Adventist Thought Trends

Mark Shipowick

Adventist Thought Trends There are a number of areas where new interpretations of prophecy and scripture are being advanced in Adventism. For example, some thought leaders of the church have recently advanced a future day for day application of the 1260 days of Daniel and Revelation; other Adventists are concerned about the adoption of the trinity doctrine; with others the human nature of Christ is being discussed. Another trend within the church is the many speakers and lecture series available for young people on how to study the Bible and Ellen White. This paper is to provide a review of some of the trends in prophetic and doctrinal understanding in the church and at the same time to look at the question of how to search the inspired writings. The topic list is hyperlinked. • • Studying Scripture and Ellen White. Reapplications made by Ellen White: Some statements reapplying parts of Daniel 11, 12 and Revelation 4 to 11 to the future. Statements by Ellen White Against Time Setting. The Golden Altar, the Plagues and the Battle of Armageddon. The Abomination of Desolation and the Daily. The Little Horn Day/Day Applications of the Prophecies Ezekiel’s temple. Islam, the Fall of Communism and 9/11 in Prophecy.

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The Human and Divine Natures of Christ. The Trinity.

Studying Scripture and Ellen White Ellen White makes several clear statements warning us against time setting. She also makes a number of statements that reapply prophecies to the future which appear to open the door to future time prophecies. She makes others indicating that the close of probation occurs before the plagues begin to fall. But still others that apply the latter rain to the Battle of Armageddon which occurs during the plagues. Regarding the ‘daily’ of Daniel, she claimed she had no light on the meaning of it on the one hand but appears to say that the pioneers (and by implication herself) did understand the daily correctly. A common approach among Adventists with Ellen White’s writings is to accept the ‘clearer statements’ and put the ‘less clear’ statements to the side. In the past, the author has done that himself with her writings and scripture. But isn’t this a mistake? Our mandate as students is to accept all inspired statements, and where there are apparent contradictions, not to prefer one statement over another. It is accepting the things in Inspiration that we don’t understand, that appear to contradict each other, that requires faith. Ellen White makes a number of statements saying that when Daniel and Revelation are properly understood and practically applied the end-time, global revival will come. Here are two of them: "The book of Revelation opens with an injunction to us to

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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. Testimonies to Ministers, Page 113. To those who truly love God the Holy Spirit will reveal truths that have faded from the mind, and will also reveal truths that are entirely new. Those who eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God will bring from the books of Daniel and Revelation truth that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. They will start into action forces that cannot be repressed. The lips of children will be opened to proclaim the mysteries that have been hidden from the minds of men. The Lord has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, and the weak things of the world to confound the mighty. .-- Review and Herald, August 17, 1897. One of the results of a careful study of Revelation will be a clearer view of future aspects of the great controversy that are revealed there. God reveals Himself in history, past and future. It’s when we allow all of the inspired statements of scripture and prophecy to speak that we will see God revealed in scripture more fully.

Reapplications made by Ellen White Below is a fascinating quote from Ellen White. The quote below is remarkable for several reasons. It was written December 22, 1890, from Washington, D. C., to Ellen White’s "Dear Children, Edson, Emma, and Willie." The first part of the letter gives her children the news of what she’s been doing and there is nothing remarkable there. But, the second half launches into a description of final events. Among many other interesting comments on the end of time she says: The power of the Holy Ghost must be upon us, and the Captain of the Lord's host will stand at the head of the angels of heaven to direct the battle. Solemn events before us are yet to transpire. Trumpet after trumpet is to be sounded, vial after vial poured out one after another upon the inhabitants of the earth. {14MR 287.1} This statement is one of a group of similar statements where Ellen White makes a future application to the trumpets and seals of Revelation. The problem some Adventists have with applying this reference to the trumpets (Revelation 8 to 11) to the future is that there are time prophecies in it. They reason that if no future time prophecies are allowed, we have two options: 1) strike the time elements from the prophecy and then reapply them or 2) deny any future application. Is either option sound? And, is that what Ellen White intended in her statements against time setting?

Revelation warns to not add or take from the Book. This is one area where we need to ensure we do not set one inspired statement against another, but let both speak until we’re able to reconcile them. Below is another quote on the same topic. This one places both the seals and trumpet in the future: My imagination anticipated what it must be in that period when the Lord's mighty voice shall give commission to His angels, "Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth" (Rev. 16:1). Thy right hand, O God, shall dash in pieces Thine enemies. Revelation 6 and 7 are full of meaning. Terrible are the judgments of God revealed. The seven angels stood before God to receive their commission. To them were given seven trumpets. The Lord was going forth to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth was to disclose her blood and no more cover her slain. Give the description in chapter 6. When the plagues of God shall come upon the earth hail, will fall upon the wicked about the weight of a talent. The hail had struck Brother Belden. One stone struck him on the back of the head, raising a large lump. {15MR 219.2 – 220.1}” See also T9 267 where Ellen White places the seals in the future by linking the seals to the plagues.

Turning from the trumpets to the thunders, in the quote below, Ellen White places the seven thunders of Revelation 10 in the future and links them to the time when the three angel’s messages are repeated under the latter rain. After these seven thunders uttered their voices, the injunction comes to John as to Daniel in regard to the little book: "Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered." These relate to future events which will be disclosed in their order. Daniel shall stand in his lot at the end of the days. John sees the little book unsealed. Then Daniel's prophecies have their proper place in the first, second, and third angels' messages to be given to the world. The unsealing of the little book was the message in relation to time. {7BC 971.4} Some Adventists put this in the past pointing to parts of the passage where she makes a past application. But the part quoted above has a future application based on common English usage. What should we do with it? Regarding Revelation 11 Ellen White reapplies it to the time just before the close of probation when God rains fire and brimstone as well as other less supernatural disasters on the great cities of the world. Out of the cities, is my message at this time. Be assured that the call is for our people to locate miles away from the large cities.

One look at San Francisco as it is today would speak to your intelligent minds, showing you the necessity of getting out of the cities. . . . {LDE 95.2} The Lord calls for His people to locate away from the cities, for in such an hour as ye think not, fire and brimstone will be rained from heaven upon these cities. Proportionate to their sins will be their visitation. When one city is destroyed, let not our people regard this matter as a light affair, and think that they may, if favorable opportunity offers, build themselves homes in that same destroyed city. . . . {LDE 95.3} Let all who would understand the meaning of these things read the eleventh chapter of Revelation. Read every verse, and learn the things that are yet to take place in the cities. Read also the scenes portrayed in the eighteenth chapter of the same book.--MR 1518 (May 10, 1906). {LDE 95.4} Readers may want to pause here and review Rev 11 then review again how she has applied this. Rather than looking for a future fulfillment that closely parallels our past interpretation, (see the Great Controversy, chapter 15) note how widely different her future application is. The sins of atheistic France licentiousness and idolatry - will be the hallmarks of the cities that in the future bear the judgments of God, but beyond that, we have to let the prophecy speak for itself. Ellen White is clearly

speaking as a prophet here in applying this prophecy to the future destruction of our cities. Personally, I would never have applied this passage as she’s done. In my view, only inspiration could make such an application. If she does this is it safe to take the time elements out of the chapter? Wouldn’t it be safer to go back and look at her statements on time prophecies and see if our assumptions about her meaning are correct? And if we still can’t reconcile them, would it not be better to not prefer one set of statements over another. Here’s another fascinating application to a different prophecy, Daniel 10: Study the tenth chapter of Daniel, and mark particularly the fourteenth verse. "Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days" (Daniel 10:14). When our brethren and ministers shall feel the burden that should rest upon them, they will not be content with a few surface truths. They will sink the shaft deep, and will have the spirit that Daniel possessed. In the above passage two things capture my attention: One is the implication that the vision applies to the very end of time primarily and the second is that we will need the spirit of Daniel to stand at that time. The vision that chapter 10 introduces which is in chapters 11 and 12, contains the most detailed information on the

abomination of desolation, the passages in Daniel that Christ has told us to read and understand. “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.” Matthew 24:15. The same warning regarding the abomination of desolation contained in Daniel 11 is contained in and expanded upon in chapter 12. Regarding that warning Ellen White says: Let us read and study the twelfth chapter of Daniel. It is a warning that we shall all need to understand before the time of the end.--15 MR 228 (1903). {LDE 15.4} Ellen White expands on the dual application of the abomination of desolation in the quote below: By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation [the United States] will disconnect herself fully from righteousness.... {Mar 199.3} 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. The people of God will then be plunged into those scenes of affliction and

distress which prophets have described as the time of Jacob's trouble. The cries of the faithful, persecuted ones ascend to heaven. And as the blood of Abel cried from the ground, there are voices also crying to God from martyrs' graves, from the sepulchers of the sea, from mountain caverns, from convents vaults: "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? {Mar 199.4} When the fifth seal was opened, John the Revelator in vision saw beneath the altar the company that were slain for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. After this came the scenes described in the eighteenth of Revelation, when those who are faithful and true are called out from Babylon. {Mar 199.5} Christ will restore the life taken; for He is the Life-giver: He will beautify the righteous with immortal life. {Mar 199.6} Below is another passage where Ellen White draws our attention to the abomination of desolation: 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} According the Sister White then, it is important that we understand the warning in Daniel 12. Do we understand the warning? Or are we assuming we understand more than we do? Moving on now, what about the introductory scenes to the seals and trumpets, Revelation 4 and 5 and Revelation 8:1-5 respectively? Here's a quote on Revelation 5: The fifth chapter of Revelation needs to be closely studied. It is of great importance to those who shall act a part in the work of God for these last days. There are some who are deceived. They do not realize what is coming on the earth. {9T 267.} That Ellen White above is applying Rev. 5 to the future is clear. The question is, where in the future is she applying it to? The context of her application is to the 'little time of trouble' just before probation closes and to the plagues. Some have noted that in other places, she places Revelation 5 and the opening of the little book at the executive judgment during the millennium. Here is one of her statements where she does this: Thus the Jewish leaders made their choice [to reject and crucify Christ]. Their decision was registered in the book which John saw in the hand of Him that sat

upon the throne, the book which no man could open. In all its vindictiveness this decision will appear before them in the day when this book is unsealed by the Lion of the tribe of Judah. {COL 294.1} This is a second application that she makes. But do we use this statement to overrule the first one quoted or the following one where she applies Revelation 5 to today: It was the Lion of the tribe of Judah who unsealed the book and gave to John the revelation of what should be in these last days. {TM 115.2} This is another example of where we have to let all of her statements speak. Note how she ends this same statement: A wonderful connection is seen between the universe of heaven and this world. The things revealed to Daniel were afterward complemented by the revelation made to John on the Isle of Patmos. These two books should be carefully studied. Twice Daniel inquired, How long shall it be to the end of time? Daniel 12:8-13 quoted. It was the Lion of the tribe of Judah who unsealed the book and gave to John the revelation of what should be in these last days. . .The book of Daniel is unsealed in the revelation to John, and carries us forward to the last scenes of this earth's history. Will our brethren bear in mind that we are living amid the perils

of the last days? Read Revelation in connection with Daniel. Teach these things. TM 115. Ellen White’s Statements Against Time Setting In the passages quoted above, is Ellen White saying study the principles of these prophecies; the time elements have no future application? Or, is she saying study the prophecies themselves in detail and from that you will understand the principles? Do her statements against time setting mean that there cannot be any future time elements in end-time prophecies? Let’s look at some of her strongest statements against time setting: Beware of anyone who would set a time for the Lord to fulfill His word in regard to His coming, or in regard to any other promise He has made of special significance. "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. . . . We would see the truth developing and expanding in lines of which we have little dreamed, but it will never develop in any line that will lead us to imagine that we may know the times and the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power. Again and again have I been warned in regard to time setting. There will never again be a message for the people of God that will be based on time. We are not to know the definite time

either for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit or for the coming of Christ. {1SM 188.1} I suggest that the above quote is saying anyone who uses the prophecies of scripture to predict the second coming, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit or the close of probation accurately to the very day or close to the very day is in error. But is it also saying that there are no future time prophecies whatsoever? Some interpret the following quotes as saying that: I plainly stated at the Jackson camp meeting to these fanatical parties that they were doing the work of the adversary of souls; they were in darkness. They claimed to have great light that probation would close in October, 1884. I there stated in public that the Lord had been pleased to show me that there would be no definite time in the message given of God since 1844.--2SM 73 (1885). {LDE 35.2} Our position has been one of waiting and watching, with no time-proclamation to intervene between the close of the prophetic periods in 1844 and the time of our Lord's coming.-10MR 270 (1888). {LDE 36.1} The people will not have another message upon definite time. After this period of time [Rev. 10:4-6], reaching from 1842 to 1844, there can be no definite tracing of the prophetic time. The longest reckoning reaches to the

autumn (1900).

of

1844.--7BC

971

preferred method unless there is a clear reason within the text to interpret it differently. This short overview is meant as a primer. I appeal to my brothers and sisters: To all those who are interested in understanding our prophetic message more clearly, we need meet together and study these things out prayerfully and carefully. The Ministry of the Golden Altar, the Plagues and the Battle of Armageddon Most Adventists believe and teach that the plagues of Revelation 16 can only fall after the close of probation. Ellen White seems to make plain statements in that regard. (See below.) While it’s true there are some statements that appear to support that position, there are others that need to be given their weight. Again, the challenge we’re faced with is to let both kinds of statements speak, even though one may appear to contradict the other. As students of the Word, we have to come to the level of maturity in our study where we no longer demand that we reconcile all inspired statements and failing that to choose one over another. This area, the ministry at the golden altar at the close of the Day of Atonement, is one that in my view cries out to us for greater study. Regarding the introduction to the trumpets, Revelation 8:2-5, we have seen above that the trumpets are primarily in the future. If the trumpets are in the future, this introductory scene in the first part of Revelation 8 would be future as well.

It seems to me that the main idea in the above passages is that there will not be any message for God’s people based on time prophecies such as the message given by the Millerites that the Lord would return by a certain date. Apparently, we are not to teach the time of the close of probation, the latter rain or return of Christ. But do these statements, especially the last one, also teach there are no time prophecies after 1844? The kinds of date setting that Ellen White counsels against are specific. That she specifies which future dates are not allowed suggests to me that other time prophecies are. Her position regarding time prophecies after 1844 clearly teaches the longest reckoning ends there. But her warning against time setting in that context was against reapplying the major day/year prophecies beyond 1844. Did she also mean there are no further prophecies after that date whatsoever? Since Ellen White reapplies the trumpets, seals, and several other prophecies that contain time elements to the future we, as a church need to be careful before we decide to effectively rewrite them, stripping them of their time elements, based on what we think some of her other statements say. Before we rule out all literal time applications of end-time prophecy where these very prophecies primarily apply - we need to look at all the evidence carefully. In the spiritual world as in the scientific world the simplest, most direct explanation is the preferred one. A literal reading of scripture is the

And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer [it] with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, [which came] with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast [it] into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. Revelation 8:2-5 Some think, based on statements from Ellen White, that the throwing down of fire just before the trumpets sound is the same as the throwing down of the censor at the close of probation. But let’s look briefly at these and others of her inspired statements and scripture and see if there isn’t room for further study. This scene parallels the ones in Isaiah 6 and Ezekiel 1 to 3 and 9 and 10, and I suggest it describes the latter rain, the baptism of the church with fire foretold by John the Baptist. Ellen White seems to agree: Let God's workmen study the sixth chapter of Isaiah, and the first and second chapters of Ezekiel. {TM 213.2} To the prophet the wheel within a wheel, the appearances of living creatures connected with them, all seemed intricate and unexplainable. But the hand

of Infinite Wisdom is seen among the wheels, and perfect order is the result of its work. Every wheel works in perfect harmony with every other. {TM 213.3} Placing this scene at the beginning of the latter rain harmonizes with Ellen White’s other statements where she indicates that the wise virgins will be spotless at the time the latter rain is poured out and that, while probation is closed for the unwise who lack the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit, it remains open for those who haven’t yet heard the third angel’s message. In these and other quotes that we’ll look at below we have a picture of a progressive closing of probation that occurs during the judgments of the trumpets, seals and plagues. Commenting on the trumpets and plagues, about 100 years ago, an Adventist minister, George Fifield wrote: Almost the whole typology of the Bible depends upon the fact that the leading of the children of Israel out of Egypt, across the Red Sea, and into the land of Canaan, is a type of the leading of the true Israel out of the darkness of this world into the true Canaan of rest. The force of this type is recognized in the book of Revelation, where the redeemed on the sea of glass are represented as singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. The two songs are one; one is the type of the other. The children of Israel were delivered by a series of plagues through which God revealed himself to the

Egyptians, and also revealed his hatred of the sin of idolatry. Those plagues were not sent to destroy the Egyptians meaninglessly, through a motive of wrath, but to reveal God to them, giving them one more, one last, chance to go with his people; and all this through the motive of love. God is to set his hand a second time to the deliverance of Israel. He will make a final revelation to the world of himself and of his hatred of sin. John says, “I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: and the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, . . . and the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, TILL THE SEVEN PLAGUES OF THE SEVEN ANGELS WERE FULFILLED.” In these words, the Lord definitely informs us just how the plagues stand related, in point of time, to the closing work in the heavenly sanctuary, and therefore to the closing of probation. This is the antitype; to understand it we must go back to the type. When was the time, and the only time in the yearly round of the earthly ministration, when the temple was filled with smoke, and no man permitted to enter? Was it after the ministration was completed, and probation as typified by that year’s

ministration at an end? Or was it during the closing moments of that ministration, while the high priest was in the most holy place? We answer, the last is the truth. The tenth day of the seventh month was the day of atonement. The high priest, however, did not really enter the most holy place to make the final atonement until the closing minutes of that day, just before sunset. During the day the assistant priest were in the temple, but when the climax was reached, the high priest went into the holy of holies alone; all-other priests retired even from the outer apartment of the temple, the temple was filled with smoke, and none permitted to enter till the ministration was completed. (See Lev 16:13, 17; and elsewhere.) This is the type; and Rev. 15:8 is the antitype. Since the termination of the prophetic periods, in 1844, we have been the day of atonement, but the assistant priests have been in the temple above, and the ministration as has been going on in the outer apartment as well. When the hour of the atonement arrives, all will retire, Jesus will enter the holy of holies alone, and at that time, not after he comes out and the door is shut, will the plagues be poured out. With this statement, every text in the Scriptures that relates at all to the closing of probation is in perfect agreement, while they are all in direct antagonism to the idea that probation closes before

the plagues being to fall. It must be remembered, however, that when we speak of the closing of probation, we mean, not the closing of probation for some individuals, but the complete closing of probation for the world. This distinction is allimportant, for we have seen that the marking and sealing work, or the closing of probation, is progressive, and covers a period of time. The plagues fall upon those who have the mark of the beast, that is, upon those person whose probation is closed, because they have fully committed themselves to the powers of evil. But while they fall upon individuals whose probation is closed, they fall before the probation of all the world is closed, that is, before all have taken the final step that commits them wholly to evil. They fall for the purpose of so revealing god’s truth and his wrath against sin, as to help those who are deciding, to decide aright. Satan, the Bible says, will be working with all power and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness, so that, if it were possible, he would deceive the very elect. Under these circumstances, if God wrought only with the silent power of the truth, some honest souls, whose intellects have not been trained to quickly recognize and appreciate the truth, might be deceived. God will not permit this, He will set

his hand a second time to deliver his people. He will manifest himself openly and mightily, as of old. The Son of God, the divine Word, will be in the temple during the plagues, for after in the temple during the plagues, for after the pouring out of the seventh vial his voice is heard out of the temple from the throne, that is, from the inner apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, saying “It is done”. After the sixth plague is poured out, this solemn warning is given, “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” All will admit that this is speaking of the garments of divine righteousness, with which the redeemed will be clothed. Then there is danger that this garment may be lost at that time, else why this solemn warning? But if the garment of righteousness can be lost after six plagues have been poured out, then it can also be gained; for at the same time that the Lord says, “ He that is righteous, let him be righteous still,” he says also, “He that is filthy, let him be filthy still.” Therefore probation is not closed after the sixth plague is poured out. “And he gathereth them into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” It is under this plague that the wicked are gathered for the great battle. Joel

describes this same gathering thus: “Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heather, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heather round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” Here it is seen that when they are gathered here, under the sixth plague, instead of their cases all having been decided long before, they are right now in the valley of decision, where they must make their choice at once. How appropriate, then, the warning to watch, lest the heavenly garment be lost. The prophet Zephaniah, speaking of this gathering of the wicked who are without shame, of, as one translator puts it, without desire of repentance, says: “Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord comes upon you, before the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you.” Then he speaks of the righteous with an admonition much like that in Revelation about the garments of righteousness: “Seek ye the Lord,

all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.” Here this gathering, which is under the sixth plague, is plainly declared to be before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, as it is before the fierce anger of the Lord against sin, which under the seventh plague destroys the unrepentant sinner from the earth. (George Fifield, God is Love, Ch. 23) Some Adventists are going to be uncomfortable with the above because Fifield appears to directly contradict the writings of Ellen White that probation closes first and then the plagues are poured out. (See, for example, her statement below.) But, let’s keep reading. She has more to say on the plagues, the Battle of Armageddon, and the close of probation. Again, the author has not been able to reconcile all of these. But friends, we need to study them out without prejudging the issue or each other. Here is her first statement that some believe leaves no possible room for salvation after the plagues begin to fall: It was impossible for the plagues to be poured out while Jesus officiated in the sanctuary; but as His work there is finished, and His intercession closes, there is nothing to stay the wrath of God, and it breaks with fury upon the shelterless head of the guilty sinner, who has slighted salvation and hated reproof. EW 280.

Notice in the above sentence and following, Ellen White says it was not possible for the plagues to fall while Christ was in the ‘sanctuary’. But she says, ‘as . . . His intercession closes’, which may suggest that while His intercession is closing and while He is still in the sanctuary, the plagues begin to fall. So we have a statement that some see as proof that probation for all is closed at the beginning of the plagues, on closer reading may say differently. That the plagues begin to fall as the intercession of Christ closes is also implied in the next few sentences in the same statement. She again leaves room for the plagues to fall while He finishes his ministry not only in the Most Holy place but also before the golden altar in the Holy Place. In that fearful time, after the close of Jesus' mediation, the saints were living in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor. Every case was decided, every jewel numbered. Jesus tarried a moment in the outer apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, and the sins which had been confessed while He was in the most holy place were placed upon Satan, the originator of sin, who must suffer their punishment. Then I saw Jesus lay off His priestly attire and clothe Himself with His most kingly robes. {EW 280} This latter statement is worth close investigation. She was shown that every person’s case was decided in the Holiest, that everyone was sealed by that ministry, but that His intercession continued for a brief time there and in the outer apartment when the sins that

had been confessed while He was in the Holiest were placed on Satan. The plagues apparently begin to fall “as His work . . . closes.” Ellen White makes a number of other statements that also appear to disagree with our position that probation is completely closed when the first plague falls. Many of these deal with the Battle of Armageddon that occurs in the seventh plague which she links in a group of statements to the parable of the ten virgins and the Loud Cry. Here are some of them: I saw that none could share the "refreshing," unless they obtain the victory over every besetment, over pride, selfishness, love of the world, and over every wrong word and action. We should, therefore, be drawing nearer and nearer to the Lord, and be earnestly seeking that preparation necessary to enable us to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. Let all remember that God is holy, and that none but holy beings can ever dwell in His presence. {CET 113.1} The angel, the mighty angel from heaven, is to lighten the earth with his glory, while he cries mightily with a loud voice, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen" (Rev. 18:2). Oh, how I wish the church to arise and shine because the glory of the Lord has risen upon her. What can we not do in God if every human agency is doing its very utmost! "Without Me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5). We would lose faith and courage in the

conflict if we were not sustained by the power of God. Every form of evil is to spring into intense activity. Evil angels unite their powers with evil men, and as they have been in constant conflict and attained an experience in the best modes of deception and battle, and have been strengthening for centuries, they will not yield the last great final contest without a desperate struggle. All the world will be on one side or the other of the question. The battle of Armageddon will be fought, and that day must find none of us sleeping. Wide-awake we must be, as wise virgins having oil in our vessels with our lamps. What is this? Grace, Grace. {14MR 286.3} The power of the Holy Ghost must be upon us, and the Captain of the Lord's host will stand at the head of the angels of heaven to direct the battle. Solemn events before us are yet to transpire. Trumpet after trumpet is to be sounded, vial after vial poured out one after another upon the inhabitants of the earth. {14MR 287.1} We are [to] think how heaven regards these events, and to be in harmony with the transactions going on in heaven in preparing a people to stand in this, the day of the Lord, and having done all to stand [Eph. 6:13]. Let the light and power of the sunbeams of righteousness enter into the soul. [Rev. 19:1-6, quoted.] {14MR 288.2}

We need to study the pouring out of the seventh vial. The powers of evil will not yield up the conflict without a struggle. But Providence has a part to act in the battle of Armageddon. When the earth is lighted with the glory of the angel of Revelation eighteen, the religious elements, good and evil, will awake from slumber, and the armies of the living God will take the field. {Mar 257.1} The last quote above is probably the plainest, directly linking the Battle of Armageddon to the latter rain. Given the above, we as Adventists need to ask ourselves, what is the true order of events at the close of probation and what is the connection between Armageddon and the latter rain? Notice in the 16th and 18th chapter of Revelation that Babylon isn't judged and destroyed until the seventh plague. Notice the parallel to Armageddon in the sixth plague of Rev 16 and the description of the sixth trumpet in Rev 10 and 11. These appear to be aspects of the same event, the latter rain. This conclusion of mine is tentative like much of the above but the evidence continues to accumulate. I’m hoping others will join in studying these things. The church now more than ever needs students of prophecy who are willing to allow the inspired writings, all of them, to speak. I presented the above quotes on Armageddon to an internet prophecy forum and here is one response: Mark, I reread the quotes you posted and I did not see where

she said some would receive the seal of God after the plagues begin to fall. How could they? Jesus ceases His intercession in heaven and then the plagues are poured out. No one can be saved without Jesus' intercession. The above is an example of an individual using one inspired statement to overrule another. The gentleman is right that noone can be saved without the intercession of Christ. But the question we’re addressing is when does the intercession of Christ cease – at the falling of the first plague or sometime shortly afterward? This author doesn’t have a complete answer, but I’d suggest the reader consider that probation may close progressively, as taught by the parable of the ten virgins: It may close first for the unwise virgins and then for the world. Here are two inspired statements along those lines: “I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful and were looking to the time of "refreshing" and the "latter rain" to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord and to live in His sight. Oh, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a holy God. Those who refuse to be hewed by the prophets and fail to purify their souls in obeying the whole truth, and who are willing to believe that their condition is far better than it really is, will come up to the time of the falling of the plagues, and then see that they needed to be hewed and squared

for the building. But there will be no time then to do it and no Mediator to plead their cause before the Father. EW 71.” The above statement by Ellen White and some of her others appear to say probation is closed for everyone at the falling of the first plague. But notice what she says in the following statement: “The time of God's destructive judgments is the time of mercy for those who have no opportunity to learn what is truth. Tenderly will the Lord look upon them. His heart of mercy is touched; His hand is still stretched out to save, while the door is closed to those who would not enter. Large numbers will be admitted who in these last days hear the truth for the first time.--Letter 103, June 3, 190.” This picture of a progressive closing of probation, on the surface, appears to contradict other statements in Early Writings but we can be confident that there is an underlying harmony whether we see it or not. We may never be able to reconcile all inspired statements fully. But let’s not let any fall to the ground. And before leaving the topic, notice also that a progressive closing of probation applies to those who reject truth, but a progressive closing of probation applies in a different way to the saints. Whereas probation closes earlier for those who have rejected truth than for those who have never heard the truth before, for the final generation, the saints must be grounded in the truth and washed in the blood of the Lamb in order to receive the latter rain. This is the times of

refreshing, the final sealing time, when the sins of the repentant of all generations are blotted out and the living saints are prepared for the final test of loyalty to God. At the end of the latter rain period God’s people are required to choose between the laws of men and the Sabbath and the law of God. It is when the church shows her loyalty to God and fidelity to the truth in this final test that the church is finally and fully sealed. Silence in Heaven and Glory Filling the Temple Some point to the glory of God filling the temple in heaven so that no man can enter while the plagues are poured out as evidence that there is no intercession during the plagues. On the surface that seems to be a reasonable conclusion. But what do the inspired writings say? Speaking of the offering of incense Ellen White comments: “In the offering of incense the priest was brought more directly into the presence of God than in any other act of the daily ministration. As the inner veil of the sanctuary did not extend to the top of the building, the glory of God, which was manifested above the mercy seat, was partially visible from the first apartment. When the priest offered incense before the Lord, he looked toward the ark; and as the cloud of incense arose, the divine glory descended upon the mercy seat and filled the most holy place, and often so filled both apartments that the priest was obliged to retire to the door of

the tabernacle. As in that typical service the priest looked by faith to the mercy seat which he could not see, so the people of God are now to direct their prayers to Christ, their great high priest, who, unseen by human vision, is pleading in their behalf in the sanctuary above. In the three descriptions of the earthly sanctuaries in Scripture – the tabernacle, Solomon’s temple and Ezekiel’s temple the glory of God fills them so that noone can enter when they are first set up and the priesthood is sanctified and ordained for service. Besides the Day of Atonement, these are the occasions where no-one is ministering in the holy place of the temple. So we should be asking, what type applies to the scene just before the plagues begin to fall when smoke fills the temple and no one can enter until they end – the dedication and ordination scenes of the ancient service or the typical Day of Atonement, or both? I suggest both apply and here’s why: In the dedications and ordination services we have a picture of the end time church putting its house in order. Through contrition and repentance, meekness and humility, the church seeks God with an undivided heart and becomes qualified in character to represent Him in the final loud cry message. His glory fills the temple of their souls. There’s no longer room for earthly elements to deface His image in them. They are clothed with the righteousness of Christ and the postLaodocean, Spirit-filled church is readied to make her final conquest. It is when God’s people come in to line that

Christ will finally take the seven sealed book: And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four [and] twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. Rev 5 When Christ takes the seven sealed book, the end time scenario is set in motion and it’s at this time that the end time message, ‘the hour of his judgment is come’ is given. When the plagues are poured out that message will have an effect that it otherwise could never have had. Recall Ellen White’s statements lumping the seals, trumpets and plagues together. All of them appear to run parallel. All are introduced by scenes of intense intercession. All are typified by the Day of Atonement where the cloud of incense ascends from the hand of the High Priest as He goes into the Holiest, shut in by the glory of God while no man is permitted in the temple. Ezekiel 10 runs parallel to Ezekiel 1-3 and Isaiah 6. We saw above that Ellen White places these chapters before the close of probation. In Isaiah 6 as in Revelation 15 the glory of God fills the temple. In both of their visions Isaiah and Ezekiel see fire taken from off the altar. In both cases we have a picture of

the final judgment hour message being proclaimed with power. Isaiah’s lips are anointed with that fire to cleanse him and his speech and in his cleansing his message of repentance and judgment is empower. He, like us, is commissioned to give his message until “the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate”. Isaiah 6:11. What we have then in Revelation 15 is the anti-type of the ordination of the priesthood and the inauguration of the tabernacle for service as that service typifies the judgment of the living. The time when no one is in the temple is a most solemn time, but it isn’t a time when intercession ceases. It is when the glory of God fills the temple that the priesthood is ordained and commissioned. Sinful man is not in the temple at this time, but Christ is there as the Captain of the host commissioning His men and women of valor, as he commissioned Isaiah, for the final conflict. How long is that commission to last? “Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate”. Isaiah 6:11. Regarding the Day of Atonement, we have the same message that Fifield has summarized well: The judgment hour message is given while Christ is in the Holiest but no man is allowed within the sanctuary until the investigative judgment of the living is over. Like the ancient Hebrews, spiritual Israel is to afflict their souls in the inner court, not in the Holiest. True, their faith reaches into the Holiest, but they remain in the inner court and no one enters the temple while the final atoning work is moving forward.

This sealing work during the latter rain has its parallel in the ancient ordination service of Israel’s priesthood. According to the prophecy of Ezekiel it is those who sigh and cry for the abominations done in the church who are sealed during the atonement and who are qualified and empowered by the third angel. The plagues mark the beginning of the judgment of the living for the world. But, for Adventists and for all the saints who know Christ is in the Holiest, the judgment of the living is now. For the world the judgment of the living can’t begin until clear evidence is presented that the court of God has convened. But for the church, the judgment is now: The grand judgment is taking place, and has been going on for some time. Now the Lord says, Measure the temple and the worshipers thereof. Remember when you are walking the streets about your business, God is measuring you; when you are attending your household duties, when you engage in conversation, God is measuring you. Remember that your words and actions are being daguerreotyped [photographed] in the books of heaven, as the face is reproduced by the artist on the polished plate. . . . {7BC 972.1} Here is the work going on, measuring the temple and its worshipers to see who will stand in the last day. Those who stand fast shall have an abundant entrance into the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. When we are doing our work

remember there is One that is watching the spirit in which we are doing it. Shall we not bring the Saviour into our everyday lives, into our secular work and domestic duties? Then in the name of God we want to leave behind everything that is not necessary, all gossiping or unprofitable visiting, and present ourselves as servants of the living God (MS 4, 1888). {7BC 972.2} The timing of the above statement is significant. It was made in 1888 when the loud cry of the third angel had already begun. For Adventists, the judgment of the living is now and has been underway since 1844. Some may claim that since the church did not receive the 1888 message as it should, this statement does not apply. To those who take that position I’d urge them to consider I Peter 4:17. I sound above like I’m teaching rather than making a call to study but I mean to present these thoughts to my brothers and sisters in the hope of stimulating thoughtful, intense study.

The Abomination of Desolation and the Daily Regarding the passages in Daniel that refer to the abomination of desolation and the daily, Christ, when he was here on earth underscored the importance of studying these particular prophecies. Out of all the many prophecies in the Old Testament, these are the only ones that Christ singled out as being essential

for those living at the end of time to read and understand. 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. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Matthew 24:15-20. Ellen White, also urges us to study and understand the warning regarding the daily and the abomination of desolation in Daniel. For several years I thought that Ellen White endorsed the interpretation of the daily that was held at the time of the Great Disappointment by the Millerite Adventists. She makes a statement that appears to endorse their views. But she also makes clear statements saying she had no light on the subject and that we should study it out. A century later, the two main views in the church are still the Millerite view that the daily is Paganism – the ‘old view’ – and those who hold that the ‘daily’ is the ministry of Christ – the ‘new view’. Heidi Heikes makes a good case that the old view was not endorsed by Ellen White as some claim; that her statements have been taken out of context. However, the new view is also an interpretation she appears to reject because she held that the word ‘sacrifice’ was incorrect. The main problem with the new view is not theological. I’m in agreement with

those who say that the ministry of Christ was subverted in the main body of Christendom during the dark ages. That view is well supported by other prophecies in Daniel and throughout scripture. My concern is that we may overlook what the daily refers to if the subversion or trampling of Christ’s ministry is separately addressed within the prophecies. Applying the ‘daily’ to something that’s separately addressed could remove a crucial key that God has given us to know where we stand when the events being described occur in the future. Briefly I believe that the key is this: I think that the simplest way to understand the daily or continual, is to contrast it with the abomination of desolation. Inspiration says the daily or ‘continual’ is removed and then replaced by the abomination of desolation. What is the abomination of desolation but the enforcement of Sunday worship? What does the abomination replace? Sabbath worship. The continual sign of true worship of the Creator, Sabbath worship, is replaced by the abomination of worshipping the created, especially the Sun. Inspiration supports the Sabbath as the continual or perpetual sign of true worship. The patriarchs honored it. Israel was commanded to remember it as a perpetual sign of their covenant relationship with God. And the prophet Isaiah closes his book with the assurance that in the new earth the Sabbath will be perpetually loved and honored. The Sabbath is the perpetual seal of salvation. This would be another good topic for discussion.

The Little Horn On a different but related topic, I believe that the little horn of Daniel 7 is depicted more broadly in Revelation 13 than our current understanding, Catholicism, allows, and that this is an area that needs more study. (See Ellen White quote below.) Revelation 13 contains a total of three beasts or antichrists. No doubt Catholicism is the controlling element of the first. But the story continues and the first beast appears to be eclipsed by the lamb-like beast and finally by the image beast that is given a life of its own. Regarding this final beast, the scripture says that it looks like the first beast of the papacy but it is quite distinct from it and more importantly, this last beast, rather than the first beast, dominates and oppresses the world until, as Babylon, it is judged in Revelation 17 and 18. Adventism’s almost exclusive focus on Catholicism seems to ignore some of the imagery of Revelation 13. It would be good to take a closer look at it. There is need of a much closer study of the word of God; especially should Daniel and the Revelation have attention as never before in the history of our work. We may have less to say in some lines, in regard to the Roman power and the papacy, but we should call attention to what the prophets and apostles have written under the inspiration of the Spirit of God..--Letter 57, 1896. {CW 65.1} Day/Day Applications of the Prophecies Some thought leaders in the church are now putting the 42 months or three and a

half years of prophecy in the future. This should be looked at carefully as well. The main objections I’ve seen to this are 1) that future applications mix symbolic language, the beasts for example, with literal numbers referring to time. Dr. Colin Standish believes it is not right to use a literal number with a symbol; that the number must be symbolic just as the symbol is. 2) He also believes it’s wrong to use a method of interpretation that the Jesuits have used effectively to deceive many Protestants. Let’s study these issues. In my view, if the 42 months of Revelation 13 appear to occur after the mortal wound is healed in the future, we should be careful to not reject this interpretation without scriptural support, even if it appears to conflict with Ellen White’s counsel against future time setting. We do not want to let one inspired source over-rule another. Again, the most simple, literal reading of inspiration is to be preferred. Ezekiel’s Temple. In the Old Testament, the Mosaic service is only one of three major descriptions of the sanctuary. It is true that the Mosaic description is the first description, and it is longest description. But there are two other important descriptions. The second description, of Solomon’s temple, is in I Kings 5 & 6 and II Chronicles 2 to 7. And the third description, which, like the Mosaic description, is very detailed, is in Ezekiel 40 to 48. All three descriptions of these structures and their services are similar. But there are significant differences between them as well.

For example, the fall Day of Atonement, a single day service in the Mosaic model, is replaced in Ezekiel's temple with a spring cleansing ritual that spans one week. Ezekiel 45:18-20. To Adventists there are large implications to such a change. The ancient Mosaic Day of Atonement service, especially its timing, is central to our understanding of God’s leading in our denominational history, events surrounding 1844, and the present high priestly ministry of Christ. The reasons for the change will be commented on briefly below. But, this begs the question; Why has Adventism neglected the study of this? Slothfulness appears to be a factor. Ossification another. But fear and worldly mindedness may be the main culprits. Regarding the former, fear, on the surface Ezekiel’s temple appears to overthrow both the importance of 1844 and the inspiration of Ellen White. Rather than giving this a thorough investigation, we have turned a blind eye as we’ve done in many other areas. The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 4 at pages 715 - 717 summarizes the three main opinions on Ezekiel’s temple held by other Protestant churches which suggest a non-literal interpretation. Our commentary rejects all of the major Protestant views. Instead, the commentary authors opine that this vision should be taken literally because God intended it to be built by Israel if they had remained faithful. But the commentators themselves also note two or three significant problems with a literal interpretation. First, the vision of Ezekiel’s temple was given

several years after Solomon’s temple had been destroyed but before the temple was rebuilt. Yet, when the temple was eventually rebuilt under the direction and approval of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, Solomon’s pattern was followed, not Ezekiel's. This is known from scripture and other ancient Jewish writings that show that the layout and service ritual of the second temple followed the Mosaic laws as modified by King David, and not the pattern of Ezekiel’s temple. The second objection to a literal application is that the fresh water spring described in Ezekiel’s temple that flows miraculously from inside the sanctuary points us to a non-literal interpretation. The fact that the water in this river is able to make salt water fresh confirms that this is no ordinary water, but instead is a symbol of the miraculous regenerative power of the Holy Spirit. The commentators acknowledge this. To these objections to the literal interpretation we could add that under this vision the twelve tribes return from captivity and the land of Israel is redistributed among them, an impossible event once the ten northern tribes had been absorbed and assimilated into the heathen nations that had taken them captive. And finally, the new name given to Jerusalem “The Lord is There” in chapter 48, points to a prophetic application. The Lord is There is an epitaph that has its counterpart in the name The Lord Our Righteousness, both of which point us to the gathering of spiritual rather than literal Israel.

“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. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.” Jeremiah 23:4-8. But literal or symbolic, there is nothing in scripture that’s superfluous. That is especially true of this particularly detailed description in Ezekiel of the temple and its service. After all, isn’t the temple the throne and residence of God and the temple a template of the plan of salvation and the Divine revelation of the priesthood of Christ? This temple, whether literal or symbolic, calls for careful study.

But assuming for now that Ezekiel’s temple is symbolic/prophetic and was not a blue print for an earthly physical temple, I suggest it applies best to the period of the latter rain and the judgment of the living. Evidence for this includes the fact that although the laws for this temple regulating the sin, burnt and peace offerings have been modified, (a fascinating study) these offerings are still required; probation is still open. But if that is so, does the vision which, as we have seen above, has a spring rather than a fall cleansing ritual, refute our belief in the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary since 1844? On examining Ezekiel’s temple vision more closely we will find that the opposite is true - Ezekiel’s temple emphatically points us to the message of the third angel, righteousness by faith, the Sabbath, and the New Covenant ministry of Christ in the Investigative Judgment. Divine providence has juxtaposed Ezekiel’s description of the temple with Ezekiel's apocalyptic prophecies which are outlined in the immediately preceding chapters, an indication his temple is connected to and supplements the Apocalypse. Notice also that the verses that immediately precede Ezekiel’s temple vision contain a promise of the gathering of spiritual Israel and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, an indication that the temple vision is also connected to the latter rain era. Ezekiel 39:28 and 29. Finally, Ezekiel’s temple vision is interspersed with three admonitions to pay careful attention to each detail and to relate it faithfully to the people. Ezekiel 40:4, 43:10-12, and 44:5-8. Here are the passages:

Ez 40:4 And the man said unto me, Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thine heart upon all that I shall show thee; for to the intent that I might show [them] unto thee [art] thou brought hither: declare all that thou seest to the house of Israel. Ez 43:10-12 Thou son of man, show the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: andlet them measure the pattern. 11 And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, show them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write [it] in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them. 12 This [is] the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about [shall be] most holy. Behold, this [is] the law of the house. Ez 44:5 And the Lord said unto me, Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the Lord, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of

the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary. The sanctuary is the gospel in type, and if it is a powerful revelation of the gospel, then it will be accompanied by the testimony of the Spirit and ultimately by the latter rain. Those who are familiar with the writings of Ellen White may remember that she saw that the mighty angel of Revelation 18 pointed directly to the heavenly sanctuary as he lightened the earth with his glory. EW pages 254256. Clearly, God's people will become more intelligent at the end of time in regard to the sanctuary. One of the main keys that will unlock for us some of the treasures of knowledge regarding the mediatorial work of Christ and the cooperation of all heaven in that work is a comparative study of the three temples and their services. It is significant that Ezekiel's temple, like Revelation, contains a three fold injunction to study and understand its message. Here is another quote from Ellen White on the importance of a clearer apocalyptic/sanctuary view: “When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience. They will be given such glimpses of the heavenly gates that heart and mind will be impressed with the character that all must develop in order to realize the blessedness which is to be the reward of the pure in heart.” Testimonies to Ministers Page 114. Notice the similarity of this quote to the angel’s instruction to Ezekiel above. Ellen White, like Ezekiel, states that the divine descriptions of the “heavenly gates” or sanctuary will impress us with a true sense of our own sins and

deficiencies of character. This is the same message as given by the angel to Ezekiel: “Thou son of man, show the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.” Ezekiel 43:10-12 But isn’t that what we want? Let’s thank God for the opportunities He gives us to seek His grace by a fresh study of the sanctuary. Ezekiel’s temple is like the ‘repeat and expand’ prophecies of Daniel. It’s purpose is to focus our attention especially on the mediatorial work of Christ during the judgment of the living and is full of the assurance of the protecting covering of God during the troubled times ahead that come with blinding force on the world. The people of God are pictured in this vision as being sheltered in His temple, like the Hebrews on the night of their deliverance by the blood on posts and lintel. I would highly recommend a closer study of it.

may be right regarding Daniel 11:40-45 and the fall of communism but question his application of the sixth trumpet to the destruction of the twin towers on 9/11/01 by Islamic terrorists. Personally, I respect Pippenger’s grasp of prophetic topics and his ability to foster interest in them, but I have to disagree with him on both points. This is my opinion but I think it would be helpful to sit down and discuss his views and where he is coming from. Pippenger’s lens for viewing all prophetic interpretation is the long-held Adventist belief that there can be no literal reapplications of the trumpets or seals or any time elements of the prophecies. I empathize with him a great deal. On one hand he can see that the world is on the verge of its final conflict and the return of Christ. He senses the urgency of the situation and the great need of God’s people for prophetic guidance. But he has accepted and bound himself by the view that none of the prophecies, especially their time elements, can be reapplied. Whereas some conservative Adventists allow for the possibility the prophecies could be repeated so long as all time elements are removed, Pippenger is more thorough going. He believes that if a prophecy can’t be repeated in full, it can’t be repeated. In my view that position is better and more consistent than the view that a prophecy can be reapplied with the time elements removed. It seems to me that either a prophecy can be reapplied, all of it, or it can’t. Below we’ll look briefly at some of his views.

Islam in prophecy, The Fall of Communism and 9/11 in Prophecy. General comments. Brother Jeff Pippenger has spent a good part of his life expounding the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, especially Daniel 11:40 to 45 and more recently the sixth trumpet of Revelation 9-11 which he applies to 9/11. No doubt these were important events in world history, but do they fulfill prophecy? Some Adventist bible students have reviewed his material and concluded he

The Fall of Communism Students of prophecy are aware that for the last 120 years most Adventists have accepted Uriah Smith’s interpretation applying the king of the south in the last part of Daniel 11 to atheistic, revolutionary France. Pippenger builds on that view and modifies it by applying the same symbol to atheistic, revolutionary Communism. I respectfully disagree and suggest here that Daniel 11:40 is still future where the conflict between the Kings of the South and North refers to a literal battle(s), possibly the physical side of the Battle of Armageddon, which now appears to be shaping into an East-West conflict. Pippenger in this context interprets the King of North as John Paul II allied with Ronald Regan. In my view, the references in verses 40 to 45 to the King of the North are better applied to the future workings of the image-beast of the second half of Revelation 13 rather than to Regan and the Pope. Adventists agree that the image-beast is the last beast of prophecy. It is through the influence of Protestant America that the image-beast will be erected and worshipped. The ten kings of Revelation 17 are said to give their power to this beast for a short time. Ellen White identifies these ten kings as the Protestant churches of America. What is it that gives its kingdom to this power? Protestantism, a power which, while professing to have the temper and spirit of a lamb and to be allied to Heaven, speaks with the voice of a dragon. It is moved by a power

from beneath. {Mar 187.2} (Letter 232, 1899). {7BC 983.5} 9/11 If Ellen White’s statements on the future application of the seals and trumpets is taken literally, then whether brother Jeff is right or wrong on his application of the sixth trumpet of Rev. 9-11 to 9/11, the main application is still future when all seven trumpets sound and all seven seals are unsealed. Some of his material may be helpful in understanding how that trumpet, the sixth, will unfold. Unfortunately though, in his application of this prophecy to 9/11, Brother Pippenger has begun drawing parallels from sacred history that aren’t always sustained by Scripture. Why does he do that? In my view, it’s not that Pippenger is a poor Bible student. He is a good one. The reason for his parallelisms is because, while his approach doesn’t allow direct, literal reapplications it does allow ‘parallels.’ Pippenger has avoided being branded as a futurist by some, but forged his own unique future applications by ‘parallelisms’. Before joining his ranks, I suggest that a person would want to investigate carefully whether Brother Pippenger’s underlying assumption – no future literal application of time prophecies – is well founded. This is another facet of the issue of how to study prophecy that should be discussed.

The Human and Divine Natures of Christ. As a primer, here are a few thoughts on this topic:

Christ’s taking our sinful nature cannot mean that evil thoughts and actions originated in His own mind. But the same thing is also true of born again believers who are abiding in Jesus. In other words, while we are walking in the Spirit and mind of the new man unholy thoughts and feelings do not, cannot, originate in our mind, that is, our new man mind. In the cases of men and women who are connected to Christ the unholy thoughts and feelings that enter their mind originate with the sinful flesh nature. It is our fallen flesh nature that generates and communicates to our new man mind unholy thoughts and feelings. The same thing was true of Jesus. His human nature was “identical” with our own. “His human nature it did not even angelic powers. It identical with our 129) was created; possess the was human, own.” (3SM

sin. The corrupt thought is to be expelled. Every thought is to be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ. All animal propensities are to be subjected to the higher powers of the soul. The love of God must reign supreme; Christ must occupy an undivided throne. Our bodies are to be regarded as His purchased possession. The members of the body are to become the instruments of righteousness. {AH 127.2} The Trinity. One unfortunate doctrinal development in the church that seems to be alienating many otherwise faithful members is our official adoption of the trinity doctrine. While it may be that some of those who disagree with the current position have their own errors on the topic, it would be so good if we could come together and make a careful review of whether the church was ill-advised in adopting the term trinity to describe our unique view of the Godhead. It isn’t necessary for our entire understanding of the Godhead to be reviewed. We know, for example, that Christ is the Son of God and is eternal with the Father. Christ calls Himself the “I am”, the self-existent, eternal one and in Christ “dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” including the Father’s eternal, limitless nature. John 8:58. Col 2:9. We also know that the Holy Spirit is a person and one of the divine Three. This is why Christ commanded us to baptize in the name of the Spirit.

Jesus always resisted the unholy thoughts and feelings that entered His mind via His fallen flesh nature. So may born again believers who are actively abiding in Jesus. The lower passions have their seat in the body and work through it. The words “flesh” or “fleshly” or “carnal lusts” embrace the lower, corrupt nature; the flesh of itself cannot act contrary to the will of God. We are commanded to crucify the flesh, with the affections and lusts. How shall we do it? Shall we inflict pain on the body? No; but put to death the temptation to

But is it wise to use an unscriptural term which connotes more than the above and which muddies the roles of each person of the Godhead as revealed in scripture? And perhaps we can learn something from our staunchly non-Trinitarian brothers and sisters. For example, last week one of their number pointed out to me that there is no scripture specifically directing us to worship the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead, then I would think that, as a Divine being, He is worthy of worship. But the brother’s point is well taken – there is no direct command in scripture to worship the Spirit. That is something to keep in mind. To close, regarding the term trinity, I have this final question: Wouldn’t it be better to abandon that bewildering, manmade term and simply let scripture speak for itself?

There you have my summary of current thought trends. The main, overriding issue though, in my view, is what we do with ‘conflicting’ or ‘difficult’ inspired statements. If we could come to closer unity on that one issue alone we would be more in harmony with one another, and not only that, there would also be greater freedom among us. We want more of both not simply because freedom and harmony are the essence of the atmosphere of Heaven but more than this so that the prayer of Christ for unity within His body is fully realized and His most ardent prayer to the Father answered. Will we not do our part to fulfill the prayer of our Elder Brother?

Mark Shipowick Mark.Shipowick@gmail.com. Phone 304 660-8530. To the period just prior to the appearing of the Son of man, the prophecies of Scripture point, and here their warnings and threatenings preeminently apply. The prophetic periods of Daniel, extending to the very eve of the great consummation, throw a flood of light upon events then to transpire. The book of Revelation is also replete with warning and instruction for the last generation. The beloved John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, portrays the fearful and thrilling scenes connected with the close of earth's history, and presents the duties and

dangers of God's people. None need remain in ignorance, none need be unprepared for the coming of the day of God.” The Review and Herald, September 25, 1883.

Notes on the trumpets: Revelation 8 Does this describe an end of corporate atonement.

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