Light Bearers Ministry–A Response to the 2520 Movement

 

 

A Response to the 2520 Movement

by James Rafferty

 

The following study is a response to the teachings of Jeff Pippenger leader of an independent ministry and proponent of the 2520 time prophecy. For those who are familiar with this ministry the following study proposes to give clarity to what have become it’s testing teachings answering some tough questions like:

Is the 2520 a time prophecy?

Is it endorsed by Ellen White?

Is the “daily” a vital test question?

Does Ellen White teach that the daily is paganism?

And what about the 1843 chart?

These questions and more will be covered as briefly as possible. There are 15 basic points to this outline. Each one begins with a teaching or direct quotation from Jeff Pippenger who will be identified in the form of the 2520 movement.

1—Understanding the Plural Use of “Prophetic Periods”

Jeff Pippenger insists that the 2520 prophecy is part of the “prophetic periods” spoken of by Ellen White in Early Writings. The reasoning is that Ellen White speaks of the “prophetic periods” in the plural and then describes “them” as reaching to 1843/1844.

“Again they were led to their Bibles to search the prophetic periods. The hand of the Lord was removed from the figures, and the mistake was explained. They saw that the prophetic periods reached to 1844, and that the same evidence which they had presented to show that the prophetic periods closed in 1843, proved that they would terminate in 1844” (Early Writings, 236).

Since the only other Millerite time period (other than the 2300-day prophecy) that reaches to 1844 is the 2520, the assumption is that Ellen White must be endorsing the 2520.

There are two problems with this conclusion:

1) Ellen White never once directly mentions the 2520 either in Early Writings or in any other of her writings. In contrast, there are over 90 direct references to the 2300-day prophecy in the Spirit of Prophecy (SOP).

2) It is assumed that the use of the phrase “prophetic periods” in Early Writings must be referring to more than just the 2300-day prophecy. Yet this is not the case. In the book Great Controversy, the term “prophetic periods” is employed more than once to describe the 2300 day-prophecy ONLY, and not the 2300 AND the 2520. In addition, the 2300-day prophecy is consistently described by Ellen White as having “prophetic periods.”

“Seventy weeks, representing 490 years, are declared by the angel to be cut off, as specially pertaining to the Jews. But from what were they cut off? As the 2300 days was the only period of time mentioned in chapter 8, it must be the period from which the seventy weeks were cut off; the seventy weeks must therefore be a part of the 2300 days, and the two periods must begin together. The seventy weeks were declared by the angel to date from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. If the date of this commandment could be found, then the starting point for the great period of the 2300 days would be ascertained.” (The Great Controversy, p. 326).

The SOP clearly states that the 2300-day prophecy has “two periods.” The next page describes the “seventy” as the “period allotted especially to the Jews.”1 The following page describes the “prophecies” and “their expiration”—again plural terms to describe this one prophecy.2 Then on page 410 of the same book the phrase “prophetic periods” is enlisted to describe the 2300-day prophecy.3 The context identifies the 490 as one period and the 1810 and another period of the same prophecy. (And since the 490 reaches into A.D. both of these periods would be affected by the zero year change). The same phrase “prophetic periods” is employed two more times on page 410 in the context of the 2300-day prophecy.4 Page 423 again employs the phrase “prophetic periods” to describe the 2300-day prophecy.5 And finally, for the seventh time in this one book, the phrase “prophetic periods” is again employed to describe the 2300-day prophecy:

“The preaching of a definite time for the judgment, in the giving of the first message, was ordered by God. The computation of the prophetic periods on which that message was based, placing the close of the 2300 days in the autumn of 1844, stands without impeachment. The repeated efforts to find new dates for the beginning and close of the prophetic periods, and the unsound reasoning necessary to sustain these positions, not only lead minds away from the present truth, but throw contempt upon all efforts to explain the prophecies. The more frequently a definite time is set for the second advent, and the more widely it is taught, the better it suits the purposes of Satan. After the time has passed, he excites ridicule and contempt of its advocates, and thus casts reproach upon the great advent movement of 1843 and 1844. Those who persist in this error will at last fix upon a date too far in the future for the coming of Christ. Thus they will be led to rest in a false security, and many will not be undeceived until it is too late” (The Great Controversy, p. 457).

These statements clearly show plurality in speaking only of the 2300-day prophecy. This last statement using the phrase “prophetic periods” is taken from the 1911 edition of the Great Controversy. Was Ellen White, in the year 1911, referring to the 2520 when she warned against “repeated efforts to find new dates for the beginning and close of the prophetic periods?”

2—Keeping the Historical record intact

The 2520 movement states that those who oppose the Biblical validity of the 2520 “must defend against the historical record which opposes their premise, as well as defend against the theological validity of the 2520.”

James White and Uriah Smith, as well as Seventh-day Adventist pioneers and editors of our major publications and books rejected the 2520 as a Biblical time prophecy without rejecting the historical record. Again, James White and Uriah Smith rejected and refuted the 2520 as a time prophecy, yet they did not discount the history of the Millerites and their preaching of the 2520. Our Millerite pioneers preached the 2520 and the history supporting this fact stands immovable. What is also clear is that the Seventh-day Adventist church leaders from the 1860’s and forward rejected the Millerites position that the 2520 was a time prophecy.

3—The Longest time-prophecy in the Bible

The 2520 movement insists that “Sister White never said the 2300 years is the longest and last prophecy.”

Here is her statement:

“‘The experience of the disciples who preached the ‘gospel of the kingdom’ at the first advent of Christ, has its counterpart in the experience of those who proclaimed the message of his second advent. As the disciples went out preaching, ‘The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand,’ so Miller and his associates proclaimed that the longest and last prophetic period brought to view in the Bible was about to expire, that the Judgment was at hand, and the everlasting kingdom was to be ushered in. The preaching of the disciples in regard to time was based on the seventy weeks of Daniel 9. The message given by Miller and his associates announced the termination of the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14, of which the seventy weeks form a part. The preaching of each was based upon the fulfillment of a different portion of the same great prophetic period’” (The Great Controversy, 351).

Notice the clear connection to the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14. There is no mention of the 2520 in the statement. Yes, Miller did preach the 2520. But at the time of the writing of The Great Controversy, James White had rejected the 2520 and Uriah Smith has refuted it and no Seventh-day Adventist is preaching it. Even Ellen White, under the inspiration of God, passes it over. She has every opportunity to mention it in this statement. The context, what is said, what is left unsaid, the history of its rejection by James White, its refutation by Uriah Smith, testify to the correct historical understanding of the 2520 in relation to the SDA church.

4—Endorsement of the 1843 chart

The 2520 movement argues that the SOP gives a sweeping endorsement of the 1843 and 1850 charts, rather than a general endorsement. The former endorsement, they suggest, includes every point contained on those charts (with the exception of one mistake).6 Unlike her general endorsements of men with messages (such as Jones and Waggoner in 1888), the 2520 movement insists  “Men are subject to change and typically hold to errors and misconceptions. An inspired endorsement of a man is something different than an inspired endorsement of a chart. The chart is not going to change by its own volition. There are no hidden motives in a chart.”

This line of reasoning when applied to the Ellen White’s endorsement of Uriah Smith’s book Daniel and the Revelation would lead to a direct contradiction.7 This is because this book contains a clear refutation of the 2520 (see point number 6). Like the chart, this book is not going to change by its own volition—it carries no hidden motives—it is a written document. How can the SOP endorse everything on the 1843 chart including the 2520 and later endorse a book refuting the 2520? The answer, based on an exhaustive study of her writings, is that the SOP never once gives a direct endorsement of the “2520.” To say that Ellen White endorses the 2520 is to make an assumption based on statements that never explicitly mention the 2520.

5—Inspired changes Permitted

The 2520 movement also states, “The question is not about ‘every detail’ on the chart, the question is; Was the chart directed by the Lord, and do… others have the right to remove the 2520 from that chart now that we are at the end of the world? That is the question. Do they have the right to change the pioneer understanding of the “daily” on the chart?”

The answer to this question is no. No person has the right to make any changes or corrections to what God has endorsed. But we should also ask, “Does God through His prophet have the right to clarify certain points on these charts?” Does the God who endorsed the charts have the right to select from the history of the Millerites those truths that will stand as present truth from other teachings that were not testing truth? And can God do this without destroying confidence in the charts?

God called Ellen White to the work of His messenger and inspired her with understanding concerning the Millerite movement. When we allow God’s prophet to clarify the Millerite movement we find harmony in her writings rather than glaring contradictions. The following statement gives clarity to this point:

“I saw that the truth should be made plain upon tables, that the earth and the fullness thereof is the Lord’s, and that necessary means should not be spared to make it plain. I saw that the old chart was directed by the Lord, and that not a figure of it should be altered except by inspiration. I saw that the figures of the chart were as God would have them, and that His hand was over and hid a mistake in some of the figures, so that none should see it till His hand was removed.” (Spalding and Magan Collection. p. 1).

This statement affirms that Ellen White, as God’s inspired prophet, can be directed by Him to make changes in the figures of the “old chart.”  We need to study all that God has led her to write and leave unwritten in relation to the Millerite movement. In this way inspiration will be guiding our understanding of these charts and not men.

6—Uriah Smith refutes the 2520

The 2520 movement states, “the 2520 is soundly set forth in the Scriptures.”

This depends on how we understand the Scriptures. The following study by Uriah Smith can be found in his 1897 edition of Daniel and the Revelation. (This book was endorsed by the SOP. See footnote number 7).

2. THE “SEVEN TIMES” OF LEVITICUS 26

Almost every scheme of the “Plan of the Ages,” “Age-to-come,” etc., makes use of a supposed prophetic period called the “Seven Times;” and the attempt is made to figure out a remarkable fulfilment by events in Jewish and Gentile history. All such speculators might as well spare their pains; for there is no such prophetic period in the Bible.

The term is taken from Leviticus 26, where the Lord denounces judgments against the Jews, if they shall forsake him. After mentioning a long list of calamities down to verse 17, the Lord says: “And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.” Verse 18. Verses 19 and 20 enumerate the additional judgments, then it is added in verse 21: “And if ye walk contrary unto Me, and will not hearken unto Me: I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.” More judgments are enumerated, and then in verses 23 and 24 the threatening is repeated: “And if ye will not be reformed by Me by these things, but will walk contrary unto Me; then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.” In verse 28 it is repeated again.

Thus the expression occurs four times, and each succeeding mention brings to view severer punishments, because the preceding ones were not heeded. Now, if “seven times” denotes a prophetic period (2520 years), then we would have four of them, amounting in all to 10,080 years, which would be rather a long time to keep a nation under chastisement.

But we need borrow no trouble on this score; for the expression “seven times” does not denote a period of duration, but is simply an adverb expressing degree, and setting forth the severity of the judgments to be brought upon Israel.

If it denoted a period of time, a noun and its adjective would be used, as in Dan.4:16: “Let seven times pass over him.” Here we have the noun (times) and adjective (seven): thus, shibah iddan); but in the passages quoted above from Leviticus 26, the words “seven times” are simply the adverb (sheba), which means “sevenfold.” The Septuagint makes the same distinction, using in Dan.4:16, etc., [word in Septuagint] but in Leviticus simply the adverb, [word in Septuagint] .

The expression in Dan.4:16 is not prophetic, for it is used in plain, literal narration. (See verse 25.) (Uriah Smith, Daniel and the Revelation (1897), p. 784,  785).

In addition to Uriah Smith James White and other of our pioneers and SDA leaders also refuted the 2520 as a time prophecy.8

7—Does Ellen White ever mention the 2520

The 2520 movement claims “that Sister White… mentions the 2520… many times.”

It is important to clarify what is meant by this last statement and what it cannot possibly mean. First, what is meant is that Ellen White endorses the 1843 and 1850 prophetic charts and the Millerite movement many times. What it cannot possibly mean is that Ellen White ever even once mentions the “2520” directly either by number (or name i.e. “twenty-five-twenty”). Ellen White never does this, not even once. This is significant and more so when we realize that the SOP directly mentions the 2300-day prophecy over 90 times.

8—The view of the daily

The 2520 movement insists that the only acceptable interpretation of the “daily” is paganism.

Their insistence on this point combined with their attempt to explain away the clear counsel of the SOP concerning the controversy over the “daily” is one of the more serious concerns of this movement. Unfortunately they have literally closed the probation of people who believe the “daily” to symbolize the ministry of Jesus. They also teach that if you do not understand the “daily” as they do you will be blinded to understanding the foundation of our Advent message.

The 2520 movement states, for example, “I am sure that William Shea does not support what I teach, for he is in darkness on the “daily” in the book of Daniel and that virtually eliminates a Seventh-day Adventist’s ability to correctly understand prophecy.” That is a serious claim.

Historically there are two positions on the “daily” in Adventism. These two positions agree in two areas concerning the daily:

1) The “daily” in Daniel is not a literal sacrifice. The word “daily” is symbolic not literal (the word sacrifice being added).

2) The taking away of the “daily” pointed to the transition from pagan Rome to papal Rome.

During the Millerite movement nearly all of our pioneers were united on the “view” of the “daily” being symbolic, not literal (with the exception of at least one Millerite who taught that the daily was a literal sacrifice).

Ellen White was not shown “the meaning of the daily,” yet she understood and endorsed the united “view” of our pioneers that the “daily” was not a literal sacrifice, but symbolic. In the context of her writings, she “was shown” that we should not be neglecting evangelism and making “prominent” “little differences” as to whether the daily is paganism or the ministry of Christ.9

“Read Ezekiel, chapter 28. Now, here is a grand work, where strange spirits can figure. But the Lord has a work to [be] done to save perishing souls; and the places which Satan, disguised, could fill in, bringing confusion into our ranks, he will do to perfection, and all those little differences will become enlarged, prominent.  (Manuscript Release, vol. 20, p. 17). 

“And I was shown from the first that the Lord had given neither Elders Daniells nor Prescott the burden of this work. Should Satan’s wiles be brought in, should this “Daily” be such a great matter as to be brought in to confuse minds and hinder the advancement of the work at this important period of time? It should not, whatever may be. This subject should not be introduced, for the spirit that would be brought in would be forbidding, and Lucifer is watching every movement. Satanic agencies would commence his work and there would be confusion brought into our ranks. You have no call to hunt up the difference of opinion that is not a testing question; but your silence is eloquence. I have the matter all plainly before me. If the devil could involve any one of our own people on these subjects, as he has proposed to do, Satan's cause would triumph. Now the work without delay is to be taken up and not a [difference] of opinion expressed.”  (Manuscript Release, vol. 20, p.18).

Ellen White “was shown from the first:”

1.    We were to work to save perishing souls

2.    We were not to make prominent and enlarge little differences over the daily

3.    Making the daily a great matter would confuse minds and hinder the work

4.    Introducing this subject as such would bring in a forbidding spirit

5.    We were not to hunt up differences and make the daily a testing question

6.    We are to do evangelism and not express a difference of opinion.

 

The counsel of Ellen White is very clear concerning this issue (and is much needed again at this time):

“I have words to speak to my brethren east and west, north and south. I request that my writings shall not be used as the leading argument to settle questions over which there is now so much controversy. I entreat of Elders H, I, J, and others of our leading brethren, that they make no reference to my writings to sustain their views of “the daily.”

“It has been presented to me that this is not a subject of vital importance. I am instructed that our brethren are making a mistake in magnifying the importance of the difference in the views that are held. I cannot consent that any of my writings shall be taken as settling this matter. The true meaning of “the daily” is not to be made a test question.

 “I now ask that my ministering brethren shall not make use of my writings in their arguments regarding this question [“the daily”]; for I have had no instruction on the point under discussion, and I see no need for the controversy. Regarding this matter under present conditions, silence is eloquence.

 “The enemy of our work is pleased when a subject of minor importance can be used to divert the minds of our brethren from the great questions that should be the burden of our message. As this is not a test question, I entreat of my brethren that they shall not allow the enemy to triumph by having it treated as such. (Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 164).

Ellen White “had no instruction on the point under discussion:” but she had plenty of instruction concerning those who were making the true “meaning of the daily” a “vital” “test question.” If you read God’s counsel in context you will find harmony. There is no contradiction. All the statements carry the same themes:

1)   Unity

2)   Daily not of vital importance

3)   SOP not to be used to settle the question

4)   Satan is working to cause division on this issue

5)   Satan pleased to have the “daily” “treated” as a test question

6)   Satan is pleased to divert us from the burden of our work

7)   Satan is working on the minds of those who are making this a test issue of vital importance urging their view.

For added confirmation, these same themes are found in two other inspired statements concerning this controversy over the daily:

“I have words to speak to . . . all who have been active in urging their views in regard to the meaning of “the daily” of Daniel 8. This is not to be made a test question, and the agitation that has resulted from its being treated as such has been very unfortunate. Confusion has resulted, and the minds of some of our brethren have been diverted from the thoughtful consideration that should have been given to the work that the Lord has directed should be done at this time in our cities. This has been pleasing to the great enemy of our work.

The light given me is that nothing should be done to increase the agitation upon this question. Let it not be brought into our discourses, and dwelt upon as a matter of great importance. We have a great work before us, and we have not an hour to lose from the essential work to be done. Let us confine our public efforts to the presentation of the important lines of truth on which we are united, and on which we have clear light.

I would bring to your attention the last prayer of Christ, as recorded in John 17. There are many subjects upon which we can speak—sacred, testing truths, beautiful in their simplicity. On these you may dwell with intense earnestness. But let not “the daily,” or any other subject that will arouse controversy among brethren, be brought in at this time; for this will delay and hinder the work that the Lord would have the minds of our brethren centered upon just now. Let us not agitate questions that will reveal a marked difference of opinion, but rather let us bring from the Word the sacred truths regarding the binding claims of the law of God.  

Our ministers should seek to make the most favorable presentation of truth. So far as possible, let all speak the same things. Let the discourses be simple, and treating upon vital subjects that can be easily understood. When all our ministers see the necessity of humbling themselves, then the Lord can work with them. We need now to be reconverted, that angels of God may cooperate with us, making a sacred impression upon the minds of those for whom we labor.  (Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 167).

This last statement gives more clear counsel concerning the “daily:”

1.    The meaning of the “daily” is not to be made a test question

2.    Treating it as a test question results in confusion and diverts us from city evangelism and is pleasing the enemy of God.

3.    We should focus on important lines of truth upon which we have clear light

4.    We should not agitate questions upon which we have a marked difference of opinion

5.    As far as possible let us all speak the same things

In spite of all this counsel, the 2520 movement insists rather loudly that the following statement settles the issue and proves that the daily was paganism:

“Then I saw in relation to the ‘daily’ (Daniel 8:12) that the word ‘sacrifice’ was supplied by man’s wisdom, and does not belong to the text, and that the Lord gave the correct view of it to those who gave the judgment hour cry. When union existed, before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct view of the ‘daily’; but in the confusion since 1844, other views have been embraced, and darkness and confusion have followed. Time has not been a test since 1844, and it will never again be a test” (Early Writings, p. 74).

Following this statement the 2520 movement states: “Ellen White had light on the “daily” she simply had not been given any specific light on the particular theological points that were being argued about the “daily” in the early part of the 20th century.”

Here the 2520 movement would bring us a conclusion that is in direct contradiction with the plain writings of Ellen White and yet they do this in such a way as to convince many that they are correct. Note again their statement:

“Ellen White had the light on the daily.”

Now compare this with what Ellen White says:

“I have words to speak to my brethren east and west, north and south. I request that my writings shall not be used as the leading argument to settle questions over which there is now so much controversy. I entreat of Elders H, I, J, and others of our leading brethren, that they make no reference to my writings to sustain their views of “the daily.”

I now ask that my ministering brethren shall not make use of my writings in their arguments regarding this question [“the daily”]; for I have had no instruction on the point under discussion, and I see no need for the controversy.

I cannot consent that any of my writings shall be taken as settling this matter. The true meaning of “the daily” is not to be made a test question” (Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 164).

Making much out of little, urging their view on the brethren, correcting “little things” in our books concerning the daily, these are the points that caused Ellen White to say that fallen angels were working the minds of Daniells and Prescott. Ellen White understood the difference of opinion over the “daily.” Yet the way Prescott and Daniells were urging their position was detrimental both to the church and to the work of evangelism. This was her concern and the following counsel was her solution:

“In some of our important books that have been in print for years, and which have brought many to a knowledge of the truth, there may be found matters of minor importance that call for careful study and correction. Let such matters be considered by those regularly appointed to have the oversight of our publications. Let not these brethren, nor our canvassers, nor our ministers magnify these matters in such a way as to lessen the influence of these good soul-saving books. Should we take up the work of discrediting our literature, we would place weapons in the hands of those who have departed from the faith and confuse the minds of those who have newly embraced the message. The less that is done unnecessarily to change our publications, the better it will be” (Selected Messages, vol. 1, p.  165).

Note again these familiar phrases:

“matters of minor importance”

“careful study and correction”

“not” to “magnify these matters”

not to “discredit our literature”

Now consider some final counsel on this point:

“The subject of “the daily” should not call forth such movements as have been made. As a result of the way this subject has been handled by men on both sides of the question, controversy has arisen and confusion has resulted… While the present condition of difference of opinion regarding this subject exists let it not be made prominent. Let all contention cease. At such a time silence is eloquence.  

  The duty of God's servants at this time is to preach the Word in the cities. Christ came from the heavenly courts to this earth in order to save souls and we, as almoners of His grace, need to impart to the inhabitants of the great cities a knowledge of His saving truth.–Letter 62, 1910. (Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 168).

Clearly from these inspired statements we can see that “the way this subject was handled by men on both sides of the question” brought controversy and confusion.

Some of the pioneers did not see the “daily” as paganism. Yet they still held the correct view of the “daily”—that the “daily” did not refer to a literal sacrifice. That the word “sacrifice” was added. The “daily” was not a literal sacrifice rather the “daily” was symbolic. 

There is a difference between the “view” of the “daily” that our pioneers were “nearly all united” upon and the “meaning” of the “daily” that Ellen White did not want her writings used to determine. The view of the “daily” is that it is symbolic and does not refer to a literal sacrifice.

The unity on this view is further confirmed when look at the chart endorsed by Ellen White and used by our pioneers who preached the 1843/44 messages.

The original1843 chart printed by J.V. Himes states under the 508 date:

“Taking away of the daily sacrifice.”

A later 1850 chart published by Nichols contains this statement near the date 508:

“Pagan Dominion or the DAILY taken away.”

No reference is made to paganism in the original 1843 chart that was first endorsed by Ellen White.

There is, in fact, a second reference to the daily further down on the same 1843 chart and again no reference is made to paganism next to the date 508:

“Taking away of daily.”

The history of the statement in Early Writings p. 74 is time-setting. After the disappointment in 1844 many folks tried to find new dates for the 2300-day prophecy. They attempted to apply this prophecy to a literal temple either past or future to 1844 by connecting the taking away of the “daily” to a literal sacrifice in a literal temple. The pioneer view of the “daily” maintained that it was symbolic not literal and therefore upheld the proper application of the 2300-day prophecy to 1844. The controversy over whether the “daily” was paganism or the ministry of Christ was not the issue that Ellen White was concerned with in the early part of her ministry nor in her later years.

9—The history of the Early Writings statement

The leader of the 2520 movement suggests that the Early Writings statement concerning the “daily” was not originally linked to time-setting.

Lets take a look at the statement in its larger context:

“Then I saw in relation to the “Daily,” that the word “sacrifice” was supplied by man's wisdom, and does not belong to the text; and that the Lord gave the correct view of it to those who gave the judgment hour cry. When union existed, before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct view of the “Daily;” but since 1844, in the confusion, other views have been embraced, and darkness and confusion has followed.  (Review and Herald, November 1, 1850 par. 11) 

“The Lord showed me that Time had not been a test since 1844, and that time will never again be a test.  (Review and Herald, November 1, 1850 par. 12) 

“Then I was pointed to some who are in the great error, that the saints are yet to go to Old Jerusalem, &c., before the Lord comes. Such a view is calculated to take the mind and interest from the present work of God, under the message of the third angel; for if we are to go to Jerusalem, then our minds will naturally be there, and our means will be withheld from other uses, to get the saints to Jerusalem. I saw that the reason why they were left to go into this great error, is because they have not confessed and forsaken their errors, that they have been in for a number of years past” E. G. White.  (Review and Herald, November 1, 1850 par. 13).

To go to literal Jerusalem was connected to belief in a literal daily “sacrifice.” This is the teaching of preterism and futurism, two views that have become more prominent today. Futurism especially seeks to place the time prophecies into the future connecting them to a literal temple to be built in Jerusalem and a literal daily sacrifice. Ellen White’s statement in Early Writings sought to meet these false ideas and keep the brethren directed to the heavenly sanctuary. Both paganism and the ministry of Christ presented a view that interpreted the “daily” as symbolic and not literal. This was the unity of the pioneer view and it dealt a mighty blow to the “Age to Come” theory prevalent in that time.

It is true that the last line of Early Writings p. 74 is a separate paragraph and that the next paragraph in Early Writings was not in the original document Review and Herald, November, 1, 1850. 

Yet these points are also true:

1.    This line about time setting is in the original document.

2.    While it is a new paragraph neither the English language nor the phrase, “The Lord showed me,” necessarily equates to a new thought separate from the previous thought. It is in fact, as is often the case, building on the thought in the previous paragraph. 

3.    Early Writings was written in 1882 under the supervision of Ellen White and therefore the added paragraph about time-setting was with her knowledge. This being the case we can know that it was Ellen White’s intent to add more to this original line and focus on time setting in relation to the “daily.”

4.    It is no surprise that the vision containing the second paragraph on time-setting was given to Ellen White just a year after the first vision. This is the way God often works, adding more information for clarification in the process of time.

 

10—Ellen White’s endorsement of Crosier’s view

 The 2520 movement states further: “Many… employ her endorsement of Crosier’s article to uphold their view of the “daily” for though Crosier’s article does not directly state that the “daily” is Christ’s sanctuary ministry, that idea is conveyed in two and a half paragraphs of the article. Those that employ the Crosier argument are using the implication that if the prophetess stated, “The Lord shew me in vision” “that Brother Crosier had the true light, on the cleansing of the Sanctuary, etc” and “I feel fully authorized by the Lord, to recommend that Extra, to every saint,” that this is a blanket endorsement of Crosier’s thinking. The problem with applying her endorsement in such a fashion is that not only does Crosier include a false definition of the “daily” in his article, but he also includes a false view of what was then called the “age to come” or what we would call the millennium. If Sister White’s endorsement means Crosier’s article was error free and perhaps inspired we need to re-think how we have taught the millennium through our history. The first point on Crosier is that it is obvious that the article is not error free.”

There are two problems with this line of reasoning:

1) They imply that Ellen White gives a blanket endorsement of Crosier’s teaching (creating a straw man-a false idea than is then taken apart). Contrary to this idea of “blanket endorsement” Ellen White is specific in her endorsement:

“I believe the Sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days, is the New Jerusalem Temple, of which Christ is a minister. The Lord shew me in vision, more than one year ago, that Brother Crosier had the true light, on the cleansing of the Sanctuary, etc;

Notice that her endorsement has to do with the Sanctuary, the New Jerusalem, Christ as minister there and its cleansing… Ellen White’s endorsement is specific…

2) The second problem is glaring. It is the attempt to discredit Crosier’s view of the daily stating that it is “false” when this is exactly opposite to the counsel of God’s prophet.

The prophet says Crosier’s view of the “sanctuary” is “fully authorized by the Lord.”

The 2520 movement says, “Crosier include[s] a false definition of the ‘daily’ in his article”

Crosier’s view upholds the “daily” as the ministry of Christ an obviously acceptable position for our pioneers and Ellen White, which cannot be labeled as “false” without undermining the clear counsel of God’s prophet.

If we come to inspiration to prove our theories and opinions rather than understand and submit to God’s counsel we will not be enlightened:

“If you come to the Bible [or Spirit of Prophecy] to find texts simply to prove your theory or vindicate your opinion, you will not be enlightened by the Spirit of God; but if you come with fasting and humiliation of soul, with love for men and God in your heart, your prayers will be answered, and light will break upon you” (Signs of the Times, May 26, 1890).

11—James White and Crosier’s view—part 1

The 2520 movement states further: “James White reprinted Crosier’s article in early September, 1850. When he did so he, he made no corrections. In March of that same year the pioneer David Arnold had published an article where he claimed the “daily” represented the daily sacrifice that were accomplished at the earthly temple in Jerusalem, thus when the Romans destroyed the temple in 70AD the daily was taken away. This was printed in The Present Truth, March 1850. Arnold’s view was a common pre-1844 understanding of the “daily,” perhaps the most common.”

We may never understand the actions of James White, but his actions do not undue the words of the prophet or the endorsement of God.

It is clear that there were false views coming in among the believers at this time, (Ellen White says as much,) but interpreting history in such a way that we change or make of none effect the SOP is not safe, either then or now.

12—James White and Crosier’s view—part 2

The 2520 movement states further: “If… when James White printed Crosier’s article in the early part of September, 1850 this was evidence that they had accepted Crosier’s view, then why would they publish a chart in that very year, at the very same time of the year, (the winter) and include on that 1850 chart the reference for 508 which states, “PAGAN DOMINION, or THE DAILY TAKEN AWAY”?

It is not the publishing of Crosier’s article by James Whites that gives evidence that his view of the sanctuary (daily) was true, but rather God’s endorsement of Crosier’s article through His prophet.  

13—Understanding the Biblical use of Tamiyd

The 2520 movement states: “The Hebrew word tamiyd that is translated as “daily” in the book of Daniel is found over 100 times in the Scriptures, but in the book of Daniel it is different. The word “sacrifice” is added in connection with the word translated as “daily” in the book of Daniel. This is the only added word in the Bible that Inspiration makes sure we understand does not belong there. The reason the word “sacrifice” was added is because of all the places in the Bible where the Hebrew word tamiyd is found it is either being used as an adverb or an adjective. But this is not so in the book of Daniel, in Daniel it is a noun. When the translators of the King James Version were confronted with this anomaly they determined to add the word “sacrifice” so that the word tamiyd which Daniel used would be changed into an adverb or adjective in agreement with the rest of the Bible. But in the book of Daniel it is a noun! To spend so much time on a word study of a verb in order to uphold your definition of a noun is apples and oranges.

I can throw a rock at the baby in the cradle or I can rock the cradle that is holding the baby. In either case the word rock is involved, but in the first instance the rock is a noun and the second it is a verb. They are not the same word, even though they are spelled the same. When the theologians take up this approach to defining the “daily” in the book of Daniel it is nothing more than theological razzle-dazzle for them to spend all their time waxing on about the connection of tamiyd to the sanctuary service. That fact is to be considered, but the word “daily” which means continual in the book of Daniel is a noun that is employed by Daniel to represent the power that has continually opposed God since his rebellion in heaven, and that power is Satan, whose religion is identified as paganism in God’s word.”

At first glance this appears to be a significant argument concerning the word “daily” in the Hebrew. Yet there are two problems with this conclusion:

1) It is based on a premise that the tamiyd represents satan. This has virtually no direct Biblical basis.

2) While it is true that tamiyd is a noun in Daniel and a verb/adjective throughout the rest of Scripture, this does not infer that they are two completely different words—far from it. They are definitely two different uses of the word, but we should remember that the use of “daily” in Daniel is symbolic not literal. This simple explanation will guard us from discarding or discrediting how the Bible uses the word tamiyd in relation to the sanctuary especially when we come to prophecy.

The word “daily” or tamiyd is a symbol in the book of Daniel. This is significant. We all agree that tamiyd does not represent a literal sacrifice, the word sacrifice being added. However, it was used in a literal sense throughout Scripture to describe certain activities in the sanctuary. We must take into consideration then, that the use of tamiyd in the sanctuary service as an adjective/adverb is describing a reality in heaven that was typified by the earthly sanctuary. It is that reality that is being picked up in the prophetic language of Daniel not the literal anti-type of the earthly sanctuary. The daily sacrifice, bread, priestly work, light, incense etc. all pointed to the reality of Christ’s ministry in heaven. And it is in this light that the prophetic words of Daniel 8 were written. The adverbs/adjectives that describe the activities of the earthly sanctuary point to the noun or reality of the ministry of Christ. Many evangelicals fail to make this transition, but God gave His end-time prophet specific insight to help us recognize that of all the added (italicized) words in the Bible, this one should be noted as note belonging to the text.

14—Understanding Daniel’s use of “Sur” and “rum”

The 2520 movement states: “In Daniel 8:11, 11:31 and 12:11 the ‘daily’ is taken away. But the Hebrew word that is translated as take away in Daniel 8:11 is a different Hebrew word than the Hebrew word translated as take away in chapters eleven and twelve. The Hebrew word in chapters eleven and twelve is ‘sur’ and means to remove, thus it is correctly translated as take away.

“The Hebrew word translated as take away in Daniel 8:11 is ‘rum’ and it means to lift up and exalt… If ‘rum’ and ‘sur’ are to convey the very same meaning, then I submit Daniel should have used the same word in all three occurrences, but Daniel didn’t do this, so was Daniel being careful in his selection of the Hebrew words or was Daniel being careless?

“In Daniel 5:20 it states, ‘But when his heart was lifted up…’ and the word translated as lifted up is ‘rum;’ in Daniel 5:23 it states, ‘But hast lifted up thyself…’ and the word translated as lifted up is also ‘rum;’ in Daniel 11:12 it states, ‘…his heart shall be lifted up…’ and the word translated as lifted up is also ‘rum;’ in Daniel 11:36 it states, ‘…and he shall exalt himself…’ and the word translated as exalt is ‘rum;’ and in Daniel 12:7 it states, ‘…when he held up his right hand…’ and the word translated as held up is ‘rum.’ That adds up to five times where Daniel chooses the Hebrew word ‘rum’ in direct agreement with its Hebrew definition which means ‘to lift up and exalt.’”

This is a good point to the degree that it denotes the distinction between “rum” and “sur” in Daniel 8 in contrast to Daniel 11 and 12. However, we should not forget that Daniel 11 and 12 are describing the same event as Daniel 8—the taking away of the “daily.” Therefore Daniel 8 can be understood as a more specific description of the manner by which the “daily” is taken away. It is not simply removed—“sur” but it is removed by “rum” being “taken up,”  “exalted,” or “absorbed” by the little horn power. This would further confirm the little horn activity in Daniel 8 to be that of the anti-christ—anti meaning “in the place of.” The little horn or anti-christ power has taken away the daily (Daniel 11 and 12) by taking it up or exalting it into his own false system of worship. This interpretation is not only in harmony with the use of “rum” in Daniel 8 but does not contradict the use of “sur” in Daniel 11 and 12. This understanding is further confirmed historically by Ellen White:

“The Scriptural ordinance of the Lord’s Supper had been supplanted by the idolatrous sacrifice of the mass. Papal priests pretended, by their senseless mummery, to convert the simple bread and wine into the actual ‘body and blood of Christ.’-Cardinal Wiseman, The Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Eucharist, Proved From Scripture, lecture 8, sec. 3, par. 26. With blasphemous presumption, they openly claimed the power of creating God, the Creator of all things. Christians were required, on pain of death, to avow their faith in this horrible, Heaven-insulting heresy. Multitudes who refused were given to the flames” (The Great Controversy, p. 59).

“Instead of trusting in the Son of God for forgiveness of sins and for eternal salvation, the people looked to the pope, and to the priests and prelates to whom he delegated authority. They were taught that the pope was their earthly mediator and that none could approach God except through him; and, further, that he stood in the place of God to them and was therefore to be implicitly obeyed… They were taught not only to look to the pope as their mediator, but to trust to works of their own to atone for sin.” (The Great Controversy, p. 55).

 “As foretold by prophecy, the papal power cast down the truth to the ground. The law of God was trampled in the dust, while the traditions and customs of men were exalted” (The Great Controversy, p. 65).

This last Great Controversy reference is almost a direct quote from Daniel 8:12.

15—Understanding daniel’s use of “Miqdash” and “qodesh”

The 2520 movement states: “In the space of four verses we find the word sanctuary three times. In Daniel 8:11, ‘the place of his sanctuary is cast down;’ in verse thirteen ‘the sanctuary and host are trodden under foot;’ and then in verse fourteen ‘the sanctuary is cleansed.’

“The three times that sanctuary is written represents two different Hebrew words… Daniel chose purposely the Hebrew word miqdash for the word sanctuary in Daniel 8:11, and then in verses thirteen and fourteen he chose qodesh. The fact that Daniel chose two different words is identifying that Daniel is speaking of two different sanctuaries. The word miqdash found in verse eleven, unlike qodesh in verses thirteen and fourteen can either be God’s sanctuary or a pagan sanctuary. If you believe that Daniel was a careful author then you know that the fact that he chose two different words within the space of four verses was done to make sure the student recognized a distinction between the two sanctuaries. William Miller’s first rule of biblical interpretation reads as follows:

‘1. Every word must have its proper bearing on the subject presented in the Bible.’”

Here again we can agree with opening premise but weight of evidence leads us to question the conclusion. Yes the word “sanctuary” is translated “miqdash” and “qodesh” respectively in Daniel 8:11, 13, and 14. Should we then conclude, as the 2520 movement suggests, that these two words speak of a pagan sanctuary verses God’s sanctuary? That would prove a difficult task for several reasons:

1) The use of the word miqdash (assumed to represent a pagan temple without one single Bible verse) is actually consistently used in the Bible to refer to God’s sanctuary.

2) Verses 13 and 14 that use the word “qodesh” are answering the question posed about the “miqdash” in verse 11.

3) The use of the word “qodesh” instead of “miqdash” by Daniel in verses 13, and 14 gives compelling evidence that the prophecy of the 2300 days takes us to the anti-typical day of atonement (as the word “qodesh” would be understood by most Hebrews as denoting day of atonement language) for the rectifying of this attack by the little horn on God’s sanctuary truth. In other words, the use of the two different words for sanctuary were intentional, but for another reason. They give further evidence for the length of the 2300-day prophecy reaching down to the anti-typical day of atonement.

Daniel 8 builds on Daniel 7 and points to the papal attack on God’s law and people. It adds the papal power’s assumption of the role of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. It shows how the papacy took up (exalted to itself) the emblems of God’s sanctuary—priesthood, robes, candles, incense, sacrifice (mass), laver (holy water) etc. and in so doing actually obscured the true mediation of Christ from the minds and hearts millions of people. Daniel 8 then directs us to the great anti-typical day-of-atonement in the heavenly sanctuary at the close of the 2300-day prophecy for the rectifying of this work of the little horn power.  

—In Conclusion

There is a more than a hint of truth attached to every error based on the Bible. Error is a parasite of truth (Evangelism, p. 589). The fact that the 2520 movement can connect their teachings to other truths does not make what they are teaching valid. We need candid investigation in the Spirit of Christ that leads to conclusions in harmony with all the light God has given us without leaving gaping contradictions (or even minor ones). If the Spirit of those who advocate this message as well as the general position they occupy towards the church is wrong, this says much about how the 2520 teaching has influenced their Christian experience. 

“And for the first time I began to think it might be we did not hold correct views after all upon the law in Galatians, for the truth required no such spirit to sustain it… Elder Waggoner had taken a straightforward course, not involving personalities, to thrust anyone or to ridicule anyone. He conducted the subject as a Christian gentleman should, in a kind and courteous manner.” (1888 Materials, pp. 221, 222).

The conclusions arrived at by the 2520 leave various contradictions in the writings of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, yet far more significant is the spirit they engender to God’s organized church and its leaders.

The leaders of the 2520 movement do not recognize the authority of the leadership of God’s church militant having neither accountability nor cooperation with its ordained leadership. For some this will be a plus, but for those who have written this study it is a clear indication that they are not following the light God has given us through the SOP.

Ellen White recognized the leadership of the church militant even at times when they were undermining her work and her writings urge us to do the same (for further study on this point consider, Trials and Triumph of the Remnant Church, Abandon Ship, The Ministry of Reconciliation, and Full Circle).

 

Footnotes

1. “And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.” The “week” here brought to view is the last one of the seventy; it is the last seven years of the period allotted especially to the Jews. During this time, extending from A.D. 27 to A.D. 34, Christ, at first in person and afterward by His disciples, extended the gospel invitation especially to the Jews. As the apostles went forth with the good tidings of the kingdom, the Saviour's direction was: “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 10:5, 6” (The Great Controversy, p. 327).

2. Thus far every specification of the prophecies is strikingly fulfilled, and the beginning of the seventy weeks is fixed beyond question at 457 B.C., and their expiration in A.D. 34. From this data there is no difficulty in finding the termination of the 2300 days. The seventy weeks–490 days–having been cut off from the 2300, there were 1810 days remaining. After the end of 490 days, the 1810 days were still to be fulfilled. From A.D. 34, 1810 years extend to 1844. Consequently the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 terminate in 1844. At the expiration of this great prophetic period, upon the testimony of the angel of God, “the sanctuary shall be cleansed.” Thus the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary–which was almost universally believed to take place at the second advent–was definitely pointed out” (The Great Controversy, p. 328).

3. To accept this conclusion was to renounce the former reckoning of the prophetic periods. The 2300 days had been found to begin when the commandment of Artaxerxes for the restoration and building of Jerusalem went into effect, in the autumn of 457 B.C. Taking this as the starting point, there was perfect harmony in the application of all the events foretold in the explanation of that period in Daniel 9:25-27. Sixty-nine weeks, the first 483 of the 2300 years, were to reach to the Messiah, the Anointed One; and Christ's baptism and anointing by the Holy Spirit, A.D. 27, exactly fulfilled the specification. In the midst of the seventieth week, Messiah was to be cut off. Three and a half years after His baptism, Christ was crucified, in the spring of A.D. 31. The seventy weeks, or 490 years, were to pertain especially to the Jews. At the expiration of this period the nation sealed its rejection of Christ by the persecution of His disciples, and the apostles turned to the Gentiles, A.D. 34. The first 490 years of the 2300 having then ended, 1810 years would remain. From A.D. 34, 1810 years extend to 1844. “Then,” said the angel, “shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” All the preceding specifications of the prophecy had been unquestionably fulfilled at the time appointed” (The Great Controversy, p. 410).

4. With this reckoning, all was clear and harmonious, except that it was not seen that any event answering to the cleansing of the sanctuary had taken place in 1844. To deny that the days ended at that time was to involve the whole question in confusion, and to renounce positions which had been established by unmistakable fulfillments of prophecy.  

But God had led His people in the great advent movement; His power and glory had attended the work, and He would not permit it to end in darkness and disappointment, to be reproached as a false and fanatical excitement. He would not leave His word involved in doubt and uncertainty.

Though many abandoned their former reckoning of the prophetic periods and denied the correctness of the movement based thereon, others were unwilling to renounce points of faith and experience that were sustained by the Scriptures and by the witness of the Spirit of God. They believed that they had adopted sound principles of interpretation in their study of the prophecies, and that it was their duty to hold fast the truths already gained, and to continue the same course of Biblical research. With earnest prayer they reviewed their position and studied the Scriptures to discover their mistake. As they could see no error in their reckoning of the prophetic periods, they were led to examine more closely the subject of the sanctuary” (The Great Controversy, p. 410).

5. Both the prophecy of Daniel 8:14, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed,” and the first angel's message, “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his Judgment is come,” pointed to Christ's ministration in the most holy place, to the investigative Judgment, and not to the coming of Christ for the redemption of his people and the destruction of the wicked. The mistake had not been in the reckoning of the prophetic periods, but in the event to take place at the end of the 2300 days. Through this error the believers had suffered disappointment, yet all that was foretold by the prophecy, and all that they had any Scripture warrant to expect, had been accomplished. At the very time when they were lamenting the failure of their hopes, the event had taken place which was foretold by the message, and which must be fulfilled before the Lord could appear to give reward to his servants” (The Great Controversy, p. 423.2).

6. “I have seen that the 1843 chart was directed by the hand of the Lord, and that it should not be altered; that the figures were as He wanted them; that His hand was over and hid a mistake in some of the figures, so that none could see it, until His hand was removed” (Early Writings, pp. 74–75).

7. “The grand instruction contained in Daniel and Revelation has been eagerly perused by many in Australia. This book has been the means of bringing many precious souls to a knowledge of the truth. Everything that can be done should be done to circulate Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation. I know of no other book that can take the place of this one. It is God's helping hand” (MS 76, 1901; Publish Ministry, p. 356).

God desires the light found in the books of Daniel and Revelation to be presented in clear lines.  It is painful to think of the many cheap theories picked up and presented to the people by ignorant, unprepared teachers.  Those who present their human tests and the nonsensical ideas they have concocted in their own minds, show the character of the goods in their treasure house.  They have laid in store shoddy material.  Their great desire is to make a sensation

The truth for this time has been brought out in many books.  Let those who have been dealing in cheap sentiments and foolish tests, cease this work and study Daniel and the Revelation.   They will then have something to talk about that will help the mind.  As they receive the knowledge contained in this book, they will have in the treasure house of the mind a store from which they can continually draw as they communicate to others the great, essential truths of God's Word. 

The interest in Daniel and the Revelation is to continue as long as probationary time shall last.  God used the author of this book as a channel through which to communicate light to direct minds to the truth.  Shall we not appreciate this light, which points us to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, our King?

Now is come the time of the revelation of the grace of God.  Now is the gospel of Jesus Christ to be proclaimed.  Satan will seek to divert the minds of those who should be established, strengthened, and settled in the truths of the first, second, and third angels' messages.  The students in our schools should carefully study Daniel and the Revelation, so that they shall not be left in darkness, and the day of Christ overtake them as a thief in the night.  I speak of this book because it is a means of educating those who need to understand the truth of the Word.  This book should be highly appreciated.  It covers much of the ground we have been over in our experience.  If the youth will study this book and learn for themselves what is truth, they will be saved from many perils.

We read in Peter, "There were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of"  2 Peter 2:1, 2.

Many of these teachers who bring in heresies, and thus undermine the faith of some, are regarded as men of God, who walk in the light, and are seeking to deliver the church from wrong practices.  But they are the servants of sin” (Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, pp. 62-64).

8. The 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. {January 26, 1864 JWe, ARSH 68.1}

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: {January 26, 1864 JWe, ARSH 68.2}

1. 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. {January 26, 1864 JWe, ARSH 68.3}

2. 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. {January 26, 1864 JWe, ARSH 68.4}

3. 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. {January 26, 1864 JWe, ARSH 68.5}

4. 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. {January 26, 1864 JWe, ARSH 68.6}

5. And if they would not hearken to God for all these things, he makes a final threat that He 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. {January 26, 1864 JWe, ARSH 68.7}

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 there 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. {January 26, 1864 JWe, ARSH 68.8}

And this position is fully sustained by the original, as a brief criticism will show. {January 26, 1864 JWe, ARSH 68.9}

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. {January 26, 1864 JWe, ARSH 68.10}

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. {January 26, 1864 JWe, ARSH 68.11}

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. {January 26, 1864 JWe, ARSH 68.12}

While James White was the Editor for this article it should be understood that his use of the word “we” clearly means that his position was not just held by James White. There are various SDA pioneers and leaders aside from James White who refuted the 2520 as the Longest Time Prophecy:

Stephen Haskell (The Bible Handbook 1919): 2300 days the longest prophetic time period in the bible

J.N. Loughborough (Heavenly Visions 1899): 2300 days the longest prophetic time period in the bible

Uriah Smith (Seventh Day Adventists & their Work 1896): 2300 days the longest prophetic time period in the bible

E.J. Waggoner (The Present Truth Vol.13 1897): 2300 days the longest prophetic time period in the bible

General Conference Bulletin Vol. 5 1903: 2300 days the longest prophetic time period in the bible

9. To better understand the reasoning behind the 2520 movement on the “daily” we will begin with the following quote:

“And I was shown from the first that the Lord had given neither Elders Daniells nor Prescott the burden of this work. Should Satan’s wiles be brought in, should this “Daily” be such a great matter as to be brought in to confuse minds and hinder the advancement of the work at this important period of time? It should not, whatever may be. This subject should not be introduced, for the spirit that would be brought in would be forbidding, and Lucifer is watching every movement. Satanic agencies would commence his work and there would be confusion brought into our ranks. You have no call to hunt up the difference of opinion that is not a testing question; but your silence is eloquence. I have the matter all plainly before me. If the devil could involve any one of our own people on these subjects, as he has proposed to do, Satan’s cause would triumph. Now the work without delay is to be taken up and not a [difference] of opinion expressed” (Manuscript Release, volume 20, p. 18).

After quoting this SOP statement the 2520 movement states: the ministry of Christ “teaching on the ‘daily’ was just identified as ‘Satan’s wiles,’ and it was forbidden to be introduced to Adventism, for it would bring ‘confusion.’”

It is here that we need to recognize how much depends upon the way we read inspiration. We can either let inspiration inform us or we can use it to support our own ideas. In order to understand the main point of this last inspired statement and what God had laid upon the heart of His messenger it would be best to read the entire manuscript through prayerfully a couple of times. As you do this look for themes that repeat themselves over and over again, in this case, unity and diversion from evangelism.

Here are some examples from the context of the manuscript:

“Satan’s work was to divert your minds that jots and tittles should be brought in which the Lord did not inspire you to bring in. They were not essential. But this meant much to the cause of truth. And the ideas of your minds, if you could be drawn away to jots or tittles, is a work of Satan’s devising. To correct little things in the books written, you suppose would be doing a great work. But I am charged, Silence is eloquence” (Manuscript Release, volume 20, p. 17) 

“This is the very thing that Satan had planned that should take place–anything that could be magnified as a disagreement.” (Ibid., p.17).

“You have no call to hunt up the difference of opinion that is not a testing question… Now the work [of reaching the cities] without delay is to be taken up and not a [difference] of opinion expressed.” (Ibid., p. 18)

“Satan would inspire those men who have gone out from us to unite with evil angels and retard our work on unimportant questions, and what rejoicing [there] would be in the camp of the enemy. Press together, press together. Let every difference be buried. Our work now is to devote all our physical and brain-nerve power to put these differences out of the way, and all harmonize.” (Ibid., p. 18)

“For if these men–Elders Daniells and Prescott–had followed the directions given in working the cities, there would have been many, very many, convinced of the truth and converted, able men that [now] are in positions where they never will be reached.” (Ibid., p. 18).

“How does the Lord look upon the unworked cities?” (Ibid., p. 20).

“I speak to our ministers, that as they enter upon the work in our cities let there be a calm sacredness attending the ministry of the Word.” (Ibid., p. 20).

Give your attention to the unworked fields. A world-wide work is before us.” (Ibid., p. 21).

EGW also warned Daniels against exercising a kingly authority and neglecting to respect the men of years and experience with whom he differed concerning the daily. One thing is very clear as you read this manuscript—the “difference of opinion” on the daily was “not a testing question,” and Daniels was not to make it one. It was an “unimportant” “jots and tittles” a “little” thing and satan was attempting to make is a “great matter.”

You have no call to hunt up the difference of opinion that is not a testing question; but your silence is eloquence.” (Ibid., p. 18).

In the context of her manuscript concerning Daniels and Prescott the SOP is warning against the very thing that the 2520 movement is now doing—making their interpretation of the daily a test question; causing division among God’s people; making it a great matter.

The counsel to Daniel’s and Prescott was not about their interpretation of the daily but how they were going about seeking to make it prominent and bring “mistakes before men who have departed from the faith” by correcting the little things in our books concerning the daily. It was this spirit that caused Ellen White to say that they were under the influence of fallen angels. The same spirit and actions manifested by either side on this issue today would call forth the very same response from God’s prophet today.

“I am to say, Stop your picking flaws. If this purpose of the devil could only be carried out, then [it] appears to you [that] your work would be considered as most wonderful in conception. It was the enemy's plan to get all the supposed objectionable features where all classes of minds did not agree. And what then? The very work that pleases the devil would come to pass. There would be a representation given to the outsiders not of our faith just what would suit them, that would develop traits of character which would cause great confusion and occupy the golden moments which should be used zealously to bring the great message before the people.

“Read Ezekiel, chapter 28. Now, here is a grand work, where strange spirits can figure. But the Lord has a work to [be] done to save perishing souls; and the places which Satan, disguised, could fill in, bringing confusion into our ranks, he will do to perfection, and all those little differences will become enlarged, prominent.”  (Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, p. 17). 

In the context of this manuscript the SOP is clearing talking about “picking flaws” objectionable features” where “minds did not agree” and  “little differences.”

Yet note how the leader of the 2520 movement interprets the counsel of God’s prophet:

“The testimony to Daniells just cited was from the third paragraph of a rather long testimony. In the paragraph Daniells was informed that his understanding of the “daily,”— defined as “Satan’s wiles,” should not “be brought in.” In the first paragraph of the article she does not specifically employ the word “daily,” but she is protesting what Daniells was attempting to bring in, which in the context of the entire article is the teaching that the “daily” represents Christ’s sanctuary ministry. Please notice where she identifies that this teaching was coming from.”

Pause here for just a moment and note that Ellen White does not “specifically employ the word daily.” That word had to be added, and yet the 2520 leader insists that the issue that Ellen White was dealing with was Elder Daniel’s and Prescott’s understanding of the daily—but was it? Or was it the fact that Daniel’s, as conference president, along with Prescott were using all the influence they could muster to push their interpretation of the daily over against the position of some of our pioneers like Haskell who clearly disagreed with them. In addition they were making this difference of interpretation a “great matter” when it was but “jots and tittles” and a “little thing.” Keep this in mind as you read the following counsel:

“At this stage of our experience we are not to have our minds drawn away from the special light given [us] to consider at the important gathering of our conference. And there was Brother Daniells, whose mind the enemy was working; and your mind and Elder Prescott’s mind were being worked by the angels that were expelled from heaven. Satan’s work was to divert your minds that jots and tittles should be brought in which the Lord did not inspire you to bring in. They were not essential. But this meant much to the cause of truth. And the ideas of your minds, if you could be drawn away to jots or tittles, is a work of Satan’s devising. To correct little things in the books written, you suppose would be doing a great work. But I am charged, Silence is eloquence.” (Manuscript Release, vol. 20, p. 17).

This is where it becomes vital to do a careful reading of the manuscript in context. Yes, Ellen White was clearly concerned that Elders Daniel’s and Prescott were being worked by fallen angels. But the point of her concern was NOT their view of the daily.  Prescott and Daniel’s held Crosier understanding of the daily, a position that was not only acceptable but was even endorsed by Ellen White and “the Lord.” The issue of concern for her was that they were being worked to make this view prominent and use their position and influence to urge it upon others to the neglect of evangelism and in disrespect of the aged workers like Haskell who held that the daily was paganism. Such differences of opinion were jots and tittles the correcting of little things. Both positions held to the united understanding of the pioneers that the daily was not literal but symbolic, the word sacrifice being added.

Yet the leader of the 2520 movement states: “Don’t miss that last sentence, for the historical record demonstrates that the “angels that were expelled from heaven” who were “working” the minds of Prescott and Daniells, were attempting to have Daniells and Prescott bring about a change in “the books written.” That change was the pioneer teaching that the “daily” represents paganism, and the book they wished to change where that definition is set forth is, Thoughts and Daniel and the Revelation by Uriah Smith. Angel’s that were expelled from heaven introduced the teaching of the “daily”, yet… [ministry of Christ advocates of the daily insist that their] teaching does not oppose the authority of the Spirit of Prophecy.” 

In this last paragraph the 2520 leader left out that fact that Ellen White described this view as “little changes” in the books written. This minor omission on his part, left unchecked will lead to a major misunderstanding in his teaching (that will soon come to light). Further, it makes it seem that it was the view of the “daily” that fallen angels were giving to Daniels and Prescott by working on the minds. Yet the context indicates that it was the manner and spirit of how they were going about making this “little change” and their neglect of evangelism that caused Ellen White to say that evil angels were working their minds.

Some basic closing concerns about the 2520 movement:

1) They are basing some key arguments on endorsements by EGW of the works of Miller. 

2) They are exercising a lot of freedom in the use of these endorsements. 

3) They are allowing these endorsements to shape the way we approach Biblical text and interpret them. 

4) They are finding favorable support and following among a certain section of SDA's who are unaware of the seriousness of the independent nature of this movement.

6) This movement has not and is not finding favorable support among SDA pioneers (White, Smith), leaders, preachers, and Bible students who share a deep commitment to God’s organized church. 

7) They is no direct quote for the 2520 in the writings of EGW.

 

 

 

February 29 2012 11:22 pm | The Jeff Pippenger Movement

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