of the world and the things he has
chosen out of the world and sanctified unto himself, has been broken down
by those who profess godliness and occupy the position of teachers of the
people. They have not, in precept and practice, acknowledged this position,
but rather by their practice annihilated the difference between the holy and
the profane. But the separation exists, notwithstanding so many have in prac-
tice made it void, and seem determined to maintain concord between Christ
and Belial. “The Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself;” and this
consecration to God and separation from the world, the Lord always loves,
and will always require of his people; for it is plainly declared and positively
enjoined in the Old and New Testaments. Many who think they can impress
the world by agreeing with it make a terrible mistake as far as their own
salvation is concerned and the salvation of unbelievers. It is not conformity
to the customs and practices of the world that will enlighten them and make
them feel their great need of saving grace; but it is to come out from the world
and be separate, stand apart and above it, and in character represent Christ
and give the impression to the world of a holy, separate life. This will give a

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true Christian a power of influence over them. They will see there is a better
life than that which they are living. (Special Testimony to the Battle Creek
Church (PH155), p. 4–5)


Evangelistic work has been done by some who have not been regarded as
qualified for the ministry. These persons have moved forward as the Lord has
made known to them their duty, and have done a noble work. Brother _____
has been doing missionary work for many years. To all intents and purposes
he has practiced the gospel. It is not sermonizing that makes a minister. This
is where men have failed who from lack of spiritual discernment have failed
to judge righteously. Brother _____ has established churches and built meet-
inghouses in various places. When he has in one place carried the interest as
far as he felt warranted, he has passed on to another place to which the truth
had never been carried, leaving behind a large number converted to the truth,
with a place of worship in which to meet.
Those who audit the accounts of the workers should not settle with such
workers as Brother _____ according to the precise time they have spent in
preaching sermons. Their practical work is of more value than any number
of sermons, for it is the gospel lived, the gospel acted. The manner in which
Brother _____ has been treated needs correction. The time he has spent in
establishing schools and building meetinghouses is not to be counted out. In
his practical work he was preparing minds to understand the truth as it is in
Jesus. It is such men as this that God has honored. But the work He has origi-
nated and blessed men have passed by with scarcely a word of encouragement.
Workers He has sent out have been settled with by the auditing committee in
a way not proportionate to the work they have done.
The Lord calls for workers, not for sermonizers, for men who will do real
work. The time is coming when we shall take a retrospective view of the work
we have done in this life. Then every man’s work will stand at its true value.
Then those who have souls to show as a result of their labor will receive rec-
ognition from God. (Manuscript Releases, vol. 17, p. 245–246)


How my heart aches to see presidents of conferences taking the burden of
selecting those whom they think they can mold to work with them in the field.
They take those who will not differ from them, but will act like mere machines.
No president has any right to do this. Leave others to plan, and if they fail in

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some things, do not take it as an evidence that they are unfitted to be thinkers.
Our most responsible men had to learn by a long discipline how to use their
judgment. In many things they have shown that their work ought to have been
better. The fact that men make mistakes is no reason that we should think them
unfit to be caretakers. Those who think that their ways are perfect, even now
make many grave blunders, but others are none the wiser for it. They present
their success, but their mistakes do not appear. Then be kind and considerate
to every man who conscientiously enters the field as a worker for the Master.
Our most responsible men have made some unwise plans, and have carried
them out because they thought their plans were perfect. They have heeded the
mingling of other elements of mind and character. They should have associ-
ated with other men who could view matters from an entirely different point
of view. Thus they would have helped them in their plans.
This same character of spirit is found here in Europe. For years Elder
Andrews held the work back from advancing, because he feared to entrust
it to others lest they would not carry out his precise plans. He would never
allow anything to come into existence that did not originate with him. Elder
Loughborough also held everything in his grasp while he was in California and
England, and as a result the work is years behind in England. Elder Wilcox and
Sister Thayer have the same spirit of having everything go in the exact way in
which they shall dictate, and no one is being trained in such a way as to know
how to get hold of the work for himself. What folly it is to trust a great mission
in the hands of one man, so that he shall mold and fashion it in accordance
with his mind, and after his own diseased imagination. Men who have been
narrow, who have served tables, who are not far seeing, are disqualified for
putting their mold upon the work. Those who desire to control the work think
that none can do it perfectly but themselves, and the cause bears the marks of
their defects. (The Paulson Collection, p. 383–384)


If Christ is all and in all to every one of us, why are not His incarnation
and His atoning sacrifice dwelt upon more in the churches? Why are not hearts
and tongues employed in the Redeemer’s praise? This will be the employment
of the powers of the redeemed through the ceaseless ages of eternity.
We need to have a living connection with God ourselves in order to teach
Jesus. Then we can give the living personal experience of what Christ is to us
by experience and faith. We have received Christ and with divine earnestness
we can tell that which is an abiding power with us. The people must be drawn
to Christ. Prominence must be given to His saving efficacy.

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The true learners, sitting at Christ’s feet, discover the precious gems of
truth uttered by our Saviour, and will discern their significance and appreciate
their value. And more and more, as they become humble and teachable, will
their understanding be opened to discover wondrous things out of His law,
for Christ has presented them in clear, sharp lines.
The doctrine of grace and salvation through Jesus Christ is a mystery to
a large share of those whose names are upon the church books. If Christ were
upon the earth speaking to His people, He would reproach them for their slow-
ness of comprehension. He would say to the slow and uncomprehending, “I
have left in your possession truths which concern your salvation, of which
you do not suspect the value.”
Oh, that it might be said of ministers who are preaching to the people
and to the churches, “Then opened he their understanding, that they might
understand the scriptures”! (Luke 24:45) I tell you in the fear of God that up
to this time, the Bible truths connected with the great plan of redemption are
but feebly understood. The truth will be continually unfolding, expanding,
and developing, for it is divine, like its Author.
Jesus did not give full comments or continued discourses upon doctrines,
but He oft spoke in short sentences, as one sowing the heavenly grains of
doctrines like pearls which need to be gathered up by a discerning laborer.
The doctrines of faith and grace are brought to view everywhere He taught.
Oh, why do not ministers give to the churches the very food which will give
them spiritual health and vigor? The result will be a rich experience in prac-
tical obedience to the Word of God. Why do the ministers not strengthen
the things that remain that are ready to die? (Selected Messages, book 3, p.
187–188)


The medical missionary work is God’s own work, and it is to be controlled
by no human power. Human agencies are to act as the Lord’s helping hand,
guided and controlled by the power of the Holy Spirit. Not one act is to be
done that will dishonor the work.
Mistakes will be made, but let men be very careful how they bear down
upon those who have made mistakes. Sometimes the one who treats the err-
ing with little mercy has made mistakes far more grievous in the sight of God
than those made by the one whom he so unsparingly condemns.
Under the Lord’s special guidance, some things have been done that are
contrary to the specified directions laid down by men. Unseen agencies were
guiding in another way than that marked out by human wisdom. Then let

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men be careful how they call their brethren to account, as though they were
in God’s place.
The Lord has heard the humiliating censure that has been given to those
who had not rebellion in their hearts, who thought they were doing just what
they were told to do. The Lord saw that His work would be marred if the direc-
tions given by men were followed, and He guided the minds of the workers
to do the work in the very way that He wished it done. The workers did not
follow the plan laid out by men, because God had a better plan for them. The
divine guiding produced the right result.
If the Lord is the great, unseen Medical Missionary, and men are laborers
together with Him, who are you condemning in blaming His sincere work-
ers? Against whom are your sarcastic words spoken? The Lord Jesus would
have His work done according to His way. If men could see Him guiding and
controlling His servants, helping them to do His work in His way with far bet-
ter results than if they followed the directions given in human wisdom, how
ashamed they would be of the condemnation they give these workers!
I am instructed to say to our ministers and medical missionary workers,
Be careful what spirit you manifest to one another. Men are having their own
way in many places, and if there is not a change, they will soon see that human
wisdom has placed them where they cannot do the work in such a way as to
make the most advancement. For man to control means that the work of God
will not rise to the high elevation that God designs it to reach.
God’s ways are not men’s ways, nor are His thoughts men’s thoughts. The
Lord has seen best to permit men to have their own way, but it will be to the
sadness of their own souls and the souls of those whom they control. God’s
name will not be honored as it should be.
To His servants who shall be assembled in council at any time and in any
place, the Lord says, Remember that prayer is the source of power. Remem-
ber that it is through dependence upon God, by looking to Him in faith, that
you gain the victory. He never disappoints His people. (Manuscript Releases,
vol. 18, p. 171–172)


The youth in Battle Creek are, as a general thing, allied to the world.
But few maintain a special warfare against the internal foe. But few have an
earnest, anxious desire to know and do the will of God. But few hunger and
thirst after righteousness. But few know anything of the Spirit of God as a
reprover or comforter. Where are the missionaries? Where are the self-deny-
ing, self-sacrificing ones? Where are the cross-bearers? Self and self-interest

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have swallowed up high and noble principles. Things of eternal moment bear
with no special weight upon the mind. God requires you individually to come
up to the point, to make an entire surrender. Ye cannot serve God and mam-
mon. Ye cannot serve self and at the same time be servants of Christ. You
must die to self, die to your love of pleasure, and learn to inquire, Will God
be pleased with the objects for which I purpose to spend this means? Shall I
glorify Him? We are commanded, Whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever
we do, to do all to the glory of God. How many have conscientiously moved
from principle rather than from impulse, and obeyed this command to the let-
ter? How many of the youthful disciples of Battle Creek have made God their
trust and portion, and have earnestly sought to know and do His will? There
are many who profess to be servants of Christ in name, but they are not so
in obedience. Where religious principle governs, the danger of committing
important errors is small; for selfishness, which always blinds and deceives, is
subordinate. The sincere desire to do others good so predominates that self is
forgotten. To have firm religious principles is an inestimable treasure. It is the
purest, highest, and most elevated influence mortals can possess. Such have
an anchor. Every act is well considered, lest its effect be injurious to another,
and lead away from Christ. The constant inquiry of the mind is, Lord, how
shall I best serve and glorify Thy name in the earth? how shall I conduct my
life to make Thy name a praise in the earth, and lead others to love, serve,
and honor Thee? Let me only desire and choose Thy will. Let the words and
example of my Redeemer be the light and strength of my heart. While I fol-
low and trust in Him, He will not leave me to perish. He shall be my crown
of rejoicing.
Bro. Aldrich, you are in an important position. If you fail to come up to
the standard, others follow your example; especially the youth. Your position
in regard to health and dress reforms was such as to cause the unsanctified
to take shelter under your influence. Had you possessed that conscientious,
fine sensibility which ought to be found in you, you would not have ventured
upon the course you pursued. It would have been enough for such a mind to
know that God had deigned to notice the diet and dress of His people; and
how careful and circumspect would have been your words, lest you should
be found fighting against God. Any thing that is of sufficient importance for
God to notice, however small it may appear to those whose hearts are lifted
up in pride, should at least call for respectful silence. Your regarding these
things as insignificant did not make them so. God noticed them. This should
have been enough for poor, proud mortals. Their will and wisdom should not
be maintained against the will and wisdom of Him who is too wise to err, and
too good to do us wrong. Here is the danger of exalting man in our hearts.

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If we get the wisdom of man before us as the wisdom of God, we are led
astray by the foolishness of man’s wisdom. Here is the great danger of many
in Battle Creek. They have not an experience for themselves. They have not
been in the habit of prayerfully considering for themselves, with unprejudiced,
unbiased judgment, questions and subjects that are new, which are liable to
arise. They wait to see what Bro. Aldrich thinks. If he dissents, that is all
that is needed. The evidence in their minds then is positive that it is all of no
account whatever. This class is not small; yet for all their numbers are large,
it does not change the fact that they are weak-minded through long yielding
to the enemy, inexperienced, and will always be sickly as babes, walking by
others’ light, living on others’ experience, feeling as others feel, acting as
others act. They act as though they had not an individuality. Their identity
is submerged in others. They are merely shadows of others whom they think
about right. These will all fail of everlasting life unless they become sensible
of their wavering character, and correct it. They will be unable to cope with
the perils of the last days. They will possess no stamina to resist the Devil; for
they do not know that it is he. Some one must be at their side to inform them
whether it is a foe approaching, or a friend. They are not spiritual, therefore
spiritual things are not discerned. They are not wise in those things which
relate to the kingdom of God. None, young or old, are excusable in trusting to
another to have an experience for them. Said the angel, “Cursed is man who
trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.” A noble self-reliance is needed in
the Christian experience and warfare.
Men, women, and youth, God requires you to possess moral courage,
steadiness of purpose, fortitude and perseverance, minds which will investi-
gate, and prove, and try, for themselves before receiving or rejecting, minds
that cannot take the assertions of another, but will study and weigh evidence,
take it to the Lord in prayer, and flee to Him who has invited them to come.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally,
and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5) Now the condi-
tion: “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering; for he that wavereth is like
a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed; for let not that man think
that he shall receive anything of the Lord.” (Verses 6–7) This petition for
wisdom is not to be a meaningless prayer, out of mind as soon as finished. It
is a prayer that expresses the strong, earnest desire of the heart, arising from
a conscious lack of wisdom and knowledge to determine the will of God. If,
after the prayer is made to God, the answer is not immediately realized, do
not become unstable and weary of waiting. Waver not. Cling to the promise,
“Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
Like the importunate widow, urge your case, being firm in your purpose. Is

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the object important and of great consequence to you? It certainly is. Well,
waver not; for your faith may be tried. If the thing you desire is valuable, it is
worthy of a strong, earnest effort. You have the promise, watch and pray. Be
steadfast, and the prayer will be answered; for is it not God who hath prom-
ised? If it cost you something to obtain it, the more will you prize it when
obtained. You are plainly told that if you waver you need not think that you
shall receive any thing of the Lord. A caution is here given not to become
weary, but to rest firmly upon the promise. If you ask, he will give you liber-
ally and upbraid not. (Testimony for the Church at Battle Creek [PH097], pp.
17–21; see also Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 128–131)

188
Index of Scripture References
Genesis 41:25-32 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 Proverbs 31:4-5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Exodus 3:2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Exodus 13:9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 Isaiah 1:9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Exodus 20:8-11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Isaiah 8:16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Exodus 29:36 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Isaiah 10:20-22 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Exodus 31:16-17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Isaiah 11:11-13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Leviticus 10:9-10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Isaiah 11:16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Leviticus 14:18–20, 29, 31 . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Isaiah 12:1-6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Leviticus 14:53 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Isaiah 14:16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
Leviticus 16:30 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Isaiah 22:14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Leviticus 17:11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Isaiah 27:9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Leviticus 19:17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Isaiah 55:1-7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Leviticus 26:1-45 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144-149 Isaiah 58:12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Numbers 25:13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Jeremiah 3:3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Numbers 35:33 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Jeremiah 17:5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Deuteronomy 5:10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 Jeremiah 18:7-10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Deuteronomy 6:5-8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Jeremiah 23:1-3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Deuteronomy 7:9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 Jeremiah 31:3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Deuteronomy 30:1-8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Ezekiel 3:7-9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Joshua 5:14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 Ezekiel 8:15-16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Judges 6:1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 Ezekiel 9:4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
1 Samuel 16:7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 Ezekiel 9:8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
2 Samuel 24:13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 Ezekiel 14:22 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
2 Kings 8:1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150 Ezekiel 20:12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
2 Kings 17:13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Ezekiel 20:17-18 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
2 Kings 19:21-28 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Ezekiel 20:20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
2 Chronicles 36:21 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 Ezekiel 28:18 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
Ezra 9:14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Ezekiel 43:20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Psalm 12:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 Daniel 2:45 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Psalm 78:8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 Daniel 3:19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
Psalm 79:9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Daniel 4:16, 23 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
Psalm 105:25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Daniel 4:25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
Psalm 106:46 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Daniel 4:17, 32 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
Psalm 119:164 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 Daniel 4:32 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
Proverbs 6:23 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Daniel 7:7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
Proverbs 8:15-16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 Daniel 7:9-10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12, 16
Proverbs 16:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Daniel 7:19, 23-24 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
Proverbs 21:1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Daniel 7:25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
Proverbs 24:16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 Daniel 7:26-28 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

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Daniel 8:14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13, 40–41 Acts 17:26-27 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108


Daniel 10:13, 21 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 Acts 26:18 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Daniel 10:14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161 Romans 1:17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Daniel 11:2-4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160 Romans 2:4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Daniel 11:33-35 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Romans 2:12-16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Daniel 12:1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81, 113 Romans 2:14-16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
Daniel 12:4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 Romans 3:24-26 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Daniel 12:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 Romans 8:29 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Daniel 12:7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 Romans 9:17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
Daniel 12:8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129 Romans 9:17-22 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
Daniel 12:9-11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130 Romans 9:27 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Daniel 12:12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132 Romans 9:27-29 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Daniel 12:13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 Romans 10:17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Hosea 5:14-15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Romans 11:2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Joel 2:17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 Romans 11:5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Amos 5:18-19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Romans 11:1-5, 26-29 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Amos 9:9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Romans 12:2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Habakkuk 2:2-4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 Romans 13:1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Haggai 2:4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Romans 13:12-14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Malachi 3:1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 Romans 14:10-12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Malachi 3:3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 1 Corinthians 15:10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Malachi 3:17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 1 Corinthians 15:19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Matthew 4:4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 2 Corinthians 5:21-6:2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Matthew 4:9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Galatians 4:17-18 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Matthew 4:10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 Ephesians 1:17-18 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Matthew 15:8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Ephesians 3:16-19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Matthew 15:9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Ephesians 3:17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Matthew 18:7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Ephesians 3:17-19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Matthew 24:12-13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Ephesians 5:1-2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Matthew 24:15-16, 21-22, 29 . . . . . . . . . . 164 Colossians 2:1-2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Matthew 24:30-31 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165 Colossians 3:8-14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Matthew 24:31 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 Colossians 3:16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Matthew 25:12-14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Matthew 26:39 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 1 Thessalonians 4:16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
Mark 13:27 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 2 Thessalonians 2:13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Mark 14:21 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 2 Timothy 2:14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Luke 12:8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 2 Timothy 3:12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Luke 18:13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Hebrews 1:5-6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
John 4:23-24 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 Hebrews 2:16-18 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
John 5:25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 Hebrews 4:2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
John 5:28 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 Hebrews 6:19-20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
John 9:41 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Hebrews 8:10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
John 12:32 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Hebrews 9:2-4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
John 13:35 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Hebrews 9:5-6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
John 15:7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Hebrews 9:5-9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
John 19:11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 Hebrews 9:7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Acts 2:23 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 Hebrews 9:7-9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Acts 3:15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 Hebrews 10:35-38 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
Acts 3:19-20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 James 1:21 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Acts 5:31 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 James 2:5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Acts 17:23-30 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 James 4:8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

190
Scripture Index

1 Peter 1:2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 Revelation 7:14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67


1 Peter 1:18-19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Revelation 11:15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
1 Peter 3:15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Revelation 12:7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
2 Peter 3:3-6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Revelation 12:17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
1 John 1:7, 9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Revelation 14:6-7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
1 John 4:7-8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Revelation 14:7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Jude 1:9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 Revelation 14:7-11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
Jude 14-15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Revelation 14:9-11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
Revelation 1:5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 Revelation 14:11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Revelation 1:5-6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Revelation 14:7, 12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Revelation 3:5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 16 Revelation 19:10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34, 116
Revelation 3:20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Revelation 20:9-10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
Revelation 6:10-11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Revelation 20:11-15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Revelation 6:11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157

191
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