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WWN 1987 Apr - Jun


1987 Apr -- XX - 4(87) -- The Jewish Equation -- Part I -- It would be well in reading this first article to have your Bible at hand and check carefully each reference as given. (Editor)

Prior to Jesus' final departure from the temple, He declared in the hearing of the Jewish hierarchy, concerning their temple - it "is left unto you desolate." (Matt. 23:38) For how long? Then Jesus uttered those words, which only the unrolling of the prophetic scroll will reveal their true meaning: - "Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (v. 39)

The temple was left desolate at that moment. The sign of its desolation was not given til three days later. (Matt. 27:51) However, within hours, Jesus would tell his disciples about the sign which would warn them of the impending desolation of the city of Jerusalem.

As Jesus departed the once sacred precincts, the amazed disciples called His attention to the structures of the temple. Jesus responded by declaring that not one stone would be left upon another that would not be thrown down. (Matt. 24:1-2) Significantly, Jesus did not end the history nor the prophetic importance of the city of Jerusalem at that point, only the temple. That night on the Mount of Olives, Jesus outlined the future for His disciples reaching to the end of the world. He defined three major signs, two of which would involve Jerusalem. Listed briefly, they are:

1)   "The abomination of desolation" standing in "the holy place" which would signal the impending destruction of Jerusalem. (Matt.24:15 & Luke 21:20)

2)   Signs in the sun, moon and stars. (Matt. 24:29; Mark 13:24-25; Luke 21:25a)

3)   Jerusalem no longer trodden down - the times of the Gentiles fulfilled. (Luke 21:24)

p 2 -- Connected with His prophetic discourse, Jesus called attention to the book of Daniel (Matt. 24:15) There for the careful student is a third revelation involving Jerusalem. (See Dan. 11:45) In connection with this third revelation, is it possible that in a correct understanding of it, we can perceive the significance of Jesus' final utterance as He left the temple? (Matt. 23:39) All of these events which have taken place, and are to take place in the history of Jerusalem coupled with the symbolism of the book of Revelation, constitute the Jewish "equation."

In seeking to solve this "equation," it must be first noted with emphasis, that Jerusalem after 34 A.D was no longer "the holy cityof God,"nor were the Jewish people per se, God's "chosen people." It is true that Matthew, in noting the sign for the Christians to flee the city, described its presence as "in the holy place." (24:15) Mark says "standing where it ought not." (13:14) Luke literalizes it completely - "When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies." (21:20)

Another factor in solving the Jewish "equation" is the question - How shall these references be interpreted? Do we spiritualize these references, saying they have a double meaning, or a double application? Or do we take them literally in their given context clearly noting their fulfillment in history, or in a yet-to-be fulfilled event?

In the development of the prophetic teachings of the Advent Movement, these very same questions confronted our spiritual forefathers. One principle which they emphasized was - "The Bible must be interpreted according to the plain, obvious, and literal import unless a figure is employed." ("Biblical Interpretation in the Advent Movement" in A Symposium on Biblical Hermeneutics, p. 119.) The reason for this emphasis was that they were facing those who were seeking to counteract the message of Revelation 14 with the speculative philosophy of the second century church fathers. These father's concept of Scripture, Mosheim describes as follows:      They all believed the language of Scripture to contain two meanings; the one obvious and corresponding with the direct import of the words; the other recondite and concealed under the words, like the kernel by the shell: the former they neglected as of little value, and bestowed their chief attention on the latter; that is they were more intent on throwing obscurity over the sacred writings by the fictions of their own imaginations, than of searching out their true meaning. (Ecclesiatical History, Cent. II, Chapt. III, par. 5)

There is little difference between the application of these, 2nd Century philosophers, and their emphasis, and those today who use what is termed "double application" of Bible prophecy. For example, the words of Jesus in Matt. 24:15 are clearly recongized as having direct reference to the sign which marked the forthcoming destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, and served to alert the Jewish Christians to flee the city. But it is thought there is another meaning to Jesus's words. The "Abomination of Desolattion" is to stand in the Church as a "new" holy place. This fictitious concept is given the key emphasis in interpreting Matt. 24:15.

A simple solution to the Jewish "equation" would put all events in their proper place and give to the student light as to the last end of "the indignation."

A Brief Overlook at Daniel -- In the dream given to Nebuchadnezzar, the fourth kingdom of iron is recognized as Rome. But the iron does not stop at the ankles, but extends down to the very tips of the toes. In the first dream given to Daniel, the "little horn" ever remains a part of the fourth beast, although the interpretation given describes its activities separately. Daniel's next vision (Chapter 8) reveals an "horn" coming out of one of the four winds (West), distinct and separate from the other symbols whose historic fulfillment centered in the Middle East. This "horn" was to be "broken without hand." (8:25) The final prophecy given to Daniel represents this same power which "shall come to his end, and none shall help him." (11:45) In all these dreams and visions, Rome is pictured as one with two phases - pagan and papal.

In the book of Daniel, this two phased power is declared to be "the abomination of desolation." (8:13; 11:31; 12:11). It comes in contact with Jerusalem in its pagan form at the time it destroys the city and the temple. (9:26-27) This is the phase to which Jesus referred in His Olivet discourse (Matt. 24:15). However, the book of Daniel tells of the time when the papal phase will likewise come in contact with Jerusalem. Under

p 3 -- the symbolism of "the king" which shall magnify himself above every god, and shall "speak
marvelous things against the God of gods" (Dan. 11:36; compare with 7:25 & II Thess. 2:4), the papal phase "shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain." (Dan. 11:45) And Daniel understood the "holy mountain" to be Jerusalem. (9:16) We must understand that Daniel used language as he perceived Jerusalem from his viewpoint in time, not as we understand it in the light of events connected with the close of the 70 weeks which were determined upon Daniel's "people."

A Look at Revelation -- The book of Revelation naturally divides itself into two sections: Chapters 1-11 & 12-22. The final section contains two predominant symbols - two women and two cities - with the other symbols either as war with, or in alliance with these two women or cities.

As the final section of the prophecy opens, the power operating behind the symbols of the book of Daniel is revealed - the dragon, that old serpent, the devil or Satan. However, because of the victory of the Cross, he is pictured as defeated, and a time limit set upon his activities. He is "cast down" (12:10) and he knows he has "but a short time." (12:12)

Satan is also pictured as operating behind a facade. He gives "his power, and his seat, and great authority" to the beast, one of whose heads is "wounded to death." (13:2-3) He has his prophet, "a false Elijah," who though lamb-like speaks as a "dragon." (Com 13:14 with 19:20; note 13:11,13) It is this false prophet who suggests "to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had a wound by a sword and did live." (13:14)

God's response to all "of this behind-the scenes activity of Satan is a message of warning that if- anyone worships .the beast and his image shall suffer the wrath of God which is poured out in the Seven Last Plagues (14: 9-10, 15:1

During the portrayal of the Seven Last Plagues to John, he is shown the second woman - "the great whore that sitteth upon many waters." (17: 1) The woman, Babylon, (17:5,18) had been seen sitting on the River Euphrates which was dried up under the sixth plague (16:12) But when one of the angels of the plagues reveals in symbolic detail this whore, she is riding upon a scarlet colored beast. (17:3)

This beast is defined as one that "was, and is not, and yet is," and though being "the eighth" is "of the seven." (17:8,11) He is the source of the seven heads. In John's day, five had fallen - Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. One was - Rome. Daniel noted it consistently as being in two phases - pagan and papal. One was yet to come - the 2nd beast of Rev. 13, or the false prophet. (See 17:10)

The beast of Rev. 17 carrying the whore is the "yet is" phase of Satan. And it is in this connection that Revelation 17 touches Daniel 11:45.    (To be continued)

A CORRECTION -- ( This note was copied into the Feb. 87 issue. ) -- In the February issue of WWN (XX - 2), I told of the Hartland Institute Bible Conference where Elder Thomas A. Davis presented a paper on the Incarnation which taught that doctrine exactly the same way the "Holy Flesh" leadership taught it. In listing some of the key personnel of the Bible Conference, included Dr. Ralph Larson. In so doing, I had no reason to doubt my source - a young man who himself was present. I have known him to be a strictly honest person and careful in small detail. I can only assume that he mistook someone present to have been Dr. Larson, perhaps knowing Dr. Larson had been invited to attend. I am sorry for this factual error, and apologize to Dr. Larson for the embarrassment it has caused him.

In a letter to me dated, March 1, 1987, Dr. Larson stated:      The fact is that I was invited to attend the conference but declined the invitation. I was emphatically not present, so did not take part in any discussions as your paper reports that I did. Curiously enough, my reason for not attending the conference was that I had received an advance copy of Tom Davis' paper and did not feel comfortable with all the views expressed in it.

Prior to the Hartland Conference, Dr. Larson had written to Dr. Colin Standish and Ron Spear regarding the paper prepared by Elder T. A. Davis. In a letter dated, August 3, 1986, he wrote in part:      Now, in regard to the conference at Hartland: ... Upon my return from Eatonville, I carefully studied the papers that had been prepared for that conference, and in particular those written by Brother Tom. This jelled my apprehensions into a firm conviction that it would not be in the best interests of all concerned for me to attend that conference...

I see no way that I could be seen at other than a trouble maker if I have to raise questions in the unavoidably confrontational context of an open meeting. This is something I am very eager to avoid.

Dr. Larson speaks of his "acute discomfort" with the position take by Elder Davis, and as "an opinion for which I have no sympathies." This adds to our regret for having erroneously included his name in the list of those present, because we concur 100% in Dr. Larson's position. Sadly both Ron Spear and Dr. Colin Standish follow Davis.

p 4 -- (See Commentary, Vol 1 No. 1, pp. 1, 8-9)

Dr. Larson placed in writing his objection to a key position taken by Davis, and which would apply equally to the emphasis placed by the "Holy Flesh" men of Indiana. The key text used by both was Hebrews 2:11 where Davis and Donnell consider the phrase "all of one" - as meaning, "all of one nature." Dr. Larson clearly shows that the Greek will not support this contention. The Greek demands - "all of one source" the source not being named. While many translators consider supplying the word, "Father," Larson points out that A. T. Jones "in the first of a series of talks on The Third Angel's Message delivered at the General Conference session of February, 1895, used Hebrews 2:11 as his opening text" and aptly referred to the common origin as Adam. Jones said:       In His human nature, Christ came from the man from whom all have come; so that the expression in this verse, "all of one," is the same as "all from one." -- as all coming forth from one. And the genealogy of Christ, as one of us, runs to Adam. Luke 3:38.

No wonder that both Jones and Waggoner were vigorously opposed to the "Holy Flesh" men and their teachings. This now adds another question arising from the Hartland Bible Conference. Why did Elder R. J. Wieland, who was present, not confront Davis with what the Lord's messenger of 1888 said?

CHRIST OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS -- Lesson # 2 -- The Deity of Christ --

Question Answer
1. How is Jesus described by John? John 1:1,14
2.What is the testimony of the Father about His Son? Heb. 1:8 (See Note 1.)
3. What was the testimony of the apostle Thomas? John 20:26-28
4. How did Paul express this in a hymn of praise? I Tim.3:16 (See note 2.)
5. What testimony did Isaiah give concerning Christ? Isaiah 9:6
6. How did the angel of the Lord describe the child to be born? Matt. 1:21-23
7. Who has all judgement been given to? John 5:22,23
8. Who did the Psalmist Asaph describe as being judge? Psalm 50:1-6
9.  How long has Jesus existed? Micah 5:2
10. By what name did God reveal Himself to Moses at the burning bush? Exodus 3:14
11. What did Jesus tell the Jews about His relationship to the, "I AM" God? John 8:53-58 (See note 3.)
12. How important is our belief that Jesus is the "I AM"? John 8:24
13. What does God declare Himself to be? Isaiah 44:6
14. In what scriptures does Christ adopt the same expression? Rev. 22:13 & Rev. 1:17
15. What fullness dwells in Christ? Col. 2:9

  "This name was not given in consequence of some great achievement, but it is His by right of inheritance... A son always rightfully takes the name of the father; and Christ, as 'the only begotten Son of God,' has rightfully the same name... Christ is the '
express image' of the Father's person. Hebrews 1:3." Chirst Our Righteousness p. 12.

2.   The Greek word for mystery, musterion, (moos-tay-ree-on), as used in the New Testament does not carry the concept of incomprehension, but rather, "is a secret which God wills to make known and has charged His apostles to declare to those who have ears to hear it." The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament, p. 420.

3.   Verse 59 shows that the Jews understood that Jesus claimed to be the "I AM" because they took up stones to stone Him. (See John 10:30-33) Also read: John 6:35; 8:12; 10:9-11; 11:25,26; 14:6; 15:1-5.

p 5 -- The TIMES of JAMES REPEATED -- H. L. Hoover -- While the book of James is not a book of prophecy, it does express the same conviction as was common to the Apostolic Church. They were living in "the last days." John wrote - "Little children, it is the last time." (I John 2:18) Peter, in his first Epistle, speaks of the manifestation of Christ as coming "in these last times." (I Peter 1:20) This is echoed in the book of Hebrews - "In this last days," God has spoken unto us by His Son. (Heb. 1:2)

James' letter, written just prior to his death, and within the shadows of the coming destruction of Jerusalem, notes the accumulation of great wealth by the few, and the resultant conditions to the many, as a sign that "the coming of the Lord draweth-nigh." (James 5:8) The end of the Jewish nation was hastening on apace. Having rejected their Messiah, and the gospel proclaimed by His apostles, the Jews, hardened in heart, who were in positions of power lost all regard for the needs and wants of their less fortunate brethren. They kept back "the hire of the laborers" who reaped their fields, while they "lived in pleasure." Those who might cry out against the injustice of the system were "condemned and killed." (James 5:4-6)

The cries of the defrauded people entered into the ears of the Lord of hosts, (James 5:4) Jerusalem was ripe for destruction. When we realize that Jesus in telling of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the events associated with the end of the world, mingled the two prophecies, we can see in James' outline of the economic situation prior to Jerusalem's destruction, a similar situation which marks our own age. (See Great Controversy, p. 36)

The modern end-time development of central banking under corporate charter which permits the holding and passing to future generations accumulated wealth; obviating the natural law of returning to society the unused wealth at the time of death of the individual has produced results similar to the conditions by James.

During the theocracy God ordained that the year of jubilee would be the time when debts, accumulated perhaps by misfortune, would be forgiven and everyone could return to his possession. God, also, forbade usury.

The end-time witnesses a global disregard of this Divine plan. Its corollary - a time of trouble such as there never has been - looms just before us.

Contemporary economic, and pendulum-like movements between prosperity and depression, are scientifically planned and controlled by modern banking practice to transfer vast sums of wealth from the many to the few. Such shifting of wealth can be accomplished only by fraud.

The evolutionary development of banking practices dating back to ancient Babylon would not reveal much more than the rhythmical humdrum of ossified custom until about the seventeenth century. This fact leads to an enlightened supposition that modern banking practices came into existence as a necessary germinal force unmasking the heretofore unprobed depths of human venality and gross corruption.

The present financial upheaval is being felt by every nation and every economic strata of society. The orderly flow of commerce has been disrupted; cash flow is reduced to a trickle; bankruptcy is used to liquidate oppressive debt burden. There is widespread unemployment. Government programs to ease poverty can no longer be sustained. Violence, seething moral, financial, and political corruption fills the world.

Political leaders, in their sober moments, know that the world is balanced precariously on the brink of bankruptcy, but cannot understand the cause. Many have a visceral fear that the present situation cannot be reversed; that it is out of control and can only end in some unimaginable chaos and anarchy.

Students of prophecy can only ask: "Is the world in the throes of that prophecied time of trouble or wiII there be another surge of prosperity, then another depression, and with it national ruin?"     Brother H. L. Hoover is a Business and Tax Consultant residing in Coquille, Oregon.

p 6 -- A review of modern banking practice will support the statement of Major L. L. B. Angas who said - "The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that ever was invented. Banks can, in fact, inflate; mint and unmint the modern ledger-entry currency." [Read "fraud" instead of "sleight of hand."]

The concept of the Central Bank made its debut in history, when the king of England sought the help of the goldsmith (Rothschild) for a loan of money to fight a war. Rothschild was happy to comply, for he was able to bring to fruition a system that became known as the Central Bank.

Parliament gave exclusive right to Rothschild to furnish (or bring into existence) money when needed by the Crown. The treasury was authorized to print the money needed and give it to Rothschild's Bank of England. The Bank of England thereupon exchanged the money for bonds bearing interest. This sleight-of-hand maneuver gave wealth to Rothschild for which he did not labor.

The house of Rothschild, through the agent Paul Warburg and under the leadership of Senator Nelson Aldrich (David Rockefeller's maternal grandfather), introduced the Glass bill into Congress. This bill was disguised as a measure to strip Wall Street of its power, but became known as the Federal Reserve Act. This act became law in December, 1913. This law made the Federal Reserve the nation's bank, the same as the Bank of England for Great Britian. Rockefeller and Rothschild are the principal stockholders in the Federal Reserve.

Depressions, or economic dislocatlons, are the natural fruitage of a man's depraved nature made possible by law. Such law as that which permits a corporate entity to have the sole right to print a nation's currency, and which does not provide for accountability to the nation for its use of the privilege, opens the floodgate to a form of venality unprecendented in all prior history.

So that the mind may adequately comprehend the game foisted on the unsuspecting citizenry of a nation through a law permitting a central bank to create currency, one must use an analogy on a mental level conducive to comprehension.

If a State should pass a law giving a person the sole right to break into the dwellings of all the citizens, rob the occupants of all their wealth, then force the same occupants to borrow from the robber for their living needs, pay interest on that obligation that would never be retired, you can dimly begin to perceive what has happened to the United States as a result of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. This, also, is the state of things in all nations having a central banking system.

It is interesting to note the trend of the American government following immediately upon the passage of the Federal Reserve Act: - the spending of vast sums of money, even beyond the burdensome taxes collected, to fight two world wars, fund social programs, numerous bureaucratic agencies such as the NRA, etc., the Marshal plan to rebuild Europe after our war machine had destroyed it, welfare programs, grants to foreign governments, vast sums to maintain military alliances, subsidies to farmers and industries, and the exploration of space and the maintenance of a colossal military establishment which goes beyond the Constitutional mandate to protect the citizenrs against foreign invasion.

Did all this just happen? Or is there some back-room planning? Does the Federal Reserve, which profits greatly from deficit financing, have a sales department staffed with a bevy of PhD's who specialize in the social sciences and war as legitimate forces to be used in directing history? Do they actively lobby Congress?

More must be said about fraud in this scheme of things. James wrote - "Which is of you kept back by fruad, crieth." How can a banking system keep back or deprive a person of his earned wages? The method and means by which this is done has become a science.

Within a period of 73 years, since 1913, the Federal Reserve has accumulated title to property into the tens of trillions of dollars. By law, the Federal Reserve acquires the rights to property when currency is printed and given to them. Another way is to build up a mountain of consumer debt, then, by restricting the flow of credit, bring about a depression at which time the banks seize property for a fraction of its worth. This "heaped treasure" and "kept back by fruad" is much more than a struggle between capital and labor. It is an end-time phenomenon.

p 7 -- To Daniel the angel said - "Go thy way, ... for the words ["and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation"] are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shal1 understand; but the wise shall understand." (Dan. 12:9-10)

A few months ago there was much speculation about whether the debtor nations would agree to repudiate their debts to the Federal Reserve. And if that should happen, what effect this would have on the world economy.

Before recording the concensus among the financial analysts, some facts should be noted:  Most industrial nations have a debt currency system. That is, their currency is not backed or supported by gold, or silver. You cannot take a paper certificate to the bank and demand gold. A ten dollar bill, or one of any stated value, is only evidence of debt, not of stored value in redeemable gold.

In view of this, what could the financial analysts see following the repudiation of the debtor nation's loan's? A domino effect would follow setting in motion undulating waves of debt repudation that would touch every financial institution. Banks would be unable to pay their depositors. Banks could not collect on their loans. Consumers would default on their loans. Pension funds, Social Security, and all retirement plans would be bankrupt. Industry would grind to a halt. Widespread unemployment, hunger and crime would breed anarchy. All of this could now be a reality if the debtor nations had not agreed to borrow additional funds to pay the accrued interest.

How much longer can these negative economic forces be restrained? Till the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads? Is this now the last round of credit expansion, - then depression and chaos???

The devil has not forgotten a lesson learned when four hundred of his priests were forced into a contest with Elijah. "There shall not be dew nor rain," was God's way of conditioning the people to consider His words. [Keep in mind the situation at the end will be a reversal of Elijah's day. It is the false prophet who brings the fire down. Rev. 13:13] So now the collapse of the world's financial system could very well cause a drying up of all sources of credit; and like the absence of dew or rain, cause unimaginable suffering. During this period of stress and suffering men would be asking questions and seeking solutions. What is the root cause of all this trouble that has come upon the world?

Religious leaders controlled by Satan would declare - "It is because we are desecrating the Lord's day." Lone voices will urge the keeping of the Bible Sabbath. Amid the cacophony of voices will be heard the echo of Elijah's counsel, "How long halt ye between two opinions?"

God has provided many signs for His people so they may know when His coming is near, even at the doors. We are definitely in end-time. The time of trouble is yet future, but very near if the breakdown of the world's financial institutions will be the cause of that trouble. A storm is about to break. "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip." (Heb.2:1) --- (1987 Apr) --- End --- TOP

1987 May-- XX - 5(87) -- THE JEWISH EQUATION -- Part 2 -- The same suggestion as was made for the study of Part One is in order also for Part Two. Follow closely each Bible reference given. (Editor)

An over view of the final chapters of Revelation is in order that we might better evaluate the factors essential in the solution of the Jewish equation.

Following the outline of the Three Angels' Messages, the Seven Last Plagues are introduced. (Rev. 15:1) From this setting all that follows is explained and amplified. Observe carefully the following points:
1)   One of the seven angels of the plagues, shows John "the judgment of the great whore." (17:1)
2)   One of the same seven angels shows John "the Lamb's wife."( 21:9)
3)   Within the delineation of the plagues, the whore of Revelation 17 is first seen by John. (16:12; 17:1)
4)   "The battle of the great day of God Almighty" is first mentioned. (16:14)
5)   The place where this confrontation occurs is defined as "Har-Magedon". (16:16)

As we analyze these various points, we might ask ourselves some questions. Why should an angel of the seven plagues explain to John both the "whore" and "the Lamb's wife"? Both are noted as a "great city". (17:18; 21:10) Both are symbolized as a "woman". (17:3; Gal. 4:6) There is a conflict over these cities. God brings judgment on "Babylon". (16:19) The final plagues are directed wholly toward "Babylon". (18:8 ) On the other hand, in the battle of "Gog an Magog" the forces of evil from all time are gathered together in an attempt to take "the beloved city". (20:8-9) This period from the plagues to the lake of fire has been rightly defined as "the day of the Lord." (See II Peter 3:8-10)

p 2 -- Further, as the plagues are being explained to John, it is also revealed that powers - "the spirits of devils" - are at work to "gather" the leadership of the "whole world" to battle against God. (16:13-14) More detai1 is given as the beast which carries the "great whore" is shown to John. Here "ten kings" join the "beast" (of Revelation 17) to "make war with the Lamb." (17:12-14) This is amplified in the "war" described in Revelation 19:11-21. And all of this is pictured as centering in one place - "a place which is called in Hebrew Har-Magedon." (16:16 ARV)

[Note:   The word, place, in the Greek is topos from which is derived the English words, "topology" and "topography." In the Greek, the word refers to a literal location. For example - "Pilate... sat down in the judgement seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha." (John 19:13) It can also refer to a state of mind. Esau is described as being unable to find a "place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears." (Heb. 12:17, See margin) In Rev. 16:16, both uses of the word add to the meaning of the verse. The leadership of earth is gathered to a specific place, and in so gathering under the influence of the spirits of devils pass an unseen line, thus reaching a point of no return, finding "no place for repentance."]

The Seven Last Plagues -- There is a principle to the interpretation of the revelations given in the Seven Last Plagues chapter which is frequently overlooked. All the plagues, save one, constitutes God's response to what man has done in probationary time. (The one exception is the third plague which is a repeat of, "blood" due to the death decree against the"saints". See comment, Great Controversy, p. 628) This principle of understanding Revelation 16 is easily seen by noting the first plague. (16:2) The "grievous sore" falls on those who "had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image." When was this mark received, and when was this worship begun? Before or after the close of probation? The answer is simple - prior to the close of probation. Using this same principle for the sixth plague, we find the plague itself falls "upon the great river Euphrates." (16:12) Its results carry over into the seventh plague "great Babylon comes into remembrance before God." (16:19) But what causes God to pour out this plague? The answer is that the triumvirate of evil - the dragon, beast (Rev. 13), and the false prophet (2nd beast of Rev.13) - gather the rulers of earth to Har-Magedon.

Lest there be a misunderstanding, let it be clearly understood that all the Seven Last Plagues come after the close of human probtion. However, the explanation as to why the plague is poured out is distinctly separate from the plague itself. This needs to be understood and distinguished in the study of Revelation 16. Thus Revelation 16:13-16 will be fulfilled prior to the close of probation. (See use made of Rev. 16:13-14 in Great Controversy, pp. 561-562)

While the sixth plague is poured out on what is termed "the great river Euphrates," the "spirits of devils" had gathered the leadership of earth with their forces to a place with a Hebrew designation. Herein is a factor of the Jewish equation. God's wrath reveals how He views this development. To Him it is what He has always revealed it to be - Babylon, the epitome of rebellion. Thus the symbolism of "the great river Euphrates," and the fact that the "whore" is carried by the beast that "was, and is not, and yet is" who makes war with the Lamb. (Rev.17:14) But the spirits of devils do not gather their devotees to the river Euphrates, but rather to a place called in the Hebrew, Har-Magedon.

[Note:   The prophet Jeremiah declared of Babylon - "It shall no more be inhabited forever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation." Jer. 50:39 These words are from a scroll which Jeremiah sent to Babylon with Seraiah. He told this prince that having read this scroll in Babylon, he was to "bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrate." When doing so, he was to say - "Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her." (Jer. 51:60-64) The word of the Lord is that the literal city of Babylon after its destruction would never rise again. Only a "symbolic" Babylon would exist. God's judgment on Jerusalem is in contrast to this. Although destroyed in 70 A.D., the prophecy of Jesus indicated that it would be trampled down only "until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21:24)

Har-Magedon -- In the Hebrew language - har - means, mountain. This rules out "Megiddo" for it is a valley. (Zech. 12:11) However, there is a mountain named in the Old Testament which meets linguistic requirements. It is called, har-mo'ed - Mount of the Congregation. It is described as being "in the sides of the north" or Mt. Zion "the city of the great King." (See Isa. 14:13; Ps. 48:2) By noting the objectives of Lucifer in Isaiah 14:12-14, it is he who plans to "sit upon the mount of the congregation" - har-mo'ed. To this end, the spirits of devils gather the nations of the earth. Daniel simply states - "He shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain." (11:45) To John it revealed that "the spirits of devils" coming from the dragon, beast and false prophet gather the nations to the mount of the congregation. But the prophetic message behind this symbolism is that literal Jerusalem is to be made "an holy city" from man's view-point, while God's view-point the deception is in reality, Babylon the Great. The significance to us is that when this occurs, the prophecy states - "And at that time shall Michael stand up." (Dan. 12:1) "But the true leader of all of this rebellion is Satan clothed as an angel of light. Men will be deceived and will exalt him to the place of God, and deify him. But Omnipotence will interpose, and to the apostate churches that unite in exaltation of Satan, the sentence will go forth, 'Therefore shall her plagues come in one day...'" (TM, p. 62) How near are we to the fulfillment of this Divine edict?

[Note:   One might be perplexed about Revelation 16:16. Should the text read - "And he gathered them together" (KJV) or should it read - "And they gathered them together" (ARV) ? The Greek verb, sunago, as used in this verse is in the 2nd aorist (past) singular form. Ordinarily, this would indicate - "he gathered" - however, a Greek neuter plural noun can take a singular verb. The word, spirits, is such a noun in the Greek, allowing the translation - "they gathered." The context requires - "they gathered" - as indicated in verse 14, where the infinitive form of sunago is used: - "to gather them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty."]    To Be Continued

If one desires a diagram of the linguistic transition of har-magedon b z-i ck through the Greek to the Hebrew, send a self-addressed stamped envelope.

p 3 -- WHO ARE THE JEWS WHO WORSHIP AT THE SAINT'S FEET? -- In two recent issues of "Watchman, What of the Night?" the issue of whether Laodicea or Philadelphia represents the translation church has been raised. This matter is an important one and worthy of careful consideration. The purpose of this article will not be to pronounce a fearful woe upon Laodicea which is not in the Writings, but rather to show clearly the relationship between Philadelphia and Laodicea. -      And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little sttength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Revelation 3:7,8.

Here Jesus addresses Himself as He that holds the key of David. To this must apply the prophecy of Isaiah 22:21,22 - "And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open." In the prophecy of Isaiah, Eliakim was appointed to the supervision over the house of David as signified by the fact that he was to be given "the key of the house of David." In the Revelation, Christ addresses Himself as the One whom has possession of the "key", thus representing His jurisdiction over the church. It is with this key that Christ has the authority to open and shut.

At one time, there was no doubt as to what was referred to by this "open door" among Seventh-day Adventists. Any historic Adventist knew that this referred to the sanctuary in heaven. Not long ago I was studying with a semi-retired Adventist minister; as we were going through this prophecy I asked him what this "open door" referred to. This minister, who claimed to be a historic Seventh-day Adventist, had no real idea as to what it represented. I was shocked, yet it helped to reveal to me just what an awful shape the ministers of our church are in. (Another ordained minister recently told me, "Sister White says that we should not study the incarnation." When I asked him for a reference, he could think of none.)

One of the best Spirit of Prophecy references for the Revelation 3:7 text is found in the 1884 edition of The Great Controversy. The importance of the reference is that it not only relates Revelation 3:7 to the sanctuary in heaven, but it also gives the time of the application. A careful reading of pages 268, 269 sets the time frame. -      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. After the passing of the time of expectation, in 1844, Adventists still believed the Saviour's coming to be very near; they held that they had reached an important crisis, and that the work of Christ as man's intercessor before God, had ceased....But clearer light came with the investigation of the sanctuary question. Now was seen the application of those words of Christ in the Revelation, addressed to the church at this very time: "These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth; I know thy works; behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it." (Emphasis supplied.)

What does the phrase, "Now was seen the application" make reference to? To the time "after ... 1844"! What "words" applied at that time? The message of Revelation 3:7,8. With the great antitypical day of atonement starting October 22, 1844; there was no way that this prophecy could find fulfillment before said time. How often we have been taught that the Philadelphia church began in the 2nd half of the 18th century, or near there about? And how many more times have we been taught that the Philadelphia church ended in 1844? To try to state that, the Philadelphia church started before 1844 would necessitate a denial of what the "open door" represents, for that door did not open until 1844.

In making reference to the "hour of temptation" spoken of in Revelation 3:10, Sister White stated in 1847 that it was "yet to come." A Word to the "Little Flock" p.12.

p 4 --One reading may now think, "Perhaps it is true that the Philadelphia church started in 1844, but how do I know that it is indeed the translation church?"

What hour of temptation is the one mentioned here, that must come after 1847, an hour of temptation that, "shall come upon all the world"? It can only be the great time of trouble. Praise God! He promises, to keep us during that great time. In verse 12 Jesus says: "I will write upon him the name of my God." Who else in the book of Revelation do we find having the Father's name written upon them? "And I looked, and lo, a lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. Revelation 14:1. Here we see the 144,000 are those who have the Father's name just as the Philadelphians do. With this, both James and Ellen White were in agreement. In The Advent Review, vol. 1, #4 is the following quotation from James White:      The history and description of the 144,000 apply to those who are to be changed at the coming of the Lord, and to no other class. First, 'having his Father's name written in their foreheads.' Said the true Witness to the Philadelphia church, ' Him that overcometh, will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out, and I will WRITE UPON HIM THE NAME OF MY GOD.' Where? ' In their FOREHEADS,' just where John saw the ' Father's name.' Now just as sure as the Philadelphia church is the true church of the last days, just so sure the 144,000 are sealed, just before the coming of the Lord. (Emphasis his.)

Not only do the Philadelphians have the Father's name in their foreheads, but they also have "the name of the city of My God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God." And also Jesus' "new name." Revelation 3:12. This corresponds to the discription that E. G. White gave to the 144,000 in her first vision as recorded in Early Writings p. 15:      The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus' new name.

The relationship between the 144,000 and the Philadelphians is too clear to miss. Jesus says, "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." Revelation 3:11. Here we see the Philadelphians are carried all the way down to the second coming of Christ.

There, is now another aspect of the Philadelphia church that must be addressed: who are the "Jews" that are of the "synagogue of Satan"? We read that they are to worship at the feet of the saints and they at last acknowledge that God has loved them. In the Revelation Seminars Bible prophecy course being taught by the church today is a comment concerning this. On page 6 of lesson number five we read: "This church, (Philadelphia) however had difficulties with the same group as did the church of Smyrna. What was the group called?" The answer given is: "The synagogue of Satan" with the following note:      Notice that the people of Satan's synagogue (church) were here pretending to be faithful, true members of God's church and did not reveal their true colors. These are the most dangerous emissaries of the devil, because they appear so righteous and sweet and loving. Jesus calls them wolves in sheeps clothing, Matthew 7:15. We can expect the devil's representatives to be devious and deceitful.

Just as the leaders in Christ's day condemned themselves with their answer to the question put forth by Jesus at the end of the parable of the wicked husbandmen, (Matt. 21:33-45) so today the leadership has condemned themselves without first knowing. In the chapter, "False Shepherds" in Early Writing on page 124 we learn more about these "Jews" who worship before the feet of the saints. -      I saw that the priests who are leading on their flock to death are soon to be arrested in their dreadful career. The plagues of God are coming, but it will not be sufficient for the false shepherds to be tormented with one or two of these plagues. God's hand at that time will be stretched out still in wrath and justice and will not be brought to Himself again untiI His purposes are fully accomplished, and the hireling priests are led to worship at the feet of the saints, and to acknowledge that God has loved them because they held fast the truth and kept God's commandments. (Emphasis mine.)

These "Jews" are called "hireling priests". (Please read John 10:1-14 to find out what Jesus taught about the hireling.) There can be no doubt as to the time element given here,"The plagues of God are coming." These events are happening at the very end of time. To find out exactly who these "Jews" are we read from page 12 of A Word to the "Little Flock", dated April 21, 1847. -      You think, that those who worship before the saint's feet, (Rev. 3:9), will at last be saved. Here I must differ with you; for God shew me that this class were

p 5 -- professed Adventists, who had fallen away, and "crucified to themselves the Son of God afresh," and put him to an open shame." And in the "hour of temptation," which is yet to come, to show out every one's true character, they will know that they are forever lost; and overwhelmed with anguish of spirit, they will bow at the saint's feet. (Emphasis mine.)

Here we read about "professed Adventists, who had fallen away." As most would read this they might assume that she is making reference to people who had gone out of the church organization., However, it was not until sixteen years after the writing that the organization was formed. The reference must be in relationship to the truth. It is the truth that they have fallen away from. Since the 1950s the leadership of the Laodicean church has been turning away from truth, and in 1980 the church sealed their case in the .heavenly sanctuary (see Vol. 8, p. 247) with the voting of the apostate doctrines from the Dallas General Conference session. It was at this time that the "faithful and .true Witness" spewed Laodicea out.

In Revelation 13 we read about a great conflict over whom man will give his allegiance to. The issue is bigger than on which day we will worship. The issue is to whom we will give our allegiance. The day upon which we worship will be the indicator of whom we will give our loyalty to. If we follow blind leaders then our case will be hopeless and we will finally be with the spewed out Laodiceans "who worship before the saint's feet." These "Jews" will be "forever lost." That should settle the matter of importance. Souls are at stake. If we continue to follow the teachings of the church without question, then we have given our conscience to another. -      This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. They be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Matthew 15:8, 9, 14.

One final note: the Seventh-day Adventist who follows after the hierarchy and the apostate doctrines of a completed, final atonement at the cross, and a revised version of the immaculate cbnception cannot be related to the Philadelphians. Why can we say this? Because of the testimony that God loves the Philadelphians "because they held fast the truth."    A. Stump

CHRIST OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS -- Lesson # 3 -- Christ As Creator --

Question Answer
1. What are the very first words of the Bible? Gen. 1:1
2.How long was God involved in creation? Exodus 20:11
3. How long does the Bible declare a day to be? Gen. 1:5 (See note 1)
4. How did God create the heavens and the earth? Ps. 33:6-9
5. Which member of the Godhead was the active agent in creation? John 1:1-3
6. Does the expression, "all things" mean even our world? John 1:10
7. Who does Paul in the book of Hebrews declare to be the creator? Heb. 1:1,2
8. What is the testimony of God the Father concerning the creatorship of His Son? Heb. 1:8-10
9.  After stating that Jesus is "the image of the invisible God," what does the apostle Paul declare? Col. 1:16
10. Had anything existed before Christ? Col. 1:17
11. Did Jesus receive any help creating? Isa. 44:24
12. How does God want us to behold Him? Isa. 40;25,26
13. What distinguishes the true God from the false gods? Jer. 10: 10-12
14. In what simple words did the Psalmast express this truth? Ps. 96:5
15. Why is Christ worthy of our worship? Rev. 4:11 (See note 2)

  See also Genesis 1:8,13,19,23,31. Since the Word of God is true and cannot lie, the story of creation completely rules out the idea that man evolved from some lower form of life over a long period of time.

2. "Let no one imagine that we would exalt Christ at the expense of the Father, or would ignore the Father. That cannot be, for They are one, and Their interests are identical. We honor the Father in honouring the Son.' He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the
Father.' Therefore no one can have a high conception of the Father unless he has a high conception of Christ .... Our object in this investigation is to set forth Christ's rightful position of equality with the Father, in order that His power to redeem may be the better
appreciated." Christ Our Righteousness pp. 19,20.

"The Bible is the only
rule of faith and doctrine."
(EGW, R&H, July 17, 1888)

p 6 -- COMMENTS on the COMMENTARY -- Soon after the first issue of Commentary reached the field, the requests to be placed on the mailing list began to trickle in, then to pour in, and at this writing, the volume has not diminished. With some of the requests came notes and short letters of comment. These were an encouragement to us, and we wish to share some of these with our readers. [Lest you are led to believe that all were one-sided, let us state that a few requests came asking their names be dropped from the mailing list for Watchman. This was to be expected. Our policy has always been and still is - we do not wish to send any of our publications to anyone who does not want to receive them.]

I would like to continue being on your mailing list. I have been on your mailing list and I know it takes money to print your truths. I know we are living in.the end of' time. I want to be ready and don't want to be deceived, and I don't want others to be. I will pray for you and your staff that you will continue to warn us of the coming dangers and deceptions. -- Nebraska

I have enjoyed the "Watchman, What of the Night?" for many years, and now I see I can enjoy the Commentary aIso. Thank you for all the information. These are the last of the last days. I am on SS, so have not much but wish to send a token of my appreciation for your generous papers all this time. I'm sure your burdens are many and heavy, but just as sure, that the Lord is leading and blessing. -- Michigan

I'm so grateful I was on your mailing list to receive your Commentary. I immediately read it from cover to cover. It is excellent!!! I had read Bob Sessler's manuscript on "The Abomination of Desolation", so I had an insight of what you were replying to. ... I am striving through our Father to be among the 144,000, as I know you are also. God bless and be with you as you endeavor to do His will. -- California

I enjoy "Watchman, What of the Night?" and now Commentary. The world and even the Church is in a mess, but I know that this is one of the signs of the end. But it bothers me to know where to put my tithes - where is God's true storehouse now? The Bible says to bring them to the storehouse. I have sent my tithes to different places, and to the Church, but somehow I am not happy in doing either. "Oh for more understanding." Could you help; would appreciate it. I feel you are a very honest person and want each to know what is going on, and that you are like the voice of the prophets. "Praise the Lord" some one is watching in Zion. -- Kansas

Greetings to a Union College grad! For years now you have been so kind as to send your "Watchman, What of the Night?" and I am so appreciative of this fact! I'm always looking forward to the next number. I fully believe God has given you a clear vision of the basic truths of the Bible -- and this is very necessary to one who has been immersed in "science" all his life. Nine years of my life were spent sitting at the feet of worldly scientists. We who are "weak" here in Biblical truths need your observatons, you of the "spiritual mind." -- Michigan

Just a note to let you know how we are enjoying the thought papers and now the Commentary. We think it is great. No doubt you will be getting a lot of feedback of opposition, but it is time to let people know who is who, and what is what; and we are thankful for what you and Brother Stump are doing. Be of good courage and press on. The Lord willing we will be attending the Fellowship. -- Oregon

God bless you for telling the truth. -- Maryland

In every age and time God has His faithful "watchman on the walls." Our people are asleep. -- Tennessee

Do appreciate you mailing the Commentary - much to be read and studied as to the "strange revelations" happening in and about the church. We indeed are living in perilous times and more than ever need to recognize that "Satan" is in our midst with subtle transformations in many ways ....

With the knowledge of the changing of the books of Ellen G. White, which grieves me terribly, no doubt you have received the same question many times: "Just what can we know are her writings for sure?' Oh, how could anyone be so deceitful as to do this is beyond my comprehension. -- Idaho --- (1987 May) ---End---- TOP

1987 Jun -- XX - 6(87) -- NOW YOU CAN HEAR THE THUNDER -- When dark and turbulent clouds gather on the horizon, you know that a storm is approaching. You can see the lightning flashes, but you do not hear the sound of thunder. The storm is too far away. However, as the storm nears, each flash of lightning is followed by the sound of thunder. If you time the lapse between when you see the lightning and hear the thunder, you can approximate how far the storm is away, and by several checks how rapidly it is approaching.

We have been warned that "a storm is coming, relentless in its fury." (8T:315) Already the ominous clouds are on the horizon. We have seen the lightning flashes. The storm has come closer. Now we can hear the thunder!

In the February 20, 1987, issue of Christianity Today, the lead article featured the agenda of the Christian Reconstructionists. The multicolored cover on the issue illustrated their objectives and in so doing drew from prophetic symbolism.

The article itself was captioned - "Democracy as Heresy" with a subheading - "Reconstructionists anticipate a day when Christians will govern using the Old Testament as the Law book." On the symbolic cover was superimposed the message - "God's Law for a New Order." It should be understood that Christianity Today (CT) is not endorsing the Agenda of the Christian Reconstructionists but merely reporting the results of research done by one of the associate editors. However, the status given to the report of that research - the lead article and the cover picture - does indicate the importance attached to the findings.

Back in the early 1960's, a group of American Christians began calling for a reconstruction more radical than was imposed on the South following the American Civil War. They with their patriarch, Rousas John Rushdoony of Armenian extraction, found few listeners then. But

p 2 -- today things have changed. Rushdoony and his cohorts "are regular guests on religious television shows, hobnob with a potential candidate for the presidency, testify in dozens of church-state education trials, and gain burgeoning number of adherents in the charismatic wing of evangelicalism. Newsweek has labeled Rushdoony's Chalcedon Foundation as "the think tank of the Religious Right."

Besides Rushdoony, there are two other primary persons involved in this proposed program, Greg Bahnsen and Gary North. All three hold earned doctorates. North and Rushdoony are prolific authors writing on varied subjects, while Bahnsen is the most scholarly of the three. At one time all three were associated together at the Chalcedon Foundation. Today, they have all gone separate ways but still holding the original concepts. Rushdoony heads the 12 member staff of the Chalcedon Foundation at Vallecito, California, while North, his son-in-law, has launched the Institute for Christian Economics at Tyler, Texas. Bahnsen is currently a pastor of an Orthodox Presbyterian church in southern California.

What Is Their Program? -- First, it is Biblically orientated. Rushdoony insists that "without the Bible every fact from atoms to man is unrelated to all others." And apart from the Bible, there is "no knowledge at all - only chance and universal death."

They believe that Christians should be theonomic, that is, live by God's law. The Reconstructionists interpret this to mean exactly and as strictly as the law was revealed to ancient Israel. Brahnsen states that "every single stroke of the law must be seen by the Christian as applicable to this very age between the advents of Christ." However, they do recognize that the coming of Christ abrogated the ceremonial law, and thus the requirements for animal sacrifices are ended. But they do not see Israel as a unique theocratic state, but rather as a blueprint of what all nations need to be.

In their perception of last day events, the Chalcedon Foundation believe that the church will triumph bringing all things under the dominion of Christ before His second coming. In contrast to D. L. Moody who believed the world was a sinking ship from which persons need to be rescued, "the Reconstructionists want to commandeer the ship, repair it, and sail it toward their own destination."

[Interestingly, there are Adventists on the right, who while not postmillenialists, have the same idea of taking over the Adventist "ship," repair it, and sail it into port.]

In anticipation of this day, the Reconstructionists have designed their political, economic, and legal agendas relying solely on the Old Testament Law, with certain New Testament modifications.

The Political Agenda -- Democracy is considered heresy. There would be no Federal government. The controls of government would be on the State and local level with the family as the center, ordered, according to the patriarchal system of the Old Testament. They would countenance a republican form of government with the Bible as the charter and constitutional document.

The tolerance which marks our present pluralistic society would be a thing of the past. Rushdoony notes that "in the name of tolerance, the believer is asked to associate on a common level of total acceptance with the atheist, the pervert, the criminal, and the adherents of other religions."

p 3 -- The family would be given the responsibilty for the education of the youth. The Reconstructionists believe that government controlled education robs the family of the right to shape the education of their children in Biblical beliefs. In their judgment, the present system "emasculates" men, detracting from their leadership of the family and rendering "women either the fluffy luxuries for men or aggressive competitors to men."

The Economic Agenda -- There would be a return to either the gold or silver standard. Citing Lev. 19:35-37, "hard money" is considered to be a means to restrict the government's ability to grow beyond Biblical boundaries. They perceive that "money not based on a set standard is counterfeit" and the resulting inflation due to currency manufacture is "theft."

The Reconstructionists have no sympathy for the Third World Nations. They believe that if a nation will not follow the Biblical blueprint, those nations deserve to suffer economically. Gary North has written - "The socalled underdeveloped societies are underdeveloped because they are socialist, demonist, and cursed... The Bible tells us that the citizens of the Third World ought to feel guilty, to fall on their knees and repent from their Godless, rebellious, socialistic ways. They should feel guilty because they are guilty, both individual and corporately." (Emphasis his)

A Biblical form of slavery would be reinstituted to allow impoverished persons to pay off their debts, and criminals to make restitution for damages. One reconstructionist writer states the slave should be cared for, educated in civic responsibility and if Chrisian freed after set periods of time. This concept of slavery is considered as among "the most beneficent" of Biblical laws.

The Legal Agenda -- All law would be derived from the Old Testament Code. Bahnsen, writing in his Theonomy, states - "The follower of Christ should teach that the civil magistrate is yet under moral obligation to enforce the law of God in its social aspect," because it is "the transcript of God's eternal holiness and the permanant standard for human righteousness." Then Bahnsen lists 15 crimes that deserve capital punishment, among which are - murder, and rape, sodomy, Sabbath breaking, apostasy, witchcraft, and blasphemy. Following this list of crimes punishable by death, this comment is made - "Christians do well at this point to adjust their attitudes so as to coincide with those of their Heavenly Father."

There are no plans for prisons in this new society. They are considered a defilement. Under a Biblically orientated society, the criminal would either be executed, or would be forced to make restitution possibly as a slave.

The Present Acceptance of These Ideas -- Each section of the Reconstructionist's Agenda could be related to the end-time events as outlined in the book of Revelation. However, the question arises as to their present acceptance which would be a factor in the imposition of this way of life upon America and the world. While the present key figures in the movement think in terms of hundreds of years into the future for its implimentation, others, such as Everett Sileven, the Reconsructionist pastor in Louisville, Nebraska, expects to see this program in his lifetime. Certain areas of present concern serve as catalysts to promote this agenda as an alternative to the decadent social order. The plan to impose the death penalty on practicing homosexuals gives impetus to the agenda. Then with the threat of aides as a plague that could decimate populations, this program's appeal is greatly augmented.

The growing disenchantment with the public school system is another factor giving a boost to this proposed reconstruction of society. Rushdoony is now frequently in court as an "expert" witness on behalf of church-affiliated schools. He with Gary North have appeared a number of times on Pat Robertson's "700 Club." These two have also been repeat guests on the Dr James Kennedy television program. This gives the agenda increasing public exposure. Further, it must be kept in mind that Dr. James Kennedy is a "bitter foe of church-state separation." (Church and State, April , 1987, p. 10)

Another insight into the growing acceptance of the agenda of the Chalcedon Foundation is the use made of their ideas by various molders of thought and religion in their publications. The late Francis Schaeffer's, A Christian Manifesto, relied on Rushdoony's social analysis. Schaeffer's son listed The Chalcedon Report as one of four periodicals all concerned Christians should read. Gary North gave his lessing to the controversial

p 4 -- charismatic campus ministry, Ma ranatha, as "forthrightly proclaiming ,the 'crown right of King Jesus.'" This means simply the setting up on earth the kingdom of God modeled after the Hebrew theocracy. Rushdoony gives praise to the ministry of author and evangelist Bob Mumford, a charismatic leader. The CBN University operated by Pat Robertson has key staff members who are more than merely sympathetic to the movement. A half dozen text books used in the University's School of Law and Public Policy are authored by either Rushdoony or North. One major Protestant church - the Presbyterian Church in America - issued a statement on the movement in 1978. While not endorsing it, the General Assembly decided it was not heretical.

While the Reconstructionists do not advocate revolution or massive, rapid social change, they aim at a transformation, both moral and social, at the grass roots level. To them "this will require the salvation of souls and world mission, as well as legislative reform." (Emphasis mine) This was written by Joseph Kickasola in The Journal of Christian Reconstruction. Kickasola teaches in the CBN University's School of Public Policy. The dangerous part of this whole program is that the Reconstructionists in formulating their agenda take cues from certain strands of New England Puritanism. Any person knowledgeable in New England history can understand what this means. (See The Two Republics, pp. 601-655, by A. T. Jones)

Even well-known publishers, such as Thomas Nelson, have published four titles in the Biblical Blue Print Series, edited by Gary North. . These have been endorsed by Jerry Falwell as "a tool Christians need" for the difficulties "that confront society."

The Overview -- While nowhere in this special report on the agenda of the Reconstructionists as it appeared in Christianity Today was the prophecy of Isa. 2:1-3 mentioned as appearing in the writings of the Chalcedon Foundation. However, the editors of CT sensed the implication of where this agenda was leading so as to picture the prophecy symbolically on their front cover.

This is exactly the direction Papal policy is tending. Pope John Paul II in his apostolic letter closing the Jubilee Year of Redemption, described Jerusalem "as a symbol of coming together, or union, and of universal peace forthe human family." He stated he longed for the day when "we shall all be 'taught by God' that we shall listen to [Christ's] message of peace and reconciliation." Then the Pope closed his message with these significant words:      This peace proclaimed by Jesus Christ in the name of the Father who is in heaven thus makes Jerusalem the living sign of the great ideal of unity, of brotherhood and of agreement among peoples according to the illuminating words of the Book of Isaiah: "Many peoples shall come and say: 'Let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.'" (Isa. 2:3)

With the attention focused on Jerusalem, and with the detailed agenda of what it will mean "when out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem " (Isa.2:3), the solution of the Jewish Equation is an absolute must for us as we now begin to hear the thunder of the storm as it draws increasingly nearer.

All direct quotes in the above article unless otherwise noted are from Christianity Today, Feb. 20, 1987, pp. 17-23. Some of these quotes were from publications of leading Reconstructionists.
For review of Papal Policy toward Jerusalem see U.N. Security Council Document S/14032 (WWN, XVII-2)

CHRIST OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS -- Lesson # 4 -- God Manifest in the Flesh --

Question Answer
1. What testimony is borne concerning Christ's life? 1Peter 2:22
2.What is true for all other members of the human family? Rom. 3:23
3. To what extent was Christ tempted? Heb. 4:15
4. In His humanity, of what nature did Christ partake? Heb. 2:14-16
5. How fully did Christ share our common humanity and why? Heb. 2:17,18 (See note 1)
6. How did John describe the incarnation? John 1:1,14
7. Where did God, in Christ, condemn sin and why? Rom. 8:3,4 (See note 2)
8. How else is this expressed by Paul? 2Cor. 5:21
9.  How did Paul sum up the humiliation of Christ? Phillip. 2;5-8 (See note 3)
10. By whose power did Christ life the perfect life? John 5:19,30. John 14:10
11. Through whom may we gain victory? (See note 4)
12. What is our privilege? Eph. 3:14-19

1. "In His humanity Christ partook of. our sinful, fallen nature. If not, then He was not 'made like unto His brethern,' was not 'in all points tempted like as we are,' did not overcome as we have to overcome, and is not, therefore, the complete and perfect Saviour man needs and must have to be saved. The idea that Christ was born of an immaculate or sinless mother, inherited no tendencies to sin, and for this reason did not sin, removes Him from the realm of a fallen world, and from the very place where help is needed. On His human side, Christ inherited just what every child of Adam inherits, a sinful nature. On the divine side, from His very conception He was begotten and born of the Spirit. And all this was done to place mankind on vantage-ground, and to demonstrate that in the same way every one who is 'born of the Spirit' may gain like victories over sin in his own sinful flesh." Bible Readings For The Home Circle page 174, 1935 edition. (Emphasis theirs.)

2. Since, "Christ took upon Himself the likeness of man, in order that He might redeem man, it must have been sinful man that He was made like, for it was sinful man that He came to redeem." Christ Our Righteousness pp. 27, 28.

3. See text in the New International Version.

4. Please read: John 15:5; Phil. 4:13; 1 Cor. 15:57.

p 5 -- THE JEWISH EQUATION -- Part 3 -- Some Historical Background -- Prior to the giving of the Message of Righteousness by Faith in 1888, Ellen G. White had indicated repeatedly the nearness of the end. Note the following references:
1)   1878 -   "We are now upon the very borders, of the eternal world." (4T:306)
2)   1881 -   "The end of all things is hand." (5T:16)   "We are standing on the threshold of the eternal world.." (5T:18)
3)   1885 -   "We are standing, as it were, on the borders of the eternal world." (5T:382)
4)    Circa 1886 -   "We are standing on the very verge of the eternal world." (5T:460)

There can be no doubt as to .the message these statements intended to convey. Further, at the same time, the church was warned that a "threefold religious union" - Spiritualism, Protestantism, and "the Roman power" .- would be instrumental in influencing the establishment of "the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God." This would be a sign whereby God's people would "know that the time had come for the marvelous working of Satan, and that the end is near." (5T:451)

Again in emphasizing that "the curtain is about to be lifted" upon the final scenes, Ellen G..White wrote that "in the decree enforcing the papal sabbath" would be seen the sign "to leave the large cities, preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains." (5T 464-465) This has become known as the sign of the National Sunday Law and is used prominently in last day projections at the present time among various dissident groups.

In 1901, Ellen G. White negated the messages given between 1878 and 1886 as to the nearness of the end. She wrote to P. T. Magan in a letter dated Dec. 7, 1901, - "We may have to remain here in this world because of insubordination many more years, as did the children of Israel" because of their insubordination at Kadesh-barnea. And we have!

Certain questions now follow:    Has our own insubordination altered the nature of the end-time signs and the events connected with them? In ancient Israel's experience, their insubordination at Kadesh-barnea caused them to enter Canaan by a different way, and under different leadership. God said they would know "the altering of [His] promise." (Num. 14:34 margin)

It is of the utmost importance that we recognize a parallel between our history and the experience of Israel at Kadesh-barnea. In the very year that Ellen G. White negated the messages of the impending end 1901 - she wrote:      In the twenty-first chapter of Luke, Christ foretold what was to come upon Jerusalem, and with it He connected the scenes which are to take place just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Letter 20, 1901, Counsels to Writers and Editors, pp. 23-24)

In this letter, Ellen G. White specifically designates Luke 21, in contrast to Matthew 24, or Mark 13, which are parallel chapters.

The only event concerning Jerusalem recorded in Luke 21, not recorded in either Matthew or Mark is that "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles [nations] until the times of the Gentiles [nations] be fulfilled." (21:24) Here enters the Jewish [or Jerusalem] Equation which involves those "scenes which are to take place just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

In 1898, James Edson White published a book - The Coming King - in which he commented on Luke 21:24. He wrote: We also read that "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Luke 21:24. Jerusalem has never again come into 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)

There is a clear association between the concept of "the times of the Gentiles fulfilled" and "the work of the gospel finished." The sign which would mark this point in time is to be an event in the history of Jerusalem; namely, Jerusalem would no longer be trodden down of the Gentiles, but be restored to Jewish authority and control. This brings ,us to.current history.

Events in Our Time -- In 1948 Israel once again became a nation

p 6 -- but without control of Jerusalem. The new capoitol was at Tel Aviv. This historical fact in itself had no prophetic significance. Coming events were simply casting their shadows before. (See Desire of Ages, p. 636) But they do serve as a warning. In the light of what we had been told - events in the history of Jerusalem as foretold in Luke 21 would mark the scenes just prior to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven - the reestablishment of the State of Israel should have served as an alarm sounding a warning to every Seventh-day Adventist.

The ministry of the Church was put on notice concerning this event, and the significance to be attached to it. The late Arthur S. Maxwell in a presentation at the 1952 Bible Conference noted among "Areas of Unfulfilled Prophecy," developments taking place in Palestine. He said:      The recent dramatic restoration of the nation of Israel has focused the attention of mankind once more upon Palestine. ...

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 [1952] of the Gentiles. Despite the amazing prowess of the Israeli troops, the ancient city of Jerusalem is still in Arab hands. ... 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 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)

One doesn't have to be a genius to understand that the Jews who for 19 centuries ended their Passover and Yom Kippur services with the incantation in Hebrew - "Next year in Jerusalem" - would rest satisfied with the city under Arab control. In 1948 there was given to the world, and to Adventists in particular, a solemn warning that the end of all things was at hand.

Not only were we warned by an event in history, but at the 1952 Bible Conference, the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was alerted to what had taken place, and put on notice concerning the significance of this prophecy Jesus had given.

The, tragic events, in the Church's history which followed the 1952 Bible Conference did not alter the impending fulfillment of Luke 21:24. In 1967, the Jews in a "lightning victory" took possession of the Old City, the subject of Jesus' prophecy. In 1980, the Jewish Knesset proclaimed "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel." The city became the seat of the President of the State, the Knesset, the Government and the Supreme Court.

Since 1980, we have been living on borrowed time. We are living between the fulfillment of Luke 21:24, and Daniel 11:45, to be followed by Daniel 12:1 - "And at that time shall Michael stand up." -- To Be Continued

What Is Wrong with "AL0NE"? -- The telephone rang. The voice on the other end, after identifying himself, asked if he might receive the Thought Paper. A brief conversation followed, in the coursie of which I read to him the following quotes from S. N. Haskell:      The true Jew is an heir by faith of the inheritance promised to Abraham, but many pride themselves on the inheritance of the flesh. Such. belong to the synagogue of Satan; for righteousness by works is the devil's counterfeit of the Lord's plan of salvation by faith alone in the merits of the Son of God. (Story of the Seer of Patmos, p. 49)

The immediate response was that Haskell was teaching heresy. I asked the calling part what was heretical about this statement made by Haskell. He replied, the word, "alone." As the days have passed, I have asked mysel the question "What is wrong with the word "ALONE", when applied to the work of Christ

p 7 -- in behalf of man, and man's response to that work? The prophet Isaiah speaking of the deliverance from Edom wrought by God in behalf of His people wrote:      Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me ... And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm wrought salavation unto me. (Isa. 63:1-3a, 5)

Further, the Lord declares by Isaiah -      There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else. (Isa. 45:21b-22)

Instead of accepting the means provided by God through Jesus Christ for our redemption, we want to contribute to our salvation as if what God has provided is imperfect. How brazen and defiant can we become in supposing we can enhance by our works the merit to be found in Jesus Christ our Lord!

Paul sensed the inability of man to contribute to the merits of Jesus Christ stating:      For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph. 2:8-9)

Here was a man of God, who experienced the grace of God freely bestowed, knowing that he could contribute nothing to "the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:24); yet who did "works" far beyond what those who today are afraid of "alone" have ever done. Those whom Haskell describe as belonging to the "synagogue of Satan" should take their Bibles and read carefully Paul's response to those who claim to be "ministers of Christ." He said:       I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. (See II Cor. 11:23-28)

This same apostle could write - "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Gal. 6:14) Alone the Saviour agonized in Gethsemane; alone He died on Calvary. Truly - "Divine grace is needed at the beginning, divine grace at every step of advance, and divine grace alone can complete the work." (TM, p.,1, 508) --- (1987 Jun) --- End ----

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