Commentary on "Walking in the Light:
Day 2: Sunday, August 2, 2009
Today's lesson deals with the phrase “the last hour” or “the last days.” As is pointed out in the lesson, these may be synonymous. Indeed, Jesus' arrival on Earth instituted a new era in the history of the world, an era that would conintue until the time he returns again. It is a clear lesson to be learned from all of the New Testament passages relating to the second coming that Jesus may return at any moment. In regards to this, the lesson makes the following statement:
What’s important to notice, however, is that John does not set a date, nor does he describe a precise chronology of detailed events that must take place before the Lord would come.
The teaching of the Seventh-day Adventist Church regarding the timing of certain events regarding the beginning of the Investigative Judgment on October 22, 1844, indicating a very specific and lengthy time prophecy that must occur before the Lord's second advent opposes the clear New Testament teaching of the imminence of the return of Jesus.
If the first advent of our Lord is the beginning of the last hour and the second advent is the end of the last hour, then various events in the intermittent time are irrelevant as regards his second coming. Of course we have the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost as recorded in the book of Acts. There are various events of the building of the church as recorded in Acts and the NT letters. But there is nothing of cosmic significance that must occur before the Lord returns. This very fact would indicate that there is one false teaching that is occuring within the SDA Church: the doctrine of the Investigative Judgment beginning on Oct. 22, 1844.
Not only does John not provide a “precise chronology of detailed events that must take place before the Lord would come,” but his fellow Apostle Matthew, recording Jesus' words, said in Mt. 24:23 "Then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or 'There He is,' do not believe him.” In light of this, to even say that Jesus is in a specific apartment of a heavenly sanctuary would be in violation of this specific command of Jesus. Of course, this does not preclude our ability to say that he is in heaven, or that he sits on the throne with the Father, but to go further than actual scriptural statements is to violate this teaching of Christ.
Although today's lesson is specifically dealing with the idea of the last hour, it has opened the door to a discussion that will continue this week regarding false teaching that is found within the church. At the end of the lesson for today, the question is asked: “How can we pro tect ourselves from these deceptions?” Of course the answer is that the Bible must be the final authority for all beliefs. We will address this specific issue further on Tuesday's lesson.
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