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Settled on the Prophecies

Eugene Prewitt
Table of Contents

Section I
Questions from Those Within
The Judgment
Present Truth for Adventists in Laodicea
Hebrews Problems and Ballenger
An Invisible Remnant ?
Section II
Questions from Those Without
What does Atonement Mean in Leviticus?
More on the Mark Much on the Seal
Conditional Prophecy and a Bible Study on the Sovereignty of God
Satan Burns for Ever and Ever
Section III
The Times
1290, 1335
Future Applications and Double Meanings
Section IV
Testimony Tidbits
Why does Revelation say that Satan will burn in the lake of fire “for
ever and ever?” Why does the Old Testament teach that atonement
was made on the Passover? What is the point of the 1290 and 1335
day prophecies? And what about the 2520 day prophecy? Why
haven’t we heard about it before this?

Does the “remnant” of Revelation 12 include not-yet-converted

Seventh-day Adventists? Why did scores of Bible students follow
Ballenger out of the Adventist church when they did a Bible study on
“within the veil”?

What is the present truth for Adventists? And must it be so that our
prophecy lectures on the Mark of the Beast quote largely from
Catholic sources? Could we prove our point from the Bible alone?

And how do we know which prophecies are conditional and which are
unconditional? And how can we say that Michael, “one of the chief
princes”, is divine? And if, according to Raymond Cottrell, the
leading scholars of Adventism were unable to defend the doctrine of
the investigative judgment, how can it be defended? Could it be
established without a reference to Daniel 8:14?

These are unsettling questions. And the purpose of this book is to

settle them and many like them.

William Miller, after the Great Disappointment reminisced about the

opposition he received while preaching the Advent near. Doctors of divinity
and scholars had assailed him. Books had been written against him.

How often, you might ask, was William Miller confronted with an argument
that confounded him momentarily? How often did a new line of Bible
reasoning catch him off guard or cause him some embarrassment?

To me that has happened often.

But William Miller testified that never once did anyone bring an argument
against his 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. – Mr. Miller’s Apology and Defense, p. 13

What was the result of five years of such study, conducted while Miller was
yet full-time employed 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.

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 the prophetic.

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
question, "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.

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

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. {TM

--Eugene Prewitt, July 24, 2009

Section I -- Questions from Those Within

Adventist generally are 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 spiritually so that they can not 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 believed that an honest searcher for truth, led by the Holy Spirit,
could read the documents and be unconvinced.

If I were only to take into consideration those studies that met the following
guidelines, there would still be more 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.
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

Yet, if I were to believe only the studies that meet these qualifications, I
would at one 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 SDA church, join the SDARM church, leave
both, start a third. I would believe that modern prophets that rejected each
other were both true. I would pronounce God’s name in Hebrew with great
care. I would believe that the movement to pronounce that Name aright is
the 4th angel of Revelation 18. I would also believe that the Shepherds Rod is
that 4th angel. I would also believe the literature work of the SDA
denomination is that angel. I would also believe that the call to leave the SDA
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 that one acknowledge that having these eight
identifying marks is not sufficient evidence that a matter is true. And from
that I would suggest that if I conclude from my study that I would rather say
“I don’t believe that matter” in the judgement, that I am not accusing the
document of lacking any of these eight evidences.

This introduction nearly states the direction the paper is going, and for that I
am not ashamed. We will have to give account in the judgement for the use
of our time and energies. That is reason enough to motivate me to “take
heed how [I] hear.”

Charity in Judging

I fear men, not because they are a member of one group or another, but
because they are men. Men, the best and most honest of them, are erring
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 7th day Sabbath. Luther and Carlstadt
attacked each other. On nearly every point of difference, Luther was in the
wrong. A few of our pioneers opposed Andrew’s opinion that Sabbath begins
at sundown. And nearly all early Adventists kept it wrong 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.

But there is a class with whom we can not 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. His 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 can not be anything else but some wonderful,
plain, clear-cutting Bible truth which could not be contradicted.” SR p. 95. A
man that claims to be a prophet (see page 196) 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 views over time, then portions of scripture
may 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.
In a future book I intend to address many questions that faithful Adventists
may meet from strong believers in the Testimonies.

But not in this one. Here we will address prophetic questions from a different

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 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 is a critique of the Adventist doctrine of the
“remnant.” Who are part of that remnant that seems to raise the ire of the
beast? 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.
Chapter One
The Judgment

Adventists alone teach the doctrine that we have named the “investigative
judgment.” Our neighbors in the Baptist or Catholic communions have ideas
about death that make such a judgment unthinkable.

What are the defining characteristics of the 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 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
destiny’s 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
informing the Father so that He may make a right decision. No, the judgment
is for the angels. They are the ones that witness the cases being decided.
And they are the ones that 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
man been an overcomer? Has he loved and obeyed?”

The judgment does not ask, “What were his opinions?” but “What evidence
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 and wash away the record of a man’s sin if there is evidence that the
man gave Jesus opportunity to clean up his life while on earth.

These three characteristics, 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.

And it is hated.

So here is a little history from the perspective of our enemies:

Unambiguous Evidence?

Raymond Cottrell has written a paper on the Investigative Judgment called

“Liability or Asset?” In that paper he indicates that there is no unambiguous
Bible evidence for the Adventist doctrine of the judgment. The these 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 absolutely

faithful to both Daniel and the traditional Adventist interpretation of 8:14,
but again found it impossible. I then formulated six questions 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 interpretation 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. And more than this, that if Daniel 8:14 is explained correctly that
the doctrine of the investigative judgment evaporates.

So we are about to look at Bible evidence for the Adventist doctrine. And
when we are done, look back over the passages that we have quoted and you
will find not one reference to Daniel 8:14. There is unambiguous evidence for
the Adventist’s Investigative Judgment. And we will get to Daniel 8:14 in the
chapters on Ballenger and on the Atonement.

Yes, Unambiguous Evidence

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. Re 3:5

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
mentioned above (in a remarkable fulfillment of Daniel 12:10’s “none”) is
whether any of these 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.

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. Dan 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.)

Then we see again, 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 pointed out by Adventists. It
is late in earth's history, yet ends before the final climatic scenes.

2. What do we find in Revelation 14? While probation still continues and

before the gospel has been preached to every nation and people, an
announcement 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. Re 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
faithfully enduring persecution. Next in Revelation 14 comes the Second
Coming of Jesus under the symbol of two ripe-related harvests—first of the
righteous, then of the wicked for destruction.

In point of 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 climatic events that, themselves, precede the Second
Coming of Jesus. In timing, this looks like the judgment Adventists teach

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. Re 6:11

Their cry for vengeance is followed by the signs in the sun, moon, and stars,
and then by the personal appearance of Jesus Christ.

In point of time, the giving of the white robes to the faithful martyrs follows
the persecutions 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, in point of time, like the
one Adventists teach.

Common and Uncommon Elements

These three passages share two common elements. They each picture a
Divine judgment following papal activity and preceding the earth's final

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 refer to those that
dwell "on the earth." In Revelation 14 the need for an announcement
presupposes that the beginning of the judgment is not readily apparent to
those on earth.

Beyond this, each offers their own clues to how this judgment ties in with the
broader picture of scripture. Daniel 7 ties the judgment to the idea of the
heavenly books. The student of scripture finds, after a study of these books,
that names can be "written," names removed. Ex 32:32-34; De 29:20; Re
22:19; Lu 10:20.

Jesus elsewhere 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
time-line passages.

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. Re 3:5
And this passage from the 5th church age, directing the church of that time to
the future, reminds us of the name of the last church. Laodicea means "a
people judged."

Another passage that speaks of "blotting out" something from the books used
in the judgment is found in Peter's post-Pentecostal sermon. There the
blotting out, in point of time, 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
presence 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. Many detractors from the doctrine of the Investigative
Judgment suggest that its creation was part of an Adventist state of denial at
the non-appearing of Christ in 1844.

Prophecies of the Great Disappointment

But Habakkuk 1-2, Hebrews 10, Malachi 3, 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, but men were still to keep waiting for Christ's return. They would be
seeking to see Him in the clouds, but He would rather come to His Temple.

They would need patience to inherit His Coming kingdom, but 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. It would be like they loved the sweetness of their
message until they understood it thoroughly, then it would be a bitter

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

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. Ec 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 in the law shall be judged by the
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. Ro 2:12-16

Who will be blotted out of the book? Those that "sin" against the Lord. Ex
32:34. But doesn't that include us all? Yes, human cases would be hopeless if
the overcomers were not offered a "white robe", 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
Angel's messages. We glorify God by keeping the Law that is a transcript of
His character. Compare Ecclesiastes 12 and Revelation 14. They 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,
Re 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. Ec 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
heavenly books in the heavenly sanctuary from the record of sin. As each
case is decided, either a white robe is given or a name (and its record) are
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 that has
tempted and prodded, cajoled and trapped, bringing men into his ranks of sin
slaves. He 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. He has
injured Jesus through Christ’s 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 never an

underling blamed to take heat off from a superior. A more backwards
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."
If we ask, "How is this blaming of Satan related to the Judgment in heaven?"
we need only note the observers of the judgment.

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. Dan 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. Re 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: Lu 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. The
investigative judgment is for the angels. They are the ones that have an
interest in the blame that belongs to their once-honored Lucifer. 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 interest in the Law
and mercy, but the entire fabric of the inner curtains was woven with
cherubim. Ex 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 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. Re 20:11-15

When does this judgment happen? Very apparently it is finished after the
1000 years mentioned in the verses just before this. We can tell this by the
statement "this is 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 Re 20:1-10). Also, notice in this
judgment that there is no intercession by Jesus. And who are the witnesses of
this judgment? Rather than the angels, this judgment serves those that are
judged. They are resurrected to hear their cases decided and to be convinced
of their wickedness.

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
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 Coming are accused by Jesus for their
wrong-doing, so will be the resurrected wicked after the thousand 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

[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
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 with 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 book The Great Controversy. See pp. 666.]

These two events of Christ on His throne judging resurrected persons happen,
naturally, in conjunction with the two resurrections. Both are a fulfillment of:

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.
Ro 14:10-12.

But not all these knees bow simultaneously. These two resurrections are
those mentioned in 1Cor 15:23-25. The saints, 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 experience 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 then will be to learn of it far too late.

In conclusion, there is plenty of unambiguous evidence for a many-phased

judgment 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. There sins and names are blotted out as
destinies are forever fixed. Then the books are brought forth to convince the
wicked inhabitants of earth 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 lack of fire.

Only the first phase of this judgment is coincident (happens at the same
time) 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.


So what about the doctrine of the Investigative Judgment? Biblically, it is

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 and so 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.

Chapter Two


There 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 it 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

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. – 1888 Materials, p. 135. Emphasis Supplied.

The message to the Laodiceans (Revelation 3:14-21) is speaking to men again, to a greater
number of them, and with greater force. It spoke first with authority to a city in Asia Minor.
Other churches that had an ear to hear were invited to listen for their own edification.

In that sense it has pled with every generation. There has not yet been a period when Jesus
failed to be knocking on the door of the heart of His professed followers. Even the liveliest
of believers have experienced in themselves the truth that “as many as I love I rebuke and

But the city of Laodicea received the message as one written especially to them. Their
particular weaknesses and needs occasioned a special revelation from the Faithful and True
Witness. We can only hope that their later pastors had reason to say (as Paul did of the
repentant Corinthians) “For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort,
what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation,
yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea what [discipline]! In all things
you have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.” 2 Corinthians 7:11.

If the reader doubts that the Laodicean message of Revelation 3 applies with particular force
to the church at this time, we might offer two words of wisdom.

1. The message is written to those that do not feel their need. Revelation 3:17.
A brief exercise of our mental faculties would make it clear that men can not
safely discount the message based on their feelings of security or assurance.
2. Read on nonetheless, for the message concludes “He that hath an ear, let him
hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” It will edify the hearer in any
We might enter into a phrase-by-phrase exposition of the nine verses. But even if we
succeeded in teaching only truth, we might change the meaning and force of the passage as a
whole. The whole of it can be read easily in two minutes. Without a comment added, its
greatest messages may be understood by the prayerful and earnest one. Read it carefully

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the
Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.
“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of
my mouth. Because thou sayest, ‘I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need
of nothing;’ and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and
blind, and naked:
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white
raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not
appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 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.
To him that overcometh 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. He that hath an ear, let him
hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Re 3:14-22.

“Because thou sayest…and knowest not.”

This is a normal habit of men. When Elihu accused Job of having “spoken without
knowledge”1 the accusation boomeranged. The All-Knowing One asked “Who is this that
darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?” Job 38:2.

Job, however, took the rebuke personally. He answered the question “Who is this” with the
confession “therefore have I uttered that I understood not.” Job 42:3.

And it is dangerous to speak of those things that we do not understand. Timothy was warned
that some had turned away from the faith. These were anxious to teach but were
“understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” I Tim 1:6-7.

Laodicea converses each weekend regarding salvation, assurance, and the gifts of grace.
These topics are broached in Sabbath school with characteristic 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.2

Job 34:35
Amos 5:18-19. “Those that desire the Day of the Lord” is a phrase that, in our day, has been abbreviated
into a single word: “Adventist.”
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. 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 superficial 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.3

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. James 2:14-20. And John speaks of men who “say”
they have love, but have it not. I Jn. 4:20.

It is interesting, in this context, to notice that faith in God’s truth and selfless 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; Col. 2:1-2

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
faith4, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? Jas 2:5

Our God is spoken of as being, Himself, “rich in mercy.” This is shown by the “great love
wherewith he loved us.” Eph 2:4. Faith and Love are combined in a number of other
passages. A working faith can never be separated from love, for “faith works by love.” Gal.

SC p. 95
See 1Pe 1:7-8 for another correlation of “faith” with “gold”
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
thirsting after righteousness.

The Nature of Faith

“The just shall live by Faith.” “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that
proceeds from the mouth of God.” “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of
God.” “Let the Word of God dwell in you richly.” “A man is justified by faith.” “receive with
meekness the engrafted Word which is able to save your soul.” “Whatsoever you ask in faith,
believing, ye shall receive.” “If my word abides in you, ye shall ask what you will and it will
be done unto you.”

Without taking further pangs to prove it, let me state that faith is 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 ruling power in the life. When faith comes to inspired
history, it looks to the world to be akin to naiveté.

It takes the Word at face value. Faith recognizes the creative power in the Word of God.
When faith comes to a Calvary and lets the glory of that story move the will, faith looks like
tears, penitence, humility, courage, and selfless love. When faith comes to a promise, it looks
like “hope.” When it comes to a command, it looks like obedience. When confronted with a
Counsel it looks very much like a desire to please God. When considering an inspired hymn,
faith may even look like music.5

This could be partially expressed as a graph.

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”6 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

Col 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.
See Ro 8:24; Ja 2:24; Ro 2:15; Mat 12:36
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 spurning the counsels and
commands. It may acknowledge the laws and regulations while slighting the Sacrifice.
Unbelief has never saved a soul and never will. So James says that a man may try to show
his faith without works but that James 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.

The Nature of Love

Love is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Unspiritual people do not love. “Everyone that loveth
is born of God and knoweth God.” And those with Jesus in their hearts most certainly do
exercise love. “That Christ may dwell in your hearts, that you, being rooted and grounded in
love may know.” “He that loveth not knoweth not God for God is love.” 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. Neither 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
indicate 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 of
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 (Col. 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. Matt. 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. I Thes. 2:12-13.
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

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.--{ChS 115.3}

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 super-markets.
Putting the needs of others first, true love, may look like taking fewer pictures
and giving a larger offering for Mission Extension.

When a brother is found doing wrong, love looks like patience and correction.
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 faithful
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

“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 destiny’s will be decided by the vacillating 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.
Do not resist Him

Do not resist Him And when Jesus tried to tell Like a mother hen, He said
When He is calling The people of their danger That he would have gathered them
The peace we now have They reminded Him of what If they would have come to Him
May not always be it seemed had slipped His mind When the prophets called
The Holy City But He said that to the faith But they all went their own way
God’s own Chosen of Abram they were strangers To their chosen problems
In His Favor And it would not help them if And they left God no way
Thought she’d always be their blood was from his line To save them from them all

When the walls were burning and Do not resist Him Do not resist Him
Lighting a million tear-stained face When He is calling When He is calling
And the cedars that were there The peace you now have The peace you now have
Were making mountains glow May not always be May not always be
All the soldiers had been told The Holy City The Holy City
“Do not destroy that place” God’s own Chosen God’s own Chosen
But the God of Heaven said In His Favor In His Favor
“It must be brought low” Thought she’d always be Thought she’d always be
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 herself. She has thought, we have thought,
that she was rich. Her misunderstanding of love and faith has led to this delusion. She has been
lukewarm and cooling in her selflessness. This, in the face of a call to a growing and enduring love
and a warning of dire consequences otherwise, has endangered her position as the chosen of God.
She would rather not acknowledge this danger and so the True Witness finds other ways to “tell her.”

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 wants to do right, but who finds another law bringing him “into
captivity” to the law of sin.

This man, like all those that have not yet been “set free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2)
cries out, “who shall deliver me from this body of death!” 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. 1Co 15:19

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. 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 relatives. And when, in this gospel,
the invitation to the Heavenly feast is refused by others the command is “go
quickly” into the highways and call, among others, “the poor.”

The Rich Ruler is invited to sell all he has and give to the poor. Sadly spurning the
offer, his crown went to another. In the next chapter the Wealthy Zacchaeus 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. Luke 4:18; 7:22;
6:20; 14:13,21; 18:22; 14:8; 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 Tim 6:4. Her contentions do not tend to increase her affection
and self-less disposition.
So “wretched” means “captive to sin”; “miserable” means having 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 a ditch.”

They were making of none effect the Testimony of the Law of God (v. 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” “Ye blind guides” “ye blind Pharisees.” Matt 23: 16, 17, 19, 24, 26. They missed the idea
of true spirituality. Their religion was superficial. It was focussed on the largeness of the institutional
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.
Joh 9:41.

It was not Jesus that denied their blindness. They denied it in their 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” persons 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 forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are
sanctified by faith that is in me. Ac 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

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 Testament 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. 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. Is. 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 penury? We can pay attention. We can “hearken” and
“incline our ear” and “hear” when God says “Ho!” That is how we get the gold? “So
then, faith cometh by hearing,” Rom 10:17, by hearing “the Word of God.”

Isaiah 55 is too much for many persons. They can not 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
God 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.” 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 direction. 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 about equivalent
to having “pardon” written by our names in Heaven. But this is not the way Paul and
John present it. In Revelation three we are given two reasons to buy and wear the

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

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. Rom. 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. Eph 4:22-5:2

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, 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
forgiving 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. Col. 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 that know Him 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 accepting 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 willing 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. Youth Instructor, October 28, 1897

And Eyesalve that thou Mayest See

We have observed already that blindness is lack of spiritual understanding. 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.” Eph. 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. Eph 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.

First, 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 Lu 11:13; Zech 10:1
We must move forward to know God more and more Hos 6:1-3
We must turn from our sins Joel 2:12-23; Pr 1:23

As Many as I Love I Rebuke

The Love of Jesus would not be appreciated by many. Those that perceive revulsion
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. Le 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.” But all the false-hearted instruction ever
given will 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 chastening of the
Lord.” Job 5:17, Pr 3:11, He 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.” Joh 3:20. That this is a danger for Laodicea is apparent in the Spirit’s
admonition to “hear.” Rev 3:22.

Be Zealous and Repent

This passage is evidence enough that zeal and repentance are also functions of the
will. We chose what we will dzaylohoe, Greek for “earnestly desire.” This is the
sense of “be zealous.” And we chose from what and to Whom we will turn. This is
repentance. But it is manifest in the words that some source of information must
inform the soul what from what he is to zealously repent. Misguided zeal and
undirected repentance can not 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. Ga 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.”
Yet for unbelieving Laodicea He patiently waits at the door. The Prince of Peace is outside and so
peace itself can not 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." Rev. 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." Ps. 18:35. {COL 235.2}

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.”

Hearing his voice – that 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.

What is Jesus saying at the door? 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 . 2Ki 17:13
The Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy. Prophets have always called the people to obey the
various counsels and commandments of God. But those that will not read the testimony of the
prophets will not hear the voice. The last day-church not only keeps the commandments but has “the
Testimony of Jesus.” 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 Testimonies 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 accountability that
accompanies their depravity.

The second condition is to open the door. This is the only reasonable response to hearing the voice.
But those that are unfamiliar with Jesus may not be comfortable opening a door to someone that
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.

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
cherished 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. . . . 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. {LHU 375.2}

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 testimony. They will rise up against it,
and this is what will cause a shaking among God's people. {EW 270.2}
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 testimony must work deep repentance; all who truly receive it will obey it and
be purified. {EW 270.3}

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

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.

I will Come in and Eat with Him

The food that Jesus offers is his truth. Truth is food? Prophets are represented as eating scrolls (Ez 2
and Re 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.” Jer 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, they must open the door. And the words, without
Jesus’ indwelling, will not be a 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. Heb 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 the saints..” Ps. 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.
Re. 5:10.) Already we are a “royal” priesthood. 1Pe 2:9.

Our royal destiny, to sit on an eternal throne, makes certain behavior’s

unacceptable. This is why Adventists must not drink alcoholic drinks. “It is not for
kings, O Lemuel, not for kings to drink wine . . . lest they drink and forget the law.”
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.” Le 10:9-10.

Our calling to being judges in the future sets us apart as tea-totaling priests even

Even as I also Overcame

This study opened with a statement on one unchanging element of present 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 that would be overcomers. The
most notable overcoming on Christ’s part was the defeat of his own inclination to escape the cross.
“If it be possible,” he prayed in human weakness, “let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my
will, but Thy will be done.”

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. {AA 543.2}

Chapter Three
Hebrews Problems and Ballenger

Brief Idea: Adventism has nothing to be ashamed of regarding its position on Daniel 8:14.
From tsdaq to the relation of the little horn to the sanctuary's defilement; from Daniel 6 to
Daniel 8, we stand on solid ground.

Many persons have left Adventism over a number of 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. 2Ti 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

Neither can we take the word of the man speaking to us. Nor can we discount it. So 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. The
primary translators of eight translations validate the rendering of tsadq as "cleansed."

Eight Translations

14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred evenings and
mornings; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.—American Standard
14 And he said to him, For two thousand, three hundred evenings and
mornings; then the holy place will be made clean.—Bible in Basic
14 And he said unto me, Until two thousand and three hundred evenings and
mornings: then shall the sanctuary be vindicated.—Darby’s
14 And he said to him: Unto evening and morning two thousand three
hundred days: and the sanctuary shall be cleansed.—Douay Version
14 And he said to him, Evening and morning there shall be two thousand and
four hundred days; and then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.—English
Translation of the Septuagint (from the Online Bible CD-ROM)
14 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
14 And he said to me, Until two thousand and three hundred days; then shall
the sanctuary be cleansed.—Webster Translation
14 And he said unto him, Until two thousand and three hundred evening-
mornings,—then shall the sanctuary, be vindicated.—Rotherham’s

What I haven’t pasted here are translations like New King James; King James Twenty-First
Century; 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 Hebrews 8. Then this is resolved. The opposite of defiled is

And there is another way to get there. Daniel 7 discusses a judgment that takes place in
God's presence. God is in his sanctuary on his throne. Isaiah 6. In that judgment books are
cleansed of names and sins (as we have noted in the study of the judgment.) This judgment
is parallel in Daniel 7 (following Persia, Greece, Rome) to the tsadaq of the sanctuary in
Daniel 8 (following the same nations). That leads us near to the word "cleanse" 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, is always a reference 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 to note three key points that overthrow the foundations of his claims:

1. Many Old Testament prophecies of New Testament events are written in

present tense. His quoting of Old Testament prophesies 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 prophesies 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 and
Ezekiel. To show that Jesus went to the throne in AD 31 and then reason that
He must have gone to the Most Holy Place misses this simple fact altogether.
3. The phrase "within 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 katapatasm, "veils," in the book of

More than this, Hebrews 9 teaches, when the tenses of the verbs are given literally, that the
way into the Most Holy Place was not yet revealed in Paul's day. And Paul says that he can
not "now" speak particularly of the Most Holy Place services.

This harmonizes precisely with what SDA's 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 [the Ark of the Covenant] the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat;
of which we cannot now speak particularly. 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 tabernacle 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, Heb 9:5-9

The passage in Hebrews 9 uses the term "second veil." This, by simple implication, defines
the veil of Hebrews 6 as the entrance curtain to the sanctuary.

And in Hebrews 10:19, where the phrase "into the holiest of all" comes from two words, the
phrase should be rendered "holy places." The same holds in Hebrews 9:8. There "of the holy
places" is preferable to "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 intercession 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 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. Ro 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 righteousness. The cross showed, in the
present time of Paul, that the passing over the past sins had been, indeed, righteous.

This perspective is not divine. God inhabits eternity. 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. Daniel 9:24.

The pre-cross application of this righteousness is the salvational meaning of Revelation13:8.

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 sacrifice. 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

Balanger’s technical mistake was equating the New Testament “veil” (a covering) with the
Old Testament “vail” (the 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 themselves. They are "door," "hanging"
and "vail." Their derivation is briefly outlined below:

"door" Hbr: pethack; Strongs: "opening, doorway, entrance."

"hanging" Hbr: macak Strongs: "hanging" from a root meaning "to
"vail" Hbr: poreketh Strongs: "curtain" from a root meaning "to

The summary of the data is that there are

two hangings, "macak" that are named
"entrance" and "vail" respectively. These
names relate to the purpose of the two
curtains. The first forms the entrance to
the sanctuary. Ex 26:36; 35:15, 17;
36:37; 39:38; 40:5, 28; Num 3:25, 26;
4:25, 26. The second separates the
apartments. Ex 35.12; 39:34; 40:21; Num

Priests could find an "entering in" to the tabernacle at the "door" (Ex 35:15) and a "vail" that
would "divide" between the "Holy Place and the Most Holy." Ex 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 . . ." Heb 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." Heb 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. Heb 6:19-20 is clearly a reference to the
entrance veil; Heb 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 fell that evangelist. God gave the church the gifts of the
Spirit to prevent us from falling prey to our own mistaken 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. Ephesians 4:11-14.

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.

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: "Which apartment did Jesus go to 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 (cf. 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?
(Mat 26:64; Mr 14:62). What if the throne of Revelation 5:1 is in the room with the seven
lamps of fire (Rev 4:5)? What if the prophecy of things “soon to come” (the book of
Revelation) includes Christ’s ministration at the altar of incense (Rev 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.


Ballenger attacked the present and precious truth. He fell prey to seductive 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 place to 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 Jesus
became a High Priest by virtue of His own sacrifice. Old Testament sins were forgiven by the
“forbearance” of God until they could justly be atoned for at the cross.

And what about Ballenger’s other argument? He argued that the book of Hebrews says
nothing of the Adventist idea of Christ entering into a judgment 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 [the Ark of the Covenant] the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat;
of which we cannot now speak particularly. 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 tabernacle 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, Heb 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

And that is simply true.

Chapter Four
An Invisible Remnant

Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the
election of grace. Ro 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

But I think that many of my faithful friends would be surprised if they knew what I
thought 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,
the enemy of all 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 governs much

of how Old Testament prophecies should be understood in our time.

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). His 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 captivity. He
would scatter them among all nations.

A minority of the scattered ones would see in their lot God's chastisement. These
would revive and reform their lives. God would show Himself mighty to bless this
"remnant" and would gather them (without the others) back to their nation.

The various empires that ruled the known world — Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, 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 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. Leveticus 16:14-33; Deuteronomy
4:23-37; 28:15-64.

Scattering was appropriate. The first scattering afflicted the first Babel. Gen 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 scattered by the descendants of the Babel

These cycles of scattering and remnant gathering characterize the history 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

In other words, the Lord Jesus made use of the scattering by Nebuchadnezzar and
remnant gathering under Cyrus to picture the history and end of the Christian age.
In the New Testament the major players from these two Old Testament periods—
Babylon, Persia, Jerusalem, Remnant—are all spiritualized into end-time metaphors.
Revelation 18:10; 16:12; 3:12; 12:17.

They become illustrations that unlock much of the Old Testament information
regarding the end of the world. These symbols often 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 understand the minor prophets.

The summary of the story line in the Babylon-Persian remnant story is this: God's
special people are unfaithful to their trust and, largely, turn 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.
Then, after a time, a small faithful remnant are called back to join God's structured
people, Jerusalem in the type. They restore there the damage done by the earlier
assaults of Babylon. Then wave after wave of growing remnant returns from their
dispersion to thicken the ranks of God's people under the protection of the Kings of
the East, symbols of the Godhead. Rev 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

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 porters among the remnant if they were
to receive their heaven-sent instructions. Only occasionally, as in the case of Jonah,
was the prophet himself the porter.

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. Nehemiah met false prophets while
forwarding the reconstruction. Nehemiah 6:14.

In Revelation these false prophets find their parallel in the miracle-working power
overtly supporting Babylon. Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10.

In short, God's work of regathering brings a resurgence of prophetic activity—both

true and false.

The Elect Remnant

I wrote that the elect remnant correspond to the members of the invisible church.
Elijah couldn't perceive their existence and so felt all alone. Romans 11:3. They,
rather than the visible church, are the ones that experience 2Ti 3:12. "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. She is dressed in pure white. In other words, she is righteous. Revelation 12:1-
2. That can’t be said of Laodicea, the visible church. She 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 Waldensians, 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. 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 portion 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 to all these
questions is yes. 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

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 Hezekiah expected God to favor
the reforming nation of Judah.

Then Assyria took several of the fenced cities of Judah. 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 neglected to bless his
weakness. The gift failed to repel the invaders. The Assyrians besieged Jerusalem.
The extremity seemed to bring Hezekiah back to his senses. Meanwhile, 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 claiming 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 . . . I will put my hook in thy nose . . . and I will turn thee
back by the way by which thou camest.

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 Jer 31:4 for a similar usage). Think of it. The
nation under Hezekiah so recently in apostasy 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.

God's enemy blasphemes God by putting Him on a level with other deities and
exalting himself above them all. By political power the enemy expects to overwhelm
God's city. She does not realize that her national clout came through divine
providence. Now she rages against the very God that put her on the throne. He will
remove her power and repulse her campaign against the Holy People.

This was just the kind of prophecy Hezekiah longed for. But a practical problem
loomed ahead. The Assyrians, even if they should leave as prophesied, had already
reaped the harvest of the nation's fields for that year. God turned the prophecy
towards meeting this disaster with a promise of supernatural blessing.

He would cause the ground to bring forth sufficient provisions in uncultivated areas
to feed the nation. The next year, a Sabbatical year when sowing was forbidden, He
would do the same. This provision would be a sign that God supported the rebellion
of Judah from under the hand of Babylon.

And this shall be a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such things as grow
of themselves . . . and in the third year sow ye . . . and eat the fruits thereof.
And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take
root downward, and bear fruit upward. For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a
remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD of
hosts shall do this. . . . For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake,
and for my servant David’s sake. 2 Ki 19; Is 37
Who are blessed in this oracle? The remnant who have escaped from Assyrian
captivity. They will prosper and be fruitful. Though the king's call for reform was
laughed to scorn (verse 10) a few responded to the reform.

God ordained that the scattering of His people would be followed by gathering and
conversion of a few. Hezekiah depended on the gathering promised and used the
promise to encourage revival. 2 Chron 30:9. Moses had long before outlined the

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. Deu 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. 2 Chr 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 will all thine heart, and with all thine soul,
that thou mayest live."

Hezekiah's efforts to restore the temple were accomplished by the "remnant" under
his grandson. 2 Chr 34:9. Further apostasy reversed the gathering back to a
prophesied scattering of those that remained. 2 Ki 21:14-15. This prophecy was
soon fulfilled. 2 Ki 25:11.

Israel was nearly annihilated as a national body. So general was the captivity 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. Is 1:9

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: Is 10:20-22

This "return" from captivity is salvation in the Septuagint and in Paul's use of this
passage in the New Testament. There the entire process of captivity and remnant's
return is spiritualized. Assyria becomes, with Babylon, a type of institutionalized

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 4:21. 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. 2 Thes 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 exists. It was stronger in his day than he expected by a
factor of 7000. It is, accordingly, stronger in ours. Rom 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. Rom 11:6-7.

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 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
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 vegetarians (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 is anointed to begin His work – He became
an "ensign" offering "glorious" "rest" to trusting "Gentiles" (11:10). This is the
passage that Paul quotes as evidence that Christianity should embrace non-Jews.
Romans 15:12.
And it is a passage that establishes the spiritual nature of the second gathering of
the remnant. The "ensign" that Jesus becomes is a beacon for recovering 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 Pathros, 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. Is 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 leaving Assyrian
captivity to join the "remnant." They will break forth in songs of deliverance that
have become familiar to many already.

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 prophesies 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 righteousness: 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
Gomorrha. Ro 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-gathering

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 thrice told
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 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. Jer 23:1-3

The raising of true shepherds (v. 4) precedes the conclusion of the gathering. Then
the wicked are destroyed and God is glorified for a gathering far more significant
than the gathering of the Israelites from Egypt. (v. 5-8). Jesus leads this gathering as
the Good Shepherd, breaking a way through obstacles that inhibit the sheep. Mic
2:10-12. The weak and suffering 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."
Mic 4:7-8; Dan 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 gathering
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 loving-kindness have I drawn thee. Jer.

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

The aroused watchmen intercede with God saying "save thy people, the remnant."
Jer. 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.” Jer 31:8.

In God’s providence, that spiritual blessing of the patriarchs followed consecration

rather than birth order. It passed from Abraham to Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Ephraim
(Jer 31:9) without ever once following the proscribed 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. Mal 3:17
God, like no other, pardons iniquity and passes by the remnant's transgression. He
delights in mercy; he will "turn again" from retaining his anger. He "will subdue our
iniquities" and cast away our sins. He will fulfill his ancient promises of truth and
mercy to Jacob and Abraham. Mic 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." Micah 5:2-5. "Then the remnant of his brethren
shall return" to Israel from their scattered positions.

The preciousness of these promises (Mal. 3; Mic 7, 5) 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." The gathered ones are claimed by Jesus as his family.

Though scattered in location they are gathered in spirit and are a victorious body.
Mic 5:2-8. Especially will Jesus be a defense when the Babylonian power "treads"
within our border. Mic. 5:6. The meaning of this passage must be related to 2 Thes
2:4; Dan 11:45; Eze 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

They are to "build the old waste places" and "shalt raise up the foundations of many
generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of
paths to dwell in." Is 58:12. The restoration of the Sabbath is identified as one of the
restoration projects to be undertaken. Is 58:13.

In the story 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. Zec
8:4-15. The implications for us and for the resolution to our internal differences are

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 build the temple.
Those that had returned were the "residue" of the people. The eldest of them had
seen the splendor of Solomon's temple. Hag 2:2-9

It seemed to these 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.
God sent a message of comfort to these men. The temple under construction would
receive the Messiah. They were to build with confidence for "I am with you, saith the
Lord of hosts."

The story of the rebuilding parallels the work of the church today, especially 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 under-construction
temple with "glory." 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.

The building up of Jerusalem could have given way to a tragic scattering. This 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 affinity 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? Ezr

The graciousness of God to the "remnant" is presented as iffy specifically to those

that claim it as a certainty for their selves. This is the message to Adventist 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 scripture uses of "remnant" are found in the story of
Gedaliah and Johanan. Jeremiah 39:9-44:28. The "remnant" was taken to Babylon by
a general, except a "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 Gedaliah's life and
offered to privately execute the primary conspirator. Johanan felt that Gedaliah's
murder by the conspirator would lead to a scattering of the remaining ones and
perishing of "the remnant in Judah." Jer. 39:9; 40:11; 40:15.

Gedaliah refused Johanan's offer and so was later slain by the conspirator (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; 3. Win the support of Egypt as an ally against

The first point was successful. The second appeared pious. Johanan's group came to
Jeremiah to request guidance and prayer. Jer. 41:16; 42:2. The remnant promised
solemnly to do whatever God would show through Jeremiah. Jer. 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 Babylon. 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. God's fierce anger would be poured out
there. Jer. 42:7-17. As Jeremiah closed his plea against the proposed trip of the
"remnant" God revealed to Jeremiah that the 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. Jer. 43:1-5.

The story, told in uncharacteristic detail in the scripture, seems uncannily 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 followers is ominous in the type.

Their trip to Egypt well represented the results of the shaking that is currently

The Shaking of the Remnant in Ezekiel 9-14

The familiar and fateful sealing-slaughtering scene of Ezekiel 9, following 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 Jerusalem?'" Eze 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. Ezek. 11:13.
This question, "Will you destroy all?" was asked again and answered later in the

Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both
sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto 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. Eze 14:22

Few passages so clearly show that character determines destiny and that the
remnant will be reduced to 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. Amos 9:9-13.

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. – EW p. 74,

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

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 someone like 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
morphing in the telling of 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

concluded when I was but a teen-ager that statistically the chances were
slim that I had been raised in the church that had the most truth.
Since that I time I have been asking myself the same kind 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
atonement 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 of Revelation (ch. 13-16). 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 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 listening
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.” I won’t raise my hand and trouble

But if it was just her and I, I would first invite my wife into the room, and then
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 when you read the chapter that Romans 9 will trouble you no
longer and that 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 discover
whether or not you are in the church that has the most truth.
Chapter Five
The Day of Cleansing

I realized more than a month ago that though I had been using the word
“atonement” for twenty years, I would be at a loss if asked to give a concise
definition. 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 scripture 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 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. The 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
represented a warning of coming judgment. Then came the Day of

But atonement was made long before the Day of Atonement. It occurred, for
example, on both the Passover and the Feast of Trumpets. Nu 28:22; 29:5.

At the cross Jesus made “reconciliation for iniquity.” The word “reconciliation”
in Daniel 9:27 is the same translated “atonement” elsewhere in the Old
Testament. And it is to this atonement that 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. That sacrifice was complete and lacked nothing.

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 become aware of their past wrongs they were, and
are still, to confess and repent.
And atonement was made for persons in connection with their cleansing
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:

First, 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.

Second, atonement was made for the altar and for the sanctuary itself.

Third, 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. This is, in fact, part of the
reason given by God for the prohibition against eating blood.

Le 17:11 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.

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 executed

willful sinners, led out in a purging of the camp, and this zeal for God “made
an atonement for the children of Israel.”

Nu 25:13 And he shall have [the priestly covenant], and his seed after
him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was
zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.

But the most solemn reference to this kind of “atonement” is yet future. The
Hebrew kaphar, “atoned”, is rendered “cleansed” in Nu 35:33 and as
“purged” in Is 22:14. The latter passage shows that the final death of the
wicked will be a kind of “atonement.”
Nu 35:33. The land cannot be cleansed kaphar of the blood that is shed
therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.
Isa 22:14 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.

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 sea-worthy.

Its connection with cleansing can be shown from the two verses above. But it
may also be noted from the way the word is translated in Spanish. The verb
for “atone”, expiacion, means “to cleanse.”7

But it is even easier to simply observe the connection of atonement with

cleansing. Consider Leviticus 14 alone, where Lepers and infected homes
receive “atonement.”

Le 14:18 . . . he shall pour [oil] upon the head of him that is to be

cleansed: and the priest shall make an atonement for him . . . .
Le 14:19 And the priest shall offer the sin offering, and make an
atonement for him that is to be cleansed from his uncleanness. . . .
Le 14:20 . . . the priest shall make an atonement for him, and he shall
be clean.
Le 14:29 . . . .he shall put [oil] upon the head of him that is to be
cleansed, to make an atonement for him before the LORD.
Le 14:31 . . . the priest shall make an atonement for him that is to be
cleansed . . .
Le 14:53 But he shall . . . make an atonement for the house: and it
shall be clean.

And in relation to the altar we find the same idea, that atonement is a
cleansing process:

Ex 29:36 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.
Eze 43:20 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 [Hebrew, “make
atonement for”] it.
This is an admitted weak part of this article. I don’t know Spanish. A seemingly well-informed native Spanish
speaker told me this. But none of my Spanish speaking students even knew the verb well enough to be able to define
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.

Le 16:30 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

And as if these witnesses were not sufficient, you could arrive at the
meaning of atonement by thinking about the needs of the sanctuary. Does
the sanctuary 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.” Daniel

So if we put the thoughts which we have found thus far together, we get the

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.

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

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

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.” Re 3:5.

During this same time period of the judgement there is another work of
cleansing that Hebrews calls the cleansing (purging) of the conscience.
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 cleaning 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
worshippers would have had no more “conscience of sins.”
But as the symbols were just that, 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 cleaning 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:

Mal 3:3 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.

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” and were to “afflict” their
souls, and 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.” Le

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
others. Is 58:9. They were to deny themselves for the good of others. 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?

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

Additionally, in the year of Jubilee a trumpet was to be sounded on the Day of Atonement throughout the land. The
Jubilee began, as a service, on the Day of Atonement. Everyone was set free and regained the land of their fathers.
Le 25:9-10.
And we are to use his blood. What are we to do with it?

Re 7:14 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.

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

1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with

corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation
received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood
of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

In summary, our minds are cleaned. This cleaning of our minds is a

cooperative 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 1Jo 1:7-9.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one

with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth 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
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
temple? 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, with those sins
he had 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 eradication 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
“atonement.” 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 five times elsewhere in the Bible.

When one realizes that atonement is a fixing/cleansing process, it becomes

apparent that it can not 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.”

2Co 5:21-6:2 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 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.”)

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.”

1Co 15:10 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
abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was
with me.

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 persons9
are blotted from the book of life.
The antithesis of “overcomers.”
And sins are blotted from the records of the vindicated ones as Jesus
confesses their names before the Father and the elect angels. They receive
“white robes,” a symbol of the fact that they have indeed “become the
righteousness of God in” relation to Jesus.

Those who have already died depending on Christ are represented as being
“under the altar” of incense. Re 6:9. There Christ has interceded for them,
mixing his holiness with their petitions. Re 8:3. (When Aaron interceded for
sinners, his intercession was an “atonement.” Nu 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 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 Isa 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 sacrifice
shows God’s mercy. It moves men to repentance. This mercy is the beginning
of the cleansing process and also the means of it.

Pr 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged kaphar and by the fear of
the LORD men depart from evil.
Ro 2:4 The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.
Ps 79:9 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. (See Ps
Isa 27:9 By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged kaphar and
this is all the fruit to take away his sin . . . .10

The Septuagint uses a version of Strongs # 2433, hilaskomai, for

“atonement.” This word is used only twice in the New Testament. The
publican that beats his breast also prays saying “God be merciful 2433 to me a
sinner.” Jesus said about him that he went down to his home “justified.” In
other words, the sinner asked for the equivalent to an Old Testament
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
reconciliation2433 for the sins of the people.” As He became a priest at his
Currently I don’t understand the context of this passage well. Hence the partial quote of the verse.
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.

Heb 2:16-18 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 merciful 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.

The Day of Cleansing Revisited

The three unique rites of the Day of Atonement are atonement for yet-
unknown sin, the cleansing of the temple, and the scapegoat atonement.

The altar was cleansed by a “sin offering.” Ex 30:10. This shows, as can be
seen several other ways, that the sanctuary is being cleansed from the sins
of the people (See Le 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.

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. Le 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.” Le 16:34.

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:

Jas 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your
hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Chapter Six

More on the Mark

And Much on the Seal

In 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 taught, were glad they were learning, and wanted to know

We thought the time was ripe to hold an evangelistic campaign. Our contacts
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, wouldn’t have
proved anything to anyone.

But quoting history is not a fool-proof 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 the 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 Mark of the Beast

Those with the Mark:

The following is a Bible study in the form of a
Worship the Beast [13:15] dialogue between two men.
(so don’t honor God as Creator)
(so don’t keep Commandments) It will be most useful to the reader who does not
(don’t receive the Seal)
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
Those who Obey God: keep reading. No, stop, go back, use your Bible.
When you can follow understandingly, go forward.
Worship God as Creator [14:6]
I am using this form as the closest I can imagine to
Keep Commandments [14:12] how these arguments would sound if challenged by
Receive the Seal [7:1-3] a sincere searcher for truth.

Concluded: Those with the Mark are

That is who we want to teach.
persons that break the Law of God
and neglect to honor Him as
Creator. After the dialogue there are two short sections
more. The first is a summary added to a
consideration of the contribution Ezekiel 8-10
makes to the topic.

The second is a short memory aid to help you

master the arguments in this paper for future use.
Copy that page anyway you want to. I grant you full
permission. Use it. Distribute it.

The world needs to know this topic well.


Roger: “I’m worried, Matt, about receiving the Mark of the Beast. What do you
think it represents?”
Matt: “One thing I know, there isn’t any verse that begins ‘the mark of the
beast is…’ But I think I have found enough clues to know with certainty.”
Roger: “Now, Matt, I don’t want to have to trust you. ‘Clues’ aren’t exactly
what I am looking for. How about evidence? What does the Bible say?”
Matt: “OK, lets begin with a few observations from Revelation. Those with the
mark 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 Rev. 14:6. That latter class, you see a few verses later (v. 12)
keep the Commandments.”
The Beast
R: “So you are saying that, by way of
A beast in prophecy is a nation. So contrast, the men with the mark must be the
the Roman Church doesn’t show up other persons, and so must be neglecting to
as a beast in Revelation until she
honor God as Creator and neglecting to keep
becomes sovereign over Rome in
538 AD. the Commandments?”
And the beast “dies” when she
M: “Yes, and there is more. God’s
loses her civil power over Rome in servants at the end of time are the ones that
1798. receive the seal of God according to Revelation
7:1-3. So everyone eventually receives either
the seal or the mark.
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 The Worship Law
really settled the issue.” Those with the Mark submit to a
M: “Did I say I was done? And I never said the national worship law [13:16].
mark was breaking the commandments, only that Those that are sealed by God resist
those with the mark break them. But you asked the pressure of the national worship
about the beast. That is the Roman Catholic Church law [15:2]
State.” Concluded: There will come a
R: “State? You don’t see the initials RCCS worship law that requires persons to
disobey the Law of God.
anywhere. Why do you say ‘state’?”
M: “That church doesn’t show up in prophecy This happened anciently in the
stories of Daniel 3 and 6.
until it becomes a state. Beasts represent nations,
not churches. This is why the Little Horn in Daniel 7 The persons with the Mark, in
rises after the other horns. The church rose before Matthew 7:21-23, sincerely
believe they worship Jesus, but
the tribes descended into Europe. But it became a are condemned for not knowing Him
state after they descended. and for not obeying the Law.
And this is why Daniel and Revelation can both What , then, were they
pinpoint the length of its first existence at 1260 worshipping?
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 Re 13:16)
and those that are sealed are those that resist the pressure (see Re 15:2.)
R: “So you think there will be a law that pressures people to disobey the
Law of God?”
M: “I think you could have known that just by remembering the stories in
Daniel. The three friends were threatened with death if they would not bow
to the image, and to the law that demanded the bowing. Isn’t that where we
find the same metaphors as are used in Revelation13? An image to the
Babylonian power? Forced worship? Babylonian 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” (1Co 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 End-Time Issues: Worship, Law
Matthew 7:21-23 from the New King James version: Those with the Mark submit to a
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall national worship law [13:16]. They
are sincere and think they worship
enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does Jesus. But they do not submit to His
the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say Law. [Mt 7:21-23]
to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not
Those that are sealed by God resist
prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in
the pressure of the national worship
Your name, and done many wonders in Your law [15:2]
name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never
knew you; depart from Me, you who practice Those that are sealed keep God’s
law [14:12]. They honor God as
lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:21-23. NKJV Creator. [14:6]
Can you see, Roger, that these must be the same
Concluded: The Sabbath Command
persons that worship the beast? But they sincerely will be the test. It is the command
think they have been worshipping Jesus! And they that:
haven’t been pew-warmers in a dead church. They
Honors God as Creator
have been active missionaries experiencing miracles
by the power of Jesus’ name. Neither have they been Is opposed by Laws
hypocrites, for they approach Jesus boldly saying Is opposed by many miracle-
‘Lord, Lord.’ working Christians
R: “That gives me the creeps. How do I know I
won’t be one of them?”
M: “The issue, Roger, hinges on the
Commandments. Jesus says ‘you who practice lawlessness.’ Now put all
these ideas together: The marked persons will submit to legal pressure to
disobey God’s Law. But they will think they are serving Jesus. The sealed
persons will resist the legal pressure. They will honor and worship God as
You know, Roger, I think that it is already pretty clear which Commandment
will be at issue. There is only one Commandment that is about worship, that
honors God as Creator, and that men can break while
still sincerely thinking that they are working for
The Seal of God Jesus.”
The Law of God was to be like a sign R: “The Sabbath. So this is how you get to that?
in the forehead and the hand. De We haven’t even read a single verse about the
Sabbath. Am I missing something?”
It is to be written in our hearts in M: “Roger, we have just started. The Bible has a
the New Covenant. Heb 8:10.
lot to say on this topic. Are you with me thus
This is the sealing. Is. 8:16. 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
The Mark of the Beast laws and both claim to serve Jesus.”
The Law of God is attacked by the M: “Good. Now you asked earlier about the mark
beast, especially the Law in regard being in the forehead or the hand. You can see
to “times.” Dan 7:25
that it goes there in Re 14:9. And the seal of
The New Covenant is attacked by God, in the passage we already referred to (Re
the beast. Dan. 11:28, 30, 32. 7:1-3) is placed in the foreheads of God’s true
This is how the Bible has “marked” servants.”
the beast when it was first R: “So that is why people are always talking about
introduced in scripture in Daniel 7.
bar codes and under-skin computer chips and
Two Commands have been changed laser readers?”
in the Roman Chatachism: The
Second and the Fourth.
M: “Yes, but they didn’t get any idea like that from
scripture. In fact, the Bible is quite explicit about
The second was the issue with the the kind of sign that is like a mark between the
worship laws in Daniel 3 and 6. eyes and like a mark on the hand of God’s
The fourth will be the issue of the servants. When we read it you will see how
worship law in Revelation 13-15. nicely it fits into the picture. It looks like Satan
has tried to copy God’s sign with one of his own
making. Let’s read De 6:5-8.
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all
thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all
thy might. And these words [the Ten
Commandments, see Deut 5], which I
command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: . . . And thou shalt
bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as
frontlets between thine eyes.
We could also read De 11:18 or Ex 13:9 or 16 to get the same idea. The Ten
Commandments were to be bound on the hand and to be like a seal
between the eyes. 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. Is 8:16
R: “Wow. I never even knew that there were verses that so clearly spelled out
the seal of God in the forehead!”
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: Heb 8:10.
R: “OK, so what you have showed 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 showed 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 indignation; 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. Re 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 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. Ex 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 Matt 24:20, Acts 13; 17; 18.)
So, Roger, we should “remember” the Command that begins with that word,
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.

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
M: “Roger, I won’t force it on you. But the Bible summarizes the history
precisely. In Daniel 7:7 and 19 the Roman power crushed “the 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
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. Dan 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.’ Dan 8:10. His power is
‘mighty’ to ‘destroy the mighty and the holy people.’ Dan 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,’ Dan 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. The next prophecy in Daniel
makes a distinction between those that ‘understand’ and others among God’s
people. The understanding persons are the ones the Roman power hates
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 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. Dan
R: “So where is the judgment of the papacy in this prophecy?”
M: “In 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 – these are the ones that were 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: “OK, Matt, but what I asked you about ten minutes ago was the book of
Revelation 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 oppression of the papal
power for 1260 years (Rev 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 Revelation 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 pronounces 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.
“The hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made
heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”
“Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all
nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”
“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.” Re 14:7-
12 selected.
R: “I thought the judgment was just a judgment of those whose names
were in the book of life?”
M: “Those are the only names that Jesus confesses or denies. They are the
names that are sentenced or vindicated. But the papacy is not a person. While
her members each have their own day before the Great White Throne, the
papacy herself is destroyed by Christ’s coming. Her judgments must be meted
out before that time. The judgment sees to it that she does not go unpunished
for her work.”
R: “So are we still studying the mark of the beast
and the seal of God? It doesn’t seem like it.” End-Time Conflict: Beast vs
M: “We are studying the beast that enforces the mark God’s Commandment Keepers
and the saints that receive the seal. Bear with me. Daniel 7
All four lines of prophecy (Dan 7; 8; 10-12; Rev 12-16) Beast vs. those who “serve and
present the same picture in ever increasing obey” God.
magnification. The judgment relieves the saints,
Daniel 8
pronounces against the beast, and proceeds at once to
the execution of the sentence. This is followed by the Beast vs. “the mighty and holy
establishment of God’s kingdom. people.”

Who are these saints? Daniel 7:28 says that those that Daniel 11
enter God’s kingdom will “serve and obey Him.” In Beast vs. “those that understand
Daniel 8 they are the “mighty and the holy people.” In among the people.”
Daniel 11 they are “those that understand among the
Revelation 12-16
people.” In Daniel 12 they are those found “in the
book.” In Revelation 12 they are those “that keep the Beast vs. those who “keep the
commandments of God and have the Testimony of commandments.” [12:17; 14:12]
Jesus.” In Revelation 14 they are those that endure Concluded: Final conflict will be
persecution and who “keep the commandments of between Roman Church and
God.” Commandment Keepers

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
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 it 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
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.

The Third Day

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

M: “Let me get started and then I will take your questions. Maybe I will
answer them before you ask.”
R: “OK, 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.” Dan 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: “OK.”
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. Dan 11:28, 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. (Heb 12:24, Heb
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 casting “truth”
(Dan 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.
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: “OK, 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 destruction.’ 2Chr 15:16. 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. When
rebuked he was enraged. Then the ‘leprosy even rose up in his forehead.’ v.
18. That is what God thinks of trying to unite church and state.”
R: “What is the other story?”
M: “The Passover 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 anything
helpful about the Seal of God?”
M: “Listen and see. The sign involved killing a lamb, bringing everyone 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 ‘sore punishment.’
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
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 “worship the
beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand.”
Rev 14:9, 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.” Re 16:2;
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 illustration, 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. 1Sa 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.
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 he was seeking.
Man accepts, and God utterly refuses, heartless
God and Satan on Worship worship. Look at Matthew 15:8.
God looks on the heart. This people draweth nigh unto me with their
God refuses outward worship of
mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but
persons with hearts far from him. their heart is far from me.
Mt. 15:8 R: “So you said that worship was a theme of the
Those that worship God must do book of Revelation. Now you are saying that the
so in “spirit and in truth.” Jn 4:23- beast will gladly accept heartless worship?”
M: “That is right. Satan has never been so
Satan gladly accepts, even particular as to require true devotion. In
desperately seeks for, outward Revelation he is contented to receive even third-
party worship. Those that honor the beast
He tried to bribe Jesus to worship worship "the dragon which gave power to the
him contrary to the Law! He doesn’t beast." Re 13:4.
care if your heart is in it. Mt 4:9.
Satan's willingness to accept whatever kind of service
Satan even accepts inadvertent he can get was showcased in the temptation of Jesus.
worship. If one bows to an idol, or
The devil stooped to bribe Jesus to worship him.
bows to the papacy, Satan accepts
that as worship to himself! Rev And saith unto him, All these things will I give
13:4. thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Mt
Satan uses miracles and food to 4:9
bribe or cajole people into honoring R: “I never thought of things that way. So the devil
him above God’s law. 13:16-17.
is kind of desperate for worship isn’t he. That is
Sincerity is not essential in order to
honor the devil. pathetic.”
This is why the Seal must be in the
M: “Sure is. And Satan does the same in the case
Heart; but the Mark may be either of the Mark of the Beast. Hungry men are
in the heart or in the hand. offered the things that money can buy if they
will only bow. Re 13:16-17. By bribe, by hunger,
by superstition-inducing miracles, the devil in
Revelation draws inadvertent ‘worship’ to
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.
Mt 4:10
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers 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 the Seal of God must be placed in the forehead
while the mark of the beast may 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 (De 32:17; Ps 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, seeing 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 commandeth all men every where to repent:
Acts 17:23-30
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 can not say that God always overlooks
ignorant worship. When light is presented, Paul teaches, God ‘now
commands all men everywhere to repent.’ When the Jews, centuries before
Jesus, sank down into idolatry their worship was not winked at. Their
opportunities to know better prevented their ignorance from winning them
grace. See Jer. 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 can not
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 worship 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 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.”

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. Mt 15:9
R: “So doctrine can make worship vain? I thought worship was the
element that transcends doctrine. Can’t men all 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. 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 Creator and
Angels herald Him as worthy of worship because ‘thou hast created all
things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.’ Re 4:10-11.
And the elders add ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive . . .
honour, and glory’ because He has ‘redeemed’ them. Re 5:9, 12, 14.
These attributes are written into the 2nd and 4th Commandment. Jehovah
shows us mercy in the 2nd and is Creator in the 4th. It is the latter Command
that is alluded to in the worship command that announced 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. Re 14:7
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
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. Re 14:11
R: “So you think that Satan had a purpose in the timing of the doctrine of
theistic evolution that many mainline churches, and Catholicism, has
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 2Peter 3:3.
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: 2Pe
This kind of scoffing is honor enough for Satan. These scoffers are "ungodly"
in verse 7. The Greek is asebaes, ‘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 theologians
give the nod to theistic evolution that they are fulfilling a prophecy about
scoffing at the Adventist message?”
M: “You said it, not me.”
R: “OK, 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 according to my gospel. Ro 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 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.
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, Re 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
R: “I have heard that preached in our Revelation Seminar. They show that
in the judgment men’s works are compared to the Ten Commandments. They
used James 2:8-12 to show that God’s ‘royal law’ is the Ten
M: “So lets review a thought from a few days ago. What commandments
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 breaking 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 separated 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. 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.”
1Pe 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. Lets 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. Ex 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. Eze. 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. Eze. 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. It teaches that the Sabbath is the Seal of God and uses
these same verses with a few others. I take it that you agree?”
M: “Not telling. But I will say this. The Sabbath is a symbol of God’s
creative work, not just in making this planet, but of the creative work He
does in changing me. I can rest from my “own works”, from self dependence,
according to Hebrews 4:4-10. I can expect God’s power to operate in my
R: “Wait. What do you mean ‘not telling.’ I know that Ellen White says
plainly that the Sabbath is the Seal of God. Are you going off?”
M: “I believe all that Ellen White says about the Seal and about the
Sealing. But we will understand what she says better if we finish the Bible
R: “Usually when people say things like that they mean that ‘when we
finish the Bible Study we will see that Ellen White isn’t quite right.’ Is this
where you are going?”
M: “Nope, not at all. But we should be able to lead Bible-believing persons
into the truth on this critical topic without making a reference to what she
R: “OK, sorry to distract you. Go ahead.”
M: “We are sealed by the Holy Spirit. Paul says ‘ye were sealed with the
Holy Spirit of promise.’ Eph. 1:13.
Jesus received the seal from ‘God the Father.’ John 6:27. And He was, for the
record, filled with ‘the Holy Ghost.’ Lu 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,
Eze 9 and Rev 7.”
R: “And you 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-payment on
redemption, on the gift of a new nature at the resurrection. Paul said of some
that God ‘hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our
hearts.’ 2 Co 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
The seal of the Holy Spirit is given to those who meet the qualifications 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 show 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 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 activity 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. 1 Co 6:11; 2 Thes 2:13; 1 Pe 1:2; Ro 15:16; 1 Thes
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.?”
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
Prince of the Covenant Heart against the covenant
Confirms the covenantWorks, 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
Forces compliance  This is the marking
Holds last earthly kingdom Bowing to Man's Law is the Mark

R: Can I keep a copy of this graph?”

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

Day Five

M: “OK, 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
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 worship 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 Second Thessalonians Two.”
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: “OK, I get it. What next?”
M: “Now we are going to study what I call the battle for the forehead.”
R: “Seal vs 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. Jer 3:3
R: “What am I suppose to notice?”
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
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 wonderful
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
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
R: “Is this just a battle of ideas? Are there actually physical casualties?”
M: “The followers of the Lamb face beheading (Re 20:4) for refusing the
combined authority of the powers of earth. Though decapitated, they are
counted victorious (Re 15:2) over their enemies. Like saints before them (Re
6:11 ) they overcome by their testimony and by Christ's blood while
sacrificing their lives (Re 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.’ Thus the last-day faithful ones are
represented as having foreheads like the Father and the Son in Revelation
(Re 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. 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 stiff-foreheaded
[Hebrew] 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 rebellious house. Eze 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 transformed by the
renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and
acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Ro 12:2
The ‘mother’ of harlots (Re 17) has promoted conformity. The compliance of
the masses has deluded individuals into refusing to be ashamed, 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
M: “Now we are asking ‘what will the sealed ones be doing with their
time?’ Turn to Ex 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
So, tell me why the law was to be as a sign between the eyes?”
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.’ (Matt 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 Angel’s 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.”

---- The paper ----

The Mark and the Seal Plainly11

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 distinguishes
those that reject human authority in religious matters and thus honor God

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 take up the warning that the world needs so desperately marks
them for the judgments of Revelation 14:8-11. They have no "rest" during
the plagues who have refused the Sabbath rest. 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.

The Biblical references for these assertions are the content of the rest of this 18 page study. They are missing here
only to make the summary more readable.
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. Eze 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.

The illustration is particularly interesting because the worshippers might

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

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 rather honor the sun. All the while they will be in God's

Sun-worship is the most ancient kind of false-religion. Job says that had he
secretly admired the sun that he would be deserving of punishment by the
Judge of the Earth. Job 31:26-28. Through Moses God warned his special
people regarding worshipping this gift of God to "all nations under heaven."
De 4:19. Josiah's great reformation involved the cleansing of God's house
from horses and chariots dedicated "to the sun." 2Ki 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 where 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 a soul persists 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 (Ac 7:42-43), so the fall of
Christianity 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. Eze 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-worshippers. 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

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.
Chapter Seven
Conditional Prophecy and Predestination
Conditional Prophecy and the Sovereignty of God

How 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”?

And 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


At what instant I shall speak

concerning a nation, and
concerning a kingdom, to pluck
up, and to pull down, and to
destroy it; If that nation,
against whom I have And Joseph said unto Pharaoh,
pronounced, turn from their The dream of Pharaoh is one:
evil, I will repent of the evil God hath shewed Pharaoh what
that I thought to do unto them. he is about to do. . . .What God
And at what instant I shall is about to do he sheweth unto
speak concerning a nation, and Pharaoh. . . .And for that the
concerning a kingdom, to build dream was doubled unto
and to plant it; If it do evil in Pharaoh twice; it is because
my sight, that it obey not my the thing is established by
voice, then I will repent of the God, and God will shortly bring
good, wherewith I said I would it to pass. Ge 41:25-32
benefit them. Jer 18:7-10
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. Da 2:45
When God speaks of punishing or blessings 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 on 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 those men can

The prophecies of Daniel 2 that point out the destruction of the earth's kingdoms
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 element. That
is, as Joseph’s unconditional dreams were time prophecies, so too Daniel later
symbol-rich dreams.

And "changing" the prophecy of Daniel 2 was just the thing Nebuchadnezzar tried to
do in the next chapter.

What principles do we have to help us tell determinate 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 latter are intended to be understood by the
subjects of the prophecy. The former may be couched in symbolic language.

And the latter 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!
Mt 18:7

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. Mr 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 children of

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are "without repentance." In other words, they can not
be annulled. Yet the individuals singled out for blessing are by no means

This was the confusion of the Jews. They confused the determinate prophecy (that
God would bless the children of the faithful, as per the Second Commandment) 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 Benjamin. 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
remnant 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; 26-29.

And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep
my commandments. De 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; De 7:9

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. Accordingly, 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

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 and Romans 8:14.

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 their 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 princes rule,

and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. Pr 8:15-1612

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. Joh 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. Ro 13:1

These men are God's "ministers", entrusted with lethal power for the dual purpose
of repressing evil and encouraging well-doing. 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 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 whomsoever 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 protection 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. Da 2:47; Ezr 7:12; Da 2:37.
The chapter is more than a personification of wisdom; it is a description of Jesus under that title. He is the Person
named "Wisdom".
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. Da 11:36. She has been given substantial power for a limited time. Da
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. Acts 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. De
28:47-56. If they would reject his gentle leading, 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. Hos 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 may be, for the benefit of God’s faithful,
restrained in their executive decisions. See Ezra 7:27-28; Neh 1:11;

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water:
he turneth it whithersoever he will. Pr 21:1
He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtly with his
servants. Ps 105:25
He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them
captives. Ps 106:46

If men object to this doctrine that God surely didn't raise Innocent the 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 that know truly say that the wonderful freedoms we enjoy in the USA
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." 1 Ti 6:15; Re 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.

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. Re 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 The 2:13.


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. Ro 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. 2 Ti 2:19.
Foreknowledge is the ground even of the choosing, or election, described in 2 The
2:13 above.

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through

sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the
blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 1Pe

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. Ro 11:2

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

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 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. What if God,
willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured
with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
Romans 9:17, 22.

God had to look carefully to find someone as stubborn as Pharaoh, someone 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 the death of Jesus we have an interesting unconditional

prophecy. On one hand God determined that Jesus would die for our sins. This was
certain. If no men would have been found to do it, evil angels would have been
permitted to do it. But there was no chance that this would happen. God knew, by
foreknowledge, the parts that the various actors would play in the crucifixion. Their
words were prophesied, as well as their actions.

Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge

of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Ac 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 from
predestination, "divine decrees." 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.

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. 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." Rev. 15:3, 4. {DA 58.1}

The doctrine of the divine decrees, unalterably fixing the character

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.

[Note: Though this issue may seem small to us, it is by no means small in
Christianity, being a primary 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 persona available that
can help you through it. Then again, perhaps this chapter is all you would
Chapter Eight
Brief thoughts on Michael in Scripture

The scripture testimony regarding “Michael” is quite brief. The following are
all the passages in scripture referring to Michael:

Da 10:13, 21 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me

one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one [that is, “first”, YLT] of the
chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of
Persia. . . . [21] 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.
Da 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.
Jude 1:9 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.
Re 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought
against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

From these passages we can gather several points with certainty:

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

Michael is either “one of the chief” [KJV] or “the first of the chief”
[Young’s Literal Translation] 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
Michael is the archangel.
Michael fought with the Devil regarding the resurrection of Moses’ body
(and won…).
Michael was over the angels that fought against the devil and his

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.
The faithful will sit with him on his throne.

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

Joh 5:25 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.

The commands will be given by the voice of Christ.

Mt 24:31 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. {with…: or, with a
trumpet, and a great voice}
Mr 13:27 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.

The kingdoms will be ruled by Christ.

Re 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were

great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are
become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he
shall reign for ever and ever.

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:

Ac 3:15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised
from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
Ac 5:31 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.
Re 1:5 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,

As the devil made an issue of 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.

Joh 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the
which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
And the voice of “the Lord” that is connected, by Paul, to the resurrection is
the “voice of the archangel.”

1Th 4:16 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:

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
position? We find a definitive answer by comparing two texts of scripture:
Jos 5:14 And he said, Nay; but as captain 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? {margin -- captain: or, prince}

Re 19:10 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.

Notice the contrast. The “captain of the host of the Lord” receives the
worship of Joshua. The mighty angel of Revelation refuses the worship of

These observations lead, it seems to me, to the following inescapable


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,


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

references 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, Bill, the passage you shared with me yesterday fits in so nicely here:
Heb 1:5-6 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? 6 And
again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he
saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

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. Josh 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? Methinks, Bill, that it must have been our Lord

And what does the Bible call him?

Ex 3:2 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

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.”
The Hebrew for “messenger” is just that common word translated “angel”
111 times in the Old Testament.

Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, 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.

Jesus, Michael, our Prince, our coming King, captain of the host of the Lord,
the Archangel, 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.

Chapter Nine
Satan Burns “for Ever and Ever”?

Why 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 fairy-tales.

And maybe it is from the fairy-tales 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 Testaments. Not
every time is it derived from the same Hebrew or Greek words. That is a small
enough number that we can take the time to be a little technical.

We can categorize all of them on the basis of the way they are worded in Hebrew or

We will begin with a review of the various words used for ‘ever’ in theses passages.
As the average reader could not read the original words, I will refer to those words
by their “number” in the most common Greek and Hebrew lexicons today, those
found in the back of Strong’s Concordance. For this reason these numbers are called
“Strongs numbers.”

And under each of these words I will note how that word is used in scripture. Of
particular interest to Seventh-day Adventists is the question “does ‘ever’ mean

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. Youngs 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 it does not denote an eternal volume of time include
Hab. 3:6 where the ‘everlasting’ 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 futurity” or
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 Testament
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—“victory,” “strength”—and is often used in questions and
in negatives.

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

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 “until”
“season” “end” and in various other ways that designate a limited time.

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 graph shows
how the phrase is formed in Hebrew/Aramaic.

Formulations of These Five Words Translated “For Ever and Ever”

05769 05769 I Ch 16:36; 29:10; Neh 9:5; Jer 7:7; 25:5

05769 05703 Ex 15:18; Ps 9:5; 10:16; 21:4; 45:6, 17; 48:14; 52:8; 119:44;
145:1, 2, 21; Dan 12:3; Mic 4:5; Ps 111:813; 148:6; Is 30:8

05331 05331 Is 34:10

05957 05705 05957 Dan 2:20

05705 05957 05957 Dan 7:18

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
reduplication is enough to demonstrate the truthfulness of this assertion.
Rotherham and Youngs Literal (two of the most literal translations available)
translate these two formulas as follows:

In the last three of these, Ps. 111:8; 148:6; and Is 30:8, the order of the words is reversed…05703 05769.
05769-05769 “one age even to/unto another” “age even unto age” “age
to age”
05769-05703 “age-abiding and beyond”; “futurity, to/unto times age-
“perpetually—age abiding”14
Young’s Literal
05769-05769 “from the age [and] unto the age” “from age even unto
05769-05703 “to the age, and for ever”; “age-during—and for ever”;
“for a latter day…unto the age”; “for ever to the age”15

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.

Jehovah A I Ch 16:36; 29:10; Neh 9:5

Jehovah B Ex 5:18; Ps 10:16
Blotting Out B Ps 9:5
Gift of Life B Ps 21:4
Jehovah’s Throne B Ps 45:6
Jehovah’s Praise B Ps 45:17; 145:1, 2, 21
Jehovah’s Praise C Dan 2:20
Jehovah’s Identity B Ps 48:14
My Trust in JehovahB Ps 52:8
Commandments B-2 Ps 111:8
Law Keeping B Ps 119:44
Heavens16 B-2 Ps 148:6
Record of Rebellion B-2 Isa 30:8
Gift of Canaan A Jer 7:7; 25:5
Evangelists; Stars B Dan 12:3
Right-Living B Mic 4:5
Saints’ Reign D Dan 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

The only passage that is even apparently troubling to standard Adventist 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.

The first of these three renderings is used for all cases of 05769 05703. The latter two are used for the three
reversed orderings.
The first two of these four renderings are used for all cases of 05769 05703. The latter two are used for the three
reversed orderings.
The antecedent is earlier. It seems to include the ‘waters’ above the heavens. I am not certain of its meaning.
New Testament Passages

All the New Testament Passages are formed the same way. They are a reduplication
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”17 “the


Young’s Literal “ages of the ages” “age of the age”18 “ages of ages”19

The subjects of these formulas—the persons or objects that were to last “for ever
and ever” are differentiated below.

Glory be to God Gal. 1:8; Phil 4:20; I Tim 1:17; 2 Tim 4:18; Heb 13:21; I Pet
Rev 1:6; 5:13; 7:12
God’s Throne Heb. 1:8
Dominion be to God I Pet 5:11;
God’s Life Rev 4:9, 10; 10:6; 15:7
God’s Reign Rev 11:5
Torment Smoke’s Ascent Rev 14:11; 19:3
Devil’s Torment Rev 20:10
Saints’ Reign Rev 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 (Rev. 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 it 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 Rev. 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.

Eze 28:18 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

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

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

Isa 14:16 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

As an apparent statement of justice, they go on to comment that he “opened not

the house of his prisoners.” Is 14:17. There is no record of them seeing anyone else.
And the impact of his wickedness is spoken of entirely in a past tense.

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:

A. That the scapegoat bears the sins of the congregation in the Day of
B. That there have been an estimated 35 to 70 Billion persons alive since
C. That if only 1 in 700 of 35 billion were saved at last, that would be 50
D. That if the Devil only burned two hours for each of these persons, that
would be 100 million hours. That comes to 4 million days. That
amounts to 12,000 years.

While the numbers above 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.

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 burden of
Revelation 20:10 if it is to be harmonized with the rest of scripture.

Re 20:9 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. 10 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.

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.
Section III – Questions Regarding the Time

There is a class of men that dig chronology. I can’t relate to them, but I
appreciate their work. They can speak of the correlation of computer-dated
eclipses to the ancient records of the same in the annals of ancient

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 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
prophecies 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 witness in the world. By their fulfilment in
these last days, they will explain themselves. – Kress Collection, p.

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

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. {2SM 102.2}

This section address 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 Jeff Pippinger in our day this topic
has been receiving much attention.

Finally, there is a chapter about the principles that govern the reapplication
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.
Chapter Ten
The 1290 and 1335 Day Prophecies

There was a time when the Adventist 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. {EW 74.2}

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 messenger 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

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." {1SM 164.1}
It has been presented to me that this is not a subject of vital importance. I
am instructed that our brethren are making a mistake in magnifying 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. {1SM 164.2}
I now ask that my ministering brethren shall not make use of my writings
in their arguments regarding this question ["the daily"]; for I have had no
instruction on the point under discussion, and I see no need for the
controversy. Regarding this matter under present conditions, silence is
eloquence. {1SM 164.3}

There are other views that the brethren were united on in 1844. The 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 application of the
1290 and 1335 day prophecies.20 A televised Sabbath-school program on 3ABN
dished out a similarly future interpretation of these two. 21

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

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.

The Prophecies

The final revelation to Daniel is found in Daniel 11 and 12. There the history 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

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

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 wonders? Daniel 12:6

Insert note regarding Kenneth Cox and the name of his book.
Insert note listing the day and program title of Doug Batchelor’s presentation on these prophesies. Add: Mr.
Batchelor does not make a habit of promoting such views. His value judgment that a Sabbath-school class was a fair
venue for discussing personal views explains this exception.
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, Persia, 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
6th 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, 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.

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 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 thousand 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 pipes up, regarding time, “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 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 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 the 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.

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. Da 7:7
Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all
the others . . . which . . . stamped the [remnant] with his feet; Da 7:19
Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which
shall be diverse from all kingdoms . . . Da 7:23
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. Da 7:24

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 preceded 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 successions 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

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 dominion. 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 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 takes 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 get a bead on 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

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

Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and
five and thirty days. Da 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

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 will 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.

And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain
upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 3 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. 4 Behold, his
soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
Hab 2:2-4

The prophet was shown that whatever the blessed persons were waiting for, it
wouldn’t 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 Habakkuk, gives
us our final answer.

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of
reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of
God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that
shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith:
but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. Heb 10:35-

Taken together, these three passages (Dan 12; Hab 2; Heb 10) teach that a blessed
group of persons would study the recently unsealed book of Daniel and as a result
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 coming based on an understanding of
Daniel. And what year were the Adventists looking forward to during the years
leading up to 1843? Not 1844, but 1843.

How sad it is that many persons try to place the 1335 day prophecy, with the 1290,
into the future. If they 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 prophecies 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.

But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at
the end of the days. Da 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.
{7BC 949.6}

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" [Daniel 12:8-13]. 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. {1SAT 225.5}

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

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. This particular
study was forwarded to me by one that had heard it presented as a lecture.

Though the presentation did not make any such list as I am about to give, I did
extract from it 17 points under five reasons that the author felt we should look for
these prophecies in the future.

1. Daniel 12:1-3 is future, therefore the rest of the chapter is future

2. The Abomination of Desolation has not yet occurred
3. That is, Ellen White says the second application of the abomination is
4. In other words, she says the Abomination is the national Sunday law,
and this future
5. In Matthew 24 Jesus is referring to Daniel 12:11
6. The words for “days” in Daniel 8 and Daniel 12 are different.
7. The word Yom, in Daniel 12, is always literal days. This is “crucial” to
8. The day-year principle is only used where symbols are present.
9. There are no symbols “at all” in Daniel 12.
10. The word for “times” in Daniel 7 and Daniel 12 are different.
11. If Daniel wanted us to understand years, he would have used “ereb
boquer”, not ‘yom’
12. If it doesn’t have a set starting and ending date, it isn’t a time
13. So these aren’t time prophecies
14. Daniel 12 is sealed to the end, so can’t be fulfilled until then
15. The angel didn’t interpret the prophecies of Daniel 12
16. Daniel didn’t understand these, so they must be different than Daniel
7, 8, etc.
17. Ellen White said to study Daniel 12 carefully. She rarely says that about

I think that each expositor would give a somewhat different list, but this one is fairly
representative. It could be boiled down from 17 points to five reasons.

1. Daniel 12:4-12 follows Daniel 12:1-3, so is fulfilled later.

2. Ellen White applies Matthew 24 to the Sunday law crisis and Daniel 12
is related.
3. The choices of the Hebrew words for “days” and “times” shows their
literal nature.
4. The lack of symbols in Daniel 12 shows its literal nature.
5. Daniel 12 is sealed to the end, so can’t be fulfilled until then.

In view of the fact that I find the author ever so sincere I hope that all will read what
I am about to write as if it were written gently.

Point 1 is not well thought through. While Daniel 12:1 is the time of trouble, Daniel
12:2 is the special resurrection. And Daniel 12:3 takes us all the way to the glorified
state that last “for ever and ever.” If Daniel 12:4-12 must follow Daniel 12:1-3 in
point of time, then we should look for a fulfillment well after the return of Jesus.

In truth, Daniel 12:4-12 is an explanatory discussion of Daniel 11:1-12:3. And so we

are not at all surprised that it goes back in time. All the explanations of prophecies
by an angel in Daniel do the same thing. Interestingly, the “daily” of Daniel 12:4-12
is found about 15 verses before Daniel 12:1 in the very same prophecy, in Daniel

Point 2 is a good example of what you might call “expanding allusions.” Let me
illustrate. God predicted that the days of man on earth would be 120 years and then
a great rain would fall and destroy every non-arked breathing thing on earth in a
flood. Later, prophets indicated that the destruction of the earth by a flood was a
symbol of the destruction of the earth by fire.

Now here is a good question: Does that make Genesis 6 into a prophecy of the end
of time? I answer, “no, it does not.” Genesis 6 is a prophecy that has already been
fulfilled. And it predicted an event that is similar in some respects to the end of the

Just so Daniel 12:4-12. It is a prophecy of the middle-age rise and fall of the papacy
and the advent movement that followed. This scenario will be similar to what is
coming. 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.

Point 3 is a common type of misunderstanding. Bible expositors often highly

underestimate how frequently writers use synonyms. The most common things in
life have several words that refer to them. A sandal to someone one may be a shoe
to someone else and half a pair of flip-flops to a third.

In the case under point, Yom (‘yowm’) is one of the very most common words in
Hebrew. It means “day.” But is it literal or symbolic?

Let me illustrate. Suppose that we studied and found that three different words
were used for sheep. Then suppose we noticed that different passages use different
words for the sheep being sacrificed. What would we think?

If I were to write, “Jesus is the Lamb that was slain. When Abraham slew the ram
caught in the thicket, it was a symbol of our Savior,” I would not want you to think
that I intended to communicate that the lamb represented one thing and the ram

If a day in prophecy represents a year, then “yom” is a very good Hebrew word for
that purpose.

Why then does Daniel 8 use “ereb boquer”? Simply, because all of Daniel 8 is
written in sanctuary terminology to show that it is about the sanctuary. Hence, the
animals are sacrificial animals instead of the carnivorous beasts of Daniel 7. And
‘ereb boquer’ is a sanctuary allusion to the daily sacrifices. It is literally “evening

And why would Daniel 7 and Daniel 12 use different words for “times”?

Because, as the study sent me also noted, these two chapters are written in two
different languages. They couldn’t be the same word.

What about point 4, the idea that Daniel 12 doesn’t use symbols? Wait. “Daily” and
“abomination of desolation” are symbols at the end of Daniel 12 borrowed from
Daniel 8. What do you mean that there are no symbols? And, honestly, it is not an
uncommon thing in Daniel and Revelation to combine literal and symbolic language.
The first five seals are symbolic, the last is literal. See Revelation 6. The first five
plagues are literal, the sixth symbolic. See Revelation 16. This point isn’t really a

And what about point 5? The sealing of material in Daniel 12, is it of the verses in
Daniel 12? Or the prophecy in Daniel 11-12:3? Or is the book of Daniel? The angel
answers that it is the “book.” Daniel 12:4. And so, in Revelation 10, it is a “book

Is Daniel 12 the only portion of the book that we are told is for the end? No, no. So
too Daniel 8 and Daniel 10-11. See Daniel 8:17, 19; 10:14. Especially in this last
passage it is clear that the prophecy relating to the “end” began its fulfillment in the
days of Persia and extended twenty-five centuries forward. It was to be understood
at the end, not to begin fulfilling at the end.

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 experience in digging truth out of
scripture, pales next to theirs.

May we grow brighter in our research.

Chapter Eleven
The Seven Times or the 2,520 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 2,520 years long.

This short article 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 called the “times of the Gentiles.”
Lu 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 beginning
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 (European)
control of Jerusalem to 1798, and came to 1843.22

One of the most interesting features of this period, as Miller understood it,
was that it coincided with the Jubilee release and with the 6000th year23 of
the earth’s existence.

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

Later, presumably 1214 and 46 were added to reach 1844, though I find no reference to
the 2520 or the two 1260’s during that incredible movement that we call the Midnight Cry,
the seventh-month movement. In fact, Miller’s most thorough discussion of the 2520 is
found in his “Lecture 17”, first published in 1836. Other more succinct references can be
found in his “Trilogy” and in his “Reply to Stuart” and in a commentary on “Ezekiel 39.”
He differed from Usher on this point, arguing that Usher and others missed about 150 years during the time of the
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 passing
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

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

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
understanding 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 last 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 shows 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.
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

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, Aug 27, 1857.

Much of Edson’s article25 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 fulfilled 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.
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 fulfillment 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 mentioning 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 contrary 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 contrary 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

Thus the expression occurs four times, and each succeeding mention 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 judgments to be
brought upon Israel.

If it denoted a period of time, a noun and its adjective would be used, as in

Dan.4:16: "Let seven times pass over him." Here we have the noun (times)
and adjective (seven): thus, shibah 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] Dan.4:16, etc., but in Leviticus simply the

The expression in Dan.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
in 1844, not 1843. This he recounts under the head of his second of seven

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 1860’s 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.

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
splintering of views of the time prophecies. Sabbath keeping Adventists
continued to emphasize Daniel 8 (making over 2000 references to the 2300
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 and Smith. The first used the 2520 as
evidence that probation had closed. The second suggested a changing of the
dates on the chart to terminate in 1798, and the third argued that the 2520
was not an actual time prophecy at all. None of the three taught Miller’s view
of the prophecy.

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
argument 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.” The
references for you to check in your concordance are:
Ge 5:7; Ge 5:25; Ge 5:31; Ge 11:21; Ge 25:17; Ge 29:18; Ge 29:20; Ge 41:26; Ge
41:27; Ge 41:29; Ge 41:30; Ge 41:36; Ge 41:48; Ge 41:53; Ge 41:54; Ge 47:28; Ex
6:16; Ex 6:20; Le 25:8; Nu 13:22; De 15:1; De 31:10; Jud 6:1; Jud 6:25; Jud 12:9; 2Sa
2:11; 2Sa 5:5; 2Sa 24:13; 1Ki 2:11; 1Ki 6:38; 2Ki 8:1; 2Ki 8:2; 2Ki 8:3; 2Ki 11:21; 1Ch
3:4; 1Ch 29:27; 2Ch 24:1; Jer 34:14; Eze 39:9

And when the writers want to say “seven times” to express so many years,
they use two words, -- shibah for ‘seven’ and iddan for ‘times.’

Da 4:16 Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart
be given unto him; and let seven < > times < > pass over him.

Da 4:23 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 < > times < > pass over him;

Da 4:25 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 < > SHIBAH

times < > shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High

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

Da 4:32 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 < > times < > shall pass over thee, until thou know that

the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to

whomsoever he will.

Further, the words iddan and mowed are sufficient to indicate a year without
the help of a number.
Da 7:25 until a time < > and timesIDDAN <IDDAN>
and the dividing of time .

Da 12:7 that it shall be for a time < MOWED>

, times < >
, and an half;

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

For examples, see Ge 33:3; Le 4:6, 17; 8:11; 14:7, 16, 27, 51; 16:14,
19; 25:8; Nu 19:4; Jos 6:4, 15; 1Ki 18:43; 2Ki 4:35; 5:10, 14

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:

Ps 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a
furnace of earth, purified seven times < >

Ps 119:164 Seven times < >

a day do I praise thee because of thy

righteous judgments.
Pr 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times < >, and riseth up again: SHEBA

but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

Da 3:19 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 furnace
one seven times< >26 more than it was wont to be heated.

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.”

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

Le 26:21 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.
Le 26:24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you
yet seven times < > for your sins.

Le 26:28 Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I,
will chastise you seven times < > for your sins. SHEBA

Conclusion Regarding the Phrase

Shibah is the Aramaic form of the Hebrew sheba.
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 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
Concordance, such as he used, does not differentiate between “seven times”
as seven time periods and “seven times” as seven repetitions or degrees of

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
covenant made with Abraham, the covenant that we call the New Covenant

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. Lev 26:1-2.

God reminds Israel of their obligations to the second and fourth

commandments, the very commandments that contain the gospel content in
the Decalogue, the very ones altered by the papacy. To a reminder of these
precepts 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

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 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. Le 26:3-4.

What God promised was an Old Testament blessing of always fresh produce.
The two harvests would each last for months, food would be in abundance,
and Israel would be safe. They would not, however, be passive. Their
dominions would grow by unnatural victories, five persons putting 100 to

And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage 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.
Le 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.

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. And what is more, God would dwell with them.

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.

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; Lev 26:14-16
The items in the denunciation include:
Appointed terror
The burning “ague” that destroys the eyes and brings misery
Harvests eaten by enemies
Death in battle
Under hated and hating rulers
Running when no one is chasing

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. Le 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. Le 26 19-20.

This part of the curse sounds like that of De 28 and especially of verses

And what if Israel does not respond to these events, God’s

communication. 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? Was a two millennium series of captivities a punishment
threatened to a certain generation if it would not hearken?

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
followed Hezekiah and in the one that followed Josiah. But it is God’s
mercies that extend to a “thousand generations.” De 7:9.

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.” 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

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. Lev 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

And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary 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. Le 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 desolate, 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

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. 2Ch 36:21

Four more verses of curses (36-39) are followed by a wonderful promise:

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. Le 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
acknowledged 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 he have been encouraged by the approaching end
of the 70 year captivity if he thought that the promise he was claiming from
Leviticus 26 was connected to a 2,520 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
proclaiming the “2520.”


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.

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 Laodicea Message, the Third Angel’s
Message and Righteousness by Faith.

Post-Conclusion If’s

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

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

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 famine;
and it shall also come upon the land seven years. 2Ki 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. 2Sa 24:13

In summary, if Leviticus 26 is read literally, as Adventist standard principles

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 Jeff Pippenger 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.

That article is the one mentioned earlier in this chapter that also addressed a
“2,520 year prophecy” that had been the subject of several lectures by
William Miller.

Jeff 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 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. {SpM 1.3}

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

Hiram Edson thought the hidden “mistake” was the figures regarding the
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 pioneers,

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
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 Jeff 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

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. {WLF 12.8}

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 7th trumpet in the 7th 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 resigned,"
shows that at that time he began to reign in a special sense. Such
voices have been heard since the 7th moon '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, (Heb. 10:13) which event
was expected by him while he sit at the right hand of the Father
fulfilling the daily ministration. vs. 11,12. – O. R. L. Crosier, Day Star,
Feb. 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 can not take Ellen
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 7th trumpet began to sound in
1844 (and not in 2001, as per Jeff).

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”

During Ellen White’s life time, in fact, for fifty plus years of her lifetime (1861
to 1915), the charts were reprinted without a reference to the 2,520 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.
Chapter Twelve
Reapplications and Multiple Fulfillments and the Story Line

If 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 portions of these prophecies that
were fulfilled in the past be fulfilled again?”

The “daily” and an “abomination of desolation” are the subjects of Daniel 8, 11, 12 and of Matthew 24,
Mark 13, Luke 21. And it is in regard to these symbols and the story-line around them that most of
questions exist today. Other questions regarding the seals and trumpets of Revelation are less common,
but common nonetheless.

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 animosity, public divisions, and a
decreased confidence in the reliability of the Testimonies.

Even new students of Adventist History will recognize that just such disasters 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 established by the prophets. (See Ec 1:9-10;
3:15; and 1 Cor 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 striking 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. {GC 343.1}

History repeats because God, and even men and demons, operate on basically 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.
Ps 78:8 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.
Eze 20:17 Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end
of them in the wilderness. 18 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:
"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." {DA 587.1}

The law of cause and effect doesn't change. So the type of behavior exhibited by Abel produced
persecution by persons like Cain. Holy living 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.
{GC 48.3}

As an example of how history repeats 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
company. 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 faithful.
And this happened repeatedly on the way to Canaan, a trip representing our journey at the end of the

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 fulfillment 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." [Verses 31-
36, quoted.] {13MR 394.1}

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 5th seal).

Yet before justice is executed in their favor there must be another end-time persecution that would, as a
prophecy, “be fulfilled”:

Re 6:11 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 fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be
killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

The angels in Revelation 16 recount how that final persecution 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 6th century, so the normal order of things will be replaced by a church state in the end. And just as
those who were willing 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.

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 persecution.... 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.”

You would read the sentences as a story line with chronological information in it.

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
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

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 portion 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 represented modern 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.

Eugene: 27
Who is the Ram in Daniel 8?
WHO: Daniel 8:20 clearly says that "the ram...having two horns are the kings of Media and
WHEN: The time frame is given in verses 17, 19, 23, and 26. "At the time of the end shall be the
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." Dan 8:23,26

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

I have highly edited these emails to increase clarity and remove distracting volumes of documentation.
Trying to understand the 2300 in an earlier time frame is an exercise in futility and frustration
because thing don't fit perfectly. The future will show that everything fits precisely!!!

Stay tuned! Ram and He-goat battle coming up soon!


Hi Kathie,

I see. You are 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

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 Alex 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,

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. Dan 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 Palestine, 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.

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 characteristics as the little horn of Daniel 8,
and that both are blasphemous persecutors of God’s people—this is clear. And the Roman power
can not 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
kingdom” 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 can not 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 this carefully, Kathie, there is another time that 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. Da 10:14

In other words, the one prophecy that is most obviously a description of events from Daniel’s day
to the end of time, that prophecy is described as relating to the end just as Daniel 8 is.

That is no coincidence.
Blessings to you,



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 “abomination 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 collection 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 . .. {DA 628.1}

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 Jerusalem, it prefigured also the terrors of the last
great day. {GC88 25.4}

While these prophecies received a partial fulfillment at the destruction of Jerusalem, they have a
more direct application in the last days.--5T 753 (1899).

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. {Mar 199.4}

After speaking of the end of the world, Jesus comes back to Jerusalem, 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 prophetic 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. . . . {3SM 417.1}

The disciples heard Christ's words; but they did not fully understand 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. {ST, February 20, 1901 par. 14}
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.” Mt. 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 wickedness 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:

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure
unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all
the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. Mt. 25:12-14.

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, persecution, wickedness, 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:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee
into the mountains: Mt 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

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. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be
saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Matthew 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 coming, false messages about a secret
coming, and a period of seductive miracles (v. 23-26) that will test the chosen. And this would be
followed by the real coming of Jesus. (v. 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 persecution 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:
Mt. 24:29

And the signs are followed by the Coming.

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. 31 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. {with…: or, with a
trumpet, and a great voice}

The Two Meanings of Matthew 24

The outline that we have just considered doesn’t require any dual application to apply it to both 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 roof-tops 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, and especially at the two crisis 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 relative timing of parts of the story line.

One of the Ellen White statements is particularly helpful in helping us develop a principle of
interpretation. Look back at 3SM 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 Jerusalem. (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 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 can’t be taken as being expository. That is why her “trumpet after
trumpet” statement (some of you know what I am talking about) just can’t be taken as an exposition on
Revelation 8-9.

And here is the conclusion of the matter. One meaning of Matthew 24 is the historical fulfillment of the
prophecy. The other is the parallel lessons that can be learned from that historical fulfillment. The first is
like the prophecy that the world would be destroyed by water. The second is like the fact that we should
learn from that prophecy and its fulfillment that God’s 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 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 those symbols.

They are found in story-lines. Those story-lines help us understand them.

And pulled out of those story lines, they become just what Peter said they should never be, “of private
Section IV
Testimony Tidbits

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 White Estate began selling a CD-ROM with all Ellen White’s
published works and, additionally, with hundreds of books and articles by our
Adventist pioneers. I recommend that media to everyone.

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 difference 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 is this section, without comment from me, is a collection of materials that I
have often shared. I hope it is short enough that when you want to share one of
these with someone else that 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 relates to the relation of life-style 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?”

Prayerfully enjoy this collection. Then buy the CD-ROM from the White Estate and
read the contexts of all. Let the gifts given to the church do what they were
intended to do for us.


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
You have the pledged word of Jehovah: "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the
end of the world." 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 pitieth his
children," so the Lord pities those who put their trust in Him.
Your life may look to you to be full of mistakes; but what if there are mistakes?
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."
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 yourself.
Christ has woven in heaven's loom the robe of His righteousness, and He will put
the same upon you. And your sins--your old, defiled citizen's garments--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 pardons all your transgressions, and then rest in His
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 faithful,
watching wife, and all dear friends.--Letter 31, 1890. {16MR 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 important 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 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
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.
{10MR 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." 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. {1SAT 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 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 evidence 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."
Many precious souls, desiring earnestly to be Christians, are yet stumbling 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." {Ev 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
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. {20MR 319}


"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" (Ellen White, Letter 12, 1900).


Obedience is the life of the soul. It brings health and peace and assurance. LLM 91:4

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. 4T 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. —1T 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. – 5T 184

I know [Brother Corless’] 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 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. {17MR 53.6}

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 cannot spend time to investigate their brother's work
or motives. – RH 03-14-78

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 Christless 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 determined, 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. – 1888 p. 138

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 attractions 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 surmisings, love
of money, self-exaltation. – TMK 304

The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony 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 interpretation 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. {10MR 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 number 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. --TSS 22-26.

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
practice 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. 4MR 122

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.
{18MR 174.2}

The happiness of life is made up of little things. It is in the power of everyone 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 manifested 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. {21MR 118.1}


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.--Letter 71, 1903. {CW 145.4}

A great crisis is coming upon us. If men still yield to men, as they have been
doing for the last fifteen years, 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, maintaining
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, freedom 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
Holy Spirit. {17MR 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. 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 to-day 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 success is lacking--Jesus, the Light of the world. – RH 02-22-87

RH 06-25-61
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.

1888 p. 137
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 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.
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. {3SM 336.2}
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 business 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. {3SM 336.3}

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. {8T 28.3}
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 perishing 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 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
contention. {8T 28.4}
PH155 (Special Testimony to the Battle Creek Church), pp. 4-5
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 earnest, 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
practice made it void, and seem determined to maintain [5] 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 true Christian a power of influence over them. They will
see there is a better life than that which they are living.
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 meetinghouses 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. {17MR 245.3}
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 originated 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.
{17MR 246.1}
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
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 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 associated with other men who could view
matters from an entirely different point of view. Thus they would have helped them
in their plans. {PC 383.2}
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.
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.
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 slowness 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
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 practical obedience to the Word of God. Why
do the ministers not strengthen the things that remain that are ready to die? --
1888 Materials, p. 433-434
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. {18MR 171.1}
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 erring 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. {18MR 171.2}
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 men be
careful how they call their brethren to account, as though they were in God's place.
{18MR 171.3}
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 directions 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. {18MR 171.4}
If the Lord is the great, unseen Medical Missionary, and men are laborers
together with Him, who are you condemning in blaming His sincere workers?
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 better results than if they
followed the directions given in human wisdom, how ashamed they would be of the
condemnation they give these workers! {18MR 172.1}
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. {18MR 172.2}
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. {18MR 172.3}
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. Remember that it is
through dependence upon God, by looking to Him in faith, that you gain the victory.
He never disappoints His people. {18MR 172.4}

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-denying, self-sacrificing
ones? Where are the cross-bearers? Self and self-interest 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 mammon. 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
letter? 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 follow and trust in him, he will not leave me to perish. He shall be my crown
of rejoicing. {PH097 17.1}
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. 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.
{PH097 18.1}
Men, women, and youth, God requires you to possess moral courage, steadiness
of purpose, fortitude and perseverance, minds which will investigate, 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." Now the condition: "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." 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." Like the importunate widow, urge your case, being firm in your purpose.
Is 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 promised? 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 liberally and upbraid not. Pamphlet 97, pp. 17-21.