Hard and Difficult Questions

Pharisee entrapment

The Jews of old were no dummies. Many of the Pharisees and scribes were very smart men. They posed tough questions to the King and he squared them away in thorough fashion.

Some of the questions were meant as a form of entrapment. Lawyers, Negotiators, Army generals and even all kinds of evil doers down through history have used this ploy to catch their victim one way or another. But it is even more amazing to see it backfire! Our King turned the tables beautifully when the Pharisees tried to entrap Him with supposed difficult questions.

“And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?

But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me? Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s. And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s. And they were unable to catch Him in a saying in the presence of the people; and being amazed at His answer, they became silent.” (Luke 20: 20-26)

In many of the questions asked of our very last prophet sent to our church,Victor  Houteff, they were hard and difficult.

The following are a few questions where the questions  demanded a solid answer to clear it. May you be blessed.

Question No. 157:

“I am convinced that ‘The Shepherd’s Rod’ is not the message of the hour, because I believe that when a message comes from God, it will not make a separation among His people. You agree with my logic, do you not?

Answer:

To try to convince the questioner by a long-drawn-out article with proofs from the Scriptures, is needless, for the question reveals that the person is not acquainted with past church history. Therefore, the best way to answer his query is to ask him to tell us the number of times God has sent messages to His church that they made neither trouble nor separation among His people. If facts prove his answer, to be in favor of this question, then of course, as Christians, we must change our position, and admit that the SRod is not a message from God. But if past church history, disproves his logic, then, of course, we shall expect from him, as an honest Christian and a seeker for truth, a letter of confession, stating that his logic has not refuted the SRod.

The SRod message according to Ezekiel’s prophecy, chapter Nine and “Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 445, is to accomplish nothing else but to separate the people in the church!

Thus the fact that the message of the SRod brings a separation in the church, is another proof that it is a message from God. (Sym. Code, vol. 3, no.3-4, p.16)

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Question: “The SRod, Vol, 1, p. 44 says that only the great multitude have palms in their hands, whereas G.C. 646 speaking of all ‘overcomers’ says: ‘In every hand are placed the victor’s palm and the shining harps.’ How are these statements harmonized?”

   Answer: According to SRod, Vol. 1, p. 44, Class number two; namely, the great multitude of Rev. 7:9, have their palms in their hands while they are on earth before being transported to the heaven of heavens. Hence their palms according to John’s vision are symbolic of victory gained. But in the statement from The Great Controversy, p. 646: “In every hand are placed the victor’s palm and the shining harp,” it will be noted that this gift to the saints is not made until they are in heaven — after they have all been transported from the earth. These palms are real but the others figurative.

To prove that the great multitude have their palms in symbol only, and before Jesus finishes His work in the heavenly sanctuary, read Rev. 7:11. Here it states that the great multitude have their palms while the elders and four beasts are still before the throne of the investigative judgment in the heavenly sanctuary. (See SRod, Vol. 2, pp. 189-191.) Therefore, they have their palms while the Investigative judgment is in session-before probation closes.

Furthermore, in regard to the class and the event of G.C. 646, note that in every hand in which is placed the victor’s palm there is also placed a shining harp. Whereas the great multitude have only palms but no harps. Therefore, these are two separate incidents distinct one from the other.” (Sym. Code, vol. 1, no.8, p.10)

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Question: “Early Writings, p. 281 says: ‘The plan of salvation had been accomplished, but few had chosen to accept it. This statement is used very extensively against the doctrine of the ‘great multitude’ as taught by the SRod. Please harmonize it with the latter’s teaching.”

Answer: It is true that the words, “few chosen” often appear in sacred writings. However, it is unbiblical to explain the Word privately. We must let the Scriptures explain themselves. The following example will serve to show how fatal it is to explain the Scriptures by the human way of reasoning.

Says Paul: “But now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” (Heb. 9:26.) If one should expound the above quotation as some expound the words, “few chosen,” he would be compelled to do one of two things; namely, either humble himself as a little child and admit that he does not understand Paul’s writings, or else, separate from divine wisdom, exercise his human judgment and accuse Paul of being wrong in his statement, for the world did not end at the time Christ was sacrificed.

Therefore, let us examine the words, “few chosen,” in the light of the Bible. While Jesus declares that “many be called, but few chosen” (Matt. 20:16), Isaiah by the same Spirit says: “Thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought…A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time.” (Isa. 60:11, 22.)

Zechariah, while prophetically speaking of our time, also says: “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day.” (Zech. 2:11.) Furthermore, the Lord says: “It shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.” (Zech. 13:8, 9.)

Moreover, while the Early Writings says: “But few have chosen to accept it,” the same author in The Great Controversy, p. 665, classifies the great multitude of Revelation 7:9 as a company separate from the martyrs and others who are to be resurrected, making it impossible to conclude that the “great multitude” are the resurrected.

Now the question is, if we conclude from the statement in Early Writings, p. 281, and from Matt. 20:16 that only a few are to be saved, what shall we do with Isa. 60:11, 22, Zech. 2:11; 13:8, 9, and The Great Controversy, p. 665? No candid Bible student could from the above statements arrive at any conclusion which would lead him to base his interpretation of the subject on one scripture and wholly ignore the other, but would rather seek to make his final analysis in such a way as to be in perfect harmony with all inspired writings or else confess that he does not have the light on the Scriptures.

The only doctrine that, in the present connection, will stand the test and be in perfect agreement with all sacred writings is the one that the “few” are those who were saved during the ages past, which period is figuratively classified in the parable of Christ as the time before the “Harvest.” But in the closing of the world’s history, in the ingathering time — the Harvest — there is to be saved a great multitude.

It is only natural that there were comparatively but few saved in the ages past, because of the fact that that period of time was not the Harvest, and it is likewise just as natural that now “in the end of the world,” — the time of the Harvest (Matt. 13:30), — there shall be a great ingathering of souls which no man can number.

“Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.”

As the idea of a great multitude is opposed only to the devil’s plan, let us not therefore work to his interest. (Sym. Code, vol. 1, no.10, p.8)

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Question: “5 T 216, speaking to the brethren, says that some are preparing for the mark of the beast, but according to the SRod, all unfaithful S.D.A.’s will be destroyed before the mark of the beast. Please explain.

Answer: If the questioner will restudy 5 T 216, she will see that it is not the brethren who are preparing for the “mark of the beast,” but rather “Those who are uniting with the world,” not with the church.  (Sym. Code, vol. 1, no.10, p.9)

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Question: “How do you harmonize the seven kings of Rev. 17:10 with the beast that ‘was, and is not, and yet is’? The SRod, Vol. 2, p. 118 on this subject is not clear to me.

Answer: Do not try to harmonize the seven kings with the seven beasts, but only with the periods which are symbolized by the four metals of the great image of Dan. 2. To these periods add the period before the flood and the one after the millennium as illustrated in the SRod, Vol. 2, p. 84, and you will have a perfect harmony.

The seven kings embrace the entire world’s history from creation to the earth made new. The antediluvian world is symbolized by the first “king.” The empire of ancient Babylon by the second. The Medo-Persian by the third. The Grecian by the fourth and the Roman monarchy by the fifth. Of these it is said “five are fallen.” The king which “is” is symbolical of the period from the fall of the Roman monarchy to the second coming of Christ; that is, the period which now is; namely, Rome in her broken state.

The seventh king which “must continue a short space” is symbolical of the wicked world after the millennium. Thus, there are seven kings; five are fallen (the antediluvian, the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman), but the present world which now “is” comprises the sixth, and the one that is to come after the millennium who is to “continue a short space” will be the seventh and the last. (Sym. Code, vol. 1, no.11,12, p.10)

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Question No. 56:

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

Answer:

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

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

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

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

  Since, Truth is progressive, and since the purification of the church had not yet been revealed when the statement in Early Writings was written, the danger foretold and the counsel given therein could not possibly have been stated in terms other than those then familiarly comprehended. All were thus plainly forewarned that if they continued sinning, then after the close of probation for the world, the plagues, of which they already had some understanding, would be their recompense.

So for the Lord to have explained the matter in Early Writings as He does through the Rod today, He would have had to reveal, out of due time, when Early Writings was being written, the message which is applicable only to the church for today, and which we are now therefore receiving.

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

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

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To see all the questions and answers from the “Answerer” publications click here–http://shepherds-rod.org/answerers/index%20answerer.html

 

 

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