Should Adventism Dangle on Cliff’s American Edge?

Bravo to Admiral NCube! Well thought and well written, thank you.

Do SDA’s not in America have the same view? That fulfillment of prophesy is based upon certain happenings in America? Or do they look in their own countries for a turn to Sunday laws and Papacy (especially since Catholicism has generally been the primary form of Christianity in most of those countries for generations).

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Amerigo Vespucci, who America was named after (which should tell us something), appears to have arrived in 1497.

Also, the Vikings showed up around 1000, it seems for a few years, and then left.


I had to read Cliff’s article twice due to the above quote. Where were the demeaning labels? Right-wing Adventist, the left, “traditional” Adventism or revisionist. That is it! Being that it was the second paragraph I thought it must be of great importance to the author. Hard to believe those are even demeaning terms.

Then the author misunderstands what Cliff wrote by saying this:

If anyone reads Cliff’s article they would see his point there was: “Ellen White wrote that the second beast “could not, then, arise among the crowded and struggling nationalities of the Old World.” (GC 440). In contrast to the old-world powers, the American continent was relatively uninhabited. If there were 100 Native Americans here would that have counted as “inhabited”? A thousand? Twenty thousand? His argument misses the point.”

But to me even worse is where the author states

The vast majority of death is based on what appears to be a plague of some kind. Possibly due to diseases of Old World travelers to North America, but well before there was any germ theory.
"Plague brought by early European settlers decimated Indigenous populations during an epidemic in 1616-19 in what is now southern New England. Upwards of 90% of the Indigenous population died in the years leading up to the arrival of the Mayflower in November 1620.

It’s still unclear what the disease behind the epidemic actually was. But this was the first of many plagues that swept through Algonquian territory – Algonquian being the linguistic term used to describe an array of Indigenous peoples stretching, among other places, along the northeastern seaboard of what is now the US.

The 1620 Charter of New England, given by King James I, mentioned this epidemic as a reason why God “in his great goodness and bountie towards us and our people gave the land to Englishmen”. Plague supported property rights – it informed the back story of Plymouth Colony that was founded after the arrival of the Mayflower." How plague reshaped colonial New England before the Mayflower even arrived

I appreciate the desire to roast Cliff but we still need to use facts.
Cliff wrote:
“First, let’s deal with mid-nineteenth-century America fulfilling its prophetic role. It’s very hard to see how America, when first identified by Adventists as the second beast, in 1851, could have caused all the world to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed (Revelation 13:12). In 1876, 25 years after that first identification, indigenous tribes butchered General George Armstrong Custer’s 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. And this was the behemoth that would enforce “the mark of the beast” on the world? What were we going to do? Send our Navy, which in the 1880s consisted of 48 decrepit ships, to make everyone around the world keep Sunday?”

The problem with Cliff’s view that the above author seems to have missed is that in the 1860’s,1880’s Cliff refers to; The United States of America had defeated the British Empire twice! The Revolutionary war and the war of 1812. So if you are in a country that has defeated “The Empire on which the sun never sets” making it the largest empire in history is no small thing.


For some people change is a bad thing because it brings chaos within the church. But in PBS’s series “First Civilizations,” the episode “War” Peter Churchin refers to war as “Creative Destruction.” In other words, conflict destroys the old and builds something new for the better. Many are trying to prevent a war from happening within the church because they are afraid of the Destruction that will start before the Creativity and a new understanding of the role the SDA Church has today.

This is due to two factors.

One, for all her self-proclaimed interactions with The Infinite, EGW wasn’t very good at predicting stuff. So as she matured out of her teenage years-and when her prediction that England would attack the US during the American Civl War did not happen-she stopped going out on many fortune telling limbs.

Secondly, most of her failed predictions have been glossed over, rationalized away, or simply edited out of her writings by the EGW Estate.

But even if this were not the case-and totally ignoring her admission that she was not a prophet-the simple fact is that even a correct prognostication doesn’t prove anything beyond the fact that one has made a correct prediction.

For example, I can predict that the sun will come up tomorrow morning. But when my prediction comes true, that does nothing to support my claim that you owe me 10% of all your future earnings.

Or, if I can get you to believe either an open ended prophecy-like the world is gonna end some day-or an unverifiable historical fact-e. g., the cosmos started on October 37, 6722 BCE-that’s even better because there’s no way for you to check my work or prove me wrong. So if you accept the fallacious argument that these past events or future predictions prove you must believe everything I say, you have no grounds to refuse my demand for special offerings every month to help defray the cost of my Ferrari.

This is EGW-ism/SDA theology/cultic thinking 101.

But it is as easily refuted as saying, “Your predictions may be true but your reasoning is the opposite of that.”


Really good question. Only someone with some international experience will even think of asking that question.

There is a certain amount of hubris in the American psyche that won’t allow such a thought - like in one of the Mash episodes - an American soldier was becoming frustrated that the Korean guy wasn’t understanding what he was saying, and was advised to “speak a little slower”.

These end-time scenarios take place in the skies above Portland, Maine (the “dark day” and “stars falling”); and the remnant are being chased into the mountains (White Mountains and /or the Rockies), witch would not compute in the Netherlands.

As a buildup to such a monumental event as “Christ returning to earth”, you would think the signs would be more international. There still are places where no one has even heard of a computer. I guess that’s where “Mission Spotlight” comes in, followed by the offering plate - too little/too late.

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Another “ugly American” suggestion is to talk a little, or a lot, louder.

Or one can try an approach used by a fellow American I knew, who “could speak a little Spanish” and did that when traveling to The Ivory Coast…where the official language is French?!?!


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this is a good question…i think it’s likely that the author of the Book(s) of Enoch did see a vision, but the issue is whether his or her vision was divine or satanic…if it’s divine, of course, it should comport completely with other products of divine vision, even if it offers amplification seen nowhere else…if it’s satanic, it could comport with some things in divine products, but it would be expected to veer, more or less, and in a contradictory fashion, in other things…

i think most people can see that the Book of Enoch comports in some aspects with biblical books, and that it’s even quoted in at least one biblical book…but they can also see that it veers noticeably from biblical books, notably in its description of Watchers, and especially Nephilim…Genesis doesn’t require us to interpret “sons of God” as fallen angels, and that they bred with “daughters of men”, or even that such a thing could be biologically feasible…definitely Jesus rules out sex in the angelic realm, Matt 22:30…in addition, most scholars consign the first part of the book to a date no earlier than 300BC, with Enoch 3, or the Book of Parables, to a date of around 100BC…this makes authorship by Enoch, the seventh generation of humanity, unlikely,…a dubious authorship immediately raises important questions of authenticity and credibility…

but i think the biggest tell in the book is its tone, which i see as a mixture of spiritual and fictitious fantasy…its a confluence of the sacred and the common, as if Little Red Riding Hood were one of Jesus’ parables that he disclosed in the Sermon on the Mount…i don’t think it can be taken seriously on a conviction level, even though i find it interesting and entertaining…

yes, this is the assumption - likely a safe assumption, given the veneration in which John was held, which he had clearly earned - but unlike the Book of Enoch, the Book of Revelation doesn’t contain any fantasy elements that detract from the strong, sober level of conviction it builds, despite fantastic four-headed creatures and a plethora of cosmic symbology…in addition, the Book of Revelation amplifies specific prophecies in the Book of Daniel and general teachings in other biblical books…it can be clearly seen to occupy the same plane of spirituality as other biblical books…moreover, its authorship date aligns with known historical facts…

i don’t think the style or known chiastic structure of the Book of Revelation detracts from the view that John likely didn’t understand, and couldn’t have understood, all that he was shown…nor does this fact mean he didn’t understand, and couldn’t have understood, anything of what he wrote…that is, i don’t find your all or nothing approach on this particular point necessary, or even useful…in fact, and in terms of Occam’s Razor, i think it’s more likely that the Book of Revelation is the simple product of John’s recollections of what he was shown, and doesn’t reflect, at all, what he understood or didn’t understand…in the first place, structure in the book doesn’t have to imply knowledge or covert intent, or even author contribution…it could just as easily reflect divine transmission in terms of a format that was known and expected at the time…in the second place, we have no extant collection of any inside understanding of the book, or any reference to such a collection…but in the third place, early Church fathers varied in their understandings of various parts of the book, which completely rules out covert, and inside, transmission and understanding…

lol…here you over-reach…you can have no idea what i wish…but nice try :wink:

double lol…clearly, the theme of the Book of Revelation is the 2nd Coming of Christ, which i don’t think even the most detached among us believe has occurred…nor do i think this is evidence that the book is a failed prophecy…i think the most rational explanation is the traditional one: the Book of Revelation’s ether stretches into the future…

was there a Manifest Destiny associated with the conquest of Canaan by Israel…was Israel used by God to inflict punishment on peoples whose probations had expired, Gen 15:16…

we actually don’t know that Indigenous tribes weren’t used by God to forcibly displace previous indigenous inhabitants, or what the moral state of these Indigenous tribes were, or eventually became (for instance, we have evidence that the Incas practiced the same child sacrifices as the Canaanites, and others, and that Eskimos, presumably borrowing from their Chukchi Asiatic heritage, practiced adultery as a form of hospitality)…we do know that the European settlers were victorious, for the most part, in their battles with Indigenous tribes; that these Indigenous tribes had little natural immunity to viruses imported into land they claimed, courtesy of the Europeans; and that the European settlers were, for the most part, Christian…

i don’t think we know that Manifest Destiny, believed by our pioneers, doesn’t reflect God’s intervention in the overthrow and re-settlement of the new world (or other worlds, like S. Africa and Australia)…the point is, if God played an active role anciently in the overthrow of peoples who’d expired their probations by people who were in some kind of relationship with him, why wouldn’t he do so again, using that same mechanism, and throughout the history of our world…

aside from its inaccuracy - end-time Sunday laws, while promoted by the U.S., will be universal…the world will not be looking at events occurring in the U.S. - i think this sentiment presupposes all lands and races must be equally represented for prophecy about humanity’s course to be valid…perhaps the world 2,000 yrs ago could have said something similar with respect to bible prophecy’s preoccupation with Israel…but in fact three wise men, sometimes thought of as kings from Arabia-Ethiopia, Persia and India, were wise because they set nationalism aside and made the long, arduous trek required by their convictions…in doing so they were blessed and immortalized above their peers and, in fact, natives from the land of prophecy…

if the U.S. is now where prophecy is focused, is that so different from it’s previous focus on Israel…clearly, events of international significance must originate somewhere…in fact correct prediction-identification of geographical origins is often an integral part of prophecy…the reality is that prophecy doesn’t seem preoccupied with political correctness, where every nation in existence must be equally prioritized…as it is, the bible, generally, ignores vast swaths of earth, as if they don’t matter, or even exist…it isn’t surprising if prophecy does the same…

it’s one thing to pick at details around the periphery of adventist eschatology that don’t conform to our own obvious predilections…it’s quite another to formulate and offer a reasonable alternative…the reality is there isn’t an alternative for bible prophecy with the same plausible narrative and scope as adventist eschatology…that is, not only does adventist eschatology make sense, but nothing is available to replace it…is it really such a wonder that so many continue to find it compelling…

Yes, engineered by God so that many of the indigenous people could be slaughtered, dispossessed, and enslaved. Good old apartheid in SA…not!!

You’ve outdone yourself. And that’s saying alot…



i’m not saying i subscribe to it…i’m simply pointing out we can’t rule it out from what we know…

If anyone in this forum would care to relieve their burden regarding the indigenous peoples, I happen to have a bit of American Indian blood in me, so feel free to give me your land and possessions and go back to Europe.

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Sorry, the good ole political progressives have headed that off at the pass. Now they just have to say at meetings or press releases that they recognize their establishments are on stolen land. They get virtue points and that is all that really mattered to them anyway.

In what make-believe fantasy alternative facts universe was the British Empire defeated in the War of 1812?


black Africans came to America against their will, without intentions of taking what wasn’t theirs…should they go back to Africa…

in fact we know that all Indigenous tribes came from Asia, with most crossing the land bridge of Beringia…should they go back to Asia…

i think the situation is too far gone and intertwined to try to recover an ancient past…we’re now living in a world where everyone is entitled to live where they legally immigrate to…

Canada has recently uncovered over 1700 Indigenous student graves in areas that were residential schools, run by the federal government and the Catholic, United, Methodist, Anglican and Presbyterian Churches…the initial claim has been that these native children were murdered by authorities in the schools…but is it possible that these deaths resulted from a lack of immunity to viruses carried by school authorities…

i’m hearing some talk of this now…on the one hand, the diseases these kids died from seem to be the same diseases that decimated their home communities…but on the other hand, residential survivors are recounting dreadful memories of abuse, rape and murder…this is a controversy that isn’t resolving easily…

" Who Won The War Of 1812?

By the end of the war, the US has suffered costly defeat in the hands of their rival including the burning of Washington DC. Approximately 15,000 people Americans died during the war and 8,600 British and Canadians also died. The war ended with the signing of Treaty of Ghent which resulted to over a century of peace between the two countries. Consequently, the War of 1812 led to economic stagnation in the economy of America. The British had successfully managed to blockade America’s coastline. Some of the products scarce in the US including cotton clothes.

Case For British Victory

The British claim that they did not take the war seriously as their opponents did. They insist that the Americans took advantage of them being involved in the Napoleonic War which was being fought at the time. The British did not send large troops to support the Royal Navy until 1814. They consider themselves victorious because the war was more of a walk in the park for them, and not a struggle as the Americans consider it. Furthermore, the British argue that the Americans failed to drive them from North America, which implies that they were more powerful.

Case For American Victory

The Americas insist that they won the war for a number of reasons. It was the first time that America was staging a war against Britain, which had the most superior navy in the world. Due to the British sea superiority, it was expected that America would lose some of its territories to the British. However, none of America’s territory was conquered during the war. America’s success in the assertion of its independence from the British also makes them insist that they won the war." Who Won the War of 1812? - WorldAtlas

So yeah I am with the Americans who say they won the war. Another county comes and tries to take over American territory and fails to do so and end up signing a peace treaty is defeated. The British excuse that we weren’t really trying does not make a lot of sense.


The claim that salvation is by grace through faith, as important as it is, will not be the last issue of the great controversy between Satan and Christ. The last issue is going to be on obedience just as it was in the Garden of Eden. Therefore, Satan is going about trying to deceive as many as he can about the object of this test, the word of God as reflected in the Ten Commandments. Of all the commandments, as Ellen White stated, the fourth is going to be the object of this test as it is the one most controverted.

For that reason, Satan brings in deceptions from various angles to deceive as many as he possible can. One of these areas of deception is the identification of the lamb-like beast of Revelation 13 and its role in end time events as it pertains to the fourth commandment. Praise God, He did not leave His people without safeguards; one of which is the Spirit of Prophecy writings He gave to His remnant church. But of course, Satan has been successful in having most of Christendom to reject these writings and currently many in God’s remnant church. For this reason many now want to advance their own private interpretations as we are on the border of the heavenly Canaan. Below is a list the author’s concerns noted in quotations followed by my responses:

“…[Our] interpretation of America as a beast is framed around a very limited set of current events during the pioneers’ period. The creative reading of a time-bound context into an ancient text makes a universal or timeless application questionable.’ – For most Adventists, America still fits all the description of the second beast of Revelation 13, even though the pioneers had “limited set of current events” on which to draw this conclusion. Our basis for believing as the pioneers did is because no other country fits the descriptions depicted in Revelation 13 and not because we feel compelled to believe as the pioneers did.

“[Goldstein] ignores that while the pioneers predicted America’s speaking as a dragon, they did not in any way dismiss the idea that its existence was an act of providence.” – The establishment of Israel, that was divinely ordained, resulted in the destruction of many nations. The establishment of America as a republic also, unfortunately, resulted in the destruction of a group of people. God sets up nations and removes them. We will get a better understanding of why when we get to heaven. Until then, we have to live by faith, believing that God knows best, and His ways are beyond searching out. As God said, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55: 8-9)

“Why are we not allowed to be as contextual as our pioneers? Why can’t we employ the same tools and frameworks to read our context into the biblical text?” – New light should not contradict old established truth. We are SDA Christians, and one of our fundamental beliefs is that we believe that God has blessed His remnant church with the gift of prophecy through the writings of Ellen White. She, along with the other pioneers, noted that the second beast is America. I am not aware of the church promoting the idea that today we can’t employ the same tools and frameworks used by the pioneers to read our context into the biblical text. I believe that the church is just saying that doing so should not contradict old established truth confirmed by God Himself through His prophet.

“Views of American exceptionalism are stubborn…This warped apocalypticism is not only demeaning but continues to reduce the Global South, where Christianity is a majority, to hapless agents.” -,The first book of the Bible focuses on Abraham and his descendants through the line of Isaac. This is not because God is a respecter of persons. This is because the Bible focuses on individuals, peoples and nations that have relevance to God’s salvation plan.

“However America fits into providential plans, in our sin-sick world, our prophetic message should provide the impetus for us to challenge racism, xenophobia, greed, and corruption—among other evils.” – The first angel message should take care of all these issues. The gospel message includes love to God and to our fellow mankind. It is within this context that the church usually address social issues.

“We have for years used apocalyptic themes to desensitize ourselves to the conditions around us…. At the present moment, we have been breeding escapists and conspiracy theorists whose eyes are on America more than their neighbors. This is why we end up throwing news headlines at each other to validate ourselves or discredit each other”. – This is because we are the church of Laodicea that God counsels to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, many of us know more about the beasts of Revelation than we know about the Lamb. Let’s pray for a revival of primitive godliness amongst us.

“Clearly, an interpretation of Revelation 13 highlighting America as the stage for a Sabbatarian remnant hunted by Americans who want to kill everyone who doesn’t keep Sunday holy sounded plausible to some in the past. But it does not today.” - The events of the last days will be unpredictable and sudden. We have a prelude of this with the toppling of the Soviet Union, attack on the twin towers, the attack on the Capital building, and the Covid-19 pandemic. The fact that one cannot see how the enforcement of a Sunday law can become a reality based on the ways things are now should not be a valid reason to reject the long-held belief of the our church that was confirmed by the SOP.

“Our pioneers read prophecy as an extension of their time, and so did Ellen White in her predictions. Our danger is in binding God to our calendar without being open to contesting views and critiques about America. Ignoring shifts in geographic relevance dangles Adventism’s witness on an irrelevant edge.” - Ellen White had no private predictions pertaining to prophecies; they were revelations from the Lord. Therefore, the claim that God is being bound to our calendar is not valid. God does not contradict Himself.

“But for now, there’s no greater scam than suggesting someone outside America must forget everything else and watch out for the fulfillment of a national Sunday law in the United States under conditions that no longer exist.” - I am not sure who is asking anyone to forget what is happening in other parts of the world in order to continue to identify America as the lamb-like beast. We are a global community and what happens in any part of the world can trigger an event in another part of the world.

“More than ever, we need to open up a conversation on this topic. Doing so is not a threat to Adventism but rather a challenge to our obsession with a national identity that borders on idolatry.” – I can imagine that the scoffers in Noah’s day accused him of making the ark an idol and pleaded with him to give up the idea of building one. Praise God that he did not acquiesce.


When I was 18 and having Bible Studies with a post-Q.O.D. pastor, he mentioned the idea of America in Prophecy (in the Book of Revelation). I had relatives who were Jehovah’s Witnesses who took me along until I was aged 12 when I stopped going. I thought when said pastor told me America was in the book of Revelation ‘That’s suspect.’ I still do.


“…i’m not saying i subscribe to it…i’m simply pointing out we can’t rule it out from what we know…”
Do you consider yourself an educated person? Is that really the view you have of the Christian God? It sound rather like the ancients view of their Gods and Israel also. I would gather from you statement that you just might not have a God of true love for his creation. Maybe rethink your statement?