An Example of Truth Restoration

 

Isn’t it wonderful brethren that the Lord has kept His word and blessed us with Truth restoration (Matt.17:11) ? Of course if we are not interested, this idea of such restoration mean little if anything to us. Yet those who “thirst for the Truth” do indeed recognize this wonderful restoration.

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things. (Matt. 17:11)

The following is from the Elijah message showing a correction in the S.D.A historical misunderstandings of parts of Revelation 13 and Daniel 7. It’s a striking and clear rebuke of some mistaken ideas that we have allowed over the years to stand as “truth”. Take your time and read carefully, you’ll be blessed.

“…The Shepherd’s Rod” gives a clear explanation of the beasts of Revelation 13 and 17, and by its light on these symbols adds power and force to the Third Angel’s Message, yet you are determined to war against it from the pulpit and by the printed page, while holding to an interpretation of the beasts, which adds nothing to the message and which, therefore, as far as anyone’s salvation is concerned, is of no consequence, thus making no difference at all whether or not anyone knows, accepts, or rejects it.

  Though I hate to contradict you, my brethren, I would not be true to God, fair to you, or honest to myself, if I should shrink from speaking the truth, and from telling you wherein lies your trouble with “The Shepherd’s Rod.” 

  You are broadcasting far and wide that “The Shepherd’s Rod” is not in perfect harmony with the Spirit of Prophecy, whereas, in fact, as already seen in the above paragraphs, your theories, and not the Spirit of Prophecy, are at war with “The Shepherd’s Rod.” You allege that “The Shepherd’s Rod” sets aside some of the doctrines which we as Seventh-day Adventists have believed for many years. In this you are but partly right; that is, “The Shepherd’s Rod” does set aside some doctrines which we as Seventh-day Adventists have believed for many years, but only those which have crept into the ranks of the denomination through uninspired men; whereas it not only retains, but also adds “power” and “force” to, all the doctrines which have been authoritatively given to the denomination.

Thus “The Shepherd’s Rod” is in conflict with your private interpretations, and they with it, just as some of the Seventh-day Adventists’ doctrines are in conflict with those privately interpreted doctrines, which most of us and our fathers believed while in other denominational churches. 

  If you will bear with me, my brethren, I shall endeavor herein to show you where you are making your mistake. You are advocating an interpretation of the heads of Revelation 13 and 17, which holds that they are successive, but if you will free your minds from preconception and prejudice, and just stop to think for yourselves, you will readily see how illogical it is for you to insist that the heads represent successive secular powers. And then, I think, you will not dare any more to teach your interpretations of these symbols. 

  Is it natural, my brethren, for a beast to have his heads in existence before he himself is, as would necessarily have to be the case in an interpretation which holds the heads to be symbols of successive governments which existed before the beast himself? How could a beast lose or grow any heads, seeing that after he comes into existence his heads neither multiply nor drop off, as do horns? 

  You admit that one of the heads was wounded in 1798 A.D., but at the same time, you accept the claim of your preferred interpretations, which teaches that at that time (1798) five of the heads (governments) had already fallen, that one was, and that the other was yet to come; whereas, the revelator was shown that at the time the one head was wounded, all seven heads were present on the beast, for he says that the beast had “seven heads,” and that one of them “was wounded,” showing that the beast had all his heads (governments) intact during the time in which one of them was wounded, which fact symbolically proves that the objects symbolized by the heads cannot be successive. Hence, as the period of the wound is since 1798 then the other six heads (governments) must also be in existence since 1798. 

  In the beast of Daniel 7, the three horns which were plucked up (v. 8), symbolize three kings who lost their kingdoms, after which came up “the little horn” (v. 20), showing that after the three horns, or kings, passed off the stage of action, a “little horn,” came up and look their places. This symbolism shows that governments are symbolized by horns, not heads, and that when they are successive, the symbolism does not fail to reveal so.

Where, though, either on the beast of Revelation 13 or on the beast of Revelation 17, is there any such symbolism to show that the heads are successive? Look honestly at yourselves, my brethren, and you will plainly see that you are doing with the Bible the same as you are doing with “The Shepherd’s Rod”–reading into it that which it does not contain. 

 Still further, because of the fact that the head which was wounded represents an ecclesiastical power, it is altogether illogical for the other six heads to symbolize powers of some other nature. Any fair minded person who would, on the one hand, accept the wounded head to be a symbol of ecclesiastical power, must, on the other hand, to be consistent, reject the idea that the other six represent civil governments. And, on the contrary, if he should, on the one hand, accept the six heads as symbols of civil powers, he must, on the other hand, to be logical, reject the idea that the one stands for ecclesiastical power.

An interpretation which is inconsistent with itself will not establish anybody’s confidence in any message, and therefore, for a Seventh-day Adventist to teach in one instance that out of the seven identical heads, one symbolizes a religions power, and in another instance that the other six denote secular kings, would be to be building up with one hand, and tearing down with the other. 

  The seven kings cannot be synonymous with the heads, for all the heads were present at the time of the wound, whereas, the kings were not; that is, five of the kings had fallen, one was, and the other had not yet come. The king James version shows this to be the fact, for it does not say, “They are seven kings,” but rather, “There are seven kings.” In other words, these particular kings are not symbolized either by heads or horns, but only referred to. But in order to support your theory, you quote from the Revised version, yet even it cannot help you very much. 

  Moreover, the King James’ version is the one to be depended upon, for the other translations of the Scriptures were in some instances interpreted in the light of sectarian views, and thus, instead of being exact renderings of the Scriptures, they contain thoughts in favor of the translator’s personal belief. — {3SC7 4.2}

  I shall now call your attention to another inconsistency. The seven heads which the angel interprets as seven mountains on which the woman sits, you insist are symbols of the kingdoms of the world, but herein you will see that that interpretation does not prove true. Number seven, Biblically denotes completeness, and as Papal Rome never ruled over or sat upon all the kings of the world, the symbolism defiantly shows that the kings are not synonymous with the heads. 

  Moreover, you believe that the woman is a symbol of Papal Rome, and that the heads are successive, and that five of them symbolize ancient empires which had gone out of existence long before Papal Rome was ever thought of, and that the seventh is not yet come. If the heads stand for ancient empires, and the woman for papal Rome, then please explain how the woman (Papal Rome) could sit on or rule over those long disintegrated kingdoms before she, herself, came on the stage of action?

And how could she have then sat on the seventh, or last one, before it comes into existence? for papal Rome is now in the past, but the seventh king has not yet come! 

  O, my brethren, will you not see and confess the foolishness of such interpretation, and accept the truth while it can still save? 

  Still further, my brethren, your making the beast of Revelation 17 to be the same as the one of Revelation 13 is a most inconsistent and illogical interpretation of the Scriptures, for the one beast came from the sea and the other from the desert. The one has a wounded head, whereas, the other has not. The one has crowns on his horns, whereas, the other has not. The one has blasphemy over the heads only, but the other is full of names and blasphemies. The one is scarlet, but the other is leopard-like. 

  If the heads stand for kingdoms, then for what stand the horns? And if both horns and heads symbolize secular kingdoms, then why should God use two symbols, diverse one from the other, to symbolize objects of like nature? Again, if the symbols–heads and horns–on the same beast can interchangeably symbolize religious and secular powers, then where is the key of interpretation? 

  However, these inconsistencies are not the worst, for in one instance you teach that the papal head is the fifth, and in another that it is the eighth! (Rev. 17:11.) My brethren, let us take God for all He says. Note that He does not say, The head is the eighth, and that the head is of the seven, but that the beast is the eighth, and that the beast is of the seven. The object symbolized by the head, the symbolism shows, is less than one-nineteenth part of that which is symbolized by the whole beast, whereas the term “beast,” takes in the beast as a whole. Hence, the whole beast, instead of only one of its heads, is the eighth, and the whole beast is of the seven. 

  You, yourself, know that such keyless and thoughtless interpretations, which pay no attention to language, and which obey neither rule nor logic, are not inspired, but are private, and thus inevitably false. Why then, Brethren, continue to hold to your foregoing theory of the beast, which is so manifestly contrary to all that is logical? 

  The interpretation which “The Shepherd’s Rod” gives does not run rife with such inconsistencies. Besides, it brings out many valuable lessons for the church of God at this time; whereas the interpretation which you prefer, brings out nothing, and rather than adding to, only subtracts from, the message which the denomination is endeavoring to carry.

Hence, seeing that your long cherished ideas are not Biblical, logical, or beneficial, why do you so tenaciously hold to them? Moreover, though “The Shepherd’s Rod” is entirely free from such hybrid elements, and though it claims inspiration, yet you turn against it, calling it “private interpretation,” at the same time preferring, that which does not even claim inspiration, and which is not amenable to rhyme or reason.”  (Symbolic Code, Vol. 3, p.3-4,  1937)

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