The Real Story behind the Waco Tragedy (Part 3 of 3)

January 19, 2019

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As we look at the above picture of the official flag* of the Branch Davidians, even the casual observer should notice that foremost symbol within it. Who has the great adversary be known as since the very beginning? (* source — Wikipedia)

As we conclude the final post of this series, we shall come to our primary objective. That is to disclose the real purpose for the Waco disaster. As mentioned we know that the real struggles within our world is that of the spiritual battle that goes on beyond our human sight. This monumental tragic episode indeed was set up with a direct and world-wide purpose by unseen forces. 

The message let’s us know what to expect from our adversary–

“..no prophet of God has ever been welcomed by the church.  On the contrary, each in his time was rejected, abused, and most of them were martyred by the ones to whom they were sent — the very ones who were supposed to be serving God!  Indeed, the Lord Himself paid the same price.  For this very reason we must remember that when the last prophet comes he will have the greatest opposition to meet, for Satan well knows that if he loses now, he loses forever….

…Everything that can be done will be done to distort the Truth and thus distract and dishearten believers and draw their attention to something other than the message of Elijah.

   Thus will be the Devil’s deal while the day of God is approaching, and while Elijah is making the announcement of it as the scroll unrolls and while the prophecies concerning the day of God are being unsealed.   His work and his interpretation of the prophecies for the great day will identify him as the promised Elijah the prophet (“Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 475), and this will enrage the Devil as never before.  Nevertheless, one’s only safety will be in the teaching of Elijah, for there will be no other voice of timely Truth and authority to whom one may turn.  Any others will lead their victims blind-folded into perdition.” (General Conference Special, p.6,7,8)

Rage indeed! In fact, what we have learned was a countermanding  of a wholesome reformation movement that encompassed true Christian values, by  sinister forces using men and women dressed in “robes of light.” Satan plied his trade beginning with Roden and in 1993 his deception work came to a world wide head! The world stood shocked and amazed.

What was the real purpose?

If you haven’t guessed by now, it was to taint and soil the name “Davidian” and thus any message connected to this now disrupted name. Today when one hears the word Davidian , most likely they conjure up fire, guns, Koresh, killings, cults, and all of the horrible occurrences connected with the Waco disaster. Satan has done his job. Those who care not to investigate the whole issue are –snagged and snared!

But why did he focus on the name/movement of the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists?

We are well aware of the close relationship our Lord had with David. In fact the Lord said —

“..I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after Mine own heart, which shall fulfill all My will.” (Acts 13:22)

No doubt Satan  knows well the Davidic Covenant the Lord has made. In this covenant the Lord will do the following–

“And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.” (2 Sam. 7:9)

“When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever…And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever”” (2 Sam. 7:12-13,16)


“You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David My servant. Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.”(Psalms 89:3-4)

“For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them. Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.” (Jer 30: 8-10)

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)

Thus we know Satan knows all about this Davidic kingdom and it’s end time establishment. The Davidian Seventh-day Adventists are the only people on earth today that believe and teach this promised “pre-millenial” kingdom phase. They know it’s purpose will be to gather the “great multitude” from all the earth (Rev. 7:9) to the Lord and his kingdom. The Loud Cry headquarters and restoration of the Lord’s beautiful land. (see Isaiah 11: 6-12).

This setting up of the Davidic kingdom will come shortly after the prophesy of Rev. 12 :15-17 occurs (the SDA church purification), and he will be “enraged”.

“And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Rev. 12:15-17)

So how does this all connect with the Seventh-day Adventists? As many of you who have studied the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist history know, the movement came to the SDA church in 1930. Victor Houteff was a devout SDA member and Sabbath school teacher,  who many believe was given the Lord’s Rod message initially introduced in 1930 and 1932 with SRod volumes 1 and 2. Unfortunately this message did not find leadership acceptance (as prophesied in Testimonies to Ministers page 475).

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The laity was not as stubbornly against it, however due to the leaders black listing anyone involved with it, members soon began to either boldly accept it , and face the consequences and risk being dis-fellowshipped or ostracized within the church. But the majority leaned upon flesh (Jer. 17:5) and accepted what the leaders told them.

So all this unfortunate negativity already existed within the SDA church prior to the Waco event. But the Waco event helped cement the leaders ideas with an even more negative spin/slander on the Shepherd’s Rod message.

Ironically, the SDA organization hypocritically cries foul when world journalists occasionally report that the Branch Davidians sprung from the SDA church. The connection goes –SDA church, Houteff was a SDA member,  then later became founder of the Branch Davidians.

Let us show you what Satan’s handiwork is through Ben Roden’s Branch movement. Both the world’s heathen and our own SDA church leaders expose their unholy work of deception as you’ll see.

The following article was put out by Texas Monthly News last year —

The forebears of the Branch Davidians were a tiny breakaway band of Seventh-day Adventists who arrived in the Waco area in 1935, after their leader, a Bulgarian immigrant named Victor Houteff, had been expelled from his Los Angeles church…In 1981, a stuttering 22-year-old aspiring rock musician named Vernon Wayne Howell arrived at the new Mount Carmel, and he quickly established himself as a preacher in Houteff’s mold. He seduced the sect’s then-leader, Lois Roden, began displaying a preternatural recall of the Bible, and claimed a special role for himself in the onset of the Judgment. He would eventually change his name to David Koresh, after two Biblical kings. (Texas Monthly News–March 26, 2018)

Wow! Koresh was just like Houteff, in his mold! This goes to show you the lack of depth, the carelessness and utter mindless research that is produced and put out there as authoritative. Notice the subtle connection with Branch Davidians to the original Davidians SDA movement and Victor Houteff. This article is by no means a rare occurrence in the deceptive practice of the world’s heathen journalism. Satan’s well oiled machine doing the intended work!

But much more sinister is from those who should have great light–the Seventh-day Adventist leaders.

Image result for David Mould Koresh Waco

One of the foremost SDA leaders in spreading the adversary’s slander is David Mould (pictured in top left). He is active on YouTube and has a video with Koresh in back ground among the Waco fire backdrop, talking about the Shepherd’s Rod. See the following video link at 6:00 to 11:00 mark.

Then we have Carlton Knott. Another SDA leader who makes videos twisting and slandering the Rod message. You can quickly notice two striking falsehoods. At the 23:16 mark you’ll see a picture of Ben Roden in his video and he tells his followers its Victor Houteff.  At the 27:00 minute mark Knott says “You can call them either Shepherd’s Rod or Branch Davidians..” and the truth twisting goes on from there. Once again Satan’s handiwork in getting the unsuspecting to blur the lines between the two movements.

But by far the worse of all is a former Davidian SDA . Ismael Rodriguez, who turn coated and has a ministry going around the world lambasting the Shepherd’s Rod movement. In fact Stephen Bohr, hired him to come to his organization and produce a 10 part YouTube series “exposing” the Rod movement. But praise the Lord, we were able to address each of the videos showing his lies and distortions, backed up by written Rod references. See the following link for the 10 part rebuttal —

Image result for Ismael Rodriguez picture Shepherd's Rod

https://hearyetherod.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/into-the-vipers-den-part-1-of-5/

Rodriguez likewise tries to connect Koresh with the original Davidian SDA. His history with the movement is shady indeed! The dirty little secret is that he was trying to get a leadership position with one of the head DSDA organizations (Mt. Dale, New York) and failed, so soon after he quit and soon began to disrupt the cause. Now he makes a living from the like of people like Bohr and other SDA churches who hire him.

The above is but a snippet of the slander, mis-representation, lies and falsehoods that the SDA church leaders do in connection to the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist movement.

“The more you are jostled, misapprehended, misstated, misrepresented, the more evidence you have that you are doing a work for the Master, and the more closely you must cling to your Saviour.” (Testimonies, vol. 8, p.130) 

Whether you are SDA or of the world, you can even show yourself an “expert” on Davidian matters by going to one of the foremost encyclopedias in the world –Britannica. They wouldn’t lie now would they?  Take a look —

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Victor-Houteff

Our Lord told us to “leap for joy” when we are degraded by others for His truth —

“Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.” (Luke 6:22-23)

How many times have true original Davidian Seventh-day Adventists been dis-fellowshipped simply because they believe in the Lord’s Rod (Micah 6:9)? One of the reasons is that the SDA authorities/members have bought hook line and sinker the Satanic story of the Branch, Koresh, Houteff situation being one and the same! By God’s grace may you now know the Truth of this situation and carry it with you in your spiritual walk. Because surely the evil ones will have their workers spreading their master’s deceptions and fairy tales in an effort to blind and hinder you from knowing the Truth.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

In summary, Satan achieved his goal by leading this off-shoot from the original Davidians , to slander and disrupt the real Davidian cause. Hence today, many SDA and even those in the world connect the word “Davidian” to Branch Davidians, which then leads them to be fearful and skeptical of anything Davidian. Yet let us not forget the Lord’s Truth ALWAYS wins!

Lastly, is it any wonder that to take up this mantle of the Lord’s final message to His SDA church, it is a tough road sometimes, and can bring us to a real need to “cling to Jesus”. Satan is against this cause  because , as mentioned it will doom him. The message of the Davidic kingdom, a kingdom about to take place In Israel with God’s power behind it, will be more than a match for his wiles. He may be able to fool many today but God’s army (Joel chap.2) will soon take over and power pendulum will swing away from Satan.

“And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it. (Ezek. 36:35-36)

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The Real Story behind the Waco Tragedy (Part 2 of 3)

January 12, 2019

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NOTE: Due to more information needed to be written we’ve expanded this post series to three parts

Before we begin, let’s recap what we learned from our last report. Victor Houteff established a large 380  plus acres property known as Mt. Carmel in Waco Texas in the mid 1930’s. His group was well organized and from all accounts –true Christian values and teachings were lived, written and preached from there. From there, many believe the Lord’s Rod message (Micah 6:9 and 7:14) was published and distributed as the “leaves of autumn”.

Benjamin Roden became interested in Houteff’s movement, yet soon he was discovered to have lacked normal basic Christian values , such as honesty and integrity. Witnesses came forward to warn of him, especially after Victor died. This was a time when Roden sprang into action, proclaiming himself the “true” Elijah prophet that would not die as Houteff did. In fact he was so sure the Lord was leading him he left for Israel to set up the long awaited pre-millennial kingdom, but found failure.

After Roden had died, some knowledgeable and experienced people such as Davidian SDA leader  A. Anthony Hibbert wrote in his excellent book “Before the Flames” about Roden —

“Even some secular writers referred to Roden as a scholar. He possessed leadership qualities. He had the ability to influence minds, especially in biblical matters. But, while Houteff was alive, no would-be-prophet or leader dared promote his agenda. To the majority, it sooner or later became obvious that persons like Roden were looking for a following. No matter their scholarship , they could not challenge Houteff’s sagacity and theological prowess.

After all, he had secured their knowledge of the original, profound biblical themes. Doctrines that had appeared irrefutable and had caused scholars to muse. Themes that had stirred the Adventist denomination world-wide. Houteff had accomplished the impossible without a formal training in theology or attending any college or university.

Roden would be the first to launch a successful new movement. Within weeks of Houteff’s passing in February, 1955, Roden claimed the prophetic gift…. Unlike Houteff, Roden proclaimed  he would never die. He would finish the work and lead the 144,00 into Palestine. Roden drastically altered “The Shepherd’s Rod” message, adding and subtracting where he felt that it outdated or contradicted his own thinking. He began keeping the Old Testament ceremonial feasts, a practice which many Christians, including Houteff, had condemned.

His most outstanding claim however , was that he was “The Branch.” The “Branch” is an Old Testament, biblical expression for the Messiah.” … Ben Roden has been quoted saying, “get off the old Rod, and come on to the living Branch.” It simply meant that you needed a God-inspired interpreter to help you understand what the Bible or the forerunners wrote. That person was Roden.”(page 12-13, 21)

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(A. Anthony Hibbert)

Despite Roden’s grandiose ideas, he died in 1978. But his movement still proceeded forward despite his unexpected death. Unlike Houteff , who never said he would not die*, Roden was an opportunist at Houteff’s death, seizing the opportunity to win the confidence in those Davidians who were shaken by his untimely death. He saw himself an inspired prophet who thought nothing of thievery/incantation/self exaltation in order to advance his agenda.

Guess who would conveniently fulfill the next “prophet” role? None other than his wife–Lois. The above pink booklet is one of the Branch Davidian “inspired” writings of Lois Roden. (* “A Davidian Testimony”, p.172)

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Lois took the mantle from Ben and she wasted no time in concocting some doozies of her own ,let us read for example some of her theology and reasoning for the Holy Spirit being Mother God and a female being. Her basic idea was just as the original human family existed in Eden, so too there is a heavenly family , God the Father, Holy Spirit the mother and Jesus the Son.

“Mrs. White revealed that there are THREE LIVING PERSONS OF THE GODHEAD, but she was not given light on the GENDER of the THIRD PERSON of the Heavenly Trio. The gender of the Father and Son are clearly taught in symbols throughout the Bible, but the nature of the Holy Spirit has been obscure and the GENDER not pronounced–not definite, “he” and “it” being used alternately as pronouns; wind, fire, water, breath, etc., are used as impersonal terms.

Persons have gender (male and female); therefore, the Bible gives the key to the gender of the Holy Spirit in Romans 1:20. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”

This Scripture says: “the invisible …Godhead” is “clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made” “from the Creation”….. So, the Creation Story tells us that a man and woman were made in the image of two members of the Godhead (Gen. 1:26,27) (“Let US make”); and that we are without excuse if we do not know there is male and female represented in the Godhead (The Trinity).

It is the Person of the Holy Spirit, (Whose IMAGE was Eve,) Whose “…glory of the uncorruptible God (the Holy Spirit)” was corrupted and CHANGED “into an IMAGE made LIKE TO CORRUPTIBLE MAN” (Rom. 1:23). “And even as they did not LIKE to RETAIN GOD in their knowledge, God gave them over to a REPROBATE MIND (saying that all three members of the Godhead are masculine) to do those things which are not convenient.” Rom. 1:28.

Therefore, God’s admonition to all who are guilty of this corrupt practice of changing the Image of the Holy Spirit to that of corruptible man is: “REPENT YE THEREFORE, and be converted, that yours sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19. “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Eph. 4:30.

In HER name Who is The Branch (Jer. 33:15,16), Lois I. Roden”   (Branch Field Letter, March 27, 1980)

So the movement continued to sail on. New members were brought in. Let’s briefly go back to part one where we talked of Roden being in the Texas court of Bill Logue. Don Adair sheds more light on another revelation of the Roden character.

“During the years from 1962 onward, … the battle for ownership of new Mt. Carmel Center continued in the Texas courts. Of thoses who wanted this property the most was Ben L. Roden. He told the Texas court that he should be the rightful owner of the new Mt. Carmel Center, because  he was Elijah the prophet who would never die! He even testified that he heard a voice from the Lord who said to him, “Brother Ben, you go to Waco and lead my people.”

And he sent a letter to all Davidians that he could (lead them),  telling them to ask the Texas court to apply their tithes  to the purchase of this property… He also wrote, “The Lord has seen fit to overrule and place the option to purchase New Mt. Carmel in our hands.” In the mean time, the Branch Davidians moved onto the property while the battle in the Texas courts continued.

On June 19, 1968 the sheriff was ordered to evict Ben Roden’s group, but they refused to leave. Somehow he gained control of New Mt. Carmel Center; where he setup his Branch headquarters for his office and printing literature. (A Davidian Testimony, p.244, parenthesis ours)

Once again the fruit of the Roden’s character was exposed as rotten. A duly sworn and certified court in Texas had heard the case of ownership of the Mt. Carmel property, which Roden coveted, and had rejected the case for Roden as the rightful owner. True to form of his questionable past actions, he ignored the rule of law and took it by hook and crook. Just as with his habitual thievery, the ends justified the means.

Lois Roden was complicit in all these shenanigans, in fact some witnesses* think she was the real driving force behind Ben. That may be true due to the fact that she did not miss a beat in taking over the leadership mantle of the movement. (*Bro. Saether and Bro. Adair).

But  to add even more troubling matters to the picture, Ben and Lois’ son George (below), became a real thorn in Lois’ side after Ben’s death and stayed that way to Lois’ death (1986).

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Adair explains —

“..the death of Ben Roden did not end his Branch movement, because his wife, Lois Roden, was already teaching her false doctrine in 1977  that the Holy Spirit was feminine, and that women should be ordained as ministers… it was known that his son George Roden expected to take control of new Mt. Carmel as its new prophet, because he faithfully followed his father over the years as his right hand man…But his mother, Lois Roden had other ideas, which I learned from other Davidians. She went to court in Waco to gain control of new Mt. Carmel Center; and because her son George caused a lot of trouble, she filed a court order to keep him off the property.

In spite of the trouble George caused her, she still had control of the Branch Davidians. She told them her husband said she was to take his place as prophetess of her movement….Mrs. Roden said shortly before her husband’s death, she had a vision that the Holy Spirit had a feminine personality.” (Ibid, p.294-295)

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}

Ok, so it is clear that once Ben Roden died , his wife carried on their work. Remember that Satan is too sneaky to be played with and those who do not walk with the Lord in trying to obey His holy Commandments, can hear an impostor’s voice . He found this zealous bright articulate couple with fertile imaginations, both of whom could care less about the basic Christian values of honesty, integrity and Commandment keeping, to do his handiwork and to bring to fruition his ultimate goal.

The adversary’s next move would indeed prove instrumental in his purposes.

Lois Roden meets Vernon Howell (aka David Koresh).

Anthony Hibbert describes Howell and their relationship–

“By 1977, eighteen year old, Vernon, learned to play the guitar and became heavily involved in rock music. He also worked at mechanic shops and garages and did some landscaping and handyman work…the pivotal point of meeting 61 year-old Lois Roden set his sights and changed his life and the lives of others forever…He soon embraced the Branch dogmas and traveled with Roden to various  locations recruiting and shoring up parishioners. By 1983 he was her personal chauffeur and regular bed companion. Rumors testified that they were married… We had a good relationship” said Roden, “until he asked me put his name on the bank account.” (Before the Flames, p.23-24)

He goes on to describe the well-known areas of Howell/Koresh’s life– Rock music, multiple wives, young girl marriages, love of firearms, serial adulterer, habitual smoking and beer, etc. . but when Lois Roden died in 1986, this left Howell on his own to formulate and countermand the Branch theology (although not without a huge struggle with Lois’ son George) and remake it into his own ideas, just as Roden did with Victor Houteff’s original Davidian message. But just like Roden , Koresh was not successful in calling away mainstream Davidian Seventh-day Adventists to their Branch ideas.

Thus we see Satan’s baton passing from one usurper to succeeding ones. Ben, Lois and now Howell would complete his unholy work for all the world to see and achieve his main objective which we are closing in on.

At this point let us review what we have learned. Satan has known since the beginning God’s Word inside and out. Thus he knew very well that the Scriptures pointed to an end time prophet “Elijah” to come to God’s people with a final message.  He knows how to watch for clues, and watch he did! As he watched God’s remnant church the SDA Church, it was when Victor Houteff ( a simple Sabbath School teacher) began to deliver interpretations never before known  nor understood of deep prophecies such as found in Ezekiel, Micah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and especially Revelation concerning the “great and dreadful day of the Lord”, Satan pounced upon Houteff’s work! He knew he had the man and the movement and went to work.

Ben Roden was spoken to while Houteff was in his most productive years (the 40’s and early 50’s). He was under a car working on it, he said under oath testimony according to judge Logue, when he “heard” the Lord’s voice tell him he must go and lead God’s people. He then began to get involved in Houteff’s movement at the adversary’s leading. But as we have learned rotten fruit is always a poor indicator and clear sign that one is NOT working in concert with the Lord. And most especially not given the Spirit of Truth to write a special message from the Lord.

“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)

But Ben was fooled due to his own self exaltation ideas of himself, similar to that of Saul. Satan had found his man and through him would prove successful to a large degree in obtaining his purpose. Once Roden died the wife stepped right up and carried on this work. Once the wife died, Satan’s most useful and close associate–Koresh, would put the nail into the coffin so to speak.

To close out this part two we shall briefly address a issue that may be aroused in some Seventh-day Adventists who do not necessarily believe in the Lord’s Rod message as the Davidian SDA do.

If the Roden’s are looked at as infiltrators and heresy teachers by the Davidian SDA, then by the same token why do the DSDA charge crime against the SDA leaders for labeling the  DSDA as infiltrators and heresy teachers?  After all the DSDA add and subtract to the SDA doctrines just as the Branch added and subtracted to the DSDA message?  Ok, fair point.

First, on the point about Christian character, no one has ever denied nor proven that Victor Houteff was anything but an upright Christian walking in all the light God gave him–dress reform, diet reform, worship reform, strict Sabbath adherence, Commandment keeping and preaching, etc. This goes for all the residents on Mt. Carmel during Houteff’s tenure as leader. Witness after witness supported these sediments, as well as the city folk in Waco who did business with the Mt. Carmel residents as attested in bro. Saether’s memoirs, interview 8 and 9.

On the contrary, as we’ve shown the complete opposite existed for the Rodens. Despite their dogma’s their fruit was often exposed as rotten, thus canceling any “inspiration” from the Lord in any writings or such. The only conclusive evidence is the adversary put them up to it , to snag and snare. Houteff’s message was indeed countermanded and  some indeed were snared, even to this day!

On doctrine, Roden is proven to be outside even mainstream Christian theological understanding, ie feast keeping, let alone apart from the Rod message. On this one salvational issue alone the Rod adherents are in the right to disqualify the Branch movement. Along with Apostle Paul’s numerous counsels, the Rod message clearly states we show “unbelief in Christ” should we keep the feasts as obligatory to honor the Lord today (TG, vol. 2, no. 37, p.12-15).

http://davidiantoday.org/en/document/book/show/2tg37

As far as the Davidian SDA teachings being against the SDA teachings, the Rod clearly shows that it believes in ALL fundamental beliefs as promoted by the SDA (when the Rod fundamental beliefs were written back in 1943). So contrary to the false narrative promoted by some deceiving SDA leaders, the DSDA agree with the FB’s of the SDA church. The difference comes that the DSDA have “supplemental beliefs” based on the understandings of prophecies, which often the SDA are either quiet about , ignore, or give an unbalanced viewpoint on and not supported by weight of evidence (Scripture and SOP).

The Rod message welcomes any and all to investigate those supplemental beliefs and  a) prove them wrong b) provide something better from Scripture  c) or else jump aboard the blazing light of Truth!

So the comparison is not accurate in many respects. The SDA church has no Scriptural basis to accuse the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists of countermanding the SDA  teachings/doctrine. On the contrary they add very substantial revelations of truth , which our Lord called ” extra oil” in His parable of the 10 virgins.

After all it was not Victor Houteff who said “Hear ye the Rod”  it was the Lord who “crieth unto the city” (Micah 6:9 ) .

Those FB’s and supplementals can be found here–

http://davidiantoday.org/en/blog/show/fundamental-beliefs-of-davidian-seventh-day-adventists

Next week we’ll close out with part 3  and show the purpose of this whole fiasco and how it ties into the Seventh-day Adventist church, even to this very day.

“The present attitude of the church is not pleasing to God.  There has come in a self-confidence that has led them to feel no necessity for more truth and greater light.  We are living at a time when Satan is at work on the right hand and on the left, before and behind us; and yet as a people we are asleep.  God wills that a voice shall be heard arousing His people to action.” — Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 709. (See also Gospel Workers, p. 300.)

The Real Story behind the Waco Tragedy (Part 1 of 2)

January 5, 2019

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Many of us have heard about the horrible Waco events that took place in Waco Texas between February 28 and April 19, 1993. The nation was spellbound as a cult known as Branch Davidians exchanged gun fire with ATF agents, along with Military personnel. The end result was pure disaster and disillusionment.

But unbeknownst to many is the very important “back story” of these events. There is a spiritual aspect of it that needs to be told in order to see the “big picture”. Let us look into this sad part of our American history and find some reasons for it.

In Ephesians 6:12 we read —

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

These tragic actions did not happen by chance, no, it was well orchestrated and led by none other than the great adversary himself. You will soon see why and for what purpose.

Our story begins with a man named Benjamin L. Roden.

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Ben was an auto mechanic and we gain light from a judge by the name of Bill Logue, who presided over some court action that Ben Roden and his family were involved in.

“Brother Ben was an auto mechanic. Also, he was an organic farmer. And he tried unsuccessfully to have an organic farm out there at Elk. Brother Ben was on the stand, and he was—he testified, I don’t know—he was back out in Odessa, and he was underneath some old ’36 Chevrolet or Ford or something, and the Good Lord spoke to him. And I may embellish it a little bit, but the gist of it was that the Good Lord spoke to him and told him to go back to the site, to Elk, and to lead his people, okay?” (Baylor University Institute For Oral History, Memoirs of Bill C. Logue, p.7)

http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/buioh/id/2878/rec/1

A little history on Ben. He was a part-time student of Victor Houteff, the leader of the Shepherd’s Rod/ Davidian Seventh-day Adventists. Not to be confused with Branch Davidians. He came onto Mt. Carmel occasionally, which was the name of the large sprawling property of some 380 acres, which was where the DSDA association was established and it’s close members lived. He attended some presentations by Victor and soon expressed a desire to be involved in the movement.

However from all available records Ben was not a close associated member of the group. More of an occasional member with limited interest in joining up with the DSDA. For all appearances, it looks like Ben had his own reasons for learning Victor’s message and this will become clearer as we continue. As we just read from Judge Logue, according to Ben, he was given a direct revelation to “lead” God’s people.

Ben Roden is one of the key players in our story so it is necessary in finding out who he was. George Saether was one of Victor Houteff’s close members, even being on the executive council on Mt. Carmel, during Victor’s time. George as well, has his memoirs at Baylor. In them, George describes a not so flattering picture of Ben. It appears that Ben’s true motives surfaced upon the death of Victor Houteff, let us read–

Roden …was here on a visit in about 1943, 1944, 1945—something like that (Mt. Carmel property). Stayed two or three days and then he came back in 1953. He ran a garden down along the lake. (Parenthesis ours, Baylor Interview,no.8, p.336)

“They didn’t tell us who The Branch was for a long time. Finally, it was Brother Roden. He acted like he was modest but we subsequently found out that this modesty was just all put on….

McGEE: All right. He was with this group from Odessa and they were talking about The Branch which was the term which he had created or they had created to describe their particular movement?”

SAETHER: “That’s right.” (no. 8, p.360-363)

Later on in the interview Saether, reveals a shocking revelation about what Roden thought of his actions in regards to their original Branch letter they sent to Mt. Carmel warning them that they were coming with a  serious message from the Lord –

“Brother and Sister Roden were here. We were nice to ’em and we were in our living room here where we used to live. They were gonna go then and we had a nice visit. Mrs, Roden and my wife went out of the
living room first and Brother Roden and I loitered along. Anyway, he said this—he thought this was quite a joke—he’s not as keen as his wife. She was sharp. He said this, “My sister lives in Springfield, Missouri and she mailed that letterfor us.” (laughter) He let the cat out of the bag….” (parenthesis is Saether)

“..those people are deceitful, those Rodens. Deceitful. They’re treacherous. Because they’re possessed of the devil. They must be. They’ve resorted to various forms of incantation… 

Roden was in there. He wanted to buy some charts and Hermanson asked him, “Are you prepared to pay your bill here?” When he came here as a gardener he ran quite a bill. He just ignored what he said. He didn’t pay any attention to it. I’m pretty sure that he still owes that bill. He didn’t pay it.

He volunteered to come and have an organic garden. It takes something to put a large family—to come and stay for months at a time and no income. That was his agreement but he owed this seven hundred dollars anyway, for rent and food and one thing and another. That indicates the kind of a leader they had behind them. It’s of the devil. ..I understood that afterwards Roden claimed to be a prophet and the leader.”(Interview no. 8, p.372-373)

http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/ref/collection/buioh/id/1214

Apparently the flock was much the wiser to Roden’s imitation message , Saether comments–

McGEE: Were there any others around that time of significance that supported Roden?

SAETHER: None of the Waco people or Mt. Carmel people. Only this man, Jones. He was just a young man  (Baylor Interview no.9, p.416)

http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cdm/ref/collection/buioh/id/1214

NOTE: this young man turned out to be Perry Jones, a Branch Davidian leader, who later was killed in the Waco fire. Sadly Jones kept going with his false prophets and went from Roden to Koresh.

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(George Saether interviewed by Professor MeGee)

Now the Scriptures say —

“Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” (2 Cor. 13:1)

Saether’s charge was a serious one, not at all to be taken lightly, especially since Benjamin Roden is none other than–the ORIGINATOR OF THE BRANCH DAVIDIANS. In other words, not only in the months after the death of Victor Houteff (Feb. 5, 1955), but in David Koresh’s time and even today, the Branch Davidian theology is active and recruiting. Thus people really need to know their  history and who is who , what is what, before they jump “all in” with their soul and with their eternal life at stake! Satan is sneaky brethren!

So do we have another witness or two to collaborate Saether’s report? Yes. The name of this witness is  Bonnie Smith. We have had a good relationship with her over the years and have had the privilege of speaking to her about the “old days” when she was on the camp with Victor and many other DSDA. This woman probably has the most eye-witness information existing today. She was on the camp for about 20 years. Being in her eighties she still has a sharp mind and proclaims the message.But she has vivid memories of  Ben Roden and what happened to her parents.

Soon after VTH died Roden spread the message that the people needed to get back to Israel (This was after Roden already produced some writings for his Branch message). He also promoted the message that because Victor Houteff had died he could not be the true Elijah, because he was not translated as Elijah was in type. Inference being that he, Ben Roden, was indeed the real Elijah* who would not die. So he announced publicly that all those who would like to join him in the trip to Israel, and who paid upfront, would come with him. (* witnessed by another original camp member Don Adair , “A Davidian Testimony”, p.211)

Roden got some people to sign up. Two of those was sister Bonnie Smith’s parents.  Sister Bonnie relayed to us that they paid about 1000.00. Soon Roden and a few others left for Israel but the Smith family was not taken, simply ignored and passed by, even though they paid upfront. The money was stolen.

Bewildered because they believed in Roden and his so-called “inspired” message, as the primary fulfillment of the Elijah to come. He died in 1978. They were really dumbfounded that he would rip them off. Why?? This was so wrong at a very basic Christian level, that it made for true bewilderment. 

Roden, after trying to establish a good foothold in Israel, didn’t achieve his goals and came back. Never, and this is key, did Roden reach out to the Smith family again! He was aware of their inquiry on what happened–yet ignored them to the very day of his death!

Later Bonnie’s parents told sister Bonnie, they regretted following Roden, as he was not right and may God forgive him. Sister Bonnie had pleaded with them for years to quit with Roden’s imitation Davidian message. She knew from her own eye witness (same as Don Adair, George Saether) that the pioneers (including VTH) were not supportive of Roden, due to (among other things) him being a thief when he rung up large bills for his garden during his visits to old Mt. Carmel. They too were never paid as George Saether reported.

“And if I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but they then turn away from their sin and do what is just and right–if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has taken by robbery, and walks in the statutes of life, not doing injustice, he shall surely live; he shall not die.None of their past sins will be brought up again, for they have done what is just and right, and they will surely live.” (Ezek. 33:14-16)

Before we get to our third and last witness, Don Adair, we should point out that all these witnesses had   no personal animosity towards Roden, simply they wanted the truth spoken of this man and his deceptions  in order to warn the flock, lest they be snared by a false prophet dressed in “robes of light”.

Don Adair, is one of the other living members along with Bonnie. He’s written a book about his DSDA life and has much to say about Ben Roden. We highly suggest you read it called “A Davidian Testimony”.

He tells of Roden —

“Ben L. Roden was the first “usurper” and false prophet who was like a vulture, circling around old Mt. Carmel waiting for Bro. Houteff to die. And as soon as he died, he came swooping down to appear among the Davidians, and claimed that he was the Elijah who would never die! ….Ben Roden was a hypocrite and apostate who hated the SRod message, which he said he believed. That’s why he claimed Bro. Houteff was not Elijah because he died, and did not restore the literal kingdom in Jerusalem.Obviously, that is why he went to the city of Jerusalem in the New State of Israel to set up God’s kingdom there. 

After all, he could tell them that he was a Jew and Elijah the prophet who would never die…. But it failed, obviously because the Jews would not follow him as their new king David.. What he started in America, however, did not fail; it caused a split among Davidians, leaving everyone to choose between one of two Elijahs.”  ( A Davidian Testimony, p.190,197)

So our three witnesses, all of whom were original Davidian Seventh-day Adventists, confirmed and established who and what Benjamin Roden was about. But Satan set up his plan in establishing this “new prophet” and the groundwork was laid for his future plans. Who in their right mind would claim that a man who bears such fruit –thievery, incantation, false predictions,etc could indeed be a “true” prophet of God? That is to amount to –blasphemy through blindness.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Matt.7:15-20)

Our Lord said twice to emphasis an important lesson –we shall know them by their fruit.

There is often the feedback from those snared in Roden’s work, that upon hearing these witnesses,they revert back to Moses and  king David,  “Well both Moses and David were faulty men, who even committed murder, yet they were God’s prophets.”  

Both of those men of God REPENTED prior to writing God’s message entrusted to them. Roden never repented and still claimed inspiration, an utter mockery of God’s justice and law.

At this point we should explain some of the major differences of Ben Roden’s doctrines versus the original Davidian S.D.A.

–We must keep the Feast days in order to please God.

This not only flies in the face of the Lord’s Rod (Timely Greetings, vol. 2, no.37, p.14-15) but it strikes at the heart of Lord’s message through Apostle Paul’s as well —

“But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, where unto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.” (Galatians 4:9-11)

–There is other prophets after the promised Elijah to come of Mal. 4:5

Where in the Bible? Isn’t there only ONE prophet told of the Lord to come before the great and dreadful day? Further, as clear as words can make it , the Lord’s Rod says the Elijah to come is the “very last” messenger to God’s S.D.A church (Jezreel letters, no. 9, p.1). The words “very last” cannot be mis-interpreted.

There is a crafty justification that some Branch Davidians use showing that the Scriptures point to another messenger and that is their interpretation of Rev. 14:17,18. They teach that after Houteff’s message, the other angel ( verse 17,18) is symbolic of Ben Roden and his message.

This once again shows the folly of the Branch movement, on the one hand they agree that Victor Houteff was inspired and indeed “a prophet”, yet they pick and choose what to believe and follow! The original DSDA message makes clear what these verses symbolize–

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).  (Timely Greeting, vol. 2, no. 44, p.38)

No it is not Ben Roden, it’s symbolic of the 144,000. You see Roden needed to find somewhere in the Bible some Scripture that pointed to him, sadly he found some mis-guided souls who bought it , hook , line and sinker.

–The Holy Spirit is a female being, the “Mother God”.

Both SOP and the Rod do not teach such things. Only in Ben Roden and his wife, Lois Roden’s fertile imagination does such teachings  promulgate in the field to hook and to snare.

This concludes our first post. Next week we’ll conclude with part two.

 

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Young children playing in the snow on the original Mt. Carmel, run by Victor Houteff (1935-1955). The main building of the organization (B-8) is seen in the background.

 

 

 

 

 

The Signs of Christ’s Second Coming or the Signs of the Kingdom, which?

December 29, 2018


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.

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 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 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.

   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 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” 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 lagues.  This same truth concerning the house of God again 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).

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).

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 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 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 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 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 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.

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.

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,” 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 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 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 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 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 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 p. 29-51)

 

Understanding Biblical Double Applications

December 22, 2018

Image result for picture of a man studying bible

Once we become more of a serious Bible student there soon comes to our awareness the understanding of Biblical double applications. For  the textbook example case, let us read —

“But Peter stood up with the eleven, raised his voice, and addressed them: “You men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, know this and listen carefully to what I say. In spite of what you think, these men are not drunk, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel:

‘And in the last days it will be,’ God says, ‘that I will pour out my Spirit on all people, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. Even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. And I will perform wonders in the sky above and miraculous signs on the earth below, blood and fire and clouds of smoke. The sun will be changed to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes. And then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:14-21)

Peter was no doubt serious in proclaiming Joel’s prophecy as coming true. Yet we know, looking back from our time, that the Joel prophecy could not have been the primary or first application of the prophecy. In other words the scroll has unrolled enough for us to see clearly rather than dimly as Peter saw.

The message gives us a great understanding in another double application —

 

Question: “Explain Matt. 24:15, 16. ‘When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whose readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.’ Does not this scripture refer to the destruction of the ancient Jerusalem in the Christian era?”

   Answer: In order to clear the scripture in question, it is necessary to study the verses preceding it and the verses that follow. It is generally understood that this scripture was a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in the Christian era. Nevertheless, a close study of the same will prove that at that time this scripture met only a partial fulfillment as did Joel 2:28-31 on the day of Pentecost. See The Acts 2:16-21.

   We call attention to the fact that Christ was asked to explain concerning His statement when He said: “There shall not be left here [in Jerusalem] one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down” (Matt. 24:2) as they said: “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Then Jesus pointed out that all these events will be preceded by certain signs and that His followers were to thus observe the time and escape the ruin of each event in question which span the time from the destruction of Jerusalem to Christ’s second coming — the end of the world.

   In this long period of time there were many things to transpire in fulfillment of prophecy and the signs were to forewarn His followers, but the more outstanding events were the destruction of Jerusalem, the fall of the Christian church under the domination of the popes, the great tribulation during the 1260 years of papal rule, His coming and the end of the world.

   Now let us concentrate and give undivided attention to the words of the Master: “For then [when the abomination of desolation, spoken by Daniel the prophet, ‘stand in the holy place’ and when they ‘flee into the mountains’] shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matt. 24:21.)

   It will be noticed that the “tribulation” which Christ mentions in this scripture was to come to His followers and not to the Jews who rejected Him, for He says: “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. That is, if the “tribulation” spoken of here was the destruction of the Jews, then the days of their destruction and of the city should have been shortened and some elect ones of the wicked Jews inside the city should have been “saved,” which thought is contrary to historical facts and to the thought the Master’s words contain.

Hence, as the “tribulation” is not the destruction of the city or the slaying of the Jews, but rather the persecution by the popes against the saints in the 1260 year period, and as the days of the destruction of the Jews was not shortened, it is obvious that Jesus was directly and prophetically forewarning His followers who were to fall under the persecution at the time the popes set aside the truth of God (Dan. 8:12) and instead placed the abomination; that is, the pagan system of worship in the “holy place” — the church. For further study on the subject, see “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 2, pp. 126-147.

   Therefore, Matt. 24:15 primarily contains valuable instruction for the disciples of the early Christian church, but it finds its perfect fulfillment with the setting up of the papacy. Moreover, as the S.D.A. denomination admits that the “great tribulation” is the persecution of the Christian in the days of the popes, and that the shortening of the “days” was the cessation of the martyrdom before the 1260 year period ended in 1798, it follows that the “abomination of desolation” cannot wholly be applied to something at the time ancient Jerusalem fell, for Jesus’ language proves that the “abomination of desolation” was the cause of the great tribulation and not of the destruction of Jerusalem.

In other words, if the fleeing to the mountains is the fleeing from Jerusalem and of its destruction, then the great “tribulation” should be the slaying of the Jews; and the shortening of the “days” must denote a quick dissolution of the city so that the Christians could shortly return, and every Bible student knows that this was not the case.

   Consequently, the scripture is so worded as to furnish a warning to those disciples who were then in Jerusalem although the warning is made directly to those who were to flee to the mountains from the reign of the popes. (Sym. Code, vol.1, no.13, p.10-11)

We highlighted the red part to show that our King is so far-sighted that the reason double applications exist is to give understanding to different eras of His people to know Truth. We also notice that there is one “perfect fulfillment” of the application.

Then there is the classic example of SOP’s second application of the timing of Ezek. 9. This is why it’s important to understand this important Biblical interpretation. Many S.D.A.’s get hung up on some prophecies due to their lack of understanding this concept.

Question No. 145:–“If the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine takes place in the church before the close of probation, then why does ‘The Great Controversy’ p. 656 say: ‘Now all have made their decision; the wicked have fully united with Satan in his warfare against God…The mark of deliverance has been set upon those ‘that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done?’ Now the angel of death goes forth, represented in Ezekiel’s vision by the men with the slaughtering weapons, to whom the command is given….The work of destruction begins among those who have professed to be the spiritual guardians of the people.’ 

“Does not the above reference, which seems to place the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine after the close of probation, refute the teachings of ‘The Shepherd’s Rod’?” 

  Answer:–The query reveals that the questioner has not thoroughly studied or understood what “The Shepherd’s Rod” teaches, for “The Great Controversy” does not refute “The Shepherd’s Rod,” but rather strengthens it. It has been proved that before the close of probation there are two “fruits,” the 144,000 and the great multitude (Revelation 7:9), to be separated at two different times–the former’s taking place before the close of probation while “the door is closed to those who would not enter,” and while “His hand is still stretched out to save.” (“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 9, p. 97), thus showing, as does “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 3, p. 266, that the sealing of the hundred and forty-four thousand is the closing work for the church, whereas the sealing work for the great multitude is the closing work for the world.

Thus, while, in the time of God’s destructive judgments before the close of probation, the door is closed to one class, it is open to another class for whom “His hand is still stretched out to save,” clearly showing that probation closes first for the tares in the church. Moreover, as the time is that of God’s destructive judgments–the separation of the tares from the wheat–the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine is that which severs the wicked from among the just. (Matt. 13:49.) 

  Therefore, as there are two separations, there is a double fulfillment of Ezekiel’s slaughter: one in the church before the close of probation, and the other in the worldly churches after the close of probation, when everyone has made his decision. The unfaithful spiritual guardians, or the false watch-men, of the people are the first to fall in the worldly churches, just as the “ancient men” who are in the S.D.A. church are the first to fall. (“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 5, p. 211.)This is the only explanation that will harmonize every statement on this subject found in the Spirit of Prophecy and in the Bible. ( Sym. Code, vol. 3, p.8)

The above question is often used, particularly among the S.D.A. leaders, to dispel the Lord’s Rod message. Yet if one looks at all the other relevant references concerning Ezekiel 9 (Bible, SOP and Rod), just as in Peter’s Joel statement, we cannot accept that the Church judgment is to be in the time of the plagues. This can only be a secondary application.

In our last example we show a “present truth” quandary. The following is an often debated subject with us Elijah messengers, yet if we use the double application method we may find some harmony and clearer understanding of “Jacob’s time of trouble”. However, this complicated subject may even get into a “third application” due to Spirit of Prophecy’s putting it in the times of the plagues. Definitely requires deep study to make sense of it all!

For the sake of this post we’ll stick to the Rod understanding of this subject. We find from the original writings that there appears two different time settings (applications), one pre-Church purification and one post, for Jacob’s trouble. Remember this trouble comes from Esau.

 

Let us read the secondary first —

Isa. 66:5, 6 — “Hear the Word of the Lord, ye that tremble at His Word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.  A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompence to His enemies.”

  Some have already had the experience of being carried bodily out of the churches for no other reason than for having read “The Shepherd’s Rod,” and for having said, “I believe what It says.”  Of course, it is incredible that men should act like demons.  It is nevertheless so, and God Himself testifies against their demon practice. 

We do not pity ourselves, and are not at all angry at our adversaries, but we are sorry about their spiritual blindness, misery, poverty, and nakedness, for we know that the coming joy is to be ours, and the sorrow and shame and gnashing of teeth, theirs.  This we know as verily as Jacob knew that God was with him in his flight from the face of Esau.

The Esaus of today, though, do not know this.  No, they do not know it any more than Esau of old knew of Jacob’s night vision of the ladder that extended from heaven to Jacob’s dew-soaked bed.” (Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 45 , p.14-15)

As clear as words can make it, the Rod shows trouble “today” as well in brother Houteff’s day coming from –Esau. There is no doubt concerning this trouble as some Elijah messengers have experienced being physically removed from church by the strong-arm of the Law for absolutely nothing but quietly attending service by mad and demon like Elders, Pastors, and other leaders of the S.D.A Church! Esaus indeed!

“The S.D.A. church, repeating the history of the Jews (5 T 160), will be swayed by its “priests” and “rulers” today to take a course against “the faithful servants of God “similar to that followed by the priests and rulers in their treatment of Christ’s and the apostles’”. As the 144,000 become more and more like their Saviour, “the light of the world.” making manifest the “darkness and error” enveloping the church, the leaders in their “fanatical hatred” of the saints will move “the mob to a mad fury” against them and, in desperation born of blind and raging hatred, will reach out for the civil arm of power to accomplish their evil ends, merging the following type into antitype.” (Sym. Code, vol. 1, no.9, p.3).

Esau’s use of the “civil arm of power” has come true, yours truly has witnessed it when we were part of a ministry effort to pass out Shepherd’s Rod Tracts and literature at one of the Las Vegas churches a couple of years ago. This is by no means an isolated case of this “fanatical hatred” from the Esaus.

“..the few who do have the courage to carry out their convictions, straightway in consequence become targets for the Enemy’s fiercest darts of opposition, — bitterest prejudice, scandalizing falsehood and character defamation, ridicule and scorn and hatred embarrassment and hardship. 

Thus “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:12) find themselves “outcasts” (Isa. 66:5; Luke 6:22; Acts 24:14) at the hands of persecutive forces perpetuating and even outdoing the worst that was ever in Judaism and Romanism.  And what is still worse, when these revivalists of tyranny, clothed in apostle like robes, succeed in confusing and overthrowing the faith of an investigator or of a follower of Truth for this very time, they compel him to submit to rebaptism in order to be readmitted into church fellowship, even though he has become more faithful than ever before!  What astounding blasphemy!” (White House Recruiter, p.54-55)

Ok so our secondary application is thus confirmed. Let’s now look at the main primary application. We as present truth believers know that the “Fundamental Beliefs” are the pillars of our faith. Thus we cannot under-estimate these statements. Not only do Davidian Seventh-day Adventists believe in ALL the S.D.A Fundamental Beliefs, but also the DSDA’s as well. Let us look at number 6 and 7.

 

6.   That the angels’ letting loose the four winds to blow over the four corners of the earth (Rev. 7:1), does not anticipate a world war but rather a world-wide decree enforced throughout Babylon by the image-beast, and that then no one may buy or sell save he who worships “the image.” Rev. 13:15-17.

7.   That subsequently, the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7) for the 144,000, the sons of Jacob, logically develops on their way home (Gen. 32:1, 24) to the land of their fathers (Ezek. 36:28; 37:21, 25).(Fundamental Beliefs, p. 13).

Here is our most plain and powerful statement showing that the time of Jacob’s trouble” occurs AFTER the winds are let loose. And since we as present truth believers know, the winds are not let loose until the sealing of the 144,000  is completed.

But one may ask –When is this sealing done? Could it be before the Ezek. 9 church purification, thus showing support for the secondary application being the primary? The message answers it —

 

“And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt Thou destroy all the residue of Israel in Thy pouring out of Thy fury upon Jerusalem?  Then said He unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great,…and as for Me also, Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity.” Ezek. 9:8-10.

   After the sighing and crying ones were marked (which is not to be understood as being consummated in its entirety worldwide before the slaying follows anywhere), the slaughter completed, and the matter reported, the Lord “spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city.” Ezek. 10:2. (Tract 1, p.38-39)

The highlighted areas clearly shows that we are not to understand that the marking (or sealing)  will be consummated (completed) BEFORE the Ezek. 9 slaying starts. Thus we see that the Church purification is the time of the sealing completion–not before that! This puts the FB no. 7 solidly in the post Church purification. The journey on the way “home” to God’s land–Israel.

 

Jer. 30:4-6 — “And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.  For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.  Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child?  wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?”

The cause of the fear here forecast is fundamentally needless and unnecessary, declares the Lord.

Jer. 30:7 — “Alas!  for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.”

The people that have come to this antitypical time of trouble are returning to the homeland, are comforted.  Apparently it is bad enough to frighten all, but God’s encouraging counsel is, “Fear not.”

   Plainly, the burden of this chapter is concerning the antitypical returning to the homeland.  Though terrible the trouble may seem, yet the outcome of it is to be the same as in the type.” (Timely Greetings, volume 1, no.47, p.14)

Again we see the time of Jacob’s trouble appearing on their “returning to the homeland.” Obviously this cannot be while the Jacobites haven’t left for home yet.

Summary —

As we have shown, Biblical double applications play an important role in our correct understandings of prophecy. Our God is so far-reaching and deep that, for all we know there may be several or dozens of applications  in some prophecies yet we won’t see them until the dim light is removed and we see brightly.

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Cor. 13:12)

“Wonderful possibilities are open to those who lay hold of the divine assurances of God’s word.  There are glorious truths to come before the people of God.  Privileges and duties which they do not even suspect to be in the Bible will be laid open before them.  As they follow on in the path of humble obedience, doing His will, they will know more and more of the oracles of God.” — Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 322.

Follow the Guide

December 15, 2018

Image result for picutre of the Spirit of Truth

AS we read the above very important Word of God, we would like to sink the shaft of Truth into the mine of God. This one reference is so profound and deep that we truly are blessed to know even part of the ramifications.

Many of us have been to the Zoo, wild animal park, museum or such, where we are escorted around and guided into new things we are not likely to know about. This experience enriches our lives and gives us lasting pleasant memories. In this same vein we know that our Almighty King has promised us a “guide”, a most wonderful Spirit, whose job it is to enlighten and uplift us in His Word. Let us look into this deep subject.

We know that every single promise spoken of by our King will not go undone. As such , the promise given in the above Scripture is a “real thing” to those who believe it and are blessed to have it working in their lives. The Elijah message expounds upon it’s importance.

“Different periods in the history of the church have each been marked by the development of some special truth, adapted to the necessities of God’s people at that time. Every new truth has made its way against hatred and opposition; those who were blessed with its light were tempted and tried.” — The Great Controversy, p. 609.

   Accordingly, “when a message comes in the name of the Lord to His people, no one may excuse himself from an investigation of its claims.” — Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, p. 65. Lay aside all prejudices, self-opinions, and ideas of men who bear not the mark of Inspiration, and who say in effect by their actions: “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing” (truth or prophets). Rev. 3:17.

   The Bible can be rightly explained only by the Spirit Who dictated it. He “will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come” that ye may “be established in the present truth.” And “whosoever…blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost [speaketh evil against the message] it shall not be forgiven” him: for it is the only means whereby we may be saved (John 16:13; 2 Pet. 1:12; Luke 12:10). (Tract 3, p.10)

 

“And “when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come,” says Christ, in broader statement of this same truth, “He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13.

   Having been put forth prematurely and without the prompting of the Spirit of Truth, human efforts have accordingly failed to discover and explain the truth of “the trumpets.”  And no scripture ever being unfolded without Inspiration, the expositions of uninspired minds are hence of private interpretation, in forewarning of which the Bible says: “….no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” 2 Pet. 1:20.

   So before a person can climb the ladder of Truth, he must first of all free himself from erroneous theories, which keep him bound in darkness.  And to loose himself from such weights of error so as to reach the top step of the ladder of Truth, he must carefully investigate and “prove all things” in Open-Mindedness.” (Tract 5, p.5-6)

So why is it that some have this Spirit working in their lives and some don’t? Again Christ has not left us without an answer, let us read–

“If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself.” (John 7:17)

 Powerful! Ah, so those who are NOT doing God’s will aren’t being led of the Spirit to know God’s true doctrine.This is far reaching!

Allow us to give an specific example. Brother P, is a very well studied student of the Scripture, in fact he is often asked to lead out in the local Sabbath School lessons.When asked about the S.D.A Sanctuary truth, or the “Leopard like Beast” his quick to flip the Bible pages and start his discourse. I have personally sat down with him and went over the Scriptures together.

Yet of many years of occasional studies (usually around the dinner table during Sabbath lunch) I became dumbfounded  how he could not see a plain “Thus sayth the Lord”. In other words, how can the following be mis-interpreted?

“Behold I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” (Malachi 4:5).

This was not all, the Scriptures like the following as well —

“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lordto the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may 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)

To his credit, at least he did not fight the clear texts as to the meaning, rather he looked bewildered and simply acknowledged his incomplete understanding of it.

But where is the “Guide”?That Spirit of Truth who was promised those who “do His will”? He has been an Adventist for over 20 years and studied quite a bit. We  don’t know, but somewhere somehow It’s not guiding him.

Now, for us Adventists where do you think the Spirit of Truth is guiding us today? We just read it- Mal. 4:5. There is a FINAL message to be given us from the Lord’s last prophet to His S.D.A church –“Elijah”.

This obviously is SO IMPORTANT because it’s “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” The message explains more —

 

“Behold,” says the Word, “I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”  To him shalt thou hearken.  “And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter,  when the towers fall.”  “Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far, burning with His anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue as a devouring fire: and His breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err,” “because  they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” Mal. 4:5; Isa. 30:25, 27, 28; 2 Thess. 2:10.

   Here it is seen that the prophecies and the correct interpretations thereof are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect.” 2 Tim. 3:16, 17.

   Therefore, brethren, settle it once and forever, that with the Lord’s help you will no longer be carried away by winds of doctrine that are created and driven by the spirit of error, not by the Spirit of Truth, but that you will always look for, and stand by, the Inspired Word of God — “the testimony of Jesus,” delivered to you by “the Spirit of Prophecy” (Rev. 12:17; 19:10);  that you will “hear the rod, and Who hath appointed it.” Micah 6:9.(Tract 6, p.79-80)

“Because in that day the Lord is both to shepherd the faithful and to punish the unfaithful, the message which announces this “great and dreadful  day” (Mal. 4:5), is titled, The Shepherd’s Rod.  “The Lord’s voice,” therefore, “crieth unto the city,…

“Hear Ye the Rod, and Who Hath Appointed it.Micah 6:9.   Sunken in Laodicean slumber and sleep, “the city,” the church, in God’s merciful effort to prepare it against this day of trouble, is to be startled to life by His urgent cry:

   “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.”  Isa. 52:1.

   “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.  For, behold the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall rise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.  And the Gentiles shall come to the light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” Isa. 60:1-3.

   The church of the Laodiceans, being the last of the seven churches, is the last sectionnof the Christian church in which the wheat and the tares are commingled.  The overcomers, the marked ones, from it, those who hear the Rod, begin the eighth section of the church — the one symbolized by the “barn” (Matt. 13:30)  and by the “vessels” (Matt. 13:48), also by the “golden candlestick” of Zechariah 4.  Of her the Lord says: “…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.  Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” Isa. 62:2, 3.

   Among the Laodiceans, however, those who refuse to arouse and take in the situation, who will not “sigh and…cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof” (Ezek. 9:4) will be left without the mark, and will consequently fall under the slaughter weapons of the angels (Ezek. 9), while those who receive the mark will escape them and be shielded from the trouble, the shield’s being symbolized by the barn and the vessels.” (Matt. 13:30, 48). (Track 9, p.61-62)

 Allow me to briefly explain my views on this “guiding”.  It was only when I began to “sigh and cry” for the sins of the church, was my eyes opened. As we know , our current truth message of Elijah  tells us to sigh and cry for all the abominations done in the church (Testimonies, vol, 3, p.266-267, vol. 5, p.221-212). And Ezekiel 9. This is now what gets us sealed, along of course with keeping of the Sabbath and His other Commandments.

So if one is not truly validating his walk with Christ, obeying His final message of Elijah, then it would seem that the Spirit of Truth is stymied, stuck. This may be why some cannot see what is there in the Scriptures. I am speaking solely concerning Seventh-day Adventists of course. Those without are being addressed in a wholly separate way and according to Scripture await, in most cases, the work of God through His final servants the 144,000. This is known as the Great Multitude of Rev. 7:9.

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)

In closing, let us know that God is able to give us that precious guide, the Spirit of Truth. But we must do our part to humbly ask for It and be willing to advance so that it will be said of us —

“These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wheresoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.” (Rev. 14:4)

“Wonderful possibilities are open to those who lay hold of the divine assurances of God’s word. There are glorious truths to come before the people of God. Privileges and duties which they do not even suspect to be in the Bible will be laid open before them. As they follow on in the path of humble obedience, doing His will, they will know more and more of the oracles of God.” (Testimonies for the Church , Vol. 8, P.322)

Understanding the Christmas Holiday through Present Truth

December 8, 2018

Image result for picture of Jesus in manger

As the Christmas holiday is fast approaching, it behooves us to correctly understand this long-held tradition. There is much we can filter through once we stay abreast of God’s advancing scroll of Truth. To be sure, if one does not look at this in a more full perspective, one may be caught up in being an extremist and steering from the “middle of the road” as the Lord’s Elijah message counsels.

For example, one “present truth” believer condemns those who even mouth the word “Christmas”. Yet Inspiration has never said such things. Many SDA think nothing of lighting their home Christmas tree and outside house lights during this season. Both positions are wrong and not in the counsel  of the Lord’s word.

Let us read —

“There is but one way of knowing that we are being led, by Christ our Lord, in the straight path to the pearly gates, and that is, by neither adding to nor taking from the Word of Truth, but by carefully following in the way of light, going not a step ahead of it, lingering not a step behind it, nor walking along its side-edges, but by following right in the middle of the road.

Hence, let not your zeal for progress drive you ahead of the light and make you to walk in the darkness; neither let your caution against running too far ahead cause you to drop back and lag behind; nor yet let carelessness verge you toward the edges.

Stay in the center of the road, where the light shines the brightest. Do not follow ideas, which stand upon implications, upon enlargements, upon diminishings,of the meaning of authoritative statements. Says Christ: “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life.” (Rev. 22:18, 19.)

“But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.” (Deut. 18:20.) “Extremists never walk in the blaze of the light, but are always found ahead of it, and those who are passive invariably walk far behind it, while the careless and the indifferent stray to the edges.But those who are the true children of light never vary a step left or right, front or back from the brightest spot of the Christian’s narrow road”.”—3 SC 3-4:13

December 25th as Christ’s birthday —

There is no doubt that the “wide awake” Christians believe that Jesus was not born on Dec, 25. Further, we have Inspiration which also makes this case–

“The twenty-fifth of December is supposed to be the day of the birth of Jesus Christ, and its observance has become customary and popular. But yet there is no certainty that we are keeping the veritable day of our Saviour’s birth.

History gives us no certain assurance of this. The Bible does not give us the precise time. Had the Lord deemed this knowledge essential to our salvation, He would have spoken through His prophets and apostles, that we might know all about the matter. But the silence of the Scriptures upon this point evidences to us that it is hidden from us for the wisest purposes.

In His wisdom the Lord concealed the place where He buried Moses. God buried him, and God resurrected him and took him to heaven. This secrecy was to prevent idolatry. He against whom they rebelled while he was in active service, whom they provoked almost beyond human endurance, was almost worshiped as God after his separation from them by death.

For the very same purpose He has concealed the precise day of Christ’s birth, that the day should not receive the honor that should be given to Christ as the Redeemer of the world—one to be received, to be trusted, to be relied on as He who could save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. The soul’s adoration should be given to Jesus as the Son of the infinite God.” (Adventist Home, p. 477 )

“For over nineteen centuries the institution of Christmas, the popular gift-exchanging day, has been acclaimed throughout Christendom as one of God’s good and perfect gifts.  And this sentiment has been glorified and perpetuated in the face of the widely-known facts that Christmas is not the birthday of Christ, that He was not, in truth, born in December at all, that the observance of the day is simply a Christianized heathen custom perpetuated in charming Christian guise, and that it is not a gift from God.” (Tract 13, p.5)

The Christmas Tree —

The Scriptures and His Rod both are in agreement here. But regarding the Spirit of Prophecy (SOP) writings we see a little different angle.

“Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.  For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

   “They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.  They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go.  Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.” (Jer. 10:2-5.)

 

“…Christmas is not, in reality, observed to the honor of the Saviour, but to the glorification of a heathen custom and to the gratification of the carnal heart.  Consequently, “altogether-Christians” cannot therefore consistently participate in celebrating the Christmas myth.  Indeed, to do so is openly to set at naught the Word of God, for “thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.  For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.” (Tract 13, p.6-7)

“Letters of inquiry have come to us asking, Shall we have a Christmas tree? Will it not be like the world? We answer, You can make it like the world if you have a disposition to do so, or you can make it as unlike the world as possible. There is no particular sin in selecting a fragrant evergreen and placing it in our churches, but the sin lies in the motive which prompts to action and the use which is made of the gifts placed upon the tree…. Let not the parents take the position that an evergreen placed in the church for the amusement of the Sabbath school scholars is a sin, for it may be made a great blessing.

Keep before their minds benevolent objects. In no case should mere amusement be the object of these gatherings. While there may be some who will turn these occasions into seasons of careless levity, and whose minds will not receive the divine impress, to other minds and characters these seasons will be highly beneficial. I am fully satisfied that innocent substitutes can be devised for many gatherings that demoralize.” (The Adventist Home, p.482)

How can this be assessed?  We think this is key, we go with “our present truth” , the current message from the Lord via His Rod is–do not “consistently participate” in this custom with its heathen practices. That’s what we are counselled and what we should do.Apparently those of Ellen White’s time we under different instructions on the “church” tree. Nowhere is SOP speaking of a “home tree” as is the heathen custom today.

Gift Giving —

“..the traditional gift-exchanging which is part and parcel of the spirit of Christmas observance, is a jealousy-breeding custom, all too often only cankering the receiver’s heart and emptying the buyer’s pocketbook.  Thus while it goads one multitude to display of pride, even luring them into revelry, debauchery, and immorality, it drives another, the multitude of poor, either to envy or discouragement, or to both, also not infrequently to despair, and sometimes to  insanity — even to committing murder and suicide.

The whole Christmas institution consequently being but a species of heathen worship that is demoralizing the nations, the Lord’s servants will invariably shun the exchanging of Christmas gifts, shun the evil attendant upon the occasion’s pretentious spirit and spurious humanitarianism.  Christians cannot, indeed, take part in its unholy  traffic of gift-trading and reveling, and at the same time be “altogether-Christians.” (Tract 13, p.7-8)
“The holiday season is fast approaching with its interchange of gifts, and old and young are intently studying what they can bestow upon their friends as a token of affectionate remembrance. It is pleasant to receive a gift, however small, from those we love. It is an assurance that we are not forgotten, and seems to bind us to them a little closer…. 

It is right to bestow upon one another tokens of love and remembrance if we do not in this forget God, our best friend. We should make our gifts such as will prove a real benefit to the receiver. I would recommend such books as will be an aid in understanding the word of God or that will increase our love for its precepts. Provide something to be read during these long winter evenings….

Thousands of dollars will be worse than thrown away upon the coming Christmas and New Year’s in needless indulgences. But it is our privilege to depart from the customs and practices of this degenerate age; and instead of expending means merely for the gratification of the appetite or for needless ornaments or articles of clothing, we may make the coming holidays an occasion in which to honor and glorify God.

Like the wise men of old, you may offer to God your best gifts and show by your offerings to Him that you appreciate His Gift to a sinful world. Set your children’s thoughts running in a new, unselfish channel by inciting them to present offerings to God for the gift of His only-begotten So.” (AH, p.478-480)

Another seemingly diametrically opposing counsel yes? Well, upon close examination maybe not. SOP says we can bring gifts that honor God. For example a Tithe offering to one of God’s “true” storehouses or maybe a present truth Tract or book to someone. In other words, gifts glorifying God and His cause.

Sadly, as of today, there is not any Children’s books on the Lord’s Elijah message. But we are working on that. For it would be a great gift for the Children. Notice that we can set our “..children’s thoughts running in a new, unselfish channel by inciting them to present offerings to God for the gift of His only-begotten Son.”

The Christmas purpose —

“While to a multitude of Christmas-observers, Christ means scarcely more than any ordinary man of fame, to an even greater Christmas-observing multitude of “not-at-all-Christians,” He is but a storied figure by which to conjure holiday revelry; although they meaninglessly lip His name in conventional acknowledgment of the supposed origin of the religious occasion of the season!  Thus to many, like a light in the darkness, stands out the fact that Christmas is not, in reality, observed to the honor of the Saviour, but to the glorification of a heathen custom and to the gratification of the carnal heart.  Consequently, “altogether-Christians” cannot therefore consistently participate in celebrating the Christmas myth.” (Tract 13, p.6-7)

“As the twenty-fifth of December is observed to commemorate the birth of Christ, as the children have been instructed by precept and example that this was indeed a day of gladness and rejoicing, you will find it a difficult matter to pass over this period without giving it some attention. It can be made to serve a very good purpose. 

The youth should be treated very carefully. They should not be left on Christmas to find their own amusement in vanity and pleasure seeking, in amusements which will be detrimental to their spirituality. Parents can control this matter by turning the minds and the offerings of their children to God and His cause and the salvation of souls….Let there be recorded in the heavenly books such a Christmas as has never yet been seen because of the donations which shall be given for the sustaining of the work of God and the upbuilding of His kingdom.” (AH, p.478, 482)

Summary —

As we mentioned in the top of the post we must strive toStay in the center of the road, where the light shines the brightest.” Thus, when we look at God’s word as said in the above references, we can see an underlining harmony.

The Christmas season is nearly all encompassing of heathen worship and customs. Yet we can turn it around by doing what God’s Spirit of Prophecy says. Gifts such as offerings to His storehouses, present truth literature to those we think may be enlightened, and teaching our children about Christ and focusing on HIM that day. It can indeed be  a day of — sustaining of the work of God and the upbuilding of His kingdom.”

Faith in Action

December 1, 2018

Image result for picture of jesus with the centurion

We have heard the well-known following words from our Lord —

“Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.” (Matt. 17:17)

Our Lord was exasperated with the lack of faith around him. But how about those who show great faith and put it in practice?

We remember one of the greatest examples of pure unadulterated faith exhibited by the Centurion.

“When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.  I say to you that many will come from the east and the west,and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.” (Matt.8:5-13)

Today when we hear of such strong faith , it really encourages us. It motivates us to do likewise remembering that faith is so important in our Christian walk. This week we’d like to tell you about “Brother R”. We heard about this story this week and was led to share it. The following is what he wrote on FB —

Blessed by the goodness of God!

I lost my wallet today on a bike ride to the store. When I got home I immediately knew that it was not in my pocket. I got on my bike and followed the way back to the store. No wallet. I went inside the store and asked customer service. No wallet. I left my name and tele # with them. Then I rode back the same way. No wallet.

When I got home, Elba and I had prayer that it might be returned. I then cancelled my debit card which thankfully was the only card that I had. We both had faith that it would be found and returned. Later on I called the store to check in and see. No wallet.

We had some family over for Thanksgiving dinner this evening. My faith was still encouraged, even though it had been several hours by now. After the family time was over and everybody went home, I had began to think that it was not going to be found. I wrote down on my desk that I needed to contact the DMV, bus pass, and store discount card. Then we sat down to watch a movie. It was 9 pm.

Shortly thereafter…….
The doorbell rings. There stands two guys and a lady. I immediately knew what it was all about. They brought my wallet to the door. A mom and her two sons who were older. Wow! The mom’s husband found it on the sidewalk about a block away. He was unable to come. I didn’t hesitate to offer them a check. They all absolutely refused. I offered a couple of times, still they said no way. We praised God for them and gave them many thanks. We said, “God answers prayer”. They agreed.

What a God! God’s faithfulness was shown even when I had pretty much given up on the tail end. Bless His name! (This was the third time in recent years that my wallet was lost. Each time they were returned, nothing was missing.)

Although tempted to forego his faith, he still had faith in the power of the Lord to answer prayer, for he had lost his wallet two other times and each time, prayed and it has been done unto him. We notice that he and his wife did the most important thing, they took the matter to the Lord in prayer right away. So often we sadly forget to call upon the Lord in these situations, whether big or small, important or not so important.

But here is what really made us think. Brother R, his wife and myself all think it was no ordinary humans who found and then delivered this wallet, we believe it was–angels! Brother R relayed to me when we discussed this situation that there was something unique and wonderful about the “mom and her two sons”. For they smiled very warmly and presented themselves in, well let’s just say an “angelic way”.

God’s word says —

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”(Hebrews 13:2)

We also had the same unique and wonderful experience, which we related in the following post done back on Dec. 11, 2009 —

https://godsloveandlaw.com/2009/12/11/gods-sings-give-us-renewed-faith/

The above link post experience reminded me of a prior similar experience. Looking back, I truly believe it was angels who sat down with me for that dinner. Angels probably take a much more active role in the Christian experience than we realize. We remember Lot having that memorable meeting with the two men who were angels.

Some may say. “Yeah but I pray often for things but I don’t get much from it.” The Scriptures answers that —

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3)

In closing, our walk is built upon “the basics” and those are –love, faith, and obedience. When we learn to trust the Lord, He will certainly reward our faith if it is according to His purpose.

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.”(Matt.21:21)

A Thanksgiving Feast

November 24, 2018

Related image

A few days ago we enjoyed a day of “thanksgiving” which to many around the world is a day to remember all good and joyful things we have. The heathen , particularly, gather around the family table and enjoy the token turkey. But what about the “people with such great light” , when they chomp down on turkey, fish or any other meat?

In Testimonies, vol.1, p.260 we read —

“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.”

How does the above Inspired reference apply to our post? A few days ago we were having a talk with a fellow S.D.A member and she was telling of a “great dinner” one of the local S.D.A churches had. It included meat, which we as S.D.A know is not to be eaten if we value our spiritual walk with Christ.

This is also reinforced by the Lord’s Elijah message He sent pleading with us to come into His ark of safety BEFORE that great and dreadful day comes. Let us look at some of the Lord’s guidance concerning  our diet today.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made..” (Psalms 139:14)

Indeed! Our bodies are like fine tuned machines. And as in our human made machines, such as cars, airplanes and other machines, we would not think for once to put in them pour fuel and oil would we? Thus the same with our bodies  which are millions of times more complex! God made us to “thrive” on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and herbs. This is our perfect fuel.

On a personal level, I would like to add that we sometimes struggle to get two specific needs filled when we forego meat — Iron and Protein. Therefore I find it better if Iron supplements and Protein powders are added. That is my own personal observation, you may find that as well.

Some may ask about Eggs and Milk? Great question,  let’s read what Inspiration tells us from God–

“WHAT ABOUT USING MILK AND EGGS?

Question No. 146:

   Since diseases among cattle and poultry are becoming more and more numerous, virulent, and widespread, should we not now discard milk and eggs from our dietary?

Answer:

   If there is an epidemic among cattle and fowl in your region or locality, then you should definitely exercise great caution when using milk and eggs, and should work toward replacing them, just as soon as possible, with suitable substitutes.

   At present we have no knowledge that would compel or justify a country-wide disuse of such poultry and dairy products, and the more especially so if no suitable substitute is available and if the Lord has not opened the way to provide such. Nevertheless, we should all be diligently seeking for something better so that when conditions  do develop to make the continued use of these products unsafe, we will not be caught without a satisfactory substitute.

  “Let the diet reform be progressive. Let the people be taught how to prepare food without the use of milk or butter. Tell them that the time will soon come when there will be no safety in using eggs, milk, cream or butter because disease in animals is increasing in proportion to the increase of wickedness among men. The time is near when, because of the iniquity of the fallen race, the whole animal creation will groan under the diseases that curse our earth.”–Testimonies, Vol. 7, p. 135.

   “The time will come when we may have to discard  some of the articles of diet we now use, such as milk and cream and eggs; but it is not necessary to bring upon ourselves perplexity by premature  and extreme restrictions. Wait until the circumstances demand it, and the Lord prepares the way for it.

“…I am instructed to tell them to eat that food which is most nourishing. I can not say to them: ‘You must not eat eggs, or milk, or cream. You must use no butter in the preparation of food.’ The gospel must be preached to the poor, but the time has not yet come to prescribe the strictest diet.”–Testimonies, Vol. 9, pp. 162, 163. (Answerer, vol. 5, Q-146)

The Spirit of Prophecy leaves no doubt about our diet and– meat-eating.

“Greater reforms should be seen among the people who claim to be looking for the soon appearing of Christ. Health reform is to do among our people a work which it has not yet done. There are those who ought to be awake to the danger of meat-eating, who are still eating the flesh of animals, thus endangering the physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Many who are now only half converted on the question of meat-eating will go from God’s people to walk no more with them….. A diet of flesh meat tends to develop animalism. A development of animalism lessens spirituality, rendering the mind incapable of understanding truth.“(Counsels on Diet and Foods, p.382)

“Vegetables, fruits, and grains should compose our diet. Not an ounce of flesh meat should enter our stomachs. The eating of flesh is unnatural. We are to return to God’s original purpose in the creation of man.”Manuscript 115, 1903 (Counsels on Diet, p.380)

Is it not time that all should aim to dispense with flesh foods? How can those who are seeking to become pure, refined, and holy, that they may have the companionship of heavenly angels, continue to use as food anything that has so harmful an effect on soul and body? How can they take the life of God’s creatures that they may consume the flesh as a luxury? Let them, rather, return to the wholesome and delicious food given to man in the beginning, and themselves practice, and teach their children to practice, mercy toward the dumb creatures that God has made and has placed under our dominion.”—The Ministry of Healing, 317, 1905 , (Counsels on Diet, p.380)

You know a brother or sister “in the faith” who lacks spiritual discernment? Look at their diet. They enjoy meat?

As Inspiration counsels we are “teach” our childrenmercy toward the dumb creatures that God has made and has placed under our dominion.” But are we doing that? 

Some may say, “Jesus and the people back then ate fish, so we can too.” Yes indeed they did but as we have posted so many times before, the scroll is unrolling down through time. And “their present truth” is not necessarily our present truth.

Briefly, you recall that an adulterer or adulteress was punished by stoning in Moses day, yes? Is that the Lord’s truth today? Of course not, He showed mercy is now to be given, but to be sure the admonishment to cease from these sins and “sin no more” still exists.  Or the past truth that the people of God were to return the Tithes to the Jewish Church, pre- Christ. This too has changed to returning Tithes to His present truth organizations today. So the present truth of today is “stay away from meat”.

“WHAT IS WRONG WITH EATING CLEAN MEAT?

Question No. 148:

In the light of Matt. 15:11 and other scriptures, is it not clear that vegetarianism is of man and not of God?

Answer:

If the scriptures cited constituted the Bible’s entire treatment of the subject, then an unqualifiedly affirmative answer to the question might be necessary. But in the beginning “God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” Gen. 1:29. All this and naught else was to be the “meat” of mankind.

Thus in the beginning, man’s diet did not include flesh food. Not till after the flood, when every green thing on the earth had been destroyed, did he receive permission to eat flesh. Then God said: “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you, even as the green herb have I given you all things.” Gen. 9:3.

Later, though, while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, God provided them with manna. But when they murmured against it, and attributed its phenomenon only to circumstances, claiming that it was impossible to obtain flesh foods in the desert, He literally and angrily heaped quail upon them. At what price, though! Thousands died in order to teach the lesson that the manna was not the mere result of circumstances but rather a purposive Providence. For “while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague.” Num. 11:33.

Because the Exodus movement was to fit up a people to take the promised land and to set up the kingdom then, as we are now, they were charged to abstain from all flesh foods. And because John the Baptist bore an important message in his day (“Repent ye: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”–Matt. 3:2) similar to ours today, his diet was of honey and of the fruit of the locust tree. How much more important, then, as our types teach, that we who have the culminating message of the gospel, and who are the vanguard of the hosts of the eternal kingdom, defile not the temples of our souls with that which our types were forbidden to eat.

Furthermore, as the Elijah of Malachi 4:5 and Matthew 17:11 is to restore all things before the great and dreadful day of the Lord, then necessarily he will restore vegetarianism, man’s original dietary. Then, not only man but beast as well, will be strict vegetarians, and all will once again consort together in the renewed fellowship of Edenic peace.” (Answerer, vol. 5, p.148)

Ok back to that S.D.A church with the “great dinner”. I personally know this church very well and in fact have preached a sermon there a couple of years ago and guess what was one of the major topics in that sermon? Yes, meat-eating. But sadly Scripture was fulfilled that day, let us read —

“And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.” (Ezek. 33:32)

After the sermon, many were warm and thanked me for the “straight testimony” yet obviously looking down to today , it moved not the leaders to shepherd the flock in the way they must go.

The message tells us more–

“But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming, and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites.” Matt. 24:48-51.

   Inspiration teaches that his eating and drinking with the drunken does not merely mean drinking wine.  One may get drunk by partaking of the world’s spirit, and also by becoming engrossed with the “cares of this life.” Luke 21:34.

   And to do all this is to say in the heart, “My Lord delayeth His coming.” “Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we shall die.” Matt. 24:48; Isa. 22:13.  (SRod Tract, vol. 1, p.87)

In closing did you know that the Great All-Seeing Lord gave us a booklet on diet? Yes indeed, below is a REAL FEAST that feeds our souls, not the imitation feast that Satan has snared many of us with turkey, fish and who knows what else. The Lord knows it is not the time to rejoice and make merry for the great day of judgment will very soon hit our S.D.A church. If we are not careful these flesh dinners will fulfill prophecy —

“And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call for weeping, and for mourning, and for baldness, and for girding with sackcloth: And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we shall die! The LORD of Hosts has revealed in my hearing: “Until your dying day, this sin of yours will never be atoned for,” says the Lord GOD of Hosts.”(Isaiah 22:12-14)

http://shepherds-rod.org/Misc/EW.htm

 

 

The Old Family Tree

November 17, 2018

TEXT FOR PRAYER   I shall read from “The Mount of Blessing,” beginning on page 188, the last paragraph.

   M.B., pg. 188 — “Jesus…earnestly desired that the great multitude might appreciate the mercy and loving kindness of God.  As an illustration of their need, and of God’s willingness to give, He presents before them a hungry child asking his earthly parent for bread.  ‘What man is there of you,’ He said, ‘whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?’  He appeals to the tender, natural affection of a parent for his child, and then says, ‘If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?’ 

No man with a father’s heart would turn from his son who is hungry and is asking for bread.  Would they think him capable of trifling with his child, of tantalizing him by raising his expectations only to disappoint him?… And should any one dishonor God by imagining that He would not respond to the appeals of His children?

“…The Holy Spirit, the representative of Himself, is the greatest of all gifts.  All ‘good things’ are comprised in this.  The Creator Himself can give us nothing greater, nothing better….”

   If we do not believe what God tells us, if we do not believe what He says He is, then we dishonor Him.  He is very anxious to give us gifts, but only if we want them.  He is particularly anxious to give us the greatest gift — the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Naturally, with this gift all other gifts are given.  It was this gift that Solomon asked for, and with it he was liberally given all the other gifts.  Let us likewise pray for this great gift.  It is just what God wants to give us if we will only wholeheartedly and honestly promise — positively to use the gift in the way He would have us use it.

 

THE OLD FAMILY TREETEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTSSABBATH, MARCH 8, 1947MT. CARMEL CHAPELWACO, TEXAS   Let us turn to the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, and begin our study with the first verse.

Isa. 11:1 — “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.”

   Here is a family tree in which three persons are introduced.  This verse does not say whom the rod represents; it does not say whom the Branch represents; but it does say that the stem is Jesse, the father of king David.  The rod, of course, which came out of the stem, could be none other than the son of Jesse — David, the king of ancient Israel.  The verses following this verse explain that the Branch is the Lord Himself.  Clearly, then, this family tree represents Jesse, David, and Christ.

   The remaining verses of the chapter are concerning Christ, His work, and His kingdom.

Isa. 11:2 — “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.”

   Upon this one gift — the gift of the Spirit — all things hinge.

Isa. 11:3, 4 — “And shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth: with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.”

   These verses, I am sure, need no comment save to mention that “the rod of His mouth” and “the breath of His lips” must mean God’s Word, His Truth.  This very Truth to which we are listening this afternoon will, therefore, on the one hand slay those who reject It together with those who are disobedient to It, but on the other hand save those who give heed to It, and who comply with Its requirements.  The one consequence is as natural as it the other.  For example, did not the preaching of the gospel of Christ save the Apostles, but at the same time cause Judas to commit suicide?  And did it not save the disciples but destroy all the unbelieving of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.?

   In the Kingdom here predicted, not only are men to be at peace with men, but men with beast, and beast with beast as well.   The reason given for such perfect peace is that the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. Knowledge, then, is what we need, and shall we turn it down now when it is so freely brought to our doors?

   Just as soon as God’s people obtain this knowledge of the Lord, just that soon shall the kingdom appear.  So it is that while learning of God and of His wisdom, we are at the same time bringing peace on earth.  Plainly, then, those who have not this knowledge of the Lord cannot become citizens of His kingdom.  How essential, then, that we study for ourselves; how essential that we know what is Truth through our own personal experience, not through the experience of others!

Isa. 11:10 — “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.”

   That is, in the day of the Branch (in the Christian period), in the day this family tree is completed, then it is that the kingdom of peace (the church purified) sprouts, so to speak, from the ground up.  It then stands for an ensign to the people, and to It shall the Gentiles seek for salvation.  Plainly, then, this old family tree, Kingdom, is to be set up while probation lasts.  Moreover, the place where It is to stand (rest) shall be glorious.  It is therefore to have Its own location, and Its own boundary line.  It is to be for the gathering of the people, the ark of today as was Noah’s ark in Noah’s day.  So we are again brought to the same truth which Isaiah, chapter 2, and Micah, chapter 4, teach:

Isa. 11:11, 12 — “And it shall come to pass in that day, 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.”

   The Lord is to recover the remnant (those that are spared) of His people in the day this Kingdom is set up; that is, the Kingdom is set, then those who are left behind among the Gentiles, those who seek after the ensign, the Lord is to recover them.  This second recovery of His people declares Inspiration, is to be from the four corners of the earth. The first, as you know, was from Egypt only.

Isa. 11:13-15 — “The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim [–there shall be no sinner among them].  But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.  And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with His mighty wind shall He shake His hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod.”

   Both kingdoms, Israel (sometimes called the house of Ephraim) and Judah, are to be restored and united in the antitype.  They shall never again envy or vex each other. And through Ezekiel commands the Lord:

   “Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in Mine hand.  And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. 

And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be My people, and I will be their God.” Ezek. 37:19-23.

   Thus it is that “…in the days of these kings [not after their days] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it [the kingdom] shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” Dan. 2:44, 45.

   If the Kingdom is to destroy all these kingdoms, then It must be set up before these kingdoms are destroyed.  The stone that is cut out of the “mountain” in the days of these kings, is itself to become a great mountain, and It, the Kingdom, is to fill the whole earth (Dan. 2:35, 45).

   In the days of Moses the Lord smote but one stream, the Red Sea, and one nation, Egypt.  But now the Lord promises to smite every stream (all “seven”) and cause His people from the four corners of the earth to reach their land without so much as getting their feet wet.  Although today as in Moses’ day, such a thing seems utterly impossible, yet it is certain that just as God made it possible then, He will now, too.  The battle is the Lord’s, the will is ours.  We have nothing to do but to obey His voice.  That is our only duty Brother, Sister.

   There is no Bible Truth plainer than this, and there is no truth as important at this time as is this Truth.  These are the very reasons that it either saves or destroys — to accept It is to have all your sins blotted out; to reject It, is to sin against the Holy Ghost.  “Today if ye will hear His Voice, harden not your [heart]” is God’s counsel for you and for me.  You well know now that this Truth is irrefutable. Try and see for yourself.

Isa. 11:16 — “And there shall be an highway for the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.”

   After the first fruits and the Lamb are gone to Mount Sion, there shall be a highway for the second fruits, for those who are still in “Assyria,” the world.  In other words, all obstructions shall be removed.  Our faith shall not fail us, and our hope shall not be in vain, for God has not forsaken the earth.  He Who rules and guides the stars in their unerring path, is able to lead us safely to our own land. Indeed, just as not one of them fails in its course, so not one of God’s promises shall ever fail to materialize. 

Let no one deceive you in this.  Study verse by verse, word for word, read, stop and think, do not hastily pass by this positive, most urgent Truth, for as it was in the days of the flood so shall it be now, says the Lord (Matt. 24:37).  The first born (firstfruits) who failed to paint the door post with the sacrificial blood in the first exodus, the type, perished.  So any of the firstfruits of today who fails to comply with the demands of the message for today, will as certainly perish at the angel’s slaughter weapons (Ezek. 9:5, 6).

Isa. 12:1-3 — “And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise Thee: though Thou wast angry with me, Thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortedst me.  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation.  Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”

   “In that day,” that is, in the day His people are being gathered from the four corners of the earth, in that day are they thus to praise Him, because they will plainly see that His anger has been turned away from them.  They will positively know that He is their salvation, their fear, and their strength. They will therefore with greater joy drink in the freshly revealed truths of the Bible.

Isa. 12:4 — “And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted.”

   “In that day,” that is, in the gathering time shall they encourage one another to praise the Lord, to call upon His name, and to declare His doings among the people.  They will then whole-heartedly and with knowledge be doing real and profitable missionary work. Isa. 12:5, 6 — “Sing unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.  Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.”

   You certainly will not let anything hinder or stifle your voice now that God commands to cry out and shout.

   “Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in Judgment.  And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isa. 32:1, 2.

   No, this is not what popular theology teaches, but you admit that this is what the Bible teaches, and that It we must believe rather than men.

   Thus far faith in God’s promises has not failed us, and why will He fail us now? — Never.  Faith mixed with works will bring everything in due season.  The adversaries of Truth shall fail, but Truth shall triumph, and the faithful with It.

   “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  For by it the elders obtained a good report.  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

   “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.  By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.  But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

   “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in taberacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

   “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged Him faithful Who had promised.  Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 

For they that say such things, declare plainly that they seek a country.  And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.  But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city.

   “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac; and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.  By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. 

By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.  By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

   “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.  By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 

By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.  Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest He that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

   “By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.  By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.  By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

   “And what shall I more say?  for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

   “Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

   “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:1-40.

   Now while the eternal records are being made, will you not cause your name to be written among the great heroes of God?  How can you afford to eternally lose out at such a late hour?

(Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 31, P. 1-13)


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