Fleeing to the Mountains

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One of the most frequently asked questions from both present truth believers and non believing SDA is a fair and timely one–  “If there is to be a pre-millennial kingdom in Israel why does SOP say that the people will have to flee to the mountains to escape persecution?” Let us look at this intriguing question.

The SOP quote that brings this thought into view is found in GC, p.626, let us read–

“As the decree issued by the various rulers of Christendom against commandment keepers shall withdraw the protection of government and abandon them to those who desire their destruction, the people of God will flee from the cities and villages and associate together in companies, dwelling in the most desolate and solitary places. Many will find refuge in the strongholds of the mountains. Like the Christians of the Piedmont valleys, they will make the high places of the earth their sanctuaries and will thank God for “the munitions of rocks.” Isaiah 33:16.

But many of all nations and of all classes, high and low, rich and poor, black and white, will be cast into the most unjust and cruel bondage. The beloved of God pass weary days, bound in chains, shut in by prison bars, sentenced to be slain, some apparently left to die of starvation in dark and loathsome dungeons. No human ear is open to hear their moans; no human hand is ready to lend them help.”

Here we read of the struggles that God’s people will have to endure to keep from being destroyed. But how can we reconcile this with the glorious hope that the Scriptures portray for God’s people as this reading shows–

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”(Isaiah 2:2-3)

Here we read of an exalted church (mountain=God’s people) in the last days, yet we just read where the people of God will be scared and running to the hills, what gives?

To begin with let us see what the “restoring message” tells us about this very subject. God in His all seeing ways knew that this issue would need to be cleared and His last prophet addressed it–

WHO FLEE TO MOUNTAINS?

Question No. 37:

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

Answer:

When it is understood that the 144,000 are but first fruits, the forerunners or advanced guard of a great multitude of second fruits, the difficulty in question is immediately resolved. The first fruits stand with the Lamb, safe on Mt. Zion (in the Kingdom). Thus those who shall find refuge in the mountains, and those who shall be put in prison, can only be from among the second fruits—those who shall accept the message during the Loud Cry, but who shall not yet at that time have reached the Kingdom. (See our Tract No. 12, The World Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, 1941 Edition, pp. 45-49.) (Answerer, vol. 2, Q-37)

Ah, we see that it will be the “second fruits” those who will be called out of Babylon but “shall not yet at that time have reached the Kingdom.” Both the first fruits and second fruits are indeed –“God’s people” and they come into the final truth at different times and circumstances.

The message tells us more about the two fruits —

“How many yields of fruit is the harvest to give? — If the 144,000 are the “first fruits” (Rev. 14:4), then there must be “second fruits,” for where there is no second there can be no first. The word “firstfruits” absolutely necessitates second fruits.

Where do the first fruits come from, and where do the second fruits come from? — We are plainly told that the first fruits are Israelites — all from the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:4-8). Israel certainly stands for the church membership at the time they are sealed; the title “Israel” cannot be construed to mean the world. The firstfruits, therefore, are harvested from the church itself at the time the separation begins. The word “sealed” means placed in a safe place — sealed. This is exactly what the apostle Peter says:

1 Pet. 4:17, 18 — “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

Now, then, if the Judgment begins first in the “house of God,” in the church, then it will end in the world, outside the church circles. The parable of the “net” and the Revelation of John very briefly and concisely bring this truth still better to the surface.

Matt. 13:47-50 — “Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Clearly, the net represents the gospel church into which are caught both hypocrite and saint. Accordingly, in the time of the firstfruit harvest (the Judgment “in the house of God”) “at the end of the world” (Matt. 13:49), the angels sever the wicked from among the just, not the just from among the wicked. But in the second fruit harvest (the Judgment in the world) the separation is the reverse: the just are taken out from among the wicked, not the wicked from among the just, so says The Revelation: “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev. 18:4.

Plainly, the Judgment “in the house of God” is the harvest in which the hypocrites as “tares” are burned, but as bad “fish” they are cast out. In the Judgment in Babylon (in the world), though, not the bad, but the good are taken out and brought into the purified house of God where there is no sin and no sinner, and where there is no danger of the plagues. (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 44, page 34-35)

Our beloved sister Ellen White, though truly gifted of God, did not have all the light, especially about the pre-mil kingdom (First fruits and second fruits). The Lord’s Elijah messenger was given this task. She herself wrote under Inspiration–

“But no man, however honored of Heaven, has ever attained to a full understanding of the great plan of redemption, or even to a perfect appreciation of the divine purpose in the work for his own time. Men do not fully understand what God would accomplish by the work which He gives them to do; they do not comprehend, in all its bearings, the message which they utter in His name.” (GC, p.343)

So often today we hear Adventists say “Get ready, soon we’ll have to move to the hills because we’ll be persecuted in the cities if we stay.” What lack of knowledge, what presumptuousness. Our leaders are spreading this message all over. Yet we as present truth believers know that not one Adventist will be persecuted because the church judgment will leave only those who know where they are going– to the Lord’s promised pre-millennial kingdom in Israel. Their foreheads will say it all–

“The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus’ new name.” (Early Writings, p.15)

  1. God, meaning they “follow the Lamb wheresoever He goeth.” And they have been persecuted for it. (lied about, demoted, suspended and disfellowshipped, slandered against, etc.)
  2. New Jerusalem, meaning they are looking forward to where the Lord said His people will go in His last message of Elijah.
  3. Jesus’ new name, the promised name that the Word says in the following —

“And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.” (Isaiah 62:2)

“And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name.”(Isaiah 65:16)

The message describes the meaning of the above verses, quite solemn indeed!

Isa. 62:2: “A new name.”  Indicative of the new experience they have passed through, which is the separation, or sifting, as explained.  God Himself with His own mouth gives the name so it can not be counterfeited.  The time the name is received is at the end of the 430 year period as explained on the chart on pages 112-113.  Thus, the church is reorganized under a new name.  The old name, being polluted, could no longer be retained. 

There is no one to go by the old name, for the ones who were not worthy of having the new name have perished under the figure of the five men with the slaughter weapons of Ezekiel 9.  The name only remains for a curse.  In Isa. 65:15, we read: “And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto My chosen: For the Lord God shall slay thee, and call His servants by another name.”  The old order of things being changed.  The watchmen who were unfaithful have perished.”(SRod , vol.1, p.155)

So there  are basically two scenarios that take place with God’s last day people. One, the first fruits and “those with” which are the Gentiles that initially go with the 144,000 into the kingdom. And there is the resurrected SDA, such as Ellen White, God willing, that will be in the kingdom to support the believers.

Two, there are the people who are in Babylon (those in the false and confused religions), who become the termed  “great multitude” in Rev. 7:9. These are those who will either make it to the kingdom or unfortunately be persecuted or run to the hills. The escaping Gentiles (who miss the persecution) will fulfill God’s word–

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'”(Zech. 8:23)

As we showed last week in our report, the SDA who will make up the 144,000 have Israelite blood in them from their ancestors. They are all of the twelve tribes of Rev. 7.

By far the  Gentiles will be the majority in the kingdom, as they go there to hear the word of the Lord. Plus you may recall that the world will witness the awesome display of God’s power in the holy land as Isaiah chapter 11 comes to pass–

“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. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.


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.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.” (Isaiah 11:6-10)

Can we imagine the TV footage and reports showing the lion and lamb lying down together in Israel? A final witness to the world that the 144,000 are God’s messengers and that they speak in behalf of the Lord and His plans. Unfortunately Satan is not going to set idly by and watch these great works by God go unanswered. Satan’s agents will mount a strong counter movement (Sunday keeping and counter miracles) and the 666 man along with the false prophet who works the miracles shall be a strong delusion to those not grounded upon God’s word.

Soon the persecution will come and that is the time that some of the second fruits will get snared. But God, as we know, shall not abandon them even in their dire circumstances.

“I saw the saints leaving the cities and villages, and associating together in companies, and living in the most solitary places. Angels provided them food and water, while the wicked were suffering from hunger and thirst. Then I saw the leading men of the earth consulting together, and Satan and his angels busy around them. I saw a writing, copies of which were scattered in different parts of the land, giving orders that unless the saints should yield their peculiar faith, give up the Sabbath, and observe the first day of the week, the people were at liberty after a certain time to put them to death.

But in this hour of trial the saints were calm and composed, trusting in God and leaning upon His promise that a way of escape would be made for them. In some places, before the time for the decree to be executed, the wicked rushed upon the saints to slay them; but angels in the form of men of war fought for them. Satan wished to have the privilege of destroying the saints of the Most High; but Jesus bade His angels watch over them. God would be honored by making a covenant with those who had kept His law, in the sight of the heathen round about them; and Jesus would be honored by translating, without their seeing death, the faithful, waiting ones who had so long expected Him.

Soon I saw the saints suffering great mental anguish. They seemed to be surrounded by the wicked inhabitants of the earth. Every appearance was against them. Some began to fear that God had at last left them to perish by the hand of the wicked. But if their eyes could have been opened, they would have seen themselves surrounded by angels of God. Next came the multitude of the angry wicked, and next a mass of evil angels, hurrying on the wicked to slay the saints. But before they could approach God’s people, the wicked must first pass this company of mighty, holy angels. This was impossible. The angels of God were causing them to recede and also causing the evil angels who were pressing around them to fall back.” (Early Writings, p.282-283)

Even though “some” Gentiles may be stuck, the end time church of God is a prevailing power upon the world, SOP says–

“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.”(EW, p.278-279)

So there is the answer to SOP’s writings and the Rod’s writings about fleeing to the mountains. When viewed in totality , harmony comes into clear focus. If you are SDA, please see that you do the following without delay —

“Let us strive with all power that God has given us to be among the one hundred and forty four thousand. And let us do all that we can to help others gain heaven.”(RH, March 9, 1905)

If you are not, know that God loves you and has a plan for your life. Walk in all the light you have, although you are not now in the full light of God’s word , the time will come that your chance for living in the kingdom will be here. Praise God for His mercy and compassion that every soul, both of the SDA and of the world, will have their opportunity to embrace the truth. But now,  let us hope that we as SDA know the “time” of our visitation, the time now of His final warning of Elijah.

For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. (Hebrews 3:14-15)

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