Archive for November, 2012

Each Must Personally Investigate

November 24, 2012

(Note: we are going to be making youtube videos of  certain posts. When a particular post will be made available in video, we’ll put the link below the post. The first video can be seen in last week’s post called “Original Davidians are Not Branch Davidians”)

 Many of us remember when we were kids in elementary school, we played the “pass the rumor down the line experiment”. A row of chairs(20 or 30) would be set up and the teacher would whisper in the ear of the first student a certain phrase or sentence. Then it would pass along the chain, from one student to the next  until it reached the last student,  who would often hear a completely different phrase or sentence.

The purpose of this , as we know, was to show that us humans can’t be counted on to pass our thoughts and ideas to further people, unlike God. We most likely will get the whole story incorrect. What we hear is not necessarily what was told.

 That is exactly what transpired with the leaders in our church passing on their ideas and thoughts to the church members, down through the years, of what was thought of the Elijah messenger and his message. Soon the story morphed into “We have thoroughly investigated brother Houteff’s message  and have found it in error”. Oh really?  How about the facts? (The infamous  7 day “thorough” investigation of brother Houteff’s teachings by the Conference leaders that was aborted in 1 day).

The reason I bring this up is because we had a church meeting this last week and what I heard was just amazing. With a straight face, one of our church leaders got up before the group and said, “I want you to know that the Shepherd’s Rod teachings have been found to be in error by the General Conference leaders..” How did he know that? He believed the rumor and false written reports that has been told down through the years! Certainly he did not investigate the matter from both sides.

Let’s stop for a moment and truly comprehend what this “leader” was saying.  Did he not remember that we,  as Seventh day Adventists,  broke away from the Protestant churches, because we did not believe in  what their leaders professed as truth? We would have never become SDA people had we taken this man’s counsel and trusted in what the leaders said! Or how about the Protestant movement inself? Did not the Protestants object to the Catholic popes and leaders dicating what was truth and what wasn’t? Truth seekers began to investigate for themselves.

Let us look at inspired counsel on how we are to investigate for ourselves the Scriptures and inspired writings and not lean on the “arm of flesh”(Testimonies to Ministers, p. 106).

Today is a  serious time for us as members of our beloved SDA church. Many of us stand at a crossroad.One direction says to go this way, a straight and narrow road, the other a wide and easy road.  We as His people are either obeying or discarding His counsel specifically to us, the Laodicean Church.

The specific counsel we are told is found in (Rev. 3:17) “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor , blind and naked–“I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garment, that you may be clothed, that your shame of your nakedness may not be revealed;and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”

Here our Lord counsels us about who we are, and what we can do about it. We, as members of our Laodicean church are instructed to do something. We are not to have the mindset that we can keep the status quo, the all-prevailing lukewarm mindset. In effect, by  lukewarm sermons of peace and safety weekly, we get into a feeling of comfort. “I am safe, I don’t need more truth, or to search for His present truth message. The Lord understands my lukewarmness.” Yes, He does all too clearly understand this, but will He accept it?– No He won’t.

When we read that He will vomit us out, that is a striking rebuke to us! Let us understand that our Lord means what He says. So what should we do? What can be the beginning of our stepping onto the straight and narrow? Well, as always our loving Savior tells us. He says we are to “buy” from Him gold refined in the fire.

Now to understand this we need only go to the next verse “..That you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed..” Here we see that gold refined in the fire is showing His pure Word and counsel. And that when we “buy”, which really indicates to read and study and obey His word, we can then be clothed in “white” garments. White would indicate purity, and the clothing would indicate our walk (righteousness) before Him. Adam and Eve were not naked as long as they walked upright before Him, but as soon as they sinned , their nakedness appeared before Him and themselves.

 We are in a spiritual war right now and our Lord is the General, giving the commands. He sends different instructions (messages) down the chain of command, as the war goes on and there are new messages sent,  mankind’s time marches to its fulfillment of time. Now, we are near the end of this war and He has sent His last message to us through His last messenger Elijah. Here is the message that our Lord counsels us to “buy”.

But the enemy knows this because he has got a copy of the war plan (Bible). So he has been on look out for this messenger. The enemy has told his troops to go out and destroy the message as best as possible, for this is the beginning of the last battle waged, and as such, he must defeat it (which is only delaying) at all costs.

So as this last spiritual battle is waged our Lord counsels us to study and learn it. But how do we do that? —by personal investigation. Do we think that one morning the Lord’s Elijah message is just going to come to us magically?   Of course not, we must make the effort to learn it –“be Zealous”, He says.

Ellen White knew that this battle of learning the message would be waged. ” Those who allow prejudice to bar the mind against the reception of truth cannot receive the divine enlightenment. Yet, when a view of scripture is presented, many do not ask,is it true–in harmony with God’s word? but, by whom is it advocated? and unless it comes through the very channel that pleases them, they do not accept it. So thoroughly satisfied are they with their own ideas that they will not examine the Scripture evidence with a desire to learn, but refuse to be interested, merely because of their prejudices.”(Test. to Ministers, p.105-106)

  Today’s real message bearers are those who arouse  opposition from some in our own church. EGW again explains “Now as in former times, the presentation of a truth that reproves sins and errors of the times will excite opposition. ..Elijah was declared a troubler in Israel, Jeremiah a traitor, Paul a polluter of the temple. From that day to this, those who would be loyal to truth have been denounced as seditious, heretical, or schismatic.” (Great Controversy, p.458)

 Notice that the above examples of the ‘troublers” were those righteous men who had direct opposition  from their own people!You see when we stand forth with our Lord’s true last message, it will excite opposition. Remember that the evil ones care not about lukewarmness, in fact that is their wish. It is only when we take to the battlefield, as it were, that they get riled up and fire up the unconverted and worse against those who step forward.

 From a personal point of view I see this, and many other brothers and sisters also experience this when they step forward to bear the straight testimony. But as we’ve read,  this has been the case through out our church history.

In speaking to the opposition that arose against bro. Houteff, when he began to proclaim the Elijah message we read in the Tract entitled “Pre-“Eleventh Hour” Extra (Tract #1)  ” Your attitude, my brethren, toward the glorious light now shining upon the “Three Angels Messages,” is but a fulfillment of prophecy: “because thou sayst, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing”, truth or prophets,–you refuse to be interested in investigating the cry of the Angel whose glory is to “lighten the earth.”

The light which will lighten the earth with its glory will be called a false light, by those who refuse to walk in its advancing glory” (Review and Herald, May 27, 1890).

Again brother Houteff advises ” As you will find yourself under severe trial if your obey your inner convictions and take hold of the truth, you must therefore let the Lord alone be your guide, and Inspiration your only teacher. Do not value your salvation so little as to trust the wisdom of another. Be wise: obey the word of the Lord, investigate for yourself, and do not delay, for you know not the narrow margin between you and heaven! “Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.” (Micah 7:5).

In (Rev. 21:8) our Lord describes those who will not make it to heaven. What has always perplexed me is the very first description-cowardly. What did the Lord mean by that? But as I become more and more familiar with the Lord’s last straight testimony (Elijah message) I see that it does indeed take courage . At times one feels alone and frustrated because the  majority refuse to listen. Yet I know that to shrink back from duty now, would be waving the white flag on the battleground. This we know,  as Elijah message bearers cannot happen.

 Let us read one more  counsel from the prophetess.

“..We should never refuse to examine the Scriptures with those who, we have reason to believe, desire to know what is truth. Suppose a brother held a view that differed from yours, and he should come to you, proposing that you sit down with him and make an investigation of that point in the Scriptures; should you rise up, filled with prejudice, and condemn his ideas, while refusing to give him a candid hearing?

The only right way would be to sit down as Christians and investigate the position presented in the light of God’s word, which will reveal truth and unmask error.” (Testimonies to Ministers, p.105-107)

So we can become enlightened if we investigate. Just like Mr. E. T. Wilson , a General Conference leader during bro. Houteff’s day, who ignored the general belief  among the leaders that the Elijah message was false. Instead he believed the Lord’s promise that he would be led into all truth (John 16:13). He prayed and cried to the Lord to “reveal truth and unmask error” and it was granted unto him. Look forward to seeing you Mr. Wilson in the premillennial kingdom.

Copy of E.T. Wilson letter to Victor Houteff. He was the Carolina conference leader in 1933.

My Dear Brother Houteff:

   I wish to thank you most heartily for calling my attention, as a minister of the gospel, to the precious truths of the Bible, and the gems of the Spirit of Prophecy, which are so abundant throughout the two little volumes of the “Shepherd’s Rod,” so kindly sent me, either by yourself, or at your request, no doubt.

   For many years I have been deeply interested in what the Spirit of Prophecy tells us should take place in our midst by way of “revival and reformation,” and have therefore watched with deep interest  every attempt to launch such a “reformatory movement,” but have been disappointed in all of them, for they never seemed to materialize, so when your little booklets came along they found me really hungry for just such a revival of “true godliness” in my own heart.

   I might say that when I first looked at the “Shepherd’s  Rod,” the very name seemed to prejudice me, and I came near tearing it up several times before I really read it, but each time, when I was about to destroy the book, the thought would come to me that this is against my principle, and I would lay the book away again.  When I finally did read it, I was startled, and many times I would cry out to God to forgive me for my sins as a minister, if He were really speaking to me through this little volume, and when I finished it, I was convinced that I had read no ordinary book, but being very cautious about accepting error, I began the second reading, making comparison with the Bible and the Testimonies to be sure they were in harmony but before each reading, I would cry to God to “reveal truth and unmask error,” according to His promise. T.M. 107.

   When I had finished the second reading of the book, I was afraid it was true, for I knew full well, if it were true, I, as a minister, would be held accountable to God for my attitude toward the abundance of light that He had called my attention to that I had never seen before.  Of course I naturally wondered from whence came such knowledge, and decided to re-read the book to make sure that I had not overlooked anything in the way of specious error and when I had finished it the third time, although I did not understand everything in the book, yet I was convinced of one thing, and that is, I could not refute anything in it, for it harmonized with the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.

   And now after nearly three years of watching the result the reading of the “Shepherd’s Rod” has upon both minister and laity, I find that, almost without exception, the ministers reject the message of the book, either blindly or for fear of their superiors, and the laity, almost without exception, receive its message of reproof and warning with joy and gladness, and seek to correct their lives accordingly, and the spiritual tone of said persons is much higher than ever before for they love the message of the Third Angel more, and they love the brethren better than before.

   In closing this letter I wish to say to you that I believe the Lord has used you to bring to our people as important a message as the one that came to the S.D.A. church while assembled in conference at Minneapolis, and I think I am correctly informed, being a minister in this denomination for many years, and having labored both in the United States and in foreign fields.  We have seemingly rejected the message of reform set forth in “The Shepherd’s Rod” as completely as our brethren rejected the one in 1888.

   May the Lord richly bless you in everything you undertake in His name is the prayer of your brother in Christ. (The Great Controversy over theShepherd’s Rod, p.9, Tract #7)

E. T. Wilson

Original Davidians are not Branch Davidians

November 17, 2012

(Note- We’ve just passed our 3 year anniversary mark, with over 16,200 all-time visitors/viewership–may we continue to do the Lord’s will. Please remember to spread the word if you are being blessed. Thank you!)

Recently personal events have transpired within my church that has made it very obvious there is much ignorance and misconception about the afore-mentioned groups. Certainly this is not a local problem, but seemingly a global problem. It seems the master deceiver has done a magnificent job in blurring the lines between the two, hence the great confusion. Let us clearly set the record straight and remove the error and misconception.

We all remember the horrible events that took place in Waco, Texas, in 1993. The people who were involved were known as “Branch” Davidians, led by their leader, a man called David Koresh.But this story goes back much further, and has it’s roots from the mid 1950’s. We’ll now go back in time to get some foundation.

In about the years 1928-1929, a man named Victor T. Houteff, was a member of a Los Angeles SDA church. He began teaching the Sabbath school lessons. He was well received until he began to teach some things that weren’t widely known (at that time). He began to speak of interpretations , which  were very clear to him. Most concerned end time prophecies and the soon “surprise” invisible coming of our Lord.

To make the long story short, there were quite a few who embraced his new teaching, as they humbly searched it out and found no error. Soon word spread of his new found interpretations throughout the country. An uproar of sorts began. But the leaders were a whole different story. They chose to reject him and his teaching (just as prophesied by EGW, Test. to Ministers, p.475, Vol.1 Selected message, p.412) He soon was disfellowshipped, along with some others.

It is very important to note right here and now, that not once in any of his voluminous writings** did he ever advocate any violence , despite being even occasionally forcibly removed from  church services (he was beaten and struck several times as well). He never promoted  “fighting” but  proclaimed  his message  in peace and that is what he did. Not a single report of violence was recorded against him.

So in 1935, he moved to Waco, Texas. He built and started a church(Began the Davidian Seventh Day Adventists) and school and other important community projects (such as a contemporary printing shop) on their large property. He began publishing his writings and sent them worldwide ( but within the SDA church)  as his saw his mission was to “prepare” the people for this next coming of the Lord. This post won’t go into all the reasons for his work now, rather we need to lay this foundation so that we can see the birth of the “Branch” Davidian group.

In the early 1950’s a man by the name “Ben Roden” and his wife “Lois” were students of brother Houteff. Many would come to the church services and bible studies on the large grounds in Waco. Being Jewish they were quite interested in VTH’s teachings about the premillennial kingdom, old testament prophecies and such. So for several years they actively studied under brother Houteff. It seemed the more the church leaders fought the message, the more curiosity arose. Many began to ask –“Why did the church leaders disfellowship this man, when his message was one of revival and reformation?”  Some began to “investigate” for themselves, such was the case of the Rodens.

However, the first glimpse we find of the Rodens having a different spirit is the church door episode. This story is told in Don Adair’s book called “A Davidian Testimony”(page 17-18). Quite a good read for the historical facts behind the Waco disaster. The story goes as follows.

The GC leaders in the early 50’s had rejected the message of brother Houteff (They had rejected it as far back as the early 30’s), and as such let the leaders of the country’s individual churches know that Davidians (especially active and vocal ones) were not welcomed to promote their message of revival and reformation. How dare they awake the people from their Laodicean slumber! And the Rodens were active in their new found beliefs. Soon they were not allowed to attend services at their local church one weekend. Soon, they were barred from entry at a service, so they had to stand outside to hear the sermon that day.

Later on after this, on another Sabbath, Lois Roden pushed her way into the church early one Sabbath and refused to leave and remained there steadfast. So upset was Lois, that instead of going home that Sabbath, she remained in the church for a whole week! Her family had to bring her food and drink that week into the church. The next Sabbath she let her whole family in and they attended services.

Then after that service, after everyone had gone home, Ben Roden decided to remove the two front church doors off the hinges and had his son call the local newsmen to report it, with him standing in the doorway holding one of the doors. It was to be a protest of sorts.  And an article followed after in the newspaper.

Later bro. Houteff heard about this episode, very concerned, he  called Ben Roden into his office and let him know in no uncertain terms, that what he did was wrong and not the way to witness to those in the SDA church. As Davidians they were to be light bearers, not trouble makers. So here was the first sign of something amiss from the Rodens. It was to get only worse from there.

Once the devils get a small crack in one’s walk it can snow ball from there, such was this case. “Be sober, be vigilant; because the devil walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, knowing that the sufferings (such as in this case-disfellowship) are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” (1 Peter 5:8-9). “Do not repay evil for evil, or insult for insult, but with blessings, because to this you were called so that you will inherit a blessing.” ( 1 Peter 3:9)

Instead of humbly taking bro. Houteff’s advice ( and Scriptures!)  and changing course as to how to respect others and to present this most important message, apparently they heeded not  the wise councel. Ben Roden began to think of himself in an exalted light. He searched studiously and began to believe he had found truths that bro. Houteff did not have or teach. In other words, seeds of a self- styled prophet started to grow within him.

In 1955, bro. Houteff unexpectedly died, and there was a struggle of the leadership position. As we are well aware and have mentioned many times the devils, led by Satan, are hovering around any who boldly profess the Elijah message and it certainly was the case with the man himself, who started the Elijah message,  and his followers.  Almost immediately after bro. Houteff’s death things started to transpire that caused division and strife among some of the members.

His own wife, who ultimately became a disruption to the cause, and as far as we last knew, went apostate and denied both her late husband’s and even Ellen White’s teachings. We all know that just because someone is in the “inner circle”  of  prophets or even our Lord Himself , like Judas was, doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to be saved and converted. The devil can attack anyone at anytime and whatever position they may be in. This is why we are told to be “sober and vigilant”.

Anyway she became the new “leader” of the ministry. Some objected, particularly those who supported the man who many thought should have taken over, a man named  E.T. Wilson, former conference leader and close confidant who  converted to bro. Houteff’s Elijah message. This was quite a story as many of the conference leaders capitulated to the others who followed like blind sheep on what the GC leaders said. Not so with brother Wilson.

So it was that a problem arose within the Davidian Seventh Day Adventists. As reported by the afore-mentioned book by Adair “a scattering” occurred led by sister Houteff and Ben Roden(p.179). What is amazing is that bro. Houteff himself knew that usurpers would try to take over in the future. ( See Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 14, p.20-22).

Ben Roden then appeared to promote himself as the successor and had the audacity to proclaim that as the Elijah successor (another Elijah), he would never die (unlike bro. Houteff). So after the death of bro. Houteff the Rodens became vocal among the Davidians that they were the new divine leaders. Shortly after Ben Roden attracted quite a few members of the original Davidians to his cause. Many of the original Davidians scattered around the country after the early 1960’s, most going to California, New York and North Carolina. But later in the early 1990’s,  many coming back to Waco again (but not connected to the Branch SDA).

Let us step back for a moment for a refresher note. We read in ( Mal. 4:5) “Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.”  Now notice that it meant one person , right?  Did the Lord say “I will send you prophets and Elijahs ?” Ofcourse not. S0 we see that right there someone is lying. There is only one who was to come, and he is the last prophet to come to God’s people. Ben Roden is exposed yet he was blind and deceived to the fact.

Ben Roden then began to break away for the original Davidians and started what he called the “Branch Davidians”( in 1955).  He began to interpret Scripture his own way. He and his wife taught (contrary to bro. Houteff) that the feast days and the Lord’s supper were to be exactly observed. The Lord, according to him, had not done away with the feast days and the ceremonial laws. His blood didn’t cover that. There were other differences as well.

Let us fast  forward to 1978. Ben Roden died (his prediction was false) and his wife took over. She began to teach that the Holy Spirit was a feminine entity! I don’t  need to go much further with that. Then a man named David Koresh,  began to help her with auto mechanic work. He soon after studied with her and then he began to start his own  movement yet held on to the Branch Davidian name. So we see at this point that the Branch Davidians were a completely different group, from bro. Houteff’s original Davidian Seventh Day Adventists.

Let us step back for a moment and ask — “Can we not see the Satan movements in all this?” First we see  a self-styled “prophet” who comes up with his own teachings, which did not even come close to the inspired teachings of his mentor bro. Houteff, then secondly, we see his wife take over and bring further false teachings into the Branch Davidian movement! No wonder it lead to the Satanic result of the Waco massacre.

But let us look at this in truth. The workings of Satan have accomplished his desire. He has blurred and confused  the true original Davidians teachings. He has  made the broad label of Branch Davidians(ie. Waco massacre)  apply to our Lord’s real last day message of the original Davidians, led by the prophet himself, brother Houteff. Do we not know that he is the master deceiver?

In closing we would do well to remember that when we follow our Lord’s prophet’s words “Study yourselves to be approved” (1 Tim. 2:15) we will know the truth and the truth shall set us free.

Be sober and vigilant. The teachings of the “Branch” Davidians are not the teachings of the original Davidians.

**  15 Tracts (booklets), 8 Misc. Tracts, 5  Answerer Volumes, 2 Timely Greetings Volumes, 9  Jezreel Letters, 2  Shepherd’s Rod books (Vol.1 and 2), 10 Symbolic News code letters (originally published by bro. Houteff). 28 Symbolic Charts (mostly in color)

For a video presentation of this post, see this link

Ezekiel 9 (Part 3 of 3)

November 10, 2012

Before we continue this last part of our study of Ezekiel 9, let’s review what we have learned.

1) That the sealings spoken of in Rev.7 are one and the same as Ezekiel 9, That the sealed ones will be 144,000 of the SDA church.

2)That the final sealings of God’s servants and the execution of judgment, per Ezekiel 9, happen before the Sunday law.

3) That the purpose of the church purification, is to finally fulfill the Lord’s prophesied and long-awaited righteous church and thereby receive His full power and Spirit. To go out and conquer the world, spiritually speaking, and bring in the great multitude.

With this firmly in our mind, let’s now look at Scripture and brother Houteff’s writings to solidify our understanding of Ezekiel 9, the beginning phase of the judgment of the living. While there is many other prophets in the Old testament that we could quote on our subject,due to space,  we will be showing the main ones of  Isaiah, Malachi, and Revelation.

In describing Isaiah 4:3, brother Houteff explains, ” In the light of the clear-cut facts before us, we see that the main object of the sealing or marking of the servants of God is to cleanse the church from sin and sinners, so that she may be able to stand strong against the image-beast in the time of trouble; and that when this purifying work is completed, it shall come to pass that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.” Isa. 4:3 (Tract #8, P.25)

The above shows us clearly that those who “remain” will be called holy. Remain from what?  It can be none other than the Ezekiel 9 church judgment that is done “by the Spirit of judgment and the Spirit of burning.”, because the ones written among the living are those who are found worthy in the judgment.

This cannot be describing the Lord’s coming in the clouds judgment because we see  in verse 5, that after this judgment, the Lord creates above every dwelling place of “Mt.Zion” a cloud and smoke by day and a shining flame. Obviously this has never happened and is yet future. Isaiah’s time was well past Moses’ time in Exodus, where something similar happened with the cloud covering and fire at night. And Mt. Zion is here on earth not in heaven.

In perhaps the most startling and descriptive verses in Isaiah, concerning Ezek.9 we find in (Isaiah 63:1-4).

“Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, this one whom is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength?  I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”

A few important things to note from the above. The “dyed” garments are worn by someone whom is “mighty to save”. Who is the only mighty name under heaven which we may be saved?  Yes, it is describing our Lord!  And He is described as coming from Edom, “traveling* in the greatness of His strength” (This travelling was done upon His throne as per described in Ezekiel 1 vision –Wheel within a wheel, etc.) . More particularly what does  Edom and Bozrah mean? We find that in two places in Scripture.(  *Picture of that throne below)

 In (Isaiah 34:5) we read, “For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; Indeed it shall come down on Edom, and on the people of My curse, for judgment…for the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Edom“.  The land of “Edom” refers to the hebrew word Idumea. Which was referring to Esau’s land, the land of Edom(Per E-Sword).

As we know from our SDA teachings,  symbolically the two twins (Esau and Jacob) represent two different class of people. One was to become unrighteous(Esau),  the other righteous (Jacob). So when we read that our Lord say’s He has a great slaughter in the land of Edom, it means for the unrighteous people amongst us.

 We see that this slaughter and sacrifice is with Bozrah. To find the meaning of Bozrah we need to look to (Micah 2:12).  “I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of Bozrah…”  Plain it is that Bozrah is describing God’s remnant people, His church. Therefore we see that the Lord has a sacrifice and slaughter in His church. But let us let the Scripture tell us more as we continue the above verse.

(Isaiah 63:2-4) “Why is your apparel red, and your garments like one who treads the winepress?(Remember Isaiah is speaking to the Lord).  I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the people no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come.”

There are many more Isaiah quotes we could show, but for the sake of space we shall go to the others. Also it is important to remember that this coming to the earth will not be a visable coming, as in the Lord coming in the clouds on the last day. Although we won’t see Him, we will see His great and dreadful work (sealing servants and Ezekiel solemn judgments through out His church world-wide).

As we have often mentioned, the book of Malachi is the last sign-off letter, and true to form we find a very specific quote concerning our subject.

“Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the LORD, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts.”

Here brother Houteff explains the above verse–(Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 30 – 11-13) “Two persons are here disclosed to view, the messenger and the Lord.  The messenger is to precede the coming of the Lord.  He is to prepare the way, then the Lord is to appear.  And who could this messenger be if not the one whom the Lord names? — He declares, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Mal. 4:5.

   This messenger of the covenant (of the promise), antitypical Elijah the prophet shall prepare the way; he shall restore all things.  As he prepares the way, the Lord will suddenly come to His temple, to His church.  And what is His work to be?  To purify or cleanse His people by weeding the unrepented sinners from among them.  The question: “But who may abide the day of His coming?” solemnly declares that we had better now get busy and do what it takes to make us stand before the cleansing begins.

   Whom in particular will He purify? — Let us read–

Mal. 3:3 — “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.”

   The Levites, you know, comprised the tribe from which came the priesthood, the ministers of the Lord.  And since this prophecy is to meet its complete fulfillment in our day, the figure is clear: The Levites, the ministers of the Lord in our day, are to be purified.  What then?

Mal. 3:4 — “Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.”

   This verse implies that the offerings which we now bring to the Lord are not pleasing to Him, not pleasing as in times past.

   Here we have the glorious promise that not long hence there shall be a pure ministry, a pure people, — a people without guile in their mouths, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing (Eph. 5:27).  Those who do not measure to this standard will not “stand.”  Thereafter no sinner will stand in their midst, for “Henceforth,” says the Lord, “there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.” Isa. 52:1.

Our last quotes are primarily from Revelation. Brother Houteff ties in some Rev. quotes to help us understand the Ezekiel 9 judgment for the living.

“The angels who are round about the throne in the heavenly sanctuary during the judgment of Daniel 7:9, 10 and of Revelation 5:11 shall, as the parables explain, descend with “the Son of man” when He comes “to His temple” (His church) to separate by judgment “the wicked from among the just,” and to purge as gold and silver those “who may abide the day of His coming…that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Mal. 3:2, 3.

   In graphic demonstration that He will come to earth with all His angels to execute judgment upon the living, the Lord revealed Himself prophetically to Ezekiel as being brought enthroned to earth by four living creatures just before the slaughter of the hypocrites in the church takes place. And as each of the living creatures has the face of a lion, the face of a calf, the face of a man, and the face of an eagle (Ezek. 1:10), — the same judicial insignia as have the beasts who are before the throne in the heavenly sanctuary (Rev. 4:7) in the time of the judgment of the dead, — and as they descend to earth, they thereby symbolically show that the work of the mediatorial-judicial throne which convenes and presides over the judgment of the dead is extended to earth.

   This extension, so far as we are able to know now, must take place at the opening of the seventh seal (Rev. 8:1), for at that time the celestial voices, which opened the judgment of the dead, cease in the heavenly sanctuary and begin, after the half hour’s silence, to sound on earth. In other words, just as in heaven at the opening of the judgment of the dead, there were “lightnings and thunderings and voices” (Rev. 4:5), likewise on earth at the opening of the “judgment of the living,” there are “voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” Rev. 8:5.

   With the judgment of the dead, however, the work of separation takes place in the books in the heavenly sanctuary; whereas with the judgment of the living, the separation takes place among the people in the church as well as among their names in the books in the heavenly sanctuary, thus showing that both sanctuaries will finally be cleansed.

   Inescapably, therefore, the Lord’s coming to His temple (Mal. 3:1-3), His coming with all His angels (Matt. 25), and His coming enthroned above the living creatures (Ezek. 1), — all three representing the same event as has been shown, — take place at the beginning of the judgment of the living: the time in which the judicial activities of the heavenly sanctuary extend to the earthly sanctuary — the church.

   “And I looked, and behold a white cloud,” exclaimed John the Revelator, envisaging the same coming variously described by Malachi, Matthew, and Ezekiel, “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.” Rev. 14:14-16.

   This coming of the Son of man is plainly, therefore, not when the resurrected and the living righteous are caught up together to meet Him in the air: for verses 17-20, following the ones quoted in the paragraph above, reveal that after He came and reaped the earth, “another angel…having a sharp sickle” came and reaped a second harvest before the wrath of God — the seven last plagues (Rev. 15:1) — was poured out upon the wicked.”  (Tract #3, P.45-48)

In closing, I remember a documentary I watched as a young man. It was called “Scared Straight”. It was about how former prisoners would go to the prison and speak to young people about how life would be horrible if they continued on their destructive path. This is similar to us studying Ezekiel 9, it’s awakes us up to reality, the iceberg approaching as it were.

I will leave you with the actual words of the Lord and what is to soon come upon us, His church, may we take heed and convert from a life of lukewarmness and cherished sins, to a zealous and active righteous life ,  spreading His final message to us — Be prepared He is coming!

“Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, “Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.” And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate which faces the north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer’s inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And he called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side;and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”

To the others He said in my hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens  and little children and women; But do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the temple.

Then He said to them, “Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go Ye forth! And they went out and killed in the city. So it was, that while they were killing them, I was left alone; and I fell on my face and cried out, and said “Ah Lord God! Will you destroy all the remnant of  Israel in pouring out Your fury on Jerusalem?”

Then He said to me, “the iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity; for they say,’The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see!’  “And as for Me also, My eye will neither spare, nor will I have pity, but will recompense their deeds on their own head.” Just then, the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side, reported back and said, ‘I have done as You commanded me.”  (Ezekiel 9:1-10)  (Picture of bro. Houteff chart of the travelling throne-Ezekiel 1) Click on it to enlarge.

Ezekiel 9 (Part 2 of 3)

November 3, 2012

Note: Due to subject matter we need to expand it from a 2 part to a 3 part post. This 2nd part we’ll study Ellen White’s quotes in regard to Ezekiel 9. 

 Before we go further it would be helpful to clear up a basic  and often asked question from the SDA .   “Where does the idea that Ezekiel 9 happens before the plaques  and not in them,  come from?”

Many think that brother Houteff began this teaching, when infact it comes from our prophetess-Ellen White. In (Testimonies to Ministers, p.445) she says ” The sealing of the servants of God was the same that was shown Ezekiel in vision, John also had  been a witness of this most startling revelation.”

So we see that Ezekiel saw what happened to those not sealed (the execution of judgment), and John saw that as well, but wasn’t permitted to describe that part. He described how many were sealed(144K) , and when it was to occur (before the winds are let go). As John’s revelation (Rev.7) is the same as Ezekiel’s then we see that the sealing (Ezekiel 9) takes place before the winds are let loose per Rev.7. This is important to know to confirm the time setting of Ezekiel 9. Next we can find out what the “winds”  and  “Israel”  represent.

First on the winds. EGW says, “The time is coming when we cannot sell at any price. The decree will soon go forth prohibiting men to buy or sell of any man save him that have the mark of the beast. we came near having this realized in California a short time since; but this was only a threatening of the blowing of the four winds. As yet they are held by the four angels. We are not just ready. There is a work yet to be done, and then the angels will be bidden to let go, that the four winds may blow upon the earth. Tha will be a decisive time for God’s children, a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. Now is our opportunity to work.” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p.152)

So we see clearly that the four winds represent the Sunday law, the mark of the beast decreee. Obviously we know that the Sunday law comes before the plaques, thus the sealing of God’s servants (Rev.7, Ezekiel 9) is to occur before the decree is issued.

Next we need to see who “Israel” is that is mentioned in Rev. 7. Obvoiusly the 144,000 come from the tribes of Israel. This is also cleared up. EGW-  “In order to be purified and to remain pure, Seventh Day Adventists must have the Holy Spirit in their hearts and in their homes. The Lord has given me light that when the Israel of today humble themselves before Him, and cleanse the soul- temple of all defilement, He will hear their prayers in behalf of the sick and will bless in the use of His remedies for disease.” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol 9, P.164-65)

So the 144,000 servants of God come from the SDA church. Rev. 7’s sealing is  clear to us. Who it is that get’s sealed, when they are sealed, and what happens after.

Let’s go now to perhaps the most direct and startling statements concerning Ezekiel 9 from the pen of EGW. “The crisis is fast approaching. The rapidly swelling figures show that the time for God’s visitation has almost come. Although loathe to punish, nevetheless He will punish, and that speedily. Those who walk in the light will see signs of approaching peril; but they are not to sit in quiet, unconcerned expentancy of ruin, comforting themselves with the belief that God will shelter His people in the day of His visitation. Far from it. They should realize that it is their duty to labor diligently to save others, looking with strong faith to God for help. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

The leaven of godliness has not entirely lost its power. At the time when the danger and depression of the church are greatest, the little company who are standing in the light will be sighing and crying for the abominations that are done in the land. But more especially will their prayers arise in behalf of the church because its members are doing after the manner of the world. {5T 209.3}

The earnest prayers of this faithful few will not be in vain. When the Lord comes forth as an avenger, He will also come as a protector of all those who have preserved the faith in its purity and kept themselves unspotted from the world. It is at this time that God has promised to avenge His own elect which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them. {5T 210.1}

The command is: “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” These sighing, crying ones had been holding forth the words of life; they had reproved, COUNSELLED, and entreated. Some who had been dishonouring God repented and humbled their hearts before Him. But the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel; although many still continued the forms of religion, His power and presence were lacking. {5T 210.2}

In the time when His wrath shall go forth in judgments, these humble, devoted followers of Christ will be distinguished from the rest of the world by their soul anguish, which is expressed in lamentation and weeping, reproofs and warnings. While others try to throw a cloak over the existing evil, and excuse the great wickedness everywhere prevalent, those who have a zeal for God’s honour and a love for souls will not hold their peace to obtain favour of any. Their righteous souls are vexed day by day with the unholy works and conversation of the unrighteous. They are powerless to stop the rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they are filled with grief and alarm. 

They mourn before God to see religion despised in the very homes of those who have had great light. They lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church. The Spirit of God, which prompts to reproof, is trampled underfoot, while the servants of Satan triumph. God is dishonoured, the truth made of none effect. {5T 210.3}

The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions His messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands: “Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” {5T 211.1}    (Author’s note- This is exact quote from Ezekiel chapter 9)

Here we see that the church–the Lord’s sanctuary–was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God.

The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God’s power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say: The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus “Peace and safety” is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together. {5T 211.2}

The abominations for which the faithful ones were sighing and crying were all that could be discerned by finite eyes, but by far the worst sins, those which provoked the jealousy of the pure and holy God, were unrevealed. The great Searcher of hearts knoweth every sin committed in secret by the workers of iniquity. These persons come to feel secure in their deceptions and, because of His long-suffering, say that the Lord seeth not, and then act as though He had forsaken the earth. But He will detect their hypocrisy and will open before others those sins which they were so careful to hide. {5T 211.3}

No superiority of rank, dignity, or worldly wisdom, no position in sacred office, will preserve men from sacrificing principle when left to their own deceitful hearts. Those who have been regarded as worthy and righteous prove to be ring-leaders in apostasy and examples in indifference and in the abuse of God’s mercies. Their wicked course He will tolerate no longer, and in His wrath He deals with them without mercy. {5T 212.1}

It is with reluctance that the Lord withdraws His presence from those who have been blessed with great light and who have felt the power of the word in ministering to others. They were once His faithful servants, favoured with His presence and guidance; but they departed from Him and led others into error, and therefore are brought under the divine displeasure. {5T 212.2}

The day of God’s vengeance is just upon us. The seal of God will be placed upon the foreheads of those only who sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land. Those who link in sympathy with the world are eating and drinking with the drunken and will surely be destroyed with the workers of iniquity. “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” {5T 212.3}

Our own course of action will determine whether we shall receive the seal of the living God or be cut down by the destroying weapons.”  (Testimonies for the Church,Vol. 5,  p. 209-212)

Where do we start? The above is so packed with straight testimony, we see that she indeed practices what she preaches “will not hold their peace to obtain favour from any”. Let’s clearly understand what was just said.

We know that there is specific instructions given to the marking angel (clothed in white linen) by our Lord. EGW shows us  that “only” those who sigh and cry for sins done by ourselves and the church, will get God’s seal, per Rev. 7- Ezekiel 9.

She also confirms our opening question –“When does Ezekiel 9 happen?”  You’ll notice that after quoting Ezekiel 9, shes say that the church was the first to feel God’s wrath. So if God begins His wrath judgments in our church first, it logically tells us the plaques come after.  And as we found earlier, the church judgments happen before the Sunday law.

“The purging and cleansing will surely pass through every church in our land that has had great opportunities and priveleges, and has passed them by unheeded.” (Testimonies for Ministers, p.414)

“The Lord will work to purify His church. I tell you in truth, the Lord is about to turn and overturn the institutions call by His name….Just how soon this refining process will begin, I can not say, but it will not be long deferred. He whose fan is in His hand will cleanse His temple of it’s moral defilement He will thoroughly purge His floor” (Testimonies for Ministers,  p. 373)

“When God shall work His strange work on the earth, when holy hands bear the ark no longer, woe will be upon the people. Oh, that thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day, the things that belong unto thy peace! Oh, that our people may, as did Nineveh, repent with all their might and believe with all their heart, that God may turn away His fierce anger from them. (Test. for the Church, Vol. 5, p.77)

We remember  that the plaques have 7 angels pouring out 7 vials of destruction. Ezekiel 9 has 6 angels, with each of them having slaughter weapons, not vials. And Ezekiel 9 takes place upon “Jerusalem” (God’s people(church)-Isreal) whereas the 7 last plaques come on Babylon (the heathen world). Totally different scenes and at different times. This is beyond dispute.

As we touched on in part 1, the purpose of our Lord’s executing judgment upon His house first, is to get the church in righteousness, with not even one Achan in it’s midst, so He can pour out His Spirit and power in full upon His church. Then, and only then will God’s mighty power go forth to conquer the world, spiritually speaking. They will call out the great multitude from the Sunday churchs and other religions. Signs and miracles will abound. This exactly why we don’t see much of them today–His Spirit is not poured out yet due to the mixed church.

Let’s look at another Ezekiel 9 reference. “While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people on earth.” ( Great Controversy p.425).

We see that “while” the investigative judgment is going on, not after it but during it, God’s people will be purified and sin will be “put away”.  This is exactly what the purpose of Ezekiel 9 is to accomplish. As we mentioned prior, our Lord cannot wait forever for us, His people, to right the ship. He must take the reins in His own hands (Testimonies to Ministers, P.300).

In another quote Ellen explains ” I saw angels hurrying to and fro in heaven, descending to earth, and again ascending to heaven, preparing for the fulfillment of some important event. Then I saw another mighty angel commissioned to descend to the earth, to unite his voice with the third angel, and give power and force to his message…with the additional message of the corruptions which have been entering the churches since 1844.”

Here we see that the important event was in a preparatory stage as the “other ” angel comes and unites his voice to the message. The  point in this is that the message of that other angel is about our own church corruption. This is exactly what the Elijah (Shepherd’s Rod) message is all about. Notice that this message cannot be a message where this other angel tells it to us to tell the world. That would be useless, for what use whould it be for the world to know about our corruptions? It has to be a message given to ourselves from the faithful true witnesses. Then we can see that as the “important event” is prepared, it awaits the work of the other angel message to have effect, to cause those who will, to repent and prepare. The important event is none other than Ezekiel 9.(Early Writings, p.277)

Let me go back to today’s real situation in His church and give an example of our leaders carelessly minding God’s house. Recently we had a monthly church lunch. The dining room happens to right off the Sanctuary. There is a large curtian that goes from one end of the dining room to the other, and when closed, effectively shuts out the Sanctuary and vice-versa (as we do while service in going on). A while back I went to the ex-pastor and elder and mentioned to them that instead of  leaving the curtian wide open while having the lunch, with all kinds of gossip and noise, going right into the Sanctuary, we should close the curtain during the lunches (it should be closed almost always anyway).

They agreed it was good to do this. The “first” lunch after was done as we agreed, the curtain closed. The next lunches therafter, nothing was done at all. My point in this is  — where are the leaders? The whole reverence behavior in God’s house means nothing!  This is a perfect example of the Lord observing carelessness and lack of reverence in His house. Do you see why He must take control?

Lastly, our prophetess describes how the church will be post Ezekiel 9. “Clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. “Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners (Song of Solomon 6:10), she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.” (Prophets and Kings, P. 725)

“An awakened church- when we have entire wholehearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of His Spirit without measure: But this will not be while the largest portion of the church are not laborers together with God.” (Review and Herald, July 21, 1896).

This conquering will only be done with God’s full Spirit poured out. How often do we see on 3 abn or other SDA sites where “man” has a global plan now to win the multitudes. Sadly, these leaders do not believe in the above words of Ellen White. If  they did they would cease trying to save the world and do what is needed first–save ourselves (His church). EGW explains, “The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth, because of the church members who have never been converted and those who were once converted but who have backslidden” (Testimonies for Church, Vol. 6, P.371)

The Lord’s eye is and has always been upon His church. And as we learned one coveting theif in the people’s multitude  upset the Lord and stopped Him completely.Can we continue to swell the numbers without regarding the importance of the existing members being truly converted?

But all is not lost, each and every one of us who now have opportunity to put away our cherished sins, can be among those who “survive” the beginning judgment for the living – Ezekiel 9.

Next week, we’ll look at the final part 3, where many Scriptures foretell Ezekiel 9. These were largely uncovered by our last prophet-Victor T. Houteff. Ellen White began the work of announcing the surprise coming of the Lord to His “temple” (Mal. 3:1), brother Houteff finishes it, as was his Elijah purpose (Mal 4:5).

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