shall be trodden down of the nations
until the times of the nations be fulfilled."
Luke 21:24 Greek
1 -- In
1944, the Pacific Press published a book entitled Palestine in Prophecy.
It was used as a "book of the month" by The Voice of Prophecy.
The final paragraph of the book reads:
apostle Paul speaks of old Jerusalem as being "in bondage with
her children." (Gal. 4:25) Had the Jews been faithful, Jerusalem
would have been enlarged and beautified to become the center of the
whole earth, beautiful for situation. But throughout the generations
[from] the fall of that city in A. D. 70, Jerusalem has been "a
burdensome stone" and "a cup of trembling unto all people"
(Zechariah 12:2, 3); and it will be so till the end of time. Palestine
and Jerusalem do not have a bright future in this present world, and
those who are holding the hope of a national restoration for the Jews
are following a theological will-o'-the-wisp.
in 1947, the Pacific Press published another book The Jews and Palestine.
In it were noted the objectives of Zionism:
The father of modern Zionism
was Theodor Herzl, an Austro-Hungarian journalist. In 1896 he published
a book entitled, The Jewish State. The following year the first
Zionist Congress convened in Basel, Switzerland, and presented to the
world its program for "a publicly assured and legally secured home
for the Jewish people in Palestine." (p. 57)
the close of this particular chapter, the conclusion is drawn:
The God of heaven who
overthrew the city and nation and who because of their apostasy dispersed
the inhabitants to the ends of the earth, forever settles the question
of a complete return and restitution in old Canaan by asserting that
it "cannot be." (p. 61)
1947, the Church took the position that it was absolutely impossible
for a Jewish state to ever be re-established in Palestine. One year
later, in 1948, the Jewish state became a reality.
1948, I became pastor of the First church in Toronto, Ontairio, Canada.
The Sabbath following the establishment of the Jewish state, I prepared
a sermon to shore up confidence in the church's position. I told the
congregation - "Don't get too disturbed. Do not become overly alarmed.
There are still more Jews in New York City than can possibly get settled
in the small area of Palestine." I had no other answer. What was
I to say? In other words, as a result of then current events, it became
obvious that we as a Church were fallible in our prophetic interpretations,
and that there needed to be some re-thinking. By
1952, the Church returned to a position as had been set forth by James
Edson White, and faced up to the
2 -- reality of the prophecy Jesus had given in Luke 21:24 "...and
Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of
the Gentiles be fulfilled." First, in considering this prophecy
of Jesus, one must recognize what Jesus did not
say. He did not tie this prophecy to the time of the restoration of
the Jewish State. Therefore, in 1948, when Israel again became a nation,
this event in and of itself was not a fulfillment of prophecy. Jesus
did not talk about a Jewish state, nor Palestine, but a city - "Jerusalem
shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles
be fulfilled." Further, Jesus did not associate this prophecy with
the restoration of the temple or its services. A few hours prior to
His giving this prophecy to the disciples, He told the Jewish leadership
as He left the temple for the last time - "Behold, your house is
left unto you desolate." (Matt. 23:38) This prophecy was tied solely
to the control and government of just one city, and that city was Jerusalem!
1952, the Church conducted a world-wide Bible Conference. It was held
in the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church. Elder Arthur Maxwell, then
editor of the Signs of the Times, presented a paper on "The
Imminence of Christ's Second Coming," in which he directed the
attention of the ministry of the Church to Jesus' prophecy in Luke 21:24.
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 in 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 forthose who
believe in Him and accept His sacrifice.
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). (Our Firm Foundation, II, p. 230)
ministers of the Church from around the world were directed to this
neglected prophecy of Jesus by Maxwell. Then he observed that a principle
God applied to the Amorites might well apply in this instance, only
on a wider scale. He stated:
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.
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! (Ibid., pp. 230-231)
3 -- As noted above, in taking this position, Maxwell reverted back
to the position taken by James Edson White in his book - The Coming
King. White 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
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. (1898 ed., p. 98)
until 1947, in our evangelistic publications, we taught that there would
never be again a Jewish State. Then in 1948, we were shocked into reality
because a Jewish State - Israel - did come into existence short of Jerusalem.
Maxwell at the 1952 Bible Conference said that "as by an unseen
hand" the Jewish forces were "mysteriously... held back"
"from achieving this most cherished goal" of retaking Jerusalem.
Then he asked, "What could be the reason?" and answered his
own question -"Only that the times of the Gentiles are not yet
fulfilled." That was in 1952.
we are faced with certain other realities with which we must be concerned.
In 1967, in the Six-Day War, Israeli military forces took Jerusalem,
thus restoring to Jewish control the city. However, the Capital of the
State of Israel remained In Tel Aviv. Then in 1980, the entire Jewish
government - The Supreme Court, the Knesset, the office of both the
President and Prime Minister - was moved to Jerusalem. The prohpecy
of Jesus had met its complete fulfillment. And yet, here we are still
in time. Again, it is obvious that this prophetic interpretation has
failed us. How are we to relate to this fulfilled prophecy? Ignore it?
We dare not - it was a prophecy Jesus gave!
ask, why two dates? In 1967, Jerusalem was captured but not until 13
years later in 1980 was the government moved to Jerusalem, thus occupying
the city and bringing it once more under full control of the State of
Israel. Let us consider this question.
in both his Gospel and the book of Acts, uses twenty times the word
translated, "until" (acri).
But three different times, he combined with the preposition a relative,
making it an idiomatic expression - achri
hou (acri 'ou).
One of these times was in Luke 21:24. The other two times are in the
book of Acts. It is the last use in Acts which helps us to understand
best the meaning of this idiomatic expression.
your Bible and turn to Acts 27. Paul, as a prisoner,
was on his way to Rome. The ship in the midst of storm was in trouble.
All aboard had fasted for fourteen days. Then the record reads - "and
while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take food."
(ver. 33 KJV) The word, "While" is a translation of the words,
achri hou. What does it mean - "while the day was coming
on"? This morning as I left the library to go home for breakfast,
in the east were the first glimmers of light. In a brief period of time,
the sun arose above the horizon and all the shades of night disappeared.
The day was coming on. To describe that brief but definite span of time,
Luke used the idiomatic Greek expression - achri
hou. The "times of the Gentiles" ended in a brief
period of time marked by an event in the history of Jerusalem both at
its beginning in 1967, and its ending in 1980.
may now ask another question: "Are we not introducing something
new in prophetic interpretation which is without precedent?" No!
Let me give you an illustration. In 533 A.D., Justinian issued a decree
establishing the Bishop of Rome the supreme ruler in the West. However,
it was not until 538 A.D., that Belisarius, Justinian's general, with
force of arms put into effect the decree. We begin the prophecy of the
1260 years not with 533, but with 538. "The times of the Gentiles"
closes not with 1967, but with 1980, although the event in 1967 alerted
us to what was about to take place had we had eyes to see and ears to
this picture for Adventists, there are some factors that must be introduced
and understood. In 1901, Ellen G. White wrote to Dr. P.T. Magan, that
now very familiar warning. It read:
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 consequence of their own wrong course
of action. (M -184-1901)
what was said in 1901? "We may have to remain here in this world
... many more years". Have we? WE'RE HERE! The very fact that we
are here, many years after 1901 attests to the accuracy of the possiblity
and should tell us something. The statement also infers that we shouldn't
be here! "We may have
to remain." It was not God's purpose that we should so remain.
Why? Various events that were indicated had already occurred. Let us
review some history.
the Review & Herald (Nov. 22,1892) Ellen G. White had written:
5 -- 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.
was "The time of test ... just
upon us"? In August of 1892, a National Sunday Law had
been attached as a rider to an appropriation bill and signed into law
by President Harrison. It was a period of pronounced Sunday law agitation.
In the closing years of the previous decade, Ellen White had noted a
National Sunday Law as a sign for God's people. (Keep in mind "time
and place.") Now I ask you a further question. Can you show me
a single reference in the Writings - and I have asked many; I cannot
find it - that after 1901, Ellen White ever referred to a National Sunday
Law as a "sign" for God's people? Three weeks later, she did
write about the "false Sabbath" being "enforced by an
oppressive law" but does not note it as a "National Sunday
Law," but as an event to occur "after the truth has been proclaimed
as a witness to all nations." (R&H, Dec. 13, 1892) Something
went wrong, which caused the warning that "we may have to remain
here...many more years."
in the very year that this warning was given 1901 - Ellen White directed
attention to another "sign" by which we would know the end
was indeed "upon us." 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 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 2O, 1901; Counsels to Writers,
ask you - in 1901, when Ellen White indicated that "we may have
to remain here ... many more years" with what events had she that
very year connected the end? A National Sunday Law? No! She connected
it with events in Jerusalem and said study Luke 21. Now what is in Luke
21, that one does not find in Mark 13 or Matthew 24?
Only one thing - "And Jerusalem shall be trodden down
of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."
This event would signal "the scenes which were to take place just
prior to the coming of the Son of man" the second time.
What then does the fulfillment of Luke 21:24 in 1980 tell us, if anything?
It shouts loud and clear that we have reached the end of time. We are
at the very end of human history as we know it today. We stand at the
very border of the eternal kingdom and we need to recognize that fact.
6 -- Let us make a quick analysis of Luke 21 and see what is emphasized.
You can do further study on your own; but let us observe certain highlights.
Carefully compare Luke 21 with Matthew 24 and Mark 13. Luke does not
even mention as does Matthew and Mark, the Dark Ages, "those days"
of "tribulation." He concentrates on events in the history
of Jerusalem. All three reports of this prophetic discourse of Jesus
summarize general signs which were to occur. Then Luke literallizes
the prophecy of Daniel to which Jesus alluded, writing:
And when ye
shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that
the desolation thereof is nigh ... For these be the days of vengeance,
that all things which are written may be fulfilled ... And they shall
fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all
nations (ta ethne): and Jerusalem shall be
trodden down of the Gentiles (ethne),
until the times of the Gentiles (ethne)
be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon,
and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations (ethne),
with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing
them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on
the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall
they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
And when ye see these things begin to come to pass, know ye
that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. 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 21:20-33)
points should be noted. Luke passes by with only a mention of the "signs"
in the sun, moon and stars. (Compare with Matt. 24:29 and Mark 13:24-25)
He focuses Jesus' prophecy "upon the earth" emphasizing "the
whether translated in the KJV "nations" or "Gentiles."
He speaks of their "times" and "distress" with "perplexity."
In two instances, Luke has Jesus stressing - "When ye see 'then
know ye.'" The first, when the armies surrounded Jerusalem, then
they were to know that its destruction was nearing. We can ask - did
that generation which saw this sign fulfilled live to see the destruction
of the city? Likewise, Jesus said, those who see the end of the times
of the nations and the events connected with it, that generation will
not pass away till all be fulfilled.
When the times of the nations are fulfilled, they come into distress
with perplexity. The word in the Greek translated "perplexity"
carries the overtones of economic distress. Of interest is the fact
that the Department of Labor of the United States government uses 1967
as the base year to chart the course of the dollar in its inflationary
devaluation. The economic instability of the nations has only increased
since that day with no way out. In other words we are seeing today a
"sign" fulfilled on earth as verily as our spiritual fore-fathers
saw the fulfillment of a "sign" in
7 -- the heavens.
date - 1967 - was the beginning of the period when the times of the
nations would be completed. The "times of the nations fulfilled",
what does it mean? Nations are corporate bodies, corporate entities.
There is a difference between the close of probations for corporate
entities and for all mankind as individuals. No longer are the nations
under the merciful intervention of God, but have
been given over to Satan to
work his deceptions so as to bring them to the battle of
the great day of God Almighty.
understanding of the meaning and significance of "the times of
the nations" being fulfilled opens before us two other doors of
insight. One involves a deeper understanding of the sanctuary types
of ancient Israel; the other, lessons we can learn from the parallel
between the end of the times of the Jewish nation/church and the times
to which we have come.
LESSON FROM THE SANCTUARY -- The
16th chapter of Leviticus outlines the services on the Day of Atonement.
All the details we will not discuss. We will only carefully consider
the threefold cleansing outlined In ritual for the day. First, lest
there should be any misunderstanding as to what I will write, let me
make it very clear that in the great antitype which convened in Heaven
in 1844, all judgment is made in the presence of the Ancient of days.
In the type on earth, we are given a glimpse of the agenda of what is
taking place in Heaven. The first item was the cleansing of - making
an atonement for - the most holy place. (Lev. 16:15-16a; the KJV uses
"holy" with the word, "place", supplied to refer
to the Most Holy apartment of the sanctuary.) The second item was the
cleansing of the holy place, or what is noted as the "tabernacle."
(Lev. 16:16b) The third item was the cleansing of the Altar in the court.
(Lev. 16:18) It was not until these three steps were completed that
Azazel, the scapegoat, was brought into the picture. The text reads:
And when he [the High Priest] hath made an end of reconciling the holy
place [most holy apartment], and the tabernacle of the congregation
[first apartment], and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. (verse
what was the significance of these three steps and what is God telling
us in this type? Let us turn our attention to the daily service and
how it relates to this
8 -- three-fold agenda.
an individual sinned, a common priest ministered his offering. Of blood,
the priest fingerprinted it on the horns of the Altar of the court,
and poured the remainder at the base of the Altar. (Lev. 4:30) When
the congregation sinned (a corporate act), the high priest ministered
the offering, and the blood was marked on the horns of theAltar of Incense
in the first apartment, with the remainder of the blood poured at the
base of the Altar in the court. (Lev. 4:16-18) During the year not one
drop of blood of any sin offering ever was brought into the Most Holy
Place. The closest any blood came to the Most Holy Place was that of
the sin offering for corporate sin, when blood was sprinkled "seven
times before the Lord, even before the vail." (4:17) Now what is
the threefold agenda followed on the Day of Atonement telling us in
the light of where the blood of confession was placed?
was signified by the type, whatever was accomplished when our Great
High Priest first came to the Ancient of days in judgment, the next
cleansing or "Step Two" had to do with corporate guilt and
confession. When the adjudication of corporate guilt was completed,
the atonement passed to the individual record of confession, which in
the type was placed on the horns of the Altar of the Court. Jesus in
His prophecy gave the signal for the hour when the "times of the
corporate bodies (nations)" would be fulfilled. Then judgment would
pass to the individual cases. If there was ever a prophecy
9 -- which pinpointed the hour to which we have come in relationship
to the judgment, this prophecy of Jesus does! Could it be that in the
achri hou -
that brief period of time from 1967 to 1980 - the judgment of the individual
dead was completed and now we have passed to the judgment of the living?
How desperate is such an hour, and how ought we to be living in the
light of this possibility?
PARALLELS -- There are some parallels between the close of the
"times of the Jewish nation/church" and the close of "the
times of the Gentiles (corporate nations/churches)." The time that
was allotted to the Jewish nation - "Seventy weeks are determined
upon thy people" (Dan. 9:24) - ended in 34 A.D. However, the book
of Acts reveals the varying times for the close of probation for the
various segments of Jewry. Let us observe the message of that book,
and see what it is telling us.
consider Acts 2. On that Day of Pentecost, to whom was the message given?
Was it given to Gentiles? Was it a great evangelistic endeavor, as we
think of evangelism today? No, that Day of Pentecost did not have such
an objective. To whom was the message directed? Verse 5 states - "and
there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation
under heaven." What kind of people were they? "Devout"
does the word, "devout" mean? How does Luke use the word?
In his Gospel, he refers to Simeon, the man who was waiting for the
consolation of Israel, as "devout." (Luke 2:25) In describing
the men who buried Stephen, Luke declared them to be "devout men."
(Acts 8:2) The message of that Day of Pentecost was directed to "devout
men" - good men. However, as the Spirit spoke through Peter, with
what did He charge these men? Note carefully -"Therefore let all
the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus,
whom ye have crucified,
both Lord and Christ." They - "devout" Jews - crucified
their own Messiah? Yes, that is what Peter accused them of - "You
crucified the Lord of glory."
of these men - even the majority - were not even in Jerusalem at the
time of the crucifixion. They had come for the celebration of the Feast
of Pentecost. How then
10 -- could they be charged with the crucifixion? Because of corporate
involvement! They were a part of corporate Israel, and because
of this, they were accountable for the acts done by the leadership of
that corporate entity, they responded - "Men and brethren, what
shall we do?" What was Peter's answer? "Repent."
is this telling us? In 31 A.D., probation was still open to devout Jews.
They could repent. But let us continue on.
now to Acts 3. We find a short time following the events of the Day
of Pentecost, that Peter and John go to the temple to witness. Accosted
by a man lame from birth, they heal him in the name of Jesus. This restored
man holds Peter and John as a large group of people gather to assess
what has happened. Peter seizes the opportunity and witnesses concerning
Jesus, charging his hearers with betrayal, denial, and murder. (Acts
3:12-15) But he holds out hope; he counsels - "Repent ye therefore."
(verse 19) The door of repentance was still open for these worshipers
in the temple.
preaching, the captain of the temple with the leading priests took them
into custody for trial the next day. Observe now before whom they were
arraigned the next day. Read carefully Acts 4:6:
And Annas the high priest,
and Caiaphas, and John, and Aexander, and as many as were of the kindred
of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.
were these men? Who were Annas and Caiaphas? They were the spiritual
leaders of the Jewish Church; they were also the very ones who had delivered
Jesus over to the Romans to be crucified. Peter filled with the Holy
Spirit charged them with the very act - "ye crucif ied" Jesus
Christ. (v. 10) But he never held out to them the opportunity to repent.
Why? The spiritual leadership of the Jewish Church had passed the unseen
line! They could not repent. This was prior to 34 A.D.
come now to the year 34 A. D. itself. In Acts 7, Stephen is arraigned
before the highest "council" of Israel. (See 6:15) Adjured
by the high priest, he makes his defense. Hear carefully his final words
stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist
the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets
have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which shewed
before the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers
and murderers. (7:51-52)
11 -- He didn't call upon them to repent. He charged them with the
act which brought corporate guilt upon the Jewish nation/church. They
took Stephen out and stoned him, and Israel's probation as a church/nation
closed. But what about the individual member's probation?
let us ask ourselves a question? From this point on, the book of Acts
is primarily the story of whom? Paul. And what did Paul do? Turn to
Acts 13. He was on his first missionary tour, and here is the record
of his sermon in the synagogue of Antioch in Pisidia. Observe what he
Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethern, that through this
Man is preached unto you forgiveness of sins: and by Him all
that believe are justified from all things which ye could not be justified
by the law of Moses. (13:38-39)
did he tell them? Keep in mindthat he was now out among the Jews of
the Diaspora. To these individual Jews, he assured them that "forgiveness"
was still extended to them if they would believe and accept Him whom
their spiritual leaders had crucified. The Jewish church/nation had
closed their probation as a corporate body, but now to the individual
Jew of the synagogue was given an opportunity to make a judgment concerning
the decisions of their hierarchical leadership in regard to Truth.
find that as we study Paul's ministry in the book of Acts, this is the
consistent pattern. When he arrives in a new city, where does he go
on the Sabbath? To the synagogue. Whom does he proclaim? Jesus and calls
upon them to believe and follow Him whom their church leadership had
rejected and crucified. When they did not respond, what did Paul do?
He left them. (Acts 13:46; 19:8-9) The book of Acts ends on this very
theme. (Acts 28:23-25)
book of Acts also closes within the shadow of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Through all that time from 34 A.D. till 66 A.D., there was opportunity
for the laity of the Jewish Church as individuals to repent of the sin
that closed the day of probation for their hierarchy. This fact needs
to be kept in mind as we consider the parallel between the close of
the Jewish church/nation and the ending of the times of the nations
of earth and the corporate body which we call the Church today.
parallel between the fulfillment of the times of the
12 -- nations (Gentiles) and our own church history is remarkable
and dare not be overlooked. We need to recognize that we cannot divorce
ourselves from the fact that the Three Angels' Messages which was committed
to the Church in sacred trust involves the nations. The very prelude
to these messages reads: And
I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting
gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every
nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, ... (Rev. 14:6)
the times allotted to the nations is fulfilled, the giving of "the
everlasting gospel" to the nations is also affected. The two cannot
be divorced. Furthermore, we are told:
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. (Testimonies
for the Church, Vol. 8, p. 247)
Ellen G. White was writing this intent of God following the 1903 General
Conference Session, she noted the only
condition where-by the judgment of "found wanting" could be
averted. It reads:
Unless the church, which
is now  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)
is nota call to individual repentance but to corporate
repentance. In the light radiating from the agenda of the
sanctuary as revealed in the type with the fulfilling of the time of
the Gentiles - nations as corporate bodies - we should now understand
the weighing of the Church in the same balance, and the decision that
was rendered. Follow closely now the parallel as diagramed. (p. 15)
the lefthand column, we have the significant dates in the history of
the State of Israel. Let us review them. In 1948, the State of Israel
was re-established. The event itself did not fulfill any prophecy. However,
coming events were casting their shadows before. Jerusalem still remained
in Jordanian control, trodden down of the Gentiles.
1967, in the Six-Day War (June 5-10), Jerusalem was captured, and a
government under the control of Israel was set up. It was the beginning
of the end. It constituted a warning to the Church of the corporate
judgment she faced. In 1980, the entire government of Israel was
13 -- transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The prophecy of Jesus
had reached complete fulfillment. This was done on July 30 of 1980.
the righthand column is a review of our own Church history in parallel
with the events which fulfilled the prophecy of Jesus. In 1949, Bible
Readings for the Home Circle was revised. In the study on "The
Sinless Life," the paragraphs defining the human nature Christ
took upon Himself were altered. In 1950, Elders Wieland and Short presented
a restudy of 1888 to the leadership of the Church and called for a "denominational
repentance" - corporate
repentance. While these young men did not perceive the connection
of the message of 1888 with the General Conference session in 1903 -
and still do not understand it - they did answer the call of God in
giving to the Church, the only remedy which could avert it being "spewed
out" by Christ. (See Rev. 3:16)
1952, a Bible Conference in the Sligo Park Church called the ministry's
attention to the prophecy of Jesus in Luke 21:24, noting "that
we should all be watching [it] with special care." Then came the
SDA-Evangelical Conferences of 1955-56, in which we compromised our
basic teachings on the incarnation and the atonement. Instead of repentance,
we were continuing to betray the sacred trust making it virtually impossible
to give the "ever-lasting gospel" message in its purity.
came the fateful year - 1967. In the very month that Jerusalem was retaken,
a committee appointed by the General Conference rejected Wieland and
Short's call for denominational repentance for the third and final time.
In July, Dr. Earle Hilgert then of Andrews University took his place
as a voted member on the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council
of Churches. In October, the Annual Council gave its approval to the
Association of Adventist Forums from whose podium at PUC in 1979, Dr.
Desmond Ford was to attack the sanctuary doctrine of the Church. Between
1967 and 1980, in 1977, Dr. B. B. Beach would place in the hands of
the reigning pope, Paul VI, "a gold-covered symbol of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church." (Review & Herald, August 11, 1977,
came 1980. At the General Conference session in Dallas, Texas, the Church
voted a new
Statement of Beliefs, and included in them language from the Constitution
14 -- of the World Council of Churches, and confirmed the compromises
on the atonement and incarnation made at the SDA-Evangelical Conferences
of 1955-56. Within three months God permitted Jesus' prophecy to reach
its complete fulfillment. Corporate judgment was then completed in the
FINAL PROPHECY -- There
is one final prophecy concerning Jerusalem in Daniel. Turn in your Bibles
to Daniel 11:45. This prophecy in Daniel is a literal prophecy and can
no more be spiritualized away than can the prophecy Jesus gave concerning
Jerusalem. Daniel 11:45 reads:
And he shall plant the
tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain;
yet he shall come to his end and none shall help him.
understood well what "the glorious holy mountain" was, for
he had prayed - "0 Lord... let... Thy fury be turned away from
Thy city Jerusalem, Thy holy mountain." (9:16) This "he"
of the prophecy will "plant" the "tents" of his
abode in Jerusalem. This "he" is "the king" of Daniel
11:36, or the Papacy. He will welcome the personified Christ to "the
throne of his father, David." But what then? The next verse reads:
"And at that time
shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth forthe children
of thy people." (Dan. 12:1) It will be the end - the close of all
human probation. Every individual will have made his decision.
15 -- A COMPARISON OF SIGNIFICANCE --
1948 - The Jewish State of Israel Established
1949- Bible Readings altered; major doctrinal change
of the Incarnation.
Wieland and Short call for corporate
repentance in document - 1888 Re-Examined.
Bible Conference called by General
Conference. Ministers alerted to watch for
fulfillment of Luke 21:24.
- SDA-Evangelical Conferences. Compromises made in doctrinal
areas of the atonement and incarnation.
Six-Day War (June 5-10) Jerusalem retaken; placed under Jewish
(June 27-28) - Final rejection of the Wieland-Short manuscript
calling for a "denominational repentance."
30 - August 8) - Dr. Earle Hilgert of Andrews University meets
as voted member of the WCC Faith and Order Commission in Bristol,
- Annual Council gives Its approval of Association of Adventist
Dr. B. B. Beach places symbol of the SDAchurch into the hands of
(July 30) - Government of Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
(April 25) - General Conference in session voted new 27 Statements
of Beliefs which altered basic truths committed to the church.
16 -- We have been given foreknowledge:
Fallen angels upon earth form conferderations with evil men. In this
age antichrist will appear as the true Christ, and then the law of God
will be fully made void in the nations of our world. Rebellion against
God's holy law will be fully ripe. But the true leader of all 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 the exaltation of Satan,
the sentence will go forth, "Therefore shall her plagues come in
one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned
with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her." (TM,
that Jesus prophesied about Jerusalem as signs to God's people has taken
place. The shadow of coming events was cast in 1948; the first warning
came in 1967; the final warning in 1980. We are living between a fulfilled
Luke 21:24, and yet to be fulfilled Daniel 11:45. We are at the end!
"Heir of the kingdom, why dost thou slumber?...Wake thee, arouse
thee." "Lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."
"When ye see these things come to pass, then KNOW that the kingdom
of God is nigh at hand ...This generation shall not pass away, till
all be fulfilled."