The woman? There has been a variety of interpretations which include Mary, the mother of Jesus. However, considering the fact that this is a “great sign” and that the O.T.’s symbol of God’s people is a woman (See, for example, Isaiah 54:1-6; Jeremiah 3:20; Ezekiel 16; Hosea 2:19-20) it is more likely that the believing community into which Christ was born is signified here . (For those who consider that Mary might be represented here, the question about the period of her care and the reference to “the rest of her offspring” in chapter 12, verse 17, must be answered.)
Yes, I think the primary interpretation would be true believers among the Jews, the “meek,” “those who hunger and thirst after righteousness” that Jesus spoke of. On the strength of Paul’s understanding I would extend it to include spiritual Israel, the broad church of true believers that has no denominational boundaries today.
Ted Wilson’s idea of the remnant seems to be an elite group within SDAs who agree with his views and, as he said in his latest article “The Past With a Future,” those who have the character of Christ perfectly reproduced in them. I am led to assume that dear old mossback Ted believes he is one of them and everyone ought to get on board with him or they will receive a reprimand. I would be more concerned about getting a reprimand from Christ. A reprimand from Ted or one of his pontifical committees is not worth a brass razoo. (For the benefit of non-Aussie readers, a brass razoo is an imaginary coin less than a dime.)
Shane, about thirty years ago I did a limited study of EGW writings, choosing just the one topic of the nature of Christ. I found there was no development of theology, no gradual move towards one view or another, but instead a hodgepodge throughout her writing life.
I reached the view that the proposition of EGW improving her theology with age was an apologist’s view put out by the EGW Estate. One of the weaknesses of their argument is that they have never gathered all of her quotations on any one topic and then compared them. They have simply gathered a selection to illustrate their pre-conceived idea of improvement over time.
I agree with you. EGW is a most unreliable exegete of Scripture. Neither she nor her publishers flagged that she might be expressing an immature or erroneous view. We are urged to accept all her writings as Spirit inspired but that has been tacitly admitted by the EGW Estate not be the case.
Yes, Scripture alone is the true Protestant stand.
It is also true to our church today. Notice that at church pastor or district pastor level, their message is “get ready, Jesus is coming soon” but at GC level, our leaders are busy planning where to invest the excess of the tithes they have collected. No wonder they were prophesied by Isaiah before (Isa 56: 10-12). The excess tithes, in Deuteronomy, should either go to the levites or the widows and orphans. Our leaders have followed the way of balaam. I feel they might have been sincere Christians before but now they might have turned back to their own vomit.
It is so ironic that we believe that through Jesus everything we see (and don’t see) was created in just six literal days while we also believe that investigative judgment for one of His creations will take a lot lot longer than we can imagine.
Dissenters of churches …any CHURCH , might wait to judge the whole body.by the negative.
I live in a University town that has a lively out reaching positive body, old and young who participate in many varied outreach programs, including a food bank. Come to think of it the 3 Adventist churches here, all have active community food banks!
Things change in Gods timing, not OUR perception of.
Why? Because it is now TIME for it. We are nearing end of times past. Faithful folk are preparing for the loud cry. We have no time to dwell on naysaying brothers and sisters.
Gods “CHURCH” is preparing, with Gods Spirit, to meet the challenges we must face. Whether that spirit is in which church body, is not our work. Our work is about living out to our community a loving and caring example of Jesus, enveloping any who are open enough to recognize our personal opportunities at hand.
The prize of our high calling calls for sacrifice of self, and includes all areas of our lives as God refines us in His fires.
By the way, a personal note… …Our Sabbath School lessons are open and timely, and bring unity in spiritual thought. A pattern is offered pointing seekers to parallels between early church, and end time church… the principals remain.
Let us PRESS on in humble expressive gratitude to God for the day is at hand!!
Leandro, You might find the answer to the problem that you’ve so brilliantly exposed, in the ADVENT REVIEW editorial by Kenneth Wood, March 19, 1981. It reads, in part, this way:
“Moreover, God is eminently just and fair, and He must make this clear to every rational creature everywhere before He terminates Satan and his followers. To do this requires time—how much time we do not know. We do know that careful examination of evidence by human beings requires much time. (The recent trial of Jean Harris for killing Dr. Herman Tarnower lasted about three months before the case went to the jury.) And, since angels are not vastly superior to human beings (Ps. 8:5; Heb. 2:7), perhaps they need considerable time to do their assigned tasks in the judgment. (And after they have done their work, is it possible that there are review boards or “superior courts” in heaven to make sure that each case has been dealt with fairly?)”
Milton, that’s an interesting study. I would have thought there would be more people doing research on various aspects of Ellen Whit’s life and work. Perhaps they have and it has simply been buried or not published. Do you have the study still?
Unfortunately, Shane, it’s gone. It was an essay submitted while in the seminary at Andrews University. I got a mark for it and got the paper back but coming home to Australia by air I had to lighten the load so very few books and no papers were saved. It was in the 1970s before we could save things to memory sticks.
I might add that the topic of the nature of Christ featured in my comprehensive exams and Mervyn Maxwell was one of three who marked my papers. He believed in perfectionism and disagreed with me about the nature of Christ but he admitted I argued my case well and he was gracious enough to give me a pass.
Everyone seems to be doing studies about EGW. I think the only topics left to research are, “Did Ellen ever cut her toenails on Friday night?” and “What did she say about the dangers of wood-peckers on board Noah’s ark?”
I know the feeling and suffered it again recently when I was leading an effort to execute a lay-led plan for a large-scale, health-focused evangelistic outreach that was supported by both of our overlapping conferences. We were getting unsolicited promises of support from some amazing directions because people believed in what we were trying to do. But the Union voted it down. You can imagine that I have some strong and not very positive feelings about the key players in that vote. I’ve been forced to return to the basics of my faith and renew my commitment to God regardless of what misguided church leaders may do.
Sorry, William, that you had to experience this lately. It’s really sad.
I was counseling a pastor (from South America) a few days ago and I had to tell him: Don’t let the Church (Denomination) take advantage of you. Do what is required, nothing beyond that. Because if you ever need the Church to do anything extra for you, you will get NONE.
I am a mere Christian, who believes in the Bible, at least on those parts that I can understand. The Gospel is clear, the plan of salvation is clear, Christ’s mission/ministry also clear. I attend a local church that makes me feel accepted and relaxed. The Denomination in itself has absolutely no value, it’s just a business machine disguised as a spiritual tractor.
Tears of disappointment for you.
Sometimes one has to BYPASS an Organization for such a project as you planned.
One has to go to the GRASS ROOTS of the members to develop projects and get
volunteers to do the work of your health-focused evangelistic outreach.
Something like this takes more time and effort – but it is doable.
Ellen tells us we need the COMBINED efforts of Preachers, Medical person, the
average pew sitter on God’s vineyard, God’s fields to stir up the fallow ground.
Good Luck with a NEW Paradigm of Medical Evangelism.
Ellen does NOT say one has to go to the Conference Office to get permission.
It is GOD who gives us permission.
HOWEVER, if you are going to do it ONE TIME. You need to keep in mind that
you will NEED to DO it again, a number of times after that!!
Are you READY to DO THAT??
The gospel has been preached for thousands of years. And it is a good thing. But the Gospel is not just the only message. For example, Jesus said that the good news will be preached to all nations and then the end will come. And we know that at the end there will be a time of distress that will be unprecedented in the history of mankind and there would be a terrible conflict. Don’t you think that God would like to guide his children through these events. Don’t you think that God would like the world to understand what’s going on?
A lot of people don’t have any idea that a judgement is coming.
And among those who know that a judgement is coming, many have it wrong (for example, eternal hell, purgatory, rapture followed by a seven year tribulation, etc).
So, God doesn’t need another denomination just to tell a message that has already been preached for ever. What the world needs is a prophetic message for the present time.
If you think that the SDA prophetic scenario is an aberration, what can be said of the prophetic interpretations of other denominations? The rapture/tribulation scenario à la “Left Behind” that many protestants believe in is a total nonsense and is not biblical. And in some other denominations, there is no attempt to understand prophecies.
And far from deflecting attention from the Gospel, a good understanding of the place of the law and of the sabbath brings a better understanding of God’s justice, love, and grace.
Of course, Adventists are human too so there is always a danger of being carried away, unbalanced, judgmental, proud, etc… like anybody in any other denomination. So, they have to remember that, even if they have a message to the world, they have to be followers of Christ first.
Yes. I Think too that it is true. All the established denominations today, sad to say including SDA, carry with them false doctrines. False because the truth in those doctrines were mixed with errors. In fact our Church can even defile us. Let us try to analyze what this verse was telling us (Rev. 14:4). Let us step outside for a while so we can see what is the true color of the box we are in. It is also very hard for me to have this view for I also am an SDA for 36 years now. All my friends and acquaintances are saints who are deceived. The problem is how to convince them without sounding self righteous.
Angus, never in my mind will it make sense to me also. Kenneth Wood must also know the human beings that were created a little bit lower than the angels were Adam and Eve before they have transgressed. Human beings also became much much lower than Adam after the flood. The life expectancy of people before the flood is more than 10x longer than ours today.They must have been 10x mightier than us.
The only reason we pursued it was because it was obvious God wanted us to do it. We saw Him guiding and providing in many ways, including the support of the conferences. So encountering the opposition of those at the Union level who were incapable of thinking outside their conceptual boxes was a painful experience. I have faith that God will one day remove them from their positions and pray that day will be soon.