Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Friday, August 25, 2006

Amazing Facts or Absurd Statements

Sacramento Central Study Hour Pastor Mike Thompson
Starting at 49 minutes [This is about when he actually gets into the topic the previous 30 minutes or so is not related to the year day principle. Most impressively absurd lines highlighted in red. ]:

…should we look at them or do we know them…Write them down and read them yourself our time is going really fast here. Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6 you see there that God Himself equates one day with a literal year when dealing with prophetic time. Now when we look at these time periods, I mentioned this morning the 1260 days the 2300 days and the seventy weeks or 490 days it doesn’t actually say in those passages in Daniel 7 and 8 that OK in this instance a day equals a year. We’re drawing an assumption based upon the fact that God has used prophetic time elsewhere like in Numbers and Ezekiel. Taking that principle and applying it here, to see if it works.

Well the only real way to prove it is to actually look right. Is all we need to do take the two approaches the literal time of just days or the prophetic principle of a day meaning a literal year, alright and lets see which makes the most sense. I am really going to move here. Um… Looking at Daniel 7:25 lets turn there please actually 7:24 and 25. (Dan 7:24-25 KJV) And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. [I am not sure what version was read]

So here we are looking at the little horn power doing various things speaking words against the most high, changing times and laws you understand what that all about, we don’t have time to look into all of that. We’re looking at here, he’s got this authority or he does this time and times and the dividing of time that is 3 ½ years which is 1260 Prophetic days which we’re saying is 1260 literal years. But if we take the day approach umm…we really have some problems here, because we’re looking at 1260 days so literally 3 ½ years a Jewish month equaling 360 days [no doubt he means a Jewish year equals 360 days, this is not true but it is close enough for most purposes] what we’re saying here is the little horn power go from 538 when the Bishop of Rome was really able to exercise power 538 that’s the date when history testifies he was free to exercise power given a little earlier by Justinian. Then we’re saying that the Papacy only lasted for 3 ½ years, doesn’t really fit with the historical record does it, not very well. We know that the Papacy lasted for much longer then that and actually still does exist of course. So if we take the year 538 it takes us up to … 542 A.D. so 542 A.D the prophecy the papacy was gone all done, doesn’t fit does it? History doesn’t look at things that way. If we go to verse 25 speaks of the little horn being able to persecute the saints for these 3 ½ years if we take that literally then again persecution against the faithful 542 A.D. is not over by any means in fact it was just getting started, you follow what I am saying here? Another point too that we look at it says in verse 25 they shall be given into his hands …until the until a time and times and the dividing of time. In other words he would have power to persecute only until this time period was expired all right. That doesn’t really fit until ...until just doesn’t work if we use that and we’re going to be consistent with that in verse 26 it says that the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. Some time soon after 542 A.D. according to this the investigative judgment will begin. Well that doesn’t fit either does it. So I hope you can see how applying literal days here just doesn’t work. [He then continues along this vein with Daniel 8.]

This is really bizarre thinking, if it can even be called thinking. He does not use any of the 3 other main theories which use literal days but he tests the literal days by inserting them into the scenario of the day year principle version particularily the SDA version. Amazingly he adds the 1260 days to the assumed date of the beginning of the Roman Catholic Church, which is assumed to be 538 though in truth there is no good reason at all to use that date. Then he keeps pointing to the testimony of history. You will be hard pressed to find anything momentous that happened in 538. And to think that the Roman Catholic Church was given its power by the Byzantium Emperor Justinian means that someone does not pay any attention to history as Justinian held himself above the church in both the papal and patriarchal system. Some Adventists know this which is why people like C. Mervyn Maxwell find the significance in 538 in a battle with the Ostrogoths. Pretending that 538 was the fall of the Ostrogoths which cleared the way for the Roman Catholic church, again not historically accurate but it serves the purpose of having a date arrived at by subtracting 1260 from 1798 when the Pope was taken captive. On top of all those absurdities he inserts the Investigative Judgment as if it is something that Christians simply accept as the meaning of the judgment in Daniel.

For a good quick examination see The Abridged History of Rome. Here is a brief quote about Justinian from the site:

At the time of Justinian the emperor was the de facto head of the Church: the appointment of bishops (and even of the four great patriarchs of Rome, Constantinople, Antiochia and Alexandria) by the local clergy had to be endorsed by the emperor. Justinian himself convened an ecumenical council in Constantinople to condemn new Arian, Nestorian, and Monophysite writings, which he regarded as dangerous for the religious unity of the empire. The pope, as the bishop of Rome was called, was regarded by the emperor as having a supremacy among the patriarchs, but this privilege was easily withdrawn when the pope's views did not meet the emperor's wishes. For this reason some popes were deposed, imprisoned, exiled and even killed by the Byzantine emperors.

For more history see my article on the Ten Horns of Daniel 7

Now let’s look how well the year day principle works when using the criteria that Mike Thompson used to test his bizarre technique. “Then we’re saying that the Papacy only lasted for 3 ½ years, doesn’t really fit with the historical record does it.”

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that 538 A.D. has some real validity and the year day principle is correct also. Using his words with years replacing the idea of days in his original statement: “Then we’re saying that the Papacy only lasted for 1260 years, doesn’t really fit with the historical record does it” Yet he admits the papacy still exists in fact he would if pressed say that he thinks the papacy will again in the future become a persecuting force. Again using his own words “the prophecy the papacy was gone all done, doesn’t fit does it?” If he uses his own technique arriving at 1798 the papacy would be all gone. The reason I transcribed so much of Mike Thompson’s class study was to show that he was not just making a simple mistake; he was very purposefully leading his class in an absurd direction with little or no concern with actual history or other views of how to interpret the book of Daniel. If people are getting doctrine from the people at Amazing Facts they should be very careful as much of it is poorly thought out and some is outright foolishness. The biggest problem is that the people who need to hear this are very unlikely to read this blog or visit the Adventist Today articles or read Spectrum articles or discussions.

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