Pickle Publishing "Jerusalem Built Up"
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A Response to the Video:
Seventh-day Adventism, the Spirit Behind the Church

by Bob Pickle

Answers to Questions Raised by:
Mark Martin, Sydney Cleveland
Dale Ratzlaff, The White Lie
. . . and
Others

Discern Fact from Fiction


Her Predictions and Views

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#30 & #31: "It's a matter of historical record that the following prophecies of Ellen G. White did not come true as she foretold. 'Then I was pointed to some who are in the great error of believing that it is their duty to go to Old Jerusalem, and think that they have work to do there before the Lord comes... I saw that Satan had greatly deceived some in this thing... I also saw that Old Jerusalem never would be built up...' Early Writings p. 75. The exact opposite of Ellen White's prediction has happened. Old Jerusalem has been greatly built up in the years since 1948 when Israel became a nation. She was absolutely wrong."—Sydney Cleveland.

#30: Her prophecies did not come true. Not one valid example is given by Mr. Cleveland in the discussion that follows.

#31: Her prediction about Jerusalem not being built up failed. Her words are being misconstrued.

A similar statement found on page 136 of her book Maranatha has this modern-day note attached: "Written in the early 1850's when 'the age-to-come' advocates taught that old Jerusalem would be built up as a center of Christian witness fulfilling certain prophecies of the O.T." Support for this meaning of the phrase "built up" can be found in the February 28, 1856, issue of Review and Herald. It gives the following statement which it goes on to refute:

ISA.liv,1-10. The expressions in this chapter cannot refer to the New Jerusalem; the same that has been forsaken, desolate, &c., is to be built up in the future age. (See Age to Come, by J. Marsh, pp. 66,67.)—J. H. Waggoner, "Objections Answered," p. 169.

In the May 7, 1857, issue, Alvarez Pierce wrote:

There is no one that regards the Sabbath here, yet there is one family right on the immortality question, but otherwise they are on the "Age-to-Come" doctrine, and that I cannot endorse. I believe that when Christ comes it will not be to restore the carnal Jew, and to build up old Jerusalem, but it will be to take vengeance on his enemies.—p. 6.

In the 1842 third volume of Miller's Works, Miller says, "Although our Judaizing teachers tell us the Jews are to be built up again, I believe them not."—p. 67. He didn't say "Jerusalem." He said "Jews." He's not talking about the number of buildings. Rather, he's talking about the Jews and Old Jerusalem occupying an extraordinarily special place in God's workings either in the last days or during the millennium.

The phrase "built up" is also found in the Psalms: "The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel" (Ps. 147:2). What might this mean?

As pointed out under #17, the Millerites firmly believed in the Pauline teaching of spiritual Israel. Such concepts were inherited from them by the early Seventh-day Adventists. Thus, those who accept Christ were viewed as being grafted into Israel:

And if some of the branches [literal Jews] be broken off, and thou [a Gentile], being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree . . . . Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. (Rom. 11:17-20)

So what would Psalm 147:2 mean to a Millerite or early Seventh-day Adventist, if they had viewed it as a prophecy for the last days? It would have been considered a prediction of the gathering together of all believers, both Jew and Gentile, into either the New Jerusalem or the church.

Old Testament prophecies concerning literal Israel's return to Palestine were generally seen to be fulfilled when the Jews returned from Babylon in the sixth century BC. As Miller put it,

As it respects the Jews return, I say there is not a text, promise or prophecy, written or given of God, [p. 33] which was not given before their return from Babylon, and I believe was then literally fulfilled.—Miller's Works, vol. 1, p. 233.

Many feel that Jerusalem will be a center for God's activities in the last days, and so will disagree with the statement of Mrs. White that Mr. Cleveland quoted. But then it becomes an issue of a difference in theology rather than a false prophecy.

Encyclopædia Britannica has this to say in its article on Jerusalem: "By the mid-19th century half of the city's population was Jewish, and it was expanding beyond the walls."—"Jerusalem: History: Modern Jerusalem." Since Jerusalem was indeed inhabited, inhabitable, and growing when Mrs. White wrote the statement in question, the alternative meaning of the phrase "built up" is in order.

The simple fact is that Jerusalem is still not "built up" in the sense she was using the phrase. Until it has been, this statement by Mrs. White cannot truthfully be called a false prophecy.

A Response to the Video

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