Archive for May, 2013

A Prophet Answers (Part 2 of 2)

May 25, 2013

This week we’ll continue to show some of the questions and answers that brother Houteff addressed. As we’ve mentioned before VTH had a fourth grade education. But when the Spirit of God moves upon someone, especially a prophet of God, then thought, phrases, words, all come into that person’s mind and we behold truly divine knowledge.

As advancers of our walk with God, we are counselled to keep abreast of the advancing light. In (Hosea 4:6) we read, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”  What better way to learn of the Lord than to study what His last prophet said. This message, being the Elijah message, prophesied in (Mal. 4:5) and (Test. to Ministers, p.475) has many writings within it, such as Srod volumes, Tracts, Sermon addresses and these Q and A’s. These Q and A’s are one of the best ways to learn the message.  May the Lord grant us wisdom and discernment.  

                                              

                                              Question No. 23:

How can your teaching of the separation of tares from the wheat in the church be harmonized with the statement which says: “The tares and the wheat are to grow together until the harvest; and the harvest is the end of probationary time….When the work of the gospel is completed, there immediately follows the separation between the good and the evil, and the destiny of each class is forever fixed”?- “Christ’s Object Lessons,” pp. 72, 123.

Answer:

Yes, according to the statement in question, the “harvest” is the end of probationary time, taking place at, not after, the close of probation. And the fact that the Investigative Judgment acts upon one’s case after his life’s career in relation to salvation has ended and while probation still lingers, is another proof that the “harvest” is the last part of probationary time.

This accords with Jeremiah’s statement, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jer. 8:20. It shows that the harvest is a period of time, having a beginning and ending, and that during its time men are saved. And Early Writings, p. 118, reveals that the Third Angel is the one who does the harvesting, while Matthew 13:30 shows also that the angels separate the tares from the wheat “in the time of harvest.”

Hence Christ’s command, “Let both grow together until the harvest,” points down to our day the “time of the end,” the period in which the harvest is to be consummated and the “tares” separated from the “wheat.”

Thus to all practical purposes “the harvest” is indeed “the end of the world”-the end of the wicked.

The only way in which one can otherwise understand Christ’s Object Lessons is by failure to realize that the world is right now at the very “close of time.” Failing to sense what the close of time really means, one is thus unable correctly to connect the related subjects of the harvest.

The Bible teaches that the Lord “will search Jerusalem [the church] with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil” (Zeph. 1:12); that is, He will punish those who by their actions say: “The Lord is not greatly concerned about what we do”; when in solemn warning truth God is declaring: “I will search Jerusalem,” not carelessly and in darkness, but carefully with candles of light.

“I will sift the house of Israel among all nations like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.” Amos 9:9, 10. “There shall be as the shaking of an olive tree and as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done. They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord.” Isa. 24:13, 14.

These scriptures show that after the church has been shaken by the Lord’s visitation, then her faithful members who are left will “sing for the majesty of the Lord.” The shaking will have made the church what she ought to be.

“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’ sope.” Mal. 3:2.

“In the mighty sifting soon to take place, we shall be better able to measure the strength [number] of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that his fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor.”-Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 80.

Thus, both the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy proclaim that He Himself will purify the church, and that when she is thus purified, “the Gentiles shall see” her “righteousness, and all kings” her “glory.” Isa. 62:2.

                            Question No. 39:

The Seventh-day Adventist church has always taught that the number 666 applies to the leopard-like beast (Rev. 13:1-10). But “The Shepherd’s Rod” teaches that it applies to the two-horned beast (Rev. 13:11). Dose not the Spirit of Prophecy plainly tell us that “no line of truth that has made the Seventh-day Adventist people what they are, is to be weakened”?—Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 17. And does it not furthermore warn: “Woe to him who shall move a block or stir a pin of” those messages?—Early Writings,” p. 258.

Answer:

The Spirit of Prophecy does indeed so teach, and to be in harmony one hundred percent with it on this point as on all others, the Rod is carefully stripping from the Truth the rubbish with which men have covered it, and is thus restoring it to its primitive luster. So it has done with the truth concerning the number 666.

Though this number has admittedly long been applied to the leopard-like beast, the application was not originated by the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, neither was it taught by them in the early days of the Movement. Rather, it was brought in from outside and woven into the web of Seventh-day Adventist doctrine despite the fact that the Spirit of Truth declared through the founders of the Denomination that the number applied to the two-horned beast:

The “beast,” says Elder G.W. Holt, writing in the early days of the message, “having seven heads and ten horns is the one referred to, and I think the image, is the beast having ‘two horns like a lamb,’ but ‘spake as a dragon.’ His number is 666.”- The Present Truth, Vol. 1, No. 8, March, l850.

The “last power that treads down the saints,” says Elder White, writing at about the same time “is brought to view in Rev. 13:11-18. His number is 666.”—A Word to the Little Flock, p. 9.

And finally, Sister White in authenticating this position, declared: “I saw all that ‘would not receive the mark of the Beast, and of his Image, in their foreheads or in their hands,’ could not buy or sell. I saw that the number (666) of the Image Beast was made up; and that it was the beast that changed the Sabbath, and the Image Beast had followed on after, and kept the Pope’s, and not God’s Sabbath.” A Word to the Little Flock, p. 19. (Note: The number 666 was placed in parentheses by the editor of A Word to the Little Flock.)

Here we have from the mouth of three witnesses absolute proof that the Denomination’s present teaching concerning the number 666 was neither originated nor sanctioned by its founding fathers, that, in fact, it was not one of the lines of truth, nor even one of the blocks or pins of the message, which God gave to this people. Moreover, the Bible puts the number on the two-horned beast. Note that all the characteristics which pertain to the ten-horned beast are described in Rev. 13:1-10, and that all which pertain to the two-horned beast are described in Rev. 13:11-18. As the number closes the description of the two-horned beast, it cannot logically be applied to the ten-horned beast.

This is just one of the many departures from Truth, which caused Sister White far back (1882) to cry out: “The church has turned back from following Christ her Leader, and is steadily retreating toward Egypt. Yet few are alarmed or astonished at their want of spiritual power. Doubt and even disbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God, is leavening our churches everywhere. Satan would have it thus. Ministers who preach self instead of Christ would have it thus. The testimonies are unread and unappreciated. God has spoken to you. Light has been shining from his word and from the testimonies and both have been slighted and disregarded. The result is apparent in the lack of purity and devotion and earnest faith among us.”-Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217.

“We have wandered away from the old landmarks. Let us return. If the Lord be God, serve him; if Baal, serve him. Which side will you be on?”-Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 137.

                                      Question No. 41:

Will you please explain the difference in the terms, Judah, Ephriam, and Israel?

Answer:

In its original and strictest denotation the term “Israel” designated the children of Israel from the days of Jacob their father, to the end of the reign of King Solomon.

It will be remembered, however, that after Solomon’s death, the kingdom was rent in twain (I Kings 11:11, 12; 12:19, 20, 21). The one division, composed of the two tribes, occupied the southern portion of the Promised Land, while the other division, composed of the ten tribes, occupied the northern portion. The former took the title “Judah” because the tribe of Judah ruled over it, the latter took the title “Israel” because it was comprised of the majority of the tribes. To this ten-tribe kingdom, therefore, the term “Israel” applies when used in its secondary acceptation, excluding the two tribes, Judah and Benjamin.

The term “Ephraim,” in the collective sense, also designates the ten tribes or northern kingdom (Isa. 7:1, 2) because the tribe of Ephraim ruled over it. Thus the eponyms “Israel” (when used exclusively of the ten tribes) and “Ephraim” are applicable to the northern division, and the eponym “Judah” to the southern division, of God’s ancient people.

  Question No. 53:

   Testimonies to Ministers p. 444,  states: John sees the elements of nature —earthquake, tempest, and political strife—represented as being held by four angels.” But Tract No. 8, “Mt. Sion at the Eleventh Hour,”  p. 22, says: “As the nations have always been at war, this twofold work of hurting could not represent political strife.” How are these contradictory statements reconciled?

Answer:

  We are confident that if the questioner will carefully restudy Testimonies to Ministers p. 444, he will see that it is endeavoring to show that the Divine object in holding back the winds, is, as the passage plainly says, “the safety of God’s church.” That being the case, then the winds, themselves being figurative of strife, trouble, and war, are, when let loose, to blow against the church. This is very evident because their being held from John’s day until this very hour, has never prevented and is not now preventing the nations’ warring among themselves. Always have they been at war with one another, and today they are engaged in a deadly world-wide conflict unparalleled in all history, although the angels are still holding the winds. Of necessity, therefore, the strife represented by the blowing of the winds, must be essentially religious in aim, and political only in procedure, thus religious-political, as stated in Tract No. 12, The World Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, pp. 38, 65 and in The Shepherd s Rod Vol. 2, p. 114. This conclusion is borne out in the following passage:

  “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 hath the mark of the beast. We came near having this realized in California a short time since; but this was only the 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. That will be a decisive time for God’s children,—a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.”—Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 152.

  The tract, in its particular statement in question, is stressing only the religious aspect of the trouble, in the endeavor to show that the trouble is not political in aim,—not to conquer territory, but to build up international religion in order to compel the world to worship the image of the beast.

  In this clear light, we see that both Testimonies to Ministers and The Shepherd’s Rod series are endeavoring to show that the strife is neither purely political nor purely religious, but religious-political. It is the church and state allied in common action.

                                        Question No. 56:

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

Answer:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                              Question No. 57:

 Is not the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 to be fulfilled by the seven last plagues?

Answer:

  The slaughter as described in Ezekiel’s prophecy takes the lives of only those wicked who are in “the house of Israel and Judah” (Ezek. 9:9)—the church; whereas the destruction of the plagues falls upon all who are found in “Babylon” (Rev. 18:4) after the Lord has proclaimed, “Come out of her, My people,” and after they have responded and thus separated themselves from those in Babylon. The destruction of Ezekiel 9, therefore, can apply to her communicants only as an ensample or forerunner of the seven last plagues.

   Moreover, His people, the ones who are marked by the angel according to Ezekiel’s prophecy, are not called out, but rather are left in.

                                        Question No. 59:

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

Answer:

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

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

                                           Question No. 62:

 I have carefully studied the temple type as found in “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 2, but I cannot see how Darius can be made the author of the third decree, unless you take the position that he made two decrees. How do you clear this difficulty?

Answer:

  The Bible declares that the temple was finished at the commandment of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxterxes, “in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the King. Ezra 6:14, 15. As the Artaxerxes decree of Ezra 7 to beautify the temple, not to build it (verse 27), was made after the three aforementioned, it therefore cannot be the Artaxerxes decree of Ezra 6:14. Hence, there were three decrees to build it, and one to beautify it: (1) one by Cyrus (Ezra 1:2-4); (2) one by Darius (Ezra 6:11, 12), (3) one by Artaxerxes, not recorded (4) one by Artaxerxes, recorded (Ezra 7:21-26).

  Thus it is that Artaxerxes’ decree of chapter 7, being the third on record, has received the classification as such, as though it may in fact be the fourth. Accordingly, there must have been two Artaxerxes’ decrees.

  As the temple building was finished “in the sixth year of the reign of Darius” (Ezra 6:15), not in the reign of Artaxerxes, then if Darius’ decree is not the third and last, it must be concluded that the Darius who reigned when the temple was finished made no decree.

  If our deductions should be incorrect, and if ever further light on this subject becomes necessary, it is certain that the Lord will not keep us in ignorance of it. Since at the present time, however, the point of interest is of no practical concern, suffice the answer given.

                                              Question No. 64:

   Romans 9:27 says that a “remnant” of Israel will be saved, but Romans 11:26 says that “all” Israel will be saved.  I do not understand this.  Can you help me?

Answer:

   Romans 9:27 is speaking of Israel as a nation, of which only a remnant will be saved; whereas Romans 11:26 is revering to the elected Israel as individuals, all of whom will be saved.

                                              Question No. 65:

  “The plan of salvation had been accomplished,” says “Early Writings,” p. 281, “but few had chosen to accept it.”  This statement is used very extensively against the doctrine of the “great Multitude” as taught by the Davidians.  Will you please clear it?

Answer:

  Though during His own ministry on earth Jesus lamented that “many be called, but few chosen” (Matt. 20:16), yet long before, through Isaiah, He had declared in prophetic promise to the church: “Thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought…. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time.” Isa. 60:11, 22.

  “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. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.” Isa. 2:2-5.

  And through the prophet Zechariah, He again recorded the promise: “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day.” Zech. 2:11.

  “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name,  and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.” Zech. 13 :8, 9.

  Moreover, while in Early Writings, p. 281, the author says, “But few have chosen to accept it,” in The Great Controversy, p. 665, she classifies the great multitude of Revelation 7:9 as a company separate from the martyrs and from all others who are to be resurrected, thereby plainly showing that the “great multitude” are not the resurrected but the living translated. This is also borne out by Counsels to Teachers, p. 532.

  Now, if we are to arrive at the truth, we must interpret the statement in Early Writings and the one in Matthew 20:16, in a way as to harmonize with Isaiah 60:11, 22, Zechariah 2:11; 13:8, 9; The Great Controversy, p. 665, and other passages, all of which show that there is to be a great multitude.

  No candid Bible student would build a theory upon an interpretation that would lead him to set aside all other scriptures on the subject. He will seek to make his final analysis in such a way as to be in perfect harmony with all of them, or else confess that he does not have the light on the subject.

  In the clear light of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy passages here cited, the weight of evidence incontestably leads to the conclusion that a great multitude is to be saved. The truth becomes evident, then, that the “few” comprehends those saved at the call of each message during the ages past, the time before the “harvest.” But in the closing of the world’s history, during the harvest time of the gospel, there is to be a great ingathering of redeemed souls, “a great multitude such as no man can number.” The term “harvest” implies just such a reaping.

  Thus in comparison to the aggregate number of the lost through the ages, the aggregate number of the saved are few; but non-comparatively, the aggregate saved of all ages are, in actual count, many. To this fact attest the words of Ezekiel: “So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.” Ezek. 37:10.

  As the salvation of a great multitude is counter only to the Devil’s plan, let us not work to his interest.

This concludes our  part 2 post of brother Houteff’s answers. We hope that the light shown has brightened your walk and that you are more knowledgable in the Lord than before. For those who wish to see the full Q and A’s in the “Answerer” series, click here. As we mentioned earlier , these are great learning tools. http://www.shepherds-rod.org/answerers/index%20answerer.html 

Advertisements

A Prophet Answers (Part 1 of 2)

May 18, 2013

victor_houteff_1_As we have pointed out before, in approx. 1928, brother Houteff began to teach the Sabbath school lessons in a Los Angeles area SDA church. His classes drew large crowds but soon trouble arose due to the fact that he began to reveal new interpretations of Scripture that wasn’t previously known within the SDA teachings. But to the humble laity these new revelations were quite exciting, as they searched it out and saw this new light clearly. The leaders were a whole different story.

Soon an uproar  began within the SDA churches and the situation had to be dealt with. Either the leaders had to admit that brother Houteff was revealing “new light” or he was giving his own uninspired interpretations. As was clearly prophesied they chose the “let me tell you how to teach your message” that Ellen White predicted in (Test. to Ministers, p.475). In other words they refused to accept the idea that God had sent another prophet.

So it became clear that brother Houteff and his followers would be expelled and have to go elsewhere to promote the new revelations.  After he was disfellowshipped he went to Texas and started his own “Camp” known as Mt. Carmel. A large land tract consisting of  over 300 acres.  He built several buildings, such as main office, school, etc. There he began to use the printing press to proclaim what he and others  believed was the “Elijah” message. Thousands from around the country (SDA churches) began to write him and follow him, yet most were still members of the SDA churches. This was exactly what brother Houteff counselled. They were to learn the message but stay in the churches to reach others with this “sealing” message.

But as the years rolled on he discovered that many kept writing him asking some good pondering questions concerning many topics. Most were sincere requests to know more of the Elijah message. But some were sent with the purpose to try to trip him up or baffle him, to see if they could expose him in error. They were never able to do that. You see when God is leading someone and most especially if He has called them to be a prophet, no one can take away that person’s divine knowledge and understanding. If you’re a truth seeker, the answers you’ll see here should inspire you as to the depth of them.

After a while brother Houteff  began to put the Q and A’s together in a series of written volumes. They’re  known as “The Answerer” series, which consists of 5 volumes of Q and A. There  were also additional questions and answers in the mailing news updates(sent to the thousands of Shepherd’s Rod believers), called the “Symbolic Code Series”. All together there is about 282 publicly addressed questions that brother Houteff answered. These  can  be really great learning tools because of the diversity of questions asked and answers given. We sincerely hope you enjoy them, and see them as many have within the SDA —  truths which are enlightening.

                                                

                                                 Question No. 9:

“Early Writings,” p. 15, speaks about God’s announcing the day and the hour of Jesus’ coming, and pouring upon the saints the Holy Ghost. Does not all this take place at the time of the seven last plagues, just before the second Advent? If so, then does it not show that the “latter rain” is to be poured out upon God’s people after the close of probation?

Answer:

True, we do understand from the passage in question that toward the close of the seventh plague, God will announce the day and the hour of Christ’s coming, and that He will then pour out His Spirit upon His saints. We do not, however, understand this outpouring to be either the “latter” or the “former rain” of truth, or yet the power prophesied of in Joel 2:23, 28, but rather the final manifestation of God’s Spirit, not to reveal to us any more of Gospel Truth, nor to enable us to proclaim it more fully, but simply to baptize us with a fitness to behold Jesus face to face, “as He is.”

                                               Question No. 16:

I have been told that the Davidians teach that the throne of Isaiah 6 is a train pulled by a locomotive belching forth smoke. Do they so teach?

Answer:

No such idea as this is anywhere to be found set forth in the publications of The Shepherd’s Rod, upon which all the Davidian teachings are based, as a careful reading of the literature will completely verify.

The word “train” is quoted from the Scriptures, and means retinue,” as explained in our Tract No. 1, The Pre-Eleventh-Hour Extra, 1941 Edition, p. 8.

Question No. 17:

“The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 1, p. 44, says that the great multitude having palms in their hands are only the second fruits of the earth’s harvest, whereas “The Great Controversy,” p. 646, speaking of all “overcomers,” says: “In every hand are placed the victor’s palm and the shining harp.” How can these statements be harmonized?

Answer:

The multitude on which the Rod comments and the multitude of which The Great Controversy speaks, are two different companies, in two different locations, and on two different occasions. The former, the multitude of Revelation 7:9, have their palms on earth; the latter, the multitude of The Great Controversy, receive their palms and harps in heaven. These facts may be clearly seen from reading the statements in question.

Question No. 20:

What Biblical proof is there to show that the events of the Seven Seals (Rev. 4-8) span the entire world’s history, which is contrary to the Denomination’s teaching that they cover only the Christian church period? Don’t you know that the book with the seals is symbolical of the books of Daniel and The Revelation?

Answer:

The foundation upon which rests the Denominational position that the seals are prophetic of events in the New Testament period, is their interpretation of the first seal, concerning which John says:

“I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” Rev. 6:2.

This scripture is unauthoritatively interpreted to mean the early Christian church. The facts that the horse in the vision was white and the young church pure, the rider conquering and the church growing, do not in themselves make a rock foundation upon which to build up a theory that the events of the seals began with the Christian church.

John was in vision shown the seals about sixty-five years after the Pentecost, in the period when the church was already declining from her peak purity and steady growth. The Voice said to him: “Come up hither and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” Rev. 4:1. In other words, the events which he was about to be shown were to develop in the future from the time he had the vision. Now let us take notice of what he saw:

“I was in the Spirit,” says John, “and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne….And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals….And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much,…and one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” Rev. 4:2; 5:1, 3-5.

Mark that the events symbolized were to materialize sometime after John had the vision, not before. Furthermore, where in any instance have the Scriptures ever symbolized the church by a man riding on a horse? If the horse symbolizes the church, then what of the man?

Obvious it is, that in this vision John was looking forward to the commencement of some important event that was to take place in the future from the time he had the vision rather than back when the church began. Moreover, it was to be in heaven, not on earth. As thousands upon thousands surrounded the throne upon which sat the Great Judge holding up the book that was sealed with seven seals the event obviously is more like the commencement of the Judgment of Daniel 7:9, 10 than like the commencement of the preaching of the gospel.

Speaking of the book which was sealed with the seven seals, the Spirit of Truth says: “Thus the Jewish leaders made their choice. Their decision was registered in the book which John saw in the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, the book which no man could open. In all its vindictiveness this decision will appear before them in the day when this book is unsealed by the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.”-Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 294.

In this connection each component part of the entire symbolism dovetails with both sacred and profane history, and also with the Third Angel’s Message itself—thus giving “power and force” to the latter.

Question No. 21:

What is the seal of God upon the foreheads of the 144,000 (Rev. 7:3)? Is it the Sabbath seal or something else?

Answer:

Being sealed in Christ “with that Holy Spirit of promise,” after having “heard the word of truth” (Eph. 1:13- 4:30), the saints are consequently sealed by Present Truth—the truth preached in their own day.

“The seal of the living God,” the Truth, by which the 144,000 are sealed (Rev. 7:2), is a special seal, being the same as “the mark” of Ezekiel 9. (See Testimonies to Ministers, p. 445; Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 267; Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211). It demands one’s sighing and crying over the abominations which defile him, and which desecrate both the Sabbath and the house of God, especially against selling literature and raising goals during Sabbath services. As the saints have this seal or mark on their foreheads, the angels will pass over them, not slay them. It is equivalent to the blood on the door post on the night of the Passover in Egypt.

The angel is to place a mark upon the foreheads of all who by sighing over their own sins, and over the sins in the house of God, show fidelity to the Truth. Then the destroying angels will follow, to slay utterly both old and young who have failed to receive the seal. (See Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 505)

So, the former seal enables the receiver to rise from the dead in the resurrection of the just, while the latter seal enables the sighing-crying one to escape death and forever to live for God.

Question No. 27:

In his history of the Advent Movement, Elder Loughborough relates: “In the month of November, 1846, a conference was held in Topsham Maine, at which Elder Bates was present. At that meeting Mrs. White…had a vision which was the cause of Elder Bates’s becoming fully satisfied as to their divine origin….Mrs. White, while in vision, began to talk about the stars giving a glowing description of rosy-tinted belts which she saw across the surface of some planet, and added, ‘I see four moons.’ ‘Oh,’ said Elder Bates, ‘she is viewing Jupiter!’ Then having made motions as though traveling through space, she began giving a description of belts and rings in their ever-varying beauty, and said, ‘I see seven moons.’ Elder Bates exclaimed, ‘She is describing Saturn. Next she said, ‘I see six moons,’ and at once began a description of the ‘opening heavens,’ with its glory….”-The Great Second Advent Movement,” pp. 257, 258.

The more powerful telescopes and stellar photography of today have enabled astronomers to discover that Jupiter has nine moons, and Saturn ten. The five additional moons of Jupiter were discovered between the years of 1892 and 1914. The eighth moon of Saturn was discovered in 1848, the ninth in 1899, and the tenth in 1905. And since her vision, it has been discovered that Uranus has but four instead of six moons.

In the light of these astronomical facts, how can you contend for the inspiration of Mrs. White’s writings?

Answer:

The book, The Great Second Advent Movement, pp. 257, 258, is not saying that Sister White named the planets, but is repeating what was purportedly said by those who were present on the occasion of her having the vision of the planets. It does not, moreover, even intimate that Sister White concurred in the particular designations which Elder Bates (in the light of then current astronomical knowledge) gave to the planets which she then envisaged.

It was but natural for him, however, to identify them as he did, for it all did fit nicely into the astronomical teachings of that day. So, simply because he, in a moment of zealous enthusiasm not according to Divine revelation, presumed to identify and label what God identified or labeled not, does not give even a semblance of integrity to the charges which the question prefers against her.

She evidently knew nothing about the names of those planets; Elder Bates knew less; and we today know very little if any more. If and when God sees fit to make known their names, His identification of them will be correct; that we know.

                                                Question No. 31:

If the Davidians think they have a message, why are they not content to go their way and let others go theirs? Why should they agitate their message in our church?

Answer:

Tracing the church’s history down through the ages, we find that if all had taken the same position as the questioner, the advancing Truth would never have reached the church in any period. Had God’s messengers at sundry times failed to agitate their message in their own churches, how, then, would the various reformatory messages have reached His people? Is He not more interested in them than He is in the heathen? John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostles, all sacrificed their lives in order to take their message to their own church. Why, then, should not the Davidians do likewise?

“Against these men [Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, Tyndale, Baxter, Wesley], persecution raged with relentless fury; yet they ceased not to declare the truth. 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 Lord gives a special truth for the people in an emergency. Who dare refuse to publish it? He commands His servants to present the last invitation of mercy to the world. They cannot remain silent, except at the peril of their souls.”-The Great Controversy, p. 609.

Consequently, we dare not refuse to publish the special Davidian truth for the church today.

Question No. 34:

Tract No. 10, “The Sign of Jonah,” 1942 Edition, says that the evening is the ending, not the beginning, of the twenty-four-hour day. But Genesis 1:5 says the evening and the morning were the first day. Does not this statement put the evening in the first part of the day?

Answer:

It is agreed that according to Genesis 1:5 the evening truly is the first part of the day. For example, Friday night is the first part of Saturday, and Saturday night the first part of Sunday. This Bible fact was recognized by God’s people all along the way. But from early in Bible time to this very day, the term “at even” has been used to designate the last part of the day-the afternoon (Ex. 12:6; 16:13; Mark 14:12, 13, 15, 17; John 20:19).

Thus this terminology, though in common use, does not in any wise alter the fact that the night which follows the “at even” period and precedes the day, is to be reckoned as the first part of the twenty-four-hour cycle, for “the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” Gen. 1:31. It is in this light that the statement on page 17 of Tract No. 10, is to be understood.

Question No. 36:

How can the sealing of the 144,000 (the first fruits) and the great multitude (the second fruits), both take place under the sixth seal, as Revelation 7 indicates from its position between the closing events of the sixth seal and the opening of the seventh seal?

Answer:

Revelation 7, coming as it does between the closing events of the sixth seal and the opening of the seventh, naturally appears to place the sealing of both the 144,000 and the great multitude among the events of the sixth seal. But a careful study of the seven seals, proves that the sixth chapter connects with the eighth chapter in continuity. So the seventh chapter is parenthetical, and does not restrict itself either to the sixth seal or to the seventh.

In other words, though the seventh chapter follows the events of the sixth seal, and precedes the events of the seventh seal, the chapter itself is not to be taken as necessarily chronological any more than are chapters 12 to 22 to be taken as a part of the seventh seal simply because they are recorded immediately following its events. The time of the events of the seventh chapter must be determined relatively, in the same manner as must the events of the twelfth to the twenty-second chapters.

Question No. 37:

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

Answer:

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

Question No. 38:

“The Shepherd’s Rod” seems to say that Jesus will leave the Most Holy place at the execution of the slaughter of Ezekiel 9, while “Early Writings,” p. 36, seems to say that He will leave the place after His work in the sanctuary is done, and then will come the seven last plagues. How do you reconcile the two?

Answer:

Though the author of Early Writings says that Christ will not leave the sanctuary before His “work is done,” yet elsewhere she writes: “They will feed upon the errors and mistakes and faults of others, ‘until,’ said the angel, ‘the Lord Jesus shall rise up from his mediatorial work in the heavenly sanctuary, and shall clothe himself with the garments of vengeance, and surprise them at their unholy feast; and they will find themselves unprepared for the marriage supper of the Lamb.”’-Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 690.

Viewing the question in the light of both statements, we see that Christ leaves the sanctuary at a certain time in the “unrolling of the scroll.” Coming to the church, He finds her not spotless and ready to meet Him, but deep in sin, yet self-complacently feeding upon the errors, faults, and mistakes of others.

Now the problem before us is not to harmonize the Rod with Early Writings, but Early Writings with the Testimonies. These are automatically harmonized when it is understood that Christ leaves the sanctuary more than the one time: Once after “the closing work for the church” (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266), and again after the closing work for the world.

(Next week we’ll bring more Q and A in part 2)

The 4th Angel’s message of Rev. 14

May 11, 2013

13035559-stairway-to-heaven13035559-stairway-to-heaven

As SDA we no doubt think of the “Three Angel’s” messages of Rev. 14 as our calling to the world. We have been established and known  largely upon the 3 angel’s of Rev. 14. However, upon closer examination what do we really find there in Rev. 14?  We find SIX angels, with 5 of them declaring a message and one portrayed as “doing” something but yet not speaking. Could it be that the other 3 angels also have very important messages for us as well, especially the 4th angel?  

In Test. for the Church, Vol.6, p.17, we read, ” The light we have received upon the third angel’s message is the true light. The mark of the beast is exactly what it has been proclaimed to be. Not all in regard to this matter is yet understood, nor will it be understood until the unrolling of the scroll..”

As we are so well aware, the Scriptures and the light it bears, is left in God’s hands. When He declares that we should understand “new light” we then see clearly that which is intended for us.

As SDA we have always understood that the 3 angels have been symbolic of three messages of truth proclaimed by the church. Way back in the mid 1800’s, the understanding of  more than 3 “messages” to be given to us,  appears in the book–” Word to the Little Flock” by James White. On page 10-11 it reads, ” All classes of second advent believers agree, that the angel brought to view in the 6th, and 7th verses of this chapter, represents the advent message, to the church and world.”

“If this is true, then all five of the angels brought to view in this chapter represent five distinct messages, prior to the advent, or we are left without a rule to interpret this chapter… The last two angels are messages of prayer. We shall, no doubt, better understand them at the time of their fulfillment.”

 Ellen White confirmed her husband’s light of truth received from God. “God has permitted the precious light of truth to shine upon his word, and illuminated the mind of my husband.” (Test. for the Church, vol.3, p.502)

In Rev.14, we find the following.

1) The first angel speaking in 14:7

2) The second angel speaking in 14:8

3) The third angel speaking in 14:9

The above “messages” are spoken with a loud voice. Obviously they are important messages of truth, needed by God’s people. These are the well-known “three angels message” which we are known for as SDA.

4) The fourth angel’s “cries” his message in 14:15

5) The fifth angel appears to be a “reaping” angel(Rev. 14:17)(14:19). One who gathers the second harvest in the world, known as the “great multitude”

6) The sixth angel appears to be the cry of the 144,000 to the world in the “Loud Cry” period (Rev. 14:18)

Concerning the 4th angel, we see he  cried his message with a “loud cry”. Also we notice that this cry is to Someone who “sat on the cloud”. We also notice that this message is spoken to “One like the Son of Man”. In other words this message is given to our Lord and Savior, King of Kings. The cry here represents that the message of  reproof, corrections and warnings have finally sealed those whom have accepted it and therefore the Lord now is asked to ” reap”. Meaning to fulfill His Ezekiel 9 promise.

Ellen White describes this also, ” “While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14.” (Great Controversy, p.425)

This fourth angel’s message is so important that we should read our last prophet’s words to get a good understanding. In  (Tract 3, p. 47) we read ,   ” 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.”

So we see that the fourth angel’s message is the proclaiming the “judgment for the living” message. The very same one that is being cried right now! And with the advent of the telecommunication age, is growing steadily. It is none other than the message of the Davidians to us within the SDA church. It is for us to get ready,  the Lord is about to enter the churches “suddenly” (Mal.3:1) to begin the first phase of the judgment for the “living”.

Ellen White further enlightens upon this 4th angel. ” 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. Great power and glory were imparted to the angel, and as he descended, the earth was lightened with his glory. The light which attended this angel penetrated everywhere, as he cried mightily, with a strong voice, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” The message of the fall of Babylon, as given by the second angel, is repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the churches since 1844. The work of this angel comes in at the right time to join in the last great work of the third angel’s message as it swells to a loud cry.” (Early Writings, p.277)

It is important to point out that one of the main focus points of the SRod message is/has been –church corruption, just as is prophesied. Ellen White explains further of this other angel (4th) ” We are to throw aside our narrow, selfish plans, remembering that we have a work of the largest magnitude and highest importance. In doing this work we are sounding the first, second, and third angel’s messages, and are thus being prepared for the coming of that other angel from heaven who is to lighten the earth with his glory.” (Test. for the Church, Vol 6. p.406)

When she spoke those words , she was pointing to our time, right now, as this 4th angel (symbolic of us the messengers) is proclaiming a message that will soon “lighten the earth”.

Let us again review an important aspect of the understanding of the angel messages of Rev.14 . As we’ve learned in our studies through the previous posts–The promised “Elijah to come” has primarily a single purpose in mind. That is to reveal all the pertinent Scriptures and SOP that describes the “great and dreadful” day of the Lord. In other words, the Elijah was to begin the 4th angel’s message of preparation for the aforementioned day which has the purpose of the judgment for the living, as opposed to the prior work of judgment for the dead.Very shortly, the Lord will be moving onto the judging of existing living souls right here on earth! And so many of us don’t realize how close He is to beginning this solemn work.

And as such we know that we, the SDA church,  are the first to experience these judgments and just as importantly–execution of judgments (per Ezekiel 9). In addition to the Rev. 14 evidence,  the important  Scriptures and SOP for this judgment work is (1 Peter 4:17)  and (Test. for the Church, Vol. 5, p210-212).

Our last prophet explains more on (Rev. 14:14-19).

” 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.”  (Timely Greetings, Vol.2 No.44, p.37)

We notice that immediately after the work of the angels in Rev. 14, then there is Chapter 15 where it says, “Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.” (Rev. 15:1) Then it is time for probation no more. All rapidly comes to an end the heavenly kingdom is home to the righteous for 1000 years.

So in closing we note that the current and most important work right now is that of our 4th message(angel). We are being shown a decisive message of truth, and then watched whether we accept it and then live it. As in times past, the Lord has always given us what is called “testing truth”. For example, in Noah’s day the test was to accept Noah’s message of warning for the world wide flood to come. In Mose’s time, it was the test of whether the people would obey the 10 Commandments. In Christ’s day, the test was whether the people would accept Him as God’s Son. In Ellen White’s day the test was whether they would accept the Sabbath and sanctuary truth.

Ofcourse the testing truth is also known as the “present truth”. The holy Law of God, the 10 Commandments have remained constant (Psalms 111:7-8) but each generation has met a new challenge, a new “testing truth”. Another way of looking at it is that each generation has had a new “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” and then watched to see if God’s people obey Him or not.

“God means that testing truth shall be brought to the front and become a subject of examination and discussion, even if it is through the contempt placed upon it. The minds of the people must be agitated. Every controversy, every reproach, every slander, will be God’s means of provoking inquiry and awaking minds that other wise would slumber. ” (Test. for the Church, Vol 5, p.453)

Has there been a message from God that has tested us today? Yes there has,  it’s called– The Shepherd’s Rod message, the 4th angel’s  message.

Doing the Right Thing

May 4, 2013

Often many times throughout the day, we come upon the ol proverbial “fork in the road”. One side goes to the right (right doing) the other goes to the left (wrong doing).  We come to action time and we choose one or the other. The side we choose helps establish our faith.

If we can learn and practice choosing the “right side”, we’ll be doing what our prophetess said. “Righteousness means being good and doing good. Righteousness is obedience to the law. Righteousness is right doing, and it is by their deeds that all will be judged.” (Righteousness by Faith-E. White)

Let us look more closely at some aspects of choosing the right path daily. I’ll start with a recent example of something that occured in my Christian walk. As a part-time property manager, I have to oversee the maintenance and upkeep of certain properties.

We recently had a house where the tenants were evicted. They left the property in shambles. But I had just a couple decent handyman repairmen I could use. One was good yet VERY expensive. The other was good but unreliable. But the all knowing Lord was guiding the situation.

Last week I happened to stop at a local gas station to fill up. As I walk into the store a young couple was sitting on the floor with a “please help” sign. Although normally I may give a couple dollars, I rarely stop and talk with them.

But something was different with this couple. The Spirit nudged me to stop and talk. I found out that the young man (Joshua) and his girl friend were quite pleasant and courteous. I could sense that they were just “down and out” due to circumstances. But my attention was grabbed when he explained that he did handyman work. Bingo!  I took there number and told them I’d call them in a couple days.

To make the story short, I hired them and they are currently staying in the home while fixing it up. They have done superb work! But here’s what I want to say about this. They are obviously down and out and as such are vulnerable to cost-cutters and tightwads who could seize upon this situation and pay them way below what is fair.

In (James 2:1) we read, “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.”  And also (James 2:9), “But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.”

So clearly this was a “fork in the road” for me. Would I take advantage of this situation or would I do the right thing. I knew what was the thing to do in this manner.

This is just a small example of the kind of situations we can come upon where we must know that our Lord is watching.

You see it is great to know all the doctrines and theories, but it’s the basic daily steps we take and make that shows the Lord where our heart really is.

As we posted a while back, “If we talk the talk, we must walk the walk”. May the Lord give us the understanding of the basic “right doing” in our daily actions.


%d bloggers like this: