"A response to Pastor Mark Finley's video by a supporter.
14 November 2018
This analysis is being prepared to answer inquiries that undoubtedly will be made regarding the very gracious Facebook presentation made yesterday by Pastor Mark Finley regarding Pastor David Gates’ recent sermon “Even At The Door”.
Responding in the same kind spirit shown by Pastor Finley, there is no judgment being made here regarding his sincere intentions. Like David, Pastor Finley obviously wants God’s children to be ready for Christ’s return.
The following observations deal with one’s theological approach, that is, hermeneutics, or method of reaching an understanding God’s Word.
Among Adventist theologians there is great harmony in teaching the 28 fundamentals. But considerable variety in understanding many details. As the current Sabbath School Quarterly makes abundantly clear, unity is not uniformity.
Pastor Gates has never set a time for the return of our Lord, nor would he do that.
Pastor Finley appears to assume that Pastor Gates takes the time prophecy of 1260 days, of prophetic years, beginning in 538 AD ending in 1798 AD, and transfers it wholesale to another time and event.
Volume one of the Adventist Bible Commentary, page 1017, points out that there are many prophecies in Scripture that have a dual application.
To a careful Bible expositor there is a prophetic template given in the very first chapter of the Great Controversy which says the following:
"The prophecy which He (Jesus) uttered was twofold in its meaning: while foreshadowing the destruction of Jerusalem, it prefigured also the terrors of the last great day." Great Controversy 25
The Spirit of Prophecy makes a clear connection to the final events of history by drawing a parallel with the (2) sieges of Jerusalem. The first was started by General Cestius. It was suddenly suspended, the Christians escaped to Pella, and 3.5 years later General Titus reestablished the siege and destroyed the city and temple.
We are authorized to look at this historical event for additional insights.
The Papacy is a principal player at the end of time. When the USA commits “adultery” with that religious power, the end is very near.
In 1851 Ellen White wrote that “time has not been a test since 1844, and it will never again be a test”. This counsel was given only 7 years after the great disappointment, because many were setting new dates for the Second Coming.
She was very clear that the 1844 message of Christ’s Return was a test for that generation. That’s why she believed along with the Millerites that the door of salvation was then closed to rejecters of the 1844 message. Now Adventists no longer have such a testing time message like William Miller had. This was the context of the counsel, that Pastor Finley cited.
150 years ago Uriah Smith wrestled with the 1260 days of Daniel 12. He worked out an historical middle ages solution, most Adventist pastors present only Smith’s perspective to us.
“Let us read and study the twelfth chapter of Daniel. It is a warning that we shall all need to understand before the time of the end." 15MR 228 (1903). (Last Day Events, Pg. 15)
A closer look at the text makes it evident that the 1260 days, the 1290, and the 1335 days all fit nicely when the Spirit Of Prophecy and the Scriptures are carefully studied.
ALSO SEE: Doug Batchelor’s message from minute 10 to 15 approximately (watch the complete video):
The context of Daniel 12 is in the setting of the final judgment, and the resurrection. This cannot be merely symbolic referring to the middle ages. There are numerous internal evidences that this chapter is speaking about the time of the end, after 1798!
In view of these facts, it is not “futurism” to understand Daniel 12 in its context.
A SUNDAY LAW:
The Pope’s recent encyclicals stress the importance of Sunday rest. Family time is needed, factory workers need a day off. The environment needs help. It is clear which day the Papacy prefers to provide that respite.
An army of priests from the Vatican preceded the Pope by meeting on Capital Hill with members of Congress and Senators. By their own admission during a conversation they stated that their purpose was to promote environmental legislation on the national level.
Adventist laymen were awarded the only display spot allowed on “the hill”, which was 40 feet from the entrance of the Senate office building. For several days prior to the Pope’s arrival Priests were entering and leaving continually.
Two Monks were interviewed by Adventist representatives. When our brethren expressed conviction that the push for environmental protection was really a drive for Sunday legislation, one Monk quickly agreed.
For those who are waiting quietly for a Sunday Law to appear in the “pipeline”, they will be overwhelmed with surprise when it comes disguised with an environmental label.
In 1888 when the Blair Bill almost became the long awaited national Sunday Law, Adventists woke up and fought back and won. Senator Blair’s bill was tabled. Satan learned an important lesson - don’t arouse Adventists! The next time this law will come in an unexpected manner. We are about to see it happen.
Members of the European Union signed the “Paris Climate Agreement” and they became very upset when Angela Merkel, the present German leader, called a government meeting on Sunday. They came down hard on her, and she backed down. Apparently government policies are changing in Europe because of the Sunday Law imbedded in the Paris Agreement, that now few seem to notice. But it’s coming here (USA) too!
JUDGMENT OF THE LIVING
Ezequiel 9:6 in typical prophetic language describes a time when God’s judgment begins:
“...at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men…” (God’s spiritual leaders)!
1 Peter 4:17 confirms this initial investigation: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God…”
This judgment obviously precedes the general “judgment of the living”. The “living” are not the same as “the house of God”.
No timing information is provided. But the Spirit of Prophecy encourages us with these words:
“Those who place themselves under God's control, to be led and guided by Him, will catch the steady tread of the events ordained by Him to take place.” Christian Service, Pg. 77
When a watchman perceives a certain “tread of events”, other watchers on the wall may ridicule, but wisdom dictates caution.
WORDING CHANGES IN “ADVENTIST’S BELIEVE”
English is spoken worldwide by many millions, but that hardly compares with 7+ Billion on the planet. The vast majority of Adventists do not understand it. To them English is like Arabic to most of us.
It is vain to justify several wording changes as “clarification”. Most Adventists do not understand the English language.
Rather than denying belief in the Second Coming, and the Spirit of Prophecy, both changes downgraded these important doctrines. A very sad development in God’s end time movement.
An appeal to the King James Version to use the English word “near” that “Jesus used” is on the face of it a faulty understanding. The “imminent” coming of Christ’s cannot be improved by substituting the word “near”.
COMPLIANCE DOCUMENT VOTED 2018
An organization cannot exist without rules. It is proper that in 2018 the slightly less than 300 voting members of the GC Committee would address compliance issues, particularly with certain challenges arising now from several Divisions.
Ideals are rarely reached, however worthy.
The very last line of the document appears to have been added as an afterthought. Somewhat like the game children play by being blindfolded and pinning a paper tail on a picture of a donkey. That last line creates anxiety in some who rightly fear its misuse overseas.
Experience has shown how such “rules” are too often applied.
Mentalities and cultures differ from Division to Division. In some areas a “Papal-like” authority is exercised without support from Policy or Manual. This is not very common in the North American Division, but any worker whose travel is worldwide cannot honestly deny these frequent abuses.
The distribution of responsibility for addressing non-compliance of voted regulations is wise, starting at the local church, going to higher levels only if the subsidiary organization cannot solve the problem. The General Conference ultimately becomes the court of final appeal. It has the last word.
Among the membership there is an abiding fear of concentration of power. Humans are not perfect and abuses almost certainly will occur. It cannot be otherwise.
The Spirit of Prophecy counsels against centralization of authority. In the document in question it has become almost necessary, given the sad state of the church. A negative attitude toward the document in question is understandable, based on one’s long years of experience.—Two different perspectives, two different messages, two men, both building up God’s Kingdom. Listen to them both, but do one’s own investigation. Time is running out."
Source: UncleDavidGates post on Facebook