Part 5


REPLY TO A CHARGE-In a recent undated newsletter, William H. Grotheer, wrote about a visit which he and his youthful associate (Allen Stump) paid to our place approximately a year ago. I quote him as follows:

"A discussion of Luke 21:24, 'the times of the Gentiles was introduced by Brother Stump. To each question asked, the reply of Ferrell was, 'In my opinion this' and 'in my opinion that.' Finally, Brother Stump asked .'Would you mind giving me Bible references to substantiate your opinions?' At this, Ferrell reared up in his chair, and shouted at Brother Stump. 'You are not going to put me on the spot. If you don't like my answers, you can get up and get out of here.' Brother Stump was taken by surprise, and replied, 'Brother Ferrell, if you had asked me to give a Bible answer for my belief, I would have been glad to give it.' Again Ferrell's response in an even louder voice. 'If you don't like my answers, get out of here.' We did, and Ferrell escorted us to the car, and jogged back down the incline to his office."-Watchman, What of the Night? Vol. xxv, No.7.

Here is what actually happened on that occasion:

Grotheer and Stump knocked on the door, and Grotheer said they were in the area and that Stump had suggested they stop by and visit for a few minutes.

Over the years, in his newsletters Grotheer has disparaged nearly every individual or group, which has sought to stand for the truth in these last days including the faithful retired ministers in Australia who opposed Ford Colin Standish, Ron Spear, John Adam, Joe Crews; and even the little schools, such as Wildwood. But I decided that, surely, he would not be able to twist a brief, friendly visit to my place into something sinister.

So I invited them in and we sat down and the conversation passed to several matters. (It should be mentioned that, throughout the entire conversation, neither of them quoted or referred to any Bible texts, other than Luke 21:24.) I was careful in my words, but friendly. Then, Stump changed the subject and told me to explain Luke 21:24. [". . and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. "] (That is the verse used by Grotheer in an attempt to support his theory that the 1967 Israeli six-day war marked the end of probation for the Seventh-day Adventist Church.)

Seeing no value in trying to enter upon a full-blown effort to convince either of them that Grotheer's pet theory was in error, I gave a simple sentence-or-two reply in a  cheerful voice, and that was it. He pressed it again, but we did not carry on an extended discussion of the matter, as indicated by Grotheer.

So far it had been a friendly visit, and I saw no reason to change it into an argument. Stump's tone of voice indicated it could rather quickly degenerate into that. Much could have been said, but debate would accomplish nothing.

Yet I was surprised when, in reply, Stump said in an authoritarian tone, using the same device employed by Jehovah's Witnesses after they have gotten into your home: "Well, if you cannot defend your position from the Scriptures, then I will have to leave."

We had been having a friendly conversation, and, in one sentence he had switched it to an ominous threat. Such a response could seem childish, but the matter runs deeper than that. Religionists will come to your door (LOR, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, etc.) and enter as if on a friendly visit. Then they will use a similar threat to emotionally shake you down, so the conversation can be changed from a casual get-together, into one in which you are emotionally in debt to these strangers in your home. They make it appear that somehow you are the one who has done something wrong. So, in order not to offend these people any further, you let down your guard and, to assure them of your friendship, begin buying the theories they bring to you.

It is a way to take over people, and, frankly, I do not respect those who try to do it. You should not either, for they are dangerous.

Therefore I chose to reply in a matter-of-fact, but firm voice, "Well, if you want to leave, you may." With that, I immediately swiveled my chair toward Grotheer, who was sitting at a right angle to us, and in a friendly tone, asked how he was doing. As I turned toward him, a triumphant smile was on his face. Then he spoke, intending to turn the conversation back to his Luke 21 theory: "The treading down of Jerusalem by the Gentiles ended in 1967. How do you explain that.

To me that statement was humorous, in light of the fact that as it has for centuries Jerusalem since 1967 has continued to have Jews, Muslims (Arabs), Armenians. Copts, and Christians living in and walking about within its city limits. In fact, the Jews primarily live in the north and west suburbs of Jerusalem, and Muslims, Greek Orthodox, Christians, and Armenians, along with some extreme orthodox Jews, comprise a majority of the inhabitants of the city within its old walls. Most Jews are unwilling to live on its narrow streets in dank, poorly ventilated houses. They prefer the 20th century houses and broad streets and lanes found in the suburbs of Jerusalem.

But more: since the relative peace of the six-day war, hundreds of thousands of Gentile visitors tourists from all over the world (Europeans, Americans, Japanese, Australians, South Americans) have walked the streets of Jerusalem and trodden upon its sacred Temple Mount, the site of Solomon's Temple (which, in the days of Christ, no Gentile dared step foot upon).

And still more: the Arabs permit only their two Muslim temples on the Temple Mount. The treading down continues. Yet that is the heart of Luke 21:24; that is what it talks about; that is the signal that the predicted change has occurred: when the treading down of Jerusalem by Gentile feet stops!

At Grotheer's question, I leaned back, clasped my hands behind my head, and replied cheerfully, "Well, since 1967 there has been a lot of treading down of Jerusalem by the feet of thousands of Gentiles." Grotheer wanted a discussion, so it appeared it was about to begin. Recognizing that that one reply-alone-was enough to essentially demolish his theory that the treading down had ceased in 1967; Grotheer sprang to his feet as though he had been hit by something and, as fast as he was able, he went to the door without saying another word. He did not want Stump to catch the import of my reply.

Stump and I followed along behind, and as we went I cheerfully asked Stump how old Grotheer was. The conversation had terminated so quickly, that the young man seemed perplexed as to what had happened. In a chastened voice, he said that Grotheer was 68. Then he spoke to Grotheer, In front of us, and dutifully asked him if it was all right to tell me that. I continued conversing happily as though nothing had happened, and walked with them to the top of the hill. Grotheer continued saying nothing. As they were driving off, I waved goodbye, and then ran back down the hill to the office.

If you would like an extra copy of Jerusalem and the Mount-Part 1-3 [WM-393-395], which replies to Grotheer's theory in detail (although I did not mention him by name in that study), ask for it when you write. Luke 21:24 predicts a future historical event. In that study, I used both Bible and history (nearly 4,000 years of it) to reply to Grotheer's Luke 21 :24 theory, and show that that verse will not be fulfilled until "He come whose right it is" Jesus Christ at His Second Advent. (Ezekiel 21 :27) I published that in-depth analysis (Jerusalem and the Mount), in May 1992. It will provide you with a fascinating review of the entire history of that city, so central to the three major religions of mankind.

OPINION VS. FACT-Yes, I gave Mr. Stump my "opinion." I have written thousands of pages, yet I am not ashamed to say it. Whatever I say or write is only my opinion. Whatever you say or write is only your opinion. The closer we get to Inspired Scripture, the closer we get to fact. But we do not arrive at it until we are actually reading it!

Only prophets of God give facts. Even our observations of nature, history, and science may not be correct. For example, what you read in Great Controversy is historically accurate; what you read in this present tract may not be.

The more we recognize our own fallibility, the less likely we are to try to coerce others into accepting our beliefs. Men would do well to throwaway all their theories, and just read the Word of God. Sin began in heaven when Lucifer decided he could know truth apart from God.

The Jews will never regain true governmental control of Jerusalem until they have the authority to rebuild the Temple on the Temple Mount. And that they will never have, since the Temple Mount and its two mosques constitute one of the three holiest shrines in the Muslim world. The Jews may manage the city, but it will never really belong to them until they are free to rebuild the Temple. They know it, but are helpless to change the situation.

Over the past 25 years many meetings have been held to consider ways to do it. Architectural plans have even been drawn up. But the Jews dare not move forward with those Temple plans. Instead, they must content themselves with worshiping at the foundation stones which undergird the Mount. Not the restored Temple but the wailing wall, the same stones before which their ancestors stood and prayed for centuries, must continue to be their sacred place. They well know that millions of Muslims throughout the Near East, Asia, and Africa would arise and go to war, to stop such a desecration: a Jewish worship center on that summit; their third holiest place after Mecca and Medina.

The entire city of Jerusalem continues to be "trodden down" underfoot-trodden by the Gentiles. So the prophecy of Luke 21:24 has not yet met its fulfillment. It is as simple as that.

If you want to see Grotheer change the subject quickly, mention that point to him. He will begin quoting Maxwell, a theology book, someone's sermon, Greek, or something else. But he cannot answer to the fact of everyday conditions in Jerusalem. Go there and see for yourself. By Jewish decree in 1967, the Gentiles continue to tread underfoot every holy place and everything else in that city. To pacify the Muslims, that 1967 law issued immediately after the six-day war had ended declared that men and women of every race, nationality, and religion could go throughout the city. And they do it every day. Thus we have, not only an issue of treading down, but also of governance and ultimate control: the Jews have not yet been permitted to rebuild the Temple on the Temple Mount. Therefore they have not "returned to Jerusalem," in a true sense of governmental ownership. Their efforts to regain control of the city will continue fruitlessly, on down to the coming of Christ.

Luke 21:24 will not be fulfilled until the return of Jesus, "whose right it is."

THE CONTINUING CRISIS IN JERUSALEMOn May 15, 1967, Israel celebrated the 19th anniversary of independence with a small parade on the edges of Jerusalem. But, unknown to its leaders, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan decided that that day would be the beginning of the end for the Jews in Palestine. As 50,000 Egyptians moved up from the south, and 12,000 Syrians headed southward from the north, a station in the Old City of Jerusalem, Jordan Radio broadcast this message to the Jews: "The day of reckoning has come." The six-day war quickly followed, the details of which are outlined in our tract study, Jerusalem and the Mount.

Golda Meir, in her autobiography My Life, later wrote: "The State-was facing the greatest threat it had known. . only a thin line of brave young men stood between us and disaster on the Canal and Golan Heights for the first two or three days. But at the start they had no chance. "-Golda Meir, My Life, pp. 353, 360.

Israel was confronted with one of the largest combined standing armies in the world: 800,000 men, over 2,000 tanks, 150 antiaircraft missile batteries, 2,000 heavy guns, and 500 front-line planes. A near holocaust ensued.

But the situation changed. Six days later, on October 24, Jewish forces were within 20 miles of Damascus, and occupied 300 square miles of Syria proper. Jerusalem and the West Bank had been entirely taken. On the south, the Jews had taken the Sinai peninsula, all the way to the Suez Canal.

In 1918, a British Foreign Secretary told the Jews: "You know, I believe that when the guns stop firing, you may get your Jerusalem." Forty-nine years later the Jews finally became managers of, what had become, a gigantic Gentile treading ground. For, never before in history were so many non-Jews tramping through town, as in the last half of the 20th century.

Yet the Jews still cannot really call it theirs. For centuries, they drank the toast with their wine at Yom Kipper: "This year, and always, Jerusalem!" Yet Jerusalem, now under their commandants, is still not theirs. For they cannot restrict the footsteps of the Gentiles from the holy place on the Temple Mount.

Through the ages, Gentile merchants and travelers have always passed through Jerusalem. Luke 21:24 is speaking about a restriction of their feet from the Temple Mount. Since A.D. 70, Gentiles have walked on the Mount; they still walk there; 1967 changed nothing in regard to that factor.

"We have taken the City of God. We are entering the messianic era for the Jewish people. Rabbi Shlomo Goren, senior chaplain to the Jewish forces at the Wailing Wall in October 1967.

But David Ben Gurion put it more bluntly:

"We, who are standing on the threshold of the Third Temple, would not be as patient as their fathers." Only when the Third Temple is erected on that holy hill can the city be theirs. But that structure will never be built. Millions of Arabs come to pray at the shrines on the Temple Mount, commonly called the Dome of the Rock, and they will not give it up. To the Arabs, it is the sacred Haram es-Sharif, from which Muhammad is said to have flown to heaven on a winged horse.

But to the distraught Jews, who nominally control the city, it is the sacred Mount Moriah, which Abraham journeyed to with his son Isaac.

Those thirty acres have been the focal point of Jewish religion for thousands of years, yet it continues to be denied them. Never again will they place a temple on its brow. A.D. 70 marked the end. "Your house is left unto you desolate" (Matthew 23:38), Jesus said. And it is so. "Looking down the ages, He saw the covenant people scattered in every land, 'like wrecks on a desert shore.' "-Great Controversy, 21.

They will continue to be scattered to the end. Jewish leaders are so disheartened over their inability to regain the Temple Mount, that they have not even gone ahead with plans to erect the substitute $10 million, 1,700 seat "Great Synagogue" in the heart of the new city (to the west of the walls of the old city), next to the Heikhal Shlomo, Israel's chief rabbinical offices.

Read chapter one of Great Controversy carefully. The destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple occurred because of disobedience to the Law of God. Restoration of both could never come without heartfelt repentance and obedience, which the Jews, in their blind rejection of Christ, refuse. It is also a powerful symbolic prophecy of the destruction of a disobedient world at the end of time. For the Jews to be able to reverse the prophecy without corresponding repentance and obedience, would nullify the predicted destruction of the disobedient at the Second Coming.

"The Saviour's prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfilment, of which that terrible desolation was but a faint shadow. In the fate of the chosen city we may behold the doom of a world that has rejected God's mercy and trampled upon His law."-Great Controversy, 36.

Jerusalem in its totality will never be restored to the Jews. Contrary to what Grotheer claims, the treading down will continue.

THE GREEK OF LUKE 21 :24- The Greek of this verse reads essentially like that of the King James Version: "And they-will-fall by-mouth-[edge] of-sword and will-be-Ied-captive into the [non-Jewish]-nations all, and Jerusalem will-be (being)-trodden-down by nations, until are-accomplished times of-nations."

Non-Jewish nations and their peoples will continue to tread down Jerusalem until the Second Advent, and their governments will continue to harrass Jerusalem and its governmental leaders until the Second Advent, in accordance with Daniel 2. (See the next part in this series for more on this topic.)

THE MIND-TAKERS-If someone hands you a paper or book, you may wish to take it home and read it. You may be invited to view a video or listen to an audiotape with friends you know. A speaker may arrive in town and you may decide to hear his message. Assuming that Ericksonian hypnotists are not at work, you may be able to quietly consider what is said. You remain free to think as you please about it.

But, in contrast, there is an ominous danger in placing yourself in a meeting with men who, after or without an Initial lecture-begin interrogating you, and demanding responses of agreement and commitment to their cause. Fear such men! They are dangerous.

They come to you with a carefully pre-planned set of teachings. Armed with a battery of arguments and quotations, they are determined to overcome your defense and change your beliefs and loyalties.

They are dangerous.

You are a normal individual, and, as such, are extremely unlikely to be an expert in the subject they are promoting. You need to time to hear, and then return home to pray and consider it further. But these professionals do not intend to give you that opportunity. They do not want God to guide you; they intend to do it themselves. We are told in the Spirit of Prophecy that whenever a man tries to control the mind of another, Satan always controls the mind of the controller. By virtue of the unlawful access he is trying to gain over another mind, he has given consent for Satan to take possession of his own mind.

These mind-grabbers work best in teams of two: First one will come at you and wear you down with questions and counter-arguments. Then he will sit back and rest for a time while his associate takes over. With every passing minute you are becoming more weary and confused. Back and forth they go. They do not consider you a friend, but merely merchandise to be taken and used for their own purposes. They want your obeisance and your money And they want you to lead them to more victims.

Beware of such men.

In their effort to later catch others, they will viciously attack your character. The LOR crowd regularly do it; others, using their methods, do the same. These men are not your friends. From day one they are your enemies. They live to conquer or destroy. If you can identify them ahead of time, do not let them in the door.

Let us say that someone asks you to come to his house to view an Osborne video. You may wish to attend. In doing so, you will have opportunity to think candidly about what is presented. After the presentation you may discuss it with friends, and then return home and compare Scripture with Scripture. Or you may sit down and thoughtfully read an issue of Firm Foundation. All is well. As always, you are on guard lest error be presented, but your mind is not being violated.

But when two or three men come to town to speak in small meetings, or knock at your door and ask for entrance, the situation may be far different. Beware when you find yourself in a gathering in which persuasive professionals begin working the audience as a whole, or singly, to accept and decide that same day. Beware. When you find yourself in such a situation, utter a warning to those present, then take your loved ones and depart!

Beware of men who seem more interested at sidestepping worthwhile replies, than in arriving at truth for truth's sake. Beware of those who seem adept at parrying points, switching from one thing to another, and determined to confuse and conquer you.

Get out of there.

Men will come to your home, to change proffered hospitality into a search-and-destroy mission. When you then find that they want to start you on a emotional roller coaster ride, spiraling downward into slavish acceptance of their errors; BE ALERT early on, and get off the ride! If it requires some aroused emotional speaking to get out of there or get them out, then pray and do what is necessary.

When God's little children speak to you, they exalt Jesus Christ and obedience to His laws. But when the selfserving converse with you, they are more likely to seek to entrap you in an artificial guilt trip, which they will then use to bring you into servitude. They try to spring your guard door, so they can walk past your principles and gain access to your soul. In it all, they may think they are only serving their own interests, but, unknowingly, they are polished instruments in the hands of Satan to serve his interests.

As I discovered when Grother and his associate came, some people are able to transform an open door and a friendly handshake into an opportunity to capture, or, failing in their objective, they may later vilify the one who managed to withstand their devices.

LOR UPDATE- LOR ("Lord Our Righteousness" Church, also known as Life Supports) is still at work making disciples. You will recall our extensive tract series on this in 1989 (This is LOR-part 1-5 [WD-50-55]). Wayne Bent continues on as its leader. From his headquarters in northern Idaho, he is sending out teams to catch the people of God. Some of these teams align with LOR and circulate Bent's literature; others, when asked, declare they have nothing to do with LOR and then present the same false teaching of instantaneous perfection. One team landed not far from here and soon after one of the team members was having intimate relations with a mother and wife in the local Adventist church, after he had converted her to LOR brand of "perfection" and "freedom from sin." Upon their arrival, they stayed in the homes of the local members, appeared very enthusiastic, and their message went something like this: "We have the true gospel. No, we're not in LOR or from LOR, but we have overcome all sin, and you can do so tonight by a single decision to unite with us. You will be eternally lost if you refuse to do so. We are sinless. This is your last chance."

For much more information on how the LOR teams travel the countryside, visiting small groups, using intense one-evening pressure and hypnotism to make converts, read the above named-tract set, which may still be available singly but will also be available in our tractbook, Offshoots.

Here are some of Bent's publications: Jesus: the Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail Against Him (188-page white softcover); His Only Gift: A Testimony (186-page blue softcover); Life and How It Supports You (136-page reddish soft cover). Tracts include his 8-page Lord Our Righteousness journal, and reprints from it; His Life Supports Study Guides, with such titles as The Harvest, The Testimony of the Son, What is the Son's Life Like? and miscellaneous tracts, such as God's True Church, and The Deer.

TROUBLE IN NEW MEXICO- "J S came to our area to give some talks, along with S S. These men have done a lot of damage in the short amount of time they were here. They speak against the Godhead concept, and greatly undermine faith in the Spirit of Prophecy writings. JS says he believes Ellen White was a true prophet of God, BUT that all her writings have been tampered with, therefore we cannot trust them. Using 1 John 4:3, he said that Jesus was only human and not divine, and did not have a human/divine nature and that anyone who disagrees with him is the antichrist. He also says that Christ did not exist from eternity. Any Spirit of Prophecy quotes that prove the contrary, he claims to have been changed." -New Mexico.

ANOTHER LETTER FROM NEW MEXICO- "Some of my friends have been taken up in a 'new' old heresy. Two teachers came two weeks ago, J- S and SS. They are teaching that (1) there is no Godhead. They teach that (2) there was a time when Christ did not exist. (3) Then He was begotten of the Father and was "made into" a god. (4) That when Christ incarnated, He was human only. (5) That the Father raised Christ from the dead by His power, not Christ's. (6) That the Holy Spirit is not a Person, but simply the spirit of the Father through Christ to us.

"I have about three dozen good Spirit of Prophecy quotations which contradict these teachings, but the new teachers said that, while they believe Mrs. White was a prophet, her writings have all been 'tampered with' and 'worked over,' so that we cannot now know her teaching on any doctrinal subject. Trying to argue with these people about the Godhead is like going at it with Jehovah's Witnesses. It's like talking in circles. They twist every verse around, so it does not say what it appears to be saying. -New Mexico.

Several years ago we compiled our Godhead tract specifically to answer these heresies about Christ and the Holy Spirit. Ask for a copy of that tract when you write (The Godhead-Part 1-2 [DH-201-202]). The Bible-Spirit of Prophecy truth is that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are equally, fully, and eternally divine in the fullest sense. They are three distinct Personages, existing from eternity past through eternity future.

Those believers who are willing to believe that the Spirit of Prophecy is unreliable will sooner or later go into Satanic error, and lead others there also. Your only safety will be found in believing and obeying the teachings of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. If you are not willing to do so, you have stripped yourself of your defense against Satan's attacks. True teachings will be found, not in the misapplication of a passage here or there, but in the obvious meaning of a number of statements. Yet is vital that we know for ourselves what is right, for those teachings are our life, health, and eternal safety.


After completing the first part of this set, I decided to add additional In-depth coverage of this special passage of Scripture.

THE GREEK OF LUKE 21:24- The Greek of this verse reads essentially like that of the King James Version:

Luke 21:24, Part One: "And they-will-fall by-mouth(edge] of-sword and will-be-Ied-captive into the [non Jewish]-nations all,"

Luke 21:24, Part Two: "and Jerusalem will-be (being)trodden-down by nations, until are-accomplished times of nations. "

The first half of Luke 21 :24 refers specifically to events in A.D. 70. At that time the Jews were led away captive. (They did not remain "captives" in the centuries which followed; the carrying away into captivity occurred in AD. 70.)

The last half of the verse applies to some point in these last days.

First, we will briefly analyze the six key words in the last half of Luke 21:24; then we will use the knowledge gained to answer some questions. (The Greek letters e" and "o" will be capitalized when they refer to Eta and Omega.)

JERUSALEM lerousalEm. In nearly every one of the 152 times it is used in the New Testament, the literal, earthly city of Jerusalem is indicated. Luke 21:5-6, 20-24 clearly refers to this well-known Palestinian city, and not to the New Jerusalem.

TRODDEN DOWN patoumenE from pateO. "Tread down or upon." This word can be used in two senses: (1) to literally walk upon, and/or (2) to ceremonially desecrate by stepping on a holy place, literally or figuratively.

In the New Testament the word is used 5 times: "tread" (Lk 10:19 tread on serpents; Rev 19:15 tread the winepress); "tread down" (Lk 21:24; 1 Cor 9:9 and 1 Tim 5:18 treading the corn underfoot); "tread under foot" (Rev 11:2 treading underfoot the holy city).

An interesting parallel word, not used in Luke 21:24, is katapateW. It has the stronger meaning of tread down or trample underfoot. It is used literally in Matt 5:13; 7:6; Lk 8:5; 12:1, and figuratively in Heb 10:29.

PateO in Luke 21:24 appears to refer to literal walking upon, with consequent defilement.

GENTILES ethnE (pl.) from ethnos. This word, ethnE (pl.), means people of the same type or race.

(1) In the singular, it means the "Jewish race" by itself (Lk 7:5; 23:2; Jn 11 :48, 50-52).

(2) In the plural (as found in Luke 21 :24), it means "nations," or "Gentiles," that is, "non-Jewish nations or peoples" (Matt 4:15; Luke 21:24; Rom 3:29; 11:11; 15:10; Gal 2:8).

(3) In several instances, it refers to non-Jewish converts to Judaism (Rom 11:13; 16:4; Gal 2:12, 14; Eph 3:1).

So by ethnE (pl.) in Luke 21:24 is clearly meant all the non-Jews who have walked the streets and Temple Mount of Jerusalem since AD. 70, and the vast hords of them who are today tramping its streets, and stepping on its holy place: Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians, Europeans, Americans, Japanese, Christians, Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Copts, and mixed-blood European, African, and Soviet half-Jews.

"Jerusalem will be trodden down by non-Jews, until the times of the nations are accomplished" (Lk 21 :24, Greek). The "times of the nations" ends at the Second Advent, as predicted in Daniel 2,not in 1967.

UNTIL achrl hou. Alone, achri can mean "even to, until, as far as." But when combined with hou, it becomes even more forceful. Jerusalem would definitely be stepped on, or desecrated, by non-Jews until a definite event: "the completion of the times when the non-Jews were placing their defiling footsteps" on the most sacred place of the Hebrew religion.

TlMES kalrol (pl.) from kalros. a specific measure or proportion; when used of time, a fixed or definite timespan. But sometimes it can mean "an opportune time" or "opportunity." The words of Luke 21:24 would favor the meaning of "until a definite time span is ended or certain event occurs." But please understand; no time prophecy is here intended, but rather a terminal event; that event is the end of the defiling steps of the Gentiles.

FULFILLED plErOthOsln from PlyroO. The root meaning is "to fill," or "fill up." In relation to time, "to complete a certain amount of time" (Mk 1:15; Lk 21:24; In 7:8). Acts 7:23 means "he was fully forty years old," rather than "about forty," used as a rounded number. Acts 9:27 "when two years were completely finished." So the allotted time span or type of condition or activity is completely ended when the promised event occurs. A cut-off paint involving a finality is here referred. That event will be the end of the defiling treading within the city.

That concludes our study of six key words. Now let us consider how that Information applies to several key questions:

How does Rev 11:2 relate to Luke 21:241 Luke 21:24 speaks about literal Jerusalem (21:5-6,20-24), whereas Rev 11:2 is not speaking about the literal city. Revelation 11, and the chapters surrounding it, are filled with symbols. Try reading Rev 11:1-2 and applying it literally, and see if you accomplish anything. Do it with the surrounding verses.

I suggest that "temple" in Rev 11:2 applies to the heavenly Sanctuary where Jesus has ministered on behalf of His people since before the time John penned the Revelation. Shortly after 1798 (when the 42 months ended), the most holy place of the heavenly Sanctuary would be opened (in 1844) as God's people rediscovered the importance of obeying the Ten Commandments and the Seventh-day Sabbath (Rev 11: 17, as explained in GC 433). We have already found that Luke 21:24 refers to the literal city, not to a non-earthly temple as described in Rev 11:2. Therefore I suggest the two passages (Rev 11:2 and Lk 21:24) are not related.

In addition, not only do the two spans of time refer to different things, but they end with different events. And there is more: the Greek of Luke 21:24 requires that a definite event occurs exactly when the span of time is completed (see "times" and "fulfilled," above). But Rev 11:2 would place that end in the year 1798, when the 1260 years ended.

Which meaning of "tread" applies to Luke 21:24? The two primary meanings are to step on with one's foot, or to trample down, PareO mainly uses the former, and katapateO uses the latter, But, since Luke 21:24 used paleO, it would appear the word in that verse probably means "step upon" in the sense of "walk upon" or ','walk upon, resulting in desecration," rather than "trample down to destroy,"

Does "Gentiles" In this passage refer to foreign national governments or to foreign peoples? If you check the 93 passages where ethnE (pl.) ("Gentiles") occurs in the NT, you will discover that each instance of its use refers to people, not to nations (bordered political nations, or national governments).

This is an important point. Our view of Luke 21:24 is that the "treading down" is by non-Jewish peoples as they step on and thus desecrate old Jerusalem and its holy place. In contrast, the alternative view is that a single foreign government took Jerusalem in AD. 70. Other foreign governments took it in later centuries, and the last foreign government was driven out by the Jews in 1967, thus ending the "times of the Gentiles."

But the word "Gentiles," as used in the NT, does not apply to a government, or even to a single nation. It applies to non-Jewish "peoples." In fact, rarely (if ever) does the New Testament single out the peoples of a single non-Jewish nation or race as being "the Gentiles." That term is applied to all the non-Jewish nations, taken as a whole. Recall again the striking fact, mentioned earlier, that ethnos (in the singular) only appears in the New Testament as applying to the Jewish people. In all other instances, it is in the plural (ethnE) and means all the non-Jewish peoples, taken as a whole,

So the times when the Gentiles are treading on Jerusalem and its holy place ENDS when non-Jewish peoples stop treading on Jerusalem and its holy places, NOT when one or several foreign governments, ruling the area, are conquered.

What is the meaning of "times of the Gentiles"? This is what occurs during the span of time mentioned in this verse, while they are foot-defiling the city. That span of time began in A.D. 70 (Luke 21:24, first part; read it again). It would end at some later time.

But, in what way did the "times of the Gentiles" actually begin in A.D. 701 This brings us to another important point. Verse 24 explains that it is when non-Jews began stepping in desecration upon Jerusalem. But a question remains here:

What was being stepped on in desecration? The only part of the city to which that would apply, would be the Temple Mount. Prior to A.D. 70, non-Jews (pedelers, travelers, merchants) had walked throughout most of the city for more than a thousand years, but not until AD. 70 did they walk on the Temple Mount. The key point here is that, strolling elsewhere throughout the city, would not be a desecrating act. So our attention tends to focus on the Temple Mount. What else would we focus it upon: Herod's palace? The Roman Pretorium? The pool of Bethesda? the Gate Beautiful? The shops and homes of the people? There was nothing else in the city which could be "desecrated." Read again chapter one of Great Controversy, if you would know which part of Jerusalem was sacred and able to be desecrated.

When did the "times of the Gentiles" end? Verse 24 provides us with that answer also: it ends when non-Jews no longer desecrate with their steps that part of Jerusalem, which their steps are able to desecrate. Never before in human history have so many non-Jews walked on the Temple Mount, as they do today. Call your travel agent, plunk down several hundred dollars, and your own feet can, within a few weeks at the most, be treading all over the Temple Mount.

Therefore, this stepping upon, treading down, or desecration of Jerusalem and its Temple Mount could not END in 1967. Absolutely not. All the prophecies point to the final Sunday law crisis, the investigative judgment, the final judgments upon Babylon and its followers, and the Second Coming of Christ as the crucial climatic events of the future; they do not point to a one-week battle in 1967, the occupational results of which are still undecided.

Must that terminal point be a definite, final one? Yes, it must. The changeover is total, complete-and final, never to be thereafter reversed.

We have already found that, according to the Greek of this passage, the stepping on and desecration of the city and its holy place completely and fully ends exactly at a definite time.

But the 1967 event does not fulfill that specification (the six-day war only increased the problem, for tourism really boomed after its end); the Second Advent of Christ clearly does. Luke 21:24 turns our eyes toward-not a mid-east squabble of the Jews with three nearby Arab nations, but that majestic moment in history when Christ returns for His people, and the wicked are slain.

NEVER again after that return, will the wicked ever again set foot in Jerusalem. Why so? Because this world will be totally desolated by His coming, the wicked "nations" will be slain, and only wicked angels (and angels are not "nations") will remain. After the millennium, the replacement New Jerusalem will come down from heaven, and the nations will never again defile it with their steps! Yes, they will surround it, but they will not step inside it. Thankful! Thankful! Thankful! God will reign supreme, and His people with Him forever!

LUKE 21:24 IN THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY If you look in the E.G. White four-volume Index, you will find several references to Luke 21:24. But when you look them up, you will only find allusions to the A.D. 70 destruction of Jerusalem and the taking of the Jews into captivity. You will find not one instance in which Luke 21:24 is quoted. Then, if you turn on your CD-ROM, and check further, you will find that Ellen White never quoted that verse anywhere in her writings.

How can that one verse be so crucial, if it is not quoted even once in the Spirit of Prophecy? We can all agree that it is a significant verse, but it surely is not as important as some would suggest.

OUTLINE OF CONTEXT OF LUKE 21:24 An understanding of the surrounding verses should help us better understand Luke 21:24.

Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 essentially parallel one another. Yet the message of part two of Luke 21:24 is not found in either Matthew or Mark.

In the following outline, notice how Luke 21:24 fits into the overall historical pattern:

LUKE 21:5-6 Disciples show Jesus the gigantic stones of Herod's Temple and remark on their magnificence and durability. Jesus predicts that they will eventually be thrown down.

LUKE 21:7 The disciples inquire when the destruction of the Temple will occur.

LUKE 21:8-12 Jesus introduces the subject by briefly describing several future crises.

LUKE 21:12-19 He then warns them of the persecution they will experience.

LUKE 21:20 The promised sign of impending disaster to Jerusalem is given.

LUKE 21:21-23 He tells what the disciples should do when the city becomes besieged.

LUKE 21:24a The fall of the city, and the carrying away into captivity of the unrepentant Jews is foretold.

LUKE 21:24b The prediction is given that non-Jews will walk on top of the city's holy place for a lengthy period of time.

LUKE 21:25-26 Signs at the end of time are then given, warning-of the near approach of Christ's return.

LUKE 21 :27 The Second Advent of Christ is described.

LUKE 21 :28 The purpose of the Second Advent (to redeem His people) is explained.

LUKE 21:29-36 A parable and concluding warning is given.

Reading through the above outline again, and comparing it with Scripture, we find that, after the initial questions are asked by the disciples (21:5-7), Jesus briefly lists some of the problems His people will encounter in the centuries to come (21:12-20).

Then He returns to the beginning point: the destruction of the city itself. Note that the initial question was not about Jerusalem, but about the Temple area (21:5-7). So Jesus, in His Luke 21:24 discussion, first mentions the slaying of many Jews and the captivity of the rest. Then He tells the most terrible part of all: He has already told them that the Temple stones would be thrown down, but now He adds that the heathen would walk on the site for a long time thereafter! To the disciples, this must have been the worst tragedy of all. After each previous destruction of the city, the Jews had eventually returned and rebuilt the Temple. But not this time. He told them the tramping desolation would continue till the time came when non-Jews no longer overran the city and its holy place.

We are given no reason here why that time had to come before the Second Advent. There is no mention of a six-day war fought by the Jews.

Instead, Jesus briefly summarizes several primary signs of the end (21:25-26)and then Quickly brings the disciples face-to-face with that great event which would eliminate the "times of the Gentiles": the Second Coming of Christ Himself to redeem His people (21:27-28).

From the vantage point of the first-century understanding of the disciples, what could later abolish the Gentile steps from Jerusalem's holy place? Well, they might think that, perhaps, it could be a total rebuilding of the Temple, followed by a strict watching of the gates and walls surrounding it day and night, lest a Gentile enter it. The disciples might have thought that would be the fulfillment of Luke 21:24.

But Jesus had something far more grand in mind: The fulfillment of Daniel 2:44; 7:14, 22, 27 and Luke 21:24 would be the same! No pathetic barring of man-made gates and watching on the walls surrounding an earthly building. When Jesus told the Jews that their house was left unto them desolate, He meant it for all time to come. Because they refused to accept Him, their worship services were desolated to the end of time.

But we today are not in the first century. We have the vantage point of late-20th century viewing, and we also have Early Writings and Great Controversy on our shelves. We know modern history and see clearly that the Jews have only partly returned to Jerusalem. But more; that Jesus described the situation today with astounding accuracy: In Matthew 21:24, He did not predict that the Jews would not return to Jerusalem, for He knew they would; instead, He predicted that the trampling of Gentile feet on Moriah's height would continue on down to the very end.

The exquisite accuracy of that prophecy, in what it said and what it did not say, is astonishing.

Please, let no man now attempt to break the prophecy, by having it say what it did not say. In Luke 21:24, Jesus declared that, in Jerusalem it would be "business as usual" continual desecration of the Temple site from A.D. 70 all the way down to the Second Coming.

"And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." - Luke 21:24.

 CONTINUE PART 6- Trying to Give Jerusalem to the Vatican.