Comment on One reason why the debate about origins is relevant by Warren.
Iâ€™m going to modify somewhat a paragraph from David Read:
Do we still have a problem with this?Iâ€™m sure that many of us are comfortable with the explanation that Satan is the cause of â€œdeath and competition,â€ and that God is not to blame. But there are many who look at nature and see the uglinessâ€“virtually everywhere one looksâ€“and decide that God, if real, must be indifferent and downright disgusting. It doesnâ€™t help matters that when they turn to the Old Testament, they find passage after passage where God orders his people to do the very same thing that they see animals do in nature: pillage, plunder, butcher, kill some more; pillage, plunder, butcher, kill some more; pillage, plunder, butcher, kill some more.I believe in YEC myself, but I donâ€™t really see how a literal 6-day creation only 6,000 years ago softens the view of God that many arrive at by studying both the Bible and Godâ€™s second bookâ€“nature. Just a thought.
This is where the Adventist understanding of the “Great Controversy Theme” is important. “Why does God allow suffering?” (now, after sin) is a different question than “Why would God create using suffering?” (prior to any sin).
Adventists believe that the latter question is based on false premises. We believe the answer to the former question started in Heaven, when Lucifer convinced a third of the angels that God’s government was faulty. Revelation 12:7 says there was war in Heaven (the word for “war” is “polemia”, where we get “polemics”). In other words, an argument. We can see the gist of the argument in the opening chapters of Job, as well as in Zechariah 3. Revelation 12:12 calls the devil “the accuser of our brethren”.
God had a devil on his hands, not by His own creation, but because of “the mystery of iniquity”. One (perfectly just) solution would have been to destroy all dissenters and be done with it. But that wouldn’t really solve the problem, would it? It would only multiply the dissent, pushing it into the recesses of the minds of the (formerly) loyal angels.
God has wisely chosen to counter the mystery of iniquity with the Mystery of Christ (Ephesians 3:4,9-11). His wisdom is now on display to the principalities and powers (loyal angels), by which He will accomplish His purpose: To make a complete end of sin. Not by force will He convince the universe, but by a demonstration of His love. Yet, those who refuse to see the truth will eventually, sadly, be given up to their own devices.
Just as God allowed Job to suffer in order to demonstrate his loyalty in spite of incomplete knowledge, God has allowed the devil to demonstrate his government to the universe. The loyal angels were convinced at the cross that God’s way was right, but they still need to be convinced that we humans are safe to save (one purpose of the heavenly judgment going on right now). As we allow God to work in our lives, changing us from within, we can be part of God’s forces, helping prepare the way for His coming.
2 Peter 3:11-13 (New King James Version)
11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Recent Comments by Warren
Dear Mr. Pitman,
I never said that the Exodus was an impossible task or event; I just said that having such an event in that massive of a scale unfolding seems improbable.Imagine with me for a moment if you would, that thousands of your fellow citizens decided to leave your city. Donâ€™t you think that this would have been a noteworthy event? If not for you at least for those around you? I mean this would not only affect the populace as far as population size is concerned but more importantly it will have a direct and negative impact upon the economy.
Actually, as was pointed out by a previous poster on this site, the incorrect Egyptian chronology that has been foisted upon us is the cause of many of these misunderstandings. Now there are a number of serious efforts to line up Biblical history with Egyptian chronology. While they may not agree in all details, they do share the common understanding that Egyptian chronology is much shorter than previously assumed. With this understanding, a number of points match up between Egyptian and Biblical history.
One interesting matching point is the downfall of the Egyptian economy after a series of natural disasters. The destruction of the Egyptian army in the Red Sea may have been what allowed the “stranger people from outside Egypt” (the Hyksos) to invade Egypt, (just after the Exodus, according to the revised chronology). From a document supposed to be from the 19th dynasty (but could be a copy of a document from the 12th dynasty):
Nay, but the heart is violent. Plague stalks through the land and blood is everywhere…. Nay, but the river is blood. Does a man drink from it? As a human he rejects it. He thirsts for water….Nay, but gates, columns and walls are consumed with fire….Nay but men are few. Hey that lays his brother in the ground is everywhere….Nay but the son of the high-born man is no longer to be recognized….The stranger people from outside are come into Egypt….Nay, but corn has perished everywhere. People are stripped of clothing, perfume, and oil. Everyone says “there is no more.” The storehouse is bare….It has come to this. The king has been taken away by poor men.
–Ipuwer Papyrus, Leiden Museum
(Thanks to the book, “Unwrapping the Pharaohs: How Egyptian Archeology Confirms the Biblical Timeline” (by John Ashton & David Down, p. 102) for this quote).
It sounds to me like the effect of the Exodus on the Egyptian economy was actually recorded in history, but our understanding of Egyptian Chronology has only recently begun to be corrected (and thus, to line up with the Bible Chronology, so that events could be recognized for what they were).
Brian, This â€œsell it outâ€ is what most of us would like to avoid, at least I would. However, it may be necessary. The major problem we face is that, contrary to Ellenâ€™s Whiteâ€™s time, we have many more within our SDA Church who donâ€™t listen to her counsel or dismiss it as being old fashioned, out of date, inaccurate, or just pure baloney!
I’m not sure the church listened to EGW in her day very well either. But we have been warned that the last work of Satan would be to make the Testimonies of none effect. (And I would say, the Bible as well).
Bill, You are so right about pastors being intimidated.By who?Mainly by the conference office! Yeh, Iâ€™ve spoken to a number of pastors, who, when made aware of what is happening, say they â€œcanâ€™t say or do anythingâ€ or else the Conference will come down on them.What Conference?Well, since Iâ€™m in California, it would be the Pacific Union Conference.Maybe this is not such a problem elsewhere?Anyone care to give their opinion?
Regarding whether this is a problem elsewhere, I want to go on record that the Alaska Conference has excellent leadership. And I believe that is the case in many other conferences as well. Our Conference President has written a series of articles in support of Biblical Creation and has made it clear that we stand on the Bible.
Maybe you don’t see what is going on behind the scenes as each conference and their leadership attempt to do their part to educate the people and lead them back to the Bible.
At the same time, conference leadership cannot demand obedience of all the members, and so a gentle touch is needed so that the “smoking flax” of faith will not be quenched.
I agree with the purpose of this website, but I think some of the posters on here could use a dose of meekness and attitude adjustments. Your zeal to correct the problem would be better spent in actually doing something about it, rather than writing inflammatory injunctions and name calling.
In more than one area of life, I have learned that it is better to withhold the words until you have the action to back it up. Jesus cleaned out the Temple; He didn’t just sit on the sidelines and criticize what was going on. So if you have the ability to influence the leaders (or the members who vote for them), do so.
But sitting on the sidelines and saying “Doug Batchelor” and “David Asscherick” (or other leaders) should do something may be counter-productive.
Re Ronâ€™s Quote
A â€œdayâ€ didnâ€™t really mean an actual 24-hour day.
And thus 2300 days didnâ€™t really mean 2300 days. See the double standard here when it comes to literal interpretation, Ron?
Correct Biblical interpretation starts with assuming God meant things literally unless internal evidence suggests otherwise. It’s easy to get this reversed though, if you don’t want to believe God. For example, did Jesus really mean, “turn the other cheek”? Now that would allow an evil person to take advantage of you! So “I think that is merely symbolic”. Next, I run across the Genesis account, and it doesn’t agree with my preconceptions, so “I think that is symbolic”. But when it comes to prophecy, I don’t believe God could predict the future, so “I think those prophetic days are literal days” helps me to believe that God was merely observing trends and taking a good guess.
Ken, I’m not saying that you are doing this, merely that it is easy to make that mistake. To be safe in Biblical interpretation, I must assume it is speaking literally unless symbols are defined otherwise. (For example, Daniel and Revelation define many symbols, e.g. Daniel 8:20: Ram=Media/Persia, Daniel 8:21: Goat=Greece, Revelation 17:9,10: Heads=mountains,king(doms), Revelation 17:15: Water=multitudes of people. The context must be used (surrounding verses, chapter, book, entire Bible) and the Bible must not be made to contradict itself.
The Bible’s accurate outline of history in Daniel 2,7 and 8 (as Ron mentioned) is clear evidence of it’s Divine origin.
Now, for the specific case you mention, the 2300 days have several good reasons (internally) that they are symbolic:
* Daniel 8 describes aggression against God’s sanctuary system, starting in the time of Persia and Greece (vs. 1-12,20). But verse 17 puts it in the context of the time of the end. Thus, the vision must extend for more than a period of literal days in order to span from Daniel’s time to “the time of the end”.
* Daniel 9:21 refers to “the vision at the beginning” (that is, in Daniel 8:16,17). The Hebrew word for vision here is “hazon”. But Daniel 9:24 says “Understand the vision” (mareh), a different Hebrew word previously used in Daniel 8:26 and 8:16 to refer specifically to the discussion of 2300 days in 8:13-14. In other words, Daniel 8 and 9 are linguistically linked by the word “mareh”. When Gabriel explains the 70 weeks in Daniel 9, he is also explaining the rest of the Daniel 8 vision (specifically, the beginning of the time period).
Daniel 9 clearly points to the coming of Messiah the Prince (Jesus) and is one of the clearest evidences of Divine authorship of the Bible. Nobody can argue that Daniel was authored a mere literal 69 weeks prior to Jesus baptism (“anointing”). But Jesus did come, on time, 483 symbolic days (literal years) after the command to restore and build Jerusalem in 457 BC.
Likewise, the 2300 days must begin at that time as the 70 weeks were “hatak” (cut off, divided) from them. And just as Jesus was anointed at His baptism on time, he began his ministry in the Most Holy Place on time, cleansing the sanctuary, preparing His people for His soon return. Just as the Levitical priesthood yearly cleansed the sanctuary of the already forgiven sins (as well as those of the rebellious) and banished them to the wilderness, Jesus in his heavenly ministry is removing the responsibility for sin from God and banishing it to the wilderness (rebutting satan’s claims).
In the case of the 2300 days, we have to accept what is going on in Heaven by faith, but we have good evidence based on what has already happened regarding the 490 days (Jesus first coming on time).
This is a very brief summary of a very detailed topic. Further discussion should probably be in a separate thread.
I am troubled when I hear the new president of the GeneralConference repeatedly affirm Ellen White and her writings and then call the Adventist Information Ministry and be told by a master of divinity student(Thet are refered to as chaplains)that belief in Ellen G. White and her writings is not a test of fellowship in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.Thatgives the appearance of talking differently from the right andthe left side of our mouths.
Actually, I am very insistent upon both of those being true. It is important that we do not insist on a belief in Ellen White’s writings as a test of church fellowship. Firstly, her name is not in the Bible. Secondly, our founders themselves did not make that belief a requirement, but instead gave people an opportunity to see the evidence for themselves. At the same time, we must make it clear that the Spirit of Prophecy is a sign of the Remnant church of Bible prophecy (Revelation 12:17, 19:10), and that the gift of prophecy was to remain in the church to the end. We must insist that we “…despise not prophesying. Prove all things. Hold fast to that which is good…”
At the same time, I am glad to have leadership that is not ashamed to proclaim the blessing of reading and following the council we have been blessed with through the ministry of Ellen White. I can personally testify to the blessing it has been in my life, for devotional, encouragement, as well as encouraging deeper study of the word and trusting God to overcome sin in my life.
God bless as we seek to be transparent (not deceptive) in unashamedly sharing the blessing of Ellen White with others, but holding all things to the standard of the Word of God as revealed in Scripture.