Archive for October, 2013

Who was Victor T. Houteff? (Part 1 of 3)

October 26, 2013

victor_houteff_1_             Victor Houteff   How many of us have ever uttered the words, “I love Jesus”? No doubt quite a few. But how many of us have ever backed up those words by devoting the majority of our life devoted exclusively for –Jesus? In all our actions, eating, dressing, worshiping, arising, working almost non-stop for Him? Not many. Let us look at one of those rare individuals that lived and breathed the spreading of the gospel of the King.

As we have posted many posts pertaining to the Elijah message, we thought it helpful to explore some details of this man’s life. Because there is growing interest in this man of God, we are inspired to delve a little more into his life. Who was he? What did he stand for? Did he live as he taught or was he your typical –“Do as I say, not as I do” professed leader of God? Did he teach “to the law and to the testimony” (Isaiah 8:20) ?

We’ll breakdown different sections of his life. Each section will explore the important aspects of his development. As some in the Seventh Day Adventist church and nearly all within the church known as Davidian Seventh Day Adventist believe, this was no ordinary man. There are just too many pieces of the puzzle that come together for his life to be your run of the mill “Christian life”. Let us provide the helpful information in knowing who this man was that many call the prophesied–Elijah.

introduction  He was born in Bulgaria on March 2, 1885,  he and his brothers migrated to the US in 1907. Of an interesting note, just as Ellen White had a 3rd grade education, Victor Houteff had a 4th grade education.  Victor explains how he came to America–

I came to America, not because I wanted to, but because God wanted me to.  And since I knew not my future work, and as God could then no more make me understand than He could at first make Joseph understand his trip to Egypt, I was therefore driven out of the country at the point of a gun as was Moses driven out of Egypt, although I had done nothing to bring trouble upon myself.  And who do you suppose led the rebels to storm me out of the country? 

None other but the Greek Orthodox bishop of the province!  And where do you suppose he sponsored his pursuing campaign?  In the church on Sunday morning while in his full regalia and about twenty feet from where I stood!

   At that time I knew not what my going away from home to such a distant land was about, but now I know as well as Joseph knew that his brethren’s hope to defeat God’s plan for him was but God’s plan to get him down into Egypt.  And so rather than to thwart the plan, they really caused the plan to be carried out!

   When things go contrary to one’s will and way today, most Christians give credit to the Devil.  Only when things go according to their liking do they give credit to God!  Balaam, too, was happy when the way opened for him to go to Balak, but when the angel of the Lord blocked the road he was traveling on, then Balaam, became as mad as a dog and smote the ass.

   No, nothing but you yourself can defeat God’s plans for you.  Be it your friends or your enemies, be it beasts or kings, you will find them all unwittingly or wittingly working for your good rather than for your harm if you are doing God’s bidding.  What a rich resource Heaven is!  And who knows it!

   Remember now, that whatever may stand in your way, be it the Red Sea or the River Jordan, be it a mountain or be it a desert, it shall become your very stepping stone.

   Such as this is the righteousness of the Lord, and you can have it at the cost of your own righteousness.  Then you will find the Lord’s ways as much higher than yours as the Heaven is higher than the earth.  When this happens, then only you will understandingly say, “The Lord our Righteousness.”Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 35 page 29-31)

For more on his early life in Bulgaria see this link http://www.shepherds-rod-message.org/vth.html

Early years in America –   Arriving penniless, he sound found work as hotelier and grocer in the state of Illinois . While in the hotel business in 1919, he became “intensely interested in religion”.This led him to become a member of the Seventh Day Adventist church.

Soon he left for California but when he got there he became sick, an illness which required medical attention. His savings was not well either. The stay at the local sanitarium drained his account even more, so much so that the thought of “going broke and staying poor grew larger and larger.” But thankfully his health was restored.

But during his California stay, he remembered that he had not paid his tithes or offerings to his church in the mid west, which he was still a part of. The amount  he reasoned was 75.00 due in back tithes. He was quoted as saying  “I thought then that if I should fail to pay this debt now while I had enough to pay it, I could never again get that much money together and it would have to stay unpaid forever. Better get broke now, and be free of debt, than to get broke later and be a debtor forever.”

” My account, I figured, was just a little over my debt. When I wrote a check for the whole balance, and sent it to the church in the middle west, I was left with 3.50 in my pocket.”(Timely Greetings , volume 2, no. 35, p.15)

Shortly after paying almost all he had, he received a check from his bank that he had ordered closed. To his amazement a check for 350.00 was made out to him, as his final balance! God was looking out for his young fledgling servant.

Soon things started to rebound, he found a good paying  job at a young up and coming company called Maytag. Additionally, an old stock investment, that he thought was worthless, doubled in price from his purchase price. The Lord was fulfilling His part of the promise –Mal. 3:10.

All the while during this time he faithfully did not work on the Sabbath. His manager at Maytag told him one day ” it must be wonderful to believe as you do, but you know I could never be a Seventh Day Adventist.” Victor responded back, “why not? “Because if I begin to keep the Sabbath as you do, I will lose my job” the man responded.

Victor added,  “Better to lose your job than to lose your life.” The sales manager should have taken the advice, he died shortly after this conversation. Around that same time,  the bookkeeper discussed religion with Victor, and also said that he could not keep the Sabbath and keep his job also. Then Victor  again said “Better to lose your job than to lose your life.” (Ibid, p.16-17) Again ,just as the sales manager did before,  the bookkeeper died shortly thereafter this warning also.

Could it be that this was divine signs from the Lord, letting us know that His servant Victor T. Houteff was to be heard and that we take the real chance of losing our life if we ignore the message the Lord speaks through him? Regardless, Victor was right–no job is worth us dis-honoring Him and serving another God (their job) instead of Him on His holy day. He commented on the two back to back deaths from the same instructions, “Believe it or not, but this is what happened with both men after they sold their convictions for the price of a job!” (Ibid, p.17)

Now we come to a miracle that the Lord’s hand definitely had a part in. How many of us get hit head on from a swift running automobile on a busy road and walk away?

Victor was walking in a business section of Los Angeles and happened to be crossing the middle of the road, when all of a sudden a woman came straight at him and hit him square on. Did he get run over? Splattered on the front end?  He explains ” No, this did not happen because something greater took place. An unseen hand carried me on ahead of the car, lightly sliding my feet on the pavement with my right side ahead, and my left side against the car’s radiator! After having made about half the distance before the car stopped, something seated me on the bumper of the car, and I put my left arm around the car’s left headlight….when she stopped, I put my feet on the ground and stepped away from the car.”

“.. by that time the car and I were surrounded by people, and three policemen looking for the man who got run over. But as they found no one lying on the street, or pinned under the car, I told them it was I who had been run over! They wanted to take me to the hospital, and when I told them I wasn’t hurt, I heard one say, “He must be hurt but is too excited and does not know his condition.”

Then they made me raise my legs and arms up and down, several times, after which one shouted , “He is made out of rubber!” (Timely Greeting vol. 2 no. 35, p.21)

So miraculously the “rubber” man walked away from the head on impact, and proceeded 3 blocks to his car that day, and then drove  to a prayer  meeting and spoke about the incident to the amazement of the crowd.

Next we get a look into some personal witnessing to a brother, to show him the way of the Lord, but sadly again, it fell in deaf ears and again the results were a curse.

“Not long after I had gone to work for this company and while canvassing, I met a woman whose husband was of Jewish descent, but she was Scandinavian, and a Seventh-day Adventist.  She told me that her husband was terribly opposed to her religion and at one time he threw her Bible into the stove.  She wished I could in some way help her husband change his attitude.  I asked her to tell him that I would like to see him in his home the following night.  She promised to try it and then to let me know.

   He sat down to several studies with me in his home with the family present.  I was surprised, though, to find him very agreeable to what was presented, altogether contrary to what his wife had told me!  After I had given him three studies he called me aside, pulled his pants-pockets inside out and said to me, “You see, I have a big family to feed and only three cents in my pocket. 

Before you came to me,” he explained, “I did everything to get a job but failed.  In my distress,” he continued, “I prayed for the first time in my life.  I asked the Lord to send someone to show me what to do.  When I heard you were coming,” he added, “I thought it was in answer to my prayer, and I was anxious to meet you.  And that is why you found me so open-minded to your religion.  But now,” he said, “I know that God sent you.”

   I asked him if he would like to sell washing machines, and he replied, “I am ready to do anything you suggest.”  I took him to the company I was working for, and he went to work immediately, trucking with his own pickup.  His wages, and a few sales occasionally brought him over $200 monthly.

   He owned the house he was living in, and as living was not so high in those days, he was able to save a good share of his wages.  After a time he sold his house, bought a five-acre plot and built a new house and a good poultry shed on the plot.   Then he told me that he intended to work for the company about 18 months longer, and by that time he would have his house and land all clear, or somewhat clear, and then he could make a good living on his five-acre plot.

   Well, it all looked fine.  But one Sabbath morning he met me in church and told me that the company was to be taken over that day.  He wanted to know if I would go with him and listen to the speeches while the transfer was being made.  I reasoned with him that it was not the place to spend the Sabbath in, but he argued that if he were not present they might hire another man in his place, and he could not afford to lose his job. 

He therefore attended the business meeting.  Shortly after, though, the new company discharged him.  Consequently he could not keep the payments on the property and the trust company foreclosed on it!  Then his wife died! Anyone can see that all these sequential events of the day, closely tied one to another with nothing else in between, could not possibly have been accidental, but strictly Providential.” (Timely greetings, Vol.2, No.35, P- 18-20)

Sabbath School lessons –   His very first work of spreading and teaching the gospel occurred in the  Olympic Exposition Park SDA Church in 1929. His lessons attracted many members but due to the fact that his teachings were new and unique, some within the church objected. He explains–

“The enemies of the message then left nothing unturned in their search for something against me, rather than to make sure that they were not turning down Truth.  They tried every hook and crook to pin something on me and to stop my activities, but found nothing and as a rule about 30 members of the church stayed in my special meetings each Sabbath afternoon.  Then came the time that the elders of the church refused to let us use the church for our meetings, and they made us all get out.

  But one of the sisters who was living in a big house right across from the church offered her place for the meetings, and there was a great uproar among the people around the church premises.  Some were for us and some were against us.  So it was that the house across from the church was filled that afternoon and many listened from the outside through the windows.  The enemies failed to break up our meetings, and the victory was ours.

   Next they forbade us to attend their church services, and they began to disfellowship those who still wanted to attend our meetings.  They tried to deport me, too, but failed.  Then they endeavored to get a court order against any of us going to the church on Sabbath, but lost out.  Once they called the police to have me arrested on false charges that I was disturbing the meetings, but after the officers in the police station heard my story and the deacon’s charges against me, he commanded the two policemen who brought us to the station to put us in their car again, and to take us right back to the church where they picked me up!

   After this the elders endeavored to put me in an insane asylum.  The “city manager” of Glendale himself (a Seventh-day Adventist) had come to this church that Sabbath morning to lay down the charges and to see me carried away and locked in the asylum.  After talking with me for a few minutes, though, the officer did nothing but to tell me that he would not bother me again!  Then the 200 lb. city manager felt smaller than my 135 lb. weight.

   They did all these unbecoming things and many others; besides, they talked and preached against me.  And though I had no one but the Lord to defend me at any time, yet in all these the victory was mine!” (Timely Greetings, vol. 2, no.35, p.23)

So we see from the above that Victor’s Sabbath school teachings were arousing some quite fanatical responses. But we see also that some of the laity embraced the teachings. There was a new uproar building because the teachings made sense to some of the laity but to the “learned men” they balked. The few years after the lessons, the trouble still existed, with some for and some against.

From the end of 1929 to 1935, the message brought many converts through out the USA and then later many countries of the world(Africa, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, and more). As mentioned, nearly all the converts were exclusively (except for one general conference leader-E.T. Wilson) from the laity. It occurred this way because for the most part, these were the only ones who actually studied the message in depth.

Victor began publishing the “Symbolic Code News items”, a periodical,  in July of 1934. He provided the brethren updates and further messages through October of 1954. Here is a link to those news items. You’ll read many personal letters sent into his office. Preferring to be transparent, he published both the supportive letters and the opposed letters. http://shepherdsroddavidian.org/sc.html

Here’s an example of the letters he received, ”

FROM MONTANA

“Three years ago I received a book through the mail that was called  ‘The Shepherd’s Rod.’ I was then elder of the Big Timber church. Being much delighted with its contents, I undertook to read it to the church, but the opposition was so strong that I could not read more than two chapters.

“…but I think it is the most wonderful light that ever came to the church….I also read the four tracts with much delight. For years I have prayed for more light, and now my prayers are being answered.”
(Signed) P.S. Alen

In 1935 Victor felt it was time to go elsewhere to spread the “message”and leave California. In part 2 next week, we’ll look at his “Mt.Carmel” years in Waco, Texas. The message headquarters for close to 20 years. We’ll look at some of the experiences, signs and wonders that occurred there. In concluding our posts,  we’ll point out the main points of his teachings and their Scriptural or SOP basis.

As we continually pray, may the Lord guide us into all truth (John 16:13).

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Thy Kingdom Come II (Part 2 of 2)

October 19, 2013

Kingdom of God

Last week we were reviewing Isaiah 11:1-12 and how this prophecy can only have a latter-day application. But let us look now at further evidence that Scripture points out the beginning phase of His kingdom here on earth–the pre-millennial kingdom .

Back to Isaiah, in verse 6, the very last clause says, and a little child shall lead them. A little child….That is just a child of a few years old. Then it says in vs 8,

And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp,(That means an infant that is still feeding upon it’s mothers breast. He or she will be playing with the asp. That’s a poisonous snake. And then it goes on to say) and the weaned child) Now here we have a sucking child, a weaned child and a little child. That is children, infants. In the New Earth, brothers and sisters, there will not be any sucking children, any weaned children, no children at all. Now how do we know this?

Now before we even look at the Word of God, we know this, when all the saints are taken up to heaven, we will dwell there for a thousand years. And everyone the Bible says will grow up like the calves of the stall. Mal 4:2 We will all grow up to our full stature, after feeding on the tree of life. There will be no births and no deaths. So at the end of the thousand years, everyone will have grown up to full stature. At the close of the thousand years, everyone will descend in the Holy City to the New Earth. But there are no births, and no deaths. Hence no little children.

But we can prove that more concretely from the Bible. In the book of Luke chap 20:34, 35 Jesus is speaking to the Sadducees. They are trying to trick him with a question. And they gave Him a parable. A very difficult question. But Jesus made His conclusive statement. He says, “They that shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world in the resurrection neither marry nor are given in marriage.

Neither can they die anymore, for they are equal unto the angels and are the children of the resurrection. No marriage, No children. No deaths. How can there be any children then in the New Earth. By the time Jesus comes, no more children after that. Yes children will be taken up. To grow up like calves of the stall.

Ellen White further explains no children in the new earth. ““There are men today who express their belief that there will be marriages and births in the new earth; but those who believe the Scriptures cannot accept such doctrines. The doctrine that children will be born in the new earth is not a part of the “sure word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19). The words of Christ are too plain to be misunderstood.

They should forever settle the question of marriages and births in the new earth. Neither those who shall be raised from the dead, nor those who shall be translated without seeing death, will marry or be given in marriage. They will be as the angels of God, members of the royal family.”(1 Sel. Messages pg 172, 173)

Therefore Isa 11:6 cannot be in the New Earth, for there will be no children in the New Earth. The prophecy is correct. It has to be prior to. Then you can have Gentiles from all these countries and there can be children. So with that in mind, we have concrete solid evidence, that Isa 11 is speaking about not heaven and New Earth, but a time before Jesus comes.

The Kingdom then will be pre-millennial. It will be beautiful. It will be peaceful. Now it does not mean that the entire world will be like this. It does not mean that outside the Kingdom we will not have turmoil and trouble, because at the same time, the Mark of the Beast will be urged upon all including even God’s people, God’s people will not accept it. They in turn will become a part of God’s true people. And will join this Kingdom. What a time.

The two Kingdoms are going to clash. God’s Kingdom is a representation of God’s Justice, Love and Mercy. A practical demonstration of all that God intended for man to be from the beginning. And He wants to do this in the sight of the heathen. So we are not talking about the entire world being converted. No, we are talking about the place where God will establish His Kingdom. His Kingdom will be established in the promised land. And all God’s faithful people will be there.

That will be brought from the various countries and islands and nations will be brought to that Kingdom. But they will have to make a decision, that is those who are in the world will have to make a decision to accept the Truth or not. If they accept the Truth and resist the Mark Of The Beast, even at the possibility of losing their lives. And come to the Kingdom of God and accept the Truth, they will be saved. The two Kingdoms will clash, but God’s Kingdom will win out. It says in the days of these kings, the God of Heaven will establish His Kingdom.

Now, some may ask how is this going to be possible with the current Jews and Arabs occupying the holy land? While we can’t go deeply into this in this post, we can simply say that the world is now being set up to have the gigantic world war III over Israel. This is obvious being prepared even as we speak. The tension has been building the last couple of years and will continue to do so, until God says it’s time for it to take place.

The applicable Scripture reads, “Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, O nation not desired;Before the decree takes effect– The day passes like the chaff– Before the burning anger of the LORD comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD’S anger comes upon you” (Zeph2:1-2) .

Where is this “nation not desired”? Verse 4 tells us,”Gaza will be deserted, and Ashkelon will be destroyed. Ashdod will be driven out at noon, and Ekron will be torn out by the roots. It is in the land of Israel. The Lord’s anger will cause the occupants to be driven out so that His promises will be fulfilled to the letter!

Ok let’s look at (Ezekiel 28:24-26). ““And for the house of Israel there shall be no more a brier to prick or a thorn to hurt them among all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord GOD.Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob.

And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God.”

In Ezekiel we see that this gathering takes place “in the sight of the heathen”. The Lord calls His “house of Israel” back to the land He promised their fathers. He keeps His word!  As we know this has never happened to this very day, as the 10 lost tribes of Israel have been scattered among the nations.

A brother of mine pointed out something in a quote that we often miss pertaining to this “kingdom”. Look at (Matt 24:14), “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. I had never noticed that the proclamation will be about His kingdom. The main last message to all nations is this pre-millennial kingdom taking place in front of the heathen!

In other words, come into this kingdom now or you’ll not be able to go through to the heavenly kingdom later. This message of the kingdom is His last effort to reach the unbelieving. Oh, how we are blessed that He sent the Elijah messenger to us to “restore all things” such as these missed meanings of age old quotes!

Here’s wonderful Scripture showing the future  people of God, destined for the holy land and  experiencing a life changing experience “I will give you a heart of flesh.”

Ezek. 36:23-28 — “And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.”

Jeremiah also give us a future glimpse of going home to the holy land. “”In those coming days,” says the LORD, “the people of Israel will return home together with the people of Judah. They will come weeping and seeking the LORD their God.They will ask the way to Jerusalem and will start back home again. They will bind themselves to the LORD with an eternal covenant that will never be forgotten.” (Jer.50:4-5)

“The days are coming,” declares the LORD,   “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills, and  I will bring my people Israel back from exile. “They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit.I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the LORD your God.” (Amos 9:13-15)

In closing, below is the kingdom map, per Ezekiel 48 instructions, that is prophesied to come. Notice the change in land divisions (anciently to pre-millennial time). Again this has never happened to this very day. Let us accept God’s word as a child and believe that all He says He’ll do–He’ll do. Amen.

http://sighandcry777.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/12-tribes-ezek-48-vs-solomon-3.jpg (The map on left is the ancient borders and areas of the tribes, the one on right is future)

(For those who would like to see the full report from which many quotes and comments were used in this report  see this link http://www.shepherds-rod.org/basic/kingdom.htm)

Thy Kingdom Come II (Part 1 of 2)

October 12, 2013

Jeruslaem

This week the thought occurred of how the Jews of old had steadfastly looked and looked for any signs of the Lord’s kingdom on earth to be established. So much so that they ignored other more important Scriptures. Yet, today, we as His remnant people, the SDA church aren’t looking for it. And we are the ones who the prophecies are directed to! Amazing how both the Jews of old and us today, for the most part, are guilty of  not searching the Scriptures to know them well.

In our first installment of God’s kingdom of glory, we would like  to once again show the beauty of the foretold upcoming kingdom, a kingdom that first starts out on this earth before the millennial reign in heaven.  Many within our SDA church are unaware that this pre-millennial stage will exist but as we go into the various Scriptures, it becomes very clear how God WILL establish His kingdom in front of the heathen. The Lord’s Elijah message has now uncovered these beautiful promises for us.

Let us now  search and behold the marvelous things to come in God’s unconditional word.

Last week we pointed out who is God’s “Israel” of today. These are those who are to be the beneficiaries of the promises as Ellen White explains, ““That which God purposed to do for the world through Israel, the chosen nation, He will finally accomplish through His church on earth today. He has “let out His vineyard unto other husbandmen,” even to His covenant-keeping people, who faithfully “render Him the fruits in their seasons.” Never has the Lord been without true representatives on this earth who have made His interests their own. These witnesses for God are numbered among the spiritual Israel, and to them will be fulfilled all the covenant promises made by Jehovah to His ancient people.”(Prophets and Kings, p.713-714)

The Jews held the following promise close to heart as one of their basics on the kingdom of God on earth.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)

As Seventh Day Adventists, we are well aware of the fact that when Jesus comes again, He will indeed take His saints home to heaven. And be with Him a thousand years, we shall afterward descend in the Holy City to live here in a newly created earth. That is a marvelous thing and that will be a wonderful time. We look forward to that time. Oh yes we surely do, But what of the Kingdom that was promised to Israel and to Judah. What of that Kingdom?

“When they therefore had come together, they asked Him, saying, Lord will Thou at this time restore again The Kingdom to Israel.”

“And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the time, or the times of the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power.”(Acts 1:6-7) In other words, He did not tell them that the Kingdom was not to be established. He simply said, It is not for you to know when. Of course we know it was not to be in their day. But He did not tell them that. Perhaps it would have discouraged them. Kept them from preaching the Gospel with all of their might. But the Lord in His Wisdom kept that from them. But the Bible does tell us when The Kingdom Of God’s Glory is going to be established.

Before we continue, it’s important to note that this “establishment” of the kingdom, per the Scriptures, will not be in heaven, as we SDA are commonly taught. It’s right here on earth, and Lord’s great  Name will finally be exalted by true representatives, those who “walk the walk” and not only “talk the talk”.

Let’s look at some specific promises found in Jeremiah.

“For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it”(Jer. 30:3)

What is important to know in this promise is that in Jeremiah’s day, only the 2 tribes of Judah returned. This promise calls for ALL 12 tribes to return. The 10 tribes of Israel were dispersed among the nations and have never returned to this day. So this remains yet to be fulfilled, lest God has made an empty promise.

Also it’s important to point out that this is unconditional. The words “I will” and “they shall” are, as any knowledgeable english student knows, without conditions. To solidify that this promise is yet future we read,

“The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it. (Jer.30:24)

We are living in the latter days, and as such we now — consider it. We now know that this promise will be fulfilled as we are revealed His upcoming pre-millennial kingdom on earth, His words will not return void–praise the Lord!

Thus we see very clearly that this prophecy begins with the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Church of the last days. And we just read from inspiration, that all the covenant promises that were made to ancient Israel are to be fulfilled with us today. That is what the Bible says. As strange and new as it may sound, this is what the Bible says. Israel and Judah are to one day go back to the land that He gave to the fathers.

Now why would God want His people back there? Well to fulfill His promise. The promise that He made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Israel. He vowed to them that He would have a kingdom. Now you know why the disciples asked Jesus will you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

They could not just shove those prophecies aside. They understood that it must be fulfilled. Because God promised it. And Jesus told them it was not for them to know the times. But in the latter days, Jeremiah proclaims it to be. God does not make a mistake. He is always right.

In the book of isaiah, chapter 11, we find something that should make every doubter sit up straight. Carefully observe the promises given and then we’ll discuss what makes these inspired words one of the clearest of all Scripture as to the pre-millennial kingdom.

Isaiah 11:

1: “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

2: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

3: And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

4: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

5: And r righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

6: The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

7: And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

8: And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.

9: They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

10: And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

11: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

12: And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

Now you are probably thinking that this is referring to the new earth. Well yes we do understand that in the New Earth everything will be peaceful. Everything will be marvelous. Pretty much as described here will be similar, But this prophecy brothers and sisters is not speaking about the New Earth.

Isa 65:9-20 Speaks about the New Earth. It tells how the wolf shall dwell with the lamb. Very similar to that of chapter 11. But here are three main reasons why this cannot be speaking about the New Earth. Isaiah 11:1 must be speaking about a time before Jesus comes.

THE FIRST REASON is simply this…It mentions in vs 10 that when this Kingdom is established when the wolf is lying down with the lamb, when the leopard is lying down with the kid, it says, vs 10, in that day there shall be a root of Jesse which shall stand FOR AN ENSIGN, (means a standard or a flag) for the people. And to it, (to the kingdom, to this ensign) shall the Gentiles seek.

Brothers and Sisters, THERE WILL BE NO GENTILES OR STRANGERS OR UNBELIEVERS IN HEAVEN OR IN THE NEW EARTH. So here Isaiah cannot be speaking about the New Earth or heaven. This prophecy is talking about a time when unbelievers, Gentiles, strangers, will be flocking to the kingdom. They will be coming to join God’s people. But this again cannot happen in heaven or the New Earth. Probation will already be closed by then.

Now with that in mind you can look at the next vs. That is vs 11.

11: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

Here the Lord says He is going to reach out and gather His people. Just like He did anciently, except he will not gather from Egypt alone this time, but from all the islands of the sea. And vs 12 says that He will gather them from the four corners of the earth. You can see Brothers and Sisters that Isa 11:11 must apply to a time when you can have Gentiles seeking the Kingdom. Wanting to know more about God and His people. And He is going to gather His people from all over the world. That has to be pre-millennial. Don’t you think? Not after, not during. But before, prior to.

Now with this in mind we can surely see that it is talking about now, our time, in the days of these kings. The latter days. But you may be saying again this is conditional. Brothers and Sisters, let’s focus on the fact that there are no conditions attached here. What God says He will do and unless He says otherwise, we are to accept what He says. Whatever is uttered from His mouth He will not change. No buts, no maybe’s. It is very plain. It is a prophecy that will be fulfilled. The Bible says exactly what God is going to do in the days of these kings.

Next week we’ll look at more reasons that Isaiah’s prophetic words apply to the upcoming earthly kingdom before the Lord’s return in the clouds. One thing we should be clear is that this kingdom will be what is termed Theocracy. That means a church kingdom that will be based out of Israel, the land He promises His remnant people in these Scriptures. The kingdom will not be considered a world governing kingdom because we know that the mark of the beast system will be set up as well during this time.

The two kingdoms will be directly opposed and as such people will have a clear-cut idea which side to choose and join up with. The main proponent is either worship Him corporately on the so-called “Lord’s day” which is promoted as Sunday, or the Biblical Sabbath which starts at sunset Friday evening to sun-set Saturday evening.  The Lord is going to pull out “all stops” in one last witness to mankind. Sort of like “Here I AM, are you going to join Me?” This will be the time as prophesied by our prophetess.

“The light that was shed upon the waiting ones penetrated everywhere, and those in the churches who had any light, who had not heard and rejected the three messages, obeyed the call and left the fallen churches. Many had come to years of accountability since these messages had been given, and the light shone upon them, and they were privileged to choose life or death. Some chose life and took their stand with those who were looking for their Lord and keeping all His commandments.

The third message was to do its work; all were to be tested upon it, and the precious ones were to be called out from the religious bodies. A compelling power moved the honest, while the manifestation of the power of God brought a fear and restraint upon their unbelieving relatives and friends so that they dared not, neither had they the power to, hinder those who felt the work of the Spirit of God upon them.

The last call was carried even to the poor slaves, and the pious among them poured forth their songs of rapturous joy at the prospect of their happy deliverance. Their masters could not check them; fear and astonishment kept them silent. Mighty miracles were wrought, the sick were healed, and signs and wonders followed the believers.

God was in the work, and every saint, fearless of consequences, followed the convictions of his own conscience and united with those who were keeping all the commandments of God; and with power they sounded abroad the third message. I saw that this message will close with power and strength far exceeding the midnight cry.”

Servants of God, endowed with power from on high with their faces lighted up, and shining with holy consecration, went forth to proclaim the message from heaven. Souls that were scattered all through the religious bodies answered to the call, and the precious were hurried out of the doomed churches, as Lot was hurried out of Sodom before her destruction. God’s people were strengthened by the excellent glory which rested upon them in rich abundance and prepared them to endure the hour of temptation. I heard everywhere a multitude of voices saying, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”(Early Writings, p.278-279)

One thing we should understand here is that during this time of glorious miracles  and calling out time, the people of God must come “out” and go into a righteous place where God wants them. Where will that be? it will be His holy land–Israel.

 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.(Jer. 23:7-8)

My brothers and sister the above promises have never happened to this very day. We know that God’s word CANNOT return void. You and I may “shoot at the wind” in our speaking, but God’s word is life.

Next week in part 2, we’ll look at further reasons that Isaiah’s prophetic words apply to the upcoming earthly kingdom before the Lord’s return in the clouds. Also we’ll take a look at Ezekiel’s prophecies.

(We’d like to thank our friends at SDA prophetic ministries for some of the quotes and comments  used in this post.)

“Spiritual Israel”

October 5, 2013

Every now and then we come across an article or report that is just too good to let go without spreading it around. Such is the case with the following article written by a  brother, Erik Bell. As we are well aware , there are many unconditional promises made to the “house of Israel” and so it becomes necessary to understand “who” are these people today? What does the term “Spiritual Israel” mean today?  May you be blessed.

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“I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew…  What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” – Romans 11: 1, 2, 7.

The Lord, through the apostle Paul, makes clear in this scripture that He “hath not cast away His people” (the Jews).  However, a distinction is made in these Scriptures between the literal, identifiable Jews who accepted Jesus as Messiah and those who did not.  The literal Jews who accepted Jesus as Messiah are referred to as the “election” or the “remnant” (see vs. 5), whereas the literal Jews who did not accept Jesus are designated as “the rest [that] were blinded.”  Note very carefully that both classes are of the bloodline of Jacob.

Later in the chapter, the same two classes are distinguished in figurative terms.  The Christian Jews as “the root” and the “olive tree”, and the non-Christian Jews as “the natural branches.”  The Gentiles are also introduced into the imagery, being symbolized as branches from a “wild olive tree.”  Paul maintains this distinction throughout the entire chapter, and it is precisely at this point where the spiritual eyes of the ministry begin to go dim as a result of preconceived notions regarding the fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures.

All would agree that the “root,” or “olive tree” of Romans 11 constitutes “spiritual Israel.”  Our only challenge is to now identify precisely who they are, for it is to them that “all the covenant promises made by Jehovah to His ancient people” (Prophets and Kings p. 714) will be fulfilled.  The conclusive answer comes to us from the Spirit of Prophecy,

“Notwithstanding Israel’s failure as a nation, there remained among them a goodly remnant of such as should be saved.  At the time of the Saviour’s advent there were faithful men and women who had received with gladness the message of John the Baptist, and had thus been led to study anew the prophecies concerning the Messiah.

When the early Christian church was founded, it was composed of these faithful Jews who recognized Jesus of Nazarethas the one for whose advent they had been longing.  It is to this remnant that Paul refers to when he writes, ‘if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so also are the branches.”’

“Paul likens the remnant in Israel to a noble olive tree, some of whose branches have been broken off.  He compares the Gentiles to branches from a wild olive tree, grafted into the parent stock.”  — Acts of the Apostles pp. 376, 377.

Therefore, spiritual Israel, in the context of Romans 11, does not consist of Gentiles, but is clearly identified as the literal Christian Jews.  These Jews formed the foundation of the Christian church.  The reason that they are called “spiritual Israel” is simply because they are the portion of the Jewish nation who chose to be “born of the Spirit” (John 3:5).  Ultimately, they lost their racial identity as they spread the gospel throughout the nations and intermarried with Gentile believers. Again, says the Spirit of Prophecy,

“Through unbelief and the rejection of Heaven’s purpose for her, Israel as a nation had lost her connection with God.  But the branches that had been separated from the parent stock God was able to reunite with the true stock of Israel – the remnant who had remained true to the God of their fathers.”  — Acts of the Apostles pp. 377, 378.

Ironically, even the ministry acknowledges the truth of the above in their desperate endeavor to combat it.

Literal Jews may still find salvation by being grafted into spiritual Israelin precisely the same way that Gentiles are to be grafted in” (vs. 23, 24). —S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 4, pp. 36.

Thus, it is acknowledged that there are three distinct groups in Romans 11; the literal Jews, “spiritual Israel”, and the Gentiles.  This being the case, we are left without excuse.  We can clearly see why Romans 11 in its full context has been a particular “thorn in the flesh” of Seventh-day Adventists.

Paul echoes the teaching of the prophet Hosea regarding the rejection of the Jewish nation, and the reacceptance of the “faithful Jews” as Christians.

“Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.  Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.” – Hos. 1: 9, 10.

In spite of the fact that the Jewish nation failed in its heavenly mission, the number of its descendants would multiply until they became so numerous that they could not possibly be counted. This could not possibly apply to the identifiable Jews of today, for they can easily be counted and are “a drop in the bucket” when compared with “the sand of the sea.”

This dispersion of the bloodline of Jacob partially occurred with the intermingling of the early Christian Jews with the Gentile believers, as well as the dispersion of thousands of Jews in 70 A.D.  Being submerged into the sea of nations, they lost their racial identity and continued to multiply until today.  These facts demonstrate that the vast majority of the descendants of Jacob today are unidentifiable, though they may reckon themselves as Gentiles.

Though the purpose of God to have a holy nation with a central homeland was postponed for nearly two thousand years because of ancient Israel’s unfaithfulness, the perfect plan of God shall still come to its intended fulfillment in this world with the unidentifiable descendants of the Christian Jews, as Paul eloquently explains, “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness?  For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.  For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be,but life from the dead?” – Rom. 11: 11-16.

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” – Rom. 11: 25.

The above Scripture definitely informs us that the postponement of the fulfillment of the national promises is not indefinite, but only “until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.”  That is to say, until the dispersion of the Christian Jews is completely accomplished and has produced a multitude of Gentile converts.  Afterward, there shall be a great harvest of “natural branches” (identifiable Jews) to the church of God as well.  Once this has taken place, “then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” – Hos. 1: 11.

After the great dispersion, multiplication and reacceptance of God’s people as Christians, the Lord then primarily re-gathers the willing and informed of the unidentifiable descendants of the twelve tribes into one great kingdom and fulfills “all the covenant promises made by [Him] to His ancient people.” (Prophets and Kings p. 714).

The racial lineage of an individual does not determine one’s eligibility for salvation.  Romans 11 makes clear that anyone can be saved regardless of nationality.  However, to fulfill the promises of the possession of the Promised Land, and the administration and leadership of the Kingdom of God on earth, the individuals under consideration must be born-again descendants of Jacob, though not necessarily of the present identifiable stock.

This is the fiat and decree of God to Abraham numerous times in the Old Testament Scriptures. The Lord goes as far as to state that the progenitor of the ultimate possessors of the land of promise would come from “his bowels.” (Gen. 15: 4).  And the prophet Hosea further explains that which is despised in Seventh-day Adventist circles,

“For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.” – Hos. 3:4, 5.

In view of the clear teaching of Scripture regarding this truth, why do we insist on disseminating poisonous error on this concept to the world and the church?  The answer is simple: this truth is completely incompatible with our erroneous notions of how we believe that the gospel work will be finished, and rather than yield our opinions, as we would expect everyone else to do for our ideas, we would rather play the fool.

We would not even entertain the slightest consideration of the thought that God would fulfill the promises as He has written with a different set of Jews.  This is inexcusable, especially since the Spirit of Prophecy warned us long ago that God had tremendous surprises for Seventh-day Adventists and our ideas of how the work would be completed.

“When light goes forth to lighten the earth, instead of coming up to the help of the Lord, they will want to bind about His work to meet their narrow ideas.  Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning…The workers will be surprised by the simple means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness.” – Testimonies to Ministers p. 300.

“We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn.  God and Heaven alone are infallible.  Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed.” – Testimonies to Ministers p. 30.

The tragedy of it all is that while paying extensive lip service to the necessity to “unlearn”, when that time actually arrives Seventh-day Adventists are either vehemently protesting it or are nowhere to be found.

To view brother Bell’s present truth website, click here http://www.thenightcometh.org/  We suggest the enlightening audio studies.

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Next week we will be bringing a two-part post concerning “Thy Kingdom Come” so because of the many Scriptures pointing out that “Israel” will soon receive His many promises, we needed to  clear up the fact of who is Israel today. Once we understand this we can then know who benefits from these promises. Let us keep the solid warning in mind, that we must “overcome” in order to become a part of His last day Israel(Review and Herald, Nov. 19, 1908). All the talk of these promises won’t mean a thing to us if we haven’t overcome our cherished sins. May the Lord strengthen us in being victorious over sin.


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