M.L Andreasen meets Victor Houteff (Part 2 of 2)

September 15, 2018

Image result for M.L Andreasen  Image result for victor houteff

Let’s review part one of our interview post. We found that the General Conference was basically firmly against the message of the Shepherd’s Rod. The leading men were against it from it’s inception when brother Houteff began to lead the Sabbath School lessons in 1929.

But the message did not fade away, for it gained such traction that the GC leaders needed a man to meet with Houteff and expose his movement as not of God. They had tried once before in setting up a meeting with VTH to “go over” his doctrines in a formal meeting. This ended in a total failure as the S.D.A leaders were later found out to have double crossed Houteff. This so called “get to the bottom of his teachings” meeting was smoke screen to show the gullible people that the teachings had been looked into and found wanting.

S.D.A and D.S.D.A historical accounts show that while this Los Angeles meeting was going on, GC leaders were back east in Washington D.C discussing strategies to put down the Shepherd’s Rod movement.

The man who they selected to “beard the lion” was M.L. Andreasen, the top respected scholar of the day.

Before we go further let’s review God’s word about how to tell if a movement is from Him.

“And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” (Acts 5:38-39)

The interview took place December 15th and 16th, 1942. Brother Andreasen arrived at the official headquarters of the Davidian movement, known predominantly at that time as the Shepherd’s Rod group or people. (Note: for those who may not be aware, the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists are NOT the Branch Davidians, those well known for the Waco disaster in 1993. See our post we made in 2012 for information on this often confusing subject)

https://godsloveandlaw.com/2012/11/17/original-davidians-are-not-branch-davidians/

The two men met and then soon went into the reception room and sat down for the discussion. Andreasen took careful notes and later sent a full report to headquarters giving his first hand account of the meeting. The full transcript can be viewed on the aforementioned book in part one. Brother Augustus has compiled a comprehensive historical account of this meeting along with much history between the S.D.A and the D.S.D.A (A link for the purchase of the book will be provided at end of this post)

After describing the place (Mt. Carmel headquarters) in his report he says “ The most satisfactory part of the interview concerned the matter for which the interview had been sought: that of confirmation on his part that the public statements published in the two volumes of the “Shepherd’s Rod” were still his belief and teaching.”

We can see that M.L was attempting to verify whether VTH had changed his mind about what he had written. To this Houteff responded, “We do not work that way. We do not claim the words are inspired , but the idea is. We do not change our teaching, and have not done so. What is published we still stand by and always will.”

Thus, M.L was firmly handed his response. But being sent by the GC and knowing his goal to accomplish, M.L wrote his report in a slant that was appealing to the higher-ups, and we don’t mean God. This will become clear as we review it.

As brother Augustus pointed out in his book, when one wants to make of no effect someone’s work or art, they usually first try to destroy their image, paint them in a bad light to lessen their impact as good people or their work as good works. In fact the message tells us this very same ploy —

“..since the Enemy cannot get around the Truth, he does all he can to blacken character and to pick flaws in personalities.” (General Conference Special, p.8)

So M.L begins early in his report to start this blacken character work. He points out that a certain disgruntled former follower “Hazel Hendricks”, had written a small book describing what she thought were error and falsehood in the SRod. But M.L. discussed the accusations of “whippings” and other terrible treatments of the young children on the grounds. But when M.L brought this up, VTH denied it and offered to bring the children right then and there to clear it. This was not pursued by M.L.

Quick note on Hazel. Sister Bonnie Smith, who is still proclaiming the message at 88, personally told this author aobut the last time she saw Hazel Hendricks. It was at a Sabbath lunch and the two discussed their past. Mrs. Hendricks confided in sister Bonnie, that looking back she made a mistake and regretted what she had done. To this sister Bonnie told her it was not too late to make amends, of which Hazel could never (as far as we know publicly) come clean and repent. So sad when pride hinders us!

After this unsettling blow, M.L decides to further deride Houteff. “The writings of Mr. Houteff, which I have examined for the last few months somewhat critically, bear the evidence of a confused mind. He gives some very fantastic interpretations of the Scriptures, sometimes quoting the writings of Mrs. White, and at other times giving no authority whatsoever, except his own inferred inspiration.

He then goes on to basically mock interpretations such as Ezek. 4:9-17, Isaiah 7:21-22. However, while noting them as “fantastic” M.L gives no other idea as to their meaning. Thus, M.L sits upon the throne of judgment and renders a judgment without reasoning! In other words, Houteff is wrong but he doesn’t know why. They are just “fantastic”.

Continuing on in his black report, he then says, “The truth is while the majority of persons deceived by the “Shepherd’s Rod” are people that this denomination is better off without, there are some we cannot afford to lose.”  Huh?? With a wave of his hand M.L. judges the thousands of people who accepted the Rod as unworthy! If this is not mounting the judgment throne, tell us what is? The plain God’s truth is that there should be MORE Davidians among us today! Those who walk the talk.

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matt. 7:1-2)

However, at this point Andreasen has his first reflective moment. He may have been dwelling on the call for reformation that the Rod declares, he says, “Honest people are led astray by the call of the “Shepherd’s Rod” to reform, and by their pointing out practices that we do not countenance, and which yet exist within the denomination. The only safe way to meet this is that we examine thoroughly the things that need rectification and make a determined   and honest effort to eliminate all that will not stand the light of investigation.

To me it seems entirely inadequate to denounce the “Rod” people for their many errors if we do not profit by criticisms made.”

Next he goes into lamentation about what the S.D.A church is lacking. At this point , there can be no doubt that during the interview Houteff has struck a nerve. As we continue this will become more prevalent.

“The field is divided  on the subject of the Trinity. The vital doctrine of the 144,000 has ceased to be preached. Fantastic theories in regard to war.Hitler, and the future are being promulgated. The battle of Armageddon is a present source of discussion, and unauthorized books appear. The ever present question of the position which sister White should hold among us is a prolific cause of difficulty.

Our stand upon religious liberty, noncombatancy, health reform, recreation, amusements, Sabbath-keeping, the nearness of the Lord, are being discussed and questioned. while some of these questions may seem less important, others are vitally  significant. The fact remains that, in the matter of Bible study, — I mean official, authorized study– we are doing very little…

Mr, Houteff raised, decidedly, the question of our lack of unity and our spiritual impotency.”

At this point we clearly start to see that M.L. is reflecting on brother Houteff’s points and if the S.D.A church condemns the Rod’s position on reforms, then it cannot stand innocent if what is said is the truth.

Continuing on about what the Rod teaches, he says, “The “Shepherd’s Rod” makes much of the buying and selling going on in our churches on the Sabbath. I do not think we can defend this practice. Indeed, we do not defend it, but rather condemn it, as our resolutions show. But the practice continues… For years we have been advocating the need for revival and reformation… I conceive it to be a duty of the church in its official capacity to take action in this matter.”

What we have here is Andreasen basically echoing what the Rod proclaims. Yet, he cannot bring himself to concur with the movement, lest he forget what his mission is. At this point M.L. reverts back to his blacken mission course.

“In the first volume of the “Shepherd’s Rod” publication, there is what is called a partial list of sins of the Adventist church. Twelve sins are mentioned. This list is enlarged in later publications. Some of these so-called sins are trivial, some are not so trivial. They themselves are guilty of most of them, and of many more. In reality, their whole movement is unwholesome, illiterate, presumptive and, I am afraid, corrupt and devilish. This , however, does not help our case any.” 

Blacken is the correct word we read here. M.L. is planting his seeds of doubt strong and unmistakable,  “unwholesome, illiterate, presumptive and, I am afraid, corrupt and devilish.” 

Yet no where in this report does Andreasen establish the Scriptural reasons for the so-called false doctrines. Nor does he explain why the movement is so “devilish”. It’s an unambitious  black charge for the sake of tarnishment. The same unholy works the S.D.A leaders have promulgated since the Rod came on the scene. Except this time the church thought they could use the “master scholar” as their testimony to the ignorant and unaware in God’s church. It back fired!

After letting his best blacken charge stand, mysteriously he again reverts back to acknowledging the Rod’s points. It seems a real spiritual struggle is going on within Andreasen now. He has been awaken by the “lion” whom he said he would “beard”, meaning expose and conquer in the written report. Now the lion has made him reflect and he finishes his report with a rebuke of the then current S.D.A church condition!

“If we answer one charge on which we are sure and omit others, we give them weapons against us which we can ill afford to give them. Should they merely list the things we must, of necessity, omit in our answer, this list will expose our weakness. The question, “why have we not answered all the charges” will naturally arise in the mind of the reader. And we are not prepared to answer them until we have done some housecleaning… the opinion prevails that the General Conference is not interested in Bible study as such; that it is each man for himself, with the General Conference a mere onlooker. 

I have not written this , brethren,  without some trepidation and fear and a great deal of prayer. I might consider it none of my business;and I should  not have rushed in where angels might well fear to tread had I not been asked to do investigate the “Shepherd’s Rod.” Having been asked to do this work, I knew I would have to make some kind of report. I feared that I would find some charges that I could not refute and, wishing to do an honest piece of work, I could not ignore them.  So I am in a dilemma…

If I were to write an answer to the charges of the “shepherd’s Rod”, I would have  to omit  some of the most serious indictments they level against us– charges of conditions which we ourselves deplore, but do little about. But to do this would invite defeat… The truth is, brethren that this denomination is ripe for a revival and reformation such as we have never seen, and we are all looking to you for its inauguration… There are sins in Israel that can only be corrected by men in official positions…

I believe that I am beginning to understand when sister White says, “I seldom weep, but now I find my eyes blinded with tears; they are falling upon my paper as I write.” …

Sincerely your brother, 

M.L. Andreasen”

Wow, what we have witnessed in this report is truly eye-opening! The great S.D.A savior who was to go into the “lion’s den” and come out victorious, instead came out as a dog with his tail between his legs! He conscience was greatly affected by this interview and thus he ended up making the whole case for the Rod movement–reformation!

Sadly, M.L. Andreasen never did accept the Lord’s Rod message (Micah 6:9 and Mal. 4:5) as far as we know. He became involved in trying to correct some of the wrongs within the S.D.A church in the latter years of his life and was largely an outcast for it. Plainly then it appears this interview, whom many believe was with the last prophet to be sent to the S.D.A church, dramatically affected him from then on.

The whole lesson here is that God works for his people and yet the leaders are often the very ones who reject the message God’s gives. Now is our time to work brethren, let us learn from this very important lesson God sent us.

“These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.” (1 Cor. 10:11)

(For those interested in brother Augustus’ book  —  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-every-seventh-day-adventist-should-know-about-the-shepherds-rod-garrick-d-augustus/1129276750?ean=9781491784006 )

 

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M.L Andreasen meets Victor Houteff (Part 1 of 2)

September 8, 2018

Image result for M.L Andreasen         Image result for victor houteff

 

In the annals of our church history stands out one of the most prolific , yet not well-known, one on one interviews the church has ever had. The man inspired of our Lord to hand the mantle to another man, yet unfortunately it would end in bitterness and anguish by one man. In this post we will review this historic account of Pastor M.L. Andreasen and Minister Victor Houteff. There is a BIG lesson for us here. Let us carefully look at this lesson sent by God for our instruction.

“… you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

Amen. Anytime we get closer to the Truth, learn it, discover it, challenged by it,  get surprised by it  -we MUST embrace it! For the Lord also warned us in the counter verse —

“He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them.” (2 Thes. 2:10)

By nearly all accounts Pastor and theologian Andreasen was a gifted man. Well versed in God’s word and given the ability to translate God’s word with motivating skill.

Briefly Wikipedia says —

“He was one of the Seventh-day Adventist church’s most prominent theologians during the 1930s and 1940s. Andreasen held to the belief that Christians can overcome sin, known popularly as Last Generation Theology, controversial for its views on atonement and salvation. Andreasen became well known for his protests against Seventh-day Adventist church leaders during the last years of his life.”

But what many do not know is that Andreasen’s change in dealing with the S.D.A church appears to be due, in a significant way,  to the aforesaid one on one interview.

Our story starts in 1928 when Andreasen authors one of the most profound books in our Advent history called “Isaiah the Gospel Prophet”.

Front Cover

Later in 1929 the subject of Isaiah’s chapters was the first quarter’s Sabbath School lesson. The lesson was largely based on Andreasen’s in-depth study of Isaiah.  In 1929  brother Houteff began to teach the Sabbath School lessons in Olympic Exposition Park S.D.A Church in 1929, Los Angeles. It is during that year that Victor began to see new understandings from this part of Scripture.

There is something different when you or I search the Scriptures, possibly being “inspired” by them or even led by them to know “all truth”. Yet when one is “chosen” of God it is on quite another level indeed!

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”  (2 Peter 1:20-21)

As Houteff explained the lessons, word soon spread among the church members, that something special was going on. For as the year went on the crowd began to grow sizeably and they began to have two lessons even after church. Yet the leaders were not so humble to accept new revelations.

Victor explains —

“The enemies of the message then left nothing unturned in their search for something against me, rather than to make sure that they were not turning down Truth.  They tried every hook and crook to pin something on me and to stop my activities, but found nothing and as a rule about 30 members of the church stayed in my special meetings each Sabbath afternoon.  Then came the time that the elders of the church refused to let us use the church for our meetings, and they made us all get out.

  But one of the sisters who was living in a big house right across from the church offered her place for the meetings, and there was a great uproar among the people around the church premises.  Some were for us and some were against us.  So it was that the house across from the church was filled that afternoon and many listened from the outside through the windows.  The enemies failed to break up our meetings, and the victory was ours.

   Next they forbade us to attend their church services, and they began to disfellowship those who still wanted to attend our meetings.  They tried to deport me, too, but failed.  Then they endeavored to get a court order against any of us going to the church on Sabbath, but lost out.  Once they called the police to have me arrested on false charges that I was disturbing the meetings, but after the officers in the police station heard my story and the deacon’s charges against me, he commanded the two policemen who brought us to the station to put us in their car again, and to take us right back to the church where they picked me up!

   After this the elders endeavored to put me in an insane asylum.  The “city manager” of Glendale himself (a Seventh-day Adventist) had come to this church that Sabbath morning to lay down the charges and to see me carried away and locked in the asylum.  After talking with me for a few minutes, though, the officer did nothing but to tell me that he would not bother me again!  Then the 200 lb. city manager felt smaller than my 135 lb. weight.

   They did all these unbecoming things and many others; besides, they talked and preached against me.  And though I had no one but the Lord to defend me at any time, yet in all these the victory was mine!” (Timely Greetings, vol. 2, no.35, p.23)

So no doubt the beginning of the Lord’s final message of “Elijah”(Mal. 4:5) began with strong headwinds. No doubt the great enemy , Satan, knew full well he must start his counter attack. Thus, this was the way that M.L Andreasen and other top leaders reacted , generally, throughout the Seventh-day Adventist community. Not so much with the laity, which to a sizeable decree, began to accept or at least acknowledge some truth within the message known as the  “Shepherd’s Rod”.

Soon the message had gained  enough traction throughout the denomination that the leaders were forced to hold a formal meeting with Houteff to review his teachings. This was known as the famous sit down meeting to once and for all look at the Rod. It was held in Los Angeles in February 1934. But, as might be expected, this meeting ended in a fiasco, with an unbelievable S.D.A double-crossing of brother Houteff. This is documented.

For an in depth review of what took place see this Tract–

http://shepherds-rod.org/Tracts/trac007.html

The message was not to be deterred. For several years after this charade of an honest “get to the bottom of the Rod” meeting, the Rod only grew stronger. Andreasen no doubt was one of the concerned leaders watching from the sidelines as the S.D.A could not put down the Rod movement . In December of 1942 he decided to get involved and on behalf of the General Conference to go out — “bearding the lion in his den”. Let us read the GC’s  file letter to Andreasen,

“Dear brother Andreasen: Just a line to say that the brethren still want you to write the reply to the Shepherd’s Rod, and they believe you are the man who is best qualified to do this work. .. The committee has voted today to authorize you to make a trip to the headquarters of the Shepherd’s Rod movement in Texas at such time as you are able to arrange for an absence from the Seminary, and spend as much there as you think wise..

We believe your idea of going out and ‘bearding the lion in his den’ is a very excellent one, and we are just glad to cooperate with you  in this matter and in any other way that we can  in order to make your work an outstanding success.” (File letter from W.H. Branson, General Vice-President -GC to Andreasen , July 30, 1942 *)

So because the Lord’s Rod message was doing its intended work in His vineyard, the SDA leaders continued their impeding work, and finally found, they believed,  their man to quash the movement by exposing its error and deception. Andreasen would not only be able to hold his own against Houteff, but would prove his “false theories” as just that–false.The great savior had been found to “beard the lion”!

But stop and think about this brethren, here you have a movement that announces ” .. the chief object of this publication  is bring about a reformation among God’s people. (SRod, vol. 1 preface)

The Davidians goal was to “reform” God’s people, in dress, worship, health, study habits, etc. yet the S.D.A church was getting a “man who is best qualified to do this work” whom they thought would put the movement down! The cronyism and club, the S.D.A hierarchy,  was not about to be overturned, by any movement, even by one from God!

….To be continued

( * thanks to brother Garrick Augustus for providing information used in these two part posts. His new book —  “What every Seventh-day Adventist should know about the Shepherd’s Rod” an in-depth book on the historical relations between Adventists and the Shepherd’s Rod movement)

The Death Decree (Part 2 of 2)

September 1, 2018

Image result for picture of death decree

In continuing our post we look at more references —

REFERENCE ELEVEN —

“..God’s restraining of the four winds is His holding back the image of the beast’s activity (Rev. 13:15-17) against the saints, while His restraining the four angels that they hurt not is His holding back the executing of His vengeance (Isa. 63:1-4; Jer. 51:18) upon the sinners who trouble the church, until after the sealing of the 144,000 is completed. Being coupled, these two hurtings bring the time of trouble such as never was.

   Revelation 7:1-3, therefore, reveals a two-fold conflict: wicked men against God (the blowing of the winds) and God against them (the angels hurting them).  But though the blowing of the winds and the hurting of the angels after the servants of God are sealed, will bring the “time of trouble,” yet “every one that shall be found written  in the book” “shall be delivered.” Dan. 12:1.

   From these facts we see that this time of trouble is held back in order to safeguard the sealing of the 144,000 servants, lest they, “the very elect,” be brought down to worship the image of the beast, or be killed for refusing.” (Tract 8, p.22-23)

Wonderful illumination. The winds held back and angels held back, we see, have two fold purposes.  The sealing was see is omni-important and it’s being done is primary before any letting loose of trouble (winds).

 

REFERENCE TWELVE —

“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Rev. 13:15-17.)

   This drastic decree of the two-horned beast shall be adopted by the nations of the world, and the image of the beast, which will demand obedience to an ecclesiastical form of worship, will be internationally set up.  The mark of the beast is Sunday observance.  Under one pretext or another, the careless and indifferent will worship the image of the beast, and receive the mark.

Only those who have fortified themselves with faith in God knowledge of His Word, and obedience to divine precepts through sanctification of the heart by the power of the Holy Spirit, will be able to escape the crutches of the devil.  When God’s people are restrained from buying and selling, their only source of sustenance will be through divine providence.  One way or another, for that short time, God will provide and care for His people.  But it may be in a similar circumstance as in the wilderness journey.

   “The time is not far distant, when, like the early disciples, we shall be forced to seek a refuge in desolate and solitary places.  As the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman armies was the signal for flight to the Judean Christians, so the assumption of power on the part of our nation, in the decree enforcing the papal Sabbath, will be a warning to us.  It will then be time to leave the large cities preparatory to leaving the smaller ones for retired homes in secluded places among the mountains.” — “Testimonies to the Church,” Vol. 5, pp. 464, 465. (SRod, vol. 2, p.110)

This one seems to warn the great multitude as it mentions heading to the “desolate and solitary places”. This as we know affects the great multitude ( at least part) and not the 144,000 who stand safe with the Lord on Mt. Zion (Israel).

REFERENCE THIRTEEN —

“The anger of the nations” will follow upon the two-horned beast’s decree “that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Rev. 13:15); at the same time the notorious woman, Babylon the Great, will ride the scarlet-colored beast (Rev. 17) and rule the nations. This “same crisis will come up on our people in all parts of the world.”–Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 395.

Concerning this anger of the nations, the world-wide confederacy against those who refuse to worship the beast and his image, the Lord predicted through the prophet Zechariah: “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” Zech. 12:3. ( Answerer, vol. 2, p.93)

 

REFERENCE FOURTEEN —

Question: 
   “Will the nominal churches be united, before the slaughter of Ezekiel 9, and before the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s message takes place?

Answer: 
   The churches may incompletely confederate almost any time, but the union of church and state (the image of the beast) will take place only after the “investigative judgment” of the dead is completed, for the fact that the “anger of the nations” (the time of trouble, Dan. 12:1), “the wrath of God” (the seven last plagues, Rev. 15:1, and the “time to judge the dead” (Dan. 8:14), are events separate and distinct, one following the other.” — “Early Writings,” p. 36.

   Therefore, the persecution against the church by the “image beast” arises in the time of the judgment of the living — the time of the Loud Cry — after the sealing of the 144,000. (Study our tract, “The Dardanelles of the Bible,” and “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 2, pp. 84-125.) (Sym. Code, vol. 2, no. 7,8, p.12)

One of the clearest reference for our timeline. The death decree must take place “in the time of the judgment of the living — the time of the Loud Cry — after the sealing of the 144,000.”

REFERENCE FIFTEEN —

“After twenty years of faithful service in Padan-Aram, in the sharp, overreaching employ of Laban, his uncle, Jacob at last turned his face and his steps homeward toward his father’s house in the land of promise.

   But trouble overtook him.  While grappling with his fears as to the outcome of his imminent meeting with Esau “there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.” Gen. 32:24

   Here lay down the man Jacob and rose up the man Israel, exemplifying the agonizing experience through which his posterity must victoriously pass before they, too, receive a new name, pass from sons of Jacob to sons of God, become Israelites indeed.  Having gained the victory over this test, “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” they will reach home, the land of promise — the happy end of their long and troubled journey.

   On this trying and testing time the Spirit of Prophecy comments: “A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance.  This was the time of Jacob’s trouble” — Early Writings, pp. 36, 37. (See also Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 202, 203.)  (SRod, vol. 1, p.62)

Our last reference is perhaps the most difficult to understand. The reason is that we know that the SRod seems to point the Jacob experience  as applying to the 144,000 in their way to the promise land (See FB, p.12-13) Yet SOP describes this time as applying to the Great Multitude. 

 

SUMMARY  —

The weight of evidence has shown the clear timeline of the “death decree” and likewise time of trouble. It will be after Ezekiel 9 and affecting the great multitude (Rev. 7:9) in the time of the Loud Cry
. The 144,000, those “escaped” from the S.D.A church judgment (Isaiah 66:15-21), will not be affected by this death decree. But we must keep in mind that there will be battles (God’s people versus Satan’s people) and no doubt many of His people will be tested and perhaps thrown in prison, yet preserved. The smart evil ones should know during this time by what the 144,000 are capable of doing, that they cannot be touched, let us read —

“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.  A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.

The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.

Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.

They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” (Joel 2:1-11)

So while the nations attempt to cause damage to those who do not “worship the beast”, the powerful counter movement will be in full gear led by God’s appointed “army” the 144,000. What a time to be alive, destroyers and  ” saviors” doing battle for the souls of mankind!

“Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.” (Obadiah 1:21)

The Death Decree (Part 1 of 2)

August 25, 2018

Image result for picture of death decree

 

One of our most well known S.D.A  theological subjects is the “death decree” of which the Spirit of Prophecy speaks when Governments will no longer protect dissenters from obeying their conscience in religious matters and in fact persecute and kill them if they do not conform to what we know as the  “Sunday Law”. Yet the timeline for this is often confusing when we look at both S.D.A and D.S.D.A understandings. Even among the D.S.D.A. there seems confusion.

Specifically we would like to analyze when this decree takes place and who is it against. But once again much like a puzzle, when we add up all the pieces (all the references) it comes into better focus. Let us look at this interesting yet solemn subject. We’ll post some helpful references and then comment after.

FIRST REFERENCE —

“As the decree issued by the various rulers of Christendom against commandment keepers shall withdraw the protection of government and abandon them to those who desire their destruction, the people of God will flee from the cities and villages and associate together in companies, dwelling in the most desolate and solitary places. Many will find refuge in the strongholds of the mountains. Like the Christians of the Piedmont valleys, they will make the high places of the earth their sanctuaries and will thank God for “the munitions of rocks.” Isaiah 33:16. But many of all nations and of all classes, high and low, rich and poor, black and white, will be cast into the most unjust and cruel bondage. The beloved of God pass weary days, bound in chains, shut in by prison bars, sentenced to be slain, some apparently left to die of starvation in dark and loathsome dungeons. No human ear is open to hear their moans; no human hand is ready to lend them help.

Will the Lord forget His people in this trying hour? Did He forget faithful Noah when judgments were visited upon the antediluvian world? Did He forget Lot when the fire came down from heaven to consume the cities of the plain? Did He forget Joseph surrounded by idolaters in Egypt? Did He forget Elijah when the oath of Jezebel threatened him with the fate of the prophets of Baal? Did He forget Jeremiah in the dark and dismal pit of his prison house? Did He forget the three worthies in the fiery furnace? or Daniel in the den of lions?

“Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands.” Isaiah 49:14-16. The Lord of hosts has said: “He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye.” Zechariah 2:8. [627]

Though enemies may thrust them into prison, yet dungeon walls cannot cut off the communication between their souls and Christ. One who sees their every weakness, who is acquainted with every trial, is above all earthly powers; and angels will come to them in lonely cells, bringing light and peace from heaven. The prison will be as a palace; for the rich in faith dwell there, and the gloomy walls will be lighted up with heavenly light as when Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises at midnight in the Philippian dungeon. (Great Controversy, p.626-627)

The decree here discussed is obviously the Sunday law decree, well known among us S.D.A. But notice who these people are. They cannot be the 144,000 as we know from our many present truth studies that they will be safely in the pre-millenial kingdom in Israel. In fact the message tells us all we need to know about these who run to the hills —

Question No. 37:

If God’s people are in the Kingdom during the Loud Cry, how can they be put in prison or driven to the mountains during that time, as the Spirit of Prophecy asserts they will (“The Great Controversy,” p. 626)?

Answer:

When it is understood that the 144,000 are but first fruits, the forerunners or advanced guard of a great multitude of second fruits, the difficulty in question is immediately resolved. The first fruits stand with the Lamb, safe on Mt. Zion (in the Kingdom). Thus those who shall find refuge in the mountains, and those who shall be put in prison, can only be from among the second fruits—those who shall accept the message during the Loud Cry, but who shall not yet at that time have reached the Kingdom. (See our Tract No. 12, The World Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, 1941 Edition, pp. 45-49.)

Thus we see that the Great Multitude (Rev. 7:9) , at least a portion, will be the ones who are affected by the death decree, This is a time after Ezekiel 9 church purification and in the time of the Loud Cry.

 

REFERENCE TWO —

“I saw the leading men of the earth consulting together, and Satan and his angels busy around them. I saw a writing, copies of which were scattered in different parts of the land, giving orders that unless the saints should yield their peculiar faith, give up the Sabbath, and observe the first day of the week, the people were at liberty after a certain time to put them to death.

Though a general decree has fixed the time when commandment keepers may be put to death, their enemies will in some cases anticipate the decree, and before the time specified, will endeavor to take their lives. But none can pass the mighty guardians stationed about every faithful soul. Some are assailed in their flight from the cities and villages; but the swords raised against them break and fall powerless as a straw. Others are defended by angels in the form of men of war.

Could men see with heavenly vision, they would behold companies of angels that excel in strength stationed about those who have kept the word of Christ’s patience. With sympathizing tenderness, angels have witnessed their distress and have heard their prayers. They are waiting the word of their Commander to snatch them from their peril. But they must wait yet a little longer. The people of God must drink of the cup and be baptized with the baptism.” (Maranatha – Page 269)

Once again we see that SOP mentions the decree in relations to those who flee the cities. Thus this is also showing the same people and same timeline.

REFERENCE THREE —

“The civil power is called to the aid of the Church in persecuting those who keep holy the seventh day. The Church and the world are united in trampling upon God’s commandments, and those who obey these commandments they threaten with death. John declares, “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” The decree goes forth that no man shall be allowed to buy or sell save he that has the mark or the number of the Beast.” RH JUL.16,1901

We see the same basic scenario –Great Multitude and after Ezek. 9 during the  Loud Cry. Further we know well as present truth believers that the dragon being “wroth with the  woman” can only be post Ezek. 9, when Satan is furious that he now must deal with God’s powerful team of angels and servants who will ultimately bring him down . He no longer has his agents in the church, they are no more.

REFERENCE FOUR —

“Though God’s people today shall go through a “time of trouble such as never was” (Dan. 12:1), when earthly tribunals shall cause to come to pass “that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Rev. 13:15), yet the Word declares: “…at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Dan. 12:1.

   O what a promise and what assurance!  Who can comprehend God’s mighty power, and the glory of this long awaited deliverance?  Those who at all do, and who fully trust in the Lord will, for the good of His people, “go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.” Heb. 13:13.

   In thus pursuing a course against all earthly favor (by proclaiming the message of the “hour”), they will be going “forth as sheep in the midst of wolves” (Matt. 10:16) — “seeking death.”  And although happy to “die” for Christ’s sake, or, as the Revelator puts it though they “shall desire to die,” the promise is that “death shall flee from them,” making it impossible for them to die.  Even the sword of the wicked that is raised to kill them, shall break and fall “as powerless as a straw” (Early Writings, p. 34), making them utterly invincible.” (Tract 5, p.77)

This is our first Rod reference. We see that the timeline is clear –after Ezek. 9. The time when Michael shall stand up (Dan. 12:1) is definitely after the church purification. But here we are not given great clarity whether it’s the GM or the 144,000, although it looks more like the GM.

REFERENCE FIVE —

“David’s victory over the giant against whom no one was able to make war, typifies the victory of the church (the house of David — Zech. 12:8), in the “time of trouble such as never was,” over the beast and his image (antitypical Goliath), concerning whose formidableness the Revelator asks: “Who is like unto the beast?  who is able to make war with him?”  The giant, Goliath, accordingly, represents those who now defy the servants of God, and who shall comprise the Image of the Beast, that  religio-politico system which shall defy the armies of the Lord, and issue a decree “that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name…and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Rev. 13:17, 15.”(Tract 8, p.58)

The evidence is mounting as to the timeline , once again we see that this decree comes during the time “that  religio-politico system which shall defy the armies of the Lord” issues their decree. This is post Ezek. 9 and during Loud Cry. We do notice that this decree is going against the “armies of the Lord” which would include the 144,000 and the Great Multitude. 

REFERENCE SIX —

“The beast’s being driven by the woman, Babylon clearly reveals three important truths: first, that the call of God’s people to come out of Babylon (Rev. 18:4), is a call for them to come out from among the nations that are symbolized by the beast which she is driving (ruling); second, that the called ones are to come out from her sin-filled dominion because it is to be ruined by the plagues; and third, their coming out necessitates their going into a place where sin does not exist and where there is no danger of the plagues’ falling.  Thus their coming out of her dominion must be their going into God’s kingdom.

   Then the warning against receiving the mark (Rev. 14:9-11), along with the call to come out will be repeated with an exceeding loud cry throughout Babylon’s dominion.

   Both those who find themselves in her dominion, and those who find themselves out of it, must then immediately decide to receive the seal of God instead of the mark of the beast if they want to escape the wrath of God.  To do this, the former class must come out of her, and the latter class must stay out of her.  Despite the death penalty for taking such a stand (Rev. 13:15), there must be no hesitancy or indecision on the part of either class.

   Those who are in Babylon must heed the Voice which says: “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev. 18:4.  And those who are out, must carefully heed the warning: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” Rev. 14:9, 10.

   The light on this subject will spread as fire in stubble until it finally illuminates the whole earth (Rev. 18:1), and all who walk in its blaze will have their names placed in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  They will find deliverance from the Enemy’s  last determined effort to plunge the world into the bottomless pit of eternal ruin.  For them, said the angel, “shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children  of thy people…and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Dan. 12:1. (Tract 12, p.36-38)

No doubt this is during the Loud Cry and certainly concerns the Great Multitude. Being Loud Cry servants the 144,000 are not described here, as we know they do not need to come out of her dominion (they are Commandment keepers since before Ezek. 9).

REFERENCE SEVEN —

“.. when this sealing work is completed, then the angels who hold the winds, will let the winds blow, and the angels who are to hurt the earth, sea, and trees, will then commence their given work.  Otherwise stated, to let the winds blow, is to permit the two-horn beast to decree “that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Rev. 13:15); and to let the angels hurt, is to allow the Lord’s decree to take its course: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” Rev. 14:9, 10. (Tract 15, p.61-62)

Ah this is very helpful. Notice that the “winds blow” represents the Sunday Law containing the death decree! And they will not be let loose until after the 144,000 are sealed in their forehead. Notice also it says that the winds blow after sealing completion. Obviously we  know that the Sunday Law develops and the 144,000 will do their Loud Cry warning PRIOR to the death decree. So as there may not be much time delay for the winds to let loose right after the 144,000th servant is sealed, there will be some length of time from the winds loosed to the death decree.

REFERENCE EIGHT —

 

“And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 

  “And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.” Mic. 4:1-4. 

  Conclusively, therefore, the Kingdom-church  must be “set up” before the Devil turns upon the remnant, those who are left behind and who are then being gathered, and against whom he wars for refusing to worship him in the person of the beast and his image (Rev. 13:15). 

  In this cumulative light, one sees never so clearly that though the Lord is to allow  persecution to come anew upon His people in Babylon, He will do so only to serve His own end to cause them to get out of her dominion (as He caused His ancient people to get out of Egypt), and to go into the Kingdom-church–the only place on earth where there will be no sin and upon which the destruction of the plagues will not fall.” (See Revelation 18:4). (2 Answerer, p.16-17)

 

The picture is starting to come into better focus now. We see that the 144,000 servants are to “set up” the Kingdom -church PRIOR to “the Devil turns upon the remnant” These are the ones who are “His people in Babylon.” Thus, these are part of the Great Multitude and obviously in the time of the Loud Cry.

REFERENCE NINE —

“The scarlet colored beast is also controlled by the woman riding on his back (church and state).  Thus it denotes that she is the authority, or the crown, for she rules the beast.  This is one of the reasons why the crowns are absent on this beast.  The last is an image of the first verifying the fact that the scarlet colored beast represents the “image of the beast” period, fulfilling Revelation 13:12, 15: “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 

And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”  The difference between the two drastic systems is revealed by the two symbols (horn-head on the one, and the woman riding on the other).” (SRod, vol. 2, p.113-114)

Clear once again. The “image of the beast” period” is the time of the death decree.This does not happen pre-Ezek. 9.

REFERENCE TEN —

“As the 144,000 are to go through the time of the anger of the nations — the time of trouble such as never was — as well as through the time of the wrath of God and yet be preserved for translation, and as the anger of the nations must take place in the time of the judgment of the living as shown in the preceding paragraphs, it follows that Michael is to stand up in the time of the judgment of the living and deliver His people from the anger of the nations — the time of trouble — or else it would be impossible to preserve the lives of all the 144,000; proving the fact that a change is to take place at the commencement of the judgment of the living — Michael is to stand up for His people, take the “reins in His own hands” (“Testimonies to Ministers.” p. 300) and deliver “every one that shall be found written in the book.”

May God’s people be aroused by the Good Shepherd’s voice now and place their names in the “book” by sighing and crying “for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof,” so that when the trouble bursts out — “when the overflowing scourge shall pass through” — they may find shelter.

   The anger of the nations being in the time of the judgment of the living — in the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message — their anger is against God’s people, not against each other nation otherwise the statement in “Early Writings,” p. 36 could not be correct, for the nations against each other have been and are angry; for instance, the world’s war took place in “the time of the judgment of the dead.”

   “The anger of the nations” will develop by the decree that the two-horned beast is to enact “and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Rev. 13:15), for the fact that all the nations will follow in the footsteps of the two-horned beast and “the same crisis will come upon our people in all parts of the world” (6 T 395) showing that this “anger of the nations” is a world-wide confederacy against God’s people as predicted by the prophet Zechariah: “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” (Zech. 12:3.)  (Sym. Code, vol. 2 no. 2, p.4-5)

Same as the others  the timeline is still Loud Cry period. But here we see that the decree is more open as to who it affects and lends credence to both the 144,000 and the Great Multitude.

This concludes part 1 of our study. Next week, Lord willing,  we’ll conclude with part 2 and a summary.

 

 

Winning the Struggle

August 18, 2018

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In Early Writings, page 269-270 we read —

“I saw some, with strong faith and agonizing cries, pleading with God. Their countenances were pale and marked with deep anxiety, expressive of their internal struggle. Firmness and great earnestness was expressed in their countenances; large drops of perspiration fell from their foreheads. Now and then their faces would light up with the marks of God’s approbation, and again the same solemn, earnest, anxious look would settle upon them.

Evil angels crowded around, pressing darkness upon them to shut out Jesus from their view, that their eyes might be drawn to the darkness that surrounded them, and thus they be led to distrust God and murmur against Him. Their only safety was in keeping their eyes directed upward. Angels of God had charge over His people, and as the poisonous atmosphere of evil angels was pressed around these anxious ones, the heavenly angels were continually wafting their wings over them to scatter the thick darkness.

As the praying ones continued their earnest cries, at times a ray of light from Jesus came to them, to encourage their hearts and light up their countenances. Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud.

The angels of God left these and went to the aid of the earnest, praying ones. I saw angels of God hasten to the assistance of all who were struggling with all their power to resist the evil angels and trying to help themselves by calling upon God with perseverance. But His angels left those who made no effort to help themselves, and I lost sight of them.

I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people.

I saw that the testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance; all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified.”

There is absolutely no doubt about it, those who take the battle field (spiritually) are to be engaged in a true struggle, a battle, at times “struggling with all their power to resist the evil angels and trying to help themselves by calling upon God with perseverance..”

Yet how few of us S.D.A engage in this battle! Let us look at a beautiful example of someone who went through the struggle and is pulling out ahead.

Sister M has been an Adventist for many years. We became friends several years ago and we even did a post about her circumstances here–

https://godsloveandlaw.com/2015/08/15/a-deadly-rumor/

But things have changed and we have great joy in updating the situation.

The Lord says that His people shall be gathered “one by one”. 

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel.”(Isaiah 27:12)

And He further  expressed more light in this hard and tough struggle to get His people to come aboard His last message of truth —

“There shall not come hither the fear of briers and thorns: but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle.” Isa. 7:25, last part.

   The vineyard’s being digged with the mattock signifies that the beginning of the work of reformation will progress slowly and that it will require hard labor, but that each “hill” or church locality being digged will become a place “for the sending forth of oxen.”  In brief, at this particular time He will be sending missionaries into His neglected vineyard (church) instead of into the Gentile world.

   Though the work, moreover is to have a small hard, mattock-like beginning it will gain speed and will emerge from the mattock stage into the ox-plow stage — the stage which will see all the believers of Present Truth (except the “lesser cattle”) unitedly go forth to dig or plow other “hills” until all the thorns and briers shall be uprooted  throughout the land, the ground broken up, and the vineyard restored even beyond its original excellency.” (Tract 6, p.39)

Thus right now as workers we know very well, its TOUGH to be involved in this work. Not only are we pressed from “dark forces” but from our own! A double whammy at times!

But in our case, sister M did not give up despite being surrounded by evil forces to discourage her to quit studying, to ignore the Truth, she preserved until this week we heard from her and our joy was great.

No longer was she doubtful or wallowing. She confessed that she had “seen the light” which can only be the Spirit of Truth ” leading her (John 16:13).

To expound on her story a little more. She first learned of the Rod message by way of a DVD we handed about Daniel 2. She came over to our house and we watched it together. She was quite impressed, asking good solid questions like “Why are we not told of these truths in our SDA church?”

Then as our prior post showed the evil ones went on full mode attack, knocking her down (spiritually). So much so that she soon looked at me very suspiciously. But she continued to want to know the truth. To her credit she did not stop studying and wanting to know Truth.

Later we began to talk more and I mentioned that there was an older man, brother L, who was 86 and still believing the Lord’s Rod message, I put them in contact via phone. Over a period of weeks the two of them had several conversations and she began to slowly come out of her paranoia. She’d call and tell us that she was quite interested in knowing more. Well, as providence would have it soon her sister became ill in New York.

She mentioned to me that she was going to New York for a few weeks to help her sister out. I asked exactly where? The location was only about 1 hour from one of the headquarters of the SRod message — Mountain Dale , New York. I made arrangements to get one of the leaders there, brother J, to contact her when she arrived.

This was God moving in her life! The two hit it off and had numerous studies of the present truth message. Soon sister M was calling and telling me she was beginning to see the true light of the Lord’s Shepherd’s Rod (Micah 6:9 and 7:14).

Then after she moved back, sister M was no longer doubtful but quite interested in knowing more. The Lord’s Spirit of Truth guiding indeed!

“Do not sit down in Satan’s easy-chair of do-little, but arise, and aim at the elevated standard which it is your privilege to attain.” (Testimonies , vol.1. p.241)

You see brethren we all play a role in helping others to come into His light. Yours truly led off and then the baton was handed off to other brothers. Her struggle did not end with her “leaning on flesh” (listening to the time-worn standard SDA nay saying against the Lord’s Rod) a thing condemned by Scriptures (Jer. 17:5).  Rather it evolved into her seeing the light! She stayed in the fight!

Our Lord said —

“And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations..” (Rev. 2:26)

An Example of Truth Restoration

August 11, 2018

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Our Lord said this —

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things.”(Matt.17:11)

The Elijah to come is to “restore all things” and this most especially includes Truth restoration. What do we mean by that? This post will delve into that to show a couple clear examples of restoration.

As we have pointed out several times, the scroll unrolls and with it our “present truth” appears for our day. SOP explains —

“In every age there is a new development of truth, a message of God to the people of that generation. The old truths are all essential; new truth is not independent of the old, but an unfolding of it.” (COL, p.127)

Now our truth may not be their truth. For example when the people of God were found to be in adultery in the Old Testament times, they were to be stoned to death. Yet that truth was changed when Jesus came. For the “new” truth was forgiveness and repentance (See John 8:1-11).

When we don’t understand this changing of truth we can get mixed up and God forbid–a false and confused teacher. Let us look at a recent example.

Brother E is a “present truth” teacher. At least he thinks of himself that  way. He makes lots of videos, even has a website with the Rod lessons and literature. Recently we visited one of his YouTube videos and noticed the following.

He proclaimed that the term “confederacy” as used in Isaiah chapter 8 was, among other things, a warning not to confederate or be a part of trade unions. He listed this as the number 1 confederacy among us S.D.A. He is attempting to teach this as our present truth. He used the following SOP as references–

“The trades unions and confederacies of the world are a snare. Keep out of them, and away from them, brethren. Have nothing to do with them.” (Country Living, p.10)

“We are now to use all our entrusted capabilities in giving the last warning message to the world. In this work we are to preserve our individuality. We are not to unite with secret societies or with trades unions.” (CL, p.11)

“Those who claim to be the children of God are in no case to bind up with the labor unions that are formed or that shall be formed.” (CL, p.12)

Ok fair enough, this seems quite clear and to the point. Not much to misunderstand here. However, this part of the scroll was to make a turn  when the Lord’s Elijah prophet appeared and “restored” this issue to our current time. Let us read–

SHOULD A CHRISTIAN JOIN LABOR UNIONS?

Question No. 139:

   What should be our position as to Labor Unions?

Answer:

   Though in their formative years Unions neither  had the power nor exercised the pressure which they do now, yet even then men were arduously  at work to make them what they now are. So to safeguard the true believer from becoming compromised by their dictates and thus involved in their strikes and picketings (not to restrain him from paying to them a part of his wages if they compel him to), the Testimonies forbid his taking part in furthering their  unchristian purpose. (See Testimonies, Vol. 7, p. 84).

   In persecuting Jesus and His followers, the Roman and the Jewish governments were doing a thing even more unrighteous than the Unions are doing today in coercing labor into their ranks, yet Jesus directed His followers then to pay tax to Caesar. So we must conclude that if one is required to pay a fee while working at a trade which permits no “open shop,” he therefore has no alternative to meeting this necessity as one of the shop’s requirements, regardless whether the Union be a good or a bad organization.

Thus, though in order to hold his job in support of himself and his family, he may pay the fee which the Unions exact for the opportunity to labor, yet he should not participate in any of their activities and functions–political, social, or otherwise. In short, he will not have any fraternal connection whatsoever with them.

   Under such circumstances, there is no difference in paying Union dues, state tax, or some other necessary expense, fee, or cost in order to keep at work. In view of this, those who follow in the light will pay Union dues only as they have to, and will discontinue paying them as soon as possible. (Answerer, vol. 5, p.64-65)
 

So we see that even though SOP was counselling the people of that day to “keep out of them”,  brother Houteff was giving the green light as long as certain conditions were met. This is a restoration issue for sure.

It is clear that we when take up the Lord’s final message of Elijah we make sure to look at what the prophet says FIRST before we attempt to teach  or report on the message. If we don’t do that we run the risk of exposing ourselves as private interpreters going against God’s prophets (See 2 Peter 1:20).

Therefore there is NO confederacy issue with joining trade unions today “in order to keep at work” to“support himself and his family”. Apparently the Lord saw down the stream of time that our economy would be vastly powered by the trade unions (even as it is today) and in order to deal with that the Elijah prophet made the statement.

Another truth restoration, which we have dealt with before is the taking of communion. Jesus told the apostles to “do this in memory of Me.”(Luke 22:19)  

Yet our present truth is different , let us read —

WHAT ABOUT COMMUNION SERVICE?

Question No. 120:

   Should believers who are well established in the message, celebrate the communion service  when they meet together?

Answer:

   As to authorizing the communion service in our own midst, we believe that since we all, as Seventh-day Adventists, have defiled ourselves as did the Jews at Christ’s first appearing (The Desire of Ages, p. 104) and since this sacred service works damnation to those who unworthily receive it (1 Cor. 11: 29), therefore we dare not now, as Davidians, take unto ourselves its hallowed privilege until as a people our lives bear convincing evidence of our repentance from the Laodicean condition.

   The lesson in not authorizing this blessed service in our midst at this time, is inversely parallel to that which John the Baptist taught in ordaining and insisting upon the baptismal service then; that is, John’s instituting the baptismal service then, showed that the Jews were not ready to meet their King, and the Rod’s not instituting the communion service now, shows that neither are we ready to meet our King, and that we must therefore quickly repent from our lukewarmness, buy the “eyesalve,” and anoint our eyes. Then we shall gloriously celebrate the communion service, and the shame of our nakedness will not appear (Rev. 3:18).

   Those who do not sense this great need are yet blind to the church’s undone condition, and to the Lord’s holiness. Just a firm outward faith in the message is not enough; its inward work in our lives is the all-essential and supreme work that must take place in the lives of all of us before we can conscientiously and profitably celebrate the Lord’s supper. Let us hasten that glad day. (Answerer, vol. 5, p.39-40)
 

Striking isn’t it? One must be advancing in the Lord’s scroll of Truth to truly appreciate those powerful and clear words of timely significance. So today we should not accept the communion as we are not worthy of it “as a people”.

So what do we have here? We basically have the anti-type test of how we respond to the advancing scroll and it’s Truth restoration. The Jews refused to advance in their understanding of Truth, as Christ clearly exposed. We as S.D.A may be looking at EGW first and foremost when faced with brother Victor Houteff’s statements. In other words we say as the Jews did, “We have Moses that is enough.” Ellen White becomes our Moses.

In closing brethren, right now we are experiencing our present truth and our instructions FOR TODAY. We must advance with the scroll, accepting Truth that may not necessarily be the same as days gone by. We must not be found with out that “extra oil” because our King said we must have this oil (our present truth) to get to the kingdom.

A Pleasant Surprise

August 4, 2018

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All too often we as the Lord’s Elijah message messengers see disappointment after disappointment. We work in the Lord’s vineyard and it seems that we witness few changes in our churches. Abominations which we are to “sigh and cry” against (Ezek.9 and Testimonies, vol. 3, p.267) continue unabated. Yet, when we hear of good news we are like our Lord —

“When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”(Luke 7:9)

Such is the good news we heard from one of our sisters in the faith recently. She called and excitingly told us of the Chowcilla S.D.A Church in northern California. She explained that she was pleasantly surprised when she walked into the church and noticed a Tithe Box secured against the wall for receiving the Tithe donations. She further found out that this church DOES NOT pass the church bag around compelling members to donate. Wow! True reason to say Praise the Lord!

As we all know as Seventh-day Adventists, this bag passing has been a standard custom in our church ever since our prophetess died in 1915. For those who would like to see our prior posts on some history of tithe collection see this link —

https://godsloveandlaw.com/2015/05/23/the-collection-box/

We really don’t know how this started but it’s a good bet that the Roman custom infiltrated our churches. The message explains –

“What a privilege and what an opportunity is now ours! Look and see what a difference there is between God’s method for supporting His work, and the Roman system that is now carried on by the church: plate-passing, high-powered speeches, Big Day, Book Day, high pressuring, campaigning, selling, auctioneering, Harvest Ingathering, birthday offerings, Christmas-tree hangings, baby weighings, Dorcas sales, investment funds, and what not!  As none of these squeezings are Biblical, and as all of them are Pagan in origin and condemned by the Scriptures, they could not possibly be considered freewill offerings. Search and see.

Instead of Sabbath-keeping the day is devoted to money raising, and instead of a house of worship, the church is turned into a den of thieves — disgusting to observers, and most discouraging for a member to invite a friend or a neighbor to a church service.  Is there any wonder that God does not now bring many into the church (“Testimonies,” Vol. 6, p. 371)?

It was this sort of thing that aroused Luther to action as he saw the priests living in luxury by exploiting the people’s conscience and by making the poor poorer.  True worship and God’s plan for supporting the work must now be restored.” (Jezreeel Letter, no.9, p.8)

To be sure, we serve a Holy God. One that is particular and certainly not like us. He has sent His last messenger to us to let us know this bag passing/money solicitation in His house is “condemned by Scriptures” and not considered “freewill offerings”.

“These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.” (Psalms 50:21)

Yes brethren there is our ways then there is God’s way. Unfortunately Satan specializes in blurring the two! I was once a regular partaker in this bag passing and solicitation of funds every Sabbath, being a deacon who led out in bag passing. For I knew no better, until advanced light came and I could see this issue as the Lord sees it.

Isn’t it wonderful when the Lord always gives us an out. Today we have online payment systems which gives ample opportunity to avoid such abomination.

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations …” (2 Peter 2:9)

But when we begin to “reform” we do so bit by bit both individually and corporately, as the message explains —

“Correct your habits. “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” (Ezek. 18:31, 32.)

    You may not understand all there is about it, but that would not excuse you from doing faithfully the little things which you already perfectly know. Start with the A B C’s in the science of reform as you would in a grade school, gradually climbing up the ladder of perfection as you would from the first grade up to a course in a. university. As you are unable to understand in the schools of the world the higher grades ahead of the lower, so you will never learn all the science in physiology or the mysteries in the laws of God from its heights down or all at once. Moreover, if you are not willing to do correctly the little things in life, what will it compel you to agonize in prayer for the power you need to accomplish the great thing?

   No one can successfully be promoted to a higher position until he proves true and proficient in a lower place. Says the apostle Paul: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” That is, no one can in a haphazard manner do the necessary things of life and yet stand innocent before the Lord. His command is: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48.) (Sym. Code, vol. 2, no.1, p.3)

This church has taken that small step in righting a wrong before the Lord, and it can only bring blessings. No doubt there is much work to be done still in the Chowcilla church, yet this seemingly small thing is truly a BIG thing, when we think about the roughly 95% other S.D.A churches who commit the Roman custom abomination in God’s house Sabbath after Sabbath. In other words this stance is breaking away from the prevalent cattle like herd mentality of following the Roman custom!

SOP tells us that  “those only who sigh and cry for all the abominations done in the church”  will receive the seal of God (pure mark of truth).

“Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those “that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done” in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying. Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p.267)

“The day of God’s vengeance is just upon us. The seal of God will be placed upon the foreheads of
those only who sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land. Those who link in sympathy with the world are eating and drinking with the drunken and will surely be destroyed with the workers of iniquity. “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.212)

To be sure, the subject of tithes today is very deep and involves knowing where to tithe as well as how to collect tithes. But as mentioned by Inspiration above, the small steps must be taken first then advancement comes. But advance we must. If we don’t want to, we have the “need of nothing” Laodicean malady.

In closing let us rejoice in this small but significant step. We are in the process of trying to get in touch with the leadership in this church and hope to encourage them to keep up the good work and advance further in the Lord’s way.

A Close Look at Type and Anti-type (Part 2 of 2)

July 28, 2018

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Let’s review what we learned in part 1. We saw that John correctly made a decided effort to search out more Truth. He knew that just as the parable showed, we needed the “extra oil” in our vessels to make it to the kingdom.

However, John apparently had not been in tune with the “Spirit of Truth” for he was guided to a Biblical feasts keeping site that blended the S.D.A faith with that of ceremonial feast keeping. Having read and listened to one John Vandenberg, he became convinced of his arguments as to the need of keeping the feasts in order to be “righteous” before the Lord today.

With this back drop he later found the Lord’s Rod message (Micah 6:9) and became further convinced of the truth of this as well. John , unfortunately is typical of a fair amount of so-called “present truth” believers. Today we are witnessing some electronic media sources proclaiming the Rod message yet also proclaiming we are to keep the feasts. In other words a blend  or hybrid teaching. Hybrid indeed! We shall now carefully breakdown this mis-calculation, this mixing falsehood with Truth.

You see brethren, the Lord knew very well that some day the most deliberate tricks would be foisted upon us. And this feast keeping trick is not upon the Elijah messengers alone, but upon the Seventh-day Adventist community at large.

Ok let’s review the points and arguments that John stands on from our prior post —

Nah. 1:15 — “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace!  O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.”

   Here you see that the announcement of this long-expected event is to be made by someone’s publications.  Moreover, he publishes peace and thus announces the restoration of the Kingdom.  This is the only peace that the world can have.  There is to be no other.  Those who keep God’s solemn “feasts” and perform their vows shall have this peace.  None others shall. (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 42 p.41)

“Now commands the Lord: “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee he is utterly cut off.” Nah. 1:15. — {4 Jezreel Letter p.4.}

We remember that John read the above references and believed that the Rod message confirmed his belief in keeping the feasts. But as mentioned John had not read the Lord’s complete Rod. In It we find clarification.

Regarding Nahum 1:15, we find the Rod does indeed clarify. As the Scripture tells “Judah” to keep the solemn feasts and perform their vows, what does “Judah” represent?

“..the Truth of the Judgment of the Living, the which is to forever separate the wheat from the tares (Matt. 13:30), the good fish from the bad (Matt. 13:47, 48), the sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:32), and the wise virgins from the foolish ones (Matt. 25:1-12). These shall “no more pass through” the church, declares the scripture, they are “utterly cut off.” Thus urging Judah, the church, to keep this antitypical atonement feast and to perform her vows to God so as to be found worthy of escaping the judgments of God.( TG, Vol. 1 No. 3, p.15)

Judah means –the  SDA church.

Ok, so Nahum 1:15 is instructions to us as Seventh-day Adventists. Next we want to know what does “keep thy solemn feasts ” mean? Is this a literal keeping or what? Now, let’s really zoom in here!

“Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts [the truth of the sanctuary], perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.” Nah. 1:15. (Tract 4, p.61)

Ah, we see so clear and unmistakable that the Rod declares that keeping the feasts is keeping ”the truth of the sanctuary.” Our Lord did not let us down He inspired His Elijah prophet to make it straight and clear.

Our next important question then is —  What does “the truth of the Sanctuary”  mean?

“The Bible is the revelation of creation and redemption in Christ – Creator and Redeemer. Therefore, the Sabbath and the Sanctuary constitute “The Truth.” (See Hebrews 9:10, 4:4-10.) Thus these two doctrines are coupled together, cannot be separated, and bear the whole truth.   How do we keep the Sanctuary truth? It is kept, not in type, but in anti-type. By faith we believe that Christ, our High Priest, in the heavenly sanctuary is officiating in our behalf, as it was taught in type by the earthly sanctuary, built by Moses. As Israel complied with the requirements of its service in the type, so we must in the anti-type. Thus we “proclaim the truth [Sabbath and Sanctuary] more fully.” (2 SROD, p.138-139)

Praise the Lord! We can see that our anti-type keeping of the feasts, is our believing by faith that Christ is now doing all requirements on our behalf, the WORTHY high Priest! We thus believe and proclaim the Truth (Sabbath and Sanctuary).

From the above and from Christ Himself through His Elijah message we see want constitutes feast keeping today. Thus had John been fully grounded in the Rod he would have seen the “whole picture” and saved himself and others whom he no doubt influenced–much trouble and possibly losing out on eternal life.

The Spirit of Prophecy is clear about false righteous ones in describing the horrible time when they will be haunted for practicing their ideas against God’s clear instructions through His prophet —

“In these scriptures two parties are brought to view.  One party permitted themselves to be deceived, and took sides with those with whom the Lord has a controversy.  They misinterpreted the message sent them, and clothed themselves in robes of self-righteousness.  Sin was not sinful in their eyes.  They taught falsehood as truth, and by them many souls were led astray.” — “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 9, page 268. (SOP regarding Rev. 6:12-17)

We want to point out that the message does tell us that apparently we will be keeping the “Feast of Tabernacles” in the pre-millennial kingdom as spoken of in Zech. 14:16 —

“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.”

“This sentence of Scripture emphatically implies that all who at that decisive moment refuse to be converted to the Lord, shall perish; only those who worship the Lord at Jerusalem on the feast of tabernacles, shall be spared.” (TG, vol. 1, no.20, p.13)

The above is the extent of which the Rod confirms feast keeping.

A short while back we held a phone conference study which we discussed the pre-millennial kingdom. In the study our brother who presented discussed Nahum 1:15. After the study we , as usual, opened the phones up for questions and answers. One brother took issue to what was discussed in the study. Namely that we were wrong to teach that we were not to literally keep the feasts, and that specifically Nahum 1:15 was encouraging us to keep the feasts literally.

His argument was as follows. He said that according to the Rod message in Answerer, vol. 3, p.9, Q-50 he had “proof” that brother Houteff supported and encouraged us present truth believers to keep the feast days.

WHEN DOES THE HEBREW YEAR BEGIN?

Question No. 50:

Can you tell us the Hebrew New Year’s day and the days Or their sacred feasts, In terms of our Roman calendar?

Answer:

While leading the Hebrew host from bondage to freedom, the Lord was firmly establishing them in the truth of all things, including the truth of the day on which the year begins, of the day on; which the month begins, and of the day on which ‘ the week begins. Obviously, the Hebrew religion had largely to do with the days of the week, of the month, and of the year.

“The Hebrews were forever to keep holy, 
(1) not a seventh, but the seventh, day of each week, the Sabbath; 
(2) the days from the fifteenth to the twenty-first day of the first month, the Passover week; 
(3) the fiftieth day after the sheaf of the j first fruits was offered, the Pentecost; 
(4) the tenth day of the seventh month, the Atonement; 
(5) the days from the fifteenth to the twenty-first ‘day of the same month, the Feast of Tabernacles; . and (6) the feasts of the new moons. 
Thus the All-knowing One, He who created the heavenly bodies and knows the very moment He set them in motion to govern the day, the month, and the year, decreed that the holy feasts be observed in the very month and on the very day on which they were first ordained…

…To prevent His people from bringing upon themselves such a catastrophe, and to have them intelligent as to the time the year begins, the Lord gave to Moses the sacred yearly calendar, which cannot be lost or miscalculated so long as the earth remains. He told him that the  day which preceded the exodus was the fourteenth day of the first month- and that forever  thereafter, they were to commemorate the Pass over on that very night each year, the night following the fourteenth day….

…And so it is that the Passover, the Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles (the three most important feasts in the year), besides other feasts, are controlled by the solar year and by the lunar month; the weekly Sabbath by the day on which creation began; and the year itself by the vernal equinox, the immovable signpost.” (Answerer, vol. p.9, Question 50)

As can be seen the question is directed to knowing about the Hebrew time clock NOT about feast keeping and whether it still was required. In order to answer this question brother Houteff found it necessary to relate it to the feasts and the new moons.

Further, we brought this up in the phone conference, that if VTH had indeed meant in that reference that we are to keep the feasts today then we have two BIG problems.One, as stated already the message clears the understanding of what constitutes keeping them in anti-type. Two, we know from not only the writings but from two still living eye witnesses that during the approx. 20 years while brother Houteff lived on Mt. Carmel in Texas, he NEVER, not once kept any feast days, nor taught to keep them.

The brother’s response was “Well if brother Houteff didn’t keep them , then are you going down with him also”? What?? After using the Rod as a reference to support his “proof”, once exposed he quickly accuses its writer of non-compliance to the Lord’s instructions! There is no end to the foolishness that Satan has with his workers of iniquity.

To summarize —

The Lord asks us to keep the feasts (ceremonies) in anti-type only. Those who want to use the Lord’s Rod to justify keeping them literally are just fooling themselves and those they proclaim this false righteousness to. The High Priest who is worthy is now officiating in our behalf and thus we , by faith, proclaim the sanctuary truth. Let us be serious students of the Lord’s anti-type ceremonial message as brought by the two final prophets to our church. If we are found to be in error on a doctrine, we get straight and stay clear from false self-righteousness. There is too much over whelming evidence against the literal keeping for us to ignore. Let us not for a moment think God did not foresee this contentious issue and the need to clear it. In His all-seeing vision He sent His Elijah to “restore” our understanding of this issue, let us praise Him!

“In the Galatian churches, open, unmasked error was supplanting the gospel message. Christ, the true foundation of the faith, was virtually renounced for the obsolete ceremonies of Judaism. The apostle saw that if the believers in Galatia were saved from the dangerous influences which threatened them, the most decisive measures must be taken, the sharpest warnings given…..
…The apostle urged the Galatians to leave the false guides by whom they had been misled, and to return to the faith that had been accompanied by unmistakable evidences of divine approval.

The men who had attempted to lead them from their belief in the gospel were hypocrites, unholy in heart and corrupt in life. Their religion was made up of a round of ceremonies, through the performance of which they expected to gain the favor of God. They had no desire for a gospel that called for obedience to the word, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. They felt that a religion based on such a doctrine, required too great a sacrifice, and they clung to their errors, deceiving themselves and others.

To substitute external forms of religion for holiness of heart and life is still as pleasing to the unrenewed nature as it was in the days of these Jewish teachers. Today, as then, there are false spiritual guides, to whose doctrines many listen eagerly. It is Satan’s studied effort to divert minds from the hope of salvation through faith in Christ and obedience to the law of God. In every age the archenemy adapts his temptations to the prejudices or inclinations of those whom he is seeking to deceive.

In apostolic times he led the Jews to exalt the ceremonial law and reject Christ; at the present time he induces many professing Christians, under pretense of honoring Christ, to cast contempt on the moral law and to teach that its precepts may be transgressed with impunity. It is the duty of every servant of God to withstand firmly and decidedly these perverters of the faith and by the word of truth fearlessly to expose their errors.” (Acts of the Apostles, p.385.386.387)

“There are many who try to blend these two systems, using the texts that speak of the ceremonial law to prove that the moral law has been abolished; but this is a perversion of the Scriptures. The distinction between the two systems is broad and clear. The ceremonial system was made up of symbols pointing to Christ, to His sacrifice and His priesthood. This ritual law, with its sacrifices and ordinances, was to be performed by the Hebrews until type met antitype in the death of Christ, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p.365)

A Close Look at Type and Anti-type (Part 1 of 2)

July 21, 2018

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Once more the seriousness of the feast keeping situation has come around. This issue is getting more and more prevalent, similar to the subject of the Trinity. There is no doubt that in these last hours of probation our enemy has zeroed in on these two subjects. Even so far as to be a concern among some present truth believers.

Let us look into what the Lord’s Elijah message, the restoring truth message,  has to show us from the view of observance in anti-type of the ceremonial feast days. There is some very interesting references that we need to look at and delve into.

What makes this subject so intriguing is that if one desires to surface read or skim the message and hold on to a few selected references, one can actually think he has support for the idea of keeping the ceremonies (sans the sacrifices). Yes this can be supposedly supported and we’ll show how.

But those who want the “full Truth and nothing but the full Truth” will desire their Truth house built solidly upon the Rock of Jesus –the undeniable Truth. We shall endeavor to show from His divine Word.

The message explains —

   “Those who are willing to risk all on the ground of one inspired statement and disregard another in order to carry out certain cherished ideas of their own, are doing it on the same basis as those who entertain the idea of the conscious state of the dead, the eternal torment of the wicked, the baptism by sprinkling, the Sunday observance for the Sabbath, the condition of the millennium, etc….We would never try to establish an idea on the basis of agreeing with one passage of Scripture while disagreeing with another, for such a conclusion is as sure to be erroneous as if one should conclude that when the sun sets in the evening, it will never arise in the morning.” (Sym. Code, vol. 2, no.1, p.5)

In speaking of the writings of the Rod and SOP we read —

” …as there are no useless words in either of the writings, those who desire to know the truth must carefully mark every word, otherwise they will never comprehend the truth and, as a consequence, they will be driven by the winds as the waves of the sea until the winds cease blowing (probation closes), and they be left to sink down in their sins as do the waves in the sea.” (Sym. Code, vol. 2, no.7-8, p.10)

The above counsel is deep and far-reaching and when we use it, we prosper!

In part one we’ll look at the situation from “John’s” point of view. How he views the feast keeping doctrine today. He’ll show us how he blends the Rod message into his belief of keeping the feasts. In part two we’ll look at the opposing view and what many who have studied the message see as the Rod’s truth about it.

Ok let’s began with brother John. John is a long time Seventh-day Adventist who was not content with the lukewarm sermons and Sabbath school lessons. Something told him that there must be more to the Lord’s plans for us. After all he read Scripture like the following and truly wondered its timeline and significance for the SDA church.

“The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:1-3)

John asked around the church and did not get many answers, mostly ‘I’m not sure”. Then he happens to be online one day and heard about a report on end time events and what it means to the SDA church. Bingo! Right up his alley, he thought.

Long story short John was thrilled to review the report as it was all supported by Scripture and SOP. Even had some new unknown references, though he didn’t know what, stacked up to the Bible and SOP as well. He went on their site and saw that it was about the “Shepherd’s Rod”. Um, he remembered last year hearing about this term from another church leader but it was not in a good light. Something bad if he recalled.

Yet John  loved the Truth. He found himself frequently going to his new-found site, learning more and more about end time events. But John unfortunately was active in another well-known alternative website led by John Vandenberg of Bible Explorations from California. This is a well-known ministry that promotes SDA doctrine along with Biblical Feast keeping, in order to please the Lord today.

Their theory goes that although Jesus died and fulfilled our payment for sin, that fulfilled the sacrifice part of the feasts. Yet, the Lord still requires us to observe the ceremonies because among other things, His word made promises such as keeping the Passover forever —

“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.”(Exodus 12:14)

Fast forward a couple of years, John has now studied the “Rod” and believes in its teachings. But he also has not let go of his prior teachings, those of Vandenberg on keeping the Feast days. But soon John reads the following from the Rod and his joy is unspeakable!!

Nah. 1:15 — “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace!  O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.”

   Here you see that the announcement of this long-expected event is to be made by someone’s publications.  Moreover, he publishes peace and thus announces the restoration of the Kingdom.  This is the only peace that the world can have.  There is to be no other.  Those who keep God’s solemn “feasts” and perform their vows shall have this peace.  None others shall. (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 42 p.41)

“Now commands the Lord: “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee he is utterly cut off.” Nah. 1:15. — {4 Jezreel Letter p.4.}

You see one thing had been bothering John, although he was learning the Rod message he was finding opposition to the idea of keeping the Feast days from fellow Elijah messengers. They would tell him  “no, no, we are NOT to keep them” and they would provide references. But John , being already convinced upon the duty of Feast keeping would not accept their arguments.

So reading the Rod references above, he was excited and now felt fully justified in keeping them as Vandenberg had taught. True confirmation he thought!

After all does it not say Those who keep God’s solemn “feasts” and perform their vows shall have this peace.  None others shall.” ? And  “Now commands the Lord:… keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows” ? No one, John thought, can misunderstand these plain Inspired injunctions.

To John’s mind he has successfully dealt with “the big reference” which deals with this feast keeping as follows —

“Broadly speaking, the law of Moses consists of three parts.  The first is the Ceremonial law, the law of the temple — the sacrificial law.  This law, of course, we today must not observe, except in antitype, for it foreshadowed things to come, particularly Christ’s first advent.  Thus it is that if we had lived in Old Testament times and had failed to comply with the sacrificial law and system of that day, we would thereby have demonstrated unbelief in Christ, Who was to come.  But since we are living in the Christian era, if we should now observe the typical sacrificial law and system, we should thereby demonstrate unbelief in Christ, Who has come.

   And so, as this law was nailed to the cross (Col. 2:14), we need not, and must not, observe it now.

   The second part of Moses’ law, is the law by which Israel was to rule its people, the civil, or legal law, — the law which defines what penalty the government should impose upon those who are caught stealing, killing, or the like.  Now, since we as Christians do not have a government of our own, but are still under the governments of the nations of today, we personally, or as a group are not required to enforce the legal law of Moses either.

   The only law of Moses, therefore, that we can possibly be admonished to remember, is the third part of his law: the moral law, which consists of the things that pertain to us as individuals, the things that we as individuals must perform, the things that perfect our character, the things that make us a peculiar people.  We therefore need to search out and do the things contained in the moral law of Moses — “The commandments, and the statutes and the judgments.” Deut. 5:31.(TG, vol. 2, no.37, p.14-15)

John has read this many times and he counters those who use it to point against keeping the ceremonies, that what the Rod is saying is that we are not to keep the “sacrificial law”. In other words John thinks that the Rod found it necessary to warn against doing sacrifices!

This to the listeners of John’s argument makes them shake their head in amazement. They tried to tell John that even the vast multitude of protestant Christians know that we do not have an issue today, nor since Christ, with doing sacrifices. So with the Lord’s restoring message is HE going to tell His prophet to warn against keeping sacrifices?? No, there is only one conclusion – it’s a warning to not keep the ceremonies.

But John has not read ALL the Rod. He has severely limited his understanding of the Lord’s message by reading a portion instead of the whole.

The Lord’s Rod explains —

“The most common cause of doctrinal confusion among Bible students lies in their so very frequently failing to view a subject in full perspective from the writer’s point of view, — a failing which results in their seeing it from some foreign standpoint so narrowing their view that instead of gaining the writer’s idea on the subject, they gain a false idea on it. And if the idea be to their liking, they magnify and zealously promote it as truth, whereas if it be not to their liking, they vigorously oppose it, and then lay it to the responsibility of the writer!” (Tract 3, p.91)

Allow us to give another example of how reading a reference without studying the whole subject can throw us off.

The following is so perversely misunderstood that it has caused a vast multitude of protestant Christians to have a misguided understanding. Thinking that despite the unbelieving Jews in Israel today, God will magically save them.

“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Romans 11:26)

The message clarifies this —

Question No. 64:—Romans 9:27 says that a “remnant” of Israel will be saved, but Romans 11:26 says that “all” Israel will be saved. I do not understand this. Can you help me? 

  Answer:—Romans 9:27 is speaking of Israel as a nation, of which only a remnant will be saved; whereas Romans 11:26 is referring to the elect of Israel as individuals, all of whom will be saved.  (Answerer, vol. 3, p.51)

Additionally we have our Lord’s Word Himself —

Jesus saith unto them, ‘Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. ..And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. “(Matt 21:42-43, 45)

In part two we’ll look at the anti-type observance of keeping the feast days which is the dominant position of present truth believers today. God in His all-knowing wisdom did not leave these powerful and clear instructions unwritten for us.

 

Understanding the “False Prophet” in Revelation

July 14, 2018

Image result for picture of false prophet of Revelation

Many of us are aware that in the last days there shall arise someone so powerful and so deceptive that he shall be a wonder man, a supposed man of God. This subject is fascinating and yet surprisingly not well understood. Only those who have studied the last message of the Lord’s Elijah have a good handle on it. Let us delve into this very important subject.

Imagine if you will a personality similar to Elvis Presley. Some have said that during the height of Presley’s career his magnetic charm was so powerful that during his live performances in Las Vegas you could literally feel the electricity in the atmosphere once he stepped on stage. Well think of this electricity on steroids! The charisma and charm, not to mentioned the great signs and wonders performed, will most definitely capture the spell-bound multitudes if they are not grounded in God’s word.

Let us now look at what God’s word says about this great deceiver. First we begin by quoting the Biblical references that speak of this false prophet.

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” (Rev. 13:11-18)

“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” (Rev. 19:20)

One of the motivating factors in this week’s post is that we heard from a brother in the faith who told us he believed that there really is only the false prophet and the Sunday law system (beast system) and no “666 man” who shall lead the system. Frankly he made some interesting points and thus caused us to hit the books as they say.

 

Ok, let us now look at the Elijah message for further clues. The following are the relevant references about the false prophet —

“Here is wisdom.  Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” Rev. 13:11-18.

   The power that is represented by this two-horn beast will identify itself with “the false prophet,” for together they are “cast alive into a lake of fire.” Rev. 19:20.  From this it is plain to see that the wonders which the beast does in the sight of men, and by which he deceives them “that dwell on the earth” (Rev. 13:13, 14), are wrought by the false prophet (Rev. 19:20) “in the sight of the beast.” Rev. 13:14.  Clearly, then, the beast’s civil authority, combined with the prophet’s supernatural power, points to a union of beast and prophet — an affiliation of state and of church representatives.

   Having only two horns, not ten, the beast therefore  depicts a local, not a universal, government.  Nevertheless, he will influence all Christendom  to “make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live”; that is, he will engineer a world-wide governmental setup, re-enthroning the principles of the church-state rule of Ecclesiastical Rome.  Being the restorer of these principles, he, along with the prophet, will become the world’s chief dictator, and shape not only the political and the religious policies of the governments, but also the world’s commerce.  He shall decree “that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Rev. 13:17.

   This beast represents a man who stands at the head of a nation, and whose influence goes far and wide among the kings of the earth. He is further identified by a number — the mystical  number “six hundred threescore and six.” Rev. 13:18.

   The prevailing belief that the number “666” is the numerical identification of some other power, is the spawn of the Prince of Darkness, and is calculated to conceal if possible the identification of this two-horn power.  Inspiration puts the number on the two-horn beast, and there we must leave it.  When the number is finally made up, the servants of God will be able to  convince all the “wise” as to just whom the beast symbolizes. 

We now see, though, that no one who studies the Word of God, need be deceived when this power does appear on the stage of  action.  Yet notwithstanding God’s warning against giving allegiance to the beast, the world fails to give heed, with the result that even after his number is made up, “he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their  foreheads.” Rev. 13 :16. (Tract 12, p.25-28)

 

“The beast,” “the false prophet,” and “the remnant” are here mentioned.  Who are they?

   First the beast and the false prophet and then the remnant, those that are left, are cast into the lake of fire.  Since the “beast” and the “prophet” are special world entities, the remnant (those that are left) represent the rest of the unrepented world sympathetic with the beast and the prophet.  The destruction of the prophet, the beast, and the remnant, therefore, is the end of the world — the terminus of the time of the end.

   Besides these verses of Scripture, the twentieth chapter of Revelation reveals that with this last pre-millennial event in the drama of sin, the millennial reign of Christ and the Church begins (Rev. 20:1-3), in the end of which time shall arise all who had no “part in the first resurrection.” Rev. 20:5, 6. (2 TG, no.42, p.27-28)

 

“The beast spoken of here is the one with lamb-like horns.  But some one else is introduced by the pronoun “he,” who “had power to do miracles in the sight of the beast” (the lamb-like).  The following Scripture will make clear who it is that performs the miracles:

“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, [before the two horned beast] with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image.  These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” (Rev. 19:20.)

  Therefore, the miracles are wrought by the false prophet in the sight of the two-horned beast.

   There are many beasts spoken of in the Bible, but this two-horned beast is the only one that can be termed “a man.”  It will be noticed that from the 11th verse on, of the 13th chapter of Revelation the Scripture speaks of the two-horned beast and closes with the words:

“For it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred three-score and six.”

  Therefore, the mystical number “666,” belongs to the two-horned beast and none other.  However, we may not conclude that no one before it could have such a number…The two-horned beast is the only one representing a local religio-political government. 

Therefore, of him alone can it be said, it is “a man.”  Thus whosoever shall stand at the head of that persecuting power as described in this chapter, and represented by the beast, is the one who shall bear the mystical number 666. 

The Spirit of Prophecy also states that the “King of the North” brought to view in Daniel 11:45, and the two-horned beast of Revelation 13, is the same power and that it shall bear this mystical number 666.  We quote: “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 Rev. 13:11-18.”  (SRod, vol.2, p.151)

“Mark carefully, according to the following testimony, the destruction of the papacy is at another time and by a different process.  “Paul states plainly that the man of sin will continue until the second advent.  To the very close of time he will carry forward his work of deception.” — “The Great Controversy,” p. 579.  Thus the papacy is to remain to the second coming of Christ, at which time the wicked are to be destroyed by the brightness of His coming.  Therefore, the papacy is one thing, and the false prophet another, and the beast still another.  The beast “666” and the false prophet, who are to be cast alive into the lake of fire, are the ones who develop the image of the beast — a likeness of the worship in the period of the 1260 years.” (SRod, vol. 2, p.153)

 

Who Is the False Prophet?   As previously explained the false prophet is not the papacy or the two-horned beast, neither is he the devil, for we read:

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into a lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are.” (Rev. 20:10.) 

Therefore, the false prophet is the one who shall precede the manifestation of Satan himself.  Said the apostle, “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11:14.)

   As the doctrines held by the false prophet cannot be fully supported by the Scriptures, miracles are performed to secure the confidence of the people.  As the great men and religious leaders declare to the public that the so-called true religion is the truth of Christ, and that the false prophet is His servant, multitudes will fall into Satan’s snare.  His false prediction of the coming of the Lord, will be fulfilled by Satan himself as he appears as an angel of light. 

His dazzling brightness, and the false fulfillment of the prophet’s prediction, in addition to the already overwhelming delusion, will ensnare a multitude greater than the first.  “While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation.” — “The Great Controversy,” p. 589.  (SRod, vol. 2, p.157)

 The beast we are told is a man (Rev. 13:18).  The demand to worship, obey the beast’s command, therefore, is a demand to worship (obey) man in place of God.(JL, no.2, p.12)

In the above we truly have a wealth of information to arrive at a fairly good idea who this false prophet is and who he is not. Starting from the top let us highlight the main points.

1) The false prophet is separate and distinct from the “beast”.

2) It appears that the beast is the organizing power and the false prophet is the drawing power. In other words the false  prophet is the miracle worker that enables the beast to gain its power, influence and fame.

3) These two powers will be the two main world-wide influences in setting up their religious system. They both appear to be human men (the literal representation of the false prophet and the 666 man). For instance it says, This beast represents a man who stands at the head of a nation, and whose influence goes far and wide among the kings of the earth. He is further identified by a number — the mystical  number “six hundred threescore and six.” Rev. 13:18.” The beast is described as “a man” and “he”. Thus he’s the leader of the end time world religious system.

  “There are many beasts spoken of in the Bible, but this two-horned beast is the only one that can be termed “a man.” 

Further proof is given as to the two men , “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, [before the two horned beast] with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image.  These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” (Rev. 19:20.)

It appears that the “beast power” the religious world-wide system, is described interchangeably with the “man” the 666 man,  it’s leader. Nevertheless it also appears that the two are not one and the same entity.

4) The beast system shall have at its head, the 666 “man”. Thus whosoever shall stand at the head of that persecuting power as described in this chapter, and represented by the beast, is the one who shall bear the mystical number 666.” 

5) The false prophet shall precede Satan in his manifestation of Christ. Therefore the false prophet will not be the false Christ, rather the false preparer of the false second coming of Christ.

“His false prediction of the coming of the Lord, will be fulfilled by Satan himself as he appears as an angel of light.”

6) The false prophet won’t be known as a “Thus sayeth the Lord” type of person, rather a man of miracles to secure the trust and faith of those snared in his deceptions.

7) He will appear as a great healer, thus fooling a great many. But ultimately bringing disease and disaster.

In closing, this great deceiver, the false prophet,  will indeed play a most important role in the final events. We can see that there will be seven deceiving players in the closing scenes. 1) Satan 2) The 666 man 3) The Beast power (religious system) 4) The false Prophet  5) “great men and religious leaders” 6) the “remnant”, the vast multitude taken and snared by deceivers 7) The Papacy.

The above are the players, the team as it were who shall take on the opposing team, the 144,000 and “great multitude” (Rev. 7:9) in the “Great Controversy” the final spiritual battle for the souls of mankind. As we have spoken before we, unlike the world, cannot be on the opposing team when the players take the field.

Sure, there will be some “former” SDA who have withdrawn from the church who will be on the opposing team but that will prove disastrous for them. We MUST be among the 144,000  team if we stand a chance on the field in those final events.

Let us not forget that it’s good to know these things yet if we as Seventh-day Adventists are not “striving” to be among the 144,000, this will profit us little.


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