ADVENTISM OVER THE BIBLE?

By V.J. Ammi

 

 

Have we as Seventh-day Adventists stopped advancing in the Truths and mysteries of the Bible  because the founders of the church only went so far?  In other words, have we gone so far that we will not accept clear points of truth because it does not fit into our theology even though those points are thoroughly supported by the Bible?  Has Adventism become the rule to test all doctrine against or is it still the Bible that is the rule to test everything against?  Where do the two main pioneers of the church, James White and Ellen White, fit into all of this?  Did they believe the truths that were given to them were all and that there was no more to be revealed?  Or is that something we presumed and taught throughout the years and now find impossible to unlearn, reverse!  If that is the case then we’ve set a whole generation in a near irreversible path.  How do other religious groups in the world see Adventism?  Do they see us as a people that put Ellen White’s writings over the Bible or a do they see us as a people that put Ellen White’s writings in the proper perspective in reference to the Bible?  What do the pioneers and Ellen White herself have to say regarding this?  Has the mighty Adventism reached a point where they cannot face straight and honest questions but must change the subject, dodge questions, and close discussions altogether?  Can all of what Adventism teaches be thoroughly supported by the Bible or must we rely on piles of references from Ellen White, the pioneers, and commentaries to substantiate our points?  If all of what we believe is Biblical then why can’t we thoroughly support it in a Bible study straight from Scripture to people who have honest questions?  Does Adventism have all the light in regard to end time events?

 

The above questions and other critical ones is what this paper will address both to people in the world and to Seventh-day Adventists.  We will see references from Ellen White, James White, and other founders that clear up many of the above questions as to where they stood in regards to them.  This paper will deal with the following seven points.

 

I)      Theological History of the Adventist Movement.

II)    The Unrolling of the Scroll vs. A Partial and Complete Understanding.

III)   How the pioneers really viewed the inspiration of Ellen White.

IV)    Is it OK not to understand the prophecies in Detail?

V)     Classical vs. non Classical prophecy.

VI)   Contradictions among Major Adventist writers

VII)  Questions for the SDA Church.


*****

 

I)  Partial Theological History of Advent Movement.

 

After the Great Disappointment in 1844 The Seven Last Plagues was made an anchor point for several fundamental Adventist doctrines and several Biblical verses were placed after probation closed instead of before.  If the reader can obtain a copy of the first Adventist publication entitled ‘A Word to the Little Flock', mainly written by James White and coauthored by Ellen White and James Bates in 1847, look at pages 1-4 and that will be readily seen.  This is where the idea came from that Ezekiel 9, Zechariah 14:12, Isaiah 13:6-11, Joel 1:15-18, Jeremiah 30:23,24, Daniel 12:1, Zephaniah 1:17,18, and Revelation 7:1-3 can only be fulfilled after the close of probation. 

 

For example, Joel 1:15-18 referring to the ‘day of the Lord’.  In the early years of the church they could only see this at the time of the plagues or the second coming.  As time went on and they studied deeper into the Bible they started to realize that the ‘day of the Lord’ is during the judgment for the living, a time when Ellen White and most Adventists believed that the ‘Loud Cry’ would be given and a great multitude gathered in.  Read Joel chapter 2 especially verse 32 and you will see that during this great and terrible (dreadful) day of the Lord people can be saved.  This is what the Bible says. 

 

“And it shall come to pass, that whosever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered:  for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.”  Joel 2:32

 

Why would they adjust their views if God was leading them?  You may ask.  If God was leading them onward and higher they would have no choice but to grow in the light and to get a clear perception of the truth.  We quote the following from the Foreword of A Word to the Little Flock,

 

“With a full understanding of the historic setting of A Word to the ‘Little Flock,’ the reader will not be disturbed by finding that in a few instances positions set forth by Elder White on some points were modified by him in later years, as more mature and joint study revealed clearer views.  This document presents a picture primarily of one worker’s attempt to cheer and aid those about him through a dissemination of light which was beginning to unfold.

 

Take as another example Ezekiel 9.  Adventists hate this chapter more than any other chapter in the Bible.  Why?  Because it shows a prophetic destruction of a people with great light.  Does that sound familiar, ‘a people with great light’.  A careful analysis of Ezekiel 9 shows two things.  This could not have happened in the past with Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Jerusalem and it cannot be The Seven Last Plagues.  Why?  Because in Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion many wicked were taken to Babylon and after the seven last plagues there will still be many, many millions possibly even billions left to be destroyed by the brightness of the coming of Jesus.  But according God’s direction in Ezekiel 9:5,6 the five men (heavenly forces) were to destroy all who had not the mark, all the wicked, none of the wicked were to be left!

 

“5And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: 6Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary.” Ezek. 9:5,6

 

Ezekiel 9 is a judgment upon Israel and Judah, Jerusalem and the sanctuary-Ezekiel 9:4,6,9.  It is a prophetic Judgment that begins with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and moves out into the world when it’s done with God’s people. 

 

“17For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17

 

The Seven Last Plagues are the last seven judgments that will fall upon the world mainly ‘Babylon the Great’ Rev. 16 & 17.

 

Even Ellen White herself said that,

 

 “ Here we see that the church--the Lord's sanctuary--was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God's power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus "Peace and safety" is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God's people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together.”  Testimonies Vol. 5 p. 211

 

Many more references from the Bible and Ellen White’s writings can show that there will be a cleansing of the church by means of destruction of those who have not the seal before probation closes and definitely before the plagues fall.  Carefully and prayerfully read Isaiah 66:15-20. How can the Lord pour out His Spirit on an unclean church filled with all types of wickedness?  Think about that. 

 

Neither James nor Ellen White could see in 1847 what Ellen White wrote in Volume 5 during the 1880s.  In 1847 the church barely numbered 100 people and they were expecting the judgments mentioned in Ezekiel and Revelation 16 and other chapters to be fulfilled very soon.  The Church was relatively in much better condition then than now so he would have naturally applied Ezekiel 9 to other much larger denominations and the world.  Had James White lived till today to see the church in its current condition, he would have applied the full force of Ezekiel’s vision to our denomination as Ellen white did later on in the Testimonies.

 

“18But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18

 

“As we travel onward toward the Holy City, our burning lamps discover new objects :  but we cannot see all at once.  If we reject a little light, because we cannot see the whole clearly at once, it will displease our heavenly father; and we shall be left in the dark.”  A Word to the Little Flock 6

 

In reference to Daniel 12 and Jeremiah 30, the “Time of Trouble,” what is our present day stand, the advanced understanding?  Do we only believe verses 5-7 of Jeremiah 30 that mention the time of Jacob’s trouble?  What about verse 3 that says

 

“3For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.”  Jeremiah 30:3

 

Do we not see that there is going to be a worldwide ingathering after Jacob’s trouble, when the Jacobites are delivered.  Or are you still saying that this is after probation closes.  How can it be after probation closes when verse 19 says;

 

“19And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.”  Jeremiah 30:19

 

How can He multiply them after the deliverance if the deliverance is after the close of probation?  Or do we disregard this scripture? 

 

Daniel 12:1 cannot be thoroughly understood without understanding Daniel 11:40-45 and since nowhere in Ellen White’s writings can we find an explanation of Daniel 11:40-45 she nor the pioneers had a thorough understanding of Daniel 12’s Time of Trouble or the Mark of The Beast.  Does this statement sound very bold?  I will read the reference for you from her own writings in the next section dealing with the unrolling of the scroll!

 

 

II) The Unrolling of The Scroll.

 

Ellen White made the following Statement written around 1900,

 

“The light we have received upon the third angel's message is the true light. The mark of the beast is exactly what it has been proclaimed to be. Not all in regard to this matter is yet understood, nor will it be understood until the unrolling of the scroll.”  Testimonies Vol. 6 p. 17

 

Ellen White realized after extensive study of the Bible that they were not given the complete light, and had not a full understanding of final events.  She also realized many other things would happen that she did not place in “The Great Controversy.”  For example, she made the following statement in 1884,

 

“’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, everyone that shall be found written in the book.’ Daniel 12:1. {GC p. 613.1}

     When the third angel's message closes, mercy no longer pleads for the guilty inhabitants of the earth. The people of God have accomplished their work. They have received ‘the latter rain,’ ‘the refreshing from the presence of the Lord,’ and they are prepared for the trying hour before them. Angels are hastening to and fro in heaven. An angel returning from the earth announces that his work is done; the final test has been brought upon the world, and all who have proved themselves loyal to the divine precepts have received "the seal of the living God." Then Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above. He lifts His hands and with a loud voice says, ‘It is done;’ and all the angelic host lay off their crowns as He makes the solemn announcement: ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.’ Revelation 22:11. Every case has been decided for life or death. Christ has made the atonement for His people and blotted out their sins. The number of His subjects is made up; ‘the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven,’ is about to be given to the heirs of salvation, and Jesus is to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. {GC 613.2}” The Great Controversy p. 613

As Seventh-day Adventists, we have taught for years that when the Time of Trouble begins general probation is closed, that is for the whole world.  However, in 1904, she made the following statement

“In the time of confusion and trouble before us, a time of trouble such as has not been since there was a nation, the uplifted Saviour will be presented to the people in all lands, that all who look to Him in faith may live.”  Testimonies vol. 8 p. 50

 

Why haven’t we as Adventists embraced Vol. 8 p. 50 to obtain a better understanding of end time events, the “Time of Trouble” in particular?  The fact of the matter is that the ‘Time of Trouble’ begins before probation closes and extends through the close of probation until ‘the end of the world’.

 

Before the Lord completely clears up a subject, no one will have the complete, proper understanding.  It matters not whether that one is a prophet, pastor, theology professor or whatever.  The prophet Daniel himself could not understand a lot of his writings as he said in his book and the angel finally told him,

 “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.  And I heard, but I understood not. Then said I, O my lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” Daniel 12:4,8,9

If Daniel could not understand certain things the same could happen to Ellen White, James White, and to Adventists today!  Ignoring these facts, not understanding how Inspiration works and leaning on men instead of studying for oneself has led to the downfall of untold millions.  Any Adventist who thinks that no other event(s) can come before, in between, or after the events listed in the last few chapters of The Great Controversy is in a sad Laodicean delusion.  In those chapters many Bible prophecies are left out such as the Battle of Armageddon, The fall of the King of the North of Dan. 11, The Middle East Crisis mentioned throughout the prophecies, World War III, etc.  It’s amazing how many other churches and people in the world are expecting these things and searching the scriptures for some sort of light in face of these impending world events and Seventh-day Adventists aren’t.  All Adventists know is a little about the Papacy and Sunday Law.  What a horrible tunnel vision to have! 

The reason why Adventists have this tunnel vision is because those subjects mentioned above were not necessarily revealed to Ellen White and second because they do not fit into Adventist theology, even though they are right there in the Bible.  Ellen White wrote

“We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn. God and heaven alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed. As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed. {TM 30.2}

     When a brother receives new light upon the Scriptures, he should frankly explain his position, and every minister should search the Scriptures with the spirit of candor to see if the points presented can be substantiated by the Inspired Word. "The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth." 2 Timothy 2:24, 25.”  Testimonies to Ministers pp. 30,31

  “ How shall we search the Scriptures in order to understand what they teach? We should come to the investigation of God's word with a contrite heart, a teachable and prayerful spirit. We are not to think, as did the Jews, that our own ideas and opinions are infallible; nor with the papists, that certain individuals are the sole guardians of truth and knowledge, that men have no right to search the Scriptures for themselves, but must accept the explanations given by the fathers of the church. We should not study the Bible for the purpose of sustaining our preconceived opinions, but with the single object of learning what God has said.

     Some have feared that if in even a single point they acknowledge themselves in error, other minds would be led to doubt the whole theory of truth. Therefore they have felt that investigation should not be permitted, that it would tend to dissension and disunion. But if such is to be the result of investigation, the sooner it comes the better. If there are those whose faith in God's word will not stand the test of an investigation of the Scriptures, the sooner they are revealed the better; for then the way will be opened to show them their error. We cannot hold that a position once taken, an idea once advocated, is not, under any circumstances, to be relinquished. There is but One who is infallible--He who is the way, the truth, and the life.  Testimonies to Ministers p. 105

“All should be careful about presenting new views of Scripture before they have given these points thorough study, and are fully prepared to sustain them from the Bible. Introduce nothing that will cause dissension, without clear evidence that in it God is giving a special message for this time. {TM p. 106}

     But beware of rejecting that which is truth. The great danger with our people has been that of depending upon men and making flesh their arm. Those who have not been in the habit of searching the Bible for themselves, or weighing evidence, have confidence in the leading men and accept the decisions they make; and thus many will reject the very messages God sends to His people, if these leading brethren do not accept them. {TM p. 106}

     No one should claim that he has all the light there is for God's people. The Lord will not tolerate this. He has said, "I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it." Even if all our leading men should refuse light and truth, that door will still remain open. The Lord will raise up men who will give the people the message for this time. {TM 107}.”  Testimonies to Ministers 106,107

How would you harmonize the following scriptures with Adventist Theology?

“2And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 4And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 5O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.” Isaiah 2:1-5

26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations --  27 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' -- as I also have received from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star.” Revelation 2:26-28

Are we going to rationalize away these scriptures because they do no fit into our Adventist theological perspective?  What doctrines would believing the above scriptures make untrue?  It is sad how we have become like people in the past that fought and explained away scriptures pointing to the Messiah because those scriptures did not fit their theology.

 

If you were a Jew investigating the authenticity of Jesus and He made the following statement,

 

“9And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. Matthew 19:9

 

but you knew that Moses made the following statement,

 

“When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. 2And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.” Deuteronomy 24:1,2

 

What would you do?  Thinking like most Adventists today, you would have called Jesus a false prophet!  Many back then were saying; ‘Does not this man contradict the great Moses?’ ‘Are not His sayings against the Holy Torah?’  The problem with those people was that they failed to realize that the writings of great Moses were not complete and that there were certain customs and practices God permitted in his writings that were provisionary and temporary.  Many Adventists would say ‘well, that’s not so with the writings of Ellen White.’  It has already been proven in this paper that it is so with the writings of Ellen White and we already showed where she admitted this to be an undeniable fact, much to the dismay of many.  However, we will show a very surprising example of which most Adventists are not aware and that is easily found in the Testimonies for the Church.  The following was written in 1858,

 

I saw that your views concerning swine's flesh would prove no injury if you have them to yourselves; but in your judgment and opinion you have made this question a test, and your actions have plainly shown your faith in this matter. If God requires His people to abstain from swine's flesh, He will convict them on the matter. He is just as willing to show His honest children their duty, as to show their duty to individuals upon whom He has not laid the burden of His work. If it is the duty of the church to abstain from swine's flesh, God will discover it to more than two or three. He will teach His church their duty.” Testimonies Vol. 1 p. 206 

 

The following was written in 1850 by Elder James White,

 

Some of our good brethren have added "swine's flesh" to the catalogue of things forbidden by the Holy Ghost, and the apostles and elders assembled at Jerusalem. But we feel called upon to protest against such a course, as being contrary to the plain teaching of the holy scriptures. Shall we lay a greater "burden" on the disciples than seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and the holy apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ? God forbid. Their decision, being right, settled the question with them, and was a cause of rejoicing among the churches, and it should forever settle the question with us.” --The Present Truth Vol. I., Nov., 1850. - No. 11, "Swine's Flesh"

 

Both James and Ellen White were eating and advocating the use of swine’s flesh as permissible, clearly contradictory to Leviticus eleven and other Bible texts, until the light on the Health Reform came in 1863.  This was almost 20 years after 1844.  This once again shows that unless the Lord opens your eyes to points of Truth no matter whom you are whether you’re a pastor, layman, or prophet you will not see certain things!  It also shows that the writings of Ellen White were not complete!

 

This was even the case with John the Baptist we quote the following,

 

“Like the Saviour's disciples, John the Baptist did not understand the nature of Christ's kingdom. He expected Jesus to take the throne of David; and as time passed, and the Saviour made no claim to kingly authority, John became perplexed and troubled. He had declared to the people that in order for the way to be prepared before the Lord, the prophecy of Isaiah must be fulfilled; the mountains and hills must be brought low, the crooked made straight, and the rough places plain. He had looked for the high places of human pride and power to be cast down. He had pointed to the Messiah as the One whose fan was in His hand, and who would thoroughly purge His floor, who would gather the wheat into His garner, and burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Like the prophet Elijah, in whose spirit and power he had come to Israel, he looked for the Lord to reveal Himself as a God that answereth by fire.” Desire of Ages p. 215

 

The message which God gave John the Baptist was true but not everything that John the Baptist understood had to be true.  The same was the case with Ellen White and the pioneers as shown in the preceding paragraphs.  What Ellen White did not clear another, Elijah the prophet, will clear,

 

“Prophecy must be fulfilled. The Lord says: ‘Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.’ Somebody is to come in the spirit and power of Elijah, and when he appears, men may say: ‘You are too earnest, you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way. Let me tell you how to teach your message.’” Testimonies to Ministers p. 475

 

All who fail to accept this additional message will not survive the Great and Dreadful day, the Judgment for the Living.  Adventists will become alarmed and confused when they see terrible world events happening across the globe, Europe, and the Middle East with the Lord nowhere in sight!  These are events which must precede the coming of the Lord and the New World Order to be headed by ‘Babylon the Great’, that international religious, political, economic system.

 

 

III)  Ellen White’s Inspiration as Understood by some Pioneers and Early Adventists.

 

“Every Christian is therefore duty bound to take the Bible as a perfect rule of faith and duty.  He should pray fervently to be aided by the Holy Spirit in searching the Scriptures for the whole truth, and for His whole duty.  He is not at liberty to turn from them to learn his duty through any of the gifts.  We say that the very moment he does, he places the Gifts in a wrong place, and takes an extremely dangerous position.” R&H Feb. 28, 1856, J.W.

 

“’Some may say.  Then you make the visions a second New Testament, a Mormon Bible in your system.  We do not, as the following reason will show:  We have ever held, as set forth in this work, that the word of God, the Bible, is the standard by which to test all these manifestations.  ‘To the Law and to the testimony:  If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’  All gifts of the Spirit in the church must be tested.  Now it is evident that that which test occupies a higher position than that which is tested by it.  This, in one word, expresses our view of the relative position which the Bible and the visions sustain to each other.” R&H Oct. 18, 1887, Uriah Smith

 

“The failure has been in understanding what the Testimonies are and how to use them.  They are not the heavens, palpitating with countless orbs of truth, but they do lead the eye and give it power to penetrate into the glories of the mysterious living word of God.”  R&H Jan. 1898, MRS. S.M.I. Henry

 

“It should be said, however, that our religious faith and doctrinal beliefs are based not upon her teachings but upon the scriptures…Do the writings of Mrs. White constitute for the church of Christ a new Bible?  We answer emphatically, No.  Do they constitute an edition to the Sacred Canon?  We answer again unqualifiedly, No indeed.  Not only should her writings be regarded as making no addition to the Bible, but only as they stand the test of the Sacred Canon can their claims be accepted.  Indeed, it is by the Bible that her writings and the writings of every other person claiming divine revelation are to be judged.”  R&H June 9, 1946, Bro. Wilcox

 

“I recommend to you dear reader, the Word of God as the rule of faith and practice.  By that Word we are to be judged.  God has in that word promised to give visions in the last days, not for a new rule of faith, but for the comfort of His people and to correct those who err from Bible Truth.” Christian Experience and Views(1851)  p. 64, Ellen White

 

Not to Take Place of the Bible.--The testimonies of Sister White should not be carried to the front. God's Word is the unerring standard. The Testimonies are not to take the place of the Word. Great care should be exercised by all believers to advance these questions carefully, and always stop when you have said enough. Let all prove their positions from the Scriptures and substantiate every point they claim as truth from the revealed Word of God.--Letter 12, 1890.” Evangelism 256, Ellen White

 

The reason why the above statements are immovable is because all the foundations of Truth are in the Holy Bible not in someone else’s writings.

 

“16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16,17

 

“25Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:” Luke 24:25

 

If we don’t want to be a bunch of fools than we better believe all that’s in the Bible.  Since it is that the Bible has all the Truth that we need and that no messenger after the canonization of the Bible has had all the Truth then for anyone to make a person’s writings equal to the Bible is blasphemy of the worst kind, a hopeless case.

 

The Adventists don’t realize that’s what they’ve done when they fail to accept clear cut truth in advance of their pioneers, particularly Ellen White.  They have made Adventism an idol and whatever does not accord with that idol they throw out, even though it may be conclusively found in and proven from the Bible.  I guess this is part of the reason many people don’t want to join the Seventh-day Adventist church, or if they do join they leave.  It is a sad plight that we are in today because the pioneers did not handle themselves in such a fashion.  The blind Laodiceanism we are in is taking us to the point of no return.  May we wake out of this deadly sleep before we find ourselves beyond reclamation.

 

 

IV) Is It OK not to Understand the Prophecies in Detail.

       (What Does One Really Need to Know?)

 

It’s amazing how we switch our position when it comes to certain questions asked  by other people and certain Biblical scriptures that we do not incorporate into our theological framework.  When it comes to ‘the Mark of the Beast’ we trumpet far and wide that it is a prophecy must be fulfilled.  We even go as far as to specify which country is going to pass ‘the Mark of the Beast’ and what ‘the Mark of the Beast’ is and who will have the number ‘666’.  Is this not detail?  And we’ve been trumpeting this for over 150 years before the actual event.  As a matter of fact, it seems like all we know is ‘the Mark of the Beast’ and the ‘Pope’.  Are there no other significant prophetic events mentioned in the Bible?  When it comes to other relevant prophecies beyond our finite theological walls we either say they are not important or it is not important to understand the prophecy in detail.  If that is so, then why do we try to detail out ‘the Mark of the Beast’ in Revelation 13:11-18.  Why were we, when Ellen White was alive, trying to detail out something that she made the following comment about,

 

“The light we have received upon the third angel's message is the true light. The mark of the beast is exactly what it has been proclaimed to be. Not all in regard to this matter is yet understood, nor will it be understood until the unrolling of the scroll” Testimonies vol. 6 p. 17

 

The answer is, even though this and other prophecies were not completely understood at that time, she never discouraged anyone from studying them in the spirit of prayer so they could get the best understanding and most detail possible.

 

“19We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:19-21

 

According to the above verses the sure, not unsure, word of prophecy is to make us as a light shining in a dark place.  Prophecy shows us where we are in the stream of time and what to expect not only to prepare us but also to show and warn others, that certain events are going to come to pass.  When they start coming to pass the honest unbelievers will remember and come back to us to take a stand with the Truth and give glory to God.  The following scriptures make this clearer,

 

13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” John 16:13

 

8And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” John 16:8

 

“15But 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

 

The above verses make plain that the Spirit guides you into all Truth and enlightens you on things to come. As you are enlightened you can so direct and enlighten others when they ask why you believe what you believe and about world events and conditions.  Will we Adventists be dumb founded when the world begins to demand answers from religious people about The New World Order, The European Theater of events,  and The Middle East Crisis!  We may be able to fool people in the church that such questions or concerns are unimportant, but there is no way will be able to convince people of other churches and faiths or even nonbelievers!  Especially when there are direct verses in the Bible relating to such things that they can read for themselves!  That will be the day when Laodiceanism in the church dies, when the whole world sees a group of people that claim to be the most advanced in the world with no light relating to the above mentioned events.  Then everybody will see that most of us were truly,

 

“wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked:” Revelation 3:17

 

For example, Jesus gave His disciples a specific prophecy, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, which they saw come to pass around 37 years later.  We quote the following verses,

 

“And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. 2And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.  Mathew 24:1,2

 

“20And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. 22For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. 24And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.  Luke 21:20-24

 

The Lord made clear 37 years before that Jerusalem would be surrounded by armies and that the city and the temple would be destroyed in a great destruction.  This took place exactly how He stated it.  The Lord made clear the following details,

 

1.  Jerusalem would be encompassed, surrounded by armies.

2.  Terrible distress would be in the city.

3.  Wrath would be upon the city.

4.  The city would fall.

5.  The Jews would be led captive into all nations.

6.  That Gentiles would trod down Jerusalem until their time was up.

 

This was a prophecy with certain detail.  The prophecy did not contain certain details, like

 

1.  The exact date when this was to happen.

2.  The name of the general to lead the siege and the attack.

3.  How long the siege would be.

4.  What direction the attack would come from.

 

The Lord did not make known the above listed details because it was not necessary for them to escape the impending doom.  But the details He did make known the disciples taught with confidence.  They taught and warned many that there would be great wrath on God’s people and that their women and children would suffer terribly.  Of course the people did not like this, and had the disciples persecuted and thrown in prison.  The Lord many times lets His people know certain things before they come to pass.  Examples of this are Daniel and his friends knowing years before hand that Medo-Persia would overthrow Babylon, the very country they were living in!  What about Isaiah and the Jews knowing years before Cyrus’ birth the very name that would be given him!  Read the book of Daniel and Isaiah 44 and 45.  A far greater destruction is coming in the Middle-East and Jerusalem than that which occurred in the destruction of Jerusalem in the disciples' day.  Are we aware of this?  Are we warning people in regards to this?  Or are we saying ‘those prophecies in the Old Testament don’t matter’! 

 

We’ll realize they matter very much when we’re caught off guard and looking like fools before the world with no answers and preparation in regards to the Mid-East Conflict, World War III, and the New World Order, when things really heat up.  We better heed the following references from the Spirit of Prophecy,

 

“A message that will arouse the churches is to be proclaimed. Every effort is to be made to give the light, not only to our people, but to the world. I have been instructed that the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation should be printed in small books, with the necessary explanations, and should be sent all over the world. Our own people need to have the light placed before them in clearer lines.”  Testimonies Vol. 8 160

 

 “There is need of a much closer study of the word of God; especially should Daniel and the Revelation have attention as never before in the history of our work. We may have less to say in some lines, in regard to the Roman power and the papacy; but we should call attention to what the prophets and apostles have written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit has so shaped matters, both in the giving of the prophecy and in the events portrayed, as to teach that the human agent is to be kept out of sight, hid in Christ, and that the Lord God of heaven and His law are to be exalted. Read the book of Daniel. Call up, point by point, the history of the kingdoms there represented. Behold statesmen, councils, powerful armies, and see how God wrought to abase the pride of men, and lay human glory in the dust. . . . “ Testimonies to Ministers p. 112

 

“Let us give more time to the study of the Bible. We do not understand 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

 

“We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Many of the prophecies are about to be fulfilled in quick succession. Every element of power is about to be set to work. Past history will be repeated; old controversies will arouse to new life, and peril will beset God's people on every side. Intensity is taking hold of the human family. It is permeating everything upon the earth. . . . “  Testimonies to Ministers p. 116

 

 “Study Revelation in connection with Daniel, for history will be repeated. . . . We, with all our religious advantages, we ought to know far more today than we do know.” Testimonies to Ministers p. 116

 

 

V) Classical versus Non Classical Prophecy?

 

Some refer to the prophecies of the Old Testament as classical and the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation and those referring to Gentiles and Christians as non-classical.  What this all means is as confusing as the individuals themselves!  People, especially so-called theologians, have a way of labeling portions of scripture that does not fit their finite perception and theology with funny little terms with the end of nullification.  This they did in the time of the Messiah, throwing scriptures that were pointing to Jesus in the past or applying them to different things.  They were so successful that they caused an entire generation to lose their salvation!  They say that the classical prophecies are conditional and the non-classical prophecies are not conditional.  First of all, who gave them the authority to say which part of the prophecies and the Bible is conditional and which part is not?  The next thing is that you can check every prophet in the Bible and they have some prophecy regarding Israel and Judah in the last days.  If God knew from the beginning that Israel would have nothing to do in the last days then why would he waste prophet after prophet’s time with prophecies concerning Judah, Israel and Jerusalem in the last days!!  And further more many of these prophecies uses terms like ‘It shall come to pass’ and ‘I the Lord have spoken it and I will do it’!!

 

“19We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1:19-21

 

 

Even Luke makes it clear that the throne of David will be set up before the Lord comes.

 

"32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Luke 1:32,33

 

Notice Jesus is to be given the throne of His father David.  What was the throne of David?  And what is the house of Jacob?  You would have to go to the Old Testament and find out.  The throne of David anciently ruled over all twelve tribes and the house of Jacob is the twelve tribes, because the twelve tribes came from the twelve sons of Jacob.  At some point and at some time in the Christian era Jesus will manifest his power over the kingdom of the twelve tribes.  And if that is the case the twelve tribes will have to exist as a kingdom before the end of this world!  This may not be popular teaching but it is the raw truth of the Bible.  The big problem is that Adventism has been so accustomed to a limited teaching of the Bible that they find it very difficult to swallow anything else, even things clear beyond a shadow of a doubt in the Bible.  Just because God didn’t make these things clear through James and Ellen White doesn’t mean that they’re of none effect.  The Lord is now unfolding these things through the message of ‘the Great and Dreadful day of the Lord’, the Judgment of the Living message.

 

What in these prophecies make them conditional?  Nothing.  If these prophecies are conditional then so can any other prophecy in the Bible be conditional.  With that type of  twisted logic we can even make the Second Coming of Christ  conditional! Remember, His coming depends on the church being ready and certain events fulfilling as He said in Matthew 24 and other places.  Now what if those things don’t take place!  Will he come?  Is Jesus’ Second Coming conditional?  That nonsensical, conditional argument can be turned against every prophecy the Seventh-day Adventist Church teaches will be fulfilled.  It would be for our good, as Christians, that we leave that conditional argument alone lest the enemy turn it on us and devour us whole.  Remember you were warned! 

 

Let’s see what Hosea has to say about this.

 

“10Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. 11Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” Hosea 1:10,11

 

“4For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: 5Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.” Hosea 3:4,5

 

It is clear from the above verses that Israel was to be scattered.  They would also multiply and be as sands of the sea in the Gentile world but would be gathered together in the last days. Read all of chapters 1 and 3.

 

2 Kings 17:18,20,21,23 and 2 Kings 18:11,12 makes clear the scattering of Israel but God speaking of what he will do in the last days says,

 

“18Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: 19And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them…24For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.” Ezekiel 36:18,19,24

 

Notice it says he will gather them out of all countries.  This shows that the bloodline of Israel, the twelve tribes, has been scattered throughout the four corners of the earth and still exists today.  It also shows that when Israel was scattered into the nations the majority of them lost their religion and their national identity.  How do I know that they lost their religion?  Because if they did not keep it in their own land amongst themselves why would they keep it when scattered among the Gentiles?  Read 2 Kings 17:12-18.

 

After they lost their religion and intermarried with the heathen they lost their national identity.  Whichever country they were scattered in, or somehow landed in during the stream of time, that’s the identity the majority of them ended up inheriting.  For example, a black person who looks black now may have had grandparents who look nothing like them.  Their grandparents could have been Chinese, Japanese, East Indian, or even White.  When I was going to a particular university I met and made friends with a really dark skinned Negro Trinidadian with eyes that looked Asian.  Being very inquisitive I asked him if he had any Asians in his family.  He answered and told me that on his father’s side was pure Chinese but his mother was dark skinned Negro.  Though my friend was black but in reality he descended from China, because the bloodline is carried through the father.  So it is with the Israelites, they make look black, Asian, Caucasian, Latino, Indian, etc., but they’re still Israelites by blood (lineage).  Why is all of this important?

 

1) Because many concluded that since Israelites no longer exist therefore the Old Testament prophecies cannot be fulfilled.

 

2) The 144,000 from the 12 tribes are really from the 12 tribes not from some mystical tribes.

 

“Prophecy must be fulfilled,” Testimonies to Ministers p. 475.  All of the prophecies God wrote through the prophets in ancient Israel’s day will be fulfilled through the bloodline.  What do you think of a man who makes multiple promises to do something and never does?  Maybe this is the type of God the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists wants you to believe in.  God’s word never return to him void.  What is spoken will be fulfilled!

 

“8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:8-11

 

Israel is not cast out forever.  They are still here, though not identifiable.  His promises remain with them.

 

“35Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name: 36If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. 37Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 31:35-37

 

 

VI)  Contradictions Among Adventism.

 

The very men who speak against the doctrines of the Rod concerning the 144,000, Daniel 11:40-45, The Middle East, Rev. 13, Isaiah 4, etc are in great contradiction among themselves on these very points.  At times they have taught one thing on these subjects one year and then another thing another year.  Why then do they form troops against the Shepherd’s Rod when they’re teaching false doctrines themselves??  The reason why is that the Rod condemns the administration-sponsored corruptions of the SDA church and the General Conference and unveils truths that all of their scholars couldn’t come close to understanding. This makes them very angry and jealous.  Here follows a few of the denominational contradictions listed by topics.

 

 

The 144,000

 

In 1985 and 1986 the Revelation Seminar published by the Adventist church taught the 144,000 was a small group of a limited number to go and gather the great multitude of Revelation 7:9.  We quote as follows

 

“The ‘firstfuits’ were always a definite and limited amount.  The amount was always very small, in comparison to the innumerable amount of the great harvest to follow…So now, God is choosing twelve groups of faithful ones, with varying traits and personalities, so He can use them to reach out to all in these last days in one last all-encompassing effort to take the gospel message to all the world.”  Revelation Seminars P.O. Box Candler, NC 28715

 

In 1987 though, the Review and Herald put out by the denomination taught that the 144,000 is a symbolical number of the saved of all ages!! 

 

Ellen White and the pioneers in general taught that it was a literal number.  Go read the section entitled "My First Vision" in the book entitled Early Writings.

 

 

Daniel 11:40-45

 

In reference to Daniel 11:40-45 we as a people have had numerous interpretations, some of which have come to shambles.  Please read the fact-finding report entitled ‘The House of Cards Built on Sand’ to see the horrible track record we’ve had on Daniel 11 and other prophecies that are not fundamentals of our church. 

 

The one who has had the largest impact on the teaching of Daniel 11 in our denomination has been Bro. Uriah Smith.  In the late 1800s he was teaching that Turkey was the King of the North and Egypt was the King of the South. We quote,

 

Egypt is still, by common agreement, the king of the south, while the territory which at first constituted the king of the north, has been for the past four hundred years wholly included within the dominions of the sultan of Turkey.”  Daniel And The Revelation p. 302

 

 The denomination continued to hold this view up till World War I and World War II and then began to abandon it.

 

Then there was the major viewpoint of Bro. James White.  He taught that the King of the North was the United States of America and that this power would come to an end when Michael stands up.  Not many Adventists hold this view but in the end may prove itself far more reliable than Br. Smith’s interpretation.  We quote the following,

 

“This power is the last that treads down the true church of God: and as the true church is still trodden down, and cast out by all Christendom, it follows that the last oppressive power has not ‘come to his end’; and Michael has not stood up.  This last power that treads down the saints is brought to view in Rev. 13:11-18.” A word to the Little Flock pp. 8,9

 

Another view point was that they didn’t know and that in “such areas of unfulfilled prophecy we must tread humbly and softly.” Jan-Mar 1987 Adult Sabbath School Lesson p 93.  It seems like when ever it comes to prophecies that we do not understand the above comments are made, yet we beat others on the head with Rev. 12:17 and Rev. 13:11-18 regarding the ‘Mark of the Beast’ activity.  One thing for sure though in the 1987 Sabbath School Lesson they at least saw it as a Middle East involved prophecy.

 

The worst viewpoint of all was in the Oct-Dec 2004 Adult Sabbath School Lesson.  The reason why we can say this is because Biblical, historical, and world current events evidences are so overwhelming that we can sit with anyone, anywhere, even on national TV and prove which countries Daniel 11:40-45 applies and how that events with the mighty King of the North will take a turn for the worst in the world’s and Middle East theater of events, World War III.  They taught in the Oct-Dec 2004 Lesson 13 p.105 that the King of the North was the papacy and the King of the South was powers that are “opposed true religion.”

 

Which of the four above views from one denomination will you believe?

 

 

Rev. 13 & other contradictions

 

You would think the SDA church always taught that Rev. 13 Beast is the papacy but take a look at the following,

 

"...Therefore it is neither right nor scriptural to declare that the Roman Catholic Church is the fifth head of the dragon or the beast of Revelation 13." -- Signs of the Times, April 12, 1932.

 

One set of Adventists teach one thing on this and another set teaches something else on Revelation 13.  It is amazing how the beast of Revelation 13 is killing the SDA church at this time through worldliness and paganism yet they’re pointing to some foreign power overseas.  All who fanatically teach that the leopard like beast is only the Catholic Church will be bitterly disappointed.  There are some astonishing facts that we can prove and quote on this subject but because of reasons that will be unearthed at another time but we give you only one for now,

 

“The prediction that it will speak "as a dragon" and exercise "all the power of the first beast" plainly foretells a development of the spirit of intolerance and persecution that was manifested by the nations represented by the dragon and the leopardlike beast.” Great Controversy p. 442

 

What do you believe on this subject through prayerful personal study and effort?

 

 

The Middle East

 

The Adventist Church teaches nothing to my knowledge on The Middle East in end time Bible Prophecy.  While the world is watching The Middle East and wondering what’s going to happen there the Adventist Church is saying that it is not important, ‘Jesus is coming soon’.  This is all it seems like they can say today.  Other churches and groups are anxiously searching the Bible for any light they can find on this subject but all we are told in our church is that ‘Jesus is coming soon’.  Most of the churches believe that Jesus is coming soon.  For people who claim to have the light the world needs we must be able to say much more than just ‘Jesus is coming soon’.  Jesus through the Spirit is the one who inspired the prophets to write Scriptures concerning The Middle East and last-day events.  If anyone knows what the church officially teaches on this subject please let me know.

 

 

VII) Questions for the SDA Church.

 

1.  Where do Ellen White’s writings stand in all of the confusion mentioned in the above section?

 

2.  If Ellen White is the last prophet, like many Adventists teach, why then are there so many different interpretations on major Bible prophecies in our SDA denomination?

 

3.  If the Middle East is not important as many SDAs believe why do so many end-time prophecies in the Bible relate to it?

 

4.  What event plunges the United States and the world into the Image of the Beast, New World Order?

 

5.  Are we expecting more light to come through another prophet or messenger?  If not, why not?

 

6.  Can we Adventists produce Biblical proof to defend our positions on the above- mentioned fair questions?