THE TWO MOVEMENTS IN PROPHECY
The Exodus movement was based on a definite time prophecy given 422 years before it began. Genesis 15:12-16. The 400 years include the time of their sojourn in Canaan as pilgrims and strangers in a strange country, after Abraham returned from his first journey into Egypt, and the Lord renewed to him the promise that Palestine would be given to him and his seed forever. (Genesis 13). This is made clear in the Samaritan Pentateuch rendering of Exodus 12:40, 41. "In the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan." There is no contradiction even in the Authorized Version for at that time Egypt was the ruling power of the world and Canaan was a part of the Egyptian Empire. It was part of "the land of Egypt."
Journey Into Egypt
The exodus out of Egypt indicates a former ingress into Egypt. This took place when Jacob and his sons moved into Egypt because of the famine. While they sojourned in the land of Goshen they multiplied and became a great tribe or nation. But their mingling with the heathen Egyptians was detrimental to their own religion. There came a great apostasy or "falling away" from the faith of their fathers, the faith once delivered to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In their contact with the pagan gods and false worship of the Egyptians they lost their knowledge of the true God and His truth. They gradually adopted heathen customs and finally worshiped heathen gods and forgot the God of their fathers.
While the Egyptians worshiped many gods, their chief god was the sun. In fact all other gods were various manifestations of the sun-god and his creative power in nature. In "defiling themselves with the idols of Egypt" they worshiped "the host of heaven." Ezekiel 20:5-8; Acts 7:39-42. When the children of Israel forgot the Creator and began to worship the creature, they also ceased to celebrate the sign of the true God and the memorial of His creative power, the Sabbath. As the true Sabbath gradually lost its significance to them they gradually adopted its counterfeit, the sign of idolatry and the memorial of sun-worship.
The Solar Holiday
The Egyptians dedicated the first day of the week to their first or chief god, Amon Ra, —the sun. Since the king of Egypt was the chief pontiff of their religion and the high-priest of sun-worship, he took the dynastic title of Pharaoh which is the Hebrew rendering of Ph Ra—the sun. The Sun's Day finally became known as Sunday, "the wild solar holiday of all pagan times."—The North British Review, Vol. 18, p. 409. "It is not to be denied but we borrow the name of this day from the ancient Greeks and Romans, and we allow that the old Egyptians worshiped the sun, and as a standing memorial of their veneration, dedicated this day to him. And we find by the influence of their example, other nations, and among them the Jews themselves, doing him homage.—Dialogues on the Lord's Day,—Morer, pp. 22, 23.
By the end of the fourth generation the Israelites were in such dense darkness and idolatry that they were but little better than the Egyptians themselves. They were at least semi-pagans with but little left of the faith and practice of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Exodus movement was therefore a reformation to lead Israel back to the knowledge of the true God; back to "the faith once delivered to the saints."
Started on Time
The Lord through Abraham not only foretold the length of time His people would remain in the bondage and affliction of Egypt, but also the time and generation when they would be delivered and the Exodus would begin. He also predicted that the affliction and persecution would be the worst just before the deliverance. Pointing to this great time prophecy, Moses doubtless told the afflicted Israelites that deliverance was not only near but that "this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." The generation did not pass without seeing the time prophecy fulfilled and the Israelites on their way out of Egypt toward the promised land. The time was so long that doubtless many were tempted to "cast away their confidence" and give up all hope of deliverance.
Why the Delay? Genesis 15:16
"For the guilt of the Amorites is not yet full."—Moffatt. "When the sins of the "Amorites will be complete."—Fenton. The Amorites were the most powerful and distinguished of the Canaanitish nations and is here used to represent them all. The nations in possession of the promised land must be given time to repent before they could be dispossessed by the Israelites. This is the chief reason why the Lord led Israel through the wilderness instead of the direct route so the inhabitants of Canaan could hear of their coming under the leadership of the God of heaven and of His mighty works in their behalf, so that they would repent of their sins and be saved. It was their last opportunity and had they accepted it they would have been spared and remained forever with the Israelites in their own land.
Instead of welcoming the Israelites as the people of God they fiercely attacked them and this was the last act of resistance and rebellion which sinned away their day of grace and closed their probation. They began their attacks soon after Israel crossed the Red Sea and did not even wait till they reached the borders of Canaan. They harassed Israel all along their journey, cutting off the feeble and infirm. Their final destruction was an act of mercy on the part of God. Their "iniquity was full" and there was no room for mercy. "The Amalekites had long been high-handed sinners, and their crimes had cried to God for vengeance, yet His mercy had still called them to repentance; but when the men of Amalek fell upon the wearied and defenseless ranks of Israel, they sealed their doom."—P.P. 300.
Modern Israel had a pure faith in apostolic days. It was the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Galatians 3:6-9; John 8:39. Every false and pagan plant that was not of divine origin had been rooted out of God's garden or church. Matthew 15:13. But there came a gradual apostasy or "falling away" from the "faith of Jesus" and the apostles. 2 Thessalonians 2:2-7. The church gradually adopted worldly customs and practices and finally drifted so far into Egyptian or pagan darkness that the "light of the world" was extinguished in the "Dark Ages." Modern Israel went down into modern Spiritual Babylon and became so conformed to her customs and doctrines that the mark of distinction almost disappeared. They lost their Christian characteristics and became at best semi-Christian and semi-pagan.
The apostolic church in its pure faith was loyal to God and His law. They worshiped the Creator and observed the memorial of His creation, the Sabbath. In Babylon they gradually lost sight of the Creator and became worshipers of creature-gods. They, therefore, forgot the Sabbath of Christ and the apostles, and adopted the heathen day of the sun, or Sunday. "The taking over of Sunday by the early Christians is, to my mind, an exceedingly important symptom that the early church was directly influenced by a spirit that does not originate in the gospel, nor in the Old Testament, but in a religious system foreign to it."—Dr. H. Kunkel, in Versteendniss des Neue Testament, p. 76. This foreign religious system from whence Sunday came is paganism as represented by Babylon.
"The Gentiles were an idolatrous people, who worshiped the sun, and Sunday was their most sacred day. Now, in order to reach the people in this new field, it seems but natural, as well as necessary, to make Sunday the day of rest of the church. At this time it was necessary for the church to either adopt the Gentile's day, or else to have the Gentiles change their day. To change the Gentile's day would have been an offense and a stumbling-block to them. The church could naturally reach them better by keeping their day."—Three Prophetic Days, Wm. Frederick, pp. 169, 170. They had so far departed from the faith of the apostles that they would rather offend God than their heathen neighbors.
Seven time-prophecies, some of which were made more than 500 years before Christ, gave the time God's people would remain in the darkness and bondage of spiritual Babylon, and also the time when their exodus back to Zion would begin. See Daniel 7:25; Revelation 11:2, 3. For 1260 prophetic days or literal years, the church would be subject to the authority of the "beast" under the papal head, and would be afflicted and persecuted. The most bitter persecutions came near the end of the period. Matthew 24:20, 21. While the reformation began before the end of the 1260 year period of papal supremacy the Advent movement proper, which was to call God's people all the way out of Babylon, did not start till about 30 years after the close of the time prophecy. This is significant in the light of the fact that while the preparation for the exodus of ancient Israel began before the close of the 400 years, the movement itself did not leave Egypt till 30 years after the close of the predicted period of their bondage. Exodus 12:40, 41.
Began on Time. Daniel 8:13, 14; Revelation 14:6-14.
The Investigative judgment and the Advent movement were to begin and did begin at the same time, at the end of the 2300 years. The Advent movement arose in fulfillment of time prophecy and started on time. While the proclamation of the second advent message started several years before the close of the 2300 years, the movement proper in its threefold aspect, as described in Revelation 14, did not start till the very year 1844, when a company of Adventists began to observe the Sabbath. That was the beginning of a world movement that has now reached almost every part of the globe.
The Advent movement is a reformation to bring God's people out of Babylon and all the way back to the faith and practice of Christ and the apostles, "the faith once delivered to the saints." It is the closing phase of the Reformation which began in the 16th century and which prepares a people for the second advent of Christ. Victory must be gained over all the customs and practices of Babylon so that God's people are a separate people. Revelation 18:1-5; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.
Full Cup of Iniquity
The probation of the world cannot close so that the saints can "inherit the earth" and occupy the territory of the modern nations, until they have filled up the cup of their iniquity. This is one reason for the delay in the fulfillment of God's promises to the Advent people. They cannot have possession of the promised land (this earth in its redeemed state) until the inhabitants of the earth have rejected the last call and sinned away their day of grace. "With unerring accuracy, the Infinite One still keeps an account with all nations. While his mercy is tendered, with calls to repentance, His account will remain open; but when the figures reach a certain amount which God has fixed, the ministry of His wrath commences. The account is closed. Divine patience ceases. There is no more pleading of mercy in their behalf."—Vol. 5:208.
The Records Closed
God keeps a reckoning with the nations. Through every century of this world's history, evil workers have been treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath; and when the time fully comes that iniquity shall have reached the stated boundary of God's mercy, His forbearance will cease. When the accumulated figures in heaven's record books shall mark the sum of transgression complete, wrath will come, unmixed with mercy, and then it will be seen what a tremendous thing it is to have worn out the divine patience. This crisis will be reached when the nations shall unite in making void God's law.—Vol. 5:524. See also P.K. 535.
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