A Prophet Answers (Part 2 of 2)

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 

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2 Responses to “A Prophet Answers (Part 2 of 2)”

  1. wilfred Ragogi Ondande Says:

    Greetings brother!my mind goes to quez number 23 and its answer.It says that the time of the harvest can be linked to the seperation of the wheat from the tares.Is that in the church or outside the church.It very possible that the only place where you can find the tares mingled with the wheat is in the church.How do we call the act of that other angel who calls God’s people to come ouit of Babylon?Is also another harvest?
    Help me sincerely !

  2. godsloveandlaw Says:

    First, I’d like to thank you brother for “studying yourself to be approved”. This is what we are asked to do in these final days. The Scripture says–“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”.(Hosea 4:6) As regard to your question, you are correct, there will be TWO harvests. The first one is for the “first fruits”(the 144,000) and the second one is for the “great multitude”. The reason the first takes place is to purify the church, to get her capable of proclaiming the “Loud Cry”. In Review and Herald , No. 19, 1908, Ellen White said–“ONLY those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One, will be permitted to act A PART in proclaiming it (The 3rd Angel message) when it shall have swelled into the Loud Cry.” So after the church is made ready and the Lord has taken the reins into His own hands (Test. to Ministers, p.300, Ezekiel 9) Then the SECOND harvest begins and those in babylon are then called out of her.Here is a report that brother Houteff did called “The Judgement and the Harvest” http://www.shepherds-rod.org/Tracts/trac003.html
    Keep up the good study!

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