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Sabbath: Satan and His Allies — 11 Comments

  1. I was just a kid when Pope Pius XII died and John XXIII succeeded him. I remember sermons about the events and how the change would usher in "the time of the end" and that it was a fulfillment of prophecy. That was 1958 and we are now half a dozen popes later. Interestingly I heard an Adventist minister taking a seminar on last day events recently and someone asked a question about the current papal situation. He replied, "I don't jump every time the Pope sneezes!" He went on to say that while there are events that remind us that we are living in the last days, not everything that happens is a fulfillment of a specific prophecy.

    I am wary of trying to fit political situations and prophecy together on the fly about current events. I have lived through the election of the first Catholic president of the USA, the first man on the moon, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the various and continued middle eastern conflicts, the rise of Islam, the fall of the communist blocks, the formation of the European Common Market (and now its faltering in the wake of Brexit), the opening of China (I have even been there), ISIS and many other similar events, most of which I have heard about in sermons and postulated in Sabbath School lessons as significant in prophecy. It is no wonder that when I hear the words that this or that event was foretold the Bible that I am skeptical.

    Listen to Jesus:

    Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. Matt 12:38-41

    Summarizing, I think Jesus is saying, get on with preaching the Gospel.

    If there is one thing that concerns me in these times more than anything else it is the rise of extreme fundamentalism in both the political and religious spheres. Acts of hatred are being done in the name of religion. In recent years activist fundamentalism has been on the increase in Islamic countries and in Christian religions. And it is not only apparent in religion but we see the same attitudes of nationalistic fundamentalism occurring at a political level too.

    This week's lesson study provides us with an opportunity to relook at the big picture, not just an opportunity to boast that Seventh-day Adventists got it right! This is a lesson study, maybe we have some more to learn still.

    • Thanks brother Ashton, you've been privileged indeed with long life.

      All prophetic expositors who have read current events into prophecy have made serious errors, and 'historicism' still remains the only biblical method of prophetic interpretation, though preterism and furutism have crept even into the Adventist circles.

      I however looked up the word 'fundamentalism' and was shocked at what I found:

      - a form of a religion, especially Islam or Protestant Christianity, that upholds belief in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture.
      - strict adherence to the basic principles of any subject or discipline.
      - type of militantly conservative religious movement characterized by the advocacy of strict conformity to sacred texts. (Britannica)
      - unwavering attachment to a set of irreducible beliefs.

      From the above definitions, one of the things that characterizes a follower of God is 'sola scriptura' - which would be interpreted as FUNDAMENTALISM.

      Kindly extrapolate what you meant.

      • I think we need to make a distinction between the militant fundamentalism that is becoming a force to be reckoned with and the definition of fundamentalism that we used a few years ago. One of my good Seventh-day Adventist friends made it clear to me when she said that she no longer wanted to be known as a "fundamentalist" and preferred the term "Bible-believing Christian" instead. She said the term "fundamentalist" had become associated with militant intolerance and strident condemnation, attitudes that were at odds with the law of love and grace as practiced by Jesus. You will probably notice that I have used the adjective "extreme" to describe the fundamentalism that worries me. I will have more to say about that in the next few days and hopefully, it will give a clearer picture of the difference I see between "extreme fundamentalism" and "Bible-believing Christianity.

        • Thanks for your reply.

          The grammatical definition of fundamentalism does put Adventism in the same categories as worst of the religious criminal movements. And I think this is deliberate by the devil, because the moment we stand for the Bible, the bad label is brought up 'fundamentalists'and we are quick to stand back, because we do not ascribe to the tenets of ISIS for instance.

          In this way, Islam fundamentalists for instance, have played their role in glorifying the Papal role of toning down 'fundamentalism' by making any person standing for their beliefs, like 'sola scriptura' look bad.

          • In the English language most words have a range of meanings depending on what they are associated with. A writer can be easily misunderstood especially in an international forum where you have little control over how readers perceive what you have written. That is one reason why I am careful about the use of the word "fundamentalism". When writing about the Seventh-day Adventist Church I prefer to use the phrase, "Bible-believing" because it makes it clear that we are distinctly different from militant fundamentalists.

      • I might add that a typical characteristic of fundamentalism is a belief in literal word inspiration, which for those who truly believe in Ellen White, she has spared us from. Her words "God as author is not on trial in the Bible. The Bible writers were God's penmen, not His pen" go a long ways to dispel that misnomer. Unfortunately some of that literalism has been in Adventism for a long time. Around 1900, Christianity was largely divided into two camps, fundamentalism and liberalism (although the latter word is rather fuzzy). Adventists at the time seemed to think they had to stand behind one of those two extremes, and recognizing the liberalism of the time as untenable, lined up mostly behind fundamentalism. They were wrong. There was a middle ground that was Biblically sound that we should have found (and are still trying to find). We did not have to be part of either extreme. We would have been much better representatives of God if we had lived up to all Ellen White had showed us and charted our own course, avoiding both extremes.

  2. An interesting exercise would be to compare the parallels between the God's two witnesses and Satan's two allies 1260/42 period, fire, harm-killed, death and resurrection, prophets, God's breath- breath to image. Counterfeit of two witnesses and counterfeit of Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit.

  3. Thus, is set the emphasis upon counterfeit, with these two allies being a completion of a counterfeit trinity. It is also worthy of compare and contrast between agencies of heaven that those of the devil.

    • A counterfeit bank note looks almost like the real one but is worthless because it doesn't come from the right place. So how to tell the difference?

  4. Sister Shirley we should study the original so much that when we see the counterfeit we will be able to identify it


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