“Oh No! It’s that Word–Trinity!”

June 24, 2017

Image result for picture of Trinity

 

Today there is a growing movement within our church. It is serious, as it relates to the identity of God, specifically the Godhead. As we have often mentioned, we are active in His vineyard, watching and listening to what the workers amongst us are doing and saying. The idea of the “Trinity” is being discussed on a large-scale and we thought it important to discuss this relevant and important issue.

Wikipedia gives us a good look at the historical understanding of the Trinity–

TRINITY–

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity (Latin: Trinitas, lit. ‘triad’, from trinus, “threefold”)[2] holds that God is three consubstantial persons[3] or hypostases[4]—the Father, the Son (JesusChrist), and the Holy Spirit—as “one God in three Divine Persons”. The three persons are distinct, yet are one “substance, essence or nature” (homoousios).[5] In this context, a “nature” is what one is, whereas a “person” is who one is.[6][7][8]

According to this central mystery of most Christian faiths, there is only one God in three persons: while distinct from one another in their relations of origin (as the Fourth Lateran Council declared, “it is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds”);[9] and in their relations with one another, they are stated to be one in all else, co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial, and each is God, whole and entire”.[10] Accordingly, the whole work of creation and grace is seen as a single operation common to all three divine persons, in which each shows forth what is proper to him in the Trinity, so that all things are “from the Father”, “through the Son” and “in the Holy Spirit”.[11] 

While the Fathers of the Church saw even Old Testament elements such as the appearance of three men to Abraham in Book of Genesis, chapter 18, as foreshadowings of the Trinity, it was the New Testament that they saw as a basis for developing the concept of the Trinity. One of the most influential of the New Testament texts seen as implying the teaching of the Trinity was Matthew 28:19, which mandated baptizing “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.

Another New Testament text pointing to the Trinity was John 1:1-14, in which the inter-relationships of the Triune God are reflected in the gospel author’s description of “the Word”, again showing the elements of the Triune God and their eternal (always was, always is, and always shall be) existence. Reflection, proclamation, and dialogue led to the formulation of the doctrine that was felt to correspond to the data in the Bible. The simplest outline of the doctrine was formulated in the 4th century, largely in terms of rejection of what was considered not to be consonant with general Christian belief. Further elaboration continued in the succeeding centuries.[12]

Scripture contains neither the word Trinity,[13] nor an expressly formulated doctrine of the Trinity. Rather, according to Christian theology, it “bears witness to” the activity of a God who can only be understood in Trinitarian terms.[14] The doctrine did not take its definitive shape until late in the fourth century.[15] During the intervening period, various tentative solutions, some more and some less satisfactory, were proposed.[16]

Trinitarianism contrasts with nontrinitarian positions which include Binitarianism (one deity in two persons, or two deities), Unitarianism (one deity in one person, analogous to Jewish interpretation of the Shema and Muslim belief in Tawhid), Oneness Pentecostalism or Modalism (one deity manifested in three separate aspects). Additionally, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are three separate deities, two of which possess separate bodies of flesh and bones, while the Holy Ghost has only a body of spirit; and that their unity is not physical, but in purpose.[17]

The above give us a good basic understanding of the concept of the Trinity. But as God’s remnant church, and specifically –present truth believers , we need to know what is happening amongst us concerning this issue.

There appears two camps today amongst us. One, the camp that stands squarely with our standard SDA doctrinal belief number two , let us read it–

The Trinity , No. 2
There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three coeternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. God, who is love, is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. (Gen. 1:26; Deut. 6:4; Isa. 6:8; Matt. 28:19; John 3:16 2 Cor. 1:21, 22; 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2.)

They believe as shown that there are THREE coeternal “Persons.”

Then there is the other camp, which is unfortunately growing, that believe that there are only TWO coeternal Persons, the Father and the Son. The “Holy Spirit” is a type of force or cosmic energy and is at the beck and call of the Father and Son.

Before we go further there is a very important SOP quote that we all, both camps, must remember in any discussion about the Holy Spirit–

“The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them, but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden.” {AA 52.1}

Ah, the Lord’s Spirit of Prophecy says we “cannot explain it.” This makes perfect sense as once someone decides to do a study upon this great “mysterious” and confounding subject they come into all kinds of “what ifs” and “how comes”.

But this Inspired counsel is today thrown to the wind and many are taking upon themselves the mount of Korah, and declaring that they are inspired just as God’s prophets are and can explain who, what and where the Holy Spirit is! And they have declared that not only is there no Holy Spirit Being as God, but that the very word–Trinity– is blasphemous!

For a good example of one of the anti-Trinity proponents in our SDA church and who has the site called “The Third Angel’s Message.com”, and what they teach, let us read–

1 Corinthians 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father

“This is who he is, the father and God of Jesus Christ our Lord who is the son of the father.  A false doctrine has gained it’s way into our church today.  A doctrine “denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ”[Jude 4].

The Scriptures clearly indicate the relation between God and Christ, and they bring to view as clearly the personality and individuality of each. [Hebrews 1:1-5 quoted.] God is the Father of Christ; Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has been given an exalted position. He has been made equal with the Father. All the counsels of God are opened to His Son. (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, page 268)

1 Corinthians 1:3  Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Almost every book in the New Testament begins with a similar greeting.  The title, God, is always used in reference to the father, and there is no reference to a third being. Nowhere in the scriptures is the title, “God,” used in reference to the father, son, and holy spirit,  at the same time.

A doctrine called the trinity has denied this.  This doctrine denies who God is and who his son is.  This doctrine does not “manifest the love of God toward us”[1 John 4:9].   It denies Christ is the son of God, and makes God out to be an office of three beings, an impersonal God pervading all nature.  Co-eternal, co-equal friends is what it says when you analyze it rather than a “father and son”.

What we see here is this man’s explanation of the Godhead, specifically that there are TWO Persons, not three. Yet as we showed our important doctrinal SDA belief says we believe in THREE Persons in the God head. This man and those like him  today want to re-write or deny our doctrinal beliefs!

But  let us remember that the Omniscient God knew very well that this Trinity issue would be a concern in our last days, did He not? And Did He not decide to write a promise in His Holy Word saying that a “restorer” , the last prophet to our church, the Elijah would come and therefore explain these things?

Ok, if we believe that, then we must search what the final restoring message says in order to know the Truth of this matter. Otherwise we are like Korah, uninspired and stepping up to the Lord’s platform to tell Him and us what is Truth and that “we” know it instead of His inspired Prophets. Oh my my!

Today there are many teachers of this new doctrine, claiming that it is really a old doctrine founded with the pioneers of the SDA church. For example a website call Revelation1412.org– Nader Mansour, and the above mentioned site by David Barron. Both of these are active promoters of this doctrine.

There are two specific areas where the Elijah message confirms the belief in the Triune God, the Trinity.

In 1947 in the publication called the “Timely Greetings”, the message said the following–

“FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS OF DAVIDIAN SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS

Emerging in 1930 from within the Seventh-day Adventist denomination (“the church of the Laodiceans”), the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association has ever been committed to the prophetic work (predicted in Isaiah 52:1) of preparing the Laodicean church, the last with the “tares among the wheat,” for the final proclamation of the gospel “in all the world.” Matt. 14:14.

This Association, in common with the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, holds “certain fundamental beliefs, the principal features of which, together with a portion of the Scriptural references upon which they are based,” are originally summarized as follows:

“1. That the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, contain an all-sufficient revelation of His will to men, and are the only unerring rule of faith and practice. 2 Tim. 3:15-17.

“2. That the Godhead, or Trinity, consists of the Eternal Father, a personal, spiritual Being, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient,

Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 10, page 21

infinite in wisdom and love; the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, through whom all things were created and through whom the salvation of the redeemed hosts will be accomplished; the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, the great regenerating power in the work of redemption. Matt. 28:19.”

For a complete report on the fundamental beliefs on the SDA and DSDA, as one organization,  read this link-

http://www.shepherds-rod-message.org/tracts/2tg10.html

As a side note, if you read this link, keep it in your memory bank as many of Satan’s workers, those SDA leaders and scoffers of the Lord’s Rod (Micah 6:9),  will tell you that Davidian Seventh-day Adventists don’t believe in  the same fundamental beliefs as the SDA, which this exposes as a lie. Instead they should be worried about the real usurpers as shown above, those promoting the denial of the Trinity!

An additional  reaffirmation —

Question 214:

Why are not the given names of the Trinity used in baptizing?

Answer:

As the Scriptures give several names for the Father and for the Son (and none for the Holy Ghost), and as we are not told which of these to use in baptizing, we must, therefore, take Him at His word and baptize in just the way He commands: “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  Matt. 28:19.  Moreover the names given in the Scriptures are not absolute names, but rather titles–equivalent to the names Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Still further, even if the absolute names of the Trinity were known, their use would lead to irreverent address.  For example, suppose the Father’s name is George; the Son’s, Thomas; and the Holy Ghost’s, William.  Could any God-fearing human being even dare think of its being reverent to say, I now baptize you in the name of George, Thomas, and William!  Let us therefore comply with the Lord’s command: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of be Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  Matt. 28:19. (For further light on this subject, study our Tract No. 11.) (Vol. 7   Symbolic Code   Nos. 1-6. page 13.)

So we are clear, the Lord’s restoring message of Elijah CONFIRMS that there is such a term as “Trinity” and it describes THREE co-eternal Beings. This is solid my brethren and we can “take it to the bank”.

So what do we have here my beloved? We have an end time deception! A side tracking issue that diverts our minds from one of our core fundamental beliefs as Seventh-day Adventists. This is for the purpose of trying to establish a form of self-righteousness, a holier than thou belief because they know who God is more than the prophets!

“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” (1 Tim.4:1)

But the anti-Trinitarians have many tricks up their sleeves such as the following James White quote–

“Here we might mention the Trinity, which does away the personality of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ, and of sprinkling or pouring instead of being “buried with Christ in baptism,” “planted in the likeness of his death:” but we pass from these fables to notice one that is held sacred by nearly all professed Christians, both Catholic and Protestant. It is, the change of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment…” {James White, Dec 11 1855, Review and Herald, Vol. 7, no. 11, P 85 Par 16}

But what they forget is that he was not inspired prophet of God. It was only when he co-wrote the booklet  “A Word to the Little Flock” that the prophetess approved, collaborated  and authorized it, thus endorsing it with her part of that booklet. Yes, he was the husband of Ellen White, our prophetess, but that did not keep him from declaring uninspired statements or beliefs. All we have to do is see what the INSPIRED prophetess, his wife said years AFTER such words.

“We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds. — Manuscript 66, 1899. (From a talk to the students at the Avondale School.) {Ev 616.5} The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. When this witness is borne, it carries with it its own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure that we are the children of God. .. . . {Ev 616.6} 

The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”–Manuscript 20, 1906. {Ev 617.1}

“Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature.” (Desire of Ages, p.671)

In closing, let us not fall for one of Satan’s many snags today. If we believe in our Lord, the Word, we will know the Truth. It is only when we desire to follow man instead of His inspired prophets, that we may fall. There is a concept known as the Trinity, and it is from God.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”(Matt. 28:19-20)

Interesting Q and A

June 17, 2017

Image result for picture of someone studying the bible

The Word says–

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)

This week we’d like to show some of the Elijah message’s Q and A. We picked these out  for your study. Enjoy.

ARE “ZION” AND “JERUSALEM” THE SAME?

Question No. 85:

   Please explain the difference between the terms “Zion” and “Jerusalem” of Isaiah 52:1 and of Revelation 14:1.

Answer:

   “Zion” and “Jerusalem” of Isaiah 52:1 must represent people, for it would be ridiculous to say to a hill and to a city, “Awake, awake, put on thy strength, put on thy beautiful garments.”

   On ancient Zion’s exalted hill stood the palace of the king, “and the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts to dwell in other cities.” Neh. 11:1.  So the royal family resided on Mount Zion, and the lesser rulers and other government representative dwelt in Jerusalem proper.

   The call, “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem,”  is applicable to the Laodicean church, the last of the seven churches, and the one which terminates the period of the “wheat” and the “tares” commingled, because after she puts on her beautiful garments,  “the unclean shall no more come into” her. Those who will awake to the rousing call, put on strength by separating from the wicked, and put on the beautiful garments by turning to  righteousness, are those who will, in the “latter days,” make up Zion and Jerusalem–the princes and rulers of the people in the Kingdom-church restored.

   Then “clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict.  ‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,’ she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.”–Prophets and Kings, p. 725.

   Hence, “only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [the Third Angel’s message] when it shall have swelled into the loud cry.”–The Review and Herald,  No. 19, 1908.

   Now as to the meaning of the two terms, Zion and Jerusalem as used in Revelation 14:1, the second reference in question, the Revelator explains that the 144,000 of the twelve tribes of Israel are those who make up Zion. His words are, “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads.” Rev. 14:1.

   These being the first fruits (Rev. 14:4), it further shows that they are the first of the harvest in “the end of the world.” Matt. 13:39. Obviously, then, those who were seen after them, the “great multitude…of all nations” (Rev. 7:9), are none other than the second fruits of the harvest, some of whom will dwell in Jerusalem.

   So at this harvest time, “it shall come to pass…that the mountain of the Lord’s house [Mt. Zion] shall be established in the top of the mountains,  and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” Isa. 2:2. (Answerer, vol. 4, p.20-22)

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JOSIAH’S OR JOHN’S PROPHECY FULFILLED?

Question No. 77:

   Because his prediction of the fall of the Ottoman Empire on August 11, 1840, was strikingly  fulfilled, was Josiah Litch correct in claiming that the prophecy of Revelation 9:5, 15-20, was thus perfectly enacted?

Answer:

   Though in the working out of Litch’s prediction, there was a seemingly preternatural element of coincidence, the event in question could not have been that described in John’s prophecy, for the latter reveals that the four angels bound in the Euphrates were to slay the third part of men. And where in the Scriptures is any Gentile nation symbolized by angels? Moreover, the Ottoman Empire did not fall at all; instead, it placed itself “under the control of Christian nations.”–The Great Controversy, p. 335. Furthermore, the angels had an army of 200,000,000 horsemen, while Turkey never had that many cavalrymen in all her lifetime! Still further, the prophecy of The Revelation calls for slaying the “third part of men” (Rev. 9:15), whereas in the fulfillment of Litch’s prediction, no slaying took place. In view of all these facts, it is self-evident that though Litch’s prediction may have been fulfilled, it in no wise had reference to the Revelator’s.

   The Great Controversy records merely that Litch’s own prediction, not John’s met fulfillment. So, Litch’s prediction, being erroneously based on The Revelation, was a preternatural coincidence, not a fulfillment of the Revelator’s prophecy. (Answerer, vol.4, p.5-6)

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WILL ALL COME TO THE TIME OF THE PLAGUES?

Question No. 56:

 If the church is to be purified before the close of probation for the world and remain pure thereafter without any sinners in it as “The Shepherd’s Rod” teaches, then how do you harmonize this with “Early Writings,” p. 71, which says Some “will come up to the time of the falling of the plagues, and then see that they needed to be hewed and squared for the building”?

Answer:

  There are other statements from the author of Early Writings which bear even more positive evidence that God will, before that time, have a church pure and true. (See The Great Controversy p. 425, Prophets and Kings, p. 725, Testimonies Vol. 5 p. 80; Isa. 52:1-2.)

   As these several statements with reference to a preliminary purification are just as true as the one in Early Writings which seems to negate a purification, one cannot honestly disregard them and give consideration only to it. Let us remember always to observe the inviolable rule that an interpretation of one inspired statement must harmonize with all other related statements.

  Some who are anxious to risk Present Truth on the weight of what one inspired statement seems to say or imply, are thereby presumptuously or very ignorantly overlooking the “weight of evidence.” Others are doing this through shortsightedness, while still others are doing it to prop up certain cherished ideas of their own.

  The basic foundation for the no-preliminary-purification doctrine is built, not upon solid rock, but upon the same shifting sand as that which underlies such as the erroneous ideas of the conscious state of the dead, the eternal torment of the wicked, baptism by sprinkling, Sunday sacredness, and the millennial age of peace on earth.

  Since, Truth is progressive, and since the purification of the church had not yet been revealed when the statement in Early Writings was written, the danger foretold and the counsel given therein could not possibly have been stated in terms other than those then familiarly comprehended. All were thus plainly forewarned that if they continued sinning, then after the close of probation for the world, the plagues, of which they already had some understanding, would be their recompense. So for the Lord to have explained the matter in Early Writings as He does through the Rod today, He would have had to reveal, out of due time, when Early Writings was being written, the message which is applicable only to the church for today, and which we are now therefore receiving.

  In the last analysis, the unrepentant sinners who are now in the church, may never see the seven last plagues, while others who are now in the world, will in the time of the Loud Cry yet have opportunity to be “squared” for the building, and be treasured with the “living stones,” or else to suffer the consequences of the plagues.

  No one should have difficulty in seeing this now, for all those to whom Early Writings primarily spoke are already dead, though the plagues are yet in the future. Furthermore, there is much more light to come concerning the truth of the seven last plagues, and when it comes, we may again see that we have “many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn.”-Testimonies to Ministers p. 30. (Answerer, vol.3)

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WHY NOT BOTH VISIONS ALIKE?

Question No. 59:

  If Daniel 7:8, 25 and Revelation 13:3 both prefigure the same power, and if the Roman church during the Middle Ages is the one there predicted, then why is she, in Daniel’s vision, a combined secular and ecclesiastical power (horn-head), while In The Revelation she Is only an ecclesiastical power (head)?

Answer:

  That the same power is indeed symbolized by both beasts is unmistakably seen from the fact that both “blasphemed” the same length of time: the former, for “a time and times, and the dividing of time” (Dan. 7:25): and the latter, for “forty and two months” (Rev. 13:5). This same period is identically stated in Revelation 11:3, and is equivalently represented in Revelation 12:14 as “a time, and times, and half a time,” which according to the rule of interpretation of Ezekiel 4:6, is equated: “time”–1 year; “times”–2 years;  “and  half a time” or “dividing of time”–l/2 year: in the aggregate equaling 3 1/2 years, 42 months, or 1260 days (12 months to a year, and 30 days to a month, Bible reckoning).

  Daniel’s vision foretells only the formation of that church and state union, and for this very reason John’s was given to show its final stage, its dissolution only. Thus the two visions complete the whole-the formation and the dissolution. (Answerer, vol.3)

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SAVE THE CHURCH OR THE WORLD?

Question No. 67:

  If, at this late hour, we give our whole effort for the salvation of the church, how will the rest of the world ever be reached?

Answer:

  The mission to save the world cannot be more important than the mission to save the church enlarging the church membership under the now prevailing lukewarm Laodicean conditions could no more advance the Kingdom of Christ than could have been done under the condition in the Jewish church in the days of His first advent. Understanding the true situation in the church, John the Baptist and Christ Himself and even the apostles at first, engaged them selves to work, not for the world in general, but only in the interest of their brethren in the church.

  As the same departure from Christ exists within the church now as it did then (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217), it will take much greater effort to rescue the people from the Laodicean “sad deception” (Testimonies. Vol. 3, p. 253), than if they were in heathenism For in Laodicea they are made to believe that they have all the truth there is to be had, that they are rich, increased with goods, and in need of nothing,—their salvation forever secured as long as they hold membership in the church Hence there is greater risk of their losing their souls in the church while she is “lukewarm” an. about to be spued out, than if they remain in the world until the church awakes from her slumber, and anoints herself with the eyesalve (Truth)—sees right, does right, and leads an. feeds the flock aright.

  Let every honest member ask the question, If the church herself is not saved (Testimonies Vol. 3, p. 253), not following Christ her Leader (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217) and “has become an harlot” (Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 250), how can she save others? The greatest need therefore is first to save those in the church, then those in the world. The “special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people” (The Great Controversy, p. 425), “the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266), must come first then is to follow the sealing of those in the world.

  The men and means already devoted to missionary work for the world are so plenteous as entirely to overshadow the meager facilities available for carrying the message to the Laodiceans, although the church is in even greater need than is the world.

  However, carrying the message to the church does not affect the mission work for the world for while the Davidians labor in the interest of the church, the Denomination carries the old message to the world. But should the Davidians also devote their time and money to looking after the interests of the heathen then both the church and the world would be plunged into hell. Consequently, to save the world, we must first seek to save the church from the ruin that is imminent, as did John the Baptist, Christ, and the apostles, in their day.

  After the church awakes and ceases dreaming that she is “rich and increased with goods,” finds out that she is in need of everything rather than of “nothing,” puts on her strength by turning to Christ her Leader, clothes herself in the garments of His righteousness, and lets the unclean pass no more through her (Isa. 52:1), then shall her righteousness go forth as brightness and her salvation as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see her righteousness, and all kings her glory (Isa. 62:1, 2). Then will she really be able to save. Then her “gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto” her “the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve” her “shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.” Isa. 60:11, 12.

  Let all Present-truth believers, therefore, pursue this course to its happy climax: “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be My people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee.” Zech. 2:10, 11.

  Still further, as it is not we, but Christ Who “is taking the reins in His own hands” (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300), it is not our duty to tell Him which work should be done, and which should be left undone, but let every follower of His realize that He will “work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning.”-Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300.

  Be not like the class who “question and criticize everything that arises in the unfolding of truth” (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 690), but be like those who “let Heaven guide.”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 475.

  The command to us is: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house a Jacob their sins.” Isa. 58:1.

  “Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him; and His work before Him.” Isa. 62:10, 11. (Answerer, vol.3)

Are You Persecuted?

June 10, 2017

Image result for picture of Apostles being persecuted

In the old Biblical times the word persecution usually encompassed stoning, crucifixion, flogged, or any other means of physical abuse. But today we know that this persecution is less severe physically yet no less emotionally and mentally troubling. In other words today’s suffering of God’s people is more discreet and less open than days of old, but nevertheless just as serious spiritually.

In  2 Timothy 3:12 we read,

 “Indeed, some who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

Ah, did you catch that? We inserted a false word in there — “some” for the Word of God — “all”.

But to the vast throng of our people, we as Adventists,  it might as well say “some” because many do not believe it means all. The word all in our dictionary is —

“the whole of, every, any whatsoever, …” –Dictionary.com

Now there is no doubt that God’s Word says ALL who live Godly SHALL suffer persecution. This Word my brethren is vast and far-reaching in our lives today. Let me begin first by giving my own example of how this subject came alive to me personally.

In early 2009 I came into the truth of God’s Commandments, specifically the Sabbath. This changed my whole heathen life style. In short order I was on the path to knowing more about God. Who He was, what He stood for, and what He requires of us.

The knowledge of the things of God became my whole focus. God became real to me as I witnessed one sign after another. He showed me clearly He was alive and He was personal. But as I read more and more of the Scriptures, I found a reference that made me ponder, it was —

“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

I had been a SDA member for a good year already and when I read that , I wondered to myself, “Um, I do not suffer any persecution. Maybe this is not really applicable for us today.” Yet that idea came into my belief that God’s word is truth and means what it says. So I put it away in my memory bank for another time.

Fast forward a couple of years. I came into the message of our Lord’s final message of Elijah by listening an online audio sermon of the subject of the 144,000.

It struck me hard. Because a short time prior to listening to it, I had driven by one of our local SDA churches during the course of my work day and the Spirit had told me to inquire of one of the retail businesses on this church property.

I was led to call and ask this Chiropractor shop whether they were open on Saturday. They responded, “Yes we are would you like to make an appointment?” This devastated me and I broke down right then and there. Keep in mind , up to this point I was growing in faith with my church. Thinking firmly that we were God’s people, not perfect but striving to keep His Commandments as a corporate body. Yet, here I saw that we were gigantic hypocrites! We teach that God’s true day of worship is the seventh day, the Sabbath, yet right there in front of the world for all to see we were letting people “within our gates” work and break His Sabbath!

But as I mentioned, this sighing and crying was seen by our Lord and He guided me to that audio sermon to awake my soul to what His plans were for purifying His people, His church. In other words, I soon saw that He knows all about this hypocrisy and will do something about it. Soon I was in deep into this “new light” and my soul was truly filling up with the “bread” from heaven, His words of life.

The whole Scriptures came alive as if Someone had anointed me with “eyesalve”  to see (Rev. 3:18). Thus, being excited of these new truths I was very zealous and anxious to share them. I had been a frequent pre-Sabbath school speaker in our church,  well received as well,  and after learning of the Elijah message, I shared some new insights to the church. Much as a man who found gold in a field would want to share the news to his family, I too wanted my church to know these marvelous valuable things.

BAM! What is going on??  Before I knew it a couple of weeks later I was called into the pastor’s office. “Rob, are you a believer in the Shepherd’s Rod?” They asked.  “Sure” I said, thinking they too loved the truth and this was God’s truth because it passed the test–to the Law and to the Testimony.

Long story short, I was told that if I did not relinquish my faith in the Rod, I would be demoted from Deacon to regular member with no rights to leadership roles in the church.

Soon it dawned on me and the Lord reminded that I had finally learned the personal meaning of “all” shall suffer persecution! This now was understood! To no longer be able to contribute to the discussion of the Lord’s word from His house was a big disappointment and an injustice. Persecution indeed!

“No man can be true to principle without exciting opposition.” Desire of Ages p. 356.

We mentioned that today’s persecution is not yesterdays, but nevertheless it exists, as can be seen by my personal testimony, it came in the form of demotion, murmuring against  and slandering. It also may include dis-fellowship which our last prophet , Victor Houteff experienced.

These following examples are what happened to brother Houteff while simply attending church and trying to inquire of Truth–

“At the close of a service conducted by a field secretary of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist in one of our city churches, Brother Houteff was asking the speaker of the evening a question on some statement which he had made from the pulpit in opposition to the teachings of The Shepherd’s Rod.  Without warning or conversation of any kind, a man approached  him from the rear, took him by the neck and shoulders, and thrust him from the building. 

But what was worse, the offender was not even an Adventist; in fact, his mother said he was not even a Christian!  Now what incited this poor man to commit such an unprovoked and unlawful act?  What, if not the false accusations from the pulpit,  made against Brother Houteff?  For up to that moment Brother Houteff had never met the man or even spoken to him, and there had been no excitement whatever, but only quite friendly reasoning on the part of the conversers.

   “Shortly after this experience, Brother Houteff and I, along with another brother, attended a Sabbath service in another one of our churches, and this time the president of the conference spoke in opposition to The Shepherd’s Rod.

“At the close of this service, a lady approached Brother Houteff and spoke to him as he stood with a number of others in front of the building, and before he had time to reply to her, a young man, also whom Brother Houteff had never seen before, rushed up to him, rolled up his sleeves, and threatened to smash the glasses off his face if he did not stop talking to his mother!  But some one led him away, and his mother, too, said he was not an Adventist.  What could have put such hatred in the heart of this young man?  What except the sermon which he heard from the pulpit?  For up to that moment neither one had in all his life seen or spoken to the other!

   “A third incident very similar to the ones related above came to my attention, all within a period of four weeks.  This time the president of the Union Conference, had on Sabbath afternoon called a large congregation together, many miles away from either of the churches mentioned above, to hear him refute The Shepherd’s Rod.  During the service, he conducted himself in such a way as to instil in the hearts of all his hearers hatred for the author of the message  contained in The Shepherd’s Rod series of books and tracts. 

After the meeting closed, a group of young people were gathered around Brother Houteff outside the church, near an embankment.  Suddenly a young man rushed up to the crowd and thrust himself as hard as he could upon the one nearest Brother Houteff in an effort to knock him over the embankment.

And he would have verily succeeded had Brother Houteff not been quick enough to catch himself in time to avoid pitching over head-long!

   “Again we are led to inquire, What put such hatred into the heart of this young man who also had never met Brother Houteff?  What, save the sermon he had just heard?

   ” ‘Satan’s attacks against the advocates of the truth will wax more bitter and determined to the very close of time.  As in Christ’s day the chief priests and rulers stirred up the people against Him, so today the religious leaders will excite bitterness and prejudice against the truth for this time.  The people will be led to acts of violence  and opposition which they would never have thought of had they not been imbued with the animosity of professed Christians against the truth.’ ” — Gospel Workers, p. 324. (Tract 7, p.58-60)

SOP imports counsel here–

“We have far more to fear from within than from without. The hindrances to strength and success are far greater from the church itself than from the world. Unbelievers have a right to expect that those who profess to be keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, will do more than any other class to promote and honor, by their consistent lives, by their godly example and their active influence, the cause which they represent. But how often have the professed advocates of the truth proved the greatest obstacle to its advancement! The unbelief indulged, the doubts expressed, the darkness cherished, encourage the presence of evil angels, and open the way for the accomplishment of Satan’s devices.” ( 1 Selected Messages, p.122)

So we see that Satan hates the Truth and those who proclaim it. It is those indeed who are the “all” of which the Word speaks of. In fact SOP gets directly to the point in the following —

“Who are standing in the counsel of God at this time? Is it those who virtually excuse wrongs among the professed people of God and who murmur in their hearts, if not openly, against those who would reprove sin? Is it those who take their stand against them and sympathize with those who commit wrong? No, indeed!

Unless they repent, and leave the work of Satan in oppressing those who have the burden of the work and in holding up the hands of sinners in Zion, they will never receive the mark of God’s sealing approval. They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked, represented by the work of the five men bearing slaughter weapons. Mark this point with care: 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)

Who is working for Satan? Those who oppose those who are against sin and sinners in the church! These are who get persecuted. The ones who stand up for the right based on God’s word.

So this is where some soul-searching must be made. Each “believer” must ask himself the following.

  1. Do I have courage to stand for the right within my church, or do I fear to because it will affect my church relations?
  2. Am I experiencing any trouble from “within” due to proclaiming His truth within our church?
  3. Do I experience absolutely no “persecution” as in today’s application?

There is a sure reward for those who stand for the right and receive persecution.

“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” (Luke 6:22-23)

In closing brethren the Lord said –all– and that means all. And if we do not live Godly we cannot experience the truth of His word. Satan is watching those who dare take a stand for the Lord’s truth, and if you do , be sure that you will experience the fulfillment of this word.

Knoweth Not?

June 3, 2017

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This week as I laid in bed, thoughts of writing more of the kingdom came. But the Lord, as always, guides and as such the subject of Revelation chapter 3 came to mind. As we SDA are well aware the Lord looking down to our day wrote specific counsel, serious counsel, that we must not ignore.

Let us look at Revelation 3:14-22.

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you knoweth not that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and sup with that person, and they with me.

21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Now, let’s  be totally honest here. When we read those words, we most likely will say, “I’m not the one deceived, it’s the other guy.” But let’s look deeper and find out just who is this “Knoweth not” guy or gal?

Let’s very carefully go over these words of our King, and do an analyzation of them. Before we do we should also remember that the Word of the Lord in Chapter 3 is specific  and means something very very  important.

All Adventists know that the Lord is making this message to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Laodicea is our name. The message explains what the name means

“Being compounded of the Greek words “lao” and “deci,” the one meaning “people,” also “speak,” the other meaning “judgment,” the two together meaning people proclaiming judgment, the name Laodicea, therefore, identifies a church proclaiming the judgment hour (Dan. 7:9, 10; Rev. 14:6, 7). 

  As the S.D.A. church is the only one to proclaim judgment, and as each of the seven messages is addressed to the angel of the respective churches, the message to Laodicea is accordingly–ADDRESSED TO THE S.D.A. ANGEL.” (SC, vol. 7, n0.7-12, p.3) 

The Lord is not happy with us as a people, we are not on fire for the Lord. We go through the motions. We can be cool or lukewarm. We are not active in declaring the things of the Lord. We have not kept abreast of His word as the scroll unrolls (present truth). For the few who do know that His promised last prophet to our church (Mal 4:5) has important instructive eternal words for us.

Verse 17 shows us why we are not on fire. We think we know it all and do not need more Truth! When a message comes to us by a messenger claiming that it is from the Lord, we often will judge or ignore that message due to either it has been “studied and rejected” by our leaders (lean on flesh), or we just don’t “feel” it’s a message we need. Both cases we deny a serious study of further light. The message says more about this–

“Dear Brethren in Laodicea, do you know that prophecy positively declares that the people of God in the Laodicean church are in a critically dangerous condition and know it not? Well, Brethren, whether or not you realize it, whether or not you believe it, that precisely is the case. And if you hope to enter into eternal life, you must believe it, and that without delay. Whatever else you may believe or disbelieve, this one thing you must believe, “for it is the True Witness who speaks, and his testimony must be correct.” –Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 253. (Answerer, vol. 1, p.5)

 

“No one but a hopeless Laodicean, one who forever holds to his day-dreaming that he has need of nothing more, — no more Truth or prophets, — can fail to see that the prophecies pertaining to the day of God are only dark sentences to him, that he is in need of everything instead of nothing, and that the work of the promised Elijah is not the work which the Laodiceans are doing.  The Laodicean message (the Judgment for the Dead) is definitely not Elijah’s message, although many may think it is.  That many are blind to this, the Lord points out: “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked.”

   Moreover, we all know that the work of typical Elijah was to do away with the prophets and priests who served Baal instead of God, those who led ancient Israel into the greatest fallacy and folly of the day.  Accordingly, the antitypical Elijah’s work, being in the spirit and power of typical Elijah, must therefore be similar to typical Elijah’s work-restoring Truth and righteousness, and bringing judgment upon the false prophets and teachers in the antitypical day which in itself is the separating of the chaff from the wheat — the work of the Judgment for the Living.” (General Conference Special  p.30-31)

 

“..God’s people who, today, are as “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” of spiritual discernment, as were the Jews at Christ’s first advent; and perhaps even more so, and as His people now, like the Jews then, do not admit their ignorance, they fulfill to the letter the prophetic utterance, ”Thou…knowest not.” (Rev. 3:17.)

   Hence. “what greater deception can come upon human minds than a confidence that they are right, when they are all wrong!” Consequently, this kind of Christians are the most difficult to handle and most hopeless to convince. But if they would hear the voice of the True Witness: “I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear, and anoint shine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see” (Rev. 3:18), become as babes, and be taught as such, then a great flood of light from the Word of God, as has never been beheld, will enshrine them.

This experience will awaken them as if startled out of their dreams, and will enable them to receive the power of the Spirit, and to put on the “beautiful garments” of Christ’s righteousness, which gift, by the prophet’s pleading, He is urging us to receive (Isa. 52:1). However, no one with prejudice and self-confidence can ever come to the knowledge of the truth.” ( Vol. 2 Symbolic Code No. 11  pg. 7-8)

So we can see that it is the last message, the final “oil” that we must have, the “eyesalve” that awakens us. Yet as mentioned nearly all of us say it’s the other guy who this “knoweth not” applies too. There is only one way, we see, that you will KNOW that you have been wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” That is when you learn what you’ve been missing–the present truth of the hour! THEN, you will recognize all that the Lord said of you–was true. You did indeed, “Knoweth not.”

 

But now some among you are aware that because you’ve accepted the Lord’s Elijah message, His Rod (Micah 6:9, 7:14) you have bought from the Lord “gold tried in the fire.” Amen!

War’s a Knockin (Part Two)

May 27, 2017

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A couple of years ago we did a post showing the developments prophesied to happen prior to the final world battle over the holy land. With new developments we’d like to revisit this subject again.

The word crescendo means —  increase in loudness or intensity, to reach a high point. As we look at the current world events, there is no doubt that things are building into a crescendo. Violence, rumors of war, evil gone amuck, you name it. But the Bible and the Lord’s Rod, God’s word, has it all down for us to know. That is IF we want to.

“While Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will all this happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”And Jesus answered and said unto them, “Take heed that no man deceive you.For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. All these are the beginning of birth pains…And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” (Matt 23:3-8, 14)

Before I knew of the Lord’s final plans I read this quote yet missed a vital point. Do you notice what message will go to the “whole world”? Yes, it is the gospel of the –kingdom. This, my brethren is what is the “good news”. Not some dreamy speech about heaven, nor some talk of a future kingdom, but God’s real kingdom taking place in front of the world, even the heathen. All will thus have no excuse. In other words –come in now or forever miss the Lord’s eternal kingdom.

As we posted the last couple of posts, the Lord’s kingdom has been our focus. But before we go into that kingdom time, there is the now, the things that must transpire before the set up. In this post we will get a little political in order to make some points that exist now in order to set up the final battle for the restoration of the kingdom in the holy land.

As we read in the above highlighted reference, “Gather together, gather yourselves together, you shameful nation, before the decree takes effect and that day passes like windblown chaff, before the LORD’s fierce anger comes upon you, before the day of the LORD’s wrath comes upon you.”

This nation here described is the current nation of Israel. The people are gathered there since 1948 as a nation. They are described by the Lord has “shameless” and soon the Lord’s wrath will be shown.

But look at our situation today. We, as a nation and especially since Donald Trump was elected, have expressed our die-hard support for Israel. Just recently the media has shown pictures of Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu together in Israel with their families,  total buddies through and through.

But those of you who followed the speeches, will notice the specific isolation of Iran. In fact Trump has purposely singled out Iran as if not the worst, one of the most terrible countries in the world. Yet, who is Iran good friends with? Yes indeed–Russia! Even allowing Russia to use its airbases to fly out of.

Notice the four countries that are tightening against the NATO alliance – Russia, Iran, China, Syria. In other words the great end time conflict has developed the great two sides –Nato versus the big four. This is not happenstance for the Lord has set in motion the final battle of the holy land. Israel is not a member of NATO yet is connected with them  and a beneficiary of its protection.

So what do we have shaping up? Not only is Iran being forced into a corner but Russia as well. We here in the USA have noticed the main stream media’s (MSM) spin of how the “Russian’s directly manipulated our elections.” Trump’s hand is forced and he is also boxed in and cannot appear friendly to our MSM’s enemy– Russia. So by the Lord’s direction two camps are being set up for the purpose of the final battle.

Let us now read what Inspiration says about the very important Zechariah prophecy –

“What makes this nation gather together? — Certainly not the decree and not the Lord’s anger, for these are to come upon her after she gathers together.  The “decree” certainly cannot be the beast’s decree, for there is not even a thought in the scripture that would so indicate; but it certainly points out that the decree is none other than the Lord’s decree — the fierce anger of the Lord in the day that passes as chaff.

   According to the verse that follows, this undesirable nation’s gathering together, is a sign post to God’s people, urging them to continue seeking Him so much the more..

When this Judgment-bound nation begins to gather together then it is, if never before, that the meek of the earth need to seek meekness.

The meek of the earth are those who have wrought the Lord’s judgments, who have proclaimed the message of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.  They are His people, His church.  The nation that is not desired, therefore, is one people, and the meek of the earth, the church, those who are hid in the day of the Lord’s anger are another people.  The one is gathering together, the other is seeking meekness.  Definitely, then, the “nation” of verses 1 and 2 is not His church, but the people of verse three are His people, His church.” (Timely Greetings, vol. 1, no. 22, p. 24-25)

…two truths stand out clearly: (1) that in vain the Jews seek to establish themselves in the Promised Land; (2) that we who are bearing the message of the great and dreadful day of the Lord are counselled to seek meekness and righteousness, for thus only shall we “be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger,” that is, merely bear knowledge of the message will not save us, there should be corresponding deeds with it.

   Let us now connect verse 3 with verses 6 and 7, the verses that are applicable to the people of God, the meek.

Zeph. 2:3, 6, 7 — “Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger…. And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.  And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the Lord their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.”

Now, the fact that the Lord is to destroy all the inhabitants in the land of the Philistines (Zeph. 2:5), and at the same time make it dwellings for “shepherds, and folds for flocks,” shows that He is first to drive out of the land all the wicked, all those who are not seeking meekness, then He is to set up the “house of Judah” in it.

Zeph. 2:8 — “I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached My people, and magnified themselves against their border.”

Not only the unbelieving Jews, but also the unbelieving Arabs who resist the meek, are to be swept away from the land. 

Zeph. 2:9 — “Therefore as I live, saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of My people shall spoil them, and the remnant of My people shall possess them.”

While Moab and Ammon become as Sodom and Gomorrah, go out of existence, the captivity of God’s people is turned away.  They become an independent nation and possess all the wealth of the people round about.

Zeph. 2:10, 11 — “This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the Lord of hosts.  The Lord will be terrible unto them: for He will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship Him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen.”

Zeph. 2:12, 13 — “Ye Ethiopians also, ye shall be slain by My sword.  And He will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness.”

Zeph. 2:14 — “And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her [in Nineveh], all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds; for He shall uncover the cedar work.”

Who wants to ignore the truth that these conditions are definitely pre-millennial?  Moreover, these prophecies show that the renewal of the ancient kingdom of Judah is to be a real thing, not something imaginary.  Its subjects are to be real people, not ghosts.  Now we can see that the common expression, “going to heaven,” means first going to the Promised Land, there to be fitted for the society of the pure and eternal. (Ibid, p.26-28)

As we see the main purpose of the final fight is to return God’s people to His promised holy land. This is for the set up of the final Loud Cry headquarters and the final example to the world of what God’s kingdom is like.

“In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.”(Isaiah 2:2-4)

“Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:2)

While nation will not war with other nations, after this gigantic battle, there will be Satan’s attempt to destroy the people of God via persecution and  the Sunday Law, culminating in what is known as the battle of Armageddon. But this battle is not nation against nation but rather Satan’s last attempt to destroy the people of God.

At this point we need to point out that there is a coalition (the current english speaking Christian nations) which Inspiration terms–Assyria. As we have posted before the current “King of the North” is Great Britain, and along with the USA are seen as the driving forces behind Assyria. This is the side that will engage the big four in the final battle. Let us read more about this Assyria.

Zeph. 3:6-8 — “I have cut off the nations: their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste, that none passeth by: their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant.  I said, Surely thou wilt fear Me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.  Therefore wait ye upon Me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them Mine indignation, even all My fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy.”

   The Lord Himself warns that He has cut off nations, that He has made their towers desolate and their streets waste, that He has destroyed their cities and has left no inhabitants in them.  He points out that all this He did as an object lesson for future good, so that they as a nation might fear Him and receive instruction, that their dwellings not be cut off.  But in spite of these examples, they rise early and corrupt all their doings.  So it is that at long last the Lord arises to the prey, gathers the nations, assembles the kingdoms, and Assyria gets her punishment.

   From this we see that the Assyria under discussion exists in the time of the end, the time in which the great and dreadful day of the Lord takes place.  This Assyria, therefore, is an antitype of ancient Assyria just as the Babylon of Revelation 17 and 18 is an antitype of ancient Babylon.

   Assyria, charges Inspiration, is a rejoicing city that dwells carelessly, that says in her heart, “I am, and there is none beside me.” Zeph. 2:15.

   At this point let us pause a moment and summarize the characteristics by which this modern Assyria is to be identified.  (1) As man looks at things, she is so great that there is none like her.  She is well instructed in the things of God.  (2) She is oppressive, a hard ruling nation.  (3) She has polluted the sanctuary and has declared the law of God void.  (4) She has piled up wealth by going after it as an evening wolfe goes after its prey.  (5) She harbors the church of God.  (6) She exists in the time the Lord is to manifest His power and destroy all the wicked nations.  (7) She is an Assyria-like nation, widespread, a nation of conquests.

   There is but one people under the sun that answers to all these descriptions, and that people is, of course, the English-speaking people, in whose midst is the church, and from whose midst the Gospel and the Bible flow out to all nations.  As clear as language can make it, the burden of the prophet Zephaniah is for the English-speaking Christian world.

   God is now saying to Assyria’s capital city, “Indeed, you are doing all these abominations, but you will not thus continue long.  The time is at hand.”  Put a stop to your absurdities.

Zeph. 3:9 — “For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent.”

   Inspiration for certainty declares that after Assyria receives her punishment, and after the wicked are taken out of his church, then will the Gospel be proclaimed in a pure language (in pure Gospel Truth) that whosoever will, may call upon the name of the Lord, “to serve Him” with heart and soul.  Then it is that “only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will have a right to proclaim it [Third Angel’s Message] when it shall have swelled into the Loud Cry.” — “Review and Herald,” Nov. 19, 1908.

Zeph. 3:10, 11 — “From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My suppliants, even the daughter of My dispersed, shall bring Mine offering.  In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against Me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of My holy mountain.”

   When the Gospel is proclaimed in “a pure language,” then even from the ends of the earth God’s people will come with an offering to the Lord.

   Having removed all who rejoice in her pride the church shall be haughty no more.

Zeph. 3:12 — “I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord.”

The fact that He leaves in their midst poor and afflicted people is sufficient evidence in itself that the purification of the church takes place before the Millennium, before Isaiah 33:24 is fulfilled and before He sets up the kingdom mentioned therein.

Zeph. 3:13 — “The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.”

   The remnant, those that are left after the purification takes place, shall sin no more.  They shall forever thereafter stand without guile in their mouths.

Zeph. 3:14 — “Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.”

   A great day is coming for the righteous, a dreadful one for the wicked.  We, therefore, as children of Zion, are encouraged to sing and shout for joy because we have finally come to the time of God’s great deliverance.

Zeph. 3:15 — “The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, He hath cast out thine enemy: the King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.”

   Surely these revelations of prophecy should encourage every believer to shout with joy as he realizes that the day in which he shall no more see evil is right at hand, that the Lord is to be his only king.

Zeph. 3:16-20 — “In that day it shall be said to Jeruusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.  The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.  I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.  Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.  At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.”

   The Lord wants us to know that when He turns away our captivity He will also make us a name and a praise among all the people of the earth.  This kingdom of Judah (the church purified and set apart), is therefore, not only pre-millennial, but also probationary.  And how glad we ought to be for the privilege to be among the first of the first fruits. (Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 23, p.5-9)        

When we observe our current political atmosphere we can see that the middle east is the hotbed of trouble. The nations have their war machines in the area and soon the Lord will issue His “decree” and bombs shall be let loose.What is fascinating is to see the pieces of the puzzle coming together. Syria is protected by Russian and Iran and when Israel, USA or any other aggressor bombs Syria, the Russians may very well cut loose. They have held their peace on prior mishaps already, maybe the next indiscriminate bombing shall be the final one that sets the war in progress, ie. Russia bombing back. It will happen–God’s word says so!  

In  closing, we see that the Lord has set in motion all political positions for His purpose. The Rothschilds, Trump, Netanyahu, Merkel, Putin, Assad and all the rest are but pawns, moveable in His hands. His will is soon to be manifest upon this earth and those who are prepared (sealed in their forehead) will see the kingdom set up and be apart of the great kingdom. Our prayer should be–

“Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”(Matt. 6:10)          


Signs of the Kingdom

May 20, 2017

 

THE SIGNS OF CHRIST’S SECOND COMINGOR THE SIGNS OF THE KINGDOM–WHICH?TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAYADVENTISTS SABBATH, JANUARY 22, 1949MT. CARMEL CHAPELWACO, TEXAS   We as students and gospel teachers have for years dwelt heavily on the signs of Christ’s second coming, but not at all on the signs of the Kingdom.  As a result of this, Christendom has theoretically merged the signs of the Kingdom with the signs of the second Advent.

   Something similar to this is what the Jews of old did when they were expecting the Messiah’s first appearing.  According to their private understanding they deeply studied the signs of the restoration of the Kingdom, but not so much of the signs of the Messiah’s coming.  Thus it was that when they were told that the Messiah had come but not the time to restore the Kingdom, the leaders of the Jews, taking for granted that their private (uninspired) interpretation of the Scriptures was infallible, rejected the message of that day. 

Then in an attempt to safeguard their influence upon the common people and to subjugate them to their way of thinking, they crucified the Lord, their Saviour and King as they did also kill the prophets who went before Him.  Their insistence that the Kingdom be restored in their day, though, profited them nothing.

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   The fact that Christendom itself is divided and confused, one believing one thing and another something else, is in itself sufficient evidence that besides being in total darkness of the signs of the Kingdom because of private interpretation of the Scriptures, Christendom must be in darkness of many other things as well.  In such a confused state of faith, Christendom is definitely no more led by the Spirit of Truth than were the rebellious Jews.  Past experience teaches, however, that to try to convince the multitude of this fact would be as formidable a task as to convince the Jews even to this day that Christ is the Messiah that was to come. 

The difficulty, of course, lies in the fact that hardly a theologian allows for the possibility that his understanding of the Bible might be at least in a measure erroneous, and that Inspiration might almost at any moment manifest Itself anew, unroll the scroll and bring forth timely Truth, “meat in due season,” and thus expose their private concoctions of so-called tuth.

   Now with all respect and sincerity, by the authority of the Scriptures and by virtue of the facts before me, I say that it would be easier for a chicken to find its roost in the blackest of the night than for uninspired mind to unveil the prophecies and the parables.  The difference between the two is that the chicken realizes the futility of trying to find her roost after sunset, but the self-willed man does not realize that he cannot unveil Truth at his own will and without light from above.

   We as Christians have obviously failed to note that if the secret things of God, matter not how simple, were

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to be unsealed at anytime by anyone, Inspiration would never in the first place have concealed them in symbols and parables.  Christendom is still blind to the fact that to attempt to break into the mysteries of God would be to attempt to defeat His purposes; yes, to try to break into the Divine code, is to try the impossible. 

For example, even when the time did come for the Book sealed with seven seals to be unsealed (Rev. 4 and 5), no one in heaven or on earth was able to do so, but only “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” could break the seals and look into the things which afterwards were shown to John, the Revelator.  And though John wrote them, he himself could not before time explain them.  Then how can we do such before time and without the Inspiration of the same Spirit Who indicted them?  The Word of God plainly warns:

2 Pet. 1:19-21 — “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 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 Ghost.”

   No one, say the Scriptures, can privately (without Inspiration) unfold the prophecies, for, reasons the Apostle, as prophecy came not by private effort — not by the will of men, but by holy men and the Spirit — neither can it therefore be of private interpretation, but only by holy men led by the Holy Spirit.  Moreover, even

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after prophecy is thus interpreted, only to the righteous (the penitent) is given the gift of understanding it (Dan. 12:10).

   Since we as a people know some of the signs of Christ’s second coming, and none of the signs of the Kingdom, we had better now concentrate on the signs of the latter.

Matt. 13:24-30 — “Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.  But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.  So the servants of the Householder came and said unto Him, Sir, didst not Thou sow good seed in Thy field?  from whence then hath it tares?  He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. 

The servants said unto Him, Wilt Thou then that we go and gather them up?  But He said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into My barn.”

   This parable of the Kingdom, you note, contains three periods of time: First, the period of sowing the seed — the time of Christ’s ministry; second, the period of growing — the time from the ascension of Christ to the harvest; third, the time of harvest — a short period of

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time “at the end of the world” (Matt. 13:49), the period in which the earth is lightened with the glory of the angel (Rev. 18:1), and in which all God’s people are called out of Babylon (Rev. 18:4).  Then those who did not respond to this gathering call will cry out: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jer. 8:20.  The “harvest,” therefore, is “the end of the world.” Matt. 13:49.  It commences in the church and ends in Babylon.

   The work of the harvest, very obviously, is synonymous with the Judgment that decides who are tares and who are wheat–who are to be burned and destroyed as noxious weeds, and who are as precious wheat to be admitted into “the barn,” the Kingdom.  Thus it is that the Judgment is the cleansing of the sanctuary (Dan. 8:14), “the house of God,” the temple to which the Lord suddenly comes and purifies His servants, the Levites.  Here is the way the latter scripture reads:

Mal. 3:1-3, 5 — “Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, Whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.  But who may abide the day of his coming?  and who shall stand when he appeareth?  for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness…. And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift

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witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the Lord of hosts.”

   How many yields of fruit is the harvest to give? — If the 144,000 are the “first fruits” (Rev. 14:4), then there must be “second fruits,” for where there is no second there can be no first.  The word “firstfruits” absolutely necessitates second fruits.

   Where do the first fruits come from, and where do the second fruits come from? — We are plainly told that the first fruits are Israelites — all from the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:4-8).  Israel certainly stands for the church membership at the time they are sealed; the title “Israel” cannot be construed to mean the world.  The firstfruits, therefore, are harvested from the church itself at the time the separation begins.  The word “sealed” means placed in a safe place — sealed.  This is exactly what the apostle Peter says:

1 Pet. 4:17, 18 — “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

   Now, then, if the Judgment begins first in the “house of God,” in the church, then it will end in the world, outside the church circles.  The parable of the “net”

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and the Revelation of John very briefly and concisely bring this truth still better to the surface.

Matt. 13:47-50 — “Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.  So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

   Clearly, the net represents the gospel church into which are caught both hypocrite and saint.  Accordingly, in the time of the firstfruit harvest (the Judgment “in the house of God”) “at the end of the world” (Matt. 13:49), the angels sever the wicked from among the just, not the just from among the wicked.  But in the second fruit harvest (the Judgment in the world) the separation is the reverse: the just are taken out from among the wicked, not the wicked from among the just, so says The Revelation:

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, 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.  Plainly, the Judgment “in the house of God” is the harvest in which the hypocrites as “tares” are burned, but as bad “fish” they are cast out.  In the Judgment in Babylon (in the world), though, not the bad, but the good are taken out and brought into the purified house of God where there is no sin and no sinner, and where there is no danger of the plagues.  This same truth concerning the house of God again

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comes to us in these words:

Isa. 66:15, 16, 19, 20 — “For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire.  For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many….And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. 

And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.”

   Again we here see that those who escape the slaying of the Lord “in the house of God” (obviously the firstfruits, “the servants of God”), are sent to the nations who know not God, and from there they bring all their brethren (the second fruits) to the purified house of God where there is neither sin nor sinner, and where the plagues of Babylon therefore do not fall.

   We have now positively seen that there are first and second fruits: one from the church — the 144,000 sons of Jacob; and one from all nations — the great multitude which no man can number (Rev. 7:9).

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   Who gathers the firstfruits if the firstfruits gather the second fruits? — Let us find our answer by reading–

Rev. 14:14-19 — “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud One sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in Thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for Thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.  And He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.  And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 

And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to Him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in Thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.  And the angel thrust in His sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.”

   Here we are again told that there are two reapings, one by the Son of Man, and another by an angel.  The reaping by the Son of Man precedes the reaping by the angel.  “Son of Man,” therefore, gathers the firstfruits, and the angel gathers the second fruits.  (The vines, not the fully ripe grapes, he casts in the wine press.) The Son of Man Himself obviously reaps the firstfruits because His servants (figuratively the angel of the church of the Laodiceans) are in no condition to do such a work, for they themselves are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked,” and know it not (Rev. 3:14-18).

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   Looking down to this very time, the Spirit of Prophecy in Isaiah’s day said:

Isa. 63:5 — “And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore Mine own arm brought salvation unto Me; and My fury, it upheld Me.”

   Here you note that when the time came there was not even one among His servants “to uphold” the work of the harvest, and consequently the Lord Himself did the work without them.

   For the second reaping, however, He uses His guileless “servants,” the “firstfruits,” the 144,000, as prefigured by the angel with the sharp sickle (Rev. 14:17, 18).  And just as there are two fruits and two reapings from two different places, the church and the world, there are, as shown before, also two ways of harvesting: at first the bad are cast from among the good, and at last the good are called out from among the bad.

   These are some of the signs and events that precede the Kingdom of glory, the second coming of Christ.  Then, too, there are other signs, the first of which is seen from the parable of Matthew 25.

Matt. 25:1-12 — “Then shall the Kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and

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went forth to meet the Bridegroom.  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.  They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.  While the Bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 

But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.  And while they went to buy, the Bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut.  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.  But He answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”

   In this parable it is seen that the church is likened to ten virgins, five of whom do not avail themselves of extra oil — special Truth for this time, that is, these five do not give heed to the truth of the Judgment of the living, the separation or purification of the church.  When the cry is made, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him,” all ten virgins see that the light of their lamps is going out; they see that the message of the Judgment of the dead is passing.  Quickly then, the five wise virgins refill their lamps with the extra oil which they have stored in their vessels, and go on to meet the Bridegroom.  But the five foolish virgins, those who thought there was no need for extra oil, no need for an extra message, the message of the Judgment

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of the living, find themselves in gross darkness.  Yes, they find themselves without the light which the message of the Judgment of the living unfolds.  Upon discovering their foolish neglect, they rush to obtain oil, light on the subject, but in the meantime the door has been shut (probationary time for the virgins, the church, has closed).  When they call for admission they are politely told by the Lord Himself, “I know you not.”

   The sign of the coming Kingdom which this parable brings forth, is obviously the special message (the extra oil) which announces the Judgment of the living, the message which awakens the open-hearted Truth seekers, and which dooms its opposers, the hypocrites and lukewarm in the church — those who are satisfied and think themselves rich and increased with goods, in need of nothing (in need of no timely Truth), those who never awake to the fact that they are absolutely destitute.  Mind you, these are not my words, read what the Lord says to Laodicea:

Rev. 3:14-18 — “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and

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white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”

   Another view of this tragic truth is given in–

Luke 14:16-24 — “Then said He unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: and sent His servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.  And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.  And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.  And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.  So that servant came, and shewed his Lord these things.

Then the Master of the house being angry said to His servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.  And the servant said, Lord, it is done as Thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.  And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that My house may be filled.  For I say untoyou, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of My supper.”

   In this parable are seen two periods of time.  The first period is while the gospel has “bade many” (Luke 14:16) to the marriage supper, the time from the Apostles to the time of His last servant with the last message

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God sends to His people, the time all things are “ready.”  The next period is the time in which His last servant served (Luke 14:17).  This servant is sent, we are told, at “supper time,” at the end of the day, indicating that he bears the last message.  Moreover, he is at first sent to those who have previously been “bidden”; that is, to those who were already in the gospel truth, in the church.  At the outset he is to contact a class of people deeply engrossed with the cares of this life, and is to tell them that “all things are now ready,” that if they wish they can now prepare and go to the wedding, there to enjoy the Bridegroom’s banquet.  This is the last call for the supper.

   But what happens? — They excuse themselves from having anything to do with the banquet just then.  Some lay the blame on their professions, while others blame having to make a living for the family.  Whereupon the Master of the house angrily sends His servant to the poor and to the afflicted, to those who are hungry and not too busy to take heed, to those who are not so encumbered with business and home that they cannot answer His call.  This very thing takes place in the “city” proper — the church.  The poor, those who realize that they are not “rich and increased with goods,” come in, but still there is room for more.

   Then it is that the Lord of that servant commands that he should go after those who are on the highways and hedges — those outside the church circles, even to the ends of the earth (the “hedges”).  But before the servant goes to the highways and hedges on his last

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mission, the Master emphatically informs him that those who had been bidden and who excused themselves from coming in, are to be entirely excluded from the banquet; that none of them will be permitted even to taste of His supper; that by turning a deaf ear to the call these have closed their own probationary time, and that there is now nothing that can alter the situation.  After this the servant’s compelling cry goes out to the nations and the Master’s house is filled, the wedding takes place, and the Bridegroom serves all that are in the house, but none others.

   This same event is again given from another point of view.  This time by the gospel prophet:

Isa. 52:1, 2 — “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.  Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.”

   This particular prophecy discloses that while the church, Jerusalem and Zion, is asleep and naked with the unclean in her midst, and in captivity among the Gentiles (away from her own land), an awakening cry, a message, comes urging her to arise and put on her beautiful garments, for the wicked, declares the cry, will no more come into her, for they are to be utterly cut off.

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   The signs of the Kingdom, you see, are even more important for one to observe than are the signs of Christ’s coming.  If one should miss the signs of the Kingdom, then the knowledge of the signs of Christ’s coming would profit nothing, for all such will be frightened at His appearing and say “to the mountains and rocks.  Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Rev. 6:16, 17.

   Are the efforts to set up the pre-millennial Kingdom — the purified church — accompanied by great signs and wonders, by noise and pomp?  To this question the Lord answers–

Matt. 13:31-33 — “The Kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.  Another parable spake He unto them; The Kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”

Zech. 4:6 — “Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”

   Not a blast or a boom, and not a bust either, but the plain, quiet Truth, Brothers, Sisters, is what saves you and brings the Kingdom into being.

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   What is this pre-millennial Kingdom like?  And what other signs precede its establishment?  The answer to this question comes through Ezekiel–

Ezek. 36:23-28 — “And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.  For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.  Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.  And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.”

   Here are additional signs, signs which are displayed within and without the man himself: the scars and defects which sin has written upon the bodies of God’s people are washed away; also the sin-hardened heart is carved out of them and a new, tender heart that delights in keeping God’s statutes and judgments, is set in.

   When does this take place? — After God takes His saints “from among the heathen,” “out of all countries,”

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and brings them into their “own land,” say the Scriptures.  Thus shall they dwell in the land that God anciently gave to their fathers, and thus shall they be His people and He their God.  Here you see that no one can meet God face to face and live with Him eternally without first having this body-cleansing and heart-changing experience.

   Very evidently none who remain ignorant of these signs of the coming Kingdom will have this experience and consequently shall never enter into it, never be fitted to live and reign with Christ.

   Since these signs are so vital to salvation, they should no longer be overlooked, but should receive first consideration if we expect Christ’s second coming to be for our good, not to our damnation.  Indeed, for this obvious reason it is at this late hour this important message is brought to our attention.

   This great Truth is again foretold in the words of Zechariah–

Zech. 12:5-14; 13:1-5 — “And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God.  In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.  The Lord also shall save the tents of

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Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.

   “In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.  And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

   “In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.  And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; all the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart….

   “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.  And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no

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more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.  And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive: but he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.”

   The revival and reformation herein presented — mourning and heart searching caused by appreciativeness of God’s great mercy and goodness — shall be in the day the governors of Judah say, “The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength,” in the day the Lord makes even the most feeble among them as David, and the house of David as God, as the angel of the Lord.

   When this thorough reformation takes place then the cleansing fountain shall be opened to the whole house of David.  In that day the wicked shall be cut off and kept out of the house of David, and the false teachers, “prophets,” shall feel ashamed of having ever taught their private interpretations of the Scriptures.  Then shall men fully realize that though they could be taught by men to keep cattle, yet no man could teach them to prophesy; that this office is restricted to the Spirit of Prophecy, that no prophecy of the Scriptures is of

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private interpretation.

   Is this cleansing, heaven-fitting pre-millennium Kingdom, set up in probationary time? — To find our answer we shall turn to the prophecy of Micah–

Micah 3:12; 4:1, 2 — “Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest…. But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.  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.”

   Here we are told that in the latter days, in our time, the ancient Kingdom that was destroyed will be reestablished and exalted above all other Kingdoms.  Then people shall “flow into it” because “the law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”  The gospel work, therefore, is to be finished while its headquarters stand in the Holy Land.  Thus the Kingdom is set up in probationary time, in time of salvation and judicial purification, for after it is set up other people from many nations flow into it.

   This is what the Bible says, and certain it is that

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this is what is to be, for not even the Devil can defeat God’s plans or cheat His people.  Oh, yes, the Devil will try to explain away what these Scriptures say, but he can never make them say something other than what they do say.  Besides, anyone taking the Devil’s word in preference to God’s, deserves the Devil’s reward, and I am sure he will not be cheated out of it.

   Since these signs of the times, in addition to others, are of far greater importance than the “Lisbon earthquake,” “the dark day,” and “the falling stars,” we had better awake to the demand which they impose upon us, and which are bound to fit us for the second coming of Christ and for a home in His Kingdom if heeded.  But if these signs cannot awaken us, then it is positive that they will cause us to slide down into the bottomless pit while dreaming of being rich and increased with goods, in need of nothing, supposedly on the way to the glory land.  What a disappointment and what weeping and gnashing of teeth that would be!

   Who is to drive the Gentiles out of the land? — The answer is in

Zech. 1:14-17, 20, 21 — “So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.  And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.  Therefore thus saith the Lord; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: My house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of

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hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.  Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem…. And the Lord shewed me four carpenters.  Then said I, What come these to do?  And He spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.”

   Obviously one part of the Gentile nations shall come against the part that is in the Holy Land, and chase them out to make room for God’s people.  Then will the Lord’s feet stand on Mount Olives and the Mount shall cleave in the midst thereof and make therein a very great valley.  Thus shall the Lord open the way for His people to flee there to the “valley” where the Lord’s feet stand, and all the saints with them (Zech. 14:4, 5).

   This truth, you see, supersedes all truths, for without it your other truths will not profit you, will not take you into the Kingdom.  It is the last mile of all the miles of our faith through life that takes us Home.  We have gone this long; let us, therefore, keep on going right on to glory land, which is no longer beyond the horizon.  The mile ahead is indeed the last mile that will take us Home. (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 44 51)

Amen! Let your Kingdom come Lord!

Little Children in the New Earth?

May 13, 2017

“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”(Matt. 19:14)

One of the most joyful images is that of seeing young children, their faces aglow in the kingdom of God.But this subject of young children can truly give the present truth proclaimer a powerful tool in proving that there shall indeed be a kingdom of God , starting in our existing world. Let us show this most useful and persuasive proof, so that should you as a defender of God’s plan of a premillennial kingdom be asked to show your case you’ll be armed with a “Thus sayeth the Lord”.

This week in our work in His vineyard on one of our Elijah message sites on Facebook, we ran into an adamant non-believer. He lambasted the idea of a premillennial kingdom and provided his “proof”. As I read the ongoing conversation with him and some other brothers, I was led to enter in.

The area I chose to show him, in hopes of awaking him to his error was Isaiah 11:6-12. Let us read–

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearlingtogether;and a little child will lead them.
 The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together,and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
 The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.  In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia,from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean.

He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel;
he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.”

Now to be clear, there are several points that one can show the above words of the Lord can without doubt, be speaking solely of the pre-mil kingdom. But for the most persuasive one we chose the issue of the children.

Point 1-   Scripture and SOP both confirm that we are to “grow up like stall-fed calves”(Mal. 4:2) in heaven.

“The mortal, corruptible form, devoid of comeliness, once polluted with sin, becomes perfect, beautiful, and immortal. All blemishes and deformities are left in the grave. Restored to the tree of life in the long-lost Eden, the redeemed will “grow up” (Malachi 4:2) to the full stature of the race in its primeval glory. The last lingering traces of the curse of sin will be removed, and Christ’s faithful ones will appear in “the beauty of the Lord our God,” in mind and soul and body reflecting the perfect image of their Lord.”(Great Controversy, p.645)

In close reading of the above, some have pointed to the words “the tree of life in the long lost Eden” as evidence that this growth would take place in the new earth where the tree of life will be. However, there is a tree of life in heaven as the following shows.

“Here we saw the tree of life and the throne of God. Out of the throne came a pure river of water, and on either side of the river was the tree of life. On one side of the river was a trunk of a tree, and a trunk on the other side of the river, both of pure, transparent gold. At first I thought I saw two trees. I looked again, and saw that they were united at the top in one tree. So it was the tree of life on either side of the river of life. Its branches bowed to the place where we stood, and the fruit was glorious; it looked like gold mixed with silver.”(Early Writings, page 15)

Further, if the growth takes place in the new earth then all the children and babies would have to remain stunted for 1000 years in heaven then come down to the new earth to grow. Makes no sense whatsoever.

Point 2- The little ones are transferred to the “heavenly courts” in heaven to grow up. No births in heaven or the new earth.

“In the resurrection they neither marry; nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven” (Matt. 22:29)

“There are men today who express their belief that there will be marriages and births in the New Earth, but those who believe the Scriptures cannot accept such doctrines. The doctrine that children will be born in the New Earth is not a part of the “sure word of prophecy.” The words of Christ are too plain to be misunderstood. They should forever settle the question of marriages and births in the New Earth. Neither those who shall be raised from the dead, nor those who shall be translated without seeing death, will marry or be given in marriage. They will be as the angels of God, members of the royal family.” (Maranatha, p.369.)

“This promise is yours. You may be comforted and trust in the Lord. The Lord has often instructed me that many little ones are to be laid away before the time of trouble. We shall see our children again. We shall meet them and know them in the heavenly courts. Put your trust in the Lord, and be not afraid.” (Child Guidance, p.566)

So during the time in heaven with the “tree of life” there is growth. So Isaiah’s mentioning children playing with the snakes and the lion laying down with the calf cannot be a description of heaven or the new earth, but of this existing earth. Remember it says, “for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

Some have said that Ellen White saw little children “with wings” in the new earth but that is incorrect. She saw them in heaven. A link to Early Writings commentary to prove it was seen in heaven–

http://www.whiteestate.org/vez/jul08/from%20the%20pen.htm

The message also warns us that we had better learn the true interpretations of the prophecies, lest we be left not knowing how, when and where the upcoming kingdom of God begins–

“No one, say the Scriptures, can privately (without Inspiration) unfold the prophecies, for, reasons the Apostle, as prophecy came not by private effort — not by the will of men, but by holy men and the Spirit — neither can it therefore be of private interpretation, but only by holy men led by the Holy Spirit. Moreover, even after prophecy is thus interpreted, only to the righteous (the penitent) is given the gift of understanding it (Dan. 12:10).

Since we as a people know some of the signs of Christ’s second coming, and none of the signs of the Kingdom, we had better now concentrate on the signs of the latter.

Matt. 13:24-30 — “Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the Householder came and said unto Him, Sir, didst not Thou sow good seed in Thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto Him, Wilt Thou then that we go and gather them up? But He said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into My barn.”

This parable of the Kingdom, you note, contains three periods of time: First, the period of sowing the seed — the time of Christ’s ministry; second, the period of growing — the time from the ascension of Christ to the harvest; third, the time of harvest — a short period of time “at the end of the world” (Matt. 13:49), the period in which the earth is lightened with the glory of the angel (Rev. 18:1), and in which all God’s people are called out of Babylon (Rev. 18:4). Then those who did not respond to this gathering call will cry out: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jer. 8:20. The “harvest,” therefore, is “the end of the world.” Matt. 13:49. It commences in the church and ends in Babylon.(Timely Greetings, vol.2, no.44, p.31-33)

To be sure, Isaiah chapter 11 has numerous evidences that the kingdom it speaks about can only be the pre-mil kingdom. The fact that “Gentiles” exist in this kingdom time cannot support heaven or the new earth. The fact that the Lord recovers His people again just like in Moses’ day , likewise cannot be in heaven or the new earth. Let’s believe in what God’s word plainly says, and we’ll be safe.

“If men would but take the Bible as it reads, if there were no false teachers to mislead and confuse their minds, a work would be accomplished that would make angels glad and that would bring into the fold of Christ thousands upon thousands who are now wandering in error.” (GC, p.599)

Summary–

The issue of the children is very clear and should be relied upon by any present truth proclaimer to prove that the Lord’s kingdom will start soon in Israel. Isaiah’s prophecy can have only one application and that is it takes place here on this existing earth in our time. The other two scenarios do not hold up upon close scrutiny. So what we have is a promise that the Lord’s kingdom will soon begin in His holy land. His word will not return void. Now is our time to prepare and believe that we are almost ready to make the move to our future home. Do you have plans to go there?

 

REMINDER: Our color code is as follows:  Blue is Bible or Spirit of Prophecy. Orange is the Lord speaking. Brown is the Elijah message (Mal. 4:5) as brought by our last prophet–Victor Houteff. 

NOTE: This upcoming kingdom is very exciting. In our next post we’ll provide an exciting look at the coming kingdom.

The Great Separation

May 6, 2017

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In John 14:6 we read —

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”

Such powerful truth indeed! But there is a concern today from one who is active in His vineyard, the middle description that our Lord gave “Truth” is often separated from Jesus. In other words some who claim to be Christian are trying to do what we call–the great separation.

But can we actually say we know Jesus yet not want or desire truth? Scripture warns us of the consequences if we do not “love and accept” the truth(Jesus) —

“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)

Recently an experience occurred that provoked thoughts for this post. Allow me to describe.

At one of our local SDA churches that we frequent, we have come to know 3 Elders there. They all appear good men, showing a Sabbath dedication to making our services pleasing to the Lord. But as I always try to do, let the Lord guide in outreach to our members with His final message of truth. I was led to get all three of these guys email addresses. My goal was to send them a couple of present truth studies each month.

They seemed interested in knowing more, so soon I sent the first study. It was concerning the subject of Rev. 17, the harlot woman and how she cannot be solely the Roman Catholic Church. As we posted a while back, we showed beyond doubt that the woman must symbolize the world’s false religions from Cain. So I felt this was a good starter as all of these guys most likely would be surprised to learn this as the vast majority of our leaders in the church believe the woman is the Catholic Church.

The emails were sent and I looked forward to the responses. I was ready for anything–good bad or inquisitive. One week went by, two weeks went by, then one month went by and–nothing! I was amazed. Here I was sending new truth, new revealing eye-opening truth yet not one of them were interested!

Ok, maybe they all were out or something so let’s try again. One month later I send them a new study, this time on Rev. chapter 3. About our Lord’s counsel on us, Laodicea. Again ,nothing, nada, zip.

The Spirit led me to shake my head in sad disbelief.  The message warns us not to reject even a part of truth.

“Even as it is a blessed thing to accept the truth, so it is a fearful thing to reject it.  And rejection need not include all truth.  To reject a part may be just as fatal as to reject the whole.  So all should beware.” (SRod, vol. 1, p.160)

You see brethren, the Truth is Jesus and if Jesus’s Truth comes to us, in any form, are we showing “love” for it by ignoring it or wholeheartedly welcoming with joy in our hearts? Let us use an analogy.

A gal is a member of “I love Elvis” club. Someone reaches out to her and say’s “hey I just got a new song from Elvis, want to hear it”? She’s in love with Elvis, does she ignore that offer? Turn and walk away without saying anything? Of course not! She LOVES Elvis, she is a member of the club and would not for the life of her, turn down any new song from Elvis.

Yet some of us as symbolical Jesus fan club members think nothing of walking away from a new song (new truth) from Jesus! Do we really love Him (truth)? Our actions  speak volumes!

Tomorrow is not guaranteed and should God call us to rest the next day, what more opportunities to learn His new truths then? The Lord sends messengers into our lives, yet we often don’t know the time of our visitation. These three men, have willfully chosen to ignore Truth sent them.

The Spirit of Prophecy  says we are asleep and it’s not funny–

“Study the 9th chapter of Ezekiel. These words will be literally fulfilled; yet the time is passing, and the people are asleep. They refuse to humble their souls and to be converted. Not a great while longer will the Lord bear with the people who have such great and important truths revealed to them, but who refuse to bring these truths into their individual experience. The time is short. God is calling; will you hear? Will you receive His message? Will you be converted before it is too late? Soon, very soon, every case will be decided for eternity.” (Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, p.260)

Yet these same three men can be found each Sabbath singing “Oh Lord come soon , we need you…” Really? You love the Lord yet could care less about His Truth? This is the great attempt at separation we all too often see today among us Seventh-day Adventists!

So why do we need to worry about the aforementioned brethren? SOP answers us.

“New light will ever be revealed on the word of God to him who is in living connection with the Sun of Righteousness. Let no one come to the conclusion that there is no more truth to be revealed. The diligent, prayerful seeker for truth will find precious rays of light yet to shine forth from the word of God. Many gems are yet scattered that are to be gathered together to become the property of the remnant people of God. (Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 34 (1892). CW 35.1)

These brethren are indifferent on “new light”. The studies we provided showed new light and as such should have struck a “truth chord” within, but sadly did not move them. “Gems” as Inspiration calls them are to become our property, within our knowledge.

We have pointed this out before, these final truths from the Lord gets the seal in our forehead . They give light to our final journey home, complete with today’s instructions for obedience He requires. Specifically to “sigh and cry for all the abominations done in the church” (Testimonies vol. 5, p.211).

We cannot separate Jesus from His Truth (Word). To love one without the other is to attempt– The Great Separation– which cannot be done. God is noticing whether we respond to His Truth or whether we could “take or leave it”.

“There is no excuse for anyone in taking the position that there is no more truth to be revealed, and that all our expositions of Scripture are without an error. The fact that certain doctrines have been held as truth for many years by our people, is not a proof that our ideas are infallible. Age will not make error into truth, and truth can afford to be fair. No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation.”(CW p.35)
“The Lord designs that our opinions shall be put to the test, that we may see the necessity of closely examining the living oracles to see whether or not we are in the faith. Many who claim to believe the truth have settled down at their ease, saying, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” (The Review and Herald, December 20, 1892.)

“There is no Bible sanctification for those who cast a part of the truth behind them” (“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 1, p. 338), for “this work cannot go on in the heart while the light on any part of the truth is rejected or neglected. The sanctified soul will not be content to remain in ignorance, but will desire to walk in the light and to seek for. greater light. As a miner digs for gold and silver, so the follower of Christ will press from light to greater light, ever increasing in knowledge. He will continually grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.” (R. &, H., June 17, 1890.)

As The Lord promised in Mal. 4:5 there would be a final message given us. Are we welcoming it with all ears or throwing it aside cause we “love Jesus”.

Fleeing to the Mountains

April 29, 2017

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One of the most frequently asked questions from both present truth believers and non believing SDA is a fair and timely one–  “If there is to be a pre-millennial kingdom in Israel why does SOP say that the people will have to flee to the mountains to escape persecution?” Let us look at this intriguing question.

The SOP quote that brings this thought into view is found in GC, p.626, let us read–

“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.”

Here we read of the struggles that God’s people will have to endure to keep from being destroyed. But how can we reconcile this with the glorious hope that the Scriptures portray for God’s people as this reading shows–

“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 2:2-3)

Here we read of an exalted church (mountain=God’s people) in the last days, yet we just read where the people of God will be scared and running to the hills, what gives?

To begin with let us see what the “restoring message” tells us about this very subject. God in His all seeing ways knew that this issue would need to be cleared and His last prophet addressed it–

WHO FLEE TO MOUNTAINS?

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.) (Answerer, vol. 2, Q-37)

Ah, we see that it will be the “second fruits” those who will be called out of Babylon but “shall not yet at that time have reached the Kingdom.” Both the first fruits and second fruits are indeed –“God’s people” and they come into the final truth at different times and circumstances.

The message tells us more about the two fruits —

“How many yields of fruit is the harvest to give? — If the 144,000 are the “first fruits” (Rev. 14:4), then there must be “second fruits,” for where there is no second there can be no first. The word “firstfruits” absolutely necessitates second fruits.

Where do the first fruits come from, and where do the second fruits come from? — We are plainly told that the first fruits are Israelites — all from the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:4-8). Israel certainly stands for the church membership at the time they are sealed; the title “Israel” cannot be construed to mean the world. The firstfruits, therefore, are harvested from the church itself at the time the separation begins. The word “sealed” means placed in a safe place — sealed. This is exactly what the apostle Peter says:

1 Pet. 4:17, 18 — “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

Now, then, if the Judgment begins first in the “house of God,” in the church, then it will end in the world, outside the church circles. The parable of the “net” and the Revelation of John very briefly and concisely bring this truth still better to the surface.

Matt. 13:47-50 — “Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Clearly, the net represents the gospel church into which are caught both hypocrite and saint. Accordingly, in the time of the firstfruit harvest (the Judgment “in the house of God”) “at the end of the world” (Matt. 13:49), the angels sever the wicked from among the just, not the just from among the wicked. But in the second fruit harvest (the Judgment in the world) the separation is the reverse: the just are taken out from among the wicked, not the wicked from among the just, so says The Revelation: “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, 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.

Plainly, the Judgment “in the house of God” is the harvest in which the hypocrites as “tares” are burned, but as bad “fish” they are cast out. In the Judgment in Babylon (in the world), though, not the bad, but the good are taken out and brought into the purified house of God where there is no sin and no sinner, and where there is no danger of the plagues. (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 44, page 34-35)

Our beloved sister Ellen White, though truly gifted of God, did not have all the light, especially about the pre-mil kingdom (First fruits and second fruits). The Lord’s Elijah messenger was given this task. She herself wrote under Inspiration–

“But no man, however honored of Heaven, has ever attained to a full understanding of the great plan of redemption, or even to a perfect appreciation of the divine purpose in the work for his own time. Men do not fully understand what God would accomplish by the work which He gives them to do; they do not comprehend, in all its bearings, the message which they utter in His name.” (GC, p.343)

So often today we hear Adventists say “Get ready, soon we’ll have to move to the hills because we’ll be persecuted in the cities if we stay.” What lack of knowledge, what presumptuousness. Our leaders are spreading this message all over. Yet we as present truth believers know that not one Adventist will be persecuted because the church judgment will leave only those who know where they are going– to the Lord’s promised pre-millennial kingdom in Israel. Their foreheads will say it all–

“The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus’ new name.” (Early Writings, p.15)

  1. God, meaning they “follow the Lamb wheresoever He goeth.” And they have been persecuted for it. (lied about, demoted, suspended and disfellowshipped, slandered against, etc.)
  2. New Jerusalem, meaning they are looking forward to where the Lord said His people will go in His last message of Elijah.
  3. Jesus’ new name, the promised name that the Word says in the following —

“And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.” (Isaiah 62:2)

“And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name.”(Isaiah 65:16)

The message describes the meaning of the above verses, quite solemn indeed!

Isa. 62:2: “A new name.”  Indicative of the new experience they have passed through, which is the separation, or sifting, as explained.  God Himself with His own mouth gives the name so it can not be counterfeited.  The time the name is received is at the end of the 430 year period as explained on the chart on pages 112-113.  Thus, the church is reorganized under a new name.  The old name, being polluted, could no longer be retained. 

There is no one to go by the old name, for the ones who were not worthy of having the new name have perished under the figure of the five men with the slaughter weapons of Ezekiel 9.  The name only remains for a curse.  In Isa. 65:15, we read: “And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto My chosen: For the Lord God shall slay thee, and call His servants by another name.”  The old order of things being changed.  The watchmen who were unfaithful have perished.”(SRod , vol.1, p.155)

So there  are basically two scenarios that take place with God’s last day people. One, the first fruits and “those with” which are the Gentiles that initially go with the 144,000 into the kingdom. And there is the resurrected SDA, such as Ellen White, God willing, that will be in the kingdom to support the believers.

Two, there are the people who are in Babylon (those in the false and confused religions), who become the termed  “great multitude” in Rev. 7:9. These are those who will either make it to the kingdom or unfortunately be persecuted or run to the hills. The escaping Gentiles (who miss the persecution) will fulfill God’s word–

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'”(Zech. 8:23)

As we showed last week in our report, the SDA who will make up the 144,000 have Israelite blood in them from their ancestors. They are all of the twelve tribes of Rev. 7.

By far the  Gentiles will be the majority in the kingdom, as they go there to hear the word of the Lord. Plus you may recall that the world will witness the awesome display of God’s power in the holy land as Isaiah chapter 11 comes to pass–

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.


They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.” (Isaiah 11:6-10)

Can we imagine the TV footage and reports showing the lion and lamb lying down together in Israel? A final witness to the world that the 144,000 are God’s messengers and that they speak in behalf of the Lord and His plans. Unfortunately Satan is not going to set idly by and watch these great works by God go unanswered. Satan’s agents will mount a strong counter movement (Sunday keeping and counter miracles) and the 666 man along with the false prophet who works the miracles shall be a strong delusion to those not grounded upon God’s word.

Soon the persecution will come and that is the time that some of the second fruits will get snared. But God, as we know, shall not abandon them even in their dire circumstances.

“I saw the saints leaving the cities and villages, and associating together in companies, and living in the most solitary places. Angels provided them food and water, while the wicked were suffering from hunger and thirst. Then 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.

But in this hour of trial the saints were calm and composed, trusting in God and leaning upon His promise that a way of escape would be made for them. In some places, before the time for the decree to be executed, the wicked rushed upon the saints to slay them; but angels in the form of men of war fought for them. Satan wished to have the privilege of destroying the saints of the Most High; but Jesus bade His angels watch over them. God would be honored by making a covenant with those who had kept His law, in the sight of the heathen round about them; and Jesus would be honored by translating, without their seeing death, the faithful, waiting ones who had so long expected Him.

Soon I saw the saints suffering great mental anguish. They seemed to be surrounded by the wicked inhabitants of the earth. Every appearance was against them. Some began to fear that God had at last left them to perish by the hand of the wicked. But if their eyes could have been opened, they would have seen themselves surrounded by angels of God. Next came the multitude of the angry wicked, and next a mass of evil angels, hurrying on the wicked to slay the saints. But before they could approach God’s people, the wicked must first pass this company of mighty, holy angels. This was impossible. The angels of God were causing them to recede and also causing the evil angels who were pressing around them to fall back.” (Early Writings, p.282-283)

Even though “some” Gentiles may be stuck, the end time church of God is a prevailing power upon the world, SOP says–

“Mighty miracles were wrought, the sick were healed, and signs and wonders followed the believers. God was in the work, and every saint, fearless of consequences, followed the convictions of his own conscience and united with those who were keeping all the commandments of God; and with power they sounded abroad the third message. I saw that this message will close with power and strength far exceeding the midnight cry.

Servants of God, endowed with power from on high with their faces lighted up, and shining with holy consecration, went forth to proclaim the message from heaven. Souls that were scattered all through the religious bodies answered to the call, and the precious were hurried out of the doomed churches, as Lot was hurried out of Sodom before her destruction. God’s people were strengthened by the excellent glory which rested upon them in rich abundance and prepared them to endure the hour of temptation. I heard everywhere a multitude of voices saying, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”(EW, p.278-279)

So there is the answer to SOP’s writings and the Rod’s writings about fleeing to the mountains. When viewed in totality , harmony comes into clear focus. If you are SDA, please see that you do the following without delay —

“Let us strive with all power that God has given us to be among the one hundred and forty four thousand. And let us do all that we can to help others gain heaven.”(RH, March 9, 1905)

If you are not, know that God loves you and has a plan for your life. Walk in all the light you have, although you are not now in the full light of God’s word , the time will come that your chance for living in the kingdom will be here. Praise God for His mercy and compassion that every soul, both of the SDA and of the world, will have their opportunity to embrace the truth. But now,  let us hope that we as SDA know the “time” of our visitation, the time now of His final warning of Elijah.

For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. (Hebrews 3:14-15)

Israelites Indeed-Not Gentiles

April 22, 2017

Image result for picture of ancient jews

As many of you know we have written extensively on the 144,000. But this week we’d like to show a report from the message showing a deeper look into this area.

“Whosoever has been converted to Christianity, accepting Christ as his personal Saviour, has had an experience which has completely overthrown and revolutionized his former plans and hopes, his entire way of life.  He has renounced the world and all its “pleasures of sin for a season” (Heb. 11:25), and has become a new creature in Christ, born again, heir of the kingdom according to the promise!  This is what Jesus meant when He declared to Nicodemus: “Ye must be born again.” And Paul, having this experience in mind, says: “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Gal. 3:29.

   Regardless, therefore, whether one be Jew or Gentile, he can have no part in the kingdom of Christ, save through the second birth, by which he becomes one of the seed of Abraham.  This spiritual transformation, nevertheless, does not fix anyone’s racial identity and tribal  lineage.  It can not, in other words, make one Judaite if he is not descended of Judah, or make him Ephraimite, if he is not descended of Ephraim.  Consequently, the 144,000, being of the sons of Jacob, cannot be of the Gentile nations.  They therefore, first of all, are lineal descendants of Jacob, though

Not Necessarily of the Present Identifiable Jewish Stock

   The ten tribes (the kingdom of Israel) were  carried away, scattered throughout the cities of the Medes (2 Kings 17:6), and so completely submerged in the sea of life of the surrounding nations, and assimilated, that they were utterly lost sight of, racially, to human reckoning.

Similarly, as the two tribes (the kingdom of  Judah) were carried away into Babylon, with only a few returning to Jerusalem after the seventy years of their captivity was accomplished, a multitude also of them lost their identity.

   Then, too, the early Christian church was made up of Jews only: the apostles, the 120 in the upper room (Acts 1:15), and the 3,000 who were converted on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41) were all Jews, as were, indeed, virtually all those who “were added daily” for the first three and a half years after the crucifixion (Dan. 9:26, 27; Acts 2:47).  And even after this period was over, and the apostles were commissioned to take the gospel  to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46), many more Jews became Christians, and subsequently, as Christians rather than as Jews, were scattered among the nations.

   Clearly, therefore, in each instance most of the sons of Jacob lost their racial distinctiveness.  As the Lord, however, has ever kept the genealogies  of all nations, especially of the sons of Jacob, He will, as He has promised, “make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.  And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.  The Lord shall count, when He writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.” Ps. 87:4-6.

   Thus just as obvious as strange is the fact that no one today but the recognized Jew can vouch for his ancestry, with the result that the 144,000 can be gathered from almost every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and yet be of the sons of Jacob!

   “And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Word of prophecy in this connection, “that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.  And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.  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.” Isa. 11:11, 12; 27:12.

Since, therefore, history, logic, and scripture combine their evidences to prove unconditionally that God has preserved the genealogy of the chosen branch of the human race forward from Adam to Noah (Matt. 1:1-17), and backward from Jesus to Adam (Luke 3:23-38), He must, then, for a consistent reason, also have preserved  the identity of the elect today.  And this we see, is precisely what He has done in His designating the lineage of the 144,000, as “of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” Rev. 7:4. 

And though we know not what we are, and cannot ever of ourselves tell, the One Who knows all about us, even to the last hair of each head, knows our precise ancestry, although those of us who are to be gathered from the seed of Jacob are, says the prophet, as the sand of the sea,” whereas, comparatively speaking, the identifiable Jewish race of today, is but a handful to the nations, and therefore cannot today be the ones to whom apply

The Terms Israel, Ephraim, Joseph.

   Going back for a moment to the historical approach to our subject, we recall that after Solomon’s death, the Israelite nation (the twelve tribes) was divided into two separate kingdoms (1 Kings 11:11, 12; 12:19, 27).  The ten-tribe  kingdom, occupying the northern portion of the  promised land, was called “Israel,” also Ephraim, and occasionally the house of Joseph: “Israel,” because of its majority of tribes; Ephraim (Isa. 11:13), because its kings came from Ephraim; and Joseph (Ezek. 37:16), because he was the father of Ephraim.  But the two-tribe kingdom, occupying the southern portion, was called “Judah,” because its kings were of the tribe of Judah, and therefore its  descendants are called “Jews.”  The term “Israel,” accordingly, often applies only to the ten tribes.” (Tract 8, p.7-11)

 


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