Archive for May, 2018

Batchelor vs. Houteff on the 144,000 (Part 2 of 2)

May 26, 2018

Image result for picture doug batchelor Image result for picture victor houteff

Continuing with part two ……

Question 4 — What is the seal in the forehead mentioned in Rev. 7 ?

DB —  Starts out by quoting Ephesians 4:30.

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” ..There is something more tangible than that, that can be seen in the life and you’ll find that in this verse, Isaiah 8:16   “Bind up the testimony, seal the seal the law among my disciplines.”

.. What’s the new covenant? I’ll take My law and write it in their hearts. But we’re going to go a step deeper. Find out what is that seal in the law. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall  labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of your Lord God ; in it you shall do no work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your  stranger who is within your gates.”  Now watch carefully  “For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth and the sea.”

There you have the name of God, the title of God, the territory of God in the middle of the law of God is the seal. 

In the last days if you will have the law of the Lord in your heart and in actions and in your mind you will not have the mark of the beast. If you don’t have the  law of God in your heart, your hand or your head, you’ll have the mark of the beast. ..if you’ll read Ezekiel 9 there’s another vision there. By the way Revelation is referring back to Ezekiel that everybody in Jerusalem was to be destroyed  except those who had this mark placed on them by this angel. Everybody in Ezekiel 9 who gets the mark is saved. Because they are sighing and crying for the abominations that re done in Israel. There was false worship that was happening among the people of Israel.

So DB declares that the seal as found in Rev. 7 is the obedience of the Sabbath and puts Ezekiel 9’s marking or sealing in past history.

VTH — Has the following report on this subject —

Question No. 21:

What is the seal of God upon the foreheads of the 144,000 (Rev. 7:3)? Is it the Sabbath seal or something else?

Answer:

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; Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 267; Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211). It demands one’s sighing and crying over the abominations which defile him, and which desecrate both the Sabbath and the house of God, especially against selling literature and raising goals during Sabbath services. 

As the saints have this seal or mark on their foreheads, the angels will pass over them, not slay them. It is equivalent to the blood on the door post on the night of the Passover in Egypt. The angel is to place a mark upon the foreheads of all who by sighing over their own sins, and over the sins in the house of God, show fidelity to the Truth. Then the destroying angels will follow, to slay utterly both old and young who have failed to receive the seal. (See Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 505)

So, the former seal enables the receiver to rise from the dead in the resurrection of the just, while the latter seal enables the sighing-crying one to escape death and forever to live for God.

Key points are brought up such as SOP showing the direct relationship to John’s sealing and Ezekiel’s (Testimonies to Minsters, p.445). This , we believe, is so profound that we have a separate report on it called “The Game Changer”.

SUMMARY

As we review the differences in interpretations of the two men we see clear opposing Scriptural teachings.

1) On our first question, Batchelor does not feel it’s important to expand upon the four winds in Rev. 7. Yet if the winds are held back for the sake of sealing the 144,000, then we should assume that these winds are not just some trinket but serious symbolical happenings to effect the earth and people therein. Houteff shows the most specific SOP reference there is in identifying , in context, these four winds –Testimonies to the Church, vol. 5, p.152. We cannot understand Batchelor’s ignorance of this reference.

2) Batchelor declares some standard SDA doctrinal teachings on the “spiritual” grafting in of the 144,000 into the “symbolical” twelve tribes. He does not believe that God has any heavenly record of the bloodline of the original Jews.  In other words the “twelve tribes”part of Rev. 7 is not to be taken literally.

Houteff counters that just as God has kept track of Jesus’ bloodline back to Adam, He must for a consistent reason have kept tract of the bloodline going forward in regards to the twelve tribes. In other words Houteff takes literally this accounting and since the Jews have been scattered all around the world for thousands of years, today no one knows who is who except God. The specific Bible reference Houteff uses is —

“I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.” (Psalms 87: 4-6)

3) Batchelor does not address the issue of the 144,000 in regards to it’s relationship to the SDA church. But once again we see that mysteriously he ignores the profound statement from God through SOP where Ezekiel 9 and Rev. 7 are the same event-same sealing. As far as he knows these people can be any people from anywhere, and not just from the SDA church. The haziness here is disconcerting.

Houteff builds his case once again on Inspired statements. He emphasizes that the term “first fruits” requires that second fruits are to be harvested, lest the term first fruits is a vain thing. The harvest is ONLY through the church “Jerusalem” or “City” as shown in Ezekiel 9. Thus Houteff builds the case that as the 144,000 are all that are sealed from the tribes “church” then  a second harvest is gathered by these first fruits as shown in Rev. 7:9.

   “The city” is figurative of Judah and Israel, the church in which are to be found the 144,000 servants of God (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 445) those who are to be called by another name after the unworthy servants are slain.  And as the 144,000 are the first fruits (Rev. 14:4) of the harvest, they are the “escaped” of the Isaiah 66:19 and of Ezekiel 9.  This separation of the tares from the wheat in the church is to signalize the beginning of the final harvest of earth — the end of the world.” (Tract 14, p.19-20)

In the Rod writings you will see the very important SOP reference that tells us the “Israel of today ” is the SDA church, found in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p.164.

“We are not to conclude that the Jews are the only descendants of Abraham.  Those who are fortunate enough to have this revelation brought to them, are the people.  There is no other safe conclusion if God causes the prophecies to be written, sealed, and then unsealed at His will and at the time appointed.  The Jews, therefore, are not the only descendants of Abraham.” (1 TG, no.37, p.11) 

The message is brought to the S.D.A church , and like a homing pigeon the people that come into our church are those “who are fortunate enough to have this revelation brought to them.” Yes, all within the S.D.A church have their chance but just as in Jesus day, only few decide to come aboard. As SOP says we are the “Israel of today” from God’s impeccable guidance.

4) In the very important point of knowing what the seal of God is in Rev. 7, Batchelor again uses the standard SDA understanding of the Sabbath as that seal in our foreheads. Though acknowledging a marking or sealing through Ezek. 9, he places this prophetic statement in past history, ignoring several key statements given in SOP about this subject.

“Study the 9th chapter of Ezekiel, these words will be literally fulfilled.” (Manuscript releases, p.260)

We know Batchelor has spoken of Ezek. 9 for a future event, but he has never placed it in connection with Rev. 7 and putting it BEFORE the winds blow (Sunday Law) where Inspiration places it. This we feel is serious derelict of teaching duty.

Houteff does use Manu. Releases, p.260 along with the in-depth study of Ezek. 9. Houteff shows us that Ezek. 10 which comes after chapter 9 clearly shows us the scattering of God’s Spirit “coals of fire” upon the “city” the smaller purified church, to prepare it for the second harvest of the world (See Joel  2:1-11 and Isaiah 66:15-21)

Importantly Houteff points out that while we are to keep the Sabbath, our present truth today is what gets us sealed. That is to “sigh and cry” for all the abominations done in the church per Ezek. 9 instructions. Amazingly Batchelor, as far as we know, has never expanded upon this sighing and crying to be done today in the church. Houteff leaves no stone unturned in going into what sighing and crying is  and what are some of the abominations done in the church today (See SRod , volume 1, p. 29-35)

In conclusion, the teachings are a sharp contrast and each must seek the Lord in prayer to know the Truth. Once we “study to show yourselves approved”, we should have little problem knowing what is God’s word on the 144,000 and seal and what is learned men’s ideas.

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Batchelor vs. Houteff on the 144,000 (Part 1 of 2)

May 19, 2018

 

Image result for picture doug batchelor  Image result for picture victor houteff

 

In today’s S.D.A church world there is very well-known pastor who is considered one of the leaders of our church movement. As many of you know we have spoken about Mr. Batchelor  several times on this blog. We agree that few contain as much knowledge of Scripture and SOP as Doug. His position as one of the prominent leaders of the S.D.A church today is undeniable. His organization “Amazing Facts” is vastly expanding yearly. With this in mind it would be illuminating and a chance to present the difference between “learned men” and what some consider– Inspiration.

As we near the end of our S.D.a probation, we thought it would be good to discuss one of the main doctrinal teachings of the Elijah message–the 144,000. This and the church reformation is what our Lord told us would be the primary focus for His people in the last days.

We know that the Spirit of Prophecy writings began with a vision of the 144,000, then decades later in 1930 we know that the Lord gave us our first instructions of His written Rod (Micah 6:9) —

“It is the intention of this book to reveal the truth of the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7, but the chief object of this publication is to bring about a reformation among God’s people.” (SRod, vol. 1, preface)

So no one should doubt today that this subject of the 144,000 is paramount to us as Adventists. Ok let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the two teachings, then you’ll decide which is Truth in the closet of prayer. Please pray BEFORE examining this study.

We will use Doug’s two-part YouTube series called “144,000 and the Seal of God” for his positions and we’ll use the Shepherd’s Rod writings for Victor Houteff’s position.

Let us first start with the Revelation Scripture that begins discussion on our subject —

“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” (Rev. 7:1-4)

Question 1-   In this context, what does the four winds represent?

D.B —  Means “winds of strife” that will eventually blow upon the earth. The strife is “kind of summarized in the seven last plagues”.  This issue of what exactly the four winds represent in this Revelation context is largely not  discussed nor examined by DB. We wish we had more to give but that is basically all DB mentions about the winds.

VTH — Uses the following SOP reference for specific clarification.

“The time is coming when we cannot sell at any price. The decree will soon go forth prohibiting men to buy or sell of any man save him that hath the mark of the beast. We came near having this realized in California a short time since; but this was only the threatening of the blowing of the four winds. As yet they are held by the four angels. We are not just ready. There is a work yet to be done, and then the angels will be bidden to let go, that the four winds may blow upon the earth. That will be a decisive time for God’s children, a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. Now is our opportunity to work.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.152)

VTH comments  —

“the winds” held by the four angels of Revelation 7:1, represent the angel’s holding back “the anger of the nations,”–the image of the beast,–also that the angels will not let “the winds” blow into being the image of the beast before the 144,000 are sealed. (“Early Writings,” p. 38.) (SC, vol.5, no.6-12, p.8)

 

 “Here are brought to view two hurtings about to take place: one by the winds, the other by the angels; and two commands to the angels: one that they restrain the winds, that the winds blow not “on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree” (Rev. 7:1); the other that the angels restrain themselves from hurting “the earth,… sea,” and “the trees,” till the servants of God are sealed. Rev. 7:2, 3). 

Since, therefore, as soon as the  servants of God are sealed both the winds and the angels will begin to hurt the question arises as to what the work of the winds and the work of the angels  represent — political strife or something else?  As the nations have always been at war, this two-fold work of hurting could not represent political strife. And as Jesus says that at the time of the end “nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matt. 24:7), it is clear that the hurting by the winds, also the hurting by the angels both of which are kept back until the 144,000 are sealed, must be figurative of holding back the “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation.” Dan. 12:1. 

Accordingly, God’s restraining of the four winds is His holding back the image of the beast’s activity (Rev. 13:15-17) against the saints, while His restraining the four angels that they hurt not is His holding back the executing of His vengeance (Isa. 63:1-4; Jer. 51:18) upon the sinners who trouble the church, until after the sealing of the 144,000 is completed. Being coupled, these two hurtings bring the time of trouble such as never was.

   Revelation 7:1-3, therefore, reveals a two-fold conflict: wicked men against God (the blowing of the winds) and God against them (the angels hurting them).  But though the blowing of the winds and the hurting of the angels after the servants of God are sealed, will bring the “time of trouble,” yet “every one that shall be found written  in the book” “shall be delivered.” Dan. 12:1.

   From these facts we see that this time of trouble is held back in order to safeguard the sealing of the 144,000 servants, lest they, “the very elect,” be brought down to worship the image of the beast, or be killed for refusing.” (Tract 8, p.22-23)

Question 2 — Are the 144,000 spiritual descendants or literal descendants of the twelve tribes?

DB — Makes a special point of saying that the list of the twelve are not the same as frequently listed in the OT Bible. For instance here is a handy list of the progressive names/changes of the 12. This is done to set up one of his pillars for establishing that the 144,000 are spiritual descendants not literal.

12 Tribes of Israel

He says, “The idea that getting an even number from each of the tribes, that would be interesting, but I believe that they are actually talking about spiritual Jews. That could include literal Jews and it could include people who have been adopted into the seed of Abraham by accepting Christ. Let me tell you why.

You read in the Bible in the old Testament, you read in 2 Kings 17:6 , ten of the tribes were conquered by the Assyrians way back hundreds of years before Jesus was born.”

He goes on to point out that the two tribes of Judah did come back to Israel but the ten tribes were dispersed, intermarried and disappeared as a distinct people.

“So when Revelation says 12,000  from the tribe of Manasseh, could you please show me someone from the tribe of Manasseh or Isaachar or Zebulun? When you talk about Jews you are typically talking about people from Levi, Judah or Benjamin… You are not going to find people who are pure bred people from Zebulun, Manasseh, Issachar and so forth. So what does it mean?”

He then quotes Gal. 3:29 —
If you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed, and heir according to the promise.”

Romans 2:28, 29 —
“For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly: neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh. But he is a jew which is one inwardly: and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit.”

“So the idea that to be one of the 144,000 you must have a DNA test is not taught in the Bible. God does not discriminate that way, if you are Abraham seed you are heirs according to the promise.”

Clearly DB does not believe in the literal application. Ok, fair enough ,let’s look at what the other view says.

VTH — has a specific report on this subject as follows —

“Whosoever has been converted to Christianity, accepting Christ as his personal Saviour, has had an experience which has completely overthrown and revolutionized his former plans and hopes, his entire way of life.  He has renounced the world and all its “pleasures of sin for a season” (Heb. 11:25), and has become a new creature in Christ, born again, heir of the kingdom according to the promise!  This is what Jesus meant when He declared to Nicodemus: “Ye must be born again.” And Paul, having this experience in mind, says: “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Gal. 3:29.

   Regardless, therefore, whether one be Jew or Gentile, he can have no part in the kingdom of Christ, save through the second birth, by which he becomes one of the seed of Abraham.  This spiritual transformation, nevertheless, does not fix anyone’s racial identity and tribal  lineage.  It can not, in other words, make one Judaite if he is not descended of Judah, or make him Ephraimite, if he is not descended of Ephraim.  Consequently, the 144,000, being of the sons of Jacob, cannot be of the Gentile nations.  They therefore, first of all, are lineal descendants of Jacob, though

Not Necessarily of the Present Identifiable Jewish Stock

   The ten tribes (the kingdom of Israel) were  carried away, scattered throughout the cities of the Medes (2 Kings 17:6), and so completely submerged in the sea of life of the surrounding nations, and assimilated, that they were utterly lost sight of, racially, to human reckoning.

Similarly, as the two tribes (the kingdom of  Judah) were carried away into Babylon, with only a few returning to Jerusalem after the seventy years of their captivity was accomplished, a multitude also of them lost their identity.

   Then, too, the early Christian church was made up of Jews only: the apostles, the 120 in the upper room (Acts 1:15), and the 3,000 who were converted on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41) were all Jews, as were, indeed, virtually all those who “were added daily” for the first three and a half years after the crucifixion (Dan. 9:26, 27; Acts 2:47).  And even after this period was over, and the apostles were commissioned to take the gospel  to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46), many more Jews became Christians, and subsequently, as Christians rather than as Jews, were scattered among the nations.

   Clearly, therefore, in each instance most of the sons of Jacob lost their racial distinctiveness.  As the Lord, however, has ever kept the genealogies  of all nations, especially of the sons of Jacob, He will, as He has promised, “make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.  And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.  The Lord shall count, when He writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.” Ps. 87:4-6.

   Thus just as obvious as strange is the fact that no one today but the recognized Jew can vouch for his ancestry, with the result that the 144,000 can be gathered from almost every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and yet be of the sons of Jacob!

   “And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Word of prophecy in this connection, “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.  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.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel.” Isa. 11:11, 12; 27:12.

Since, therefore, history, logic, and scripture combine their evidences to prove unconditionally that God has preserved the genealogy of the chosen branch of the human race forward from Adam to Noah (Matt. 1:1-17), and backward from Jesus to Adam (Luke 3:23-38), He must, then, for a consistent reason, also have preserved  the identity of the elect today.  And this we see, is precisely what He has done in His designating the lineage of the 144,000, as “of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” Rev. 7:4. 

And though we know not what we are, and cannot ever of ourselves tell, the One Who knows all about us, even to the last hair of each head, knows our precise ancestry, although those of us who are to be gathered from the seed of Jacob are, says the prophet, as the sand of the sea,” whereas, comparatively speaking, the identifiable Jewish race of today, is but a handful to the nations, and therefore cannot today be the ones to whom apply.” (Tract 8, p.7-11)

So the two are presenting opposite views. DB saying it’s symbolic and not literal descendants and VTH believes they are a people with the bloodline “seed” passed on down through the ages. VTH establishes the point that the 144,000 are literal descendants of which God alone has kept tract of the bloodline. Let’s keep in mind that the tribes intermarried both in the OT and NT and thus the original Israelites and the Israelite Christians (early Christian followers) took Black, Brown, Asian, and other nationalities as wives. Thus today we cannot tell who is who–but God can and does!

NOTE: This is a in-depth issue connecting the 144,000 to the SDA church. The SOP tells us that the “Israel of today” is the S.D.A Church (see Testimonies, vol. 9, p.164) .See the following post for more clarification —

http://shepherds-rod.org/TGvol1/1tg37.htm

Question 3 — Are the 144,000 the only ones to be saved in the last days?

DB– Addresses this only from whether it applies from the world, does not mention or discuss whether it applies to the S.D.A church, The latter is a non-issue with him.

“If you do the math that would be pretty sad because there are about seven billion people in the world, and if only 144,000 are going to be saved, that means your chances are about 1 out of 50,000. It’s still better than the lottery in Florida, did you know that? No they are not the only ones saved. They are a special group of leaders.

Let me make the 144,000 really easy for you. In the same way that Jesus had twelve apostles that followed Him wherever He went, that had a special relationship with Him, that sang.. the Bible says that the only time Jesus sang, He sang with the twelve… Just like the twelve got the people ready for the first coming, there is going to be an army of apostles getting the world ready for the second coming.”

DB rightly says that the 144,000 are not all that are saved in the world, yet as mentioned he does not place any significance in the 144,000 and Ezekiel 9, which SOP does clearly in the following reference–

“This sealing of the servants of God is the same that was shown to Ezekiel in vision. John also had been a witness of this most startling revelation.” (Testimonies to Ministers, p.445)

So we must deal with this prophetic connection –Rev. 7 sealings and Ezekiel 9 sealings (markings) are the same event. The church purification and the birth of the 144,000. DB does not touch on this at all.

VTH — Addresses this from a S.D.A aspect. During his lifetime (died in 1955) some of the S.D.A leaders proclaimed that the 144,000 were the only ones to be saved. VTH addressed that with the following —

“The 144,000, let us note, are not from the Gentile nations, but strictly from the church, from the twelve tribes of Israel — from the descendants of Jacob (Rev. 7:3-8).  Then, to conclude that there will be no more than 144,000 living saints when Jesus comes the second time, is to say that not a soul from the Gentile nations is to be saved, which, of course, is contrary to the teachings of the Bible, not according to Jeremiah 8:20, not in harmony with the testimony of the prophets, though in harmony with the law.

   Moreover, the 144,000 are only the first fruits (Rev. 14:4) and where there is first there must be second fruits also else there cannot be first. Because there is a first resurrection we know that there is a second one.  Those that were seen after the sealing of the 144,000, the great multitude from all nations (Rev. 7:9) are, therefore, the second fruits.

   Besides their racial lineage of identification there are the words “first,” “fruits,” “servants of God,” “sealed” and “standing on Mount Zion” by which to identify who the 144,000 are and what they are.  Obviously they are called fruits because they are the result of the “harvest,” the work which separates the tares from the wheat.  The word “first” connotes that they are the first crop (group) to be harvested — separated from the “tares,” for Jesus explains that the harvest is the time in which to separate the tares from the wheat (Matt. 13:30).

   The harvest is variously termed: (1) the purification of the church (“Testimonies,” Vol. 5, p. 80); (2) the closing work for the church (“Testimonies,” Vol. 3, p. 266); (3) the time in which the bad fish are cast out, and the good put into vessels (Matt. 13:47, 48); (4) the cleansing of the sanctuary (Dan. 8:14); (5) purifying the temple (Mal. 3:1-3); (6) Judgment In the House of God (1 Pet. 4.17; Dan. 7:10).  This is Truth positive, you know, and every Seventh-day Adventist knows it, too.” (Jezreel Letter, No. 6  p.1-2)

However unlike DB, Houteff deals with this issue in a  specific way in regards to the S.D.A Church. The following references solemnly describe the 144,000 S.D.A issue.

“Will all but the 144,000 of the present S.D.A. denomination actually be slain in the separation?”

   Answer: All but those who do not receive the mark or seal, old or young, male or female, will fall under the slaughter weapons of the angels. (Ezek. 9:6.) Only those who sigh and cry for all the abominations in the midst thereof will receive the mark. (verse 4.) John saw 144,000 sealed (marked). If others from within the S.D.A. denomination besides the 144,000 should escape, it is not known to us.” (Sym. Code, vol.1, no.15, p.9)

So in regards to our church, VTH has a direct application of Rev. 7 sealings of the 144,000 applying to our SDA church. Thus the two men, are at opposite beliefs on this aspect of the 144,000 saved.  DB does not give any credence to it affecting our S.D.A church directly whereas VTH counters it has a profound direct relationship to us as Adventists.

This concludes our part 1 of this subject, next week we’ll finish with part 2. We’ll present a final summary as well.

 

Fishermen and Hunters

May 12, 2018

Image result for picture of fisherman

In Mark 16:15 we read —

“And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

There is no doubt that the great commission was present truth to the people of God then and indeed some day very soon again. However as we keep abreast of the Truth scroll, watching new instructions from the Lord, we come to His prophecy of sending “Elijah” to us (His remnant church) in the very last days (Mal. 4:5).

As we know from Scripture, the original Elijah spoke a message strictly to his own people (Israelites) and not to the world. We also know that the Lord could have said He would send Noah or Enoch, for example, and thus the message would be meant for the world as they spoke to all the world.

So that should tell us that the reason the Lord sends Elijah is because this is the message that we , as God’s people, need today. A warning and preparatory message that we MUST heed.

Yes what are we to make of the long-held idea that the Gospel must go to the ends of the earth? There is no contradictions. First must this Elijah  message go to God’s people to prepare for it to go to the whole world. Thus, we can rightly give the “Loud Cry”.

Ok let’s look at what we can do now to be “fishermen and hunters” to our own people, those whom the Lord tells us are –“wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:17). It’s a very tough road to hoe. We need to be smart and wise as the Scriptures say (Matt. 10:16).

In all things we do today, we must first get our marching orders from His last message, His last cry to us,the Elijah message, so let us read —

“Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them, and after will l send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.” (Jer. 16:16.)

   Here you are plainly told that in the gathering time the servants of God are compelled first to fish His people, then to hunt them.  Since our first contact with them has been through the literature, it, therefore, must be the fishing.  Rightly so, too, because as it is scattered everywhere as the leaves of autumn, the fish come to examine it, find it good for food, take a bite and get hooked, so to speak.  Now, however, we are in the hunting period, and we have already begun to hunt them, be they in the city or in the country, in places easy to get to, or in places hard to get to.” (Jezreel Letters, no. 9, p.5)

Here we are instructed to get down to business! Start trying to reach them “ be they in the city or in the country, in places easy to get to, or in places hard to get to.”

Yet the Lord in His infinite wisdom has given us special tools today, unlike back in brother Houteff’s day when there was much more limited options for them to fish and hunt. Thus, we are compelled to use any and all options given us today , such as Blogs, Facebook groups, YouTube channels, websites, emails, phone, live studies.

Let’s face it , we basically are either a “horse” or a coach rider, as the prophecy of Zech. 6 shows. The horses being the leaders, those who start and do actions to get the message spread. And we have the coach riders, not being so inclined to lead out.

“..all cannot be teachers of the word in the pulpit. The duties of different persons vary, and there is work for all to do. All can aid the cause by giving unselfishly of their means to help the various branches of the work, by furnishing means for the publication of tracts and periodicals to scatter among the people and disseminate the truth. Those who give money to promote the cause are bearing a part of the burden of the work; they are colaborers with Christ; for God has furnished men with means on trust, to be used for holy and wise purposes. They are the instrumentalities which Heaven has ordained for doing good, and men are to put these talents out to the exchangers.” (Testimonies, vol.4, p. 118)

Yet even if we don’t take a more active stance we should be faithful Tithe payers to support the message. This is a REQUIREMENT OF ALL US PRESENT TRUTH BELIEVERS.

“Angels keep a faithful record of every man’s work, and as judgment passes upon the house of God, the sentence of each is recorded by his name, and the angel is commissioned to spare not the unfaithful servants, but to cut them down at the time of slaughter.” (Testimonies, vol.1, p.198)

“Note that not to the Levites, or to some other place or people but into God’s storehouse are the tithes and offerings to be brought.  And for no other reason than that His storehouse may have the means to dispense spiritual food, “meat in due season.”  These words definitely and positively show that the only support which the message of the purification for the church has for caring on its work is the tithes and the offerings from His faithful people; that in no other way could the message be dispensed; that in no other way could the expenses be paid. 

This is God’s reason for no plate passing now in our gatherings, for no money raising in any form, and for scattering our literature everywhere as the leaves of autumn without money and without price to the people.  In other words, the literature, the ministers, and the Bible workers — those who bring the message of the hour to your door, are to be paid by the tithes and offerings that come to the Lord’s storehouse.  God, therefore, asks His faithful people to gladly respond to His call and sufficiently to supply the need.  He asks this not only for the prosperity of His storehouse, but for His people’s prosperity as well.

   Why must the message bearers come to your door in order to bring the message to you? — Because, as you already know, most of the ministers have closed the church doors and the laity’s minds and hearts against the Lord’s message for today.  This they have done in no lesser degree than the priests did in Christ’s day.  The Lord way back in Jeremiah’s time foresaw that the angel (ministry) of the church of the Laodiceans would do this wicked thing against Him and His people so as to keep forever the Laodiceans in their self-deception.” (JL, no. 9, p.4-5)

Ok let us now look at some present day options we have to spread the message.

  1. Blogs

Way back in 2009 when we were barely a one year old S.D.A member, we noticed our brother had been posting on his wordpress.com site. The Lord led us to inquire how to get one our self. Sure enough the process was quite simple and fast. Next thing you know Godsloveandlaw had begun. Today, we are so very thankful that the readership has grown tremendously.

As we posted before, we did not learn of the Elijah message until May of 2011. Before that we posted S.D.A messages that were standard and much of it–milk. Meaning we did not delve much in prophecy  due to the fact that such light was not known by us. Thus today we have taken great joy to spread the message of the hour, including very important prophecies,  to thousands of readers yearly.

This all can be done by anyone willing to take a little time and start a blog. It’s free and certainly a great way to reach those who hunger for truth. As we know, the Lord has opened this avenue to reach the people in our church because the church door has basically been shut to us for this purpose–truly sad!

       2. Facebook group

Another fine avenue is Facebook. Back in September of 2011 the Lord inspired us to start the Facebook group  “Truth Tellers”. He has grown it’s membership greatly and today we have numerous activities going on there. We post studies, reports, updates about the work around the world, etc. To get your own FB group is also very easy and fast. Or you can come and join ours or one of the numerous other  Elijah message proclaiming groups. This avenue really helps us “fellowship” with fellow believers, where we can freely discuss the Elijah message without being censored like we are in the S.D.A church.

        3. YouTube channel

This avenue we find downright fun! To get your own channel is easy and fast. When we started back in November of 2012, we just kind of did a report on the spur of the moment. The Spirit of Truth really is using this avenue today. For example, we noticed recently a brother who started his own channel and what a true blessing it is to watch! These things are not happenstance brethren, these sites are gaining momentum and soon the time will be up for us S.D.A.

He breaks down some standard S.D.A studies, and shows the difference between correct interpretations versus our historical and traditional understandings–big difference! For viewing this site as an example of what can be done, click here —

        4. Websites

Here is a way to publish the message in more of a “behind the scenes” way. Meaning sometimes people (coach riders) are less inclined to lead out and be more publicly seen. Here you can start a website just as we have done as shown below (sighandcry). Many have done this today and truly has helped the message spread. Below is a great example of how efficient and well-organized these sites can be.

https://sighandcry777.wordpress.com/

http://shepherds-rod.org/index.html

        5. Emails

One of the long time-tested and relatively low technical skills methods.  Meaning those who don’t know much about computers or online maneuvering can rely on this simple efficient method. It’s a sure way to interact and send the message to others in the faith. You can do as we do and develop a group of email addresses and send out a group email with a specific message or report. This way is more personal and one on one.

       6. Phone

Again one of the oldest tried and true methods for spreading the message. But today with the magic of technology we can set up a phone meeting or phone conference very simply and efficiently. The following information is what we use and often do a phone conference with between 10 and 20 people. Those who are without computer often appreciate this method.

There are many blessings to this method. You can record the session and have it available for those who cannot come to the live meeting. They can playback by phone or a computer link. All of this is FREE!  We’ve used it to post several of our studies on the aforementioned sighandcry site.

http://www.freephoneconference.com/

       7. Live studies

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matt. 10:16)

The old method since antiquity. Our forefathers since humanity began,  have used this method of live in person studies and so too today. But because of the churches pharisees we must use caution here. Often the studies go well until a Satan plant comes and starts trying to destroy the good that comes out of it. In live studies we must know who we are dealing with before we get started here.

For a quick example we met a former SDA pastor as few weeks ago at one of our church lunches and shared some good conversation. But after we kind of jumped the gun and gave him a card with our Godsloveandlaw website. This can be too much meat for the unaware or it can cause to rise up prejudices because of the churches long time stance of rejection of the message. We wanted to get together with him but he showed no interest later so we mistakenly “ran ahead” and should have given him more SOP and Scripture before inviting him to have some live studies of the message.

Long story short, we must use discernment before inviting members of the SDA church for live studies. This message is strong meat and they must be prepared for it, lest we blind them with the bright light. This live study method can be a blessing or a hindrance, depending on how you go about it. If the wrong person comes they can even go back to the Pastor or Elders and complain, then you’ll get the infamous “called into the office” treatment. Like our Master said we are among wolves here.

“Because time and the gospel are at their climatic hour, and the work is consequently of transcendent scope, expansion, and importance, yet of exceeding short duration, God has inspired man to invent and build time  and labor-saving, wonder-working, earth-mastering, tools and machinery of all kinds — marvels which would have staggered the imagination and beggared the credulity of former generations, notwithstanding that centuries aforehand “the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity” (Isa. 57:15), declared: “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Dan. 12:4.(White House Recruiter, p.36) 

“The Lord has shown me that precious souls are starving, and dying for want of the present, sealing truth, the meat in due season; ant that the swift messengers should speed their way, and feed the flock with present truth.”(RH, Sept. 1, 1849)

“Let every believer scatter broadcast tracts and leaflets and books containing the message for this time.”—CM 21.

“Do not sit down in Satan’s easy chair of do-little, but arise, and aim at the elevated standard which it is your privilege to attain.” (Testimonies, vol. 1, p.241)

Listed above are some tools that make our work more applicable for today, let us use them if possible. Thank God we have many other options to scatter the message for this time. All we got to do is get down to business and become “fishermen and hunters”.

Color code:  Orange — Jesus speaking  Blue– Scripture or Spirit of Prophecy   Brown- Elijah message (Victor Houteff)

Taking the Reins into His Own Hands

May 5, 2018

The following was written in 1938 as part of the News code items  from Victor Houteff. We found this  enlightening and hope you are blessed as well .

“As most of our people hardly understand what the Spirit of Prophecy means by the statement: “The Lord shall take the reins in His Own Hands” (“Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 300) we are writing the following paragraphs. 

The foregoing prophetic statement reveals two definite things. First, that the Lord is not now holding the reins in His Own hands, and, second, that at some time He will do so. That is, as God is not now ruling the denomination through its present organization, He must reorganize it.

Moreover, it is stated that God will do this by means so simple that even “the workers will be surprised;” that is, He is not going to start reorganizing the denomination by something great, something complicated, or something which the world calls wonderful, but rather by humble means, quietly, slowly, steadily, and as naturally as represented by the mustard seed (Matt. 13:31, 32), and also as the unnoticeable lump of leaven working in dough (verse 33), whereas, the workers will still want to “control the work, but they will lose out as grass is choked by the wheat 

As God’s taking the reins in His Own hands has been demonstrated in times past, none need remain ignorant of the method He will now employ to “perfect His work of righteousness,” nor of the system He will use to rule over His Own. 

In the days when Pharaoh reigned over God’s people, the Lord did not send a great army, led by a general trained in the school of the world, to set them free, and to give Him a chance to rule over them, but he sent Moses, the simple means, with his shepherd’s rod. To Pharaoh, this appeared so simple, so small, that he paid but little attention to that which was then taking place.

Nevertheless, as he saw the leaven working in his kingdom, at times he became convinced that he should let Israel go, but as he viewed Moses’ work, simple as it was, his heart hardened, and he said: “Ha, it cannot be of God, I will not let Israel go.” This was repeated time and again. Then, finally, the blow came by the death of the first born, and there was a great cry throughout the land of Egypt as Israel went out. But as Pharaoh was not yet convinced that God had taken the reins in His Own hands, he and his army went to bring them back.

Therefore, God employed the Red Sea as a means to protect His people and as a means to destroy Pharaoh and his army. The Lord will work in no less miraculous a manner now to free His people from being ruled by a worldly organization. He will command the work Himself in the same manner as He did in Moses’ and David’s day. 

Moreover, the voice of prophecy declares that: “the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king,” and that “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.) That is, ancient Israel was to be scattered among the nations and be a kingdom no more for “many days,” but after the “many days,” they are to return and again become a kingdom, and “seek the Lord their God and David their king.”

Therefore, as we are now living in the time of the returning of the 144,000, the twelve tribes, it is evident that they will at this time become a kingdom in the hand of the Lord God instead of being ruled by men through a common worldly organization. 

In the days of Moses and in the days of David, when the Lord had the work in His Own hands, He spoke to the people through Moses and through David, and thus He ruled. In like manner will He, at this time, rule the work when He takes the reins in His Own hands. 

In prophecy, God revealed to Ezekiel the injustice which, in the latter days, our time, would be done to God’s people by their shepherds, and said: “I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even My servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.” (Ezek. 34:23, 24.) Thus Ezekiel was also told that the present system, an organization of many shepherds, will be replaced by a new one and be conducted by one shepherd instead of by many. 

The people over whom the Lord is to take the reins in His Own hands, are, of course, only those who shall compose His kingdom. “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Therefore, the Lord’s taking the reins in His Own hands is the beginning of the establishing of His everlasting kingdom, just prior to His visible coming in the clouds.

Daniel also in vision witnessed this fact and declared to the king thus: “In the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Dan. 2:44.) 

Note that the kingdom is set up not after the “days of these kings,” but in their days, and that those kingdoms are to be broken by it. Therefore, although at first, and before the resurrection, the kingdom will not be completed with all its subjects, it will have its beginning before the second coming of Christ. 

Christ’s Own parable reveals this truth, for He says: “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.

Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt. 25: 31 through 34, 41.) 

It is generally understood that when Christ visibly appears, the nations will die by the brightness of His coming, and thus the wicked will have no chance for either the Lord to speak to them or they to speak to Him. Furthermore, according to the parable, He sits on the throne of His glory instead of sitting on the clouds as in 1 Thess. 4:17.

Therefore, the throne of His glory is His kingdom where He, invisible to the nations, sits on the throne and gathers all nations before Him as recorded by the prophet Isaiah also, saying: “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.” (Isa. 2:2.) 

The prophet Zechariah describes the case of the wicked and the conversion of the righteous in the following language: “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open Mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.

And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God. In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.

In that day  shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the House of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” (Zech. 12:3 through 10.) 

The taking of the reins in His Own hands is therefore in the time of the gathering of His people from among the nations, by the voice: “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.) 

When this voice shall be heard calling out God’s people there shall be no sinners in His kingdom, neither shall the plagues fall there, for the saints are called out of Babylon because of the sins that are there and because the plagues are to fall upon all there. 

In Matthew 13:49 is recorded the separation of the sinners from among God’s people, for at that time, says Christ, the wicked are taken out from among the just, whereas, by the voice recorded in the Revelation, the righteous are taken out from among the wicked–the manner of the one separation being the opposite of the other–which fact proves that the Lord takes the reins in His Own hands before the commencement of the Loud Cry of Revelation 18:4. 

Our danger at the present time does not lie in that which God has said He will do, for He is well able to handle the situation, but the great peril lies in that many of us are in danger of losing out by questioning and criticizing everything that arises in the unfolding of truth, criticizing the work and position of others, criticizing every branch of the work in which they have not themselves a part (“Testimonies for the Church,” Volume 5, p. 690), instead of coming to the help of the Lord.

Yes, some will attempt “to dictate even what movements shall be made when the work goes forward under the direction of the angel who joins the third angel in the message to be given to the world.”–“Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 300. Some go still farther by saying to the promised mouthpiece of God, “You are too earnest, you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way. Let me tell you how to teach your message.”–“Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 475. 

Others, though not so dictatorial will not submit themselves to the leadership of God, for Jesus foresaw the class that “hated Him” and “sent a message after Him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.” (Luke 19:14.) 

Therefore, because of their insubordination, Jesus has plainly told that at His appearing He shall command His servants, saying, “but those Mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before Me.” (Luke 19:27.) 

The parable makes it clear that through some man Jesus is to reign before His appearing, and that those who refuse to submit themselves to the one whom Jesus has chosen to represent Him shall lose out eternally. 

Therefore, let no one by inaction or by some other way show a desire to defeat the prophetic word of God, but rather pray, for “Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.” (Ezekiel 36:37.) 

“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Heb. 2:1 through 3.) “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. And to whom sware He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not?

So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” (Heb. 3:1, 2, 18, 19.) “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” (Heb. 4:1.) “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stead fast unto the end; while it is said, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was He grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness?” (Heb. 3:12 through 17.) 

“Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but, being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty, hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” (I Pet. 5:2 through 7.)   (Symbolic Code, nos. 10-12, p. 5-8)


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