For Such a Time as This (Part 2)
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[Read Part 1 here, if you have not read it.]
And he swore an oath in the name of the one who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and everything in it, the earth and everything in it, and the sea and everything in it.
  (Rev 10:6 NSRV)1

Who created the earth?  Who spoke creation into existence?  (Heb 1, Col 1, John 1)  Here Christ references the six literal, empirical, historical 24-hour days of creation, culminating with a literal 24-hour Sabbath day of rest, with the implication that human life on earth was non-existent before the literal creation week described in Genesis.  Interestingly, to chase a rabbit here, Ellen White was aware of ideas similar to uniformitarianism and methodological naturalism.  Yet, she continually repeated her clarion call to elevate a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 over humanity’s ideas of science.  Therefore, if Adventist pioneer Ellen G. White were alive today, there is no evidence that she would accept reconstruction of either a historical creation week or a global flood.

Back to the oath.  Here Christ swears by His own name.  No more solemn oath could He take.  And what was this oath, this declaration, this sworn statement?  

Time will be no longer. (Rev 10:6)

Oh, yes, some of our favorite translations say, “There will be no more delay.”  “Delay” is probably an unfortunate translation of the Greek word chronos. Certainly chronos is not translated “delay” anywhere else in the New Testament.  For the sake of the argument of our pioneers, let’s translate chronos as time.

What time is Christ alluding to here?  It can’t be earth time, because earth events are yet to unfold in the 7th trumpet.  It can’t be probationary time, because we will see that people are still to be invited to make a decision for the Lord Jesus. So we have prophetic time, which ties nicely to the little book of Rev 10:2, which our pioneers identified as Daniel, particularly the prophetic portions, now to be understood by the people of God upon whom the ends of the earth have finally come.  Our pioneers understood this to mean that after the fulfillment of the Scripture’s longest time prophecy of 2300 years culminated in 1844, there was to be no more time setting. Persons who announce Jesus’ coming on January 12, 2014, would be identified by our pioneers as false prophets!

But when the seventh angel blows his trumpet, God’s mysterious plan will be fulfilled. It will happen just as he announced it to his servants the prophets. (Rev 10:7 NLT)

What is God’s greatest miracle, His greatest mystery?  Is it the raising of Lazarus?  The creation of millions of galaxies? According to Ephesians 6:19 and Colossians 2:2, God’s greatest miracle, His greatest mystery, is the gospel! The renewal of my heart, and your heart, to be like the heart of Christ – that the things we once loved, we now hate, and the things we once hated, we now love. The fulfillment of God’s mysterious plan is taking out from the nations a people for God’s own name. The opportunity to be among God’s people is almost over. The gospel will be finished, according to our pioneers, when the number of God’s people is made up, when mercy ceases to be offered, and probation closes.

This is urgent!  This is critical!  There is importance connected to the finishing of any of the works of God.

Then the voice from heaven called to me again, “Go, and take the unrolled scroll from the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” 

So I approached him and asked him to give me the little scroll. “Yes, take it and eat it,” he said. (Rev 10:8 NRSV)

Jeremiah says, “I did take the word of God and I did eat it, and it became to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.”  What does it mean to “eat the word of God?”  I can tell you what it doesn’t mean!  It doesn’t mean a quickie devotional with our hand on the doorknob on the way to our quickie life!  Time with God, time with Scripture, will open our eyes and hearts, according to our pioneers, to expand on, build upon, and further clarify biblical understanding.

“Yes, take it and eat it,” he said.  “At first it will taste like honey, but when you swallow it, it will make your stomach sour!” (Rev 10:9 NRSV)

So I took the little scroll from the hands of the angel, and I ate it!  [And sure enough,] it was sweet in my mouth, but it made my stomach sour.” (Rev 10:10 NRSV)

Our spiritual ancestors saw these verses as a graphic description of their own experience of intense disappointment when Jesus, the center of their heart and hopes, did not return on October 22, 1844. They imagined the intensity of the heartbreak the disciples endured when Jesus did not meet their expectations of a deliverer from Roman oppression, and instead died, crucified, surrounded by mocking mobs.

For our spiritual pioneers, the resurrection of hope came October 23, as Hiram Edson pointed to the true significance of October 22, 1844, that our Lord and Savior began a new and beautiful and saving ministry in the Most Holy Place. Our pioneers met in Bible study to consider this interpretation. Ultimately their study of the Scriptures confirmed and expanded Edson’s insights. 2

Nonetheless, if the vision ended at verse 10, we might, like the proverbial dog, run yelping back to our doghouses with our tails between our legs. It is sometimes in our failure and mortification that God calls us once again to be agents to teach and proclaim the mystery of Himself.

And so it is with Revelation 10.      

Then he said to me, “You MUST prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages, and kings.” (Rev 10:11)

“You MUST – note the emphatic Greek, no ambivalence here! – You MUST prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages, and kings.”

And what is to be the burden of our message this time? The second coming? Oh, yes!  Referenced hundreds of times in Scripture, it is the hope, the holy expectancy, of every believer. The Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is Good News!  It’s a “must-share!”  But this time, central to that Good News is the ministry of our Lord and Savior in the Most Holy Place.

Ellen White states it so wonderfully in Ms 40, 1900:

“The gospel that is to be preached to all nations, kindreds, tongues and people presents the truth in clear lines, showing that obedience is the condition of gaining eternal life.  Christ imparts His righteousness to those who consent to let Him take away their sins.  We are indebted to Christ for the grace which makes us complete in Him.”

Precious Savior! Is He and His present work to be presented only to the unchurched? Oh, no!  In Revelation 18:1-4, the angel declares that those systems, including religious systems, including ostensibly Christian religious systems, which teach confusion, false doctrine, are fallen. It is the privilege of our Adventist community of faith to call God’s people out of Babylon, so that they will not receive of the seven last plagues, and so that they can be part of one faith, one Lord, one baptism. (Eph 4:5)

This is our sacred heritage, our holy calling.  Our pioneers were on fire with a passion for introducing people to Jesus Christ. That inner fire changed what they talked about, what they did in their spare time, how they spent their money, how they planned the church budget, how they did youth ministry — in short, the gospel commission was their mission!

What about us?

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For Such a Time as This (Part 2) — 6 Comments

  1. Without detracting one bit from our Gospel commission I would like to raise a question. What good is preaching to every nation and people if our message is messed up? Jesus addressed that sort of a problem concerning the Pharisees, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves" (Mat 23:15 NKJV).

    Do we have a problem like that? As I read through the many comments made to this blog I realize for instance that the theological problems of the 1888 Minneapolis convention are still with us. And not just that, virtually every major belief is misunderstood to some degree by Seventh-day Adventists that on the surface appear to know their Bible.

    We have gone through extended debates over issues that should be settled by now and I fear that those who are confused over those major points are propagating that misunderstanding like the proverbial "leaves of Autumn."

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  2. We need not fear. We have a sure word of prophecy, despite our misunderstandings and confusion. The answer is clear in probably the most difficult part of Revelation, Revelation 11:11-13.

    "But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.13 At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.14 The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon."

    God's people (those who live according to every word that proceeds out of God's mouth) would have been symbolically taken out of Spiritual Babylon, through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit, before Babylon and her remaining inhabitants are destroyed by the events of the seventh trumpet.

    We need to individually focus on receiving a personal "Revelation of Christ" as we seek daily to be baptized by the Holy Spirit, who is God who longs to dwell in us (John 14:16-17)

    The Gospel Commission will be fulfilled by those who are filled with the Holy Spirit. This all my friends is sure. The question is, where am I now? What or by whom am I filled with. Is it Christ or self?

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  3. That is the reason we continue going to Bible classes and Sabbath services every week to hopefully learn God's message in the proper way. Is there anyone who truly understands the writings of the Bible? I read somewhere in the Bible that some mysteries of Bible writings will be revealed when Jesus returns and the thousand year period begins.

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  4. Cindy wrote: “Certainly chronos is not translated “delay” anywhere else in the New Testament.” That is true but neither is it always translated time. For instance here are two texts that translate chronos a bit differently:

    So He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. (Mk 9:21 NKJV)
    Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel (Act 7:23 NKJV)

    Besides, in some Greek translations of the Old Testament it appears in places that are translated in other forms in English. For instance in the BibleWorks Greek LXX and the LXX Septuaginta by Alfred Rahlfs the English translation of some verses where chronos is used is:

    What strength do I have, that I should hope? And what is my end, that I should prolong my life? (Job 6:11 NKJV)
    I said,`Age should speak, And multitude of years should teach wisdom.' (Job 32:7 NKJV)
    Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity." (Dan 4:27 NKJV)
    As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time (Dan 7:12 NKJV). Where the word “season” is where chromos is used in those translations.

    So, it seems to me that how the Greek word chronos is understood depends on its context. In view of that we can properly ask why most of the Bibles translate Rev 10:6, “There will be no more delay! (Rev 10:6 NET, NIV, NLT) or something like it. The understanding of most Christian scholars is that everything was completed at the cross so they see the past 2000 years as a delay of His second advent.

    For Seventh-day Adventists our understanding takes on other shades of meaning as well. As Cindy states, “Our pioneers understood this to mean that after the fulfillment of the Scripture’s longest time prophecy of 2300 years culminated in 1844, there was to be no more time setting.” But there are other aspects of Rev 10:6 for us also. The context is the little book that has the time prophesies but it is not only the fact that the time prophesies end with the 2300 days but that it is also the start of the cleansing of the sanctuary, the beginning of the investigative judgment. Now, we can legitimately ask why the judgment didn’t begin shortly after the resurrection of Jesus and from that ask if the judgment wasn’t delayed.

    The answer Ellen White gives us in the context of the cross is this:

    Yet Satan was not then destroyed. The angels did not even then understand all that was involved in the great controversy. The principles at stake were to be more fully revealed. And for the sake of man, Satan's existence must be continued. Man as well as angels must see the contrast between the Prince of light and the prince of darkness. He must choose whom he will serve. {DA 761.3}

    That is also the reason the judgment was delayed until after the reformation, there was more that needed to be revealed before a fair rendering could be made in judgment. So was there delay? Absolutely! But now that the main issues have been answered we are in mop up mode where there is no longer a reason for delay except for the church – and that today is our problem.

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  5. In part one, after quoting Rev.10:4 “When the 7 thunders spoke, I was about to write, But a voice from heaven called to me, keep secret what the 7 thunders said. Do not right it down.” you asked, “Why?” And you answered, “Because Daniel 12:4 said the events would be opened at the time of the end, which our pioneers determined would be around 1798...”

    However, Daniel 12:4 says, “Conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth and knowledge will be increased.” The instruction to Daniel is specific to Daniel and to his prophetic book. We cannot legitimately apply the instruction given to Daniel to John's case which is about 600 years later. We may conjecture that the one applies to the other, but when we look closer there is a distinct difference. Daniel's book is to be sealed and later opened. John's reference to the seven thunders was not to be written down and would thus not be opened.

    The only legitimate thing we can say as Adventists is what was revealed by E.G.W. The 7 thunders give a delineation of wonderful and advanced truths that were revealed during the preaching of the first and second angels. This happened in a short period of time, 1833 to 1844, or as Ellen White shortened it, 1842-1844. I think that was called the Midnight Cry.

    As far as I know, no one has ever attempted to make a list of advanced truths discovered during that short period and match them up with the seven thunders, and I'm not sure anyone should do so. God did not indicate that they would be revealed, rather they would be experienced. And experienced they were! It/they resulted in the greatest gospel revival and prophetic enlightenment since the time of Jesus. And it produced a small group of people that God could entrust with the final gospel initiative.

    In this post, you quoted Rev. 10:11, “ then he said to me, 'You must prophesy again about/concerning many peoples, nations, languages and kings.” Then you asked, “What is to be the burden of our message this time...?

    I suggest, instead of jumping directly ahead 8 chapters for your answer, why not go to the very next verse? Jesus didn't only tell him/us that he must prophesy again; he told him what the message was to be. The ministry of Christ in the sanctuary, with a focus on measuring, that is, investigative judgment. We can call it what we like – Pre-advent Judgment, Investigative Judgment, or what I term a “covenant lawsuit resulting in atonement.” The reference to measuring the people at the altar (of incense) certainly focuses on gospel.

    Rev. 11:2 makes clear there is a distinction to be made between those who do not follow Christ in His heavenly sanctuary ministry. Leave out the court for it has been given over to the nations -- they who have trod under foot the holy city for 42 months, that is 1260 years. What Jesus is saying here is, “I am restoring to you and through you to the whole world the knowledge of and the invitation to find salvation from your sins by meeting me in the Sanctuary.”

    The time of separation has come. The atonement is for the tested ones coming out of the great disappointment who follow on to proclaim God's final gospel initiative. This will climax in the Loud cry of Rev. 18:1-4.

    Cindy, I do appreciate the focus of your post and trust that this adds to it, rather than detracting from it.

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  6. From what I understanding the article deals with "for a time such as this" namely, our time of visitation. We then need to ask what how are all these thinks relevant for our salvation?

    Well it's salvation as...
    #1 It brings to view our time of visitation - close of probationary. The Flood, Exodus, The three decrees of rebuilding the tempel unt Messiah the Prince, and 1, 2 & third angel demonstrated this point clearly. God ever deals the same with His people.

    #2 No third, without the first & second which is the foundation of our faith (Ps 11:3), walls and the roof can be build before the foundation. As SDA we can not proclaim the third angel without a comprehension of the two that transpire between 1798-1844 (Revelation 10; Daniel 11; 12)

    #3 The prophet is clear in regards to what time Rev 10:7 refers to, why more upon it when there is much more to explore? Such as why would the mystery of Godliness be finished at the sound of the seventh angel, and what work has this angel. 'He is to bind the wheat & tares' for the the heavenly garner & hell fire respective. Yes it is salvational to understand that then.

    #4 Rome ever establishes the vision (Dan 11:14 & Uriah Smith). Our pioneers believed Israel was in bondage for 2520 years because of the sin of Solomon. Beginning with Moses and all the prophets, they understood this scattering because of the transgression God's law. It's significant that in all history Jesus come to confirm the covenant, in other words a spiritual gathering takes place (consider 70 years in Babylon, 70 week & the end of 2300). As 70 weeks are cut of from 2300, 2520 year prophecy expands over the 2300. The both conclude 1844. By two everything is established (2 Cor 13:1), thus 2300 is not the longest. 2300 deals with restoration of the tempel, while 2520 deals with the gathering of the people, both conclude in the vision of Christ which is the main focus. Thus the question is in regard to the host & the sanctuary. "How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? 14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Dan 8:13-14 (KJV) While Jesus is the chief subject of the prophecies, Rome has a principle role as he completes the scattering of the power of the holy people (Dan 12:7). At the end of this all, you have the two classes, those with the Seal of God and those with the Mark of the Beast (Rome)!

    #5 In the Revelation all the Bible meet and end. Daniel & Rev are one book. This means we should be able to locate the three angels' messages chapters of Daniel. We've seen how Rev 10 connects with Daniel, Rev 14:6-12 is even clearly revealed in Daniel 11:40-45 (13MR 394), which are scenes connected to the close of our probation, that many don't want to touch it has "hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see it, there is no beauty that we should desire it.' Isaiah 53:2 (KJV)

    #6 EGW was show three steps (EW 259-260), John Jesus & Pentecost. Those the rejected John were not benefited by Jesus, and went on to kill Him. The lost all means to enter with Jesus into the Holy place. 3 Steps, Three decrees & three angel's. - If the first & second is rejected, we will loose our salvation as it is by the Spirit in the Loud Cry that the christian character is completed. Those that killed Jesus, kill the 1&2 angels' message, and were left in total darkness worshiping Satan in the Holy place, while the few had followed Jesus into the most Holy. This experience is to be repeated to the very latter in SDA, why? It parallel the coming of Christ as a babe. John arrives in the spirit of Elijah (1798, first angel), Jesus is anointed (Ottoman empower falls august 11 1840 - impetus to the Advent movement), Jesus cut off in the midst of the week (arrival of the third message) --- The disciples with the Spirit of Christ at Pentecost complete the confirming of the covenant in in one week ( the events of Rev 18:1-4 are transpiring now). All these things are transpiring in just a few verses that contain all types & figures of the Bible, and there are climaxing with the events that are delineated in Daniel 11:40-45; 12:1.

    #7 How come theres a mixed multitude of Bible versions in these studies, majority being created by pagans? I believe this is one major setbacks when it comes to discerning the teaching of the Spirit of Christ. 'So closely will the counterfeit be to the true that it will be only be distinguished by thus saith the Lord', but if the source is already corrupt, how can we possibly arrive to the right conclusions searching for truth?

    "39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."John 5:39 (KJV)

    Food for Thought

    We asked, why eve bather? Well, 1844, Michael shut a door of probation (Rev 3:8), SDA is on the verge of the shut door when Michael stands up in Dan 12:1. How are we preparing for it?

    Apologies for not providing references (really wanted comment, but had to use the little time I had wisely & this was the best I could do), but please let me know if there is any special paragraph you'd like me to expand on & and I'll do so.

    Ps. Keep agitating the foundations of our faith, peradventure they will be a revival & reformation that the world has never seen since the Dark ages.

    Blessed Sabbath,
    KM

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