An Example of Truth Restoration

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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.

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