Each Must Personally Investigate

(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).http://www.shepherds-rod.org/Tracts/trac007.html

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

2 Responses to “Each Must Personally Investigate”

  1. b. Albert Graham Says:

    Again, so right on, brother. God has Blessed, & will continue to Bless all who truly seek & really follow His Light.

  2. godsloveandlaw Says:

    Amen bro, you are so correct that when we seek, we find.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: