Archive for August, 2018

The Death Decree (Part 1 of 2)

August 25, 2018

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One of our most well known S.D.A  theological subjects is the “death decree” of which the Spirit of Prophecy speaks when Governments will no longer protect dissenters from obeying their conscience in religious matters and in fact persecute and kill them if they do not conform to what we know as the  “Sunday Law”. Yet the timeline for this is often confusing when we look at both S.D.A and D.S.D.A understandings. Even among the D.S.D.A. there seems confusion.

Specifically we would like to analyze when this decree takes place and who is it against. But once again much like a puzzle, when we add up all the pieces (all the references) it comes into better focus. Let us look at this interesting yet solemn subject. We’ll post some helpful references and then comment after.

FIRST REFERENCE —

“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.

Will the Lord forget His people in this trying hour? Did He forget faithful Noah when judgments were visited upon the antediluvian world? Did He forget Lot when the fire came down from heaven to consume the cities of the plain? Did He forget Joseph surrounded by idolaters in Egypt? Did He forget Elijah when the oath of Jezebel threatened him with the fate of the prophets of Baal? Did He forget Jeremiah in the dark and dismal pit of his prison house? Did He forget the three worthies in the fiery furnace? or Daniel in the den of lions?

“Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands.” Isaiah 49:14-16. The Lord of hosts has said: “He that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye.” Zechariah 2:8. [627]

Though enemies may thrust them into prison, yet dungeon walls cannot cut off the communication between their souls and Christ. One who sees their every weakness, who is acquainted with every trial, is above all earthly powers; and angels will come to them in lonely cells, bringing light and peace from heaven. The prison will be as a palace; for the rich in faith dwell there, and the gloomy walls will be lighted up with heavenly light as when Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises at midnight in the Philippian dungeon. (Great Controversy, p.626-627)

The decree here discussed is obviously the Sunday law decree, well known among us S.D.A. But notice who these people are. They cannot be the 144,000 as we know from our many present truth studies that they will be safely in the pre-millenial kingdom in Israel. In fact the message tells us all we need to know about these who run to the hills —

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.)

Thus we see that the Great Multitude (Rev. 7:9) , at least a portion, will be the ones who are affected by the death decree, This is a time after Ezekiel 9 church purification and in the time of the Loud Cry.

 

REFERENCE TWO —

“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.

Though a general decree has fixed the time when commandment keepers may be put to death, their enemies will in some cases anticipate the decree, and before the time specified, will endeavor to take their lives. But none can pass the mighty guardians stationed about every faithful soul. Some are assailed in their flight from the cities and villages; but the swords raised against them break and fall powerless as a straw. Others are defended by angels in the form of men of war.

Could men see with heavenly vision, they would behold companies of angels that excel in strength stationed about those who have kept the word of Christ’s patience. With sympathizing tenderness, angels have witnessed their distress and have heard their prayers. They are waiting the word of their Commander to snatch them from their peril. But they must wait yet a little longer. The people of God must drink of the cup and be baptized with the baptism.” (Maranatha – Page 269)

Once again we see that SOP mentions the decree in relations to those who flee the cities. Thus this is also showing the same people and same timeline.

REFERENCE THREE —

“The civil power is called to the aid of the Church in persecuting those who keep holy the seventh day. The Church and the world are united in trampling upon God’s commandments, and those who obey these commandments they threaten with death. John declares, “The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” The decree goes forth that no man shall be allowed to buy or sell save he that has the mark or the number of the Beast.” RH JUL.16,1901

We see the same basic scenario –Great Multitude and after Ezek. 9 during the  Loud Cry. Further we know well as present truth believers that the dragon being “wroth with the  woman” can only be post Ezek. 9, when Satan is furious that he now must deal with God’s powerful team of angels and servants who will ultimately bring him down . He no longer has his agents in the church, they are no more.

REFERENCE FOUR —

“Though God’s people today shall go through a “time of trouble such as never was” (Dan. 12:1), when earthly tribunals shall cause to come to pass “that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Rev. 13:15), yet the Word declares: “…at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Dan. 12:1.

   O what a promise and what assurance!  Who can comprehend God’s mighty power, and the glory of this long awaited deliverance?  Those who at all do, and who fully trust in the Lord will, for the good of His people, “go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.” Heb. 13:13.

   In thus pursuing a course against all earthly favor (by proclaiming the message of the “hour”), they will be going “forth as sheep in the midst of wolves” (Matt. 10:16) — “seeking death.”  And although happy to “die” for Christ’s sake, or, as the Revelator puts it though they “shall desire to die,” the promise is that “death shall flee from them,” making it impossible for them to die.  Even the sword of the wicked that is raised to kill them, shall break and fall “as powerless as a straw” (Early Writings, p. 34), making them utterly invincible.” (Tract 5, p.77)

This is our first Rod reference. We see that the timeline is clear –after Ezek. 9. The time when Michael shall stand up (Dan. 12:1) is definitely after the church purification. But here we are not given great clarity whether it’s the GM or the 144,000, although it looks more like the GM.

REFERENCE FIVE —

“David’s victory over the giant against whom no one was able to make war, typifies the victory of the church (the house of David — Zech. 12:8), in the “time of trouble such as never was,” over the beast and his image (antitypical Goliath), concerning whose formidableness the Revelator asks: “Who is like unto the beast?  who is able to make war with him?”  The giant, Goliath, accordingly, represents those who now defy the servants of God, and who shall comprise the Image of the Beast, that  religio-politico system which shall defy the armies of the Lord, and issue a decree “that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name…and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Rev. 13:17, 15.”(Tract 8, p.58)

The evidence is mounting as to the timeline , once again we see that this decree comes during the time “that  religio-politico system which shall defy the armies of the Lord” issues their decree. This is post Ezek. 9 and during Loud Cry. We do notice that this decree is going against the “armies of the Lord” which would include the 144,000 and the Great Multitude. 

REFERENCE SIX —

“The beast’s being driven by the woman, Babylon clearly reveals three important truths: first, that the call of God’s people to come out of Babylon (Rev. 18:4), is a call for them to come out from among the nations that are symbolized by the beast which she is driving (ruling); second, that the called ones are to come out from her sin-filled dominion because it is to be ruined by the plagues; and third, their coming out necessitates their going into a place where sin does not exist and where there is no danger of the plagues’ falling.  Thus their coming out of her dominion must be their going into God’s kingdom.

   Then the warning against receiving the mark (Rev. 14:9-11), along with the call to come out will be repeated with an exceeding loud cry throughout Babylon’s dominion.

   Both those who find themselves in her dominion, and those who find themselves out of it, must then immediately decide to receive the seal of God instead of the mark of the beast if they want to escape the wrath of God.  To do this, the former class must come out of her, and the latter class must stay out of her.  Despite the death penalty for taking such a stand (Rev. 13:15), there must be no hesitancy or indecision on the part of either class.

   Those who are in Babylon must heed the Voice which says: “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.  And those who are out, must carefully heed the warning: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” Rev. 14:9, 10.

   The light on this subject will spread as fire in stubble until it finally illuminates the whole earth (Rev. 18:1), and all who walk in its blaze will have their names placed in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  They will find deliverance from the Enemy’s  last determined effort to plunge the world into the bottomless pit of eternal ruin.  For them, said the angel, “shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children  of thy people…and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Dan. 12:1. (Tract 12, p.36-38)

No doubt this is during the Loud Cry and certainly concerns the Great Multitude. Being Loud Cry servants the 144,000 are not described here, as we know they do not need to come out of her dominion (they are Commandment keepers since before Ezek. 9).

REFERENCE SEVEN —

“.. when this sealing work is completed, then the angels who hold the winds, will let the winds blow, and the angels who are to hurt the earth, sea, and trees, will then commence their given work.  Otherwise stated, to let the winds blow, is to permit the two-horn beast to decree “that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Rev. 13:15); and to let the angels hurt, is to allow the Lord’s decree to take its course: “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” Rev. 14:9, 10. (Tract 15, p.61-62)

Ah this is very helpful. Notice that the “winds blow” represents the Sunday Law containing the death decree! And they will not be let loose until after the 144,000 are sealed in their forehead. Notice also it says that the winds blow after sealing completion. Obviously we  know that the Sunday Law develops and the 144,000 will do their Loud Cry warning PRIOR to the death decree. So as there may not be much time delay for the winds to let loose right after the 144,000th servant is sealed, there will be some length of time from the winds loosed to the death decree.

REFERENCE EIGHT —

 

“And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 

  “And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off, and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.” Mic. 4:1-4. 

  Conclusively, therefore, the Kingdom-church  must be “set up” before the Devil turns upon the remnant, those who are left behind and who are then being gathered, and against whom he wars for refusing to worship him in the person of the beast and his image (Rev. 13:15). 

  In this cumulative light, one sees never so clearly that though the Lord is to allow  persecution to come anew upon His people in Babylon, He will do so only to serve His own end to cause them to get out of her dominion (as He caused His ancient people to get out of Egypt), and to go into the Kingdom-church–the only place on earth where there will be no sin and upon which the destruction of the plagues will not fall.” (See Revelation 18:4). (2 Answerer, p.16-17)

 

The picture is starting to come into better focus now. We see that the 144,000 servants are to “set up” the Kingdom -church PRIOR to “the Devil turns upon the remnant” These are the ones who are “His people in Babylon.” Thus, these are part of the Great Multitude and obviously in the time of the Loud Cry.

REFERENCE NINE —

“The scarlet colored beast is also controlled by the woman riding on his back (church and state).  Thus it denotes that she is the authority, or the crown, for she rules the beast.  This is one of the reasons why the crowns are absent on this beast.  The last is an image of the first verifying the fact that the scarlet colored beast represents the “image of the beast” period, fulfilling Revelation 13:12, 15: “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 

And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”  The difference between the two drastic systems is revealed by the two symbols (horn-head on the one, and the woman riding on the other).” (SRod, vol. 2, p.113-114)

Clear once again. The “image of the beast” period” is the time of the death decree.This does not happen pre-Ezek. 9.

REFERENCE TEN —

“As the 144,000 are to go through the time of the anger of the nations — the time of trouble such as never was — as well as through the time of the wrath of God and yet be preserved for translation, and as the anger of the nations must take place in the time of the judgment of the living as shown in the preceding paragraphs, it follows that Michael is to stand up in the time of the judgment of the living and deliver His people from the anger of the nations — the time of trouble — or else it would be impossible to preserve the lives of all the 144,000; proving the fact that a change is to take place at the commencement of the judgment of the living — Michael is to stand up for His people, take the “reins in His own hands” (“Testimonies to Ministers.” p. 300) and deliver “every one that shall be found written in the book.”

May God’s people be aroused by the Good Shepherd’s voice now and place their names in the “book” by sighing and crying “for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof,” so that when the trouble bursts out — “when the overflowing scourge shall pass through” — they may find shelter.

   The anger of the nations being in the time of the judgment of the living — in the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message — their anger is against God’s people, not against each other nation otherwise the statement in “Early Writings,” p. 36 could not be correct, for the nations against each other have been and are angry; for instance, the world’s war took place in “the time of the judgment of the dead.”

   “The anger of the nations” will develop by the decree that the two-horned beast is to enact “and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Rev. 13:15), for the fact that all the nations will follow in the footsteps of the two-horned beast and “the same crisis will come upon our people in all parts of the world” (6 T 395) showing that this “anger of the nations” is a world-wide confederacy against God’s people as predicted by the prophet Zechariah: “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.” (Zech. 12:3.)  (Sym. Code, vol. 2 no. 2, p.4-5)

Same as the others  the timeline is still Loud Cry period. But here we see that the decree is more open as to who it affects and lends credence to both the 144,000 and the Great Multitude.

This concludes part 1 of our study. Next week, Lord willing,  we’ll conclude with part 2 and a summary.

 

 

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Winning the Struggle

August 18, 2018

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In Early Writings, page 269-270 we read —

“I saw some, with strong faith and agonizing cries, pleading with God. Their countenances were pale and marked with deep anxiety, expressive of their internal struggle. Firmness and great earnestness was expressed in their countenances; large drops of perspiration fell from their foreheads. Now and then their faces would light up with the marks of God’s approbation, and again the same solemn, earnest, anxious look would settle upon them.

Evil angels crowded around, pressing darkness upon them to shut out Jesus from their view, that their eyes might be drawn to the darkness that surrounded them, and thus they be led to distrust God and murmur against Him. Their only safety was in keeping their eyes directed upward. Angels of God had charge over His people, and as the poisonous atmosphere of evil angels was pressed around these anxious ones, the heavenly angels were continually wafting their wings over them to scatter the thick darkness.

As the praying ones continued their earnest cries, at times a ray of light from Jesus came to them, to encourage their hearts and light up their countenances. Some, I saw, did not participate in this work of agonizing and pleading. They seemed indifferent and careless. They were not resisting the darkness around them, and it shut them in like a thick cloud.

The angels of God left these and went to the aid of the earnest, praying ones. I saw angels of God hasten to the assistance of all who were struggling with all their power to resist the evil angels and trying to help themselves by calling upon God with perseverance. But His angels left those who made no effort to help themselves, and I lost sight of them.

I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people.

I saw that the testimony of the True Witness has not been half heeded. The solemn testimony upon which the destiny of the church hangs has been lightly esteemed, if not entirely disregarded. This testimony must work deep repentance; all who truly receive it will obey it and be purified.”

There is absolutely no doubt about it, those who take the battle field (spiritually) are to be engaged in a true struggle, a battle, at times “struggling with all their power to resist the evil angels and trying to help themselves by calling upon God with perseverance..”

Yet how few of us S.D.A engage in this battle! Let us look at a beautiful example of someone who went through the struggle and is pulling out ahead.

Sister M has been an Adventist for many years. We became friends several years ago and we even did a post about her circumstances here–

https://godsloveandlaw.com/2015/08/15/a-deadly-rumor/

But things have changed and we have great joy in updating the situation.

The Lord says that His people shall be gathered “one by one”. 

“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.”(Isaiah 27:12)

And He further  expressed more light in this hard and tough struggle to get His people to come aboard His last message of truth —

“There shall not come hither the fear of briers and thorns: but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle.” Isa. 7:25, last part.

   The vineyard’s being digged with the mattock signifies that the beginning of the work of reformation will progress slowly and that it will require hard labor, but that each “hill” or church locality being digged will become a place “for the sending forth of oxen.”  In brief, at this particular time He will be sending missionaries into His neglected vineyard (church) instead of into the Gentile world.

   Though the work, moreover is to have a small hard, mattock-like beginning it will gain speed and will emerge from the mattock stage into the ox-plow stage — the stage which will see all the believers of Present Truth (except the “lesser cattle”) unitedly go forth to dig or plow other “hills” until all the thorns and briers shall be uprooted  throughout the land, the ground broken up, and the vineyard restored even beyond its original excellency.” (Tract 6, p.39)

Thus right now as workers we know very well, its TOUGH to be involved in this work. Not only are we pressed from “dark forces” but from our own! A double whammy at times!

But in our case, sister M did not give up despite being surrounded by evil forces to discourage her to quit studying, to ignore the Truth, she preserved until this week we heard from her and our joy was great.

No longer was she doubtful or wallowing. She confessed that she had “seen the light” which can only be the Spirit of Truth ” leading her (John 16:13).

To expound on her story a little more. She first learned of the Rod message by way of a DVD we handed about Daniel 2. She came over to our house and we watched it together. She was quite impressed, asking good solid questions like “Why are we not told of these truths in our SDA church?”

Then as our prior post showed the evil ones went on full mode attack, knocking her down (spiritually). So much so that she soon looked at me very suspiciously. But she continued to want to know the truth. To her credit she did not stop studying and wanting to know Truth.

Later we began to talk more and I mentioned that there was an older man, brother L, who was 86 and still believing the Lord’s Rod message, I put them in contact via phone. Over a period of weeks the two of them had several conversations and she began to slowly come out of her paranoia. She’d call and tell us that she was quite interested in knowing more. Well, as providence would have it soon her sister became ill in New York.

She mentioned to me that she was going to New York for a few weeks to help her sister out. I asked exactly where? The location was only about 1 hour from one of the headquarters of the SRod message — Mountain Dale , New York. I made arrangements to get one of the leaders there, brother J, to contact her when she arrived.

This was God moving in her life! The two hit it off and had numerous studies of the present truth message. Soon sister M was calling and telling me she was beginning to see the true light of the Lord’s Shepherd’s Rod (Micah 6:9 and 7:14).

Then after she moved back, sister M was no longer doubtful but quite interested in knowing more. The Lord’s Spirit of Truth guiding indeed!

“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)

You see brethren we all play a role in helping others to come into His light. Yours truly led off and then the baton was handed off to other brothers. Her struggle did not end with her “leaning on flesh” (listening to the time-worn standard SDA nay saying against the Lord’s Rod) a thing condemned by Scriptures (Jer. 17:5).  Rather it evolved into her seeing the light! She stayed in the fight!

Our Lord said —

“And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations..” (Rev. 2:26)

An Example of Truth Restoration

August 11, 2018

Image result for Elijah will restore all things picture

Our Lord said this —

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things.”(Matt.17:11)

The Elijah to come is to “restore all things” and this most especially includes Truth restoration. What do we mean by that? This post will delve into that to show a couple clear examples of restoration.

As we have pointed out several times, the scroll unrolls and with it our “present truth” appears for our day. SOP explains —

“In every age there is a new development of truth, a message of God to the people of that generation. The old truths are all essential; new truth is not independent of the old, but an unfolding of it.” (COL, p.127)

Now our truth may not be their truth. For example when the people of God were found to be in adultery in the Old Testament times, they were to be stoned to death. Yet that truth was changed when Jesus came. For the “new” truth was forgiveness and repentance (See John 8:1-11).

When we don’t understand this changing of truth we can get mixed up and God forbid–a false and confused teacher. Let us look at a recent example.

Brother E is a “present truth” teacher. At least he thinks of himself that  way. He makes lots of videos, even has a website with the Rod lessons and literature. Recently we visited one of his YouTube videos and noticed the following.

He proclaimed that the term “confederacy” as used in Isaiah chapter 8 was, among other things, a warning not to confederate or be a part of trade unions. He listed this as the number 1 confederacy among us S.D.A. He is attempting to teach this as our present truth. He used the following SOP as references–

“The trades unions and confederacies of the world are a snare. Keep out of them, and away from them, brethren. Have nothing to do with them.” (Country Living, p.10)

“We are now to use all our entrusted capabilities in giving the last warning message to the world. In this work we are to preserve our individuality. We are not to unite with secret societies or with trades unions.” (CL, p.11)

“Those who claim to be the children of God are in no case to bind up with the labor unions that are formed or that shall be formed.” (CL, p.12)

Ok fair enough, this seems quite clear and to the point. Not much to misunderstand here. However, this part of the scroll was to make a turn  when the Lord’s Elijah prophet appeared and “restored” this issue to our current time. Let us read–

SHOULD A CHRISTIAN JOIN LABOR UNIONS?

Question No. 139:

   What should be our position as to Labor Unions?

Answer:

   Though in their formative years Unions neither  had the power nor exercised the pressure which they do now, yet even then men were arduously  at work to make them what they now are. So to safeguard the true believer from becoming compromised by their dictates and thus involved in their strikes and picketings (not to restrain him from paying to them a part of his wages if they compel him to), the Testimonies forbid his taking part in furthering their  unchristian purpose. (See Testimonies, Vol. 7, p. 84).

   In persecuting Jesus and His followers, the Roman and the Jewish governments were doing a thing even more unrighteous than the Unions are doing today in coercing labor into their ranks, yet Jesus directed His followers then to pay tax to Caesar. So we must conclude that if one is required to pay a fee while working at a trade which permits no “open shop,” he therefore has no alternative to meeting this necessity as one of the shop’s requirements, regardless whether the Union be a good or a bad organization.

Thus, though in order to hold his job in support of himself and his family, he may pay the fee which the Unions exact for the opportunity to labor, yet he should not participate in any of their activities and functions–political, social, or otherwise. In short, he will not have any fraternal connection whatsoever with them.

   Under such circumstances, there is no difference in paying Union dues, state tax, or some other necessary expense, fee, or cost in order to keep at work. In view of this, those who follow in the light will pay Union dues only as they have to, and will discontinue paying them as soon as possible. (Answerer, vol. 5, p.64-65)
 

So we see that even though SOP was counselling the people of that day to “keep out of them”,  brother Houteff was giving the green light as long as certain conditions were met. This is a restoration issue for sure.

It is clear that we when take up the Lord’s final message of Elijah we make sure to look at what the prophet says FIRST before we attempt to teach  or report on the message. If we don’t do that we run the risk of exposing ourselves as private interpreters going against God’s prophets (See 2 Peter 1:20).

Therefore there is NO confederacy issue with joining trade unions today “in order to keep at work” to“support himself and his family”. Apparently the Lord saw down the stream of time that our economy would be vastly powered by the trade unions (even as it is today) and in order to deal with that the Elijah prophet made the statement.

Another truth restoration, which we have dealt with before is the taking of communion. Jesus told the apostles to “do this in memory of Me.”(Luke 22:19)  

Yet our present truth is different , let us read —

WHAT ABOUT COMMUNION SERVICE?

Question No. 120:

   Should believers who are well established in the message, celebrate the communion service  when they meet together?

Answer:

   As to authorizing the communion service in our own midst, we believe that since we all, as Seventh-day Adventists, have defiled ourselves as did the Jews at Christ’s first appearing (The Desire of Ages, p. 104) and since this sacred service works damnation to those who unworthily receive it (1 Cor. 11: 29), therefore we dare not now, as Davidians, take unto ourselves its hallowed privilege until as a people our lives bear convincing evidence of our repentance from the Laodicean condition.

   The lesson in not authorizing this blessed service in our midst at this time, is inversely parallel to that which John the Baptist taught in ordaining and insisting upon the baptismal service then; that is, John’s instituting the baptismal service then, showed that the Jews were not ready to meet their King, and the Rod’s not instituting the communion service now, shows that neither are we ready to meet our King, and that we must therefore quickly repent from our lukewarmness, buy the “eyesalve,” and anoint our eyes. Then we shall gloriously celebrate the communion service, and the shame of our nakedness will not appear (Rev. 3:18).

   Those who do not sense this great need are yet blind to the church’s undone condition, and to the Lord’s holiness. Just a firm outward faith in the message is not enough; its inward work in our lives is the all-essential and supreme work that must take place in the lives of all of us before we can conscientiously and profitably celebrate the Lord’s supper. Let us hasten that glad day. (Answerer, vol. 5, p.39-40)
 

Striking isn’t it? One must be advancing in the Lord’s scroll of Truth to truly appreciate those powerful and clear words of timely significance. So today we should not accept the communion as we are not worthy of it “as a people”.

So what do we have here? We basically have the anti-type test of how we respond to the advancing scroll and it’s Truth restoration. The Jews refused to advance in their understanding of Truth, as Christ clearly exposed. We as S.D.A may be looking at EGW first and foremost when faced with brother Victor Houteff’s statements. In other words we say as the Jews did, “We have Moses that is enough.” Ellen White becomes our Moses.

In closing brethren, right now we are experiencing our present truth and our instructions FOR TODAY. We must advance with the scroll, accepting Truth that may not necessarily be the same as days gone by. We must not be found with out that “extra oil” because our King said we must have this oil (our present truth) to get to the kingdom.

A Pleasant Surprise

August 4, 2018

Image result for picture of a tithe box

All too often we as the Lord’s Elijah message messengers see disappointment after disappointment. We work in the Lord’s vineyard and it seems that we witness few changes in our churches. Abominations which we are to “sigh and cry” against (Ezek.9 and Testimonies, vol. 3, p.267) continue unabated. Yet, when we hear of good news we are like our Lord —

“When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”(Luke 7:9)

Such is the good news we heard from one of our sisters in the faith recently. She called and excitingly told us of the Chowcilla S.D.A Church in northern California. She explained that she was pleasantly surprised when she walked into the church and noticed a Tithe Box secured against the wall for receiving the Tithe donations. She further found out that this church DOES NOT pass the church bag around compelling members to donate. Wow! True reason to say Praise the Lord!

As we all know as Seventh-day Adventists, this bag passing has been a standard custom in our church ever since our prophetess died in 1915. For those who would like to see our prior posts on some history of tithe collection see this link —

https://godsloveandlaw.com/2015/05/23/the-collection-box/

We really don’t know how this started but it’s a good bet that the Roman custom infiltrated our churches. The message explains –

“What a privilege and what an opportunity is now ours! Look and see what a difference there is between God’s method for supporting His work, and the Roman system that is now carried on by the church: plate-passing, high-powered speeches, Big Day, Book Day, high pressuring, campaigning, selling, auctioneering, Harvest Ingathering, birthday offerings, Christmas-tree hangings, baby weighings, Dorcas sales, investment funds, and what not!  As none of these squeezings are Biblical, and as all of them are Pagan in origin and condemned by the Scriptures, they could not possibly be considered freewill offerings. Search and see.

Instead of Sabbath-keeping the day is devoted to money raising, and instead of a house of worship, the church is turned into a den of thieves — disgusting to observers, and most discouraging for a member to invite a friend or a neighbor to a church service.  Is there any wonder that God does not now bring many into the church (“Testimonies,” Vol. 6, p. 371)?

It was this sort of thing that aroused Luther to action as he saw the priests living in luxury by exploiting the people’s conscience and by making the poor poorer.  True worship and God’s plan for supporting the work must now be restored.” (Jezreeel Letter, no.9, p.8)

To be sure, we serve a Holy God. One that is particular and certainly not like us. He has sent His last messenger to us to let us know this bag passing/money solicitation in His house is “condemned by Scriptures” and not considered “freewill offerings”.

“These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.” (Psalms 50:21)

Yes brethren there is our ways then there is God’s way. Unfortunately Satan specializes in blurring the two! I was once a regular partaker in this bag passing and solicitation of funds every Sabbath, being a deacon who led out in bag passing. For I knew no better, until advanced light came and I could see this issue as the Lord sees it.

Isn’t it wonderful when the Lord always gives us an out. Today we have online payment systems which gives ample opportunity to avoid such abomination.

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations …” (2 Peter 2:9)

But when we begin to “reform” we do so bit by bit both individually and corporately, as the message explains —

“Correct your habits. “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” (Ezek. 18:31, 32.)

    You may not understand all there is about it, but that would not excuse you from doing faithfully the little things which you already perfectly know. Start with the A B C’s in the science of reform as you would in a grade school, gradually climbing up the ladder of perfection as you would from the first grade up to a course in a. university. As you are unable to understand in the schools of the world the higher grades ahead of the lower, so you will never learn all the science in physiology or the mysteries in the laws of God from its heights down or all at once. Moreover, if you are not willing to do correctly the little things in life, what will it compel you to agonize in prayer for the power you need to accomplish the great thing?

   No one can successfully be promoted to a higher position until he proves true and proficient in a lower place. Says the apostle Paul: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” That is, no one can in a haphazard manner do the necessary things of life and yet stand innocent before the Lord. His command is: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48.) (Sym. Code, vol. 2, no.1, p.3)

This church has taken that small step in righting a wrong before the Lord, and it can only bring blessings. No doubt there is much work to be done still in the Chowcilla church, yet this seemingly small thing is truly a BIG thing, when we think about the roughly 95% other S.D.A churches who commit the Roman custom abomination in God’s house Sabbath after Sabbath. In other words this stance is breaking away from the prevalent cattle like herd mentality of following the Roman custom!

SOP tells us that  “those only who sigh and cry for all the abominations done in the church”  will receive the seal of God (pure mark of truth).

“Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those “that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done” in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying. Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p.267)

“The day of God’s vengeance is just upon us. The seal of God will be placed upon the foreheads of
those only who sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land. Those who link in sympathy with the world are eating and drinking with the drunken and will surely be destroyed with the workers of iniquity. “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.212)

To be sure, the subject of tithes today is very deep and involves knowing where to tithe as well as how to collect tithes. But as mentioned by Inspiration above, the small steps must be taken first then advancement comes. But advance we must. If we don’t want to, we have the “need of nothing” Laodicean malady.

In closing let us rejoice in this small but significant step. We are in the process of trying to get in touch with the leadership in this church and hope to encourage them to keep up the good work and advance further in the Lord’s way.


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