THE MYSTERY OF GOD'S KINGDOM IN THE DAYS OF THESE KINGS
"What would the Saviour do if he should come to us now as he did to the Jews? He would have to do a similar work in clearing away the rubbish of tradition and ceremony. The Jews were greatly disturbed when he did this work. They had lost sight of the original truth of God, but Christ brought it again to view. It is our work to free the precious truths of God from superstition and error. . . .
"Glorious truths have been buried out of sight, and have been made lusterless and unattractive by error and superstition.. . .
"Christ swept away the rubbish of tradition, and displayed the real kernel and heart of the purposes of God. When he did this, they became exasperated beyond control. They circulated false reports from one town to another that Christ was destroying the work of God. But while Jesus did away with the old forms, He re-instated the old truths, placing them in the frame work of truth. He matched and joined them together, making a complete and symmetrical system of truth. This was the work our Saviour did; and now what shall we do? Shall we not work in harmony with Christ?" -Review and Herald, June 4, 1889.
"I have been instructed that the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation should be printed in small books, with the necessary explanations, and should be sent all over the world. Our own people need to have the light placed before them in clearer lines." Testimonies to Ministers p. 117.
". . .Read the book of Daniel. Call up, point by point, the history of the kingdoms there represented. . . .
"The light that Daniel received from God was given especially for these last days. The visions he saw by the banks of the Ulai and the Hiddekel, the great rivers of Shinar, are now in process of fulfillment, and all the events foretold will soon come to pass." Testimonies to Ministers pp. 112,113.
"Let not the solemn scenes which prophecy has revealed be left untouched. If our people were half awake, if they realized the nearness of the events portrayed in the Revelation, a reformation would be wrought in our churches, and many more would believe the message. We have no time to lose; God calls upon us to watch for souls as they that must give an account. Advance new principles, and crowd in the clear-cut truth. It will be as a sword cutting both ways. . . .Let Daniel speak, let the Revelation speak, and tell what is truth." Testimonies to Ministers p. 118.
It is because of this admonition and our burden for a revival and reformation among God's people that we present the prophecy of Daniel, chapter two, and other prophecies related to it.
A Mysterious Dream.
As Seventh-day Adventists, most of us are familiar with the great image as depicted in the second chapter of Daniel.
As you recall, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, dreamed a dream which troubled him greatly, as he couldn't recall what he had dreamed. He thought surely some of his wise men, astrologers, magicians or soothsayers could tell him what he had dreamed.
He promised them gifts, rewards and honor if they would reveal to him his dream and the interpretation thereof. He also threatened them with destruction if they didn't comply with his wishes.
The wise men, the astrologers, the magicians and the soothsayers told the king that he was asking them to do a very rare thing, something that was impossible. They said the only source they knew of that could reveal the dream to the king, was the gods "whose dwelling is not with flesh." Dan. 2:11. This reply made the king very angry, and he made a decree to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. As you recall, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, captives from the tribe of Judah, were also included among the wise men of Babylon.
When Daniel heard of the decree, he inquired of the king's captain why the king was so hasty in making such a drastic decree. Arioch, the kings captain, explained the situation to Daniel. Daniel immediately requested a stay of execution of the king's decree, to enable him to solicit the help of His God to reveal the dream and the interpretation thereof.
Daniel Reveals The King's Dream.
After Daniel and his three companions earnestly prayed, the Lord revealed to Daniel in a vision that night the king's dream and the interpretation thereof.
Before Daniel revealed to the king his dream, he wanted to impress upon the king the fact that none of the king's wise men, astrologers, magicians or soothsayers could reveal to the king his dream. It was only the God of heaven that could reveal such secrets. This was a tremendous opportunity for Daniel to witness for his faith and his God. Daniel did not take any credit to himself for the revelation of the king's dream as he said: "But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart." Dan. 2:30.
A Great Metallic Image.
Then Daniel revealed to the king his dream and the interpretation as follows: "Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay." Dan. 2:31-33.
Continuing on, Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar: "And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken." Dan. 2:38-42.
We as Seventh-day Adventists have understood for years that the great metallic image, beginning with the head of gold represented Babylon, the chest and arms of silver-Medo Persia, his belly and thighs of brass-Grecia, his legs of iron-Rome and his feet which are part of iron and clay represents our present world.
Daniel continues on to relate what would happen in the days of the ten toe kings, as he said: "Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." Daniel 2:34,35.
"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure." Dan. 2:44,45.
Most of us as Seventh-day Adventists understand the first part of this prophecy concerning the nations that are represented by the great metallic image. However, the last part which is so important to us who are living in the days of these ten toe kings is seldom mentioned or is grossly misapplied. We seldom hear an explanation as to what the mountain represents that the stone is cut out of; how it is cut loose from the mountain; who the stone is; and what causes the stone to grow into another mountain and fill the whole earth.
The Bible---Its Own Expositor.
The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that we should make the Bible its own expositor as it says: "The Bible must not be interpreted to suit the ideas of men, however long they may have held these ideas to be true. We are not to accept the opinion of commentators as the voice of God; they were erring mortals like ourselves. God has given reasoning powers to us as well as to them. We should make the Bible its own expositor." Testimonies to Ministers p. 106. See also Great Controversy p. 521.
The Bible is in complete harmony with this as it says: "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:" Isa. 28:10.
Since this whole prophecy of Daniel, chapter two is symbolical, not literal, then to the Scriptures we must go to find the key that will unlock the remaining portion of this prophecy. See Great Controversy p. 599.
The Mountain From Which The Stone Is Cut.
Daniel said that a "STONE was cut out of the mountain without hands." Dan. 2:45. The first step in correctly understanding this prophecy is to find out what the mountain that the stone is cut out of symbolizes. In the studies entitled "When the Lord Takes The Reins" and "The Image Of The Beast", we found that a mountain in the Scriptures, when used as a symbol represents a church. Isaiah in commenting on the time when God's remnant (I44,000) will bring in earth's final harvest into God's purified church says: "And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord." Isa. 66:20.
Other writers also use this symbol as seen in the following examples. "Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain." Zech. 8:3. "Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people." Isa. 56:7. See also, Acts of the Apostles p. 9; Ps. 15:1.
Thus the stone being cut out of the mountain must depict a separation. And since Laodicea is the seventh church, and is the church in which the wheat and tares are to be separated, then it must represent the mountain from which the stone is cut or separated.
A Stone Cut Out Without Hands.
What does it mean "a stone cut out without hands" ? Dan. 2:33. The stone being cut out of the mountain definitely shows a separation. The term "without hands" positively shows this separation is not done by man's hands. If it is not done by man's hands, then it must be something that only the Lord can do. The Spirit of Prophecy is in complete harmony with this as it says: "The work of separation is given to the angels of God and not committed into the hands of any man." Testimonies to Ministers p. 47.
The Spirit of Prophecy continues on to tell us that the reason why this work of separation is not committed into the hands of any man is that only the destroying angels of Ezekiel nine can read the mark or seal that is placed upon the foreheads of those who sigh and cry for the abominations that are done in the church. See: Test. Vol. 5 pp. 211,505; Test. Vol. 3 p. 267; Ezekiel 9:1-11. "What is the seal of the living God, which is placed in the foreheads of His people? It is a mark which angels, but not human eyes, can read; for the destroying angel must see this mark of redemption." S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 7, pp. 968.
" . . . it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved...." SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, p. 1161.
Thus we see that the "cutting out" of the stone without hands refers to the purification of our church in which the gold and the dross are separated. See: Test. Vol. 5 p. 81. The man with the writers inkhorn places a mark upon those who sigh and cry and then follows the five men (angels) who slay all who do not receive the mark. See: Ezekiel 9:1-11.
The largest portion of the mountain ceases to exist, leaving only a stone as a remnant.
John the Revelator also witnessed this most startling revelation as he said: "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Revelation 12:15-17. See Great Controversy p. 385.
So we see that the earth helped the woman (church) by opening up her mouth and swallowing (burying) the flood of tares. This makes the dragon (Satan) angry and he goes forth to make war with the remnant. See: 1 S.M. 124, par. 2.
The Spirit of Prophecy calls this separation of the stone from the mountain "a terrible ordeal". "The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out--the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place." 2 Selected Messages p. 380.
Who Is The Stone?
As the stone is much smaller in size than the mountain from which it is cut, it reveals to us the startling fact that the largest portion of our membership will prove to be dross. The Spirit of Prophecy confirms this fact as it says: "In the last vision given me, I was shown the startling fact that but a small portion of those who now profess the truth will be sanctified by it and be saved. Many will get above the simplicity of the work. They will conform to the world, cherish idols, and become spiritually dead. The humble, self-sacrificing followers of Jesus will pass on to perfection, leaving behind the indifferent and lovers of the world." Testimonies, Vol. 1 pp. 608,609.
"Soon God's people will be tested by fiery trials, and the great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal." Testimonies, Vol . 5 p 136.
"The Laodicean message applies to the people of God who profess to believe present truth. The greater part are lukewarm professors, having a name but no zeal." Testimonies, Vol. 4 p. 87.
"It is a solemn statement that I make to the church, that not one in twenty whose names are registered upon the church books are prepared to close their earthly history, and would be as verily without God and without hope in the world as the common sinner." Christian Service p. 41.
Who then will make up this stone?
"Only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it, the third angel's message when it shall have swelled into the Loud Cry." Review & Herald, Nov. 9, 1908.
"The members of the church militant who have proved faithful will become the church triumphant -Letter 32, 1892." Evangelism p. 707.
"Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation." Testimonies, Vol. 1 pp. 187.
Then the Spirit of Prophecy continues on to tell us, just who it is that receives the latter rain: "Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost." Testimonies, Vol. 5 p. 214.
John the Revelator tells us that the 144,000 are the first fruits to be sealed. Thus we see that only those who sigh and cry against the abominations done in the church will receive the seal of God and be numbered among the 144,000 first-fruits which will compose this stone in it's beginning, before it grows into another mountain and fills the whole earth. See: Testimonies to Ministers pp. 444, 445, 431; Rev. 7:1-4.
How clear it is that this stone in its infancy is that "pure, true, sanctified ministry" that the Spirit of Prophecy spoke of when it said: "The great issue so near at hand will weed out those whom God has not appointed and He will have a pure, true, sanctified ministry prepared for the latter rain...." Selected Messages Book 3, pp. 385.
The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that God's royal priesthood will be made up of living stones as it says: "The elect of God are a chosen generation, a peculiar people, a holy nation, to show forth the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. They are the salt of the earth, the light of the world. They are living stones, a royal priesthood. They are in copartnership with Jesus Christ. These are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. . . ." Testimonies to Ministers p. 422. The 144,000 are those who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. See: Rev. 14:4.
Peter being in complete agreement says: "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 2:5. See: Test. Vol. 8 p. 173; Test. Vol. 9, p. 180.
Thus it is clear then, that the cutting out of the stone (the purification of the church) produces the 144, 000, the remnant---the Loud Cry ministry.
The Breaking of The Nations Results In The growth Of The Stone.
"Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." Dan. 2:34,35.
Notice that the stone hits the image on his feet. Thus we, conclude that the cutting out of the stone takes place in the time of the ten toes; our present world. After the stone hits the image, then the nations of the world become as chaff. The fact that chaff is all that is left after the stone hits the image, implies that a harvest has taken place. The wheat is gathered out and all that is finally left is the chaff, the worthless material.
Several other writers of the Scriptures tell us about the work of this stone, its growth in the last days. Isaiah tells about the "excellent fruit" that is to be harvested from the earth by those who have escaped the purification of the church (the 144,000), as he says: "In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel." Isaiah 4:2. See also verses 3 and 4.
Isaiah 66 also tells us about this same event: ". . .I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord." Isaiah 66:19,20.
The prophet Joel gives us a very descriptive picture of the work of the stone in chapter two: "...A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them." Joel 2:2, 3. The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that "When divine power is combined with human effort, the work will spread like fire in the stubble." 1Selected Messages p. 118.
The Spirit of Prophecy continues on to tell us what the work will be like after the church is purified, the 144,000 are sealed and the Holy Spirit is poured out upon the saints: "Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers....
"The message will be carried not so much by argument as by the deep conviction of the Spirit of God." Great Controversy pp. 612.
Thus we can see why it is "like the garden of Eden before them, (the 144, 000) and behind them a desolate wilderness." They reap all of the good (wheat) out of the nations where they have been sent, leaving only the chaff behind.
Joel continues on: "Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness." Joel 2:5,6.
What causes the faces of the people to be much pained and to gather blackness? We must remember that the great multitude which is gathered from all nations (Rev. 7:9), by the Lord's loud cry ministry (144,000), is gathered while the four winds are blowing (during the time of trouble, Test. Vol. 5 p. 152; Early Writings pp. 33, 85). They must take their stand for the truth under the most forbidding circumstances. A threatened death decree will be pronounced upon those who do not worship the beast and his image (Rev. 13: 15).
Many of the great multitude will find refuge in the mountains and some will be cast into prison during this most trying time. See: Great Controversy p. 626. However, before the end comes, the Lord will set them free as the Spirit of Prophecy says: "...Prison walls are rent asunder, and God's people, who have been held in bondage for their faith, are set free." Great Controversy p. 637.
So we see that when the great multitude are first approached by God's great army (144,000) with the final message of salvation, their faces are much pained as they have a terrible decision to make. If they don't worship the beast or his image, then they will be threatened with death. If they worship the beast or his image, then they will incur upon themselves "the wrath of God which will be poured out without mixture." Rev. 14:10.
Joel continues on to tell us how invincible God's great army of workers will be as he says: "They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?" Joel 2:9-11.
How encouraging it is to know that when the loud cry commences which is represented by the angel of Revelation 18, "the armies of the living God will take the field (MS 175, 1899)" SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 7 p. 983, E.G. White.
During the time of the growing of the stone into another mountain, the Lord's command will be: "Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth." Micah 4:13.
Isaiah looking down through the ages, sees the 144,000, the descendants of Jacob (the stone) filling the whole earth with fruit (saints) as he says: "He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit." Isaiah 27:6. Thus we can see that the harvest that the 144,000 bring in, causes the stone to grow into another mountain. The growth of the stone into another mountain is the same as the second brass mountain in Zechariah 6. See the study: "When the Lord Takes the Reins"
It was God's original purpose for ancient Israel when they were in the promised land that "As the numbers of Israel increased, they were to enlarge their borders until their kingdom should embrace the world." Prophets and Kings p. 19.
"Had Israel been true to her trust, all the nations of earth would have shared in her blessings. But the hearts of those to whom had been entrusted a knowledge of saving truth, were untouched by the needs of those around them. As God's purpose was lost sight of, the heathen came to be looked upon as beyond the pale of His mercy. The light of truth was withheld, and darkness prevailed. The nations were overspread with a veil of ignorance; the love of God was little known; error and superstition flourished.
"Such was the prospect that greeted Isaiah when he was called to the prophetic mission; yet he was not discouraged, for ringing in his ears was the triumphal chorus of the angels surrounding the throne of God, "The whole earth is full of His glory." Isaiah 6:3. And his faith was strengthened by visions of glorious conquests by the church of God, when "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Isaiah 11:9. "The face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations," was finally to be destroyed. Isaiah 25:7. The Spirit of God was to be poured out upon all flesh. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness were to be numbered among the Israel of God." Prophets and Kings p. 371.
Concerning ancient Israel, the Spirit of Prophecy says: "Not by any temporary failure of Israel, however, was the plan of the ages for the redemption of mankind to be frustrated. Those to whom the prophet was speaking might not heed the message given, but the purposes of Jehovah were nevertheless to move steadily forward to their complete fulfillment." Prophets and Kings pp. 705,706.
The Lord will accomplish through His purified church (modern Israel) what ancient Israel failed to do. See: Prophets and Kings pp. 713,714. Thus we can see as the righteous are harvested from all the nations of the earth it causes the stone to enlarge or grow.
"In The Days Of These Kings".
"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure." Daniel 2:44, 45.
Here we see that the stone is the beginning of God's kingdom set up here on earth, in the days of the ten toe kings.
Please note that the Lord first begins to set up His Kingdom on earth "in the days of these kings" (the ten toe kings), not after their days. The kingdom referred to here is not the heavenly kingdom when "mortals put on immortality", and which flesh and blood cannot enter. 1 Cor. 15:53,50. The kingdom referred to here is the gathering place of earth's final harvest that is reaped just prior to Christ's second coming, a place where God's people will be protected during the time of trouble and the pouring out of the seven last plagues.
We would like to re-emphasize the fact that we are not talking about a millennial reign of peace in the Holy land, but the headquarters of the loud cry, a place of protection and refuge for God's people during the time of trouble. The 144,000 go out during the time of trouble, under God's special protection (seal) to bring in earth's final harvest from the whole earth.
Isaiah tells of this great work in chapter sixty and verses eleven and twelve: "Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted." Isaiah 60:11-12.
Jeremiah says: "Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms; And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider; With thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid; I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers." Jeremiah 51:20-23.
"Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff." Isa. 41:15.
"The disciples of Christ were looking for the immediate coming of the kingdom of His glory, but . . .Jesus taught that the kingdom was not then to be established. They were to pray for its coming as an event yet future. But this petition was also an assurance to them. While they were not to behold the coming of the kingdom in their day, the fact that Jesus bade them pray for it is evidence that in God's own time it will surely come.
"The kingdom of God's grace is now being established, as day by day hearts that have been full of sin and rebellion yield to the sovereignty of His love. But the full establishment of the kingdom of His glory will not take place until the second coming of Christ to this world." Mount of Blessings pp. 107,108.
Here we see that the kingdom can not be complete or fully established until the second coming of Christ as all of the subjects of His kingdom (the living and resurrected saints) are not together until that time. We must conclude that the full establishment of His kingdom or the kingdom complete must include both translated and resurrected saints. And since the general resurrection does not take place until Christ's second coming, the kingdom could not be complete until that time. However, that does not preclude the fact that according to the Scriptures, the living saints will be gathered into God's kingdom here on earth which will be in the Holy Land just prior to the second coming. Thus we see that the kingdom of His glory has an intermediate phase.
The Jews and the Christians Faith in the Prophets
Let us turn to the writings of the gospel prophet whom the Jews so maliciously sawed asunder.
Isa. 1:18, 19 -- "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land."
With this Divine recommendation for God's professed people, the gospel prophet was instructed to introduce his book. And now that we are living in the present-day application of his prophecies, we dare not neglect to comply with Inspiration's sound and fair recommendation. Our first step shall be to honestly and unbiasedly consider the successes and the failures of those who have gone before us.
Let us beforehand refresh our minds with the Jews' attitude toward the prophets: Rather than going with the purpose of learning and reasoning, the Jews went to the prophets with prejudiced minds, with malice, with hatred in their hearts, and with instruments of cruelty. (We must not.) This evil spirit was prevalent among the Jews throughout their history. It was manifested even against Moses although for forty years he led the Hebrew host with Divine signs and wonders all the way from the brickyards of Egypt to the borders of the promised land.
The remnant finally crossed the Jordan only because they whole-heartedly believed that Moses was God's mouth piece, and because they ceased murmuring, took and obeyed orders. The Hebrews ever after deeply cherished his writings, and this reverent regard for the Pentateuch continued among the Jews even to the days of Christ. As a man of God and as the nation's emancipator and founder of its sacred ceremonies, Moses was highly esteemed by all.
Ironically, though the prophets that followed after Moses were rejected by the Jewish nation as a whole. Those who survived in the Babylonian captivity did accept the prophets Haggai and Zechariah only because they were the founders of the movement then on foot as was Moses in his day.
The Jews, according to their own way of reasoning, were honest, though blind, in concluding that they had no need of prophets, because as they saw it, Moses' writings were complete, there was nothing lacking in them: They contained both the civil and religious laws. They, therefore, saw no need for greater light and no need of another prophet. Through their unbelief in the prophets, they failed to see that their kingdom was only a type of a greater one to come, they failed to see that God's Truth is progressive and ever unfolding, that each generation has to have added Truth especially adapted to meet their particular needs. Their blindness to this was their basic sin that led them on to ruin.
While the Jews boasted of their faith in Moses' writings, Jesus reprehended them by saying: "...had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me." John 5:46. He had reference to--
Deut. 18:15 --"The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken."
Of the coming Messiah Zechariah also wrote:
Zech. 9:9 -- "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."
Though they professed to believe in both Moses and Zechariah yet they gave no heed to any of these passages, and ever since a curse has rested upon them.
In rejecting the prophets the Jews thought they were surely keeping out of deception, and thought that they were thus actually loyal to Moses' writings and consequently to God. This they believed as much in Jesus' day as Israel believed in Elijah's day.
Let us now note that they fell into ruin only because they refused to give heed to the prophets who were sent to reform their ways, to correct their erroneous interpretations of Moses's writings and to lighten the path of their feet the rest of the way -- clear to Paradise. Having deprived themselves of the gift of the Spirit of Prophecy by doing away with the prophets, they completely cut off Heaven's communication line and were thus left in gross darkness and led into error, fanaticism, and crime. They became self-sufficient, proud, boastful, and high minded.
They felt rich and increased with goods, in need of nothing more. Thus it was that their perversions of the Scriptures by their uninspired interpretations of them caused them to lose the way, and finally to reject and even to crucify their own long-expected Redeemer.
Of Moses's writings the Jews made a mighty weapon against Christ and the prophets of that day. They were, however, at one time or another forced to acknowledge that their dead fathers were guilty of the blood of the prophets. The same is true today. Many admit that sectarianism is thriving on uninspired interpretations of the Scriptures, yet they expect no inspired interpreters for this day. They thus reject the antitypical prophet Elijah even before his appearance though the Scriptures definitely predict his coming before the great and dreadful day of the Lord, before the Judgment of the Living commences.
If we accept Inspiration's counsel and come and reason together while we are examining our own standing with the prophets, then an excellent place to begin is
Gen. 49:10 -- "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be."
Here Moses wrote that the gathering of the people shall be unto Judah, and that when Shiloh comes, Judah shall have a king and a lawgiver of her own. Do we as Seventh-day Adventists believe in this particular part of Moses' writings? If not, then we have no better standing with Moses than did the Jews.
To examine our standing with the rest of the prophets, we need not depart from the subject which Moses has introduced in the scripture just quoted. Mark that between the writings of Moses and of Isaiah, the Bible contains the records of history, the judges and the kings. Isaiah, then, is the next prophet after Moses that we shall go to.
Isa. 2:1, 2 -- "The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it."
Not to Takoma Park, not to Mt. Carmel Center, not to some other place, but to house of Judah and Jerusalem shall the final converts from all nations flow. Isaiah you plainly see absolutely confirms that the gathering of the people shall be unto Judah. Do you?
Jeremiah being the next prophet to Isaiah, we shall read
Jer. 31:6 -- "For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God."
"Mount Ephraim," you know, is the location of the ancient ten-tribe kingdom, Israel. According to this scripture, the kingdom of Israel, which is still lost among the nations, shall some day emerge from the four corners of the earth and gladly join the kingdom of Judah. So shall the gathering of the people be.
Jer. 31:7, 8 -- "For thus saith the Lord; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save Thy people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither."
Jeremiah discloses that the gathering unto Judah shall be from the four corners of the earth. Indeed, Jeremiah, Moses and Isaiah, all three, speak alike on the subject. The question is, Do you believe what they say? If not, are you then better than were the Jews?
Next we are to test our standing with the prophet Ezekiel.
Ezek. 36:17-27 -- "Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before Me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. Wherefore I poured My fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: and I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned My holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of His land. But I had pity for Mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.
"Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for Mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them."
What more could Inspiration say to make the subject clearer? God plainly and solemnly promised to recreate and to rebuild the ancient kingdom, to set it up in its own land. This He is to do after Judah and Israel are scattered among the Gentile nations, and assimilated by them -- after they have lost their racial identity -- then as Christians, not as Jews, He is to gather them from the four corners of the earth and to bring them to their own land. (And moreover, the Scriptures teach that they are as the sand of the sea for multitude.) This He is to do, you note, not because they are worthy, not because they had been good before or during their dispersion among the Gentiles, but because He is anxious to sanctify His Own name among the heathen.
Still further, after He gathers them from all countries and brings them into their own land, then it is that He promises to cleanse them eternally from their filthiness and from their idolatry -- to remove all the defects that sin has wrought upon them. Then it is that He gives them a new heart, puts His Spirit upon them and enables them to unavoidably keep His judgments. Mark carefully that regardless of our ideas and opinions all these things take place after God's people return to their father's land.
The 144,000 descendants of Jacob, whose fathers were assimilated by the Gentile nations and who thus down through the centuries lost their racial identity, are the first fruits, the first to be gathered unto Judah. They are those who stand on "Mount Zion with the Lamb." Rev. 14:1. The faithful descendants of the Jews who composed the early Christian church, and who also lost their national identity by naming themselves Christians (Acts 11:26), are also to be gathered from everywhere and brought unto Judah.
Finally, if these prophecies are not to be fulfilled, as the angel of the Laodicean church supposes, and if God's people are not to return to their homeland, then how will they ever be cleansed from their filthiness since the cleansing is to be done there only? How will they ever have their hearts changed? And what is to make them keep His statutes and judgments unless, as promised, beforehand receive His Spirit in the Promised Land? Indeed, if these prophecies fail, then how will God's people ever be able to stand before a pure and holy God? And how will they ever obtain immortality and be on schedule for translation if they do not comply with the prophecies, with His expressed will and plan for His people? And if they ignore these prophecies, the fulfillment of which is during the Judgment for the Living, the harvest, the gathering time, what chance do they then stand to survive that great and dreadful day of the Lord?
To be more specific, if the denomination fails to recognize and accept these promises, then where are the laity to be led from here on? Certainly not to the Kingdom if their leaders do not believe in It. Do you now believe in Moses, in Isaiah, and Ezekiel? Or do you rather still believe in fables devised by men?
Next to Ezekiel is the prophet Daniel. Incidentally, let us remind ourselves that to begin with, Daniel did not prophesy to the Jews, but to the Chaldeans and to the Medes and Persians. The Jews accepted him as God's servant only as they saw his prophecies fulfilled. The great question before us, however, is, Do we fully believe in the prophet Daniel's writings? Let us see.
Dan. 2:44, 45 -- "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure."
On Daniel's own word, the stone is symbolical, not of something else, but of the Kingdom, the which in the parable of the wheat and tares Jesus calls "barn," the place into which He is to put the wheat (saints) after it is separated from the tares (Matt. 13:30). Now mark carefully that according to Daniel's interpretation the stone depicts the Kingdom, the which God shall set up not after the days of these kings, but in their days, and that the stone Kingdom Itself, not something else, shall break the great image. If our interpretation of the stone contradicts Daniel's interpretation of it, then we do not only reject Daniel's inspiration, but even misconstrue the Word of God! We better not. We now come to the prophet Hosea.
Hosea 1:11; 3:5 -- "Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.... Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days."
Can one believe Hosea on the subject of the Kingdom if he does not believe in the former prophets who taught exactly as he? -- Of course not.
We are now at Joel's prophecies.
Joel 3:1, 2 -- "For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for My people and for My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted My land."
When God frees the antitypical children of Judah and of Jerusalem, the church of today, and takes them back to their own land, then it is, you note, that He gathers all nations into the valley of Jehoshaphat. There He is to judge them -- to separate the good from the bad, (Matt. 13:47, 48), the sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:32). And this work you must know is the work of the Judgment for all the living. Are we to reject Joel along with the prophets before him, and consequently the message of the Judgment for the Living after having for over a century preached the Judgment for the Dead? Ponder over what the Scriptures say and thus make up your mind to forsake all other voices. And what about your belief in the prophet Amos? Let us read
Amos 9:9-15 -- "For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us. In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by My name, saith the Lord that doeth this. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God."
Since Amos with even greater emphasis bears the same testimony as all the prophets before him, and since the language on the subject is crystal clear as is the language of all the prophets before him, so much so that it needs no comments, what shall we do with him? We are now to read:
Obad. 1:15-18 -- "For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. For as ye have drunk upon My holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been. But upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it."
In harmony with all the prophets before him, and in perfect clarity, Obadiah, too, relates that in the day the Lord destroys the heathen, in the day of harvest, or judgment, otherwise called the cleansing of the Sanctuary (Dan. 8:14) and the purification of the church (Mal. 3:1-3), and also the great and dreadful day of the Lord, there shall be deliverance upon Mount Zion, and the house of Jacob shall possess the wealth of the heathen. Do you now believe in the testimony of Jesus through His prophets? If not, then how can you say that you speak according to the "law and to the testimony" (Isa. 8:20)? Ever remember that the law and the testimony always go hand in hand.
The prophet Jonah is next in line, but we shall consider his prophecies when we come to the prophet Nahum.
We shall now see what is to be done with the prophet Micah.
Micah 3:12; 4:1, 2 -- "Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest:... But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
As emphatically as all the prophets before him, Micah declares that after the destruction of the Lord's ancient "mountain," (the kingdom), comes the reestablishment of it in the last days, and that peoples and nations shall flow unto it because the Law and the Word of the Lord shall go forth from Zion and from Jerusalem. Shall you now close your ears and eyes against this promise? or do you as servants of God intend to get there with the first fruits? I hope it is the latter. We now come to the prophecy of Nahum:
Nah. 1:12, 13, 15 -- "...Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more. For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.... Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off."
Nahum's burden is concerning the restoration, and the fall of Assyria, the powers which rule them in the day He restores the latter-day Kingdom of Judah; in the day He breaks the Assyrian yoke, in the day He bursts asunder the bands that bind His people. In that day He sends His messenger to bear good tidings to His people, tidings of peace while the world is upset with wars. Through His messenger He is urging His people to perform their vows, for He is to take away the wicked from among them. Assyria is to vacate and give room to Judah. "For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod." Isa. 30:31. Now He pleads:
"Turn ye unto Him from Whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. For in that day [in the day Assyria falls] every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin. Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited. And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, Whose fire is in Zion, and His furnace in Jerusalem." Isa. 31:6-9.
The purification (Judgment), here you see, is conducted from Zion and Jerusalem. And through Malachi asks the Spirit, "But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' sope: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi [the ministry], and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." Mal. 3:2, 3. Do you accept Nahum? And since Jonah's prophecy is a counterpart of Nahum's, then if you reject Nahum, you automatically reject Jonah, too.
The prophet Habakkuk was told to "write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run who readeth it."
Hab. 2:3 -- "For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."
Then Habakkuk prayed, saying,
Hab. 3:12, 13 -- "Thou didst march through the land in indignation, Thou didst thresh the heathen in anger. Thou wentest forth for the salvation of Thy people, even for salvation with Thine anointed; Thou woundest the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah."
Can we in faith pray for the same thing Habakkuk prayed? -- That the Lord go forth for the salvation of His people, that the vision be fulfilled without delay, and that we run to proclaim the good tidings? If not, then truly we spurn Habakkuk also.
Let us see what Zephaniah has to say concerning the latter day house of Judah -- the mountain of the Lord.
Zeph. 2:5-7 -- "Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the Lord is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant. And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks. And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the Lord their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity."
Since Zephaniah's prophecy is also definite that the Lord is to re-establish the kingdom of Judah, and since it, too, needs no comment, we shall quickly pass to Zechariah's prophecy.
Zech. 1:20, 21 -- "And the Lord shewed me four carpenters. Then said I, What come these to do? And He spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it."
Once God raised "horns," nations, to scatter His people throughout the Gentile nations, but those "horns" in the restoration of "all things," are seen to become "carpenters," so that while they as horns at long last cast the Gentiles out from the promised land, they are as carpenters to build for Judah. Thus Zechariah, as do all the prophets before him, prophesies of the restoration of the kingdom of Judah. Now we shall read from Malachi, the last of the Old Testament prophets.
Mal. 3:1-3 -- "Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, Whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' sope: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness."
If, in the face of the plain and unquestionable teachings of all the prophets, we as Seventh-day Adventists fail to give heed to the truth of the Purification of the church (the Kingdom here dealt with), the message of the Judgment for the Living and of the restoration of the kingdom of Judah -- the sanctuary for the purified ones, -- then certainly others will have to take our places in proclaiming it. Then along with the Jews we will have to bear the guilt of rejecting all the prophets since the world began. Why? -- Because unless we actually believe all that they have written, our merely pretending to believe in them means as much to Heaven as the faith of the Jews in the writings of Moses meant to the Lord. What! Preaching the gospel of the Kingdom but denying the Kingdom Itself!
In closing I shall read from Early Writings, in the chapter entitled "The Loud Cry."
"This message [that is the message that makes the Loud Cry] seemed to be an addition to the third message, joining it as the midnight cry joined the second angel's message in 1844." -- Early Writings, pg. 277. And on page 118 we read: -- "I then saw the third angel. Said my accompanying angel, 'Fearful is his work. Awful is his mission. He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal, or bind, the wheat for the heavenly garner. These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention.'"
The author of these statements makes clear that the Loud Cry is not made by a lot of noise, but by an additional message, and that the third angel's message in the end of the world, not the end itself, selects the wheat from the tares. Who among you would be foolish enough to close his eyes and ears to the testimony of the prophets, and at last in consternation cry out, "The harvest is passed, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." Jer. 8:20.
Now, if we as a church do not even so much as expect an additional message, besides rejecting the former prophets, then how much better is our attitude toward God and His prophets of today as well as of yesterday?
The Jews wanted a kingdom of their own, a kingdom of this world (saint and sinner in it). Yes, they wanted a kingdom on earth, but none in Heaven. What is more, they wanted it two thousand years ahead of schedule. Now, ironically, in the time of the restoration of the Kingdom, the Denomination takes an opposite attitude: It wants a kingdom in Heaven, but none on earth. Indeed, it wants to board the "chariot" from Takoma Park. And besides while the Lord says He is to save nations, the Denomination says "He is to save only 144,000 living sons of Jacob," and consequently none of the sons of other nations!
The Jews wanted nothing but what they wanted, and nothing is just what they got. So it will be with the Denomination if this clear cut and extra Biblical Truth, and the example of the Jews does not help her see that she has drifted "to sea without chart or compass." -- Christ Our Righteousness, pg. 37 (1941 edition). If she continues to want nothing but what she wants, it is certain that nothing is what she can expect.
Pray tell, what more should one expect to get from partial belief in the prophets, from private human interpretation of the Scriptures, from a system of explaining away the Scriptures, of making mysteries of simple passages by the use of unknown manuscripts and sectarian translations? Let us hold to "the book of the Lord" which His mouth hath commanded, and which manuscripts His "Spirit...hath gathered...." Isa. 34:16.
Say anything you wish against the Jews, but my study tells me that we as Seventh-day Adventists are outdoing them in mischief.
To be sure, the present state of affairs does appear gloomy. Yet seeing that this dark and cloudy day holds forth a future of unsurpassing glory, let us with the prophet Habakkuk say: "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation." Hab. 3:17, 18. Thus, just as the apostles defeated the enemy of the church in their day, likewise shall we defeat him in our day.
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