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TABLE OF CONTENTS
p 1 CHAPTER I - Recent Adventist Literature on Luke 21:24
p 6 CHAPTER II - Luke 21:24 in Context
p 9 CHAPTER III - An Analysis of Luke 21:24-25
p 14 CHAPTER IV - "The Revelation of the Son of Man"
p 18 CHAPTER V - "This Generation Shall Not Pass Away"
p 21 CHAPTER VI - Data of History and 1967
p 25 CHAPTER VII - Data of History and 1980
p 29 CHAPTER VIII -Suppose
p 34 CHAPTER IX - Some History
p 40 CHAPTER X - The Church - 1967-1980
APPENDIXES
p 51

A - Ezekiel 9 and Luke 21:24 As Seen in Testimonies for the Church

p 53 B - What Will the Final Witness Be?
p 54 C - LaRondelle and Luke 21:24
p 56 D - Historical Parallels
  EXHIBITS
p 58 Exhibit 1
p 59 Exhibit 2
p 60 Exhibit 3
p 61 Exhibit 4a
p 62 Exhibit 4b
p 63 Exhibit 5
p 64 Exhibit 6
p 65 Exhibit 7 -- page 1 & 2
p 67 Exhibit 8
p 68 Exhibit 9
p 69 Exhibit 10

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Bible Study Guides
- William H. Grotheer

ADVENTIST LAYMEN'S
FOUNDATION OF CANADA (ALF)

Publisher of the
"Watchman, What of the Night?" (WWN)... More Info
William H. Grotheer, Editor of Research & Publication for the ALF

- 1970s
- 1980s
- 1990s
- 2000s

SHORT STUDIES - William H. Grotheer -
"Another Comforter", study on the Holy Spirit
1976 a Letter and a Reply: - SDA General Conference warning against WWN.
Further Background Information on Zaire -General Conference pays Government to keep church there.
From a WWN letter to a reader: RE: Lakes of Fire - 2 lakes of fire.
Trademark of the name Seventh-day Adventist [Perez Court Case] - US District Court Case - GC of SDA vs.R. Perez, and others [Franchize of name "SDA" not to be used outside of denominational bounds.]

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Manuscripts

Interpretative History of the Doctrine of the Incarnation as Taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, An
- William H. Grotheer

End Time Line Re-Surveyed Parts 1 & 2 - Adventist Layman's Foundation

Excerpts - Legal Documents
- EEOC vs PPPA - Adventist Laymen's Foundation

Holy Flesh Movement 1899-1901, The - William H. Grotheer

Hour and the End is Striking at You, The - William H. Grotheer

In the Form of a Slave
- William H. Grotheer

Jerusalem In Bible Prophecy
- William H. Grotheer

Key Doctrinal Comparisons - Statements of Belief 1872-1980
- William H. Grotheer

Pope Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader
- William H. Grotheer

Sacred Trust BETRAYED!, The - William H. Grotheer

Seal of God
 - William H. Grotheer

Seventh-day Adventist Evangelical Conferences of 1955-1956
 - William H. Grotheer

SIGN of the END of TIME, The - William H. Grotheer

STEPS to ROME
- William H. Grotheer

Times of the Gentiles Fulfilled, The - A Study in Depth of Luke 21:24
- William H. Grotheer

Remembering
Elder William H. Grotheer

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BOOKS OF THE BIBLE

Song of Solomon - Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary

Ten Commandments - as Compared in the New International Version & the King James Version & the Hebrew Interlinear

OTHER BOOKS, MANUSCRIPTS & ARTICLES:

Additional Various Studies --
"Saving Faith" - Dr. E. J. Waggoner
"What is Man" The Gospel in Creation - "The Gospel in Creation"
"A Convicting Jewish Witness", study on the Godhead - David L. Cooper D.D.

Bible As History - Werner Keller

Canons of the Bible, The - Raymond A. Cutts

Daniel and the Revelation - Uriah Smith

Facts of Faith - Christian Edwardson

Individuality in Religion - Alonzo T. Jones

"Is the Bible Inspired or Expired?" - J. J. Williamson

Letters to the Churches - M. L. Andreasen

Place of the Bible In Education, The - Alonzo T. Jones

Sabbath, The - M. L. Andreasen

Sanctuary Service, The
- M. L. Andreasen

So Much In Common - WCC/SDA

Spiritual Gifts. The Great Controversy, between Christ and His Angels, and Satan and his Angels - Ellen G. White

Under Which Banner? - Jon A. Vannoy

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The Times
of
the Gentiles
Fulfilled

 

A Study in Depth of Luke 21:24

William H. Grotheer 1984

 

p 1 --

CHAPTER I

RECENT ADVENTIST LITERATURE ON LUKE 21:24

The 1952 Bible Conference

In 1952 a Bible Conference was held in the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church, from September 1 - 13. Various theological and prophecy studies were presented at the Conference. One topic, which was assigned to Arthur S. Maxwell, then Editor of The Signs of the Times, was "The Imminence of Christ's Second Coming." In the presentation of his study, Maxwell listed three areas of unfulfilled prophecy - developments in the United States, developments in Palestine, and the Seven Last Plagues.

The "developments in Palestine" concerned the fulfillment of Luke 21:24. Keep in perspective the time of this Bible Conference - 1952. Just four years prior in 1948, the Jewish state of Israel had been re-established. In the light of this background, observe carefully Maxwell's penetrating observations. He said:

"The recent dramatic restoration of the nation of Israel has focused the attention of mankind once more on Palestine. Many Christians have mistakenly permitted themselves to believe that the return of thousands of unconverted Jews to their native land is a fulfillment of the promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not realizing that, since the death of the Son of God on Calvary, there is no salvation, nor any eternal homeland, except for those who believe in Him and accept His sacrifice.

"However, there is one prophecy concerning Palestine that we should all be watching with special care. Said Jesus, 'Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.' Luke 21:24.

"For nineteen centuries Jerusalem has been trodden down of the Gentiles. It is still trodden down of the Gentiles. Despite the amazing prowess of the Israeli troops, the ancient city of Jerusalem is still in Arab hands. A Mohammedan mosque still stands upon the site of Solomon's Temple. Victorious as were the forces of Israel in every other part of Palestine, they failed to take the most dazzling objective of all. Mysteriously they were held back from achieving this most cherished goal, this culminating triumph, as by an unseen hand.

"What could be the reason? Only that the times of the Gentiles are not yet fulfilled.

"Centuries ago Israel was not permitted to enter Palestine for a certain time because 'the iniquity of the Amorites' was 'not yet full' (Gen. 15:16); that is, not until the probationary time allotted to the Amorites had run out.

"It may well be that the same principle applies today, on a wider scale. If so, then Jerusalem is to remain trodden down by Gentiles till the probationary

p 2 -- time of all Gentiles has run out. If this be correct, how much hinges upon the fate of this ancient city and the power that occupies it!" Our Firm Foundation, Vol. 2, pp. 230-231 (See Exhibit #1)

In 1952, the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was alerted in regard to the prophecy of Jesus concerning Jerusalem. While the studies given at the Bible Conference did not carry the "imprimatur" of the General Conference, the theologians of the Church, and the Administrative leaders of the world field were all present at this conference. It is interesting to note that Dr. Rebok, secretary of the Bible Conference, had this to say in his "Introductory" remarks in Volume I of the Conference report. He wrote:

"The General Conference as a body is in no way responsible for the studies presented. They are not an official pronouncement of the church. They do, however, represent the best thinking on the part of sincere, honest, earnest, devoted, loyal men - Seventh-day Adventists, first, last, and always - who have tried to give expression to our conception of the great truths believed, held, and taught by Seventh-day Adventists generally in all parts of the earth." (Ibid., Vol. I, p. 13)

Elder W. H. Branson, president of the General Conference at the time, in a report that appeared earlier in The Ministry (July, 1952), enumerated who were to be in attendance at the Bible Conference. He wrote:

"According to the action of the Autumn Council, the personnel of the conference will consist of the following individuals:
'The members of the General Conference Committee who will be in attendance at the 1952 Biennial Council, and others who may be invited to the council:
'From North America:
'a. Two Bible teachers from each senior college, to be chosen by their respective boards.
'b. One Bible teacher from each junior college, to be chosen by their respective boards.
'c. One to as many evangelists from each union conference as there are local conferences in the union, to be appointed by the respective union committees.
'd. The editors of our leading periodicals.
'e. The book editors of our leading publishing houses.
'f.  Representatives from the Theological Seminary.
'g. From the overseas divisions: a minimum of three in addition to the president of the field." (Ibid., p. 14)

It was before such a gathering of the leadership of the Church that Elder Arthur S. Maxwell called attention to the significance of Luke 21:24. I was there as a delegate under section "c" and can tell you what happened in my case, and I do not believe that my response was much different than the others present.. I heard, but did not perceive, because of the conditioning we had received over the years in regard to the Jews returning to Palestine.

p 3 --

The Twentieth Century Bible Course

It is well known that The Twentieth Century. Bible Course is a means used by the Church to gain converts. It represents the teachings of the Church in regard to interpretation of Bible prophecy and points of theology. In Lesson 5, captioned - "Time Running Out" - the prophecy of Luke 21:24 is declared to be fulfilled in our day. The second question reads:            "What sign did Jesus give that would indicate when the destruction of the city [of Jerusalem] was at hand?" Luke 21:20 is given as the Bible answer. Then this note follows:

"The city of Jerusalem was surrounded by the Roman armies in A. D. 66. After a period of time the army withdrew and the Christians, recognizing the sign given by Christ (Matthew 24:15-20) fled the city and did not return. In A. D. 69 the Romans returned, and destroyed the city in A. D. 70. Nearly a million people died or were sold into slavery at that time, but not a single Christian died. They watched for the sign Christ had given and obeyed His instructions. The temple was burned to the ground as Christ had foretold (even though the soldiers had orders not to destroy it). Christ foresaw the future and outlined it to His followers so that they could be saved." (Emphasis theirs)

The third question reads: "How long did Christ say that Jerusalem would be trodden down?" Luke 21:24 is given as the place in the Bible to find the answer. Then this note follows:

"Old Jerusalem and the temple site has been occupied largely by the Gentile nations until 1967 when the Jews took possession of it in a 'lightning victory.' This portion of Christ's prophecy was fulfilled in our day!" (See Exhibit #2)

Sabbath School Lesson Helps

"The Witness of Jesus" was the subject of the second Quarter's Lessons (1980) of the Adult Division of the Sabbath School. Dr. Jean Zurcher not only authored these lessons, but his book, Christ of the Revelation, was translated into English as a "Helps" for the Quarter's lessons. In this book was noted the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy of Luke 21:24. Dr. Zurcher wrote:

"We shall not linger over the numerous signs given by Jesus in this discourse. [Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21] One only will occupy our attention, the one that especially deals with time. Even in our days it constitutes a critical point in the political world: Jerusalem. In fact, Jerusalem is both the beginning and culmination of Jesus' prophecy. For Him, as for Daniel the prophet, the history of nations, as that of the people of Israel, is written in the setting of the tragic history of Jerusalem. The latter is the sign by which the fate of the former is determined. So having predicted the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews "into all nations," Jesus declared, 'Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled' (Luke 21:24).

"Few today would deny the precision of this prophecy. The destruction of

p 4 -- Jerusalem by the Roman armies in AD 70 is a historical fact commemorated on the triumphal arch of Titus in Rome. The dispersion of the Jews among all nations is still a reality. As for Jerusalem, nineteen centuries of history should provide adequate proof that it has been 'trodden down of the Gentiles' - first by the Romans, then by the Arabs, next by different Christian nations during the Crusades, fourth by the Turks up to the end of the first world war, then by the British, and finally by the Jordanians until the Six-Day War in June, 1967.

"This prophecy of Jesus was a sign to the Christians of the Apostolic Church, who lived at the beginning of the times of the Gentiles, and it remains a sign for us who live at the end of the times of the Gentiles. Again, we must know how to discern its meaning.

"It is not a matter of our seeing in the return of the Jews to Palestine and in the Israeli conquest of Jerusalem a sign of the approaching conversion of the Jews, as so many Christians think. Nothing in Jesus' prophecy allows such an interpretation. However, if we cannot see that Jerusalem is an exceptional sign of the times, then might we not be placing ourselves in the same position as the religious leaders who knew how to 'discern the face of the sky' but could not discern the obvious 'signs of the times'?

"In order for us to understand Jesus' statement, three questions need answering. First, what exactly does the expression 'times of the Gentiles' mean? Then, what should be understood by the fulfillment of the times of the Gentiles? Finally, what connection is there between the retaking of Jerusalem by the Jews and the fulfillment of the times of the Gentiles?

"As I understand Biblical language, the times of the Gentiles is the period set aside by God for the evangelization of the heathen nations. It is not the time needed for them to be converted to Christianity, as some think, but for them to hear the gospel. It is in this sense that Jesus said: 'This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come' (Matthew 24:14).

"I believe that the times of the Gentiles began in AD 34, when the prophetic seventy weeks that God set aside for the people of Israel ended... And if I have understood the prediction of Jesus properly, this time will be 'fulfilled' when Jerusalem shall cease to 'be trodden down of the Gentiles.' The fact that since 1967 Gentiles no longer have occupied Jerusalem means, therefore, that we are now living at the end of 'the times of the Gentiles.'

"Jerusalem here constitutes the last sign of the times by which the Lord shows us that the history of this world is coming to its climax and that the restoration of all things is at hand." (pp. 71-72) See Exhibit #3.

In 1952, the ministry of the church was alerted to the coming fulfillment of Luke 21:24. In 1980, the whole Sabbath School was given an opportunity to know that the prophecy had been fulfilled. During this same period, those studying the doctrines and teachings of the church, were told - "This portion of Christ's prophecy was fulfilled in our day!" With this background, as found in Adventist literature on prophecy,   1  it should be irrelevant to spend time in proving the validity of the fulfillment of Luke 21:24 to Seventh-day Adventists. We should rather be seeking to discover the significance of this already fulfilled prophecy to our own work and mission. We should know and appreciate what Jesus was

p 5 -- giving in prophetic legacy to His followers. We should also become aware of the large amount of historical data which adds significance to the dates which mark the fulfillment of Luke 21:24.

In the coming chapters we shall discuss and give that data, then we shall devote the last part of the study as to the meaning of Luke 21:24 for the work and mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

1 -- In 1974 a series of three Bible Conferences were held in the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. At each of these conferences, Dr. Herbert E. Douglass presented a topic on "The Unique Contribution of Adventist Eschatology." In these presentations, he stated - "Adventists do not see theological importance in the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948 or the annexation of Old Jerusalem in 1967." (p. 6) Then in his book - The End - published by the Pacific Press in 1979, he makes the same assertion, however, changing the emphasis to a prophetic significance. In the book Douglass stated - "Although Seventh-day Adventists are premillennialists, they do not see prophetic importance in the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948, or the annexation of Old Jerusalem in 1967..." (p. 48).

It should be noted that in the above chapter, none of the sources cited refer to the date, 1948, as having any prophetic importance. However, both Dr. Zurcher, and the author of the 20th Century Bible Lesson saw definite significance in the retaking of Old Jerusalem by the Israelis in 1967. In fact, Zurcher emphasizes the point that if one cannot see "that Jerusalem is an exceptional sign of the times," he could be placing himself in the same category with the "religious leaders who knew how to 'discern the face of the sky' but could not discern the obvious 'signs of the times.'"

Douglass is not listed among the delegates to the 1952 Bible Conference, and so perhaps was totally unaware of Maxwell's presentation. The English translation of Zurcher's book came one year after the Pacific Press had published his book on The End. However, Douglass' assertions are given without support or documentation. They do indicate an awareness of the prophecy and what could be its fulfillment. One is left with the impression that Douglass is most reluctant to come to grips with this prophecy because of the significance its fulfillment has for his own church's mission.

The same Pacific Press that published Douglass' book - The End - in 1979, published some eighty years earlier in 1898, a book by James Edson White, The Coming King. In this book, Edson White had written:

"We also read that 'Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.' Luke 21:24. Jerusalem has never again come into the possession of the Jews, and will not until 'the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.' This will be when the work of the gospel is finished." (p. 98) See Exhibit #5

p 6 --

CHAPTER II

LUKE 21:24 IN CONTEXT

Part of Jesus' Prophetic Legacy to His Church

The prophecy of Luke 21:24 is a part of a prophetic outline which Jesus gave to His disciples on the Mount of Olives, Tuesday evening prior to His great sacrifice on Calvary. What Jesus said is recorded in all three of the Synoptic Gospels - Matthew 24; Mark 13; and Luke 21.

On Monday, after His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem the day before, He cleansed the temple the second time. He charged the Jewish leadership with making His house "a den of thieves." (Matt. 21:13) On Tuesday, upon His return to the Temple, He was met and challenged by the chief priests and elders of the people as to His authority to do what He had done. (Matt. 21:23) After putting them to silence, Jesus spoke in the hearing of the multitude, the most scathing denunciation of the religious leaders of Israel they had ever heard. (Matt. 23: 1-36) Then He declared - "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate... and Jesus went out." (Matt. 23:38, 24:1)

This pronouncement and act of Jesus shocked the disciples. Hurriedly following Him from the Temple precincts, they sought to bring Him to reality as they perceived reality to be. One of the disciples - speaking the sentiments of them all - said to Jesus: "Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!" (Mark 13:1) What were they saying? "Jesus, you spoke too hastily. Look here; See these great buildings. Look at the massive rocks which have been used in the building of the Temple. How can You say, that this Temple, the center of all our religious worship is now desolate? Is it going to be set aside?" Jesus, not backing down one inch said in response - "Seest thou these things? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be cast down." (Mark 13:2) This stunned them. Silence reigned during the entire walk from the Temple to the Mount of Olives where they would spend the night.

While sitting together on the Mount, four of the disciples ventured to ask Jesus, "When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matt. 24:3) To the disciples, if the Temple was going to be destroyed, that had to be the end of the world. So to them, it was just

p 7 -- one question. In answering their question, Jesus mingled the signs marking the two events. But in giving general signs which would apply to both events, Jesus outlined three specific signs which would mark major epochs from the time of the Apostles to His second coming. Note these events as given in Luke 21:

1) "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which be in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the country enter thereinto." (Luke 21:20-21)

2) "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars." (Luke 21:25) ["The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven." - Matt. 24:29]

3) "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21:24)

It is important to understand that these three prophetic signs were not given in symbolism. They were given in literal language so that when the event would occur, one could look back upon the historical happening and say - "Here, see what has taken place. This fulfills what Jesus said." Then the one recognizing the event could ask further - "Since this has happened, what is Jesus saying to me now?"

By applying the prophetic principle of literalism to the prophecy of Jesus, as found in Luke 21:24, we are but following a principle used by our spiritual forefathers. In A Symposium of Biblical Hermeneutics, Don F. Neufeld presented a section on "Biblical Interpretation in the Advent Movement." One principle which was paramount to these students of the Bible was - "The Bible must be interpreted according to the plain, obvious, and literal import unless a figure of speech is employed." Then Neufeld comments - "This rule was a recurring theme at a time when critics attempted to demolish the positions taken by the Adventists." (p. 119)

Some Definitions

!t should be clearly understood in the study of Luke 21:24, that when Jerusalem, or the nation of Israel, is referred to in its present historical setting, it is not that the city of Jerusalem is to be considered as the holy city of God, or the nation of Israel, once more His chosen people. This relationship is forever past. The times of the Jewish nation as the people of God ended in 34 AD in harmony with prophecy. (Dan. 9:24) However, this fact does not exclude an equally important consideration that events in the history of Jerusalem can still fulfill Bible prophecy. For example, Jerusalem was not the holy city of

p 8 -- God in 70 AD, yet the destruction of the city by Titus did fulfill the prophecy which Jesus gave, and the surrounding of the city by the Roman armies under Cestius in 66 AD was a sign to the Christians to flee Jerusalem.

We find that in the Greek language, the word translated - "Gentiles" - is the same word for "nations" - ta eqnh. In Old Testament times, the inhabited world was divided into two groups - the Gentiles, or nations, and the people of God, which was Israel. In the New Testament, it is again the nations, or the Gentiles, and the New Israel or the Church. As God committed His message of grace as revealed in the Sanctuary service to Israel to give to the nations, so also to the Church, God committed the message of Christ, the Word made flesh - the New Tabernacle - to be given to the nations. But in the giving of the outline of events which were to serve as signs to His church, Jesus connected two of those signs with historical events in the history of old Jerusalem.

Because of this parallel relationship between Israel of old, and the New Israel of God, it is mandatory that we clearly understand the use and meaning of the term, "Jerusalem," in prophecy and history. In both the Old and New Testaments, when Jerusalem is referred to, it is primarily in a purely historical setting - a very literal city. Such is the case in the prophecy of Luke 21:24. The same city that was surrounded by Roman armies is the same city which is to be trodden down of the Gentiles till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. The term, "Jerusalem," is also used to represent the Church. (Ezekiel 9) It is so used in the Writings of Ellen G. White in connection with Ezekiel 9. (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 3, p. 267) Paul uses the term to refer to "the mother of us all," but in so doing assures us that this "mother" is above, and is not an earthly institution. (Gal. 4:26; Heb. 12:22)

It also needs to be kept in mind that even though the question about the end times arose over a discussion as to what was to take place in regard to the Temple, Jesus did not say that the Temple was to be trodden down of the Gentiles till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. He clearly indicated that the same city which was to be surrounded by the Roman armies was to be the sign by which Christians could tell when the times of the Gentiles would be fulfilled.

p 9 --

CHAPTER III

AN ANALYSIS OF LUKE 21:24

"The Distress of Nations"

Verses 24 and 25 of Luke 21 are closely associated together. The King James Version tends to obscure this close relationship. In both verses, the English words, "Gentiles" and "nations" are translated from the same Greek word. Using the word - nations - in each instance, these verses would read - "And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the nations (eqnwn), until the times of the nations (eqnwn) be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon earth distress of nations (eqnwn), with perplexity." In other words, the ending of "the times of the Gentiles," or nations is closely associated with "the distress of nations, with perplexity."

The Greek word for "distress" is sunoch which means "imprisoned, in the narrows, or straits." The added phrase - "with perplexity" (en aporia ) conveys the picture of nations unable to meet the demands placed on them financially, or the inability to solve the monetary stress. (See The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament by Moulton & Milligan)

It is an interesting fact that the same year which marked the closing of the times of the Gentiles - 1967 - is also the year which marked the beginning of the financial woes of the nations. In a Special Issue (July 4, 1974) of his Myers' Finance & Energy, C. V. Myers stated: [Gordon Tether in the London Financial Times (June 28, 1974) noted Myers as being "the well-known Canadian financial expert."]:

 "It has now been established over the course of the last seven years - since 1967 - that there is nothing in this world the international monetary authorities can do to stem the advance of gold, or to stem the collapse of inflation - or to avoid the enormous deflation - the global liquidity crunch - and the resulting depressions. Don't doubt this. The monetary morons have demonstrated it to you time and again. Fail! Fail! Fail!

"For seven years things have gone from bad to worse; the US $ has been devalued; inflation has undermined world confidence in money; and now the bankruptcies come." (pp. 2-3)

Again in 1975, Myers wrote:

"From all that I have observed of international [monetary] conferences since

p 10 -- 1967 I do not believe that any conference is going to come up with any workable answer. It seems that the situation will just continue to deteriorate.

"Only six months ago we heard every monetary authority in the world shouting, 'either we lick inflation or we are doomed. This is the battle of the century.'

"President Ford said, we have a war, and we intend to fight this war against inflation. The way he is fighting the war against inflation is to add a $70 to $100 billion deficit to the U.S. budget. What happened to all the dire predictions of the result of inflation?

"All brains are stunned. They see no answer - so now they begin to think no answer is necessary. Or at least they have decided there is no use thinking about it at all. Therefore I can only see as the end product, as I have repeatedly said in these letters - and especially after attending the big world meetings of the IMF - the answer is a total collapse.

"Either the countries will have to go back to a system which will stabilize the money, such as gold - or the social order, not only of the United States, but all of the industrial world, will disintegrate, and from this enormous confusion new governments will arise after much suffering and bloodshed, starvation and horror. Those governments would be dictatorships.

"Recently D'Estaing observed: 'The world is unhappy. It is unhappy because it doesn't know where it is going, and because it senses that if it knew, it would discover that it was heading for disaster.... The crisis the world knows today will be a long one. It is not a passing difficulty. It is actually the recognition of permanent change."' (Ibid., March 11, 1975, pp. 1-2)

In the May 24, 1976, issue of his financial letter, Myers again cites the year 1967 as the base year for the beginning of the monetary perplexities which have gripped the nations since then. He wrote - "An enormous war has been going on between the forces of paper and the forces of gold since 1967 when SDR's were first proposed." Then he lists a "score card" in the battle between gold and the paper Special Drawing Rights:

"(1) The IMF recommendation of Special Drawing Rights in 1967.
(2) The IMF official acceptance of SDR's, 1969, and the creation of 9.5 billion SDR's during 1970, 1971, and 1972.
(3) Nixon's break with gold, August, 1971, and the end of the world monetary system as devised at Bretton Woods.
(4) The IMF decision to sell 25 million ounces of gold at 16 auctions over the next two years - thus depleting the international monetary system of important gold reserves." (p. 1. See Exhibit #4)

In a letter dated, April 23, 1976, Myers had noted that "Gold is to money what a DEITY is to religion. Without a deity the moral code disappears. Without gold the morality of money disappears: Morality, because money loses its store of value, and the man who sweated and worked has lost the fruits of his labor, and that is immoral." In Newsweek (June 19, 1978, p. 21) in an article on the tax revolt, the writer noted - "Since 1967, the value of the dollar has declined 47.6 per cent, and the average American working family is now barely better off

p 11 -- in real dollars than it was a decade ago." The connection between the sign Jesus gave to mark the conclusion of the times of the Gentiles or nations, and the beginning of the "distress of nations" is inescapable. The fact that we are living in this very time should cause us to do some very serious thinking.

The Word - "Until"

Twenty times in his Gospel, and in the book of Acts, Luke uses the Greek word, acri or acriV, which is translated, "until." However, in Luke 21:24, and in two places in Acts, the word is combined with the relative, ou. To understand the force of this word combination as far as Luke 21:24 is concerned, we need to take time to observe its use in the book of Acts.

The first instance of its use in Acts is in Chapter 7. The verse in context reads:

"But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, till ( acri ou) another king arose, which knew not Joseph. The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live. In which time Moses was born." (17-20a)

It should be observed that these verses indicate the "time" when the promise "drew nigh" and the children of Israel "grew and multiplied in Egypt, till a king arose" who with his counselors initiated a genocide program. This program did not begin immediately and it covered a period of time. In fact, Moses was born in that "time." Here the idiom is used to indicate a short definable period of time.

We find the same indication in the second use of the idiom in Acts 27:33. Paul was on his way to Rome. Adverse weather conditions had made the voyage extremely hazardous. To Paul it was revealed that they would be "cast upon a certain island." All on board had fasted for fourteen days, and when it appeared they were approaching land, Paul advised that they should "take some food." Luke writes that Paul gave this counsel to all on board "while (acri ou) the day was coming on." From the time the first faint light on the eastern horizon heralds the coming dawn until the sun arises and dispels all darkness, the day is coming on - a brief, but definable period of time.

In 1967, the armies of Israel recaptured the Old City of Jerusalem, yet the capitol remained at Tel Aviv. In 1980, the Knesset declared Old Jerusalem to be the Capitol of Israel. The period which marked the closing of the times of

p 12 -- the Gentiles can be thus clearly defined. (See Appendix C)

The "Times" of the Gentiles

Not only does Luke present the prophecy of Jesus concerning the fate of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., in the discourse as given on the Mount of Olives; but also in describing the Triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem a few days prior, he quotes Jesus as saying concerning the city - "Thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee around, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee: and they shall not leave within thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time (kairon) of thy visitation." (Luke 19:43-44) This picture is merely an enlargement of what Luke quotes Jesus as saying on the Mount of Olives - "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies" (21:20) - making it a sign for His followers. In other words, when Jerusalem was destroyed it had had its day of grace - its time of visitation.

It is in this setting then, that Luke reports the words of Jesus stating that the Gentiles would also have an allotted time (kairoi ), and that a certain event would mark the closing of that period. Even as in the case of the Jewish nation, it does not mean that all the Gentiles will be converted, even as all the Jews were not "converted" to Jesus the Messiah. The force of the concept is the same as stated in Matthew - "This gospel of the kingdom shall be world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (24:14) The sign then that will mark the time when the witness has been preached "unto all nations (Gentiles)" has to do with events connected with Jerusalem. In this case it is the time when the city is no longer under the control of the Gentiles.

There is a distinct parallel in the closing of the times of the Jewish nation and the closing of the times of the Gentiles. According to the prophecy given to Daniel, "seventy" weeks of years were set aside for them. In the final week, Jesus came with His last appeal to the chosen people. During this ministry, He cleansed the Temple twice but was unable to change the course of the religious leadership. The mid-point of that final week was marked by the crucifixion of Jesus the Messiah. It closed with the stoning of Stephen in 34 AD Yet time lingered for the individual Jew who worshiped in the synagogues throughout the Roman Empire. Here they had the opportunity to decide whether they would accept the decision of their hierarchy concerning Jesus as the Messiah, or whether they would accept the proclamation of the Gospel that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed

p 13 -- the fulfillment of the promises given them under the covenant. Then followed the literal destruction of Jerusalem, in whose fate, "we may behold the doom of a world that has rejected God's mercy and trampled upon His law." (GC, p. 36) Jesus gave us a prophecy by which we may know when "the time of visitation" is completed for the nations. Then is to follow the "wrath" of God poured out without mercy. We stand between these two events.

"Trodden Down"

The word translated, "trodden down," is a present participle of the Greek verb, patew. The force of the present tense is that Jerusalem was to be continuously trodden down till the times of the Gentiles would be filled full. This has been true. From 70 AD till 1967, only Gentile powers controlled Jerusalem.

The Greek verb,patew, according to Thayer's Lexicon, means "to tread under foot, trample on, i.e. treat with insult and contempt: to desecrate the holy city by devastation and outrage." (art. patew) Arndt & Gingrich in their lexicon (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 640) defines the verb thus: "tread, trample of the undisciplined swarming of a victorious army through a conquered city. Its heedlessness, which acknowledges no limits, causes patew to take on the concepts 'mistreat, abuse.'" These definitions describe exactly what Jesus said would be the fate of the city in "the days of vengeance, that all things that are written may be fulfilled." (Luke 21:22) This resultant condition was to continue till the times of the Gentiles would be fulfilled.

Moulton & Milligan cite contemporary use of this Greek root word in The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament. One source reads - "to tread (pathsai) the crops in the sand." The substantive use was noted in the clause - "One who treads (paththV) grapes with their feet." (p. 498)

- + -

From a detailed study of Luke 21:24-25, the conclusion cannot be avoided that we have seen fulfilled before our very eyes a prophecy of Jesus, even as our spiritual forefathers saw the fulfillment of the other signs which Jesus gave - "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars." (Luke 21:25) To the significance of these signs, we shall devote the next chapter.

p 14 --

CHAPTER IV

"THE REVELATION OF THE SON OF MAN"

Signs in the Heavens

Luke quoted Jesus as saying - "There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars." (Luke 21:25) In discussing the sign which would warn His followers of the approaching destruction of Jerusalem, Jesus had called their attention to the book of Daniel, the prophet. (Matt. 24:15) Also in the same book is given knowledge of a judgment to precede Jesus' "coming and the end of the world." (Matt 24:3) Daniel was shown the scenes in the heavens when "the judgment was set and the books were opened." (Dan. 7:9-10) In another vision, the hour when this Judgment would commence was stated in prophetic time: "Unto two thousand and three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." (Dan. 8:14) This time period would reach to 1844. Prior to the culmination of this prophetic period, the signs in the heavens foretold by Jesus did occur.

On May 19, 1780, the sun was darkened and the moon did not give its light. (Matt. 24:29) This extraordinary darkness began about 10 o'clock in the morning, and continued until midnight. Covering the whole of the New England States, the reports of this sign which Jesus gave are to be found in the records and historical journals of that area. Observers near Boston reported that by 11:30 a.m., the darkness had become so intense that "in a room with three windows, twenty-four panes each, all open toward the southeast and south, large print could not be read by persons with good eyes." (Boston Gazette and Country Journal, May 29, 1780) This same report noted that "in the time of greatest darkness some of the dunghill fowls went to their roost. Cocks crowed in answer to one another as they commonly do at night. Woodcocks, which are night birds, whistled as they do only in the dark. Frogs peeped. In short, there was the appearance of midnight at noon day." (Emphasis theirs)

"The darkness the following evening was probably as gross as ever has been observed since the Almighty fiat gave birth to light," so wrote Dr. Samuel Tenney in a letter dated, Exeter, N.H., December, 1785. (Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Vol. I, 1792) Tenney continued by saying:

p 15 -- "I could not help conceiving at the time, that if every luminous body in the universe had been shrouded in impenetrable shades, or struck out of existence, the darkness could not have been more complete. A sheet of white paper held within a few inches of the eyes was equally invisible with the blackest velvet."

Fifty-three years after the Dark Day, the stars of heaven fell (Matt. 24:29):

"On the night of November 12-13, 1833, a tempest of falling stars broke over the earth. North America bore the brunt of the pelting. From the Gulf of Mexico to Halifax, until daylight with some difficulty put an end to the display, the sky was scored in every direction with shining tracks and illuminated with majestic fireballs." (Agnes M. Clerke, History of Astronomy in the Nineteenth Century, p. 328)

The significance of these events were noted by Ellen G. White in the Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. IV, in the chapter preceding the account of William Miller. She wrote:

"While unconscious of their condition and their peril, the church and the world were rapidly approaching the most solemn and momentous period of earth's history, - the period of the revelation of the Son of man. Already had the signs which Christ himself had promised, - the sun clothed in darkness by day and the moon by night, - declared his coming near." (p. 195)

The Period of the Revelation of the Son of man

This period of time - not a single event - is marked by three manifestations of Jesus as the Son of man. At the time "the judgment was set, and the books opened," Daniel also beheld, in his continuing night visions, "one like the Son of man" coming "with the clouds of heaven" "to the Ancient of days," there to be given "dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him." (Dan. 7:13-14) The Son of man, as High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek is involved in the judgment. (Heb. 9:27-28) When on earth, He told the caviling Jews that "the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." He also told them why - "The Father... hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man." (John 5:22, 26-27)

Since all must appear "before the judgment seat of Christ" in the record of their life's deeds (II Cor. 5:10), it is assuring to know that One who has been touched with "the feeling of our infirmities" will plead our case and render the decision. (Heb. 4:15) Wonderful is the promise given that he who heeds the word of the Son of man, and believes on Him who had sent Him - the Ancient of days - "shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:24) This understanding of the revelation of the Son of man at

p 16 -- the beginning of the Period, and His continuing ministration through the Period is essential that we might properly relate to the other two manifestations of the Son of man.

Our hope of glory - when the kingdom received by the Son of man from the Ancient of days is "given to the people of the saints of the most High" (Dan. 7:27) - is dependent upon Christ being formed within us; in other words, "Christ in you the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27) All who "come unto God by Him, Jesus is able" to save "to the uttermost" "seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them." (Heb. 7:25) This "uttermost" revelation of God in man, as He was manifest in the Son of man, results from Christ's final atonement in the Most Holy place of the Heavenly sanctuary. Then "the earnest expectation" for which the whole creation has been waiting will be realized in "the manifestation of the sons of God." (Rom. 8:19)

Isaiah relates this manifestation of the sons of God with the signs in the heavens. He wrote - "The stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine." (Isa. 13:10) Then the prophet pictures the time when God will "shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, in the day of His fierce anger." (13:13) The final wrath of God is the Seven Last Plagues which come following the close of probation when the Son of man has completed His intercession. (Rev. 15:1, 8) However, between the signs in the heavens, and the final wrath of the Lord, Isaiah pictures the determination of God - "I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir." (Isa. 13:12) This also is what Paul tells us is to be in connection with "the manifestation of the sons of God," for he wrote - "For whom [God] did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son." (Rom. 8:29)

With the fulfillment of His work as the Son of man before the Ancient of days, and the completion of His revelation in the 144,000 resultant from His final atonement, the long awaited "hope of the ages" will transpire. The Son of man will come in the clouds of heaven to reap the harvest of earth. Picturing this scene after describing the messages of the Three Angels, John wrote:

"And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp

p 17 -- sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in Thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for Thee to reap: for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped." (Rev. 14:14-16)

The "period of the revelation of the Son of man" commenced in 1844, and will continue through His second coming in the clouds of heaven. He is manifest as the Son of man in His work as High Priest in the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary; He is revealed as the Son of man in the lives of those in whom His final atonement is accomplished; and He comes as the Son of man to take into His everlasting kingdom those given to Him by the Ancient of days.

The Period in Diagram
1. 1844 - Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14; John 5:22, 27
2. Close of probation - Isaiah 13:10-13; Romans 8:19, 29-30; Colossians 1:27
3. 2nd Advent - Revelation 14:14-16


NOTE: Jesus in giving the signs in the heavens - the sun and moon darkened; the stars falling - was directing attention to events that would transpire in heaven. The final activity of God in the resolution of the sin problem was to begin. Where sin began, the final atonement would be made. Jesus' other sign concerned an event on earth by which men could know the distress of nations had begun. The final scenes of the sin drama on earth would commence. Thus the last two major signs Jesus gave to His disciples on the slopes of Olivet directed the attention of men first to the beginning of the final ministry in heaven, and then to the events to occur on earth that man might know the heavenly ministry was drawing to a close.

p 18 --

CHAPTER V

"THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS AWAY"

Jesus outlined three major events which were to take place between His first and second coming. These events tower like mountain peaks above the general course of human history, as that history relates to those who believe in Him. First, as we have noted, Jerusalem was to be surrounded by Roman armies. This would be the sign to Christians to flee the city and its environs. Then came the signs in the heavens - the sun darkened, the moon not giving its light, and the stars falling from the heaven. This marked the period of the revelation of the Son of man - first in Judgment, then His coming as King of kings. Finally Jerusalem was to be freed from the domination of the Gentiles, marking the closing of the times of the Gentiles, and the beginning of the distress of nations. We have yet to look closely to what this means to us who are living in the very time of this fulfilled prophecy.

After completing the enumeration of these signs, and certain details concerning them, Jesus stated to His disciples:

"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away." (Luke 21:32-33)

Each generation in which these major events occurred has perceived itself as living in the end of time. This does not exempt the generation living prior to the destruction of Jerusalem.

The Early Church

When Paul wrote his first epistle to the church at Thessalonica, he described the coming of Christ and the first resurrection, (I Thess. 4:16-18) While they were to be comforted by the thought of the resurrection, they were also warned to take heed that the day not overtake them "as a thief." (5:4) These new converts became convinced that the second coming of Christ would be in their day. Paul then had to write a second letter telling them that certain things were first to take place before the event. (II Thess. 2:3) Nevertheless, he noted that " the mystery of iniquity doth already work." (2:7) The message comes

p 19 -- through - "Not just now, but not too far away."

In his prison epistle to the Church at Colosse, Paul told them, "not to be moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature under heaven." (Col. 1:23) That hope of the gospel included what Paul in his letter to Titus called "that blessed hope, [even] the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." (2:13) In describing the extent of the proclamation - "to every creature which is under heaven" - Paul is alluding in concept to the words of Jesus when giving the signs of His coming. Jesus said the gospel of the kingdom would "be preached as a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matt. 24:14) Paul said this had been done. The essay to the Hebrews begins with the concept that God "in these last days" has spoken to us in a Son. (1:2) The early Christians thought of themselves as living in the end times - and it was the end times for the Jewish nation of that era.

The fact dare not be overlooked that the Christians who saw the event which Jesus had prophesied for that generation - Jerusalem surrounded by alien armies - lived to see the event fulfilled in every detail as prophesied. It did not pass away until all things were fulfilled in regard to the destruction of Jerusalem. The Roman armies under Cestius surrounded the city in 66 A.D., and then suddenly withdrew. In a little less than four years - 70 A.D. - the Roman legions returned under Titus and captured the city. Jesus words did not pass away; they were fulfilled.

A Diagram of This Period

The Second Major Sign

The second major sign was to be in the heavens. These signs in the sun, moon, and stars occurred during the period of 1780-1833. Following this period there was a world-wide stir concerning the coming Christ. The followers of William Miller and finally Miller himself proclaimed that Christ would come October 22, 1844. Joseph Wolff heralded the message of Christ's soon return throughout the Near East. Other voices were raised in England, and in Sweden, young

p 20 -- children moved by the Holy Spirit proclaimed the soon return of Jesus.

Again the fact comes through - the generation who saw the signs in the heavens, and who heard the proclamation that they were living in what was perceived to be the end times, also lived to hear the message concerning the event to which the signs given by Jesus directed mankind - His ministry in the heavens, the beginning of the period of the revelation of the Son of man.

A Diagram of This Period

The Final Sign

We now come to the final major event which Jesus declared would be the sign when the times of the Gentiles would be fulfilled. This has happened in this generation before the eyes of the whole world. Thus this generation which has seen fulfilled the final event of Jesus prophecy will not pass away till all be fulfilled. We have reached the end of time.

A Diagram of This Period

As we next turn our attention to the data which surrounds the closing time of the Gentiles, we shall see that all prophecies concerning the end are moving to their final climax. Well would it be for us, to carefully ponder the words of Jesus, who after telling the disciples that the generation which saw these things would not pass away till all be fulfilled, said:

"And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares, for as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.

"Watch ye therefore, and pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:34-36)

p 21 --

CHAPTER VI

DATA OF HISTORY AND 1967

In 1975, a section of The Readers Digest was devoted to articles on Jerusalem and peace in the Middle East. One of these was captioned - "Jerusalem - Too Holy For Its Own Good." The author - David Reed - wrote:

"A stone wall, rising starkly in the Walled City, figures strongly in Israel's adamancy over not wanting to give up East Jerusalem. This is the Western Wall, a fragment of the western rampart of the platform on which the First Temple of King Solomon and the Second Temple of King Herod stood. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70, when the Jews were driven into diaspora, or dispersion. Throughout 19 centuries of diaspora, the wall or the memory of it, served as a spiritual beacon and a symbol of a lost homeland to Jews the world over. During this time, Passover and Yom Kippur services ended with the incantation in Hebrew: 'Next year in Jerusalem.' ...

"When the British withdrew from Palestine in 1948, the Jews and the Arabs fought for the control of the state, the Jews managed to hold West Jerusalem and proclaimed it the capitol of the new state of Israel.

"Yet, tantalizingly, the Western Wall remained just beyond reach. Jordon annexed East Jerusalem as well as the West Bank of the River Jordon, a territory that surrounds the city on three sides. For 19 years, a no-man's-land separated the two sectors, and the Jordanians refused to allow Jews to worship at the Western Wall.

"When war came again in 1967, Israel urged Jordan's King Hussein to stay out of it, promising, in return, not to attack Jordon. But, egged on by Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser and other Arabs, Hussein sent artillery shells crashing into West Jerusalem. Israeli soldiers counterattacked, and poured into the Walled City. Their religious fervor was such that many headed directly for the Western Wall, where they paused to pray. For the first time in 19 centuries, the wall was under Jewish control." (p. 132)

This gives concisely the events and Jewish feeling connected with the retaking of Old Jerusalem in 1967. It signalled the first step in the fulfillment of the prophecy of Jesus, and marked the beginning of the closing "times of visitation" for the Gentiles, or nations.

Beyond the actual event which Jesus gave as the sign when the times of the nations would be fulfilled,, a number of other happenings in the religious world occurred which marks 1967 as a significant date.

One is the Catholic Charismatic Movement. "Catholic sociologist Andrew Greely estimates that two million Catholics have attended charismatic meetings." (Christianity Today (CT), June 6, 1975, p. 45) This same journal reports:

p 22 -- "Pentecost Sunday, 1975, will live in church history as the day when the charismatic movement in the Catholic Church arrived in St. Peter's with full force. During the pontifical mass presided over by Pope Paul VI on May 18, the sound of tongues and charismatic singing filled the massive nave of the ancient mother church of Roman Catholicism. ...

"The conference which in previous years had met at Notre Dame University, convened in Rome in conjunction with the Holy Year proclaimed by Pope Paul. The theme was the same as the Holy Year - 'Renewal and Reconciliation.' Participants came from over sixty nations representing more than one million Catholic charismatics in several thousand prayer groups. Several Protestant Pentecostal and charismatic leaders also attended as 'official ecumenical observers.'

"Conference sessions were held on the outskirts of Rome in a large tent over the catacombs of St. Callixtus, a meeting and burial place for early Christian martyrs. ...

"On Pentecost Sunday, the conference moved to St. Peter's for the mass celebrated by Pope Paul. Although the charismatics were a minority in the throngs who filled the church and the square outside, their presence was apparent as the mass progressed. Spontaneous singing of the charismatic anthem 'Alleluia' competed with the pipe organ at the beginning and the end of the service. At the consecration of the host, a soft murmur of 'singing in the Spirit' (chanting in harmony in glossolalia) filled the cathedral. While the Pope continued the mass, hands were raised in praise, and at one point, a priest fell to his knees and asked to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Several persons laid hands on him and prayed quietly. ...

"The climax of the conference came at St. Peter's on Monday, May 19, in a mass conducted by Cardinal Suenens, who was assisted by twelve bishops and more than 800 priests. This was the first specifically charismatic service ever held in St. Peter's. Suenens delivered his sermon in typical Pentecostal style. The cathedral reverberated with the shouted responses to his 'hallelujahs.' Such Pentecostal choruses as 'Spirit of the Living God' and 'Alleluia' were sung with hands upraised. Several times the well-filled basilica resounded with singing in the Spirit. ...

"At the close of the mass, Pope Paul arrived to give special greetings to the conferees. As he entered, the congregation broke into cheers and applause. Most of his message was given in French, with short summaries in Spanish and English. ...

"At the end of his prepared text, the Pope broke into impromptu remarks in his native Italian. Reflecting on his encyclical on joy that was proclaimed the day before, he exhorted the charismatics to share their joy with the world. The conference erupted in applause as the Pope ended with, 'Glory to the Lord, hallelujah!' Before he exited, the Pope embraced and kissed Cardinal Suenens and greeted about twenty leading charismatics. Many wept openly. ...

"According to Catholic theologian Kilian McDonnell of Minnesota, it was a 'triumphant day,' while to Balthasar Fisher of Trier University, Germany, the meeting was 'historical - of enormous importance.' To Protestant Pentecostal spokesman David du Plessis, it was 'the greatest charismatic and ecumenical event in ecclesiastical history.'

"Cardinal Suenens summed up the feelings - and hopes - of many when he declared that by his actions and warm words of approval, 'the Pope opened his arms and heart to the charismatic renewal.'" (Ibid., pp. 45-46)

p 23 -- However the bottom line of this Catholic Charismatic breakthrough in 1975 was reported in CT, June 22, 1973, p. 37:

"On the surface, the big story is still the movement's phenomenal growth. From its beginnings among a handful of mostly young persons at a retreat in 1967 on Duquesne University campus in Pittsburgh, it now encircles the earth."

When one perceives the charismatic movement as a manifestation of the working of the power of Satan, the event at Duquesne University, and the date, 1967, become significant. Here is an outward display of demoniac power in angelic garb moving into the Catholic church, the government of which, prophecy indicates will figure so largely in the final scenes of this world's history. This is not saying that such power has not resided in the Papacy since its inception as indicated in prophecy (Rev. 13:2; II Thess. 2:9), but does serve as a sign heralding the time for such manifestations in the devil's final movement to deceive the world. (Rev. 16:13-14)   1

Turning to another event, we find that 1967 marked the 450th Anniversary of Protestantism. The World Book Encyclopedia made this observation:

"World Protestantism celebrated its 450th anniversary in 1967 and encountered some of its most troublesome issues in its history. Most Protestants consider October 31, 1517, as the symbolic beginning of the Reformation. On that day, Martin Luther issued his Ninety-Five Theses criticizing the Roman Catholic Church and pointing toward a fresh understanding of God's grace. In October, 1967, Protestants gathered - quite often with Roman Catholics - in countries throughout the world, to recall that event." (1968 Year Book, p. 468)

From the same encyclopedia under the topic - "Eastern Influence" - an interesting summary was given of the introduction of Eastern philosophy into Western thinking. The summary stated:

"Finally, news of non-Western religion came to the West in 1967 through the efforts of individuals and groups that might be described as commuters between value systems. The 'hippie' phenomenon, which reached a peak in midsummer, was an example. Hippies turned to Zen Buddhism, the Vedas, the writings of Rabbi Hillel, and the teachings of Jesus, implying that these could provide meaning for a nonviolent generation. The Beatles were the best known of the celebrities who turned to Eastern Religion as they sought 'transcendental meditation' through contact with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, their chosen spiritual leader. Timothy Leary advocated a religion based not only on mind-expanding drugs like LSD, but also on literary resources of Eastern religion." (Ibid., p. 476)

1 -- Revelation pictures Satan under the symbol of a "dragon" or "serpent." (Rev. 12:9; 20:2) In Rev. 16:13-14, the symbol is changed to "like frogs" - an animal which catches it prey by its tongue.

p 24 -- Through the prophet Isaiah, God spoke concerning "the last days" that a people professing His name would prefer a "law" going forth from Jerusalem rather than accepting what He had already proclaimed from Mt. Sinai. This people would be "replenished from the east." (Isa. 2:2-6)

Another happening which marks 1967 is a mix between religious elements and the toy industry. John Godwin in his Occult America describes it thus:

"The year 1967 was a historic milestone for the United States toy industry. In that year Americans ditched their longest-standing favorite among board games, and elevated Ouija boards to its place. Since then approximately ten million of these boards have been sold, making them a $50,000,000 business and assuring that a basic minimum of 20 million Americans have played with them.

"I picked out a fairly random lot of thirty dedicated Ouija players and asked them if they could tell me where the game originated and what the name meant. Most of them, as it turned out, believed that it was a Far Eastern device, its origins lost in antiquity, its title meaning something or other in either Chinese, Hindi, or Korean. One lone individualist held out for Hebrew, another had it on the authority of her card-reading girlfriend that Ouija meant 'spirit' in either Sanskrit or Persian.

"The fact is that the Ouija board was invented and patented in 1892 by one William Fuld of Baltimore, Maryland. At first he and his brother called the contraption Mystifying oracle, but found the label too long and hit on the combination of the French and German word for 'yes' as an alternative. Until 1966 the boards were made exclusively by the Fuld family's Southern Toy Company. Then Parker Brothers - who also manufacture Monopoly - bought the rights. To their astonishment the new acquisition outsold their No. 1 hit from the word go!

"There was of course, a certain amount of sales push behind it. Ads - 'Give One to a Friend' - in magazines, and a crescendo ditty, 'Hey, Ouija, we needja' blasted over various rock-orientated radio stations. There was the war in Vietnam, confirming the pattern noted during both World Wars and Korea that Ouija boards always sell well in wartime. But their current dizzying surge is the result of a totally unexpected market combination. The usual wives, mothers, and sweethearts of service men were joined by millions of teenagers, right down to the thirteen-year-old level, who had never previously shown much interest in these gadgets. And while the involvement of servicemen's relatives had obvious reasons, the sudden enthusiasm of the teeners remains a mystery - even to Parker Brothers." (pp. 271-272)

Even as the charismatic movement with its overtones of Spiritism garbed in angelic light, signals the arrival of the final manifestation of Satanic power to deceive, so also does the emergence of the raw spiritistic Ouija board signal the same thing - the time for the marvelous working of Satan. Both made a dramatic re-birth in the same year that the sign Jesus gave concerning the times of the Gentiles began to be fulfilled - 1967!

p 25 --

CHAPTER VII

DATA OF HISTORY AND 1980

The prophecy of Jesus as recorded in Luke 21:24 indicates that the ending of the times of the Gentiles or nations is a brief but definable period of time. Luke used the idiom - akri ou - translated by our word - "until." (See p. 11) We have focused on events which marked the beginning of the brief period in 1967, now we turn our attention to an event in 1980, which marked the close of this period, and some other events which preceded this date which are also inter-related in the over-all picture of prophecy. There was no way to tell in 1967 just how long this period would be, since we are not dealing with a time prophecy which foretells in advance how much time must elapse till the next event, but with a prophecy which concerns events, so that when the event does occur, we can say - "This is it!"

In 1967 a man had a religious experience which came to effect many lives in the Fall of 1979. Jeffrey Hart in a syndicated column dated May 7, 1976, (Oroville, Ca., Mercury Register) writing on "Carter and Religion" stated:

"'In 1967,' says Carter, 'I had a profound religious experience that changed my life.'"

This obscure, mediocre Governor of Georgia had by 1979 been catapulted into the White House. There on October 6, 1979, President Jimmy Carter welcomed Pope John Paul II with these words:

"I welcome you to the White House the symbolic home of all our people. On behalf of every American of every faith I also welcome you into our nation's heart. God bless you for coming to our country. We are proud to have you here." (RNS, Oct. 8, 1979, p. 1)

Here was a man, a Southern Baptist by confession, and whose religious devotion was such that he taught Sunday school while serving as President of the United States; who in 1967 had such a "profound religious experience" that his life was "changed;" and who now twelve years later reaches across the gulf and clasps hands with the representative of the Papacy. (See Exhibit #6) This was done on behalf of "every American of every faith."

Religious News Service observes that the reception for the Pope was possibly

p 26 -- the largest ever held in the White House. Over 10,000 invitations were issued. At this reception were gathered representatives of all three branches of the American government - executive, legislative, and judicial. "At the conclusion of the reception the pope surprised the audience by saying, 'the pope wants to bless you -- with the permission of the president of the United States.'" (Ibid., p. 2) Carter made no objections, neither did any other officially appointed or elected leader of government. It was stated by Ellen G. White:

"It is at the time of national apostasy, when, acting on the policy of Satan, the rulers of the land will rank themselves on the side of the man of sin - it is then the measure of guilt is full; the national apostasy is the signal for national ruin." (GC Bulletin, Vol. 4, #19, p. 259, April 13, 1891)

You will observe that when "the rulers of the land" - not just the President - rank themselves on "the side of the man of sin," in accordance with the"policy of Satan," that God marks it as "national apostasy." Within weeks, American prestige suffered the most humiliating defeat of its 200 year history - the insult at Tehran - and Carter could do nothing to alter the situation; he was completely ineffective. The blessing of the Pope was turned into a curse.

Another series of events were taking place during the final year of the Carter administration. These events involved Jerusalem. As early as the second session of the United Nations (Nov. 29, 1947), the General Assembly had approved a resolution on Palestine. This resolution was re-affirmed in two following sessions (Dec. 11, 1948; Dec. 9, 1949). On April 14, 1950, the Trusteeship Council approved a "special statute" based on the General Assembly's decisions. This envisaged a setting up of a "corpus separatum" for Jerusalem and the surrounding area, to be administered by the Council. This "territorial internationalization" of Jerusalem was never put into effect due to the 1948 conflict, when Israel was re-born as a nation with the division of the city, and the Arabs retaining control of "Old" Jerusalem. 1967 changed this picture; still the Capital of Israel remained at Tel Aviv.

"'On June 30, 1980, the Charge d'Affaires of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See asked that a Text of the Papal position on Jerusalem as published in Osservatore Romano, be circulated as a document of the Security Council. It was duly done on the orders of the President of the Council as document S/14032. (See Exhibit #7) The Papal position called for putting into effect the "special statute" formulated by the Trusteeship Council in 1950.

Three months earlier, the Egyptian parliament called for the establishment of

p 27 -- Jerusalem as the seat of the Palestine autonomous authority. The government of Israel considered this as a "flagrant, unprovoked interference" in their internal affairs. The Israeli parliament - the Knesset - responded by adopting a Private Member's Bill - Basic Law: Jerusalem - on July 30, 1980. This law declared - "Jerusalem united in its entirety is the capitol of Israel." It is to be "the seat of the President of the State, the Knesset, the Government, and the Supreme Court." (See Exhibit #8)

This action on the part of the Knesset set the limiting date required by the idiomatic expression used in Luke 21:24. In 1967, the Israeli armies re-occupied Jerusalem - the Jerusalem of which Jesus spoke - and the end of the period of the Times of the Gentiles began. In 1980, the entire government of Israel was transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This completed the fulfillment of the times of the Gentiles or nations. If the prophecy of Jesus means anything, it means, at least, the nations of earth are no longer under the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit, and Lucifer is now permitted to work his will in their gathering together for the final confrontation at a place called in the Hebrew tongue - Har Magedon (Har Mo'ed) - Mount of the Congregation. (Rev. 16:16 RV; Isa. 14:13)

Since 1980, events are moving swiftly toward "the battle of the great day of God Almighty." Carter was followed by Ronald Reagan. During this administration, United States has officially recognized the Vatican and exchanged ambassadors. This was done with the aid and counsel of "the voice of Protestantism" - Billy Graham. Church and State noted, based on a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, "that evangelist Billy Graham helped to lay the political groundwork for the U.S.-Holy See diplomatic exchange." The article continued:

"The evangelist was asked by former National Security Advisor William Clark [a Catholic] to assess the reaction of evangelicals to the diplomatic venture. Graham contacted such leaders as Jerry Falwell of the Moral Majority, the Rev. Pat Robinson of the Christian Broadcasting Network, the Rev. Billy Melvin of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Rev. David Hubbard, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, and the Rev. Gilbert Beers of Christianity Today.

"In a seven-page letter last spring, Graham advised that moderate evangelicals would present few problems, especially if the Vatican were recognized purely in a political way and without religious implications. Graham predicted that Falwell would be in a difficult position because his Moral Majority constituency reportedly includes both Catholics and conservative Protestants. The evangelist noted, however, that 'some people (like Jerry Falwell) could be persuaded to keep quiet on the issue.'

"'I honestly don't know what I personally would recommend that the president

p 28 -- do,' Graham wrote. He added that Reagan 'would need to cover his political bases' and bring into the picture 'people who might cause him trouble - Jews, Catholic Bishop's Committee, National Council (of Churches), etc.'" (March, 1984, p. 7)

It should be observed Graham suggested the plan be put forward as a "political" recognition of Vatican State rather than a "religious" recognition of the Holy See. This was to suggest a deception to accomplish a desired end. Less than 110 acres of land is hardly justification for diplomatic recognition by the United States. It was the Papacy which the United States recognized. Both the legislative and executive branches of government affirmed the action, and a possible challenge in the courts will give the judicial branch an opportunity to rule on the Constitutionality of the diplomatic recognition.

The way in which this issue was put through Congress; the almost total and callous disregard for the opposition by both the legislature and executive branches of the U.S. government, should tell us something. No longer are the "angels" holding "the four winds" as was done in every other previous confrontation. The times of the nations are up.

The Papacy has again expressed its policy toward Jerusalem. On Good Friday, April 20, 1984, Pope John Paul II issued an "Apostolic Letter" called Redemptionis Anno. In this letter, he stated - "Jerusalem stands out as a symbol of coming together, or union, and of universal peace for the human family." He called for peace as the fruit of redemption, and because of this peace, it -

"makes Jerusalem the living sign of the great ideal of unity, of brotherhood and of agreements among peoples according to the illuminating words of the Book of Isaiah: 'Many peoples shall come and say: Come let us go up to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.' (Is. 2:3)" (See Exhibit #9)

There remains but one more prophetic sign regarding Jerusalem: It reads:

"And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain (Jerusalem; Dan. 9:16) ; yet he shall come to his end and none shall help him." (Dan. 11:45)

Papal policy indicates that this is its objective and desire. The Word of God indicates that when this happens, the next major event is the close of all human probation: "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people." (Dan. 12:1)

We have arrived at the end. This generation shall not pass away till all things are fulfilled.

p 29 --

CHAPTER VIII

SUPPOSE

A.D. 66

Suppose you had been living in Jerusalem in 66 A.D. You were a Christian. As a tradesman you were providing a modest but adequate living for your family. You were aware of the prophecy Jesus had given concerning the coming destruction of Jerusalem, having heard it from the lips of the Apostles. Furthermore, it was also a matter of record in the Gospels already written, and you had heard it read frequently in the Christian assembly. But no Roman or alien armies had as yet surrounded the city. There were rumors, but Jesus had not said to rely upon rumors.

Then one morning you awakened to the fact that the Roman armies had surrounded the city, and all the gates were closed. How were you to leave the city? It appeared there was no way out. What did Jesus mean? Had you waited too long? No, suddenly the armies of Rome withdrew for no apparent cause. The Jewish forces pursued, and the gates were now open. What would you have then done? What should you have done?

Believing the words of Jesus, you hurriedly left the city with what you and your family could take with you. It was a complete uprooting of your life, and meant the leaving behind of many a cherished possession. You did not stop till you were safely across the Jordon, and located in a small village in the region beyond. There you sought to re-establish a form of existence. It was most difficult; life was hard. As time went by, news reached you that the armies of Rome had not returned. Things were not exactly normal, but from the reports, those in the city were faring far better than you were across the Jordon. What would you have been tempted to do? What should you have done? You chose to stay where you were, and continued to struggle to make ends meet for your family needs.

A.D. 70 came. The Roman armies returned. You received news of the terrible slaughter and devastation which resulted when the city was taken. You were glad, though life was far from easy, that you had believed and obeyed the words

p 30 -- of Jesus. Your very life - salvation - depended upon your faith in what Jesus had said.

A.D. 1832

Suppose you had been living in a small New England town in the year 1832. One day during the week as you were reading the notices on the bulletin board in the village square, you read the announcement that one William Miller was going to lecture the coming Sunday night in the Town Hall on the soon return of Jesus. The next Sunday morning found you sitting in your usual place at church as your pastor introduced his sermon with the announcement you had read. He then proceeded to decry the fanaticism of thinking that Jesus was going to return to earth in just a few years. He ridiculed the prophecies as mere dreams with only an allegorical meaning. You had planned to go that night to hear Mr. Miller. But the pastor also had some things to say about him, too. So you decided not to go, and you didn't.

The next year - one morning, well before daybreak - you were suddenly awakened with the sound of cries and the terrified voices of your neighbors. Looking out to see what was causing this unusual disturbance, you saw what they saw - the stars of heaven were falling. You began to tremble, because you knew what Jesus had said, and what was written in the book of Revelation which was being so vividly fulfilled before your eyes. What were you to do? - you recalled distinctly your decision of the previous year - now with deep regret.

Weeks pass, and again as you one day read the bulletin board in the village square, you discover that William Miller will speak in a near-by church the next Sunday night. Regardless of what your pastor will say on Sunday morning, you are determined to go and hear Miller. So you do, and you are completely convinced that the presentation of prophecy is accurate. The end of all things is at hand, and so you start attending the study group organized to prepare folk for the coming of Jesus, and to provide support that others may also hear.

October 23, 1844

Since you believed expectantly that Jesus was going to return on October 22, 1844, you gathered with those of like precious faith, uniting with them in prayer and watching all that day. Into the hours of the night you waited; but still Jesus did not come,. The little sleep you got the rest of the night was fitful, and with the dawning on October 23, you could not rest. Your mind was

p 31 -- agitated; your heart was torn with disappointment. What should you do? What could you do? Where in the Word of God could you turn for an answer?

The Midnight Cry which had established the date, October 22 - "the tenth day of the seventh month" - had also opened minds to the further and deeper study of the type and antitype relationship between the earthly and heavenly sanctuary. One who lived through this experience has written:

"The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment, showing that God had led His people in the great Advent movement. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, and revealed present duty as it brought to light the position and work of God's people." (SP, IV, p. 268)

Note that the study of the sanctuary brought "to view a complete system of truth" and "revealed present duty."

What was that duty? Again from the pen of one who lived through those trying days following the disappointment, we read:

"The passing of time in 1844, was followed by a period of great trial to those who still held the Advent faith. Their only relief, so far as ascertaining their true position was concerned, was the light which directed their minds to the sanctuary above. As has been stated, Adventists were for a short time united in the belief that the door of mercy was shut. This position was soon abandoned. Some renounced their faith in their former reckoning of the prophetic periods, and ascribed to human or Satanic agencies the powerful influence of the Holy Spirit which had attended the Advent movement. Another class firmly held that the Lord had led them in their past experience; and as they waited and watched and prayed to know the will of God, they saw that their great High Priest had entered upon another work of ministration, and following Him by faith, they were led to understand also the closing work of the church, and were prepared to receive and give to the world the warning of the third angel of Revelation 14." (Ibid., pp. 271-272; emphasis mine.)

Observe - those who followed Jesus by faith were led to understand "the closing work of the church." They also perceived the Third Angel's message was to be given to the world.

As Time Continued

Out of the disappointment, being sincere and believing the Word of God, you chose to unite your interests and endeavors with those who would be proclaiming to the world the Messages of Revelation 14. You looked for the time when the message would swell into a "loud cry" as foretold in Revelation 18. You rejoiced to hear the messages of Elders A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner when they came to South Lancaster to give what they had presented at the Minneapolis

p 32 -- General Conference Session in 1888. Then one day a few years later, you opened the Review & Herald, that had just come in the mail. In it you read:

"The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin-pardoning Redeemer. This is the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth." (Nov. 22, 1892, p. 615)

This caused you to rejoice. The Loud Cry had commenced. Revelation 18 was about to be fulfilled. Soon Jesus would come. You recalled that experience which filled your soul on October 22, 1844. Surely you would not again be disappointed. But then time dragged on. Nothing happened. The revival that had been so evident at the South Lancaster meetings died out. What had happened? You were getting older, and had hoped, O so much, to be alive and see Jesus come. Many of your friends who had shared this same hope had already fallen asleep in Jesus. Must this too, be your experience?

Ten more years pass, and you heard about a letter which Ellen G. White wrote to Percy T. Magan. It had said:

"We may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel, but for Christ's sake, His people should not add sin to sin by charging God with the consequences of their own wrong course of action." (Letter dated, Dec. 7, 1901)

As the full effect of the letter comes home to your mind, you ask - "How many is 'many more years,'?" The same day a friend visits you, and you both discuss things dear to your heart - the coming of Jesus; the advancing years of your life; - your hopes and expectations. This friend tells you about another letter, also written in 1901. You want to see a copy. In a few days your friend returns and brings you a copy of this letter. You take it, and read it very slowly and carefully. It tells you:

"In the twenty-first chapter of Luke, Christ foretold what was to come upon Jerusalem, and with it He connected the scenes which were to take place in the history of this world just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Letter 20, 1901; CtoW&E, pp. 23-24)

That evening when you had time to think it through more carefully, you asked yourself the question - "Why did Ellen White just ask us to note Luke 21? Why not Matthew 24 and Mark 13? These are also reports of what Jesus gave in prophecy that night long ago. Why did she specify that what Luke had recorded about events to come upon Jerusalem would be 'connected [with] the scenes which were to take place... just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the

p 33 -- clouds of heaven with power and great glory'?" Then you took your Bible and re-read thoughtfully Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. You discovered that the only thing that Luke said about Jerusalem that Matthew and Mark did not was in regard to Jerusalem being trodden down of the Gentiles till the times of the Gentiles would be fulfilled.

As the evening hours lengthened into the dark shadows of the night, you continued that year in the early 1900's, to ponder what you had read. Jerusalem was still under Gentile control. But you did recall reading in the newspaper of the first Jewish International Congress in 1897 for the purpose of promoting a Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine. Would this Jewish state - if it could be achieved - free Jerusalem from Gentile control? Thinking, wondering, pondering - would it be in your day? - you fell asleep.

p 34 --

CHAPTER I X

SOME HISTORY

The 20th Century dawned with the Seventh-day Adventist Church in crisis. The message of 1888 which was to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord had received only lip service at best. The professed people of God still clung to their "works" hoping for acceptance with God. In 1901 - December to be exact - the messenger of the Lord had written to Dr. P. T. Magan - "We may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years." Earlier that year the General Conference had convened in Battle Creek. As soon as the conference was officially opened, Ellen G. White came forward and stated unequivocally:

"All who are educated in the office of publication should see exemplified the principles of heaven. I would rather lay a child of mine in his grave than have him go there to see these principles mangled and perverted. The principles of heaven are to be carried out in every family, in the discipline of every church, in every establishment, in every institution, in every school, and in everything that shall be managed. You have no right to manage, unless you manage in God's order. Are you under the control of God? Do you see your responsibility to Him? If you do realize this responsibility, you will realize that you are to mold and fashion minds after the divine similitude; and then those in the different institutions here, who are being trained and educated to become workers, will work for God, to hold up the standard of righteousness.

"0 my soul is drawn out in these things! Men who have not learned to submit themselves to the control and discipline of God, are not competent to train the youth, to deal with human minds. It is just as much an impossibility for them to do this as it would be for them to make a world. That these men should stand in a sacred place, to be the voice of God to the people, as we once believed the General Conference to be, -- that is past. What we want now is a reorganization. We want to begin at the foundation, and to build upon a different principle." (1901, GC Bulletin, No 1, p. 25)

Resulting from this earnest appeal, a new Constitution was adopted without the office of President of the General Conference. In its place was a committee of twenty-five with power to organize itself. While the report given to the delegates in 1901 setting forth its organization indicated that A. G. Daniells had been made "Permanent Chairman" (Ibid., #17, p. 377), the concept was understood that the committee would reorganize itself each year. W. C. White during the floor discussion of this new constitution indicated a sentiment prevailed that "no one should be chairman of this committee for a period of more than twelve months at a time." Ibid., #9, p. 206) Daniells, at a minority meeting of the Committee on February 14, 1902, said "that in harmony with the plan adopted at

p 35 -- the late General Conference, the General Conference Committee should organize itself from year to year." With only six of the twenty-five members present, and a few observers, it did reorganize itself, with Daniells remaining as chairman.

On the surface, it would appear that the type of organization as envisioned in the 1901 Constitution would give the Church a very inadequate and ineffectual leadership; however, if the organization under that constitution had been permitted to continue, it would have produced a group of men leading the Church governed by its Unseen Head. In the end the human element prevailed, and what might have been was not attained. (8T:104-106) In 1903, at Oakland, California, the General Conference was again reorganized under a Constitution which provided for a visible head in the office of President of the General Conference. Responding to the "Majority Report" of the Committee on Plans and Constitution, Dr. P. T. Magan - the one to whom Ellen G. White had written in December, 1901, and who as an observer had attended the minority meeting of the General Conference Committee in 1902 held in Daniells' office - declared:

"It may be stated there is nothing in this new constitution which is not abundantly safeguarded by the provisions of it; but I want to say to you that any man who has ever read Meander's History of the Christian Church, Mosheim's, or any of the other of the great church historians, - any man who has read those histories can come to no other conclusion but that the principles which are to be brought in, are the same principles, and introduced in precisely the same way, as they were hundreds of years ago when the Papacy was made." (1903, GC Bulletin, #10, p. 150)

Ellen G. White was also quick to respond to the new situation. Within twelve days of this discussion, she wrote from St. Helena, California, the following:

"In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence, 'Found wanting.' By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged." (8T:247)          [Observe this is written in the future tense: - "is to be," and "will" with the third person. The Church was not judged in 1903]

Before closing this testimony, Ellen G. White gave a solution. She wrote -

"Unless the church, which is now [1903] being leavened with her own backsliding, shall repent and be converted, she will eat the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself." (Ibid., p. 250)

This was not an ordinary call to repentance - it was a call to denominational repentance. The "church" was to repent. As a corporate body, she faced the

p 36 -- judgment of the sanctuary, and unless the church repented, she would be pronounced, "Wanting."

Here is a prophecy that dare not be overlooked. In unmistakable language, it was declared that "the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed" in the balances of the Heavenly Sanctuary. This is stated as future to 1903 - "is to be" and "on her will be pronounced." The greatest question facing the individual member of the Church today is simply - "Has this prophecy been fulfilled?" And, if it has, what decision was rendered? God is on record that He will not do anything, but that He will reveal it by prophet and prophecy. (Amos 3:7) This is no minor decision, for such a decision would declare that the organizational vehicle He chose to use for the completion of His final movement on earth had betrayed its sacred trust. If so judged, as a corporate entity it would be - "Found wanting." Continued involvement in such a corporate structure would then have eternal consequences. Such is the gravity of this prophetic testimony written in 1903.

After 1903, time continued. In the newspapers, one could read accounts of wars and rumors of war, earthquakes in divers places, famines, and pestilences. But no single major event could be assigned to a specific prophecy. It seemed that the prophetic clock of God had been stopped. Then came 1929. In an agreement reached between Italy and the Papacy, the "deadly wound" was healed, and a modern, rejuvenated Papacy was born, not only politically, but also financially. As a Church, Seventh-day Adventists believed in the guidance afforded by prophecy. In her Statements of Belief the church was on record as affirming:

"That prophecy is a part of God's revelation to man; that it is included in that Scripture which is profitable for instruction (2 Tim. 3:16); that it is designed for us and our children (Deut. 29:29); that so far from being enshrouded in impenetrable mystery, it is that which especially constitutes the word of God a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Ps. 119:105; 2 Peter 1:19); that a blessing is pronounced upon those who study it (Rev. 1:1-3); and that, consequently, it is to be understood by the people of God sufficiently to show them their position in the world's history and the special duties required at their hands." (1914 Yearbook, p. 293)

The last sentence of this confession of our spiritual forefathers is worthy of repeating. Prophecy "is to be understood by the people of God sufficiently to show them their position in the world's history and the special duties required at their hands." But in 1931, a new Statement of Beliefs appeared in the Yearbook. This statement on prophecy was omitted! At the very moment that God's prophetic time clock of events began ticking off the final hours of human history, we chose to delete this statement from our beliefs.

p 37 -- In 1948, the State of Israel was formed. True, no prophetic significance could be attached to this event, per se, but coming events were casting their shadows before. This fact was recognized at the 1952 Bible Conference. (See p. 1) But something else had happened within the Church. As human history was revealing the stage for coming events, God was not leaving Himself without a witness. To the newly formed 1950 General Conference Committee, two young men, missionaries to Africa, addressed the issue, and echoed God's call for denominational repentance. In their monumental manuscript - 1888 Re-Examined, they wrote:

"It is now abundantly evident that 'we' have traveled the road of disillusionment since the Minneapolis meeting in 1888. Infatuation with false teachings has taken the place of clear, cogent, heaven-inspired truth, as regards 'righteousness by faith'. By the hard, humiliating way of actual experience with counterfeit, Israel has brought herself to the time when she is ripe for disillusionment. The simple faith to believe, which was spurned at Minneapolis, is now replaceable with the bitter tears of humble repentance, occasioned by our history. The following prophecy has been fulfilled, and awaits only its realization by the church:

Unless the church, which is now being leavened with her own backsliding, shall repent and be converted, she will eat of the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself. (8T 250.)

"Such an experience will be a repentance very similar to that of Mary Magdalene, whose faith and love were spoken of by the Saviour as that of the model Christian. The genuine repentance of heart-broken love is righteousness by faith." (p. 242)

It must be observed in this invitation to repentance, Elders Wieland and Short indirectly called the attention of the leadership of the Church to the very prophecy uttered in 1903 by the messenger of the Lord. They noted the condition God required lest the Church be found wanting. Thus God through these men was telling the church, the hour was approaching when it would be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary. The need for repentance which God called for cannot be divorced from the reason for the need - the Church was to be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary. Specific criteria were given upon which the judgment would be based. If she failed these criteria, she would be found wanting.

The answer to the challenge of Wieland and Short was not long in coming. In 1952, W. H. Branson, who in 1950 had succeeded to the high office of the presidency of the General Conference, called a Bible Conference. Its underlining motivation was to proclaim the message of 1888, and thus in an indirect way to circumvent the call of the brethren from Africa. Branson himself, presented the studies on Righteousness by Faith. Concluding these studies, he said:

"To a large degree the church failed to build on the foundation laid at the 1888 General Conference. Much has been lost as a result. We are years behind where we should have been in spiritual growth. Long ere this we should have been in

p 38 -- the Promised Land.

"But the message of righteousness by faith given in the 1888 Conference has been repeated here. Practically every speaker from the first day onward has laid stress upon this all-important doctrine, and there was no prearranged plan that he should do so. It was spontaneous on the part of the speakers. No doubt they were impelled by the Spirit of God to do so. Truly this one subject has, in this conference 'swallowed up every other.'

"And this great truth has been given here in this 1952 Bible Conference with far greater power than it was given in the 1888 Conference because those who have spoken here have had the advantage of much added light shining forth from hundreds of pronouncements on this subject in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy which those who spoke back there did not have. The light of justification and righteousness by faith shines upon us more clearly than it ever shone before upon any people.

"No longer will the question be, 'What was the attitude of our workers and people toward the message of righteousness by faith that was given in 1888? What did they do about it?' From now on the great question must be, 'What did we do with the light on righteousness by faith as proclaimed in the 1952 Bible Conference?'" (Our Firm Foundation, Vol. II, pp. 616-617)

As one reads the messages given at the 1952 .Bible Conference on the subjects of the atonement, and the mediatorial work of Christ in the most holy place of the Heavenly Sanctuary, it must be happily admitted, the presentations reflected historic Adventist belief. Branson had indicated that the conference "should be called for the particular purpose of reaffirming those great and fundamental truths that have most certainly been believed amongst us throughout all our history." (Ibid., Vol. I, p. 45) Those beliefs were affirmed.

Nevertheless, Wieland and Short's prophetic insight into the real condition of the church - that she was "infatuated with false teachings" and "ripe for disillusionment" was not long in surfacing. Within three years, under another administration, the conferences between Seventh-day Adventists and the Evangelicals - Barnhouse and Martin - took place. The very doctrines confirmed at the 1952 Bible Conference were denied by the Adventist conferees. The resulting book - Questions on Doctrine - sought to confirm to the Evangelicals that there was a change in position by the Adventist leadership in the matter of the Atonement, but at the same time to couch this apostasy in language so as to camouflage this change from the rank and file of the membership of the church. To questions raised the answer was simply - "It is just a matter of semantics." The Adventist conferees became deluded by this same concept themselves. T. E. Unruh, chairman of the conferences, reported:
           
"We came to see that many misunderstandings rested on semantic grounds, because of our use of an inbred denominational vocabulary. Our friends [the Evangelicals] helped us to, express our beliefs in terms more easily understood by theologians of other communions." (Adventist Heritage, Vol. 4, #2, 1977, p. 40)

p 39 -- Again the Lord did not leave Himself without a witness. M. L. Andreasen, the Church's greatest theologian, protested. In a letter of response to a report that he had recanted in his opposition to the apostasy, he wrote:

"Let me assure you that I am in good health - not a mental case, not senile, not even dead, as has been reported. But I am so busy that I cannot keep up with my correspondence. I am all alone in my work.

"No, I have not recanted. The denomination is departing from the fundamentals, and I must protest." (Letter, Posted June 8, 1959, Glendale, California)

And protest he did through Letters to the Churches!

Others joined in the challenge to the book - Questions on Doctrine. The local elder of the Baker, Oregon, Seventh-day Adventist Church, A. L. Hudson, brought into the open the long suppressed manuscript of Elders Wieland and Short - 1888 Re-Examined. Hudson's pressure on the leadership of the Church caused a "Further Appraisal of the Manuscript - '1888 Re-Examined'" to be released by the General Conference in 1958. This Appraisal addressed the issue squarely but tragically. The General Conference leadership rejected the only solution given by the messenger of the Lord to the Church in 1903. They wrote:

"The solution proposed, of the denomination making confession of the mistakes of men made in the 1880's and the 1890's and of a denominational repentance, is not possible nor would an attempt to do so be of value. The experience of the church is the collective experience of its members and leaders, and thus rightness with God is a matter of present day personal relationships." (A Warning and Its Reception, p. 259)

But in this answer, the leadership of the Church ignored not only the specific counsel of the Lord as given in 1903, but also the plain teaching of Scripture on corporate accountability. One illustration from the Old Testament is the sin of Achan and how it effected all of Israel, and in the New Testament, Peter on the Day of Pentecost charged the whole of the "house of Israel" with the murder of Jesus. (Acts 2:36)

While the book - Questions on Doctrine - was not republished after the first edition, its apostate teachings were confirmed in the book -Movement of Destiny - which in its first edition carried the imprimatur and nihil obstat of the Presidents of the General Conference and North American Division, respectively.

Then came 1967. The recapture of Jerusalem by the Israeli forces marked the beginning of "the last week"- figuratively speaking - of the times of the Gentiles, as foretold by Christ that night long ago on the Mount of Olives.

p 40 --

CHAPTER X

THE CHURCH - 1967-1980

In permitting the final sign given by Jesus to be fulfilled, God was seeking to tell the Church something, even as God used John the Baptist to seek to tell the Jewish Church something in that day: -- there was only a brief period of time left in which to bring forth "fruits meet for repentance." (Matt. 3:8) It dare not be overlooked that "the trust" committed to the Church - the Three Angels' Messages of Revelation 14 (9T:19)- was a message to every "nation" as well as to individuals. With the times of the nations about to be fulfilled, the Church faced a crisis of the greatest magnitude - either the work had to be finished; was finished; or else the Church had failed in its trust before God. Further, if the Church has altered the basic beliefs of the Three Angels' Messages, how could they in reality profess before God that they were still able to carry to completion that which had been committed to their trust? This is not a theoretical question, and the answer is written with indelible ink on the pages of history.

During the second session of Vatican II, a Seventh-day Adventist "representative" and a staff member of the World Council of Churches concluded that informal talks between a group of Seventh-day Adventists and an equal number of representatives of the WCC would "fulfil a useful purpose." The first informal meeting was held in 1965. This was followed by formalized meetings with the "blessing," authorization, and funding by the employing bodies of the Adventist participants. (So Much in Common, p. 98) The results of these meetings were quick in coming.

The January, 1967, issue of the official paper of the WCC - Ecumenical Review - carried an article on "The Seventh-day Adventist Church." Our official organ - Review & Herald - responded through its Associate Editor, Raymond F. Cottrell, in three editorials (March 23, 30, and April 6, 1967). In the last editorial, Cottrell concluded:  

"It is no small measure of regret that SDA's do not find it possible, as an organization, to be more closely associated with others who profess the name of Christ. On the other hand, if the Secretariat on Faith and Order, for instance, were to invite SDA's to appoint someone competent in that area to meet with their group from time to time and represent the SDA point of view, we could accept such an invitation with a clear conscience. Perhaps the same might be done in other areas of Christian concern. On such a basis we would concur with Dr. Handspicker that the WCC is 'one more place' where SDA's might bear their distinctive 'witness

p 41 -- to the full truth of the Gospel.'" (pp. 13-14)

The invitation was not long in coming. The Central Committee of the WCC appointed Dr. Earle Hilgert, Vice-President for Academic Administration of Andrews University as a member of the 120 member Commission on Faith and Order. The leadership of the Church endorsed this selection. (See Exhibit #10) Events moved so rapidly in 1967, that Dr. Hilgert was able to attend the triennial meeting of the Faith and Order Commission held in Bristol, England, July 30 to August 8, 1967, as the first Seventh-day Adventist to serve on such a Commission. 1

The hierarchy of the Seventh-day Adventist Church loudly proclaims to the laity that the Church is not a member of the World Council of Churches. But the request and subsequent appointment of a Seventh-day Adventist to the Faith and Order Commission have far greater implications than appears on the surface. Cottrell sought to cover his suggestion as "An Opportunity to Witness." (Ibid.) This naive stance betrays - or seeks to cover up - the real objective of the Faith and Order Commission. It must be clearly understood that the World Council of Churches is "a fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the scriptures and therefore seek to fulfil together their common calling to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit." (WCC Constitution) The WCC does not perceive itself as "a universal authority controlling what Christians should believe and do." However, they are striving as a "community" to "realize the goal of visible Church unity." To assist this "community" - -

"towards this goal, the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council provides theological support for the efforts the churches are making towards unity. Indeed the Commission has been charged by the Council members to keep always before them their accepted obligation to work towards manifesting more visibly God's gift of Church unity. So it is that the stated aim of the Commission is 'to proclaim the oneness of the Church of Jesus Christ and to call the churches to the goal of visible unity in one faith and one eucharistic fellowship, expressed in common worship and common life in Christ, in order that the world might believe.' (By-laws)". (Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, pp. vii & viii; Faith and Order Paper No. 11, Emphasis mine)

This is what the Church through its official organ asked to become a part of in 1967. Then we forwarded this whole process toward "Church unity" by placing in the Statement of Beliefs voted at Dallas, Texas, in 1980, the full Constitutional statement of the WCC, which is required for membership in that organization.

 1   -- Dr. Hilgert has since become an ordained Presbyterian minister and is serving on the staff of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. His replacement on the Faith and Order Commission was Dr. Raoul Dederen, also of Andrews University.

p 42 --

The Fall Out

"Since 1968 the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has been actively represented at the annual meeting of 'Secretaries of World Confessional Families'. This participation is largely the result of WCC/SDA Conversations and contacts made at the time of the Uppsala Assembly [of the WCC]" (So Much in Common, p. 100) This association led to the separate audience granted by Pope Paul VI to the "participants of the Conference of Secretaries of the World Confessional .Families." (RNS, May 19, 1977, p. 19) The Secretary for the Conference of Secretaries was Dr. B. B. Beach of the Adventist Church, who on the occasion presented the Pope with a gold medallion, "a symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church." (Review, August 11, 1977) Thus in symbolism the Church was given into the hands of the Antichrist. No greater affront could be given to the God of Heaven than for His chosen people through a representative to wantonly defy the message of the Third Angel as was done on this occasion. This act was done with the full approval of, and prior arrangements with the Northern Europe-West Africa Division Committee. [For full details, see Special Report: Pope Paul VI Given Gold Medallion by Adventist Church Leader]

The fraternization with the World Council of Churches on an international level reaches down to the local units of this "community" - the Ministerial Associations. The Southern Tidings, official paper of the Southern Union Conference, in the Telex news section for April, 1975, reported that an Elder Robert Hunter, then pastor of the Morganton, North Carolina, district, joined in the local ministerial association's "Pulpit Exchange Day." He exchanged pulpits with Thomas Burke, parish priest of the Roman Catholic Church. "The theme of the city-wide program was 'Blest Be the Tie."'

The strong contrast envisioned in the Third Angel's Message between those who were to be entrusted with the giving of this message, and the power symbolically represented by "the beast" was nullified in a Brief presented in the United States District Court for Northern California. The Brief read:

"Although it is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint, and the term 'hierarchy' was used in a perjorative sense to refer to the papal form of church governance, that attitude on the Church's part was nothing more than a manifestation of widespread anti-popery among conservative Protestant denominations in the early part of this century and the latter part of the last, and which has now been consigned to the historical trash heap as far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned." (Reply Brief for Defendants in Support of Their Motion for Summary Judgment, Civ. No. 74-2025 CBR) [See Footnote, p. 41, Excerpts - Legal Documents; EEOC vs PPPA] (Webmaster note: for manuscript see Legal Documents)

p 43 -- In the same Brief, the legal counsel for the Church's leadership quoted from an affidavit given by one of the Intervenors, Mrs. Lorna Tobler, in which she had sworn that during her training and instruction in Adventist schools and churches, she had been taught that the Adventist Church strongly disapproved "the Roman Catholic system." To this, the reply in the Brief read:

"In several ways this illustrates the dangers incurred by an individual church member who presumes to deny the authority of the duly constituted officials and governing bodies of the Church. In the first place, it is true that for a period in its history, the Seventh-day Adventist Church had an aversion to Roman Catholicism and especially to the papal form of church government -- an aversion shared by virtually all Protestant denominations. While, however, Adventist doctrine continues to teach that church government by one man is contrary to the Word of God, it is not good Seventh-day Adventism to express, as Mrs. Tobler has done, an aversion to Roman Catholicism as such." (Ibid., p. 46)

How must the God of Heaven have felt when the Church to whom He had committed in sacred trust the giving of the Three Angels' Messages no longer shared the "aversion" with which the book of Revelation indicates He holds the Papal system?

Monetary Trust

Not only did God entrust His chosen people with truth, and the final message to the nations, but He also entrusted them with the means to carry out this primary purpose of their calling. How have these means been handled, and when were fateful decisions made? In an article - "Investment Practices of the General Conference," Elder Robert E. Osborn of the Treasury Department wrote:

"Because the General Conference is responsible for a large pool of capital, the controlling investment and securities committee decided in 1967 to retain professional investment counsel. (This took place at the time the 'unitized funds' program, described later in this article, began operation.) Lionel D. Edie & Company, Inc., of New York City, was chosen to do the research, analysis, and selection of securities for the General Conference portfolio. Members of the investment section of the Treasurer's office work very closely with Edie & Company and keep in communication by telephone and in-person conferences for detailed review of current and projected trends in the economic and money markets." (Spectrum, Vol. 5, #2, 1973)

The "unitized funds" program, as explained by Osborn, "operated in a manner similar to mutual funds. All unit holders (conferences, unions, divisions, the General Conference, and church-owned institutions) own a proportionate share of the unitized funds, on the basis of the amount invested; and unit holders share in the investment income and capital appreciation." [And loss?] (Ibid., pp. 53-54)

While no report is available to this writer of the losses sustained in playing the stock market by the General Conference since 1967, a window into the results of this type of monetary practice is to be found in reports of investments made

p 44 -- by one conference in the Pacific Union. The Pacific Union had chosen to set up their own investment program. One conference - the Northern California - during a period of six years - 1968-1973 - had a "paper loss" of over $2 Million. This loss involved funds of trust deposits, and revocable trust funds. A Lay Advisory Committee reporting on the investments and the losses stated - "If the trustors and trust depositors should elect to withdraw their money the fund would be insolvent - unable to honor these withdrawal requests." This committee made the following two-fold recommendation:

"3. That the Conference and the Association adopt a policy of making no additional stock investments after this date and of eliminating all investments in common stock and stock investment funds and that the time for accomplishing this be no more than two years." (Report #2, p. 8, Sub-Committee on Conference Organization & Finance of the Steering Committee of the NCC-LAC)

One member of the Steering Committee, Ken Cortner, reported in the Adventist Laymen's Pipeline, July 1, 1983, the full picture of these investment procedures. The report read:

"Church publications have been silent concerning some seven (7) million dollars of Northern's [Northern California Conference] funds turned over to the Pacific Union Conference in the late 60s and early 70s for investment in the stock market. The market had seriously declined thereafter, and in January 1974 conference officials, without disclosing either the investment or the loss to the church members ordered the sale of shares of stocks that had cost $837,402.97 for $500,000. The realized loss in that single transaction that was sustained by Northern California Conference and/or Association was $337,402.97.

"In the fall of 1974, a then independent Northern California Conference Lay Advisory Committee (NCC-LAC), chaired by a lay person in contrast to the present (1983) chairmanship being held and under the control of the conference president, discovered the investments and asked the Conference Executive Committee to call a halt to any further dealings in the stock market and that divestiture of all stock held be completed within two years. The Conference administration accepted and adopted the first recommendation but rejected the second, refusing to agree to sell out within a two year period. They contended the $2,053,298.42 loss of stock value from 1968 through 1973 was 'only a paper loss' and that by waiting for whatever time it took the market would recover and possibly even bring a profit. LAC members, generally, did not agree with that decision but lacking authority and having only an advisory capacity felt that they had done their job.

"Local and Union Conference officials had characterized the stock purchased as 'all of the blue chip variety' and that they had been selected by 'a group of experts to whom we gave complete authority to buy and sell in our behalf.' Laymen learned that the 'group of experts' contained not one single Seventh-day Adventist Church member and that the portfolio of stocks described as 'all of the blue chip variety' consisted of such companies as Ringling Bros., Barnum and Bailey Circus, and among others, a host of small, insignificant, virtually unknown and highly speculative businesses."

Keep in mind that this is but the story of one conference and its investments.

p 45 -- Some units of the General Conference "unitized funds" program disatisfied with results turned to the glowing possibility of the Dr. Davenport investment schemes. The story of the resulting scandal need not be recited here.

Liberal Trend

Not only did the SDA-Evangelical Conferences of the mid-1950s signal a doctrinal revision of some of the basic concepts of the Advent Movement, but by the mid-1960s, "for the first time in the history of the church, a whole generation of scholars with doctorates from secular universities became active in church institutions." (Spectrum, Vol. 15, #2, p. 23) Further, there were Adventists with a similar training in gainful employment outside the church institutions. Some of these became convinced that individual participation within the framework of the church was an ineffectual means of dealing with the issues of the 20th Century they faced in the society in which they moved. Others met in small groups both here and abroad "with the primary aim of trying to understand how the secularizing and divisive trends [could] be reversed." These groups were formed around academic and professional people.

"To further this spontaneous search for meaningful participation, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists invited representatives from several of the groups to meet with them in October of 1967. The purpose was to discuss possible methods of establishing a cohesive program to provide for dialogue between church leadership and this segment of the laity and to involve the latter more significantly in the activities and concerns of the formal church. The outgrowth of that meeting was an action by the officers of the General Conference (taken at the 1967 Fall Council) to approve the establishment of an organization known as The Association of Adventist Forums." [AAF] (Spectrum, Vol. 1, #1, Winter, 1969)

It is the Association of Adventist Forums which publishes Spectrum. This Association with its publication has been on the "cutting edge" of liberal trends within the church structure, manner of life, and doctrinal revision. While they prefer to see themselves as "progressives," both the liberals within the church institutions, and the liberals of the Adventist community outside of the payroll structure find common cause. It was the Association of Adventist Forums which provided Dr. Desmond Ford the podium from which to launch his attack on the sanctuary teaching of the Advent Movement.

During the Church administration of R. R. Figuhr, not only was approval given but firm support maintained by Figuhr himself in the publication of Questions

p 46 -- on Doctrine. Further during his administration, provision was made for a study program in geology which led to the establishment of the Geoscience Research Institute. In the early 1960s a change was made in the leadership of the Institute, and "by the mid-1960s, the progressives' [liberal's] study of the issues led them to conclude that harmony between Genesis and geology required some kind of a theological accommodation by the church." (Spectrum, Vol. 15, #2, p. 26) This conclusion led to the appointment of two men with theological backgrounds from the Seminary. The reason - "At that time the most theologically flexible products of the Adventist educational system were its seminary graduates." (Ibid.)

The resolution of the problem in the eyes of the liberals required much more time be allotted than six literal days, and a creation six thousand years ago of "the earth, the sea, and all that in them is." (Ex. 20:11) Any altering of the concept of six literal days for the creation of the earth ex nihilo (out of nothing) strikes at the very heart of the Sabbath commandment. In such a schema, the Sabbath ceases to be a specific memorial, and the emphasis on the seventh day irrelevant. It can then be thought of as a celebration, a weekly rest for man's restlessness.

It dare not be overlooked that all of these major actions which laid the groundwork for the acceptability of liberalism in the Church, and an open agitation of the same, was done with the full approval of the highest officers of the Church, starting with Figuhr in the mid-1950s, and culminating with the Pierson-Wilson official blessing in 1967.   1

The Closing Event

In 1979, the Annual Council voted a new Statement of Beliefs to be presented for adoption at the 1980 Session of the General Conference in Dallas, Texas.

 1 -- It must be said in all fairness, that at the 1984 Annual Council, Elder Neal C. Wilson read a prepared statement - which was strictly personal and on which no vote was taken - in which he said: - "The time has come for a re-examination of the church's relationship with the AAF and the church's 1967 expression of 'sympathy."' He indicated that after consultation with the GC officers and division presidents, he wanted to make clear that the Association of Adventist Forums is no longer a "denominationally sponsored or endorsed organization," neither its publication - Spectrum - "a voice of the Seventh-day Adventist academic world." (Adventist Review, Nov. 15, 1984, p. 5) But as the editor of SDA Press Release observes in commenting on Wilson's statement - "We feel that Elder Wilson made the right move, but it was five years too late. The Adventist Forums will continue to be the largest lay group and they will remember that they represent the layman and not the church." (Vol. 2, #2) Prophetically, Wilson is four years too late. The closing of the final period of the times of the Gentiles ended in 1980.

p 47 -- The full disclosure of all that took place in the formulation of the Statement of Beliefs voted at the Annual Council and the final adoption of a Statement of Beliefs at Dallas has yet to be written. There are gaps in the story as known. This detail is beyond the scope of this manuscript. However, certain actions in this story must be understood. The Statement as adopted by the Annual Council was written by a group of theologians at Andrews University. (Spectrum, Vol. 11, #3, p. 61) It was sent out to "the division committees immediately as well as unions and overseas colleges. It was given to the Adventist Review for immediate publication in the hope that as many reactions as possible could be received from the field prior to the General Conference quinquennial session in Dallas. Unfortunately, for reasons never disclosed, it did not appear for four months, until February 21, 1980." (Ibid., #1, p. 6; emphasis mine)

Substantive changes from previous Statements of Belief were apparent in the Andrews University formulation. Sections on the Godhead were expanded; other sections contained new terminology which altered historic Adventist concepts; and new sections were added not covered in any previous Statements. Section 2, captioned, "The Trinity" read in part:        "That there is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a self-existing Unity in Trinity." Elsewhere in the Statement, "the oneness of the triune God" is noted. The death of Christ is spoken of as "This act of atonement" and declared to be "a complete and perfect atonement." Such a position makes any concept of a final atonement irrelevant. The heavenly ministry of Christ is described as simply "making available to believers, the benefits of His toning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross." Then in 1844, Christ merely "entered the second and last phase of His atoning work." Baptism and the Lord's Supper are noted as "sacraments," and "the service of foot washing" is noted as "a means to seek renewed cleansing." The "ministries of the Church" as defined in the Statement include "the ministry of intercession." All of these expression have Roman Catholic overtones. The Church itself is defined to be "the company of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour." (Adventist Review, Feb. 21, 1980, pp. 8-10)

When the time came for a discussion of the Statement of Beliefs at Dallas, the delegates received a different formulation than had been adopted at the Annual Council and no explanation was given as to why. This brought expressions of shock and dismay from a number of delegates. "Those who had been involved in formulating the earlier draft felt that the new version was disastrous in form, if not content. Gone was the balance, the beauty and the sensitivity to words. Clumsy rhetoric prevailed." (Spectrum, Vol. 11, #1, p. 8) Substantive alterations

p 48 -- were also apparent. The statement on the Godhead was modified to read - "There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of Three co-eternal Persons." Although there was considerable discussion over this new wording (Adventist Review, April 22, 1980, pp. 11, 14), it was made a part of the voted Statement with only cosmetic alterations. The terms, "sacraments" and "means" were deleted as was also the idea of a minister in the role of an intercessor. The Cross was still referred to as the "act of the atonement." This was changed in the voted Statement to read - "this perfect atonement," which in reality changed nothing, still nullifying the concept of a final atonement. If the Cross is the "perfect" atonement nothing can be added to that which is perfect, lest it become imperfect. In historic Adventism, the Cross, typified in the Altar of the Court, is the place of sacrifice; the atonement following through mediation which resulted in either forgiveness, or cleansing. The section on the Church was rewritten and divided into two statements, but when finally voted, a key wording from the Andrews University Statement was restored - "The church is the community of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour."

This retention of the definition of the Church from the Andrews University Statement when coupled with the statement on the Trinity - a statement never appearing in any prior formulation from 1872 to 1979 - is significant. These two concepts are borrowed from the Constitution of the World Council of Churches. The first article of that Constitution reads - "The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the Scriptures and therefore seek to fulfil together their common calling to the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit." Further the idea of "one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons" was first formulated by the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D. (Early Christian Doctrine, p. 88)

In all three Statements - the Andrews University Statement, the one given to the delegates, and the one voted by them - there appears a phraseology describing the heavenly ministry of Christ which also had never appeared in any previous statement of Adventist belief. It read in its final form - "There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers in our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross." This language was first used in the book - Questions on Doctrine, (pp. 354-355, 381), where it stated - "Jesus our surety entered the 'holy places' and appeared in the presence of God for us. But it was not with the hope of obtaining something for us at that time, or at some future time. No! He had already obtained it for us on the cross. And now

p 49 -- as our High Priest, He ministers the virtues of the atoning sacrifice for us." (p. 381, emphasis theirs)

Introduced during the morning session prior to the final reading and voting of the Statement of Beliefs in the afternoon was Bishop Robert Terwilliger, a representative of the Anglican Consultative Council. He had been reading the proposed Statement of Beliefs, and had listened to some of the discussion. When he responded to Dr. B. B. Beach's introduction, he said - "As I have read the beliefs set before you for revision, I had hoped to find some degree of disagreement. I had the most awful disappointment. I found increasingly that we are together in our faith. Therefore the unity that we share is not simply a unity of good will and fellowship but unity in faith increasingly, a unity in Christ." (Adventist Review, May 1, 1980, p. 16)

How can God finish His work on the earth through an instrumentality that has so altered the faith committed to it in trust that an Anglican bishop perceives a growing unity with that which he believes? This culminating denial in a series which began in the 1950s, left God with no alternatives. The Church weighed in the balances of the sanctuary was found to be wanting. He had given prophetic warning in 1967 when the military forces of Israel retook Jerusalem that the final period had begun - the achri ou (until) of Luke 21:24. Now that period was up. Three months after the Statement of Beliefs was voted at Dallas, the Israeli Knesset voted to move the entire government from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The times of the visitation of the nations being ended, God would take things into His own hands for the completion of the Advent Movement which He had begun in 1844. We are now in the tarrying time as events move rapidly to the final conflict of the great day of God Almighty. The end of all things is at hand.

p 50 -- Blank

 

p 51 --

APPENDIX A

Ezekiel 9 and Luke 21:24
As Seen in
Testimonies for the Church

Internal evidence indicates there are three testimonies which are in themselves inter-related and coincide in their fulfillment with the prophecy of Jesus as given in Luke 21:24. These testimonies are to be found in Vol. III, pp. 266-267, Vol. V, pp. 207-216, and Vol. VIII, pp. 247-251. The relationship between the first two of these testimonies is very obvious - both quote directly from Ezekiel nine. In Vol. III, p. 267, after quoting Ezekiel 9:4, the instruction is given - "Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel." The reference in Vol. V, quotes Ezekiel 9:1, 3b-6 at the very beginning of the chapter.

The relationship between the first two references and Vol. VIII, pp. 247f., is not so obvious, but can be readily deducted by comparing what is written within each testimony. In the chapter on "The Seal of God," it speaks of the time when "the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel." (V:210) In the chapter, "Shall We Be Found Wanting?" the same language is used - "My Father's house is made a house of merchandise, a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed!" (V111:250) Thus both chapters are describing the same condition and time. Using the geometrical axiom that if a = b, and b = c, then a = c; we find all of these testimonies interrelated

The time on which these events focus is given in Vol. V, pp. 207-208, where it reads - "Jesus is about to leave the mercy-seat of the heavenly sanctuary, to put on garments of vengeance." In Adventist terminology, this means simply that the events as noted in Vol. V, pp. 207-213 are to take place just prior to the close of all human probation. The last paragraph on p. 212, begins with the quotes of Daniel 12:1, and then the comment is made - "When this time of trouble comes, every case is decided; there is no longer probation, no longer mercy for the impenitent." (p. 213).

There is, however, another time mentioned in this chapter. On p. 208, the example of the Amorites is cited as to how God has dealt with the nations in the past. Then the conclusion is drawn:

"With unerring accuracy, the Infinite One still keeps an account with all nations. While His mercy is tendered, with calls to repentance, this account will remain open, but when the figures reach a certain amount which God has fixed, the ministry of His wrath commences. The account is closed. Divine patience

p 52 -- ceases. There is no pleading of mercy in their [the nations'] behalf."

The next paragraph inter-relates this time with Ezekiel 9: -- "The prophet [Ezekiel], looking down the ages, had this time presented before his vision." One reads in vain for any reference to "the nations" in Ezekiel 9. Ezekiel 9 is concerned with the church, and the sealing of those who sigh and cry for the abominations done within it. But the time of the events prophetically symbolized in Ezekiel 9 are pinpointed as taking place at the time mercy is no longer extended to the nations. Jesus in Luke 21:24 gives that sign as the city of Jerusalem no longer under Gentile control. This brief period began in 1967 with the taking of Old Jerusalem by Israeli military forces, and ended with the transfer of the entire civil government from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 1980. Thus we are living in the time when the events portrayed in these three testimonies are or have been fulfilled. And these testimonies relate to the church!

Vol. III, pp. 266-267, indicates this is the time of "the closing work for the church," -- the "last work" as prefigured in the charge to the man clothed in linen with a writer's ink horn by his side.

Vol. V, pp. 209-213 tells us two groups will be developed - "the little company" also called "the faithful few... who have preserved the faith in its purity, and kept themselves unspotted from the world." It also tells us that "the church - the Lord's sanctuary - was the first to receive the stroke of the wrath of God."

Vol. VIII, pp. 247-251 indicate the Seventh-day Adventist church as a corporate body is to be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, and if she is judged as having failed the trust committed to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence - "Found wanting." Further, the servant of the Lord hears the Divine Instructor asking - "How is the faithful city become an harlot?" This is the question! The once faithful city - who during the 1940s and 1950s - experienced the golden years of an evangelistic thrust which proclaimed the full message worldwide - the sanctuary, the mark of the beast - all! - now declared to be "an harlot." How? The answer is simple, and found in the testimony itself. The Church refused to heed the call to repentance asked by God even though He sent two messengers with this call in 1950. The results followed; she first played the harlot with the Evangelicals, then with the World Council of Churches. When she altered her doctrinal position to include both the thinking of the Evangelicals and the WCC, God indicated He had been betrayed enough, and permitted the final sign given by Jesus to be fulfilled.

 

p 53 --

APPENDIX B

WHAT WILL THE FINAL WITNESS BE?

There are those who when confronted with the significance of Christ's prophecy in Luke 21:24, ask - Does this mean that when Jerusalem was no longer under Gentile control, probation had closed for all individuals? The answer is - No! Only the times of the nations were fulfilled. Then another question follows - If the present work is for the church - "the closing work for the church" - then how and when will the final witness be given to the individuals who perhaps have not heard the truth for this time?

The same night that Jesus gave the prophecy concerning Jerusalem which would serve as a sign when the times of the visitation of the nations were ended, He also told what the final witness would be. This part of the prophecy is found in Mark's gospel. It reads:

"But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them." (Mark 13:9)

The tenth verse is interposed parenthetically - and it gives the time location, reading: "And the gospel must first be published among the nations." When the gospel has been given as a witness to the nations, their times of visitation are fulfilled, and the end period begins. After giving this time setting, Jesus continues the thought of the ninth verse:

"But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost."

For men and women to merely open their mouths, and the voice of the Holy Spirit is heard can mean only one thing - they are completely filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit. The final atonement of Jesus will have accomplished its objective, and the fulness of the latter rain will have been experience by "the faithful few" who have overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and who are now ready to give their testimony, loving not their lives unto death. (See Rev. 12:11)

God alone will be exalted in that day. It will not be men nor institutions which will be headlined by this experience. Those who bow their hearts before God in surrender in the closing moments of human probation as a result of that final witness, will be known only by God. It is our responsibility now to understand what it means to be so completely emptied of self that the Spirit of God will alone appear not only in our manner of conduct, but be able to take over our minds and voices. The image of Jesus, who "emptied Himself" (Phil. 2:7 RV) and

 

p 54 -- who declared, "of mine ownself, I can do nothing" (John 5:30) will be mirrored in such lives.

APPENDIX C

LaRondelle and Luke 21:24

Andrews University Press published as Vol. XI II in the series, "Studies in Religion," a monograph by Dr. Hans K. LaRondelle captioned - The Israel of God in Prophecy. One section - #10 - involves what LaRondelle calls "Problematic Texts." The last one to be considered is Luke 21:24 with the question asked - "Is Jerusalem no longer trampled on by the Gentiles since A.D. 1967?" LaRondelle devoted three pages of discussion to this scripture - pp. 164-167 - and never comes to grips with the question. He first quotes a "dispensational" writer and the Scofield Reference Bible. This is understandable since the whole of the monograph is a "continual dialogue with dispensationalism." (Book Review, Seminary Studies, Vol. 22, #3, p. 373)

The bottom line in the consideration of Luke 21:24 emerges as a discussion of the force of the conjunction, "until" (achri). LaRondelle stated - "The conjunction 'until' does not always imply a promise of restoration to a preceding situation. The precise meaning of 'until' depends on the context in which it is used." (p. 166) Then after quoting Hendriksen, he stated further, "It is definitely true that the conjunction, 'until' (achri) does not contain, in itself, the suggestion of a change to a previous situation." (p. 167) Four illustrations from the Bible are given to substantiate this point - BUT none are from Luke! The conclusion is then drawn in regard to "until" - "The context alone indicates whether the conjunction 'until' intends to convey the idea of change." (Ibid.)

It seems that the whole objective of Christ's prophecy is missed. The events in the history of Jerusalem are being used only as signs for something else, rather than signalling a "change" in the status of Jerusalem or Israel before God. The special status relationship ended in 34 AD, but Jerusalem still continued to be a sign for His "new" Israel to watch. First, the approach of the Roman armies and their surprise withdrawal served as a sign for the Christians to flee the city. Lastly, the return of Jerusalem to Jewish control - to the same people who had controlled the city in 70 AD - signalled the end of the time of the days of visitation for the nations of earth. The change of status indicated by the word, "until" was in the status of the nations before God, not a "second chance" for the Jews.

p 55 -- In Luke's gospel and the book of Acts, the word, achri or achris occurs 20 times, and in three of these times, it is combined with the relative, ou. Let us note some of these references, and observe how change is consistently conveyed by the word, achri, and what kind of change is indicated:

Luke 1:20 - "And behold thou [Zacharias] shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed."
Luke 17:27 - "They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all."
Acts 1: 1-2 - "The former treatise have I made, 0 Theophilus, of all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up."
Acts 3:20-21 - "And He shall send Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you: whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things."
Acts 13:11 - "And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee [Elymas], and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for (achri) a season."
Acts 20:11 - "When he [Paul] therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till the break of day, so he departed."

In both places in the book of Acts, where achri is combined with the relative ou, a change is also indicated. In Acts 7:17-18, a change is noted in the favor of the Egyptian king toward the Israelites from previous Pharaohs. In Acts 27: 32-33, Paul is pictured as urging those who have been fasting to eat bread, and this "while (achri ou) the day was coming on"- or until the break of day. Thus the use of the same idiom in Luke 21:24 indicates a change - a change in the control of the city, not in its status before God. The change in the control of Jerusalem, however, did signal a change in the status of the nations before God.

LaRondelle is so caught up in his dialogue with "dispensationalsim" that he is looking at Luke 21:24 only as it is taught by the various schools of dispensational thought, and thus misses the whole import of what Christ is saying by this sign. It may well be that many, aware of the evangelical-dispensational teaching regarding Jerusalem, find it difficult to separate the rubbish or error from the prophetic truth Jesus was seeking to convey in Luke 21:24.

p 56 --

APPENDIX D

HISTORICAL PARALLELS

When one believes that the prophetic utterances of Jesus has significance for His followers, then the historical parallel between events in secular history and events in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church speaks with force. When one understands that "the most solemn truths ever entrusted to mortals" were given to Seventh-day Adventists (9T:19); and that the Church "is to be weighed" in the balances of the sanctuary regarding "the work entrusted to her" (8T:247), this historical parallel becomes terrifyingly significant.

Profane History
SDA Church History
1888 - The Lambeth Conference of Bishops of the Anglican Church adopt four principles as the basis for church unity. This became know as the Lambeth Quadrilateral. (This was the first step that led to the Faith and Order Movement and then ultimately to the World Council of Churches) The Minneapolis General Conference Session and the Message of Righteousness by Faith. (This was to be the beginning of "the loud cry" and the sounding of the angel of Revelation 18.)
1896 - 1897 - Jewish State Proposed; First Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland. God reveals how He viewed Church's reaction to 1888 Message: "All the universe of heaven witnessed the disgraceful treatment of Jesus Christ, represented by the Holy Spirit. Had Christ been before them, they would have treated Him in a manner similar to that in which the Jews treated Christ." Jan. 16,1896 (Series A, #6, p. 20)
1901 Letter to P. T. Magan - "We may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years as did the children of Israel."
1903 General Conference Session in Oakland, California. God's evaluation and counsel: - "Unless the church, which is now being leavened with her own backsliding, shall repent and be converted..." (8T:250)
1927 - First World Conference on Faith and Order  

 

p 57 --

Profane History (cont.)
SDA Church History (cont.)
1929 - "Mussolini and Gasparri Sign Historic Roman Pact" "Heal Wound of Many Years" Head lines San Francisco Chronicle, February 12.  
1931 New Statement of Beliefs placed in Year
Book
.
Omitted statement on purpose of
Prophecy and phrase that Papacy was the "man of sin."
1948 - World Council of Churches formed; State of Israel created in Palestine.  
1950 Two missionaries give God's call for
Denominational Repentance based on 8T:250.
1955-1956 SDA-Evangelical Conferences. Fundamental Beliefs denied and compromised.
1957 Question on Doctrines Published
1967- The arms of Israel conquer Old Jerusalem. Jewish sovereignty restored. Andrews University Professor appointed
to Faith & Order Commission of WCC;
Major entry into the Wall Street Stock
Market; Liberal Element in Church gains
recognition.

The Closing Period of the Times of the Gentiles (Nations) Begins. Could be compared to "the last week" of the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 for the Jewish Church.

1971 Movement of Destiny published with official blessing of both Robert H. Pierson and Neal C. Wilson.
1977 Symbol of the Church placed in the hands of Pope Paul VI by B. B. Beach.
1979 - Pope welcomed to the White House with "handclasp" by President Jimmy Carter (October 6) Annual Council approves Andrews University Statement of Beliefs for recommendation to General Conference in Dallas, Texas. (October 9-17)
1980 - The Knesset of Israel voted the move of government from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (July 30) General Conference in Dallas voted new (apostate) Statement of Beliefs. (April 25)

The Closing Period of the Times of the Gentiles (Nations) Ended with Government of Israel fully operating from Jerusalem.

p 58 -- Blank

p 59a -- Exhibit 1a

p 59b -- Exhibit 1b

p 60 -- Exhibit 2

p 61 -- Exhibit 3a

p 61a -- Exhibit 3b

p 62 -- Exhibit 4a

p 63 -- Exhibit 4b

p 64-- Exhibit 5

p 65-- Exhibit 6

p 66 -- Exhibit 7a

p 67 -- Exhibit 7b

p 68 -- Exhibit 8

p 69 -- Exhibit 9

p 70 -- Exhibit 10

Times of the Gentiles END

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