~ Jeff P. on Gene Brown's Turkey ~
A CRITIQUE OF GENE BROWN’S:
THE FINAL WAY-MARK OF PROBATIONARY TIME
RESTORING THE TRUE PIONEER POSITION OF THE KING OF THE NORTH
A FEW INITIAL RECOMMENDATIONS
I would recommend that those who have read Gene’s book also read the book by Donald Ernest Mansell, titled Adventists and Armageddon: Have We Misinterpreted Prophecy? I do not agree with everything Mansell suggests in his book, (he definitely holds the incorrect view of the “daily” in the book of Daniel), but in spite of this fact Mansell’s historical analysis of the history of the controversy of James White and Uriah Smith is accurate and balanced, whereas Gene’s analysis is twisted and false. By their fruits we shall know them, and Mansell’s book will allow you to see where the fruits of Uriah Smith’s and Gene’s foolish interpretation of prophecy will lead.
Mansell identifies that the first view Uriah Smith held concerning the king of the north and Armageddon were identical to the pioneers ( that view being that Armageddon is a spiritual battle and that the king of the north is the papacy), but in 1857 Smith began to deviate from the pioneer understanding. Gene would have us to believe Uriah Smith was a pioneer (and he wasn’t), that Smith’s view represented the pioneer view (which it didn’t) and Gene never informs his readers that Smith stepped away from his own original understanding of these subjects. Mansell’s chart on page twenty-three is highly informative. Gene’s historical accusations concerning Lewis Were virtually require, (based upon Gene’s demonstrable willingness to misrepresent inspiration and history) that his readers locate Lewis Were’s books and analyze whether Lewis Were or Gene Brown have a well-founded biblical based argument for their side of the story. Gene’s approach and application concerning the king of the north has no credibility when compared with Pastor Were’s presentations. To accept Gene’s accusations concerning Pastor Were without personal investigation is to become a partaker of Gene’s false witness. My third recommendation is that you destroy Gene’s book. It is not only a weak presentation biblically, historically and grammatically, but what it presents is error, and nothing else. Gene builds his arguments on ad hominem attacks, which should have no relevance to biblical truth.
“That which Brother D [in this case Gene Brown] calls light is apparently harmless; it does not look as though anyone could be injured by it. But, brethren, it is Satan’s device, his entering wedge. This has been tried again and again. One accepts some new and original idea which does not seem to conflict with the truth. He talks of it and dwells upon it until it seems to him to be clothed with beauty and importance, for Satan has power to give this false appearance.
At last it becomes the all-absorbing theme, the one great point around which everything centers; and the truth is uprooted from the heart. “No sooner are erratic ideas started in his mind than Brother D begins to lose faith, and to question the work of the Spirit which has been manifested among us for so many years. He is not a man who will entertain what he believes to be special light without imparting it to others; therefore it is not safe to give him influence that will enable him to unsettle other minds. It is opening a door through which Satan will rush in many errors to divert the mind from the importance of the truth for this time. Brethren, as an ambassador of Christ I warn you to beware of these side issues, whose tendency is to divert the mind from the truth. Error is never harmless. It never sanctifies, but always brings confusion and dissension. It is always dangerous. The enemy has great power over minds that are not thoroughly fortified by prayer and established in Bible truth.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 46.
Whether he recognizes it or not, Gene Brown’s book is designed to lead men to accept the mark of the beast.
“Those who become confused in their understanding of the Word, who fail to see the meaning of antichrist, will surely place themselves on the side of antichrist. There is no time now for us to assimilate with the world. Daniel is standing in his lot and in his place. The prophecies of Daniel and of John are to be understood. They interpret each other. They give to the world truths which everyone should understand. These prophecies are to be witnesses in the world. By their fulfillment in these last days they will explain themselves.” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, volume 7, 949.
If the king of the north in the final verses of Daniel eleven is the papacy, and the papacy is the antichrist—then to become confused on who the king of the north is will lead a person to ultimately stand with the king of the north and thus receive his mark!
I have often been misunderstood (as I see it) when responding to this type of prophetic error. Invariably those who wish to sympathize with teacher of error attack the fact that I have been so mean-spirited or un-Christ like in exposing the error presented by the false teacher. I do not think I have ever met Gene Brown, but if I have I do not remember it. For all I know Gene is a friendly person. I don’t even know if Gene is a man or a woman? I therefore have no personal animosity towards gene, but the book is erroneous and needs to be identified as such.
“False teachers may appear to be very zealous for the work of God, and may expend means to bring their theories before the world and the church; but as they mingle error with truth, their message is one of deception, and will lead souls into false paths. They are to be met and opposed, not because they are bad men, but because they are teachers of falsehood and are endeavoring to put upon falsehood the stamp of truth.” Testimonies to Ministers, 55.
Some men teach error, but avoid the technique of character assassination. Not so with Gene, and if you read what he has written about Pastor Lewis Were you will see accusations that are not only unfair, but unfounded.
“But none need be deceived concerning them. It may be readily seen whose children they are, whose example they follow, and whose work they do. ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:16. Their course resembles that of Satan, the envenomed slanderer, ‘the accuser of our brethren.’ Revelation 12:10.
“The great deceiver has many agents ready to present any and every kind of error to ensnare souls—heresies prepared to suit the varied tastes and capacities of those whom he would ruin. It is his plan to bring into the church insincere, unregenerate elements that will encourage doubt and unbelief, and hinder all who desire to see the work of God advance and to advance with it. Many who have no real faith in God or in His word assent to some principles of truth and pass as Christians, and thus they are enabled to introduce their errors as Scriptural doctrines.
“The position that it is of no consequence what men believe is one of Satan’s most successful deceptions. He knows that the truth, received in the love of it, sanctifies the soul of the receiver; therefore he is constantly seeking to substitute false theories, fables, another gospel.
From the beginning the servants of God have contended against false teachers, not merely as vicious men, but as inculcators of falsehoods that were fatal to the soul. Elijah, Jeremiah, Paul, firmly and fearlessly opposed those who were turning men from the word of God. That liberality which regards a correct religious faith as unimportant found no favor with these holy defenders of the truth.
“The vague and fanciful interpretations of Scripture, and the many conflicting theories concerning religious faith, that are found in the Christian world are the work of our great adversary to confuse minds so that they shall not discern the truth. And the discord and division which exist among the churches of Christendom are in a great measure due to the prevailing custom of wresting the Scriptures to support a favorite theory. Instead of carefully studying God’s word with humility of heart to obtain a knowledge of His will, many seek only to discover something odd or original.
“In order to sustain erroneous doctrines or unchristian practices, some will seize upon passages of Scripture separated from the context, perhaps quoting half of a single verse as proving their point, when the remaining portion would show the meaning to be quite the opposite. With the cunning of the serpent they entrench themselves behind disconnected utterances construed to suit their carnal desires. Thus do many willfully pervert the word of God. Others, who have an active imagination, seize upon the figures and symbols of Holy Writ, interpret them to suit their fancy, with little regard to the testimony of Scripture as its own interpreter, and then they present their vagaries as the teachings of the Bible.” The Great Controversy, 520–521.
In chapter one which is titled, The Final Way-Mark Gene presents three primary invalid claims. The first of those false suppositions is the identification of who are the pioneers of Adventism that represent the original position of the king of the north in the last six verses of Daniel eleven.
On page eight Gene cites Selected Messages, book 2, 111–112. He underlines the following:
“These men followed on step by step in the very fulfillment of prophecy, and those who have not had a personal experience in this work, are to take the Word of God and believe on ‘their word’ who have been led by the Lord in the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages.”
Gene uses this passage to inform the reader that Uriah Smith, S. N. Haskell and A. T. Jones fulfilled this history identified in the passage and therefore these three men are representatives of the pioneers whose’ “word” we are to “believe.” This claim is totally false—yet is a main tenet in his book. The importance of this false premise is emphasized in the subtitle of his book—Restoring the True Pioneer Position of the King of the North. If Gene is to restore the pioneer understanding of the king of the north, he needs pioneers to refer to in establishing this historical fact.
Yet the word which we are to believe upon, according to the passage by Sister White is the “word” of those that experienced and proclaimed the three angel’s messages in the history of the Millerites. That particular history ended in 1844, and all three of the men Gene Brown points to as the pioneers that we should believe on were not involved in the Millerite movement. They would have just as much claim to this endorsement of the Spirit of Prophecy as would the current General Conference president Ted Wilson, for none of them were pioneers.
1852, 1853, 1874 Smith, Uriah (1832–1903). Editor, administrator, preacher, prophetic expositor, professor, poet, inventor, and artist-engraver. Smith was born in New Hampshire, and accepted the message of Sabbatarian Adventism after hearing James and Ellen White in 1852.
Haskell, Stephen Nelson (1833–1922). Evangelist, administrator, missionary. In 1853, as a self-supporting preacher, he and his wife Mary accepted the Sabbath. He was ordained as an SDA minister in 1868, and in 1870 was the first president of the New England Conference.
Jones, Alonzo Trevier (1850–1923). Editor, author, preacher. Jones became an SDA in 1874 while in the Army at Fort Walla Walla. He soon became involved in evangelism in the Northwest.
These three men were not pioneers, and do not fulfill the passage which Gene employed to prop up his false premise. These three men are Gene’s primary witnesses to demonstrate that James White’s understanding of the king of the north is not valid, though James White was definitely a pioneer.
Gene’s second false premise in chapter one is that the pioneers applied prophecy in a literal fashion, and therefore so should we. This is perhaps Gene’s most important argument in terms of convincing the reader that his message is correct. This argument is designed to allow Gene to represent the final verses of Daniel eleven in a literal and not symbolic fashion.
Gene tries to convince us of this error by informing the reader that he is leading us back to the true pioneer understanding of prophecy that was primarily hijacked by Lewis Were in the 1940’s and 50’s. His logic doesn’t hold up under even the simplest investigation. If we are to return to the pioneer approach of prophecy, then no doubt the following passage would contribute to that truth.
“Those who are engaged in proclaiming the third angel’s message are searching the Scriptures upon the same plan that Father Miller adopted. In the little book entitled Views of the Prophecies and Prophetic Chronology, Father Miller gives the following simple but intelligent and important rules for Bible study and interpretation:— “‘1. Every word must have its proper bearing on the subject presented in the Bible; 2. All Scripture is necessary, and may be understood by diligent application and study; 3. Nothing revealed in Scripture can or will be hid from those who ask in faith, not wavering; 4. To understand doctrine, bring all the scriptures together on the subject you wish to know, then let every word have its proper influence; and if you can form your theory without a contradiction, you cannot be in error; 5. Scripture must be its own expositor, since it is a rule of itself. If I depend on a teacher to expound to me, and he should guess at its meaning, or desire to have it so on account of his sectarian creed, or to be thought wise, then his guessing, desire, creed, or wisdom is my rule, and not the Bible.’
“The above is a portion of these rules; and in our study of the Bible we shall all do well to heed the principles set forth. “Genuine faith is founded on the Scriptures; but Satan uses so many devices to wrest the Scriptures and bring in error, that great care is needed if one would know what they really do teach. It is one of the great delusions of this time to dwell much upon feeling, and to claim honesty while ignoring the plain utterances of the word of God because that word does not coincide with feeling. Many have no foundation for their faith but emotion. Their religion consists in excitement; when that ceases, their faith is gone. Feeling may be chaff, but the word of God is the wheat. And ‘what,’ says the prophet, ‘is the chaff to the wheat?’
“None will be condemned for not heeding light and knowledge that they never had, and they could not obtain. But many refuse to obey the truth that is presented to them by Christ’s ambassadors, because they wish to conform to the world’s standard; and the truth that has reached their understanding, the light that has shone in the soul, will condemn them in the Judgment. In these last days we have the accumulated light that has been shining through all the ages, and we shall be held correspondingly responsible. The path of holiness is not on a level with the world; it is a way cast up. If we walk in this way, if we run in the way of the Lord’s commandments, we shall find that the ‘path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.’” Review and Herald, November 25, 1884.
The first rule of Miller’s rules, (and I hope Gene would agree that Miller was a pioneer) is that “every word must have its proper bearing,” and in his fourth rule he states, “let every word have its proper influence,” and his eleventh rule identifies how “to know when a word is used figuratively. If it makes good sense as it stands, and does no violence to the simple laws of nature, then it must be understood literally, if not, figuratively.”
The pioneer understanding of prophecy emphasizes that every single solitary word must be accounted for in the passage under consideration. And the word must do “no violence to the simple laws of nature” and if it does require violence to nature’s laws then it must be symbolic. When Gene builds his prophetic model that insists that the pioneer approach to the king of the north was and should still be a literal application of the verses, his erroneous deduction is exposed by Edom, for one of the words in the passage considered in his book is the word “Edom” in verse forty-one.
“He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.” Daniel 11:41.
Edom as a kingdom, nation and or people no longer exists. There is no way to apply Edom in verse forty-one literally, and for Gene to do so requires that he does violence to the simple laws of nature. Therefore the pioneer logic concerning this passage is that it must be understood as a symbolic representation!
Therefore, though emphasizing the return to the true pioneer position of the king of the north, Gene employs an application that opposes the pioneer rules of prophecy, while selecting men which he identifies as pioneers that were no more pioneers than you or I.
Gene’s third faulty premise in his first chapter is as valid as his first two fallacies. I often have critics accuse me of teaching something that I never teach or emphasize.
Most times it is a tactic of debate called the “straw man”. Create an invalid argument, and then associate it with those you oppose and then demonstrate the absurdity of the claim. Gene employs this tactic more than once in his book. Gene creates a “straw man” concerning how those who identify the king of the north as the papacy apply the king of the north coming to his end in verse forty-five. I can only speak for myself, for there are others that would agree the king of the north is the papacy, but may actually apply verse forty-five as Gene claims, though I doubt it and Gene provides no evidence that anyone actually makes this application. I will simply address this “straw man” from my personal understanding.
I have never taught that the king of the north is destroyed before the plagues. In fact if a review was made of my teachings I generally state (if anything at all) that probation closes somewhere in verse forty-four and forty-five. I do this for I see these two verses as describing one progressive event.
I would go further and state that these two verses are part of a progressive scenario that includes the first three verses of Daniel twelve. Gene’s claim of the emphasis of when the papacy is destroyed by those who identify the king of the north as the papacy is not valid. He is misrepresenting what is taught in order to place the teaching he is fighting against in a light that he believes he can demonstrate is erroneous. I reject that I teach the very thing he is claiming.
On page fifteen Gene states, “The conclusion of the Papacy being destroyed at the close of probation is inescapable if the Papacy is the King of the North. This will not happen. The Papacy will not be destroyed until the second coming of Christ. (Study II Thessalonians 2:3–8.) According to Revelation 16, the Papacy will continue to prosper well into the plagues, and will thus confuse those who are looking for her to come to her end as probation is closing. Their faith will be destroyed just when they need it most.”
Daniel 11:44–12:3, is a description of a very brief period of time, but Gene doesn’t inform us of this fact:
“About four months since, I had a vision of events, all in the future. And I saw the time of trouble, such as never was,—Jesus told me it was the time of Jacob’s trouble, and that we should be delivered out of it by the voice of God. Just before we entered it, we all received the seal of the living God. Then I saw the four Angels cease to hold the four winds. And I saw famine, pestilence and sword, nation rose against nation, and the whole world was in confusion.
Then we cried to God for deliverance day and night till we began to hear the bells on Jesus’ garment. And I saw Jesus rise up in the Holiest, and as he came out we heard the tinkling of bells, and knew our High Priest was coming out. Then we heard the voice of God which shook the heavens and earth, and gave the 144,000 the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. Then the saints were free, united and full of the glory of God, for he had turned their captivity. And I saw a flaming cloud come where Jesus stood and he laid off his priestly garment and put on his kingly robe, took his place on the cloud which carried him to the east where it first appeared to the saints on earth, a small black cloud, which was the sign of the Son of Man. While the cloud was passing from the Holiest to the east which took a number of days, the Synagogue of Satan worshiped at the saints feet.” The Day Star, March 14, 1846.
When Michael stands up and human probation closes until He returns the second time is a “number of days.” In those days we find the great time of trouble, the time of Jacob’s trouble, the voice of God, the announcement of the day and hour of His coming and the plagues in Revelation sixteen. In Daniel 11:44–12:3 there are a series of progressive events that take place in a number of days. The destruction of the king of the north is portrayed as a progressive event in God’s word, requiring the support of the papacy to be removed, the ten kings eating her flesh and burning her with fire and the sequence of events in Revelation sixteen. All these events are going to happen in a number of days, not weeks or months or years. The undue emphasis that Gene is placing on what he says people teach concerning verse forty-five and the logical inconsistencies that develop with that application when we identify the king of the north as the papacy are all manufactured by Gene.
Gene states, “According to Revelation 16, the Papacy will continue to prosper well into the plagues, and will thus confuse those who are looking for her to come to her end as probation is closing. Their faith will be destroyed just when they need it most.”
I’ll pass by Gene’s claim that the papacy is prospering during the plagues, but in this statement he is demonstrating how little he understands the close of probation. Probation closes for Seventh-day Adventists long before it closes for the king of the north. This fact is also beyond the scope of this critique, but Gene appears to be operating upon the misguided premise that so many in Adventism employ today. Many Adventists today believe that probation closes for all men simultaneously. This is prophetically absurd.
Seventh-day Adventists will warn the world during the loud cry of the third angel, but the warning for the world is only accomplished by those Seventh-day Adventists who already have the seal of God.
“The work of the Holy Spirit is to convince the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. The world can only be warned by seeing those who believe the truth sanctified through the truth, acting upon high and holy principles, showing in a high, elevated sense, the line of demarcation between those who keep the commandments of God, and those who trample them under their feet. The sanctification of the Spirit signalizes the difference between those who have the seal of God, and those who keep a spurious rest-day. When the test comes, it will be clearly shown what the mark of the beast is. It is the keeping of Sunday. Those who after having heard the truth, continue to regard this day as holy, bear the signature of the man of sin, who thought to change times and laws.” Bible Training School, December 1, 1903.
Before the world is warned Seventh-day Adventists are sealed, for judgment begins with the house of God. If a Seventh-day Adventist reaches the history of verse forty-five without already having the seal of God, they will have no faith to destroy one way or another—no matter what the king of the north represents.
Perhaps more telling, concerning Gene’s false teachings is that he is here teaching that probation is still open during the seven last plagues. In the statement Gene informs us that “probation is closing” “well into the plagues.”
“‘And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book. Daniel 12:1.
“When this time of trouble comes, every case is decided; there is no longer probation, no longer mercy for the impenitent. The seal of the living God is upon His people.” The Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen White, 187.
In chapter two Gene carries on his emphasis on the literal application of prophecy. In this chapter he finds it helpful to his logic to twist the Spirit of Prophecy into an understanding that opposes the very premise of the Spirit of Prophecy passage. Gene takes a passage from the Spirit of Prophecy and simply picks and chooses which of her words he will employ. Here is the quote:
“We have no time to lose. Troublous times are before us. The world is stirred with the spirit of war. Soon the scenes of trouble spoken of in the prophecies will take place. The prophecy in the eleventh of Daniel has nearly reached its complete fulfillment. Much of the history that has taken place in fulfillment of this prophecy will be repeated. In the thirtieth verse a power is spoken of that ‘shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.” [Verses 31–36, quoted.]
“Scenes similar to those described in these words will take place. We see evidence that Satan is fast obtaining the control of human minds who have not the fear of God before them. Let all read and understand the prophecies of this book, for we are now entering upon the time of trouble spoken of: [Daniel 12:1–4, quoted.]” Manuscript Releases, volume 13, 394.
Gene purposely leaves off the last paragraph, for it totally destroys the false premise he intends to lift up. Gene admits that verses thirty through thirty-six of Daniel eleven addresses the papacy when he states, “Every honest student of prophecy will agree that verses 30–36 apply to the papacy.” But Gene is going to now carve up the meaning of this passage. He already removed the last paragraph that opposes his premise, and he is now going to apply his own deductive commentary on the grammatical meaning of her words.
He says. “Please note that she says that the history of ‘a power’, (the ‘mystery of iniquity’, in this instance the Papacy), will be repeated, . . .”
Is that what she said? Not at all; she said, “The prophecy in the eleventh of Daniel has nearly reached its complete fulfillment. Much of the history that has taken place in fulfillment of this prophecy will be repeated.”
She is here teaching that the histories that fulfilled Daniel eleven would be repeated. She is teaching specifically concerning Daniel eleven. She stated, “The prophecy in the eleventh of Daniel has nearly reached its complete fulfillment.” Then after she places the context of the fulfillment of Daniel eleven into the record she then informs us that, “Much of the history that has taken place in fulfillment of this prophecy will be repeated.”
She does not claim, as does Gene that “the history of a power” “will be repeated,” but that much of the prior histories represented in Daniel eleven will be repeated.
Gene then raises the incorrect question, “Could it be that we have made a misapplication and applied to verses 40–45 that which should be applied to verses 30–36 only?”
Gene wants to ignore that the grammatical intent of Sister White is specific, and that she is specifically identifying and emphasizing the fulfillment of Daniel eleven. But what she said was, “We have no time to lose. Troublous times are before us. The world is stirred with the spirit of war. Soon the scenes of trouble spoken of in the prophecies will take place. The prophecy in the eleventh of Daniel has nearly reached its complete fulfillment.”
She is speaking about the future fulfillment of Daniel eleven. In order to swallow this idea we are required to not only disregard what the prophetess wrote, but ignore simple English grammar. Gene then takes us into Revelation eleven, so he can bring France and the French Revolution into verses thirty-six through forty. The problem with this foolish logic is in the paragraph he left out.
Sister White penned this passage in 1904, well after The Great Controversy where on page 356 she informs us that 1798 is the “time of the end.”
“The message itself sheds light as to the time when this movement is to take place. It is declared to be a part of the ‘everlasting gospel;’ and it announces the opening of the judgment. The message of salvation has been preached in all ages; but this message is a part of the gospel which could be proclaimed only in the last days, for only then would it be true that the hour of judgment had come. The prophecies present a succession of events leading down to the opening of the judgment. This is especially true of the book of Daniel. But that part of his prophecy which related to the last days, Daniel was bidden to close up and seal ‘to the time of the end.’
Not till we reach this time could a message concerning the judgment be proclaimed, based on the fulfillment of these prophecies. But at the time of the end, says the prophet, ‘many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.’ Daniel 12:4.
“The apostle Paul warned the church not to look for the coming of Christ in his day. ‘That day shall not come,’ he says, ‘except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed.’ 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Not till after the great apostasy, and the long period of the reign of the ‘man of sin,’ can we look for the advent of our Lord. The ‘man of sin,’ which is also styled ‘the mystery of iniquity,’ ‘the son of perdition,’ and ‘that wicked,’ represents the papacy, which, as foretold in prophecy, was to maintain its supremacy for 1260 years. This period ended in 1798. The coming of Christ could not take place before that time. Paul covers with his caution the whole of the Christian dispensation down to the year 1798. It is this side of that time that the message of Christ’s second coming is to be proclaimed.
“No such message has ever been given in past ages. Paul, as we have seen, did not preach it; he pointed his brethren into the then far-distant future for the coming of the Lord. The Reformers did not proclaim it. Martin Luther placed the judgment about three hundred years in the future from his day. But since 1798 the book of Daniel has been unsealed, knowledge of the prophecies has increased, and many have proclaimed the solemn message of the judgment near.”
The point here is that Sister White knew that the time of the end was 1798, so when she speaks of the future fulfillment of Daniel eleven by stating, “The prophecy in the eleventh of Daniel has nearly reached its complete fulfillment,” she is identifying that the future fulfillment of Daniel eleven is found in verses forty and onward, for verse forty begins with the words, “And at the time of the end,” which means—in 1798.
The focus of where the fulfillment takes place is the last six verses of Daniel eleven, which begin with verse forty. Gene wishes us to ignore the paragraph at the end. After she emphasizes the future fulfillment of Daniel eleven, she then emphasizes that much of the history that has fulfilled the prophecies of Daniel eleven will be repeated when the last six verses are fulfilled. She then specifically quotes verse 30–36 and follows that passage with a very, very direct statement, a statement that Gene leaves out of his book. After quoting verses 30 through thirty-six she states, “Scenes similar to those described in these words will take place.”
“Scenes similar to those described in” verses thirty through thirty-six “will take place.”
Scenes similar to verses thirty through thirty-six will take place when verse forty through forty-five are fulfilled.
Gene leaves off the qualifying paragraph and immediately raises the question, “Could it be that we have made a misapplication and applied to verses 40–45 that which should be applied to verses 30–36 only?”
The answer is absolutely—NO! It could not be, for the grammar (when you include the whole statement) does not allow this interpretation. She is saying that “Scenes similar to those described in” verses thirty through thirty-six “will take place” when “the eleventh of Daniel” reaches “its complete fulfillment”.
“It will be found that those who bear false messages will not have a high sense of honor and integrity. They will deceive the people, and mix up with their error the Testimonies of Sister White, and use her name to give influence to their work. They make such selections from the Testimonies as they think they can twist to support their positions, and place them in a setting of falsehood, so that their error may have weight, and be accepted by the people. They misinterpret and misapply that which God has given to the church to warn, counsel, reprove, comfort, and encourage those who shall make up the remnant people of God. Those who receive the Testimonies as the message of God, will be helped and blessed thereby; but those who take them in parts, simply to support some theory or idea of their own, to vindicate themselves in a course of error, will not be blessed and benefited by what they teach.” Review and Herald, August 29, 1893.
Once Gene moves away from the simple truth of Sister White’s passage he begins to emphasize the history of France during the French Revolution, and then on to Islam of the Ottoman Empire in Revelation nine. His claim is that Islam is a tool of the papacy. This claim stands in direct opposition to the pioneer understanding of the trumpets.
Here Gene is demonstrating an inconsistency that disqualifies a serious student from trusting his discernment of prophecy, for later, in his sixth chapter, beginning on page forty-two he is going to make a case that Uriah Smith’s book Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation, is the perfect representation of the pioneer understanding. His arguments in the chapter are incorrect and unbalanced, but that is not the point at this time. Here he is taking a position that Smith’s book directly opposes, yet in four chapters he is going to employ that very book to refute James White’s identification of the king of the north as the papacy.
Smith speaks of the Islam of chapter nine as follows:
“For an exposition of this trumpet, we shall again draw from the writings of Mr. Keith. This writer truthfully says: ‘There is scarcely so uniform an agreement among interpreters concerning any other part of the Apocalypse as respecting the application of the fifth and sixth trumpets, or the first and second woes, to the Saracens and Turks. It is so obvious that it can scarcely be misunderstood. Instead of a verse or two designating each, the whole of the ninth chapter of the Revelation in equal portions, is occupied with a description of both.
“The Roman empire declined, as it arose, by conquest; but the Saracens and the Turks were the instruments by which a false religion became the scourge of an apostate church; and hence, instead of the fifth and sixth trumpets, like the former, being designated by that name alone, they are called woes.” Uriah Smith, Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation, 495.
In contrast with Smith Gene says, “The Papacy not only created Islam, but also tries to control every move made by Islam as described in Revelation Chapter 9, . . .” Gene wishes us to understand that he is the one who is upholding the pioneer understanding of truth, for he began by employing Sister White’s counsel to believe on the “word” of the pioneers, but he has no problem rejecting their understanding of the trumpets. The Millerites believed the trumpets represented the historical forces employed by the Lord to punish Rome. Miller said it this way:
“The last three trumpets will claim our attention in this discourse; the first four having their accomplishment under Rome Pagan; to the last three under Rome Papal. These three trumpets and three woes are a description of the judgments that God has sent and will send on this Papal beast, the abomination of the whole earth.” William Miller, Miller’s Works, Lecture two, volume 8, 116.
Smith said it this way:
“The subject of the seven trumpets is here resumed, and occupies the remainder of this chapter and all of chapter 9. The seven angels prepare themselves to sound. Their sounding comes in as a complement to the prophecy of Daniel 2 and 7, commencing with the breaking up of the old Roman empire into its ten divisions, of which, in the first four trumpets, we have a description.” Uriah Smith, Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation, 477.
Gene builds a premise for his book based upon his upholding the pioneer position of prophecy, and uses Uriah Smith as the primary authority to attack James White’s position on the king of the north, (in spite of the fact that James White was a pioneer and Uriah Smith was not), but if the pioneers or Smith disagree with Gene’s false premises—he simply moves forward.
Chapter three is but two short pages, beginning on page twenty-two. The logic and conclusion is convoluted, to say the least. On page seventeen Gene states that, “Whenever God repeats anything three times it bears the stamp of divinity.” He makes this claim in his argument that Daniel eleven is to be applied literally, and his sentence is a summation of the principle that when it is there three times it is true. Yet in this chapter he informs us that the words “thy people” are found in Daniel 9:24 and 11:14, and that “those who have studied prophecy will agree that in those verses the reference is to literal Israel.”
He is making this point because he wishes to teach that Daniel 10:14 is literal Israel at the end of the world and not God’s modern Israel—Seventh-day Adventists. He acknowledges though, that in Daniel 12:1 the expression “thy people” means Seventh-day Adventists at the end of the world—so much for his rule of the stamp of divinity.
Daniel was a son of Abraham and so are Seventh-day Adventists. In this chapter Gene separates the narrative of Daniel’s last vision, which includes chapters ten, eleven and twelve. In Daniel 10:14 Gabriel informs Daniel:
“Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.”
Gene wishes to teach that Gabriel is here teaching a prophecy (the final verses of Daniel eleven) that describes what happens to literal Israel in the Middle East. Therefore when Gabriel says “thy people” it is to be understood as Daniel’s literal blood descendants, yet in the identical vision I Daniel 12:1 “thy people” are Seventh-day Adventists. “Thy people” means two different things in one vision?
Sister White informs us that the same line of prophecy that is located in Daniel is taken up in the Revelation.
“Revelation is a sealed book, but it is also an opened book. It records marvelous events that are to take place in the last days of this earth’s history. The teachings of this book are definite, not mystical and unintelligible. In it the same line of prophecy is taken up as in Daniel.” Manuscript Releases, volume 8, 414.
Consistency informs us that Daniel’s people in the Revelation are to be found in chapter seven. Employing Gene’s logic the one-hundred and forty-four thousand must be literal Jews.
In chapter four Gene attacks the work of Louis Were who opposed Uriah Smith’s erroneous interpretation that the king of the north was Turkey. In this chapter Gene lifts up the reputation of Walter Veith and Bob Trevz and their modern commentary upon conspiracy theories to show that Islam was an invention of the papacy, and therefore based upon Veith and Trevz’ expertise in conspiracy theory, Uriah Smith’s application of Turkey as the king of the north is upheld. This type of reasoning is almost at the level that it is unfair to evaluate. Since when is truth established because your favorite preachers say so?
Gene opposes the idea that it was foundational that the king of the north was the papacy, informing us that he has never found a pioneer who taught this concept. He forgot to address the very first publication in Adventism (A Word to the Little Flock) where James White (pioneer) identified the papacy as the king of the north. The following is James White:
“Michael is to stand up at the time that the last power in chapter 11, comes to his end, and none to help him. This power is the last that treads down the true church of God: and as the true church is still trodden down, and cast out by all Christendom, it follows that the last oppressive power has not ‘come to his end;’ and Michael has not stood up. This last power that treads down the saints is brought to view in Revelation 13:11–18. His number is 666.” James White, A Word to the Little Flock, 8.
Let it be noted that when this very first Adventist publication was printed James and the other Millerites still incorrectly understood that the second beast of Revelation thirteen was the papacy. So James is here informing us that the last power of Daniel eleven, the power that “comes to his end” is the papacy. The very first publication in Adventism marked the king of the north as the papal power.
I wonder if the first publication in Adventism could be considered a foundational publication. Would it be possible that James White still remembered when Uriah Smith first introduced the false teaching that Turkey was the king of the north, that in the 1840’s the pioneers understood the king of the north as the papacy? If he did remember at that time that he used to believe that way, it might explain why he publically opposed Smith for introducing a new teaching that opposed a fundamental pioneer tenet.
Concerning her husband Sister White stated:
“I was shown that his relation to the people of God was similar, in some respects, to that of Moses to Israel. There were murmurers against Moses, when in adverse circumstances, and there have been murmurers against him. . . .
“He has opened before me many channels of light, not only for my benefit, but for the benefit of His people at large. He has also given my husband great light upon Bible subjects, not for himself alone, but for others. I saw that these things should be written and talked out, and that new light would continue to shine upon the word.” Testimonies, volume 3, 85.
Chapter five is the primary attack against Lewis Were, for Were, in the 1940’s and 50’s, presented the biblical logic which exposed Smith’s false positions on the king of the north and Armageddon. Gene has already been demonstrated that he is willing to call men who are not pioneers, ‘the pioneers we are to listen to’ and that he also is willing to remove parts of the Spirit of Prophecy to make his idea fit, so the best that can be said of his attack against Were is that there is no reason to trust Gene’s analysis, and you should therefore access some of Lewis Were’s books and read for yourself.
His attack against Were in the chapter is based upon what Gene identifies as Were’s flawed salvation theology. I have stated publically many times that Lewis Were has some very good insights on prophecy, but that I do not accept all that he teaches. I generally name three specific things where I disagree with Were, which are the “daily” in the book of Daniel, the 1335 and the close of probation. The point here is that even if Were held an incorrect view of salvation theology, this in itself is not evidence that he is wrong on the king of the north and Armageddon. It is simply Gene’s ad hominem attack.
In chapter six, on page forty-two Gene begins his historical evaluation of James White’s interaction with Uriah Smith’s position concerning the king of the north in Daniel eleven. His historical analysis is corrupted by his pre-conceived idea that the king of the north is Turkey.
On page forty-six Gene informs us that it was only James White who was rebuked by Ellen White for standing up at the end of Smith’s presentation identifying the king of the north as Turkey and then and there explaining why Smith was wrong and the king of the north is the papacy. The point here is that Gene throws into the discussion the claim that Ellen White only rebuked her husband, as if there would have been any justification for rebuking Smith.
Gene acknowledges, as does every historian I have ever read on this event that Ellen White did not rebuke her husband for teaching error concerning the king of the north, but because he opposed Smith’s presentation publically and thus provided opportunity for controversy to be introduced into the church. How is it that Smith could be rebuked for creating the controversy? Smith simply presented his erroneous views on the king of the north. Gene subliminally wants us to remember that it was James, and James only that was rebuked concerning this event.
After citing the historian Arthur White who agrees that the rebuke to James was over conveying division among leadership, but nothing to do with whether White’s position that the king of the north was the papacy was incorrect, Gene blows right by the historical evaluation he is using to make his point and contradicts his historical authority. He states, “Whether the issue was unity or not, the fact still stands, Ellen White rebuked her husband and not Uriah Smith which would be totally out of character for a wife to do, except the fact that she was a true prophet.”
Uriah Smith had not stood up and argued against a sermon just delivered by James White. Had he done so, he no doubt would have been rebuked by the prophetess. Gene’s inference of this event is slanted to uphold his erroneous position. Even if the reader wishes to agree with Gene’s erroneous position, it is fairly easy to see he is being inaccurate with the very history and historical authorities he is citing.
Gene then quotes a passage from 1880 Signs of the Times where James White once again upholds the position that the king of the north is the papacy. In so doing Gene Brown claims that James must have forgotten the rebuke, thus inferring again that the rebuke was about James’ position concerning the king of the north being the papacy. James White had every right to publish his position upon the subject, for after the disagreement was public it was then necessary that all sides be considered. Her rebuke was not for James having a different position than Smith, it was for what he did at a meeting when Uriah Smith had just finished speaking. Gene is here placing another inference that is totally unwarranted and erroneous.
Then in the same line of argument on page forty-seven he quotes Ellen White once again and then totally misrepresents her words. She states in the passage, “I was shown that however true his views were. God did not call him to put them in front before his brethren and create differences of ideas.”
Gene then tells us that this passage means his views might have been false? Wow. It’s nowhere stated that way in the passage, yet Gene states, “‘However true his views were’ can mean that maybe they were true and maybe they were not true. . .’”
Gene then proceeds to employ Sister White’s endorsement of Uriah Smith’s book, Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation, to infer that this book represents the pioneer understanding of the king of the north being Turkey. The passage he cites is an important endorsement of Smith’s book, but it falls short of identifying that Uriah Smith was inspired. The historians of Adventism inform us that Ellen White’s nephew, Frank Belding asked Sister White if she thought Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation or Smith himself was inspired. Gene leaves that historical commentary out of his considerations. Her statement to her nephew was:
“In these matters you, my nephew, were not guided by the Lord, but were walking contrary to Him. When I talked with you in my own room at Battle Creek, you stated to me things you may have imagined were true, but they were false. You said you did as much to recommend my books as you did for other publications, but that you dared not make a specialty of my books lest others should say it was because I was your ‘Auntie.’ I was disgusted at this talk. Precious truth and light given to prepare a people for the great day of God had been left in obscurity, and this was the flimsy excuse offered. More than this, you said, ‘I have not known of one soul being converted through the reading of Great Controversy, and I have known many souls converted through Bible Readings. In the same talk you said, ‘I do as much to sell your books as I do Elder Smith’s. You believe they are inspired, do you not?’ I said, ‘You may answer that question. I shall not.’” Manuscript Releases, volume 17, 110.
Ellen White’s consistent position on human authors was as follows:
“A brother asked, ‘Sister White, do you think we must understand the truth for ourselves? Why can we not take the truths that others have gathered together, and believe them because they have investigated the subjects, and then we shall be free to go on without the taxing of the powers of the mind in the investigation of all these subjects? Do you not think that these men who have brought out the truth in the past were inspired of God?’
“I dare not say they were not led of God, for Christ leads into all truth; but when it comes to inspiration in the fullest sense of the word, I answer, No. I believe that God has given them a work to do, but if they are not fully consecrated to God at all times, they will weave self and their peculiar traits of character into what they are doing, and will put their mold upon the work, and fashion men in religious experience after their own pattern. It is dangerous for us to make flesh our arm. We should lean upon the arm of Infinite Power. God has been revealing this to us for years. We must have living faith in our hearts and reach out for larger knowledge and more advanced light.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 33.
In chapter seven Gene introduces an outside historical document which upholds his thinking concerning the premise of his book. I have personally had in publication a book and a magazine that covers the last six verses of Daniel eleven for seventeen years. This proves nothing about whether what I teach is correct or incorrect, but simply identifies that it has been publically understood in Adventism that I have taken a position on the king of the north and Daniel eleven. Because of this friends and enemies have given me several articles, magazines and books concerning this passage of Scripture. Gene supplies one outside source in this chapter from Ministry Magazine in 1954, as if there haven’t been many other publications through the years that oppose his faulty idea.
At this point, when this chapter ends on page fifty-five, Gene still has not brought one biblical argument to prove why and how the king of the north is Turkey. He is basing his argument on Uriah Smith’s logic; though he doesn’t even spend time presenting Smith’s logic.
On page fifty-three he makes another case for literal prophecy by attempting to debunk what he thinks is an invalid biblical principle. That principle is that before the time period of the cross prophecy is to be understood in a literal application, but after the time period of the cross it is to be understood in a spiritual application.
He makes the argument that if there was to be a change from literal to spiritual in Daniel eleven it should come during verse twenty-two which is marking the cross. In verses thirty and thirty-one (in agreement with Uriah Smith) we see the transition from pagan to papal Rome. In verses fourteen through seventeen pagan Rome conquers Syria, the previous northern kingdom and is therefore established as the new king of the north. As the history of the verses proceed we see the fall of pagan Rome as the king of the north, but at the very time of the cross Paul informs us the mystery of iniquity (the man of sin—the papacy) was already at work. It was not until verse thirty-one that the papacy had fully overcome pagan Rome and began to fulfill its role as the king of the north, but it was at that time fulfilling the role as the spiritual king of the north. Even before that history in the year 330 the papacy had taken control of the city of Rome, which had been the seat of authority for the king of the north. Gene simply has not taken enough time to evaluate what those who he opposes actually teach concerning a subject. The fact that a man can raise questions against the truth does not change truth into a lie.
Gene sidesteps the entire theme of the great controversy which is based upon Satan seeking to place himself on the side of the north.
“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.” Isaiah 14:13.
“A Song and Psalm for the sons of Korah. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” Psalms 48:1–2.
It is a theme of the sacred record that Satan seeks to personate the true king of the north, and he employs the papacy to accomplish that work on the earth.
“To secure worldly gains and honors, the church was led to seek the favor and support of the great men of earth, and having thus rejected Christ, she was induced to yield allegiance to the representative of Satan,—the bishop of Rome.” The Great Controversy, 50.
Gene still has brought no biblical support for his position, yet continues to raise questions which have valid answers that he will no doubt never accept.
“The manner in which the Pharisees sought to evade the truth, and to turn the attention of the people away from vital lessons,—by starting questions that did not bear upon the subject,—is one in which the opposers of truth in all ages have taken refuge. Satan, who is proficient in all manner of arts for the resisting of truth, suggests to his agents plans whereby they may reject the counsel of God against themselves. He incites the opposers of truth to start false issues, to discuss questions that are not to the point, in order that those who are convicted and half convinced, may be turned aside from their investigation and acceptance of truth. Ever since the days of Christ there have been men whose attitude toward truth has said, ‘Depart from me, O God. I want not thy way, but my own way.’
“There are many who seek to evade the truth, to run away from the Lord. If they perceive that arguments are presented which will overthrow the opinion they have held; if they see that there is a possibility of their being convinced of some truth they have not advocated, and that they may be compelled to give up their resistance, and yield to the truth, straightway they flee from the influence of its propagators, in order that they may still walk in the sparks of their own kindling; but the Lord declares of this class, ‘They shall lie down in sorrow.’
“The messenger of heaven cannot hope to please those who are determined to resist the truth. Christ describes them as saying, ‘We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.’ Whatever course the messenger may pursue, it will be objectionable to the opposers of truth; and they will make capital of every defect in the manners, customs, or character of its advocate, in order that they may prevent those from giving it their candid attention who would listen to the evidences. If there is anything through which the opposers can find occasion to falsify the character or misinterpret the action of him who presents the truth, they will take advantage of it to deter those who would accept and obey the truth from hearing or believing the message.
“The Lord sent messages to his people through the agency of patriarchs and prophets, in order that the evils which existed in his people might be corrected. Had it been possible for them to discern the traditions and interpretations of men from the truth of God, there would have been no need of sending the message of the prophet; but this was not possible; for the maxims of the world were woven into their teaching as the warp is with the woof, and the commandments of men were regarded with more reverence than were the commandments of God. Man-made theories pass from one to another, and the doctrines of men, like evil leaven, work actively till the whole lump is leavened. When the Lord sends a message, he gives sufficient evidence to convince the honest in heart of its truth; but those who would resist the truth call for greater evidence. Should the Lord give them a greater evidence, it would only make their opposition more determined.” Review and Herald, October 18, 1892.
In chapter eight Gene ignores inspired counsel again. He applies the “glorious holy mountain” to literal Israel. The holy mountain at the end of the world is God’s church, not literal Jerusalem. This is an absurd claim of Gene’s, but consistent with his logic.
“How many there are who feel that it would be a good thing to tread the soil of old Jerusalem, and that their faith would be greatly strengthened by visiting the scenes of the Saviour’s life and death! But old Jerusalem will never be a sacred place until it is cleansed by the refining fire from heaven. The darkest blot of guilt rests upon the city that refused the light of Christ.” Review and Herald, June 9, 1896.
What is glorious and holy about literal Jerusalem?
In chapter nine Gene assembles passages from Ellen White to endorse Uriah Smith. He once again conveys his erroneous belief that Smith was a pioneer, though he wasn’t. The slant he places upon this presentation is faulty and purposely designed to reach the hearts of those who are unwilling to investigate another man’s claim of truth, and also those who are inclined to follow the influence of men. There is nothing in this chapter or perhaps the whole book that would qualify as biblical analysis.
In chapter ten Gene takes a passage where Sister White states that S. N. Haskell’s book on Daniel did not accomplish what she had hoped for and attempts to suggest that maybe it did? In this chapter he not only calls Haskell a pioneer, he calls him “a prominent pioneer.” Haskell was only “prominent” as a pioneer in the sense that he was not a pioneer. He only stands out prominently in a grouping of pioneers in the sense that he was not one himself. This argument by Gene is a wresting of the inspired commentary by Ellen White and a misrepresentation of sacred history.
In the opening chapter Gene lifted up Haskell, Smith and A.T. Jones as representative pioneers, though none of them were. Later he employs the reputations of Walter Veith and Bob Trevz (who aren’t pioneers either) to “restore” his “pioneer position of the king of the north.” These five men who were not pioneers are Gene’s primary argument against the position of James White and Lewis Were concerning the king of the north. Gene’s book is simply not a valid biblical or historical study.
Of these men only James was a genuine pioneer, and Gene admits James White opposed Gene’s premise that the king of the north is Turkey. But this fact does not dissuade him from his premise, which is that Turkey was the true pioneer understanding of the king of the north. Gene never proved his point. He didn’t even get close.
In chapter eleven A. T. Jones is employed as a pioneer witness to Gene’s opinion, though A. T. Jones was not born until six years after the pioneer movement ended in 1844. I suppose if we were to insist often enough that a walnut was a watermelon, there would be some people that would begin to think it was true.
In chapter twelve Gene here presents Uriah Smith’s logic and begins to conjecture some possibilities he thinks. I say it this way for he still has brought no biblical evidence to support his various claims. He has simply chosen to state that he believes what Smith taught, so based on that here is what Gene thinks. Prophecy is of no private interpretation.
If the king of the north were Turkey Gene should be able to demonstrate conclusively from God’s word that this were true without the commentary of anyone, even if it were a genuine pioneer of Adventism.
In chapter thirteen Gene continues his thinking, thus teaching that when the sixth plague states that “the way of the kings of the east might be prepared” those who hold that the king of the north is the papacy and follow the erroneous teachings of Lewis Were will believe this is the Second Coming. This is of course patently false. The way for Christ to come being prepared is not His Second Coming, and I have never heard anyone teach that. Have you?
I got in trouble with an Adventist attorney some years back who was defending (through email, not legally) a Sister who had written a book on prophecy, that when I was asked for my opinion I responded that “that her book should be burned.”
This attorney was highly agitated that I would actually make such a public statement about his friend’s book. He threatened to sue me and ended our drawn discussion by employing foul language against myself. He still finds it an easy matter to attack me over the internet. So maybe I should have learned?
Gene’s book is less than poor when it comes to defending his premises based upon God’s word. The most you can say is Gene wishes to use Uriah Smith to uphold his private interpretation. His book is based upon his evaluation of personalities in past history. Since when can this type of argument be anything more than an anecdotal to a systematic presentation? The book is human conjecture that is void of any biblical argument. It twists not only history but Inspiration to suit its own agenda. This book should be burned!