James White, The Review and Herald, JANUARY 26, 1864:
“So then, there is no prophetic period in Lev. xxvi; and those who imagine that such a thing exists, and are puzzling themselves over the adjustment of its several dates, are simply beating the air.“
Yesterday I was contacted, and asked to return to the “Old Paths.” Linked in the message was a website about Jeff Pippenger’s 2520 time prophecy theory, based on Leviticus 26.
Your email encourages me to return to the “old paths.” A scholarly woman such as yourself surely can recognize this trail seems to have only been beaten down in the earth in the 19th century and later. For instance, Jeff Pippenger’s 2520 theory would seem to have originated in the last 150 years and has been developed by Pippenger and those persuaded by his teachings, having no historical basis either among the Protestant reformers, or the early church history. So how this theory could be considered the “old paths” escapes me.
Seventh-day Adventism view of the atonement, originated in the mid-19th century. Your source material offers plenty of quotations dating back to this period, but nothing predating Adventism, nor from outside Adventism. So I ask, how could Adventism’s theory of the Atonement be considered the “old paths?” Your appeal to return to the old path seems to go back no further than the 1840’s, and yet Christianity has much earlier roots than this. By comparison, Adventism’s theory of the Atonement in retrospect ought to be considered—a new path. So it is I, that ought to be asking you, to return to the old paths.
My research would show that the gospel that Adventism’s Atonement theory has produced differs greatly from the gospel taught by the Protestant reformers, and that of the early church fathers, who believed in righteousness by faith alone—imputed righteousness. More importantly my research clearly demonstrates that the Seventh-day Adventist’s view of the atonement is a striking contradiction against the book of Hebrews, Romans and Galatians. These books are much older paths for Christianity than the writings of Ellen G. White!
The other week I was watching, a debate between Dr. Hugh Ross, and Dr. Kent Hovind on the John Ankerberg show. The topic was creation week—whether or not the days of creation were literal 24 hours of time, or millions or even billions of years. Dr. Hugh Ross argued that the days of creation were untold millions of years. Kent Hovind defended the historical understanding that the days of creation were literal 24 hours of time. Dr. Hugh Ross quoted a modern academic from Harvard University and offered modern data which he considered irrefutable proof.
Kent Hovind responded with something quite profound, “I believe the Bible is written in a language that every day common folk can understand. If you ask 5000 people to read Genesis 1, who have never so much as heard of the Bible before, who had no bias one way or the other, all 5000 of them would walk away with an understanding that God made the world in 6 literal 24 hour periods of time.”
Then Kent Hovind remarked, “Anytime we have a new interpretation that takes a specialist to explain to us what the Bible means, we find the workings of cultism.”
Sister, I could offer the same example: If you ask 5000 people to read Hebrews, Romans, and Galatians, people who all had no bias one way or the other, none of them would walk away with Adventism view of the Atonement, not one! Furthermore if you asked 5000 people to read Leviticus 26, not one of them would view it as prophetic. It requires a specialist to explain to them all the dozens of “trouble texts” that conflict with the Adventist view of the Atonement. It further requires a expert to explain how Leviticus 26 is a prophecy. No one reading these writings would arrive at those conclusions otherwise.
This may be a testing message to be among your group. But as far as the Bible is concerned is not a testing message that determines whether or not one is saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ! Dear heart I plead with you to heed the words of scripture not to add to the prophecies of this book. God set the number of prophecies in the Bible, to add one more out of a chapter that does not explicitly tell us to do so is mere conjecture and speculation.To add to this presumption such bold claims that accepting your interpretations of Leviticus 26 will decide the fate of another persons salvation is extreme and borders on the fanatical, and I dare say heretical. Why heretical? Because the New Testament outlines what the requisites of salvation are. Leviticus 26 does not encroach upon the basis of our salvation which is faith in Christ.
She replied with a most striking comment:
It is a testing message and we do not judge it – it judges us.
Let’s be clear about one thing. According to the Bible, Jesus Christ is the testing message!
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into Judgment; but is passed from death unto life. John 5:24. (RV).
Whenever a group of men invent a new theory and then teach it is a salvational / testing message, then it ceases to be a mere theory of conscientious, but erring men, and becomes cultish.
The well known Christian Cult, the Jehovah’s Witnesses began on conjectures about the 2520 time prophecy. Read More
- For the Jehovah’s Witnesses the 2520 time prophecy extends from 607 B.C. to 1914 A.D. The year 1914 is a sacred year among the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
- For the Seventh-day Adventists who theorize about the 2520 time prophecy, it extends from 677 B.C. to 1844 A.D. The year 1844 is likewise a sacred year among the Seventh-day Adventists.
Both the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Seventh-day Adventist who theorize about the 2520 time prophecy have made accepting their views on Leviticus 26 a salvational / or testing message. Orthodox / Mainstream / Evangelical Christianity believes this is a clear identifying mark of cultism.
What is the interesting thing about cults, is that their peculiar belief always becomes “a testing message” in other words a salvational issue. They alone teach it and believe in it, and in turn elevate it to being just as essential as Jesus in regards to their salvation. All others are judged by it, and condemned for not believing in it.
Catholics worship Mary. Charismatics worship speaking-in-tongues. Many false televangelists worship money. The World’s Last Chance Cult worship’s their lunar-Sabbath theory. The 2520 Cult worships the 2520 time theory. By worship, we mean they make it the center of their religion and it becomes the main focus of their teaching.It does not matter what the teaching is, they get hung up on it, and it becomes the center of their religion and teachings.
Biblical Christianity on the other hand has its focus on Jesus Christ, and its religion is salvation provided through the death burial and resurrection of the Son of God. We are not saved by Mary, by tongues, through giving money to televangelists or by keeping lunar Sabbaths every 8 or 9 days. Neither is our salvation hindering on whether we accept Leviticus 26 as a prophecy. All of these beliefs are marks of cultism.
The 2520 time theory really is an internal matter for Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists to iron out. No other church—Christian or Cult teaches Leviticus 26 is a prophecy. This is peculiar to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh-day Adventists.
I recognize that those involved in the 2520 Cult will not accept anything I have to say about this theory. So I thought it best to quote from sources they ought to regard with a measure of respect, James White, “So then, there is no prophetic period in Lev. xxvi; and those who imagine that such a thing exists, and are puzzling themselves over the adjustment of its several dates, are simply beating the air.“
Read the article below:
The Review and Herald“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”BATTLE CREEK, MICH., THIRD-DAY, JANUARY 26, 1864,JAMES WHITE, EDITOR
The Seven Times of Lev. xxviThe prophetic period of Lev. xxvi, or what has been supposed to be such, has been no small object of study among prophetical expositors. It has been supposed that the expression, “seven times,” in verses 18, 21, 24, 28, denoted a prophetic period of 2520 years, and that this period covered the time during which the throne of Israel should be and remain subverted and trodden down by oppressing powers. To rightly fix the commencement and termination of this period, became therefore a matter of consequence. Where does it commence? and where does it end? have been questions of much study, and perhaps some perplexity.These are not the questions, however, that we propose here to discuss; for there is a question lying back of these, which demands to be answered first; namely, Is there any prophetic period brought to view at all in Lev. xxvi? We claim that there is not, and will offer a few of what are to us very conclusive reasons for this position:
- A series of judgments is threatened against Israel, in case they hearkened not unto God to do his commandments, before the expression, seven times, is introduced. Verses 14-17. In these judgments is included being slain before their enemies, being reigned over by those that hated them, and fleeing when none pursued them. Now if the seven times were meant to cover the period of God’s special judgments against Israel, especially of their captivity by foreign powers, these seven times should have been mentioned in connection with the first threatening of judgments of this kind. But this, as we have seen, is not the case.
- After the threatening of these judgments, God says, verse 18, “And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.” Then follows an enumeration of the judgments to come upon them in fulfillment of this, different from the items of the first threatening, and increasing in severity.
- If they would not for this hearken, seven times more plagues were threatened against them, “according to their sins.” Verse 21. Then again follows an enumeration of judgments to correspond, more severe still than any preceding.
- If they would not be reformed by these things, God threatened to punish them seven times more for their sins. Verse 24. And in like manner with the foregoing, an enumeration of the judgments to be inflicted in fulfillment, immediately follows, more fearful still.
- And if they would not hearken to God for all these things, he makes a final threat that would walk contrary to them in fury, and chastise them seven times for their sins. Verse 28. And an enumeration of the judgments to be inflicted, again immediately follows, outdoing all before, in their terrible severity. Included among them were the eating of the flesh of their sons and daughters, making waste their cities, bringing the land into such desolation that their enemies should be astonished at it, scattering them among all nations, and drawing out a sword after them in all the lands of their dispersion. With fearful minuteness all this has been fulfilled, even to the eating the flesh of their own children, as in the terrible sieges that preceded the downfall of Jerusalem.Thus we have, first, a series of judgments threatened against Israel, without the expression, seven times, and then the declaration four times made, that God would punish them seven times for their sins, each one on condition that the former did not lead to repentance, and each one containing its own specific enumeration of judgments, distinct from those that preceded, and regularly increasing in the severity of then denunciations. Now what is meant by this repeated expression of seven times? We reply, It denotes, not the duration of the punishment, but its intensity and severity. It is well expressed in the language of verse 21, thus: “I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.” The number seven denoting perfection, we are undoubtedly to understand by this expression, the fullness of their punishment; that the measure of their national sins, would in every case be fully equaled by the measure of their national calamities. And this position is fully sustained by the original, as a brief criticism will show.In references to the Hebrew, we learn from the Hebrew Concordance that the expression, seven times, in Lev. xxvi, comes from sheh-vag; and this word is expressly set down by Gesenius, in those texts, as an adverb, also in Ps. cxix, 164; Prov. xxiv, 16. In Dan. iv, 16, 25, the expression, seven times, twice occurs, where beyond question it means duration. Nebuchadnezzar was to be driven from men, and make his dwelling with the beasts of the field, until seven times should pass over him. There can be no mistaking that here the expression means a certain space of time; but here we find, not the adverb as in Lev. xxvi, but the noun, gid-dahn, defined by Gesenius, “Time, in prophetic language, for a year.” In Dan. vii, 25, where a prophetic period is brought to view in the expression, “a time and times and the dividing of time,” the same word is used. In Dan. xii, 7, where the same period is again brought to view, and in about the same language, we have another word, moh-gehd, defined by Gesenius, “Appointment of time. Spoken of a space of time, appointed and definite. In the prophetic style for a year.” It will be seen by this definition, that this word is synonymous with the one used in Dan. vii, 25, as above referred to. Now if a period of time is meant by the expression, seven times, in Lev. xxvi, one of these words should and would most assuredly have been used. And the fact that neither of these words is there used, but another word, and that an adverb, places it beyond question that no such period is there intended.The Greek is equally definite. The Septuagint has in Lev. xxvi, heptakis, which is an adverb, signifying seven times. In Dan. iv, 16, 25, for Nebuchadnezzar’s seven times we have not heptakis, the adverb, but heptakairoi, a noun and its adjective. And in all cases where the word time occurs, denoting a prophetic period, as in Dan. vii, 25; xii, 7; Rev. xii, 14, it is from the noun kairos. Such a thing as a prophetic period based on an adverb is not to be found.So then, there is no prophetic period in Lev. xxvi; and those who imagine that such a thing exists, and are puzzling themselves over the adjustment of its several dates, are simply beating the air. To ignore, or treat with neglect, a prophetic period where one is plainly given, is censurable in the extreme. It is an equally futile, though not so heinous, a course, to endeavor to create one where none exists.
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