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pacunurse30

Do SDA's need an overhaul of endtime prophecy?

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pacunurse30

A few months ago my church held an open forum of sorts featuring local SDA ministers who were supposed to update us on current religious liberty issues and how they relate to end time events. However, the meeting ended badly, with most in attendance walking out more confused than they came in. Some people were shouting, threatening to call the conference and have ministers ousted, etc.

One of the things that caused an uproar was a statement made by my pastor. He said that in the SDA church, there is a move to change some of our theology concerning endtime prophecy. One of the key things that was being proposed was doing away with the idea that the papacy was a beast mentioned in revelation. According to my pastor, Uriah Smith was mistaken about some of his dates and other facts. One of the things that Uraih was apparently mistaken about was the pope's crown with the words "vicarius dei" printed on it. It supposedly was never there, contrary to what we've always been taught. And most of us who have been to D and R seminars know that those words numerically add up to 666 (although I forgot how the calculation goes).

Adventists, at least traditional ones, have long held the belief that the papal office embodied all the characteristics of the antichrist. My pastor suggested that our preoccupation with Catholicism was a smokescreen for the real antichrist. He's not sure if the antichrist is an actual person, or system, but he does not accept the traditional SDA view that it is the Catholic church/papacy. He does believe the pope will be instrumental in end time events, however, because of the influence he has over the entire world.

If it is true that Uriah's book contained incorrect info which is critical to how our theology is presented, what does this do to our beliefs about endtime events? This revelation is also bound to eventually bring up debates about the sanctuary doctrine again. If I remember correctly, this doctrine was presented in his book Daniel and Revelation. I sense another upheaval like the one seen in the post Desmond Ford/glacier view days.

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Shane

The book of Daniel alone does a pretty good job of identifying the papacy as the anti-christ power. The number 666 isn't even mentioned in Daniel.

When the number 666 has been mentioned in prophecy seminars I have attended and when I present it in seminars I do, it has always been mentioned as a possibility. I have mentioned "Vicarius Filii Dei" as a possible 666 explanation but then I also mention Ronald Wilson Reagan as another so those I am speaking to know it is speculative. If we have evangelists teaching that "Vicarius Filii Dei" is 666 as a matter of fact, that should change. It is speculation and should be presented that way.

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pacunurse30

Shane that is what I have always been taught. I was first introduced to D and R seminars when I was in high school. It was a requirement of Junior bible class in the SDA school I attended. I remember clearly that this was one of the things that they used to justify the teaching that the papal office was the antichrist. That vicarius fillii dei added up to 666. I will say, however, that other bible teachers I had in the future did joke around with other names that added up to 666.

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olger

We don't want to play around with numbers and we really don't have to. There are 11 identifying marks of the papacy in Daniel and the Revelation. The Lord has left no doubt as to the Beast's identity.

Many (if not all) of the Reformers saw this clearly.

og

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David Koot

My dear Pacnurse,

The identification of the papacy as the beast of Rev. 13 is rock-solid. The question of the 'number' is one which is being addressed presently, in the Bible and Theology forum here on C/A. The beast has 'names' that are blasphemous (v. 1) At the time of the mark of the beast, one of those names will have significance. It is the 'name' i.e. official name or title of a man, who is the head of the beast power, and the numerical value of THAT name is 666. If you like, check out the thread on the Theology forum, and see what you think.

Regards, Dave

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Woody

Yes Pacunurse30 ... I think an overhaul is needed. Our focus should not be on the Pope or the Papacy. It should be on the King .... Jesus.

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Ron Lambert

Ellen White herself said that in the future, as we advanced in our knowledge of Bible truth, we would have less to say about the papal power in some lines.

I do not think the broad outline of our view of endtime events and issues is mistaken, but I think we have at times over-simplified and been unsophisticated in the blunt way we have said many things.

For example, the papacy alone is not the only end-time villain. If we recognize that the papacy is the King of the North in Daniel 11:40-45, then we must look further, building on that, and realize that Protestants too can be part of the King of the North. The kings of the north and south began in Daniel 11 being identified by their geographical relation to Israel (Judea). But by about verses 28-29, where the nation of Israel ceases to exist as a geographical entity, Israel must be identified spiritually, in terms of belief systems. And if that is so, then the kings of the north and south after that must be identified in terms of belief systems. I can give Scriptural justifications for this if anyone wants. But the king of the south is anti-religion (atheism, secularism, etc.); and the king of the north is false religion, that seeks to hijack God's church. It is possible even for some individual Seventh-day Adventists to become part of the King of the North (a.k.a. the Antichrist, spiritual Babylon), if they embrace the spirit of the King of the North.

I do think that the traditional view of the majority of SDAs has always been wrong about the heavenly scene in Rev. 4-4 (it depicts the Judgment), the seven seals (they apply after 1844), the seven trumpets (they apply during the final conflict and Judgment of the Living), Daniel 11:40-12:13 (it all, including the time prophecies, apply during the time of the end--as the text states four times and implies several more times). A minority has always existed among SDAs who hold these things. Let us place the Bible before us as the Final Arbiter, and prove which interpretations of these things are the truth.

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Taylor

Yes our focus hasn't been on the pope that much in more recent years, but while being kind we must still present the truth. I agree, I think there will be more problems than just with the papacy but that doens't diminish their role. I just think others will join them.

The biggest thing is that we have to love people, all people.

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Shane

I was watching "Lift Him Up" last night on 3ABN and they mentioned that their understanding of the number of the beast is that it best translated by the NIV. Instead of reading that it is a number of a man, it should read that it is man's number Man was created on the 6th day of creation. The number six is seen by some Biblical scholars as representing man while the number 7 is see as being perfect and complete like God. The the number of the beast 666 is a warning against accepting man's religion or false religion instead of the perfect religion of God.

During the program my wife was visiting with her sister who lives in Costa Rica and works for the Adventist mission (or conference) there. My wife handed me the phone and I shared that with her. She then tells me that she read a book by Mark Finley (translated into Spanish) last year where he gave the same explanation.

So, it seems, that SDAs have already overhauled this part of their endtime prophecy and those of us that are still talking about "Vicarius Filii Dei" need to move on.

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David Koot

The number six is seen by some Biblical scholars as representing man while the number 7 is see as being perfect and complete like God. The the number of the beast 666 is a warning against accepting man's religion or false religion instead of the perfect religion of God.

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Kountzer

I've seen that particular Lift Him Up before. I've also seen and heard that explanation of 666 in other places, by other preachers and evangelists, sda of course. I think it could be both. A powerful and all knowing God is able to define 666 in many different ways. As Olger, and someone else pointed out, there are 10 or 11 more distinctive biblical charecteristics that nail down the beast, and the mark of the beast. I'm still convinced that is involves the RCC and Sunday worship. I don't know of any other exaplanation of biblical prophecy that comes even close.

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Beryl

I don't think our basic TEACHINGS have changed -- it is still the papacy, and those that cling to their false teachings. It is how we come to that conclusion that has changed. We no longer should be teaching anything about the so called name on the mitre. We don't need that to prove that it is the false religions lead by the papacy.

One very interesting explanation that I once heard (and believe that it could be a possible explanation) is that the seal that is put on God's people is the seal of God. Revelation refers to the number 666 as "a man's number" (accepting the word of man) -- in contrast to the seal of God. God's number is 7 in contrast the man's number which is 6 -- short of perfection.

Just a thought by the way,

God bless,

Beryl

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John317

...One of the things that caused an uproar was a statement made by my pastor. He said that in the SDA church, there is a move to change some of our theology concerning endtime prophecy. One of the key things that was being proposed was doing away with the idea that the papacy was a beast mentioned in revelation.

According to my pastor, Uriah Smith was mistaken about some of his dates and other facts. One of the things that Uraih was apparently mistaken about was the pope's crown with the words "vicarius dei" printed on it. It supposedly was never there, contrary to what we've always been taught. And most of us who have been to D and R seminars know that those words numerically add up to 666 (although I forgot how the calculation goes).

While Uriah Smith's book was important, our teachings on the beast power and the interpretation of 666 does not rely at all on Smith. You could toss out his whole book and the view of the papacy being the little horn of Daniel 8 and the first beast of Daniel 13 would still stand secure as ever. The fact is that it doesn't matter if the offical title of the pope, vicarius dei, is on his crown or not. What matters is that it is his title. However, it is important to realize that the identity of the papal system as the little horn and as the first beast of Daniel 13 is based on about 11 identifying marks. Whoever that power is, it must fulfill all of the marks, not just one or two. There is only one power that meets all of the identifying marks, and that is the papacy.

Quote:
Adventists, at least traditional ones, have long held the belief that the papal office embodied all the characteristics of the antichrist. My pastor suggested that our preoccupation with Catholicism was a smokescreen for the real antichrist. He's not sure if the antichrist is an actual person, or system, but he does not accept the traditional SDA view that it is the Catholic church/papacy.

I hope your pastor studies the prophecies and also learns to accept Ellen White as a prophet of God. As it is, he rejects the book that at the time of her death she believed was her most important book. She wrote in the Introduction to The Great Controversy that God showed her visions of the events she describes and claims that the Holy Spirit helped her write out those visions.

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He does believe the pope will be instrumental in end time events, however, because of the influence he has over the entire world. If it is true that Uriah's book contained incorrect info which is critical to how our theology is presented, what does this do to our beliefs about endtime events?

The primary information contained in Uriah Smith's book on D & R regarding the identity of the papacy as the antichrist power stands firm. See Desmond Ford's book, Daniel. Also see the SDA Bible Commentary on Daniel and Revelation, as well as the books by Mervyn Maxwell, Roy Allan Anderson, Ranko Stefanovic, Jacques B. Doukhan, Gerhard Pfandl, and finally, the 7 volumes on D & R published by the Daniel and Revelation Committee of the Biblical Research Institute.

Quote:
This revelation is also bound to eventually bring up debates about the sanctuary doctrine again. If I remember correctly, this doctrine was presented in his book Daniel and Revelation. I sense another upheaval like the one seen in the post Desmond Ford/glacier view days.

There will be many "debates" and "upheavals" regarding not only this doctrine but, eventually, probably every SDA doctrine. We have nothing to fear from such debates as long as people are honestly looking for truth, because the truth has nothing to fear from the closest scrutiny and examination. Such "upheavals" are God's way of purifying His people. Ellen White called it "the shaking." People are shaken in and others are shaken out, and every doctrine is subject to study and close comparison with Scripture. These are as God would have it. Everyone needs to study these things deeply for themselves. The problem is that too many neglect to study and pray but let other people tell them what the truth is.

Mrs. White predicted that just before the close of probation there would be a great movement in the SDA church to make changes in the fundamental beliefs and to change the foundation pillars of our faith. See GC chapter, "Modern Revivals," p. 464, and Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, pp. 39, 40.

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Ron Lambert

Of course, the proper way to calculate "666" is not a fundamental belief or foundation pillar of our faith. Let's keep things in perspective. This discussion reminds me too much of the incessant debate that always arises when we discuss whether the 144,000 is a literal or symbolic number. I had a Bible study group I was conducting with a number of non-SDAs seriously damaged by an elderly SDA lady who begged to join my group, and then went off on her 144,000-is-a literal-number-hobbyhorse.

I still think the Vicarius Filii Dei explanation may have some weight, but I am open to more sophisticated and well thought out spiritual explanations, provided that they are Biblical.

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pacunurse30

Sorry I took so long to jump back in. Thanks for the response. It's been awhile since I've study D and R, along with the other end time messages unique to our church. I do remember, however, those identifying marks of the beast. I'm not denying that the Catholic church is based on false doctrine. I'm not denying that the pope is a very instrumental figure in end time events. I honestly believe that so called Evangelical Christians will be very instrumental in end time events. So much of their agenda is politically charged, with religious overtones. And that is what the false

religious/political system soon to come will be all about.

One of the things that is uniting them is glossolalia. Many non-denominational churches accept this teaching. Some churches that previously rejected this doctrine now have branches of membership that accept and practise it. This experience is very attractive to people because it is of a supposedly supernatural nature. People are very prone to looking for signs and wonders to validate something. Speaking in tongues is the first step towards complete deception based on the miracles, signs, and lying wonders performed by that man of sin as spoken of by Paul. I have no idea who are what this person will be. What I do know is that I must hold fast to the Lord so that I am not swept away by the excitement and hysteria that is sure to wow the world.

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olger

Quote:
I honestly believe that so called Evangelical Christians will be very instrumental in end time events. So much of their agenda is politically charged, with religious overtones. And that is what the false religious/political system soon to come will be all about.
I agree fully. Most of us have seen this wave building.

As to glossalalia, Gerhard Hasel wrote a very good book on it right before he was killed.

I like your summary of this phenomenon. I would not be too surprised to see it penetrate into progressive Adventist circles in the near future. In fact, I look for it to happen.

all the best,

olger

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John317

Of course, the proper way to calculate "666" is not a fundamental belief or foundation pillar of our faith. Let's keep things in perspective. This discussion reminds me too much of the incessant debate that always arises when we discuss whether the 144,000 is a literal or symbolic number. I had a Bible study group I was conducting with a number of non-SDAs seriously damaged by an elderly SDA lady who begged to join my group, and then went off on her 144,000-is-a literal-number-hobbyhorse.

I still think the Vicarius Filii Dei explanation may have some weight, but I am open to more sophisticated and well thought out spiritual explanations, provided that they are Biblical.

As you say, "Of course the 666 is not a foundational pillar of our faith." I hope I didn't leave the impression that it is.

What I am saying is that there are some attemtps being made in our church to lessen the importance and even the correctness of the Sabbath as well as the heavenly sanctuary doctrine, and these are two of our foundational pillars. I've known SDA pastors who quit the SDA church and are now Sunday keepers. There are also attempts to soften and, in some instances, change our stand on the identify of Babylon and the little horn power of Daniel 8.

However, I'm actually glad for the debate on that issue because it may get people to study their Bibles and if people are really studying it, and comparing prophecy with history, they will find that there can be no doubt about who that power is.

As you probably realize, there is no reason to think that the spiritual application or understanding must conflict with the historical application. For instance, the number 666 is a number that symbolizes human imperfection just as the number 7 symbolizes perfection. So, in this instance, those worshiping the beast power are obeying and worshiping human tradition and trying to gain salvation that way, whereas those who receive the seal of God are resting in Christ's perfect righteousness and obeying God's commandments. It just so happens that the Bible predicted that the power who would lead the world in obeying and worshiping human tradition (under the name of the Church) is the papacy, whose official title does add up to 666. Again, let it be remembered that this is just one of about 11 marks of identity, and is by no means the most important mark.

Significantly, a major California newspaper I have before me, dated Monday, May 14, 2007, has a large picture on the front page of Benedict XVI surrounded by people in Brazil and the caption in large letters reads: BENEDICT XVI PLEADS FOR RETURN TO TRADITION.

Notice: The man of sin does not plea for a return to God's word and Christ's righteousness but to TRADITION.

Think of what good he could do if he would plead for people to surrender their lives totally to Christ and return to the Bible as the standard of faith and doctrine. But he will never do that, because to do it, would be the the same as telling people to stop being Roman Catholic. Roman Catholic catechisms and other publications admit that if people obeyed the Bible, they would be keeping the Sabbath, not traditional Sunday.

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John317

Sorry I took so long to jump back in. Thanks for the response. It's been awhile since I've study D and R, along with the other end time messages unique to our church. I do remember, however, those identifying marks of the beast. I'm not denying that the Catholic church is based on false doctrine. I'm not denying that the pope is a very instrumental figure in end time events. I honestly believe that so called Evangelical Christians will be very instrumental in end time events. So much of their agenda is politically charged, with religious overtones. And that is what the false

religious/political system soon to come will be all about.

One of the things that is uniting them is glossolalia. Many non-denominational churches accept this teaching.

This is true. It is even having some impact on some members in the SDA church. There are Christian groups associated with glossolalia, such as the Christian Men's Business Association, who are attemting to affect the SDA view of glossolalia. As SDA attend the CMBA meetings and get involved in glossolalia, they return to SDA congregations and try to influence others to do the same.

You might want to check out two books about glossolalia, one by Rene Noorbergen, entitled, Glossolalia, and another by Roland Hegsted. (I'm sorry that I don't remember the name of the Hegsted book although it seems to me to be, Knocking At Heaven's Gate. The Noorbergen book, published in two volumes, is especially well researched.)

Quote:
Some churches that previously rejected this doctrine now have branches of membership that accept and practise it. This experience is very attractive to people because it is of a supposedly supernatural nature. People are very prone to looking for signs and wonders to validate something. Speaking in tongues is the first step towards complete deception based on the miracles, signs, and lying wonders performed by that man of sin as spoken of by Paul. I have no idea who are what this person will be. What I do know is that I must hold fast to the Lord so that I am not swept away by the excitement and hysteria that is sure to wow the world.

This is all by design. I suggest you get the Vatican II Documents and read what they say they would like to see happen in the churches of their "separated brethren," i.e., protestant churches. Those documents refer to plans for the Protestant churches to change their worship services to the celebration style and to accept more spontaneity.

Also, if you can, get a book called Unity of the Churches, An Actual Possibility, written by a well-known Jesuit priest named Karl Rahner. It contains a plan to bring Prostetant churches back undeer the umbrella of Rome. What are some of the main ways they are trying to get this accomplished?

It begins with an idea, "a paradigm shift." (1) Influence the thought-leaders in these churches to consider the possibility, the very idea, of rejoining the Catholic Church.

(2) Get the majority of the members of those churches to obey and follow their leaders, and to place less emphasis upon obeying the word of God.

(3) Get the members to be more concerned about the presence of familiar Christian ideas and not so much about particular doctrines. Rahner's book says that many of those churches are so "liberal" that they are unconcerned about doctrine so long as familiar Christian ideas are present. Further, "the average congregation in the Protestant churches in fact usually practices the kind of obedience to their church leaders that is customary in the Roman Catholic church. Therefore one should not overestimate the danger of a rebellion..." Unity of the Churches, p. 54. Another book of Rahner's describes the Protestants laity as "passive" and "therefore can be expected to follow their leaders into union with Rome." (Promoting Unity, pp. 53, 54.)

(4)The decision to unify will be made privately, by a few individuals.

(5) These leaders will work with zeal among their members, making sure of the support of their members before bringing the matter to a vote.

(6) Under this plan, the denominations would keep their own organizations and their names, but everyone would eventually be expected to acknowledge the Pope's leadership.

This book is discussed in a book, Omega II, God's Church At the Brink, by Lewis R. Walton, pp. 180-187. It's available at the Adventist Book Center.

Two more important books to read on these issues are The Keys of This Blood and The Jesuits, both by Malachi Martin, a former Vatican insider who was a Jesuit professor at the Jesuit-led university in Rome where the Catholic church trains its leaders.

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Gerry Cabalo

Nothing would make the papacy happier than to be able to deflect the charge that it is the antichrist, the man of sin, the one that carries the mark of the beast, etc.

Alcazar & Ribera were already smiling in their graves when the evangelicals swallowed their line, hook & sinker when they put the last week of the 70 wks of Dan 9 way into the future and deflected attention to the real Second Coming with their ridiculous secret rapture scenario. And now some SDA's are making them grin!

Gerry

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olger

Nothing would make the papacy happier than to be able to deflect the charge that it is the antichrist, the man of sin, the one that carries the mark of the beast, etc.

Alcazar & Ribera were already smiling in their graves when the evangelicals swallowed their line, hook & sinker when they put the last week of the 70 wks of Dan 9 way into the future and deflected attention to the real Second Coming with their ridiculous secret rapture scenario. And now some SDA's are making them grin!

Gerry

Boy, that is the pure unalderated, ungarnished, boldfaced truth!!

`og

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jasd

I'd hazard that everyone contributing to this board has read the writings of St John. I'd simply ask,

howd'ja all miss his passages which provided the defining indicators regard the Antichrist? It is not as though they were hidden bwink

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aldona

While we are on the subject of end time prophecy...

I was watching a broadcast of Mark Finley's evangelism series in Melbourne last night, and something that particularly stuck in my mind was when he said that one of the definitions of "blasphemy" was when a human being claims for themselves the authority of God.

He quoted some examples of the Catholic religion making such claims.

What, then, are we to make of statements like the following by Ellen White?

Quote:
If God has given me a message to bear to His people, those who would hinder me in the work and lessen the faith of the people in its truth are not fighting against the instrument, but against God. "It is not the instrument whom you slight and insult, but God, who has spoken to you in these warnings and reproofs." "It is hardly possible for men to offer a greater insult to God than to despise and reject the instrumentalities that He has appointed to lead them." [VOL. 5, P. 235; VOL. 3, P. 355.]

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It is not alone those who openly reject the Testimonies, or who cherish doubt concerning them, that are on dangerous ground. To disregard light is to reject it.

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"Those who are reproved by the Spirit of God should not rise up against the humble instrument. It is God, and not an erring mortal, who has spoken to save them from ruin." [VOL. 3, P. 257 (1873).]

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The Lord has been sending us line upon line, and if we reject these principles we are not rejecting the messenger who teaches them, but the One who has given us the principles. Testimonies for the Church Volume Seven (1902), page 136, paragraph 4

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In the testimonies sent to Battle Creek, I have given you the light God has given to me. In no case have I given my own judgment or opinion. I have enough to write of what has been shown me, without falling back on my own opinions. You are doing as the children of Israel did again and again. Instead of repenting before God, you reject his words, and attribute all the warnings and reproof to the messenger whom the Lord sends. Testimony for the Battle Creek Church (1882), page 58, paragraph 2

There are many other quotes similar to these.

The message that we are left with is:

- When I speak, God has spoken.

- If you reject what I have to say, you have rejected God.

- The Biblical admonition to "Prove all things - hold fast to that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:19) does not apply to me. You have to accept everything I say unquestioningly.

Most Catholics I know would not stand for such contempt for freedom of conscience.

aldona

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jasd

Col 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

bwink

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