Archive for June, 2013

Unrolling of the Scroll

June 29, 2013

We can imagine the old biblical days, a teacher or religious leader preparing to read and discuss God’s word. He would grab hold of the scroll and then proceed to “unroll” it and then start his discussion. This proverbial “unrolling of the scroll” has much more meaning that the simple act of it. Let us look at the term’s meaning for us today.

As the Bible continued to be added to, the latest word from the prophets (God’s spokesmen) were added to the end of the scroll. This was to be the present truth for that particular generation.

Ellen White says much on present truth–

“There are many precious truths contained in the Word of God, but it is “present truth” that the flock needs now.” (Early Writings, p.63)

” I saw that the saints must get a thorough understanding of present truth, which they will be obliged to maintain from the Scriptures…. Our minds must not be taken up with things around us, but must be occupied with the present truth and a preparation to give a reason of our hope with meekness and fear. We must seek wisdom from on high that we may stand in this day of error and delusion” (Early Writings, p. 87).

So in order to understand the unrolling of the scroll, we must understand that the latest word from God is  the most needed. Allow us to make some examples.

We know back in Moses day, the people were given many laws and commands during their exodus from Egypt. One of them was the “stoning” of the man who broke the Sabbath. That was present truth for that time. Does that mean that this is true for us today? Ofcourse not. This was spoken of for that time and place to God’s people.

Likewise Joshua was told to go in and kill all the people in villages that God wanted conquered. Is that our truth for today? Ofcourse not. You see, unlike the prior prophets,  the “latest” prophet is the latest word from God . This is our cutting edge truth, our hope, our gift, our joy from the all-seeing and knowing Lord.

Granted those are rather extreme examples, the main point being that not all truth given for one generation is applicable to the next and thereafter. Contrarily, much truth is often applicable for future generations as well. The 10 Commandments were present truths for the people in Moses’ generation yet they are also true for us today.

Last week we posted on the original SDA system of paying tithes. To give a more contemporary example of the scroll unrolling with further truth, and more applicable truth,  let’s look at the following.

We saw that the system was made up so that the church members were to gather the tithes “quarterly”, four times a year. Today with our faster moving world and with bills coming at us at a far more rapid pace, we know that their truth (paying quarterly) would not be present truth for us today. So we must understand that, with the “spirit of Truth” guiding us (John 16:13), we shall be able to discern the truth as it unrolls to our specific time.

We now come to the latest messengers from God, particularly our beloved Ellen G. White. We as SDA, are truly amazed and thrilled to have been privileged to read her writings. Yet we must, as truth seekers know that she was not the last prophet sent from the Lord to us. So knowing this, it stands to reason that her writings, as beautiful and true as they are, they do not encompass all our present truths for today. From the explanations from above we can see this but even more importantly we can see what she herself said concerning a future messenger of God to come.

“Prophecy must be fulfilled. The Lord says: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Somebody is to come in the spirit and power of Elijah, and when he appears, men may say: “You are too earnest, you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way. Let me tell you how to teach your message.”(Test. to Min. p.475)

Then we find Scripture that shows a last prophet to come “before the great and dreadful day of the Lord”. (Mal. 4:5)

As the scroll unrolled, our Divine King made it clear He would have a last day prophet bring the last words of importance to our generation. This is where we must make one of two decisions. The great fork in the road is before us. One leads to this–

“I am satisfied that I have all I need in the truth, and have no need of any new messages from the Lord”. This very well could be what the Lord had in mind when he said, “Because you say, ‘ I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing…” (Rev. 3:17)  One path is our decision to say we “have need of nothing”. Meaning we don’t need His last day messages.

The second fork in the road leads to this–  ” I am willing to follow you Lord wherever you go. You sent a prior prophet to us and had her prepare us for your last prophet (Test. to Min. p.475-476). This latest unrolling of the scroll, I will learn and take heed.”

This last prophet makes mention of the scroll,  “..since Elijah is to herald the great day, he can therefore be the only one who will rightly interpret the prophecies of the day, which are still mysteries to Christendom, and even to our own Denomination!  Indeed, to reiterate, it is for this very reason that the prophet is sent.  He is to unroll the scroll to explain what the day of the Lord is like, what the Lord will do then, and how we may survive His judgments. 

To re-emphasize the fact, let it be said again that being the last of the prophets Elijah is, therefore, the only one who can open to our understanding all the prophecies of the Scriptures pertaining to the great and dreadful day of the Lord — prophecies which heretofore have been only mysteries to all.  Thus he is, as the Scriptures say, to blow the trumpet in Zion, and to sound an alarm in God’s holy mountain, in the church.”(General Conference Special, p.19)

As the scroll as unrolled down through time, has there ever been a time when the God’s people ignored the messages and warning of His prophets, and God’s blessings and saving grace came upon them? Ofcourse not.

Brother Houteff says, “It is a fact, that in every age where God demonstrated His truth and purpose in clear lines, after being rejected, that people suffered the vengeance of the all-powerful and great God. For instance, the anti-diluvians, cities of Sodom, Egypt, Canaanites, Babylon, and ancient Jerusalem.” (Shep. Rod, Vol. 1, p.129)

Will it not be the same for us in this generation? Are we, the Laodiceans, to be exalted above all the other generations of God and therefore get a free pass to ignore His present truth prophet? As we view history, the answer should be clear.

Let us not make the same mistake that the Pharisees made in Christ’s day. Our Lord was THE PRESENT TRUTH. Yet the prideful leaders denied that He was. His message was not the further unrolling of the scroll. They stopped the scroll at Malachi!  The prior prophet. Are we as SDA also stopping the scroll at Ellen White? Are we grabbing the Lord’s hand and saying, “Stop this unrolling, we don’t need any more from You.”?

In closing, we have a great decision to make. It’s ours and ours alone. Each must take one of those forks in the road. The Elijah messengers are calling out to the people of God, “The Lord’s voice cries to the city–Wisdom shall see Your name: “Hear ye the rod! And Who has appointed it.” (Micah 6:9)

My beloved, there has only been one “rod” that has ever spoke. The unrolling of the scroll has now exposed the “rod” that speaks –the Shepherd’s Rod. May we heed our present truth for right now–today.

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The SDA’s Original “Systematic Benevolence”

June 22, 2013

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In one of Doug Batchelor’s sermons, he presented  a very interesting story of the “Cuckoo” bird. Simply put, this bird searches for other bird nests and then deposits its own egg into the unsuspecting bird’s nest. Then later when it hatches,  the original nest bird probably wonders where the strange bird came from. In much the same way something has been “laid” into our church that wasn’t there in the beginning. And for the longest time we have not been truly aware of it, until it’s been exposed (hatched) more clearly through the Elijah message (to restore all things).

What you are about to read will surprise some of you no doubt. But it really shouldn’t. Why? Because that ol deceiver has been at his  bag of tricks for millenniums!  When I came across this eye-opening information, I read it in amazement. How could these  clear instructions have been  stamped upon and  ignored for nearly a century now? Especially since our prophetess received direct approval from the Lord for its original benevolence system and methods?

Before we get into the matter,  let’s recap on something very important. As we have shown  in our previous studies, our church will soon be the “first” to feel the wrath of God. After describing Ezekiel 9, our prophetess lays it out for us, “Here we see that the church– the Lord’s sanctuary– was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God.” (Test. for the Church, Vol. 5, p.211).

So how do we “survive” this judgement, this wrath of God? This is our most pressing concern, right? This is serious business!  Our prophetess answers it, “The day of God’s vengeance is just upon us. The seal of God will be placed upon the foreheads of those only who sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land. ” (Test. for the Church, Vol. 5, p.212). So we must be sealed in the forehead, similar to those who posted the blood on the door posts (their seal) in the Egypt midnight destruction from the Lord. The angel passed over those who have that blood seal. Same with us in the upcoming beginning phase of the “judgment for the living”(“first stroke”).

Contrarily, if we don’t “sigh and cry” over the sins in our life and the church, we will not receive the seal on our foreheads–plain and simple. Our lukewarmness will cause us to be “spewed out”.  The Lord’s words are too simple to be mis-understood here. Can we be considered “sighing and crying” when we  ignore the sins in our midst or worse yet — take part in them?

We needed to refresh the Elijah message  because we are about to learn of a serious sin that has crept within our church that happens every Sabbath. Something that certainly must be “sighed and cried” about. And once we are “aware” of a wrong doing in our midst,  we must turn from it and want no part of it.

Although our SDA church wasn’t formally established until 1863, the body of believers existed many years prior, from about 1844- 1845. But it wasn’t until 1859 that the SDA members were committed to establishing a formal system of “Tithing”. Apparently prior  to that there was some confusion as to what, where and when tithes were to be paid. No “Lord approved” system had been put in place yet.

Before we study this plan, it’s important to see what Ellen White,a founder of the SDA, revealed about it. Arthur White, her grandson, and head of the White estate for many years,  wrote–

“As Testimony No. 5 came from the press in June 1859, it bore the assurance that “the plan of systematic benevolence is pleasing to God.” Ellen White told of how in vision she “was pointed back to the days of the apostles, and saw that God laid the plan by the descent of His Holy Spirit, and that by the gift of prophecy He counseled His people in regard to a system of benevolence.”

So we see that this plan started with God’s approval through His prophetess and founding members.  Let us now look at Arthur White’s  historical study of the SDA’s beginning plan of the  “Systematic Benevolence” plan of tithing within our church.

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Some Documentation on Systematic Benevolence and the Tithe as Launched in 1859

The following plan was recommended at the January 1859 meeting in Battle Creek:

“1. Let each brother from 18 to 60 years of age lay by him in store on the first day of each week from five to 25 cents.

“2. Each sister from 18 to 60 years of age lay by her in store on the first day of each week

  from two to ten cents.

3. Also, let each brother and sister lay by him or her in store on the first day of each week from one to five cents on each and every $100 of property they possess ….

“The lowest sums stated are so very small that those in the poorest circumstances (with very few exceptions of some widows, infirm, and aged) can act upon this plan; while those in better circumstances are left to act in the fear of God in the performance of their stewardship, to give all the way up to the highest sums stated, or even more, as they see it their duty to do.”-RH February 3, 1859, p. 84

“With only slight modification, this plan was adopted at the General Conference session, June 4, 1859. Reported in RH June 9, 1859, p. 20.”

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As we highlighted in bold we see that the day to collect the tithes was “the first day of the week”–Sunday.   Sabbath collecting as far as can be gathered, did not exist nor even was mentioned. The next excerpt from his study reveals more.

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The Perfected Plan Delineated in an 1878 Pamphlet

“According to conference action the perfected plan was set before the believers in a pamphlet significantly bearing the title Systematic Benevolence or the Bible Plan of Supporting the Ministry. It was but a refinement with a better way of figuring the tithe and the presentation made under the familiar title of “Systematic Benevolence.” In the introductory statement in the pamphlet we read:

“The subject of Systematic Benevolence has been under practical consideration by Seventh-day Adventists for a period of twenty years or more. And no material changes from the system first adopted were seen necessary until two years since. The reasons for these changes are given in the pages that follow.

“‘How much ought I to give for the support of the gospel?’ After carefully viewing the subject from all points, we answer, ‘A tithe of all our income.’

“This does not mean a tenth of our annual increase of property after the cost of food and clothing, and other expenses, are paid, but that nine parts of our income are to meet all these expenses, while a tithe of our income is the Lord’s, to be sacredly devoted to the support of the ministry. We regard the plan of pledging a sum equal to one percent annually on our property defective in several respects:”

“We solemnly promise, before God and to each other, conscientiously to pay to the Systematic Benevolence treasurer a tithe of all our income, to be laid by when received, and paid on the first Sunday of each one of the four quarters of the year; namely, the first Sunday in January, the first Sunday in April, the first Sunday in July, and the first Sunday in October.”

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We see that in 1878 ,  some adjustments and recommendations were made . These concerned subjects such as –what constituted proper tithes and so forth.What we notice in reading the above adjustments (and through out the full article) is that no where is there mention of any statement as to changing the “day” of paying the tithes. Sunday was confirmed as the day to pay the tithes.  So for 20 years,the official tithe paying olan within our SDA church was the first day–Sunday.  And as we mention, this had the full backing from the Lord per Ellen White’s aforementioned statement.

We also found these two confirming statements that this system was in place in 1868 and 1880.

“Nothing on the Battle Creek scene escaped this teenager. At the first Seventh-day Adventist camp meeting in Wright, Michigan (1868), Maud  rode on  a wagon to pitch tents made out of sheets. She also went to work in the composing room of the Review and Herald (for 10 cents an hour). After the plan of paying tithes was presented to the believers, Maud was usually one of the first in line when the collector came by on Sunday mornings.” (Adventist Review, March 3, 1994)

“Sunday there were no meetings in the other churches, and the house was crowded. The best of attention was given to words spoken from 1 John 3:1-3.
In the evening we again addressed an interested company. Monday we took the cars for Napa, where we spoke to the brethren and sisters there assembled in the evening. Some of the members of this church have moved away, and some have died, so that there are but few left. Although so few in numbers, one hundred and thirty-four dollars were paid in as their quarterly tithe ( *as per the benevolence plan stated above). When every church member does his part cheerfully in tithes and offerings the general treasury will be supplied. Napa needs judicious ministerial labor.”(April 22, 1880 St. Helena, Cal., ( * my comment)

Ok, we can see , so far, that from its inception through to 1880 (about 22 years) that the day of paying tithes was confirmed as Sunday.  Another statement found that confirms the Sunday paying of tithes.

In 1878 James White, JN Andrews and Uriah Smith further confirmed the Sunday plan of paying tithes, “We solemnly promise, before God and to each other, to conscientiously pay to the Systematic Benevolence Treasurer a tithe of all our income, to be paid on the first Sunday of each one of the four quarters of the year ; namely, the first Sunday in January, the first Sunday in April, the first Sunday in July, and the first Sunday in October. ” (Review and Herald , August 29, 1878)

Signed James White (Contributing editors are JN Andrews and Uriah Smith)  

“The directions given by the Holy Spirit through Paul in regards to gifts, present a principle that applies also to tithing: “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him…and what more appropriate time could be chosen for setting aside the tithes and presenting our offerings to God?”  (Counsels on Stewardship, p.80, Review and Herald, 1902)

Also we noticed she specifically mentions our tithes to be stored  “at home” in the Testimonies– “Each member of the different families in our churches who believes the truth may act a part in its advancement by cheerfully adopting systematic benevolence. “Let every one of you lay by him in store [by himself at home], . . . that there be no gatherings when I come.” The burden of urging and pressing individuals to give of their means was not designed to be the work of God’s ministers.(Test. for the Church, Vol.3, p.412)

So we see that from 1878 to 1902, the stance was still the same–Sunday was tithe paying day. So now in 1902,  it’s 43 years since inception of the plan that the official tithe collecting day occurred on Sunday.

So it’s safe to assume that at least until Ellen White’s death in 1915, the official stance from our church was not altered.

So it appears that somewhere from 1915 to 1930, the Roman church custom of plate passing crept into our church and became the church norm.

Also it’s important to note,  along with Sabbath collections, there are other important aspects occuring  concerning paying of God’s money into His storehouse. Particularly what constitutes His storehouse. For more on this see the link below.

As we mentioned before, the Lord’s Elijah message is to be for us the anti-type of the type.The type being the original Elijah message of calling out the sins of God’s people and pleading for reformation. As such brother Houteff’s writing must be considered as they are the very last from the Lord. And he certainly called out this tithe situation. Remember there is no other prophet prophesied to come before the great and dreadful day, except “Elijah”.

“In order to eliminate money changing for tithe and offering, paying for books, etc. on the Sabbath, a Laodicean practice which the word of God condemns, let us carefully attend to all such matters on the first day of the week (1 Cor.16:2) by placing all monies in envelopes.” (Vol. 1 Symbolic news code, no.9, p.11)

Here we see that brother Houteff  in 1935 gives us an update on the tithing activity. Apparently, some of the churches where changing money and buying and selling books, etc. on the Sabbath, and he makes mention of it as a “Laodicean practice”. So it appears this practice had established some type of foothold by then. But clearly he instructs us to “attend” the matter on the first day, just as our prophetess gave our Lord’s instructions on tithing.

One of the last publications after 1950 from brother Houteff, was the “Jezreel Letters”. He made 9 of them.The quote below confirms that the Roman custom had taken solid hold within the SDA church.

“Look and see what a difference there is between God’s method for supporting His work, and the Roman system that is now carried on by the church: plate-passing, high-powered speeches, Big Day, Book Day, high pressuring, campaigning, selling, auctioneering, Harvest Ingathering, birthday offerings, Christmas-tree hangings, baby weighings, Dorcas sales, investment funds, and what not!  As none of these squeezings are Biblical, and as all of them are Pagan in origin and condemned by the Scriptures, they could not possibly be considered freewill offerings. Search and see.“(Jezreel Letter, No. 9, p.8)

So there we have it. There can be no doubt that we are witnessing each and every Sabbath a gigantic “Cuckoo bird egg”  in our midst. The question is– are we going to participate in this? Or are we going to mail in our tithes of the first day of the week-Sunday?

The question may be asked–“Is it ok to send it in on Monday or other day of the week? The scripture says “let” each. I think it’s a good foundation to know that Sunday is not a command day. The main point being to keep the Sabbath holy by not dealing in money.

Some may also say, “This really is not such a big deal, why get worried over it?”  I would answer– because God specifically instructed our church to NOT pay tithes on His Sabbath as evidenced by never authorizing this custom throughout all of scripture history and his two last prophets as well.  Here’s something to ponder. What do you think would happen if we as His remnant church started obeying in this regard?  Our Great God would bless us for it and the money would be much greater into the church! Obedience always results in blessings.

Furthermore, what is the house of God for anyway? Is it not for prayer and the reading of His word? “He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” (Matt.21:13)

We recall our Master whipping the money exchangers from the temple courts. Can we imagine if  He found the people dealing and handling money in His house??

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The devil trick is “You are doing a good cause, the Lord accepts the handling , discussing and requesting of money and raising goals within His house.”

Let us close with appropriate words from our prophetess,  “The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God’s professed people.” (Test. for the Church, Vol. 3, p.266)

“It is not safe for us to linger to contemplate the advantages to be reaped through yielding to Satan’s suggestions.  Sin means dishonor and disaster to every soul that indulges in it; but it is blinding and deceiving in its nature, and it will entice us with flattering presentations.  If we venture on Satan’s ground, we have no assurance of protection from his power.  So far as in us lies, we should close every avenue by which the tempter may find access to us.”(Mount of Blessings, p.171)

For the full article from Arthur White, click here —http://www.whiteestate.org/issues/Tithe-H&U.html#Some

For a more indepth look into tithing, such as where is God’s true storehouses are, and other important aspects, click our post “Tithes and offerings” —https://godsloveandlaw.com/2012/09/22/offerings-and-tithes-part-1-of-2/

True Repentance

June 15, 2013

repentance

As we profess to be a follower of Christ, we must make sure to get the simple basics cleared in our life. For what man goes to build a foundation on sand? Just as our Lord said, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock” (Matt. 7:24).  So it’s clear that we must lay the foundation upon solid “rock”. And one of the most basic solid aspects of our walk with the Lord is –repentance. Let us look at this most important spiritual  foundation, one of the pillars of our faith.

Before Christ’s first advent, John the Baptist was called to prepare the way as we know. And the primary command he issued was to–repent. “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matt. 3:1-2). He was letting the people know that the first step to coming clean before the Lord was to repent. It’s akin to the following analogy. Who, when they want to rebuild something (ie. their life) doesn’t start out first by cleaning up and clearing away? Repenting is the same thing spiritually.

Why is repenting so important and many times overlooked in our Christian walk today? We know that our Lord gave us specific instructions in His words to His last church (Rev. 3:19). Last week we spoke of “zealousness” but the next word He commanded was–repent. Why would He say it if we aren’t in need of it? Obviously He knew that we as Laodiceans would need this serious instruction.

So it is clear we must search ourselves closely to find if we have held on to an act or deed we haven’t come clean  to the Lord about.

Allow me to give some personal examples. A few years back, after I had become a serious follower of Christ, the Lord started to give me flashbacks of things I had done that were in  my past. Maybe I’d be driving and all of a sudden I’d remember something I did that wasn’t right before the Lord. For example, I remembered I had hired a man to do some remodel work for a property I was renovating. Long story short, I had run into some financial difficulty and told him I would have to pay him later. Later, I moved out of town and basically reneged on my pledge.

But as I was driving my heart soared as I immediately knew that the Lord had told me to get it right! Very soon after this, I found the man (thank God he had kept his number after 7 or 8 years). He was very happy to hear I would be sending him his money. In (Ezekiel 33:15) we read, “If the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statues of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die.”

The Lord calls us what we are when we steal–wicked. I had stolen his labor and practiced unrighteousness. But upon learning what I had to do, it was up to me to repent and then act. You see, repentance is much more than just words. Many times our words are only part of the true repentance. Our deeds fulfill the repentance.

Another time I recalled, was when I had hired a tree cutter. He had cut down the majority of the tree, yet he didn’t remove “all” of the stump as he said he would. It was too deep and he couldn’t do it he said. So, being the unrighteous man I was,  I figured I didn’t owe him anything because he didn’t finish the job. So he said he understood and left. But upon reflection in my new Christ centered  life,  I came to my senses and realized he did the best he could and did take down about 80% of it, so it was right to pay him something for what he did do. He was thrilled and even invited me into his home to sit and chat when I showed up to pay him.

So once we become serious in our walk, we must reflect upon things we have done and if it’s in our power to right them we should. This really constitutes true repentance. Some things may be out of our control. For example we may have lost touch with someone. The Lord knows what is doable and what is not. But again, if we start thinking “Oh the Lord will forgive me he knows I made a mistake.” And we presumptuously think we have His grace ,  yet we don’t make any effort to right it, we may seriously be considered neglecting to “restore the pledge”.

One of the most applicable quotes (and favorite of mine) from our prophetess is– 

“But Christ has given us no assurance that to attain perfection of character is an easy matter. A noble, all-round character is not inherited. It does not come to us by accident. A noble character is earned by individual effort through the merits and grace of Christ. God gives the talents, the powers of the mind; we form the character. It is formed by hard, stern battles with self. Conflict after conflict must be waged against hereditary tendencies. We shall have to criticize ourselves closely, and allow not one unfavorable trait to remain uncorrected.

Let no one say, I cannot remedy my defects of character. If you come to this decision, you will certainly fail of obtaining everlasting life. The impossibility lies in your own will. If you will not, then you can not overcome. The real difficulty arises from the corruption of an unsanctified heart, and an unwillingness to submit to the control of God.(Christ Object Lessons, p.331).

One of those serious defects of character would be the refusal or neglect, to repent after we  “criticize ourselves closely”. As we mentioned earlier, our Christian walk must be a  renewed walk, with a rebuilding and removing of past wrongs, a repentance of wrong doing. “Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”(John 3:3).

Our new life of being ‘born again” certainly cannot exclude repentance. As we confess our sins and repent, we feel that special closeness to Him. This is one of the surest ways to “draw close to Him”. In (James 4:8) we read, “Draw close to Him , and He will draw close to you.”

I believe one of the most common errors we make as professed Christians is the error of presumptiousness. Many feel they areforgiven” without out even repenting. It’s kind of  like someone striking you then looking at you and saying, “I know you forgive me, thank you”. What?  The cart is before the horse. But if we come clean to the Lord and if need be, to those we have wronged, we can claim His faithful promise. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:19).

Is not that what the Pharisees tried to do in approaching John the Baptist? Their presumptioness was called out by John. They felt their wrongs were acceptable and no big deal, therefore they were not in need of repentance. If  we sin we have the Great Forgiver, but can He forgive without our sincere remorse and repentance? 

The reward of repentance is that we  have a “clear conscience”. “Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.” (1 Tim. 1:19)

You see brethren, even if we have all the knowledge of the prophecies, but don’t possess the simple important basics of the Christian walk, we deceive ourselves. Sanctification always begins on the first step–love and repentance.

Now how great is it before the Lord, if he sees us walking in obedience of the basics yet having a good clear understanding of the prophecies! Wow, now that appears the utmost Christian experience.

Last week something happened that was the motivating factor in making this week’s post.

I had been involved in some studies with a certain brother. We had several studies together, each Sabbath evening (Friday night). The studies were quite rewarding. But the last of the studies, we had a dispute of our beliefs. Things got a little testy. Emails followed and we shared why we thought the other was mistaken. He then made the statement which basically said that I was lost and needed to be born again.

I emailed him back and said that he was making a serious mistake in “mounting the judgment seat”. No one  has the right to declare someone lost and only our Lord is given that judgment to declare.

Then about  a week later, he called me. After small chit-chat he said, “You know brother, I’ve been thinking and I want to apologize for being rash and saying some things that were wrong.”  I was very, very impressed. Why? Because we just don’t hear this kind of humbleness and straightness from many of our brothers and sisters in the faith. I told him with a warm heart, that what he was doing was, “great before the Lord”. We left our conversation both feeling the Lord’s strength.

In closing, let us often remember that our Lord is “Mighty to save”(Zeph. 3:17) but we must do our part and build a solid foundation. And one of the most important requirements of us as “Christians”, is to be willing, able  and ready  to — repent. May the Lord be your strength!

 
 

 

 

At Work in His Vineyard

June 8, 2013

Vineyard

As we near the end of our probation, not the world’s but ours, the remnant church of God, we must carefully attend to the matter of–are we working in His vineyard? Are we at work in some capacity? Or are we slothful servants, willing to watch the work and not get involved? Let us look at this most important subject today –working in His vineyard.

In the parable of the laborers in the field (Matt. 20:1-16), our Lord spoke of working for Him in His vineyard. He makes mention of eleventh hour workers standing idle  saying “Why have you been standing here idle all day?”  Then finding they aren’t working He directs, “You also go into the vineyard, and what ever is right, that you will receive” (Matt 20:6-7).

Certainly we know that we are indeed in the “eleventh hour” of our world’s history. In fact we just completed the total world’s population at 7 billion. For a “world population clock” click here  http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/ . As any bible student knows, seven is the number for completeness. We now have a “complete” world population according to God’s number symbols. This is just one of many signs we are living in the very last days.

So with time very short how can we as God’s servants get to work? To refrain from standing “idle”? To begin with we must know what our work is.  When our Lord addressed us in the final book (Revelation, chapter 3) He said to us “Be zealous and repent”(3-19).

So our work must consist of a “zealousness”. Which is the opposite of  being idle. As we have shown from our numerous studies, we are living in the time of the last message from the Lord — the Elijah message(Mal 4:5). So there’s no doubt that this message is the one we must teach and spread, and this is our “work” for today.

“For His church in every generation God has a special truth and a special work” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p.78)

Let us look at some good practical ways to get involved and to be counted as a laborer for God, found working  in His vineyard.

1) Make a daily schedule of “your” time with God and His word. Guard this time as precious. And as we just mentioned the Lord’s word is solidly the last message of Elijah (our present truth). So during this time study all you can about His final plans. It’s only as we understand his message, that we can spread it properly. For a post that is helpful see our post ” The Elijah Message in a Nutshell” https://godsloveandlaw.com/2013/04/06/the-elijah-message-in-a-nutshell/

2)Form a small group of contacts. Brethren who are already in the Lord’s work. These will hopefully consist of knowledgeable brothers and sisters whom you can ask questions or even share thoughts about the work. 

3) Start small and just where you’re at. The Elijah message requires boldness because of the solemn testimonies and reproofs it requires of you, but in order to do that we must clear our own immediate influences. Let us also remember that our Lord has always spoken His words through His prophets(Amos 3:7). Even though  this Elijah message is not accepted many times by our brethren, our Lord’s direct and clear warning  must be foremost in our minds, “ Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when He comes in His glory and in the glory of  the Father and of the holy angels. ” (Luke 9:26)

So if we are embarrassed, afraid or hesitant of acknowledging and spreading His words ( His last message of Elijah) are we being ashamed of Him? Afraid because we may lose some friends or be murmured against? Speaking of fearful, it’s interesting to notice that our Lord listed “cowardly” first in who won’t make it into heaven. “But the cowardly, unbelieving. abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).

Our loved ones, family, close friends, are the very first ones we can begin with. They can  help make us more confident and gain some experience with our approach.  Remember this is our “testing truth” (see Test. for the Church, vol. 5, p453).  And the message that shows us how we are to be sealed in the day of the Lord’s judgments that start first in His church.

4) Employ all the resources at your disposal.  You can keep these sites handy to show as references. Remember many within our church will be surprised and even shocked to know that Ellen White and Scripture confirms the message of the Lord’s Shepherd’s Rod. In fact many who have accepted this message were doubters before, but upon seeing from SOP and Scripture the very same things that brother Houteff taught (the “Elijah” to come) they became firm believers.

One helpful point to remember is that as you spread the message some will ask you questions or make statements to you, trying to discourage you,  or proving to you some “error” in the Elijah message. This is where it is good to have your sources handy (mentioned sites) or other brethren to inquire of.  If you go to the “Answerer” and study and read those Q and A’s, you’ll be well prepared to meet many doubting questions.

As “Truth seekers” our job (workers in His vineyard) is to spread “truth” to help get them sealed for the “great and dreadful day”. We want to help get this message (truth) settled into their understanding. As a refresher, let us look at the following and see  what the Elijah message teaches us as to what the “seal” is. 

“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, Test. for the Church, Vol. 3, p.267, Vol. 5, p.211) (Answerer, question 21)http://www.shepherds-rod.org/answerers/answerer2.html#WHAT 

Interestingly our prophetess also made a clear statement on what the seal is (which goes hand in hand with the statement above by brother Houteff). “Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads—it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved…” ( Bible Commentary, Vol. 4. p.1161)

So clear it is that once we know His message and accept it and live it, we then “settle into” it (truth). And it becomes so true and understandable to us that we “cannot be moved” from it. This is the seal in our foreheads!

We see from EGW that this seal is not lightly bantered around and comes with conditions –“The day of God’s vengeance is just upon us. The seal of God will be placed upon the foreheads of those only who sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land.” (Test. for the Church, Vol. 5, p.212)

Here are the resource sites that have the Lord’s Elijah message truths.

a.http://www.shepherds-rod.org/

b.http://www.shepherds-rod-message.org/charts/

c.http://shepherdsroddavidian.org/

dhttp://sighandcry777.wordpress.com/    (Special Note–  We now have FREE  CD/DVD’s on this site)

e.http://www.thenightcometh.org/

5) Start a free online website (such as this blog) Takes only a few minutes and you’re up and running. As mentioned you can spread the studies and references on there. Or you can join an online SDA forum and start communication with other SDA. The key is to “get to work”. Can we think it is enough to just “think” about the message? As the word says,”But  be ye doers of the word, and not  hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22)

Keep in mind that the aforementioned CD/DVD’s are excellent ways to spread the message. When you watch them and re-watch them you’ll gain tremendous insight into the Elijah message. Then you can make copies, as many as you can, and send them to your friends and family. This can be a wonderful way to partake in His work! If we just make the effort, we find there are many ways to participate in His work in the vineyard. It’s almost like the Lord has set the table before you, all you have to do is grab the fork and start with it.

Now let us look at a few of Satan’s ploys to get us to not work in His vineyard.

1) Time waster. One of his tricks is to get us involved in many worldly endeavors. While many of us have to earn a living, he leads us to spend much more then we should on our jobs and worldly distractions. These can be our professional and worldly work, family, hobbies, entertainment such as TV, Theater, music, video games, computer games and endeavors, etc. Once he has us distracted from working in His vineyard we can very easily lose track of time and before you know it,  one year, two years, three years go by! “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 25:13). When our time is up, we can’t go back and say ” I sure wish I would have concentrated  on His work more than on my work”.

2) Doubter expert. He certainly wants you to have “no part” in the Elijah message. As he knows very well this is the message that will ultimately doom him. He has tricked hundreds of thousands in our own SDA church into thinking that the real message of the Lord right now is one of –peace and safety. We think all is well and as long as our name is on the church books we’re safe and saved. “It is not enough to make a profession of faith in Christ and have our names registered on the church roll.(Patriarch and prophets, p.24)

To have your name on the church book does not make you a Christian. ” (Review and Herald, Dec. 10, 1901)

3) Hinderer extraordinaire.  He has influenced some to be hinderers.There is no doubt that once we become willing to stand up for His message of Elijah, we will have some who will criticize and try to discourage us. But by this you will know that you are active in His vineyard and making dents in the enemy’s ground. For Satan wants you inactive and a lukewarm church member.  “Woe to you experts in the religious law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered,  and you have hindered those who were entering.”(Luke 11:52).  This reminds me of the old adage, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way”.

Our prophetess gives good counsel in the malpractice of hindering. “As men see that they cannot maintain their position by the Scriptures, many determine to maintain it at all hazards, and with a malicious spirit they assail the character and motives of those who stand in defense of unpopular truth. Elijah was declared to be 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. ” (The Great Controversy, p.458).

“Your faith is to be revealed as precious truth, truth which all should have and all must have if they are saved. As a people, we are in the minority. We are not popular. Our enemies will be watching us for evil, to betray us and ruin our souls. They will not appreciate our motives. They will misinterpret our earnest zeal and our intense desire to have others see and understand the truth, that they may do the will of God by obeying all His commandments. But we should fight the good fight of faith, and be found “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” (Test. for the Church, Vol. 5, p.520-521).

Today we are under the sad realization that there are indeed “few” laborers in His vineyard. We have a choice right now, either make a decision to start working or sit back and wait for a day that may never come, or worse yet, decide we have all we need and there is no need to work.

“As never before, we should pray not only that laborers may be sent forth into the great harvest field, but that we may have a clear conception of truth, so that when the messenger of truth shall come, we may accept the message and respect the messenger.” (Vol. 6 Testimonies for the Church  p. 420.)

In closing, let us always remember that our work in His vineyard is the most rewarding and rewardful work we can do. Is not our fellow brethren and family’s souls worth every effort on our part? May the Lord inspire you to be–at work in His vineyard.

The Trojan Horse

June 1, 2013

trojanhorse

Satan has long ago abandoned his torture and abuse method of overtaking God’s people. Since the reformation, he has changed course. Instead he has found great success in sending a “tare flood” into the church. He’s found that his work from within has produced wide-spread success as opposed to his former work of coming at God’s people from without. The story of the Trojan Horse is similar in many aspects to Satan and his workers coming inside of their victims stronghold (as in our case–the church) Many of us are familiar with the Greek story of the “Trojan Horse”. In Wikipedia it gives us a short description.

“The Trojan Horse is a tale from the Trojan war about the subterfuge that the Greeks used to enter the city of Troy and end the conflict. In the canonical version, after a fruitless 10-year siege, the Greeks constructed a huge wooden horse , and hid a select force of men inside. The Greeks pretended to sail away, and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy. That night the Greek force crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had sailed back under cover of night. The Greeks entered and destroyed the city of Troy, decisively ending the war.”

As is evident, their whole purpose was to infiltrate and conquer. Deception was used as the key weapon. The people saw one thing yet unbeknownst to them , something totally different appeared. There are very similar tactics being used today by an equally unassuming, yet far more frightening foe– Satan. Yet as deceptive as he is, we can look to our Lord’s word for courage and strength. “..greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

Since the very beginning, Satan has been the most “slippery” foe we’ve had to deal with. Some have said he was(possibly still is) the number 4 of the universe, as far as intelligence goes. Now  that’s formidable! Because of this we must be keenly aware of his sinister ways. Apostle Paul said, “.. Lest Satan should get an advantage of us, for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor. 2:11). As we can see,  way back then Christians were being told to be on guard.

As successful as this Trojan horse method has been, as we’ve mentioned it has not always been the method of choice from Satan and evil ones. We recall at Christ’s birth, Satan tried to have Him killed by way of king Herod. Then after our Lord ascended, he riled up the people to persecute the Christians. The tortures, the lion’s den and arenas, and the host of other terrible deeds, was his method of choice in trying to eliminate God’s people. But that proved futile because he found that only the pure and converted dared enter the hated sect. Thus the church composed of only truly converted believers and as such they were very strong spiritually and were able to serve Christ effectively to those ready to live and die  for Him.

So he began to implement His scheme of infiltrating Christianity from within. This has been his most succesful strategy ever since. And once he was able to bring in the great numbers of tares into the church, he began to “change things”, some very important doctrines. We as SDA know that his primarily change was the changing of the Sabbath from the 7th day to the 1st day(Sunday).

Thus we are brought down to today. We wanted to set the above stage concerning Satan because we must come to grips with his plans today and know of his schemes used in times  past.

Ok, with the background set above, would you like to see in prophecy how God will deal with Satan and his purposeful flooding of tares into the church? Let us now turn to Rev. 12:1-17. Here the Scriptures give a past and future view of the ploys of our enemy and what our Lord plans to do about it. 

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Rev.  12:1-6 — “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.  And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red Dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the Dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.  And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne.  And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.”

We all somewhat agree, I know, that this woman of Revelation 12 is symbolical of the Church; that the Dragon is symbolical of Satan; and that the child represents Christ.  But inasmuch as we may not agree as to whether the woman is symbolical of the Old Testament church or of the New or of both, it is essential that we study to see eye to eye.

Now, the questions naturally arise, If Christ is the One Who brought forth the Christian church, then how can she be His mother? And was not Christ born at least thirty years before the Christian church came into being? Is not the egg laid before the chicken is hatched? And finally, is it not true that if we blunder forth on an erroneous premise that we shall find ourselves further and further from the truth on the subject? — Most assuredly.  Let us, then, make certain of the foundation upon which we build.

We all know that Christ was born, not to the Christian church, but to the JewishThis being so, then how can we escape the truth that this twelve-star-crowned woman is primarily the Jewish church who travailed and gave birth to the “world’s Redeemer” in the Old Testament period?

Moreover, before the child was born, and before the Gospel of Christ came to the Church, she was clothed with the sun, and the moon stood under her feet.  There is therefore not the slightest excuse for one to conclude that the woman represents the Church clothed with the Gospel of Christ.  And if her sun clothing does not represent the Gospel of Christ, then what does it represent?

Since she was clothed with the sun before Christ’s birth, and before the Gospel came, then her sun-clothing must be the Bible, the Word of God that clothed her in the period of the prophets.

What is symbolized by the moon under her feet? — The fact that the moon of the heavens reflects the light from the sun to earth, the symbolical moon therefore being under the woman’s feet, and the sun shining directly upon her, not by reflection through the moon, denotes that her channel of light conveyance, the moon, was passing away, was no longer needed, that the sun itself, the source of her light, shining directly upon her, enveloped her with its bright rays.  What could the moon then symbolize but the period before the Bible came, the period before Moses, in which the Word of God did not shine directly on the people as It does to-day (for they had no Bible in those days), but was reflected on them by men of God, the medium, that is, the prophets before Moses never wrote down the messages of God but verbally passed them on.

Though this twelve-star-crowned woman symbolizes something in the Old Testament time, as we have already seen, she nevertheless is seen to symbolize something in the New Testament time.  This we see from the fact that after the child was born, and after the Christian church came into being, the woman was given the wings of a great eagle, and was thus enabled to fly into the wilderness, there to be nourished “for a time, and times, and half a time. ” Moreover, her leaving the vineyard (her homeland — Palestine) and going into the wilderness (the lands of the Gentiles, for that is what wilderness symbolically stands for in contrast to a vineyard), again shows that she continued after her child was born.

Taking all these points into one common whole, they positively show that the woman is symbolical of God’s everliving Church for all times, and that she is His saving Truth, His true wife, the Truth that gave birth to Christ and that gives birth to all His “brethren” (His followers), “the remnant of her seed.” Rev.  12:17.

When the promise of the coming Saviour was made, it was then that the dragon learned that the Church was to give birth to the “man child,” and from then on he watched her closely, hoping to destroy the world’s Redeemer as soon as He was born.  This he endeavored to accomplish through Herod, when he caused a multitude of little children to be slaughtered.  The child Christ, nevertheless escaped, and the Devil met his first defeat in this connection.

Now the Dragon being fortified with seven heads and ten horns, denotes that he controlled all the civil and religious powers in that day (for the symbolical number “ten” denotes universality, just as do the ten toes of Daniel 2, the ten horns of the other Bible beasts, and the ten virgins of Matthew 25).

The horns represent all the civil powers, while the heads represent all the religious powers, for the Biblical number “seven” denotes completeness.  Moreover, the fact that the Church (the Jews), the only agency through which God worked up to that time, crucified the Lord, is in itself sufficient proof that the Church had apostatized, that she had become the Dragon’s seventh head, and that thus was the Dragon armed with ten horns and seven heads, — with all the civil and religious powers.  And, so, you see, the Dragon with his horns and heads represents the world captured by the Devil.

Thus it is that the world was lost in that day, and thus it was that Christ came to redeem it.  To do all this He started a new church organization.  In this light we see Christ, the world’s Redeemer, and His mission even more important than we have ever seen it before.

 Dragon’s drawing from heaven a third part of the stars (angels, Rev.  12:9) with his tail, not with his claws, denotes that in the beginning of Satan’s universal rebellion the angels volunteered to follow the rebel leader, and to unite with him in his evil work against the human family.

Rev.  12:7-17 — “And there was war in heaven: Michael and His angels fought against the Dragon; and the Dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.  And the great Dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.  Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them.  Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the Devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.  And when the Dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 

And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.  And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.  And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the Dragon cast out of his mouth.  And the Dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

The main point to be noticed in these verses is that after the Dragon and his angels were cast out of Heaven (Satan’s second defeat), and after he had persecuted the Church, and she had taken her flight into the wilderness, the Dragon followed her there, but rather than persecuting her, he cast “water as a flood after her,” hoping to cause her to be carried away by it.  In other words, after he saw that he could not stop the growth of the Christian Church by persecuting her followers, he changed his tactics and instead compelled the Pagans to join her, expecting thereby to cause her to be paganized — “carried away.”

The Dragon, though, is again to miss the mark, for the earth is to open her mouth and swallow up the flood; that is, Inspiration definitely forecasts that those who join the Church for some purpose other than to follow and practice the Truth, shall be disposed of by a miracle, be swallowed by the earth, as it were.  And when this comes to pass Satan shall have met his third defeat.  Summarized, here are his three defeats: No.  1 — Failing to devour the child; No.  2 — Losing the war in Heaven; No.  3 — Failing to paganize the Church by flooding her with the unconverted.

When he meets his third defeat, when the tares which he sowed are burned (for as a flood they are swallowed by the earth, but as tares they are burned by the angels), then it is that the Church will appear “‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,’ she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.” — Prophets and Kings, pg.  725.

Having met such a mighty defeat, and having seen that the Church is freed from his flood, the Dragon’s wrath is to be intensified.  He will be wroth with the woman and “make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev.  12:17), “the Spirit of Prophecy” (Rev.  19:10).

Obviously, the remnant are those who are left after the earth opens her mouth and swallows up the flood.  They as a body keep the commandments of God, and have the living Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit Who dictated the Scriptures, Who has led God’s people into all Truth down through the ages, and Who still is.  Thus it is that the Dragon’s wrath, and the Church’s purity, caused by the Dragon’s third defeat, are to bring the time of trouble such as never was:

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Dan.  12:1.

Nothing in the world is worth as much as having our names written in the book.  And therein we may have our names if we choose to follow the Spirit of Truth and to keep the commandments of God.  Here we have seen that those who think that the law, the ten commandments, is “abolished,” that their lives need not comport with the law; and those who think that the Spirit of Prophecy is a thing of the past, that God has left the world to get along as best it can, that He no longer bothers Himself to send a prophet; that all such shall find themselves in league with Babylon the Great, the seat of the Dragon, and rather than having their names written in the Book, they will have the mark of the beast, and have a part in persecuting the remnant which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Now is the time for all to decide either to be swallowed up by the earth — cast into the fire — or to be delivered by Michael, our Prince.

Let us therefore choose deliverance rather than defeat.  “O love the Lord, all ye His saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.” Psa.  31:23.

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The above prophetic words concerning Rev. 12  were taken from Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, no.16. Brother Houteff gave it as a sermon address on Nov. 29, 1947.

Let us recap what we’ve learned from the prophecy.

1)The woman of Rev. 12 symbolizes the church

2)The Dragon symbolizes Satan

3)The Child symbolizes Christ

4)The woman does not represent the “Christian” church only. This has been a long time mis-conception.  It symbolizes “God’s everlasting church for all times”. As clearly explained by brother Houteff.

5)The Dragon (Satan) having 7  heads and 10 horns shows he controlled all civil and religious powers in that day (Christ’s).This shows that Satan had complete worldly control.

6)Thus because of this satanic world control, Christ had to come and start a new church organization.

7)After Satan’s attempt to kill Christ and later to kill off  the newly formed “Christian” church, he changed tactics and followed her into the wilderness. His new method was to “carry her away” with a flood of unconverted members.

8)Satan is to miss his mark three times (3 strikes-he’s out!). The last miss is when the “earth opens it’s mouth” (Ezekiel 9, Test. for the Church, vol.5, p.211, vol.3, p.266-267)

9)The three defeats are — No.  1 — Failing to devour the child; No.  2 — Losing the war in Heaven; No.  3 — Failing to paganize the Church by flooding her with the unconverted.

10) After this “swallowing” the church is to be spirit filled and be –‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,’ she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.” — Prophets and Kings, pg.  725.

11) After the church purification, Satan is furious. He goes to make war with “the remnant of her seed”. This brings on the “time of trouble such as never was”. This is the last closing scene.

So what can we learn from all this? One of the main points is that there are two clases right now in the church–the “wheat” and the “tares”. Satan is attempting to “flood” out the church with tares.  The wheat being symbolic of the righteous converted ones and the tares being symbolic of the careless unconverted ones. Satan has planted many tares and we must be aware that these people, however nice and sincere they may be are serving Satan’s purposes (nearly all being unaware). Look at what our prophetess showed us as a key sign that one is working as a tare.

“If wrongs are apparent among His people, and if the servants of God pass on them indifferent to them, they virtually sustain and justify the sinner, and are alike gulity and will just as surely receive the displeasure of God; for they will be made responsible for the sins of the guilty….Those who have excused these wrongs have been thought by the people to be very amiable and lovely in dispostion, simply because they shunned to discharge a plain Scriptural duty. The task was not agreeable to their feelings; therfore they avoided it.” (Test. for the Church, vol. 3, p.266)

Wow! That says alot. The act of ignorance in taking our God given duty to warn the church members of their errors makes us just as guilty as those who commit them. This all comes back to clear warnings given in Ezekiel 9. We must sign and cry for the abominations done in the church and our own lives–if we are to be sealed in the forehead by the Lord prior to His coming to His church.(Test. for the Church, Vol.5, p.211  Vol. 3, p.267)

For a helpful link on what some of the church abominations are , click here.https://godsloveandlaw.com/2012/07/07/sighing-and-crying-part-2/

In closing, let us be watchful of the cunning ploys of Satan and the devils and realize that they have found that the more they infiltrate as the Greeks did with the Trojan horse, the more they can  sow the tares among the wheat. This makes it all the harder for those of us pushing against the goad. We know that the church is infiltrated because our reproofs and warnings many times fall on deaf ears. Many within our church ranks care not to listen  but we mustn’t stop. The Lord is working behind the scenes to “take the reins in His own hands” (Test. to Ministers, p.300) and “take charge of the flock Himself” (Test. for the Church, vo.5,p.80). That day —will come. How do we know it?

Because the promise of His word says — “But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened it’s mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.” (Rev.12:16)


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