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Friday: Further Thought ~ From Contamination to Purification — 10 Comments

  1. Do you feel some disquiet when reading discussions about the time prophecies that have featured strongly in the development of our Church's theology?

    Are the interpretations of prophecy pillars of our faith?

    Some folk are concerned that we are asking questions that we should not when it comes to considering the time prophecies of Daniel. However, we need to remind ourselves that it was that very process that led to the development of our prophetic interpretation in the first place. The pioneers did not accept the interpretations extant in their day and went through the process carefully and, dare I say it, argumentatively. Sometimes they came to the wrong conclusions (eg 1844 disappointment). Some gave up in disgust as the process was too complicated for them to follow. Yet through it all, there were those whose faith grew and developed.

    I suggest that that process has largely been replaced by an attitude that "The pioneers got it right" and the active study-based faith has been replaced by an authority-accepting faith. One of the important things that we need to understand is that the lesson study guide should be regarded as a place to start our study, and not as a catechism of questions and church-approved responses. (sometimes I wish the lesson editors remembered that as well!)

    One of my theology lecturers gave us the quotable quote when he was teaching us; "All that's old is not gold! All that's new is not true!" He urged us not to accept what he taught us at face value because he said that fifty percent of what he would tell us was wrong. The only problem being that he did not know which fifty percent was wrong. Having been a lecturer myself, I have to agree.

    Our church largely formed the current interpretations of prophecy in the period 1840-1860. There have been a couple of periods since then when we have actively questioned some things but now approximately 150 years later, we are in danger of benignly accepting the "traditional" teaching of the church without seriously thinking about it ourselves. We need to remind ourselves to:

    Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 1 Tim 2:15 KJV

    and further ...

    And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. Acts 17:10-12

    We live in the 21st century now. Knowledge has increased and there are new challenges to our biblically based faith. We need to be aware of the challenges to our faith and further know what our faith is really founded on. Is it the traditional teaching of the church, or a faith-based, spirit-guided current study of the word of God.

    As a footnote: There are some who would like me to provide answers to the questions that we have. Unfortunately, a teacher usually cannot provide answers. We can only teach you how to look for answers yourself and test them out. I am currently helping my grandchildren to do maths problems. When they solve problems and have an answer their first response is to look up the answer in the back of the book. I stop them from doing that and ask them, "Do you think your answer is correct?" or "How do you know that it is the right answer?" Sometimes I will tell them their answer is wrong and ask them "How did I know that the answer was wrong?". I am preparing them for the day when they have to solve problems and there is no answer book. We need to study our prophetic interpretation in the same way.

    • Maurice, I agree completely with your accurate appraisal you have overviewed - especially with respect to the spirit with which 'Adventism' began - a "faith-based, spirit-guided current study of the word of God". And sadly I also agree with your observation of the loss of that dynamic as front and centre over the past while.

      Consequently I wish to express my deep appreciation for providing, protecting and encouraging a space where honest and constructive seeking of truth can occur within a constructive 'peer review' environment. The provision of such a space is rare and therefore valued.

      May we, like Daniel, be compelled to "understand" the meaning/reality that the symbols/metaphors are designed to help us see not so much that we can become satisfied that we have the right interpretation, but so that our lives might reflect the Christlikeness of Daniel as an ambassador for the Kingdom of God.

      Thank you.

    • Brother Maurice, thank you for your timely words of wisdom and challenge to explore why I believe what I believe. Thanks for reminding us to get back to a “ study based Faith vrs an Authority-accepting faith.”
      May you continue to be a conduit of Spirit given thoughts and information.
      Much Love Be Blest.

  2. I am submitting this article because it represents a fairly clear picture of the issues related to the date that commences the 2300 day prophecy from an Adventist perspective. Some of you may like to use it as a resource. The article, which appeared in "The Ministry Magazine" in 1988 is written by Len Tolhurst who is now retired and currently lives in the next street to me and has the distinction of being a very good bird watcher.


  3. We have considered the Day of Atonement as a final or concluding ministry or service. But Scripture indicates that it’s an inaugural service/ministry; that the Daily or Continuity represents the Old Covenant and the Day of Atonement represents the New Covenant (Heb 7-10).

    The Tent of Meeting or Holy Place represented Israel’s dwelling place and their whole economy.(Heb 9:2,6,8-10
    “... and thus he shall do for the tent of meeting which abides with them in the midst of their impurities (Lev 16:16). They were represented by the lamp stand as a light to the world. Every sin committed was considered to have defiled the sanctuary (Lev 15:31; 20:3; Num 19:13,20; Ezek 5:11; 23:38,39; 36:17). The Most Holy/Holiest/Holy Place represents God’s dwelling place in Israel, the place of His Presence. About the future new temple God said in Ezk 43:7,8, “... And the house of Israel will not again defile my holy name..., by setting their threshold by My threshold... with only the wall between Me and them...”

    “...the priests are continually entering the first tent (Tent of Meeting/Holy Place) performing divine worship, but into the second (Holiest/Most Holy), only the High Priest enters once a year not without blood which he offers for himself and for the sins of ignorance of the people.”(Heb 9:6,7). Since these are types or figures the Spirit is teaching something thru them. “The Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the Holy (Heb 9:3) has not yet been disclosed while the first tent (tent of meeting/holy place (Heb 9:2) is still *standing* (in rebellion).” (Heb 9:8). Note that the law stated that there should be no one in the tent of meeting when the High Priest goes in to make atonement in the Holy (Lev 16:17).
    Heb 9:9,10 explains that the first apartment service still standing, in rebellion, was symbolic of that present time where Israel was offering sacrifices (Gal 4:23-26) that could not perfect the worshiper’s conscience, since it was a temporary ministry for the flesh imposed until a “time of reformation”. Christ could not be an earthly priest since “there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law.”(Heb 8:4). The time of reformation is Christ’s ministry. When He appeared as High Priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tent, not made with hands, not of this creation, once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. His blood cleanses one’s conscience from dead works “to serve the living God”. (Heb 9:10-14). This is an initiating work. “For this reason He is the mediator of a New Covenant, so that since a death has taken place for the **redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant**, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”(Heb 9:14,15) The priests offered sacrifices all year but such sacrifices could not take sin away. Only until the Day of Atonement did Israel get flesh cleansing, symbolic taking away of sin. Under the Old Covenant, sin was magnified, The Day of Atonement represented/typified the inauguration of the New Covenant, the ministry of grace thru the Spirit. The necessary death of the testator, Christ, ratified and inaugurated the New Covenant (Heb 9:16,17). The inauguration of the O.C with its sprinklings is compared with that of the N.C (Heb 9:18-26)
    “Behold I have come to do Your will,” He takes away the first (covenant) in order to establish the second (covenant). By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all...”(Heb 10:9-14). Christ does not perform an unavailing first apartment service. The first apartment service represents the Old Covenant. Day of Atonement service represents the inauguration of the New Covenant in which one’s conscience is cleansed from sin for service to God. (Rom 5:11; 2 Cor 5:18,19)

  4. I have asked myself "why are these animals in the prophecies so horrifying?" History had to happen first until some could compare them to the kingdoms and times. Today, the powers of this world aren't different, they still look for expansion through commerce or resources. Oil, minerals, technology, food, ultimately, money, power, control. About what are the wars fought lately? Violence is present and surrounding all of us. All we need is to hide in God, in His Son we find peace and recovery. He knows the end from the begining! Thus is much smarter to get close to Him. May we be full of His Spirit and used as instruments on His hands, to spread the truth about what is really going on in our present time, and about what will happen soon. May our hearts be so touched by His, that we may engage ourselves actively in telling others about the most important event which is about to happen, the second and definite coming of Jesus! How much are we willing to be recognized as 7th day adventist NOW?

  5. Guided by the Holy Ghost. I am not alone, for my father is with me.

    In connection with what Maurice mentioned I agreed. Quote; all that is old is not gold, all that is new is not true.
    A few weeks ago I mentioned (can go back and produce the reading) that I am allowing the Holy Spirit to teach me himself because many things I heard from the pulpit before I am not so sure if the were correct, so as a result I am allowing the Holy Spirit to teach me his words. Even in Miss White writing she stated she has not being given the interpretation of all the Bible but as we/the church accepts hers (in the right context/concept) the Holy Spirit will reveals more and more to the church. Many times if the church believes we have all the interpretations of Daniel and nothing else is left to be interpreted we are threading in dangerous paths.
    Paul writing to Timothy- 2 Tim 2:15,16 Paul encourages young Timothy to study to show himself approve unto God........, but shun profane and vain babbling.....
    I encourage all to let the Holy Ghost be our study partner, a lot is going on around us. Either we will stand or we will fall.


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