Uriah Smith’s Confusion

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As many of us Adventists know, the book “Daniel and the Revelation”, which before was called “Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation”, is often used as a basis for some of our SDA end-time beliefs. Yet our final messenger, brother Houteff clearly showed that this book, though partly illuminating, certainly cannot be held in “inspired” esteem as some have thought. Let us now read the cutting truths presented by our Elijah message about this situation.

” .. the reader’s attention is called to Elder Uriah Smith’s book, originally entitled Thoughts on Daniel and The Revelation, and later Daniel and The Revelation, in which is explained, among other subjects, the subject of “the seven trumpets.” Here one will notice that Elder Smith is not the original author of the exposition of the trumpets. The originators were Messrs. Keith, Clark, Barnes, et al. “Thus far,” says Elder Smith, “Keith has furnished us with illustrations of the sounding of the first five trumpets.” — Daniel and The Revelation, p. 506.

Then further in the same chapter, and in explanation of Revelation 9:17, we read: “As the Turks discharged their firearms on horseback, it would appear to the distant beholder, that the fire, smoke and brimstone issued out of the horses’ mouths, as illustrated by the accompanying plate.” — Id., p.510. “Barnes thinks this was the case,” remarks Elder Smith; “and a statement from Gibbon confirms this view.” — ld., p. 510, footnote.

Thus, plainly, the interpretation of the seven trumpets, as it is found in Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation, was not originated by the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. But their placing upon it their endorsement makes it appear as Seventh-day Adventist doctrine. In other words, the theories of uninspired men having the S.D.A. stamp of approval, are made to appear to the S.D.A. laity as genuine S.D.A. Bible doctrines.

This goes to show that the majority of Seventh-day Adventists, right along with others, do not ask, “Is it true, — in harmony with God’s word? but, By whom is it advocated?” — Testimonies to Ministers, p.106. And if the theory comes through a popular channel, they as a rule unquestionably accept it!

A fair example is their unhesitatingly applauding such manipulations as rationalizing “the heads of lions” (in the symbolism of Revelation 9:17) into heads of Arabian horses, and the serpent-like tails (Rev. 9:19), into common horses’ tails (as evidenced by the accompanying illustration) in order to connect the trumpets with the battles of the Turks!

But even worse, they unhesitatingly agree that the “fire,” “smoke,” and “brimstone” did not issue, as John saw them, from the lion-like mouths, but rather from a gun in the hand of a Turk!

Their accepting these additions and subtractions to and from Holy Writ, a practice condemned by the Scriptures (Rev. 22:18, 19), shows that they are victims of a faulty vision, which causes them to think themselves right when they are all wrong (Testimonies, Vol. 3, pp. 252, 253).

Their subscribing to such a practice, moreover, undermines faith in the Bible, for if the Revelator be wrong in one instance, then can he not be mistaken in other instances also? And if we cannot depend upon the book of The Revelation

 

 

image onf page 5 of tract 5

 

just as it reads, then how can we put confidence in any of the Bible? And if inspired prophets cannot declare the positive truth of what they see, then how can uninspired students of their writings declare it? So, those who learn “to give an answer to every man that asketh…a reason of the hope that is in” (1 Pet. 3:15) them, will have no trouble answering the question:

Did John See Correctly?

True, the seer of Patmos was an erring human being like ourselves, but the one who dictated His writings — the great and infallible I Am, Overseer and Proof Reader of the Scriptures — was there to see that John made a faithful record of what he saw, for the exact truth of the symbolism means our very life. Indeed, it is not possible that the Lord would jeopardize our salvation by displaying the symbolism so far removed from John’s sight that he could not accurately see and record it, and yet expect to save us by it.

If John failed to see correctly the symbols in the vision, as these supposed-to-be men of learning and experience speciously explain, then does it not imply that God is indifferent as to whether or not He reveals in a misleading way truth which is essential to our salvation? If not, and if John was wrong, why, then, did not God correct him? Was it impossible for Him here to correct His prophet?

“The second angel,” says the Revelator, “poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.” Rev. 16:3. If John could not, as is contended, see exactly where the “fire,” “smoke,” and “brimstone” came from, then how could he see that “every” creature, as he says in the words just quoted, died in the bottom of the sea? Which condition is the more difficult to see with exactness?

The acceptance and the teaching of such interpretations is signboard evidence that there is today gross darkness throughout the church, enveloping both the laity and the watchmen who claim to be the “men of experience” mentioned in Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 293, and elucidated in Tract No. 4, The Latest News for Mother Revised Edition, pp. 32-35. These men, though exceedingly “unskilful in the Word,” as is seen from the foregoing observations, forbid that anything new in which they see no light, be brought before the people. And despite the fact that such utterly unlawful and light-obscuring restrictions are devised to keep the people forever in their errors, the laity nevertheless accept them without question, and esteem those who devise them as wise and true friends.

And all who refuse to be bound by such restrictions are “cast out” (Isa. 66:5), while multitudes who disbelieve the Spirit of Prophecy are retained, and other multitudes of like unbelief are accepted as members in approved standing! Thus is reenacted the outstanding sin of the Jews, which called forth from the lips of the Saviour the piercing pronouncement: “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matt. 6:23.

“The enemy,” says the Spirit of Prophecy, “is preparing for his last campaign against the church. He has so concealed himself from view that many can hardly believe that he exists, much less can they be convinced of his amazing activity and power. They have to a great extent forgotten his past record, and when he makes another advance move, they will not recognize him as their enemy, that old serpent, but they will consider him a friend, one who is doing a good work.” — Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 294.

O what great darkness has covered the people! Will you, Brother, Sister, sit in calm unconcern, and watch the enemy plunge them blindly into hell? Says the Lord: “I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” Rev. 22:16. Then He adds the dread pronouncement: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this book.” Rev. 22:18, 19.

Now, if John failed in his work, and the Scriptures indeed be as imperfectly written as the commentaries herein examined would force one to conclude they are, how, then, dare Christ adjure us, under pain of such fearful penalty, not to tamper with the Holy Word of God? For if John was wrong in what he wrote, we perish. And if we alter his writings, likewise we perish! What! Were the Scriptures devised for our destruction rather than for our salvation? Forbid the thought! The immutable words of Jesus just quoted, certify that His Book is perfect, and that It need not be altered by any man.

Ironically, though, the very ones who usually become involved in the practice of altering the Scriptures, are those who talk the loudest about exercising great care not to be enmeshed by false doctrine. And, to back up their talk, they very carefully keep themselves aloof from everything new which does not come through themselves. Such will never recover from their terrible blindness until they begin to search for “eyesalve” (Inspiration) as they do for gold, for only new truth can open their eyes, unmask their errors, and woo them to the truth. Satan, though, well knowing that their sight will quickly recover if they come with an open heart to the light, consequently fills them with prejudice to keep them from making an unbiased personal investigation of unfolding truths.

Such are the “lukewarm” church members who have not kept pace with the light, and who as a result have been left behind in every advance of truth. Whereas those who have been dissatisfied with their degree of enlightenment, who are “either hot or cold,” have marched on with present truth from generation to generation.” (Tract 5, p.7-15)

2 Responses to “Uriah Smith’s Confusion”

  1. wilfred Says:

    this is an important article to help us weed out or un learn some cherished errors!
    it is now apparent that despite him being in the faith he had a big miss in the message he was addressing!

  2. godsloveandlaw Says:

    Yes bro, some of our past leaders (and many current) are clueless without the Spirit of Truth which God guides all who truly hunger for it and not self-exaltation or other motives.

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