Archive for April, 2019

Questions and Answers from the Field

April 27, 2019

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In our Vineyard work, there is questions that come in from time to time. In this report we’d like to show some and provide some answers, be blessed.

1) I have read from Ellen White that the lamp is the knowledge of the Word, the oil is the Holy Spirit and the light is God’s character and attributes. But here it is a bit different. I didn’t catch what the lamp is, but the oil is the Truth or extra truth. How do we combine both that they would make sense?

In Christ’s Object lessons, page 406 we read —

“By the lamps is represented the word of God. The psalmist says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto may path.” [p. 407] Ps. 119:105.

Thus we know that the lamp is God’s word. But how does the oil relate?

In that same reference it says —

“The oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.”

But the Rod message says —

“The oil can but represent revealed prophetic Truth, Truth that lightens the path ahead.”(Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 11, page 12)

This connection is made with this–

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 16:13)

Thus we see that the Holy Spirit is the Agency “Spirit of Truth” that takes the word of God we have and reveals prophetic Truth. Many have this word of God (lamp) with them yet have not enough oil “Spirit of Truth” to guide them. This may be due to Laodicean condition of “rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing.”

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jer 19:13)

Christ’s bids all to come and partake in His prophetic word, yet few do. They are settled upon their limited knowledge.This oil, our present truth is NEEDED and we must have it in order to see our King.

Let this not be said of us —

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)

2) There is a contrarian teaching from EW, p.36 and the Rod concerning the 144,000. Can you explain how SOP says that the 144,000 are persecuted and then triumph during the time of the plagues, while the Rod teaches they are safe in the kingdom (Israel) and free from any persecution?

Let us read the verse in context —

“I saw that the four angels would hold the four winds until Jesus’ work was done in the sanctuary, and then will come the seven last plagues. These plagues enraged the wicked against the righteous; they thought that we had brought the judgments of God upon them, and that if they could rid the earth of us, the plagues would then be stayed. A decree went forth to slay the saints, which caused them to cry day and night for deliverance. This was the time of Jacob’s trouble. Then all the saints cried out with anguish of spirit, and were delivered by the voice of God. The 144,000 triumphed. Their faces were lighted up with the glory of God.” (Early Writings, p.36,37)

First there is no doubt that this time period is during the plagues. That is the time setting.  Second the trouble is against the “saints”, yet which saints? There will be the 144,000 saints “first fruits” and Great Multitude saints “second fruits”. Jacob’s time of trouble is also established here during the plagues.

The Rod identifies both groups as saints —

“Thus ancient Israel’s dwelling in booths typifies modern Israel’s eventually dwelling in the woods. Irrefutably, therefore, the harvest of Matthew 13 precedes the close of probation, and is the time of the ingathering of the first and second fruits — the 144,000 and the “great multitude,” — all the saints who are to be translated.” (Tract 3, p.82)

We are to endeavor to find out how we can align this time period to the Rod understanding of the 144,000. It is VERY important to realize that SOP did not, during EGW’s lifetime, have much light about the 144,000. That was to come from the last prophet, the “Elijah” prophet (Mal. 4:5) just before the “great and dreadful day of the Lord.”

Once we do a study of ALL the references about the 144,000 and Jacob’s time of trouble we come to  the following understanding. There is two applications of this JTOT — one to the 144,000 (which happens on their way to the kingdom) and one to the Great multitude with both having trouble from the “Esaus” in the SDA church and in the Babylon churches. There is no other way we can harmonize the teachings.

If we don’t apply the two applications understanding we are left with one of them (SOP or the Rod) being in error. In other words, if we say  that the EW p. 36,37 statement is describing 144,000’s time of trouble we must throw out much of the Scriptures and the  Rod about our understanding of the 144,000 and the premillennial kingdom.

Such as —

“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.)

As well as Rod references such as —

Question No. 37:

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

Answer:

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

“..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)

It is also very noteworthy that the beginning writings of the Rod, before light had come to brother Houteff in regards to the literal kingdom set up in the Holy Land pre-millenially, SRod Tract, p.36 explained in agreement with EGW that this was the JTOT –during the time of the plagues. In other words the Rod at that early written word history had no light to reveal about the safety of the 144,000 within the Holy Land during the plagues, because the kingdom Scriptures had not yet been revealed.

To summarize, EW 36-37 shows the JTOT mentions for the Great Multitude, just as the Rod said above. When it mentions “The 144,000 triumphed” we can gather that their work triumphed because “all” the saints were delivered  (144,000 and the Great Multitude).

3) What year did the “Branch” Davidians begin their doctrinal beliefs? And what is a major difference of their doctrinal teachings from the original Davidian Seventh-day Adventists?

The branch DSDA was started in 1955 by a man named Benjamin Roden. A former student of Brother Houteff. His story is a disturbing one and unfortunately soon after VTH’s death (1955) he began to spread the word that he was really the Elijah to come and write his teachings.

The Branch basically have the following doctrinal differences with the original DSDA.

  1. There was to be more than one Elijah to come. For instance Roden taught that he would be the successor of the Elijah message because he would never die, unlike Victor Houteff. Roden died in 1978.
  2. The Elijah message requires that all believers observe all the Feast days. Christ’s death was not a fulfillment of the ceremonial law. 
  3. The Holy Spirit is a female being. The heavenly family is God the Father, Holy Spirit the mother, and Christ the son. When they pray they address their words–“Dear heavenly family..”
  4. The Holy Communion is to be observed at certain specific times during the day.
  5. The year 1955 was the beginning of the “judgment of the living.”

There are others but those are the main differences. Original Davidians have never had any connection with the Branch movement nor any with David Koresh.

The Scriptures tell us to “study to show ourselves approved.” May we continue to sink the shaft deep into the  mine of God’s word.

(4) Is there going to be a Sunday Law set up in different parts of the world before Ezekiel 9. Not the USA just yet?

No there will not be. The Scriptures are clear in Rev. 7:1-4 that the angels are to hold back the winds until the sealing is completed. These winds are symbolic of  persecution and trouble to God’s people, which would indeed stop the sealing process if they were unleashed now. Let us remember that nothing can stop this sealing process now because all His people must have free access to the present truth message, learn it and obey it.

 

WHEN WILL THE WINDS BE LOOSED?

Question No. 46:

If the angel who seals the first fruits, the 144,000, goes right on with the sealing of the second fruits, the great multitude (Rev. 7:9), will the four angels be holding the four winds (Rev. 7:1) throughout the sealing of both fruits?

Answer:

As Revelation 7:14 says that the great multitude (the second fruits) “came out of great tribulation,” it is conclusive that the four winds will be held, as the angel commanded, “till we have sealed the servants of our God….” Rev. 7:3. The winds, therefore, are loosed and blowing after the 144,000 are sealed and while the great multitude is being gathered and sealed. Thus only can it be said that the multitude came out of “great tribulation,” out of “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.” Dan. 12:1. (Answerer, vol. 2, Q- 46)

 

Color code: Orange– The Lord speaking , Blue — Scripture, Spirit of Prophecy speaking, Brown — The Elijah message (Lord’s Rod –Micah 6:9) as brought by Victor Houteff

Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s

April 20, 2019

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In Matt. 22:21 we read —

“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” 

Our King gave us instructions to give to our government what belongs to it. But oh how this clear plain instruction has been ridiculed, ignored, side-stepped, explained away through out the centuries. Let’s face it most of us  do not think that our government should have our money, they waste and overspend.

Yet our King has shown that stealing in all forms, even to our government,  is wrong and not good in His sight. As April 15th has just passed, we would do well to look at this injunction and see how we can please our King in obedience.

As we know the Pharisees often tried to trip up our Lord and one example is found in Mark 12:13-17.

“And they sent unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in His words. And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

Shall we give, or shall we not give? But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye Me? bring Me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at Him.” 

Also we have —

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Romans 13:1)

So it is clear that we have a duty to subject ourselves to the governing laws that God ultimately establishes. Those laws that do not conflict with His holy law and righteousness. One of the most important laws is the paying of taxes. As Commandment number 8 says we shall not steal , therefore we must take this command seriously. Present truth believers are certainly no exception. 

It is important to point out that the Lord, in His all-knowing wisdom, gave us a way out and enabled us to save and thus have more funds to contribute to His vineyard work. Allow us to go over this issue.

The tax situation for us present truth believers, those who pay their Tithes to his “meat in due season” storehouses, are aware that the main two organizations (Mt. Dale and Waco) are Incorporated. Just as the Seventh-day Adventist church is and has been since the 1860’s. This inc. status has enabled those who have made Tithe donations to deducted their Tithes from their taxes, thereby saving money.  It also enables the organizations to be tax-free on the Tithes and donations they receive, a win-win for both the Tithe payer and the Storehouses of God!

From a personal view these government allowed tax benefits have hugely helped us to focus the savings into spreading the message via mailings of present truth material all around the world.

Paul contributes to this importance of proper tax paying —

“Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:5-7)

The message gives us good counsel as well —

“God’s authority being supreme and absolute, “altogether-Christians” will ever prefer homage to the King of heaven and earth, while faithfully seeking to render “unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” Luke 20:25. “…to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” Rom. 13:7.

Such will “owe no man anything” so long as their debtor’s demands or requirements conflict not
with God’s laws and statutes. As “altogether-Christians” they will be as true to God and to man as was Daniel and as was Joseph.

When “the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the
kingdom;…they could find none occasion nor fault.” Dan. 6:4. Finding him thus faultless, his enemies “consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, “save of” the king, should “be cast into the den of lions.” Dan. 6:7.

By securing the king’s signature on the decree, they sought to create a situation that must
necessarily involve Daniel in an act of rebellion against the king. They knew that though he purposed to render unfaltering allegiance to the king, he would not do so at the price of showing disloyalty to his God. And so as he continued to petition his God as he was wont to do, he was cast into the “den of lions.” But the One to whom he prayed saved his life from the ravenous beasts.

And amid the slaves of ancient Egypt looms the majestic stature of Joseph, the greatest provisioner the world has ever seen. Behold him in steadfast loyalty to his government, rising in honor till he is given to share the very throne of Pharaoh himself!

From these and other Bible examples, it is clear that one’s loyalty to his government is his pledge of allegiance to it — a salute to its flag. Altogether, therefore, we see that while on the one hand a man’s disloyalty to the divine government is a sin against God, on the other hand his disloyalty to his nation’s government is a sin against it, also indirectly against God, for disloyalty to one’s government is disobedience to God’s express command: “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work.” Tit. 3:1.

“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” 1 Pet. 2:13, 14. (Tract 13, p.32-34)

The great deceiver often tries to get us to ‘cut corners’ in our walk and one of the most successful areas is to convince believers that “taxes are not so important especially to the corrupted government” mentality. Don’t fall for it–stick to the Master and His words.

For those who reflectively realize that they have not kept faithful in paying Caesar what is Caesars, now is the time to begin to make things right. You can either pay the government and shun His timely message of the hour, or pay less to the government because you pay to His storehouses . You can be the faithful steward who has contributed all year to His cause.

And let us remember that the Lord’s Elijah message specifically tells us the old message of the “judgment of the dead” proclaimed for decades by us Seventh-day Adventists no longer was “meat in due season” when the new message came to our church in 1930 , the message of the upcoming “judgment of the living”. THIS is His meat in His storehouse worthy of our Tithes.

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. He gave five bags of silver[a] to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more.  The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more.  But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.

After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’

The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!

The servant who had received the two bags of silver came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more. The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’

Then the servant with the one bag of silver came and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate.  I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.

But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate,why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’

Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 25:14-30)

In closing, every year we are to carefully account for all our income. This accounting includes properly paying our taxes to our government. Yet if we are working in God’s vineyard God as provided us a beautiful answer to  contributing to His final message to His church –claiming and deducting our Tithes from taxes.

 

Unusual and Unique Statements from the Elijah Message

April 13, 2019

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When we take up the serious study of the Lord’s final message of Elijah, we may discover some very unusual or unique references.  This week’s post we’ll look at some of these and you may be surprised just like we were.

No. 1 —  Many of us in the message believe that it teaches that the 144,000 are to come from the S.D.A Church. Not so fast. It looks like there “may” be some from other churches or even out side of a formal denomination, let us read —

Question No. 93:

   Although I am not a member of the Seventh-day  Adventist Church, yet since I have the light on Ezekiel 9 and on the truth of the 144,000, will I fall in the slaughter of the wicked if I do not fully accept and live up to the light? And, conversely, will I be subject to the enjoyment of the privileges of the 144,000 and be one of them if I obey all the light of this message?

Answer:

   Even though you are not a member of the church, still you will be held accountable for the light which you have on the subject, for no one finds the truth accidentally, or sees it without the Holy Spirit’s aid.

  By the same law of accountability or sacred  responsibility, even though you may have come into the message only recently you can be eligible  for the election of the 144,000 if you live up to the message that is to purify and seal them. Whether or not for a certainty, however, you will be one of them, we do not know, but if you are faithful to the message, you will at least be one with them. (Answerer, vol. 4, Q-93)

No. 2  One of the stumbling blocks from naysayers who were unbelievers in the Elijah message as brought by Victor Houteff, was the fact that he was 52 and his young wife was 17 when they got married in 1937. To this situation Houteff explained —

“…the following Biblical marriages represent a great disparity of years: Abraham, the father of the faithful, certainly took to himself a wife much younger than himself, for when he married the second time, he must have been over 140 years of age, as he was a hundred years old when Isaac was born (Gen. 21:5), and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebeccah (Gen. 25:20), at which time Sarah, Abraham’s first wife was yet living (Gen. 24:67), and Keturah, his second wife, was evidently somewhere under forty years of age, for she bare him six sons (Gen. 25:1, 2), which facts present a difference of at least a hundred years between the ages of Abraham and his second wife.

Again, the Lord chose for His lineage, Boaz (a Jew), and old man, and Ruth (a Moabitess), a young woman (Ruth 3:10)–a union contrary to the principles held by Brother Houteff’s critics. Moreover, the Jewess, Esther, who was forbidden by the common rule of the Jews to marry outside of her own nation, was blessed in her affinity to the old Medo-Persian king, in that her nation was thereby preserved.

  Still further, Joseph married the daughter of the idolatrous priest of Egypt, and Moses took for a wife an Ethiopian woman.

  Thus we see from the above unions that no set rule can be fixed to govern each individual’s case. Moreover, had we lived in the days of the aforementioned unions, and had judged them by our own standards, we would have separated ourselves from Abraham, in whose bosom the righteous are protected from hell’s burning torments (Luke 16: 23-25); from Joseph, in whom the life of the ancient world was spared; from Moses, by whose hand the first-born in Egypt were either spared or destroyed, and all Israel freed from the Egyptian bondage; from Esther, by which act we, as Jews, would have destroyed ourselves at the hand of the wicked Haman; and from Christ, Who is our only life.” (SC, vol. 3, no. 5,6 P.7)

No. 3 —  Back in the 30’s Black people were referred as “Colored”. This term today  would not be “politically correct”. But the question was raised whether “colored people” would be saved. As many know at that time prejudice still existed to a great degree and unbelievably some even questioned whether the Black man had a right to be in heaven!

But what is truly amazing is not only will they be among the great multitude, but it appears that many of them will be among the 144,000. The Elijah message really has gained a foothold in many of the poorer countries, such as Zambia, So. Africa, Philippines and Mexico. Today unfortunately many of us more well to do countries, such as the USA, are “rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing.”

The percentage of Blacks who have accepted the message seems high as compared to the white race. We would say that from our viewpoint at least 80% of the people who accept the Lord’s Elijah message are from minorities.

Question No. 7:–“What is meant by this scripture: ‘Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands.’ Does it mean that the colored race will turn to God?”

  Answer:–As no people are saved as a nation, the scripture above quoted, along with others, obviously shows that there will be a great ingathering not only from Ethiopia, but from all races and thus justify the statement, “Ethiopia shall…stretch out her hands.” It is such an ingathering from all races and nations that will make the “great multitude.” — “Princes shall come out of Egypt,” says the same scripture. (Ps. 68:31.) “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isa. 2:3.)

  Concerning the church in the time of the Loud Cry, the prophet Isaiah writes: “And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.” (Isa. 62:2.)

Looking forward to this great ingathering, he asks the question: “Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?” Then the Lord answers: “Surely the isles shall wait for Me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because He hath glorified thee.

And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in My wrath I smote thee, but in My favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.

The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; and I will make the place of My feet glorious. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” (Isa. 60:8-14.) “For great shall be the day of Jezreel.” (Host 1:11.) — {2 SC, no.11, p.9)

“…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! (Tract 8, p.9-10)

No. 4 — Victor Houteff tells of the time he witnessed God’s saving hand deliver him from being hit head on by an automobile which should have resulted either of sure death or serious injury, a miraculous providential occurrence indeed!

“Now let me relate to you another miracle that took place about that time.  One Wednesday I drove to the business section of Los Angeles.  Having finished my business quite late in the afternoon, and while walking across a street, I saw a woman driving toward me.  But as I was almost to the middle of the street, I saw no danger for there was plenty of room for her to drive by.

She nevertheless turned her car right square into me.  Yes, she struck me from my left, and being overly excited she could not stop her car before she reached the middle of the block.  And so she kept on going from the corner of the street to the middle of the alley.  What happened to me when the car struck me?  Did it lay me flat on the street, and did it run over me?  No, this did not happen because something greater took place:

   An unseen hand carried me on ahead of the car, lightly sliding my feet on the pavement with my right side ahead, and my left side against the car’s radiator! After having made about half the distance before the car stopped, something seated me on the bumper of the car, and I put my left arm around the car’s left headlight! Then I said to myself, “Now lady you can keep on going if that is the best you can do.”  When she stopped, I put my feet on the ground and stepped away from the car.

   Just then I discovered that the pencil I had in my coat pocket had broken into half a dozen pieces from the impact, but my ribs were untouched!  By that time the car and I were surrounded with people, and three policemen searching for the man that got run over.  But as they found no one lying on the street, or pinned under the car, I told them that it was I who had been run over! They wanted to take me to the hospital, and when I told them that I was not hurt, I heard one say, “He must be hurt but is too excited and does not know his condition.”

   Then they made me raise my legs and arms up and down, several times, after which one shouted, “He is made out of rubber!”  The woman was accused of driving at 30 miles per hour.  Then I walked three blocks to my car, and drove to prayer meeting in Exposition Park church, where in our season of testimonies I told them of the accident and the results.  We are still living in the days of miracles, you see.” (Timely Greetings, vol. 2, no.35, p.21-22)

No. 5 — The subject of marriage obviously is an important aspect to our walk with the Lord. The message sheds some interesting points to this “sacred” institution.

” ..as there is no truth where there is no type, the working out of divine design, in ordaining and establishing, on Friday, the sixth day of creation, the marriage institution, and on the seventh day, the Sabbath, thus gave type both to the reestablishing of these institutions, and to the restoring of them to the sanctity and beauty of their first estate. And as we must observe the Sabbath on the seventh day, likewise we ought to solemnize marriage on Friday, the sixth day of the week.

  Furthermore, as God foresaw that in the closing hours of probation, the order of events would be singularly anomalous and preternatural, He mercifully thus forewarned us in the following familiar statements:

  “Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning.”–“Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 300. Therefore, with the one who is to come in the spirit, and power of Elijah, men will find fault and say, “‘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, pp. 475, 476.

  Nevertheless, as representatives of the Elijah message, we are called to lead out by precept and example in the restoration of all things, especially the marriage and the Sabbath institutions, for the one represents the home, and the other the memorial of its creation. Therefore, before “we go forth to proclaim the Sabbath more fully,” we must lift up marriage, the first institution, from the sordid depths to which Satan has plunged it.” (3 SC, no.2, p.8)

No. 6 —  As many know, one of the prime aspects of the Lord’s Rod message is that we must “sigh and cry” for all the abominations that be done in our life and in the church. However did you know that some may not be sighing and crying sufficiently to get sealed? Let us read —

“As long as you keep wavering on Present Truth, your sighing and crying will be too feeble and insufficient to place the seal of God in your forehead — on display; that is, openly confessing that you are a disciple of Christ; and as long as they receive your tithe and offerings, they will never “cast” you out (Isa. 66:5).

By the fact that you are still a member of the church and in office, it speaks for itself that you have not yet taken a firm stand on the Lord’s side, although He has said: “Set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it.” Mark that “this” and not your name on the church books or your gifts in their treasury, “shall be a sign to the house of Israel.” (Ezek. 4:3. (2 SC, no. 5,6, p.9)

Note that the message tells us that once you accept the Elijah message, you will soon be not found as an office holder (Pastor, Elder, Deacon, Secretary, etc.), and that is because when the higher-ups find out they will demote you from office. This is our SDA history unfortunately, just as the Christians were demoted and often booted out of the Synagogue during Christ’s day. We must BOLDLY take our stand for Truth come what may.

For example yours truly was a Deacon in the church prior to accepting the Rod message. When I learned it, I found that passing the money bag around was not an acceptable action within His sanctuary on Sabbath yet I often was one of the members who handed them the bag! Long story short once the leaders found out I was a Shepherd’s Rod beleiver I was soon demoted from Deacon, thus relieved of participating in the abomination, and sighing and crying about it instead! In hindsight it was a beautiful move on the Lord’s part to keep me on the straight and narrow.

No. 7 —  Today we have so many ministries claiming we are giving the “Loud Cry” message to the world. Amaizng Facts with Doug Batchelor, Stephen Bohr with Secrets Unsealed ministries, Walter Vieth with Amazing Discoveries, 3ABN, etc. all claim that the world is receiving the Third Angel’s message of the Loud Cry. Not so fast. The message explains–

 

“Those who think that the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message, which began in 1892, has continued ever since, prove to us that they are in great darkness, “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked,” because of the fact that they can not tell the difference between that great light that lightens the earth, and the darkness that preceded it, which even a half awake Christian ought to be able to recognize.

   The light with which the earth is to be lightened is, or course, understood to be a spiritual light – the Word of God. Moreover it is also understood that the church is to diffuse this great light to the ends of the earth, for in no other way will God reveal the truth to sinful men, and the Gentiles see her righteousness, and all kings her glory. (Isa. 62:2.) Consequently, the church from 1844 to the close of probation is divided into two sections — before the Loud Cry, and in the time of the Loud Cry — the latter of which will, by comparison, be far superior to the former in spirituality. In fact, there is no comparison between the two. Hence, those who cannot tell in which one of these stages the church now is, must be in great darkness!

   The following references prove that though the Loud Cry had begun by 1892, it was muffled when the church rejected the message of 1888. Hence, instead of becoming the light of the world, she herself went into darkness.

   In the following references the description of the church in the time of the Loud Cry, and also during the time preceding it is plainly given, and no one need be confused. Says the Spirit of Prophecy:

   “In the manifestation of the power that lightens the earth with its glory, they will see only something which in blindness they think dangerous, something which will arouse their fears and they will brace themselves to resist it. Because the Lord does not work according to their expectations and ideal, they will oppose the work. Why, they say, should we not know the Spirit of God; when we have been in the work so many years?” — “Bible Training School,” 1907. (Reprinted in “Review & Herald,” Nov. 7, 1918.) This paragraph puts the Loud Cry in the future of 1918.

   “The great outpouring of the Spirit of God, which lightens the whole earth with His glory, will not come until we have an enlightened people, that know by experience what it means to be laborers together with God. When we have entire, wholehearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of His Spirit without measure; but this will not be while the largest portion of the church are not laborers together with God.” (“Review and Herald,” July 21, 1896.)

   “The love of Christ, the love of our brethren, will testify to the world that we have been with Jesus and learned of Him. Then will the message of the third angel swell to a loud cry, and the whole earth will be lightened with the glory of the Lord.” “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 6, p. 401.

   The above references do not only plainly show that the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message is yet future, but they also show that, before it begins, there is to be a reformation among God’s people, and that, at that time, “Clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. ‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,’ she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.” — “Prophets and Kings,” p. 725. Whereas, the church at this time is polluted in her sins, and asleep, just as she is described in the message to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans, of Revelation 3:14-18, and further in the following passage from the Spirit of Prophecy:

   “What greater deception can come upon human minds than a confidence that they are right, when they are all wrong! The message of the True Witness finds the people of God in a sad deception, yet honest in that deception. They know not that their condition is deplorable in the sight of God. While those addressed are flattering themselves that they are in an exalted spiritual condition, the message of the True Witness breaks their security by the startling denunciation of their true condition of spiritual blindness, poverty, and wretchedness. The testimony so cutting and severe, cannot be a mistake, for it is the True Witness who speaks, and His testimony must be correct.” — “Testimonies for the church,” Vol. 3, p. 253.

   Moreover, it was in 1892 when the statement was made that “This is the beginning of the Loud Cry,” and just one year later, in 1893, the Spirit of Prophecy describes, in as plain a language as can possibly be stated, the church’s condition, and no more condemnatory words could be used by any writer. We read:

   “Who can truthfully say, ‘Our gold is tried in the fire; our garments are unspotted by the world’? I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: ‘Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character? ‘How is the faithful city become an harlot?’ My Father’s house is made a house of merchandise, an place whence the divine presence and glory have departed! For this cause there is weakness, and strength is lacking.

   “Unless the church, which is now being leavened with her own back-sliding, shall repent and be converted, she will eat of the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself.” 
— “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 8, p. 250.

   In the face of these plain statements, it is most preposterous for any one to conclude   that the church is now in her Loud Cry state. If we should make such absurd statements as some of our ministering brethren make, no one who believes in the Spirit of Prophecy would have a thing to do with us, and it is right that they should not, but when the ministers in the denomination give expression to such extravagant ideas, the laity avidly accept them, for they “like to have it so.”( 2 SC, vol. 10, p.4-5)

We hope these unique statements have been a blessing this week.

 

The Lord’s Answer to the Inquirers of God

April 6, 2019

TEXT FOR PRAYERJesus’ Example In Teaching   We shall read from “Christ’s Object Lessons,” paragraph one, page 21:

   “Again, Christ had truths to present which the people were unprepared to accept, or even to understand.  For this reason also He taught them in parables.  By connecting His teaching with the scenes of life, experience, or nature, He secured their attention and impressed their hearts.  Afterward, as they looked upon the objects that illustrated His lessons, they recalled the words of the divine Teacher.  To minds that were open to the Holy Spirit, the significance of the Saviour’s teaching unfolded more and more.

Mysteries grew clear, and that which had been hard to grasp became evident.  Jesus sought an avenue to every heart.  By using a variety of illustrations, He not only presented truth in its different phases, but appealed to the different hearers…. None who listened to the Saviour could feel that they were neglected or forgotten.  The humblest, the most sinful, heard in His teaching a voice that spoke to them in sympathy and tenderness.”

   As the people in Jesus’ time were as the people of today, not anxious to learn new Truth, He used Nature to arrest their attention.  The prophets were led to use the same method.  We, therefore, need to pray for a burning desire to know God’s Truth for today.  We need to pray that we do not become self-confident, and satisfied with our attainments in the Word of God; that we lay aside all prejudices and be willing to learn from the “humblest of the humble.”

 

THE LORD’S ANSWERTO THE INQUIRER OF GODTEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTSSABBATH, AUGUST 9, 1947MT. CARMEL CHAPELWACO, TEXAS   Our subject is found in Ezekiel twenty.  This chapter, we will find, contains a prophetic history of the Church from the time of her servitude in Egypt to the time of the sealing of the 144,000.

Ezek. 20:1-8 — “And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to enquire of the Lord, and sat before me.  Then came the word of the Lord unto me, saying, Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Are ye come to enquire of Me?  As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be enquired of by you.

Wilt thou judge them, son of man, wilt thou judge them?  cause them to know the abominations of their fathers: and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up Mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up Mine hand unto them, saying, I am the Lord your God; in the day that I lifted up Mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands: then said I unto them, Cast ye away very man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt:

I am the Lord your God.  But they rebelled against Me, and would not hearken unto Me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out My fury upon them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.”

   In the writings of Moses we do not find a record as to the faithfulness of the children of Israel in the land of Egypt.  Whether they were good or bad, Moses does not say.  But here through Ezekiel we are told what they were.  Not all of them, you note, were God-fearing people.  This scripture makes clear that even when God called them to move out of the land of Egypt, the majority were unfaithful in their devotion to God.

Ezek. 20:9, 10 — “But I wrought for My name’s sake, that It should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made Myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.  Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.”

   We have now read the record of the Hebrew host, — of their spiritual standing in the land of Egypt, and of God’s reason for bringing them out of Egypt.  Next we shall read the record which they made in the wilderness.

Ezek. 20:11-13 — “And I gave them My statutes, and shewed them My judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.  Moreover also I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.  But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness: they walked not in My statutes, and they despised My judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and My Sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out My fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.”

   Here we see that the deeds of the descendants of Jacob were even less commendable in the wilderness than they were in Egypt.

Ezek. 20:14-28 — “But I wrought for My name’s sake, that It should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out.  Yet also I lifted up My hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands; because they despised My judgments, and walked not in My statutes, but polluted My Sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.

Nevertheless Mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness.  But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols: I am the Lord your God; walk in My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them; and hallow My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.

Notwithstanding the children rebelled against Me: they walked not in My statutes, neither kpt My judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted My Sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out My fury upon them, to accomplish My anger against them in the wilderness.  Nevertheless I withdrew Mine hand, and wrought for My name’s sake, that It should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.

I lifted up Mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; because they had not executed My judgments; but had despised My statutes, and had polluted My Sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols.  Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; and I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord.

Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed Me, in that they have committed a trespass against Me.  For when I had brought them into the land, for the which I lifted up Mine hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering: there also they made their sweet savour, and poured out there their drik offerings.”

   They were unfaithful in Egypt, in the wilderness, and in the promised land.  We shall now read of the results.

Ezek. 20:29-36 — “Then I said unto them, What is the high place whereunto ye go?  And the name whereof is called Bamah unto this day.  Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers?  and commit ye whoredom after their abominations?  For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel?  As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be enquired of by you.  And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say,

We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.  As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: and I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.  And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.  Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God.”

   On one hand we see the reasons for elevating the Hebrew host from Pharaoh’s slaves to God’s priests, prophets, and kings.  On the other hand we see their scattering throughout all the nations.  Next we behold God’s promises of their gathering out of the countries in which they are scattered.  This He promises to do with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm.

Ezek. 20:37 — “And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.”

   This verse is somewhat involved and needs to be elucidated with the help of another scripture.  Let us turn to Leviticus.

   “And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord.” Lev. 27:32.

   To determine the Lord’s part, the tithe, the Lord’s lambs, goats, or sheep, were made to pass under the rod.  Each tenth then was taken and set aside for the Lord.  The statement of Ezekiel twenty, verse thirty-seven, “to pass under the rod,” therefore, means to separate His very elect from among the multitude, from among the “tares,” (Matt. 13:30) or from among the “bad fish” (Matt. 13:47, 48).  And being thus separated, they are counted.  So it is that the 144,000 (Rev. 7:3-8; 14:1) are a separate and numbered company.

   Now we see that Ezekiel twenty contains a prophetic history from the time of their sojourn in Egypt to the time of the sealing of the 144,000, and of the gathering of the people.

   When God causes His people to thus pass under the rod, He will then bring them into the bond of “the covenant which He made with Abraham, and of His oath unto Isaac; and hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant, saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance.” 1 Chron. 16:16-18.

   The promises which they failed to realize, the Lord reassures that He will now let His people have them.

Ezek. 20:38 — “And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.”

   Here we are plainly told that only the elect will He bring “into the bond of the covenant.”  Them only will He bring into the land of Israel.  The sinners (tares, bad fish or goats) that are now among God’s people shall be taken out and be no more.

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

Ezek. 20:39 — “As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto Me: but pollute ye My holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.”

   God has now made clear His “clean work” which He is to do, both for the penitent and for the impenitent.  It is now up to them to decide whether to serve Him or to serve their idols — they are now not making their decision ignorantly.  If they wish to perish they may continue to serve their idols.

Ezek. 20:40, 41 — “For in Mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord God, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve Me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.  I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.”

   All these things, you see, take place in the sight of the heathen.

Ezek. 20:42-44 — “And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up Mine hand to give it to your fathers.   And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.  And ye shall know that I am the Lord when I have wrought with you for My name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord God.”

   These things God does for His people, not because they are deserving, but for His name’s sake, because His promise cannot fail.  The Kingdom of God, you see, does not begin in heaven, but on earth.  And the Kingdom, you now see, is not to be made up of ghosts, but of living human beings, of saints, not a sinner among them.

   Yes, the Eden that was lost is to be restored.  In fact, the Word plainly declares that Elias must first come and restore all things (Mark 9:12).  As Eden was a real home at the beginning occupied by real human beings so shall it be again.

   The remaining verses of Ezekiel twenty take up another parable.  But as time will not permit us to go into it, we shall bring our study to a close.  First, though, let it be noticed that the remaining verses of this chapter, and also chapter 21 have, with this light on hand, become self-explanatory, and you can study them at your leisure.  Verse 27 of chapter 21 though, I may touch on now.

Ezek. 21:27 — “I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until He comes Whose right it is; and I will give it Him.”

   In these chapters are brought to view both the house of Israel and the house of Judah.  In this verse God plainly declares that He was to make three overturnings, and that after that the Kingdom was to be no more until “He comes Whose right it is”; that is, after the three overturnings, He “Whose right it is” shall come and the Kingdom shall be restored.

   The first overturning took place when Assyria overturned the house of Israel, the ten-tribe kingdom; the second overturning took place when the king of Babylon overturned the house of Judah, the two-tribe kingdom; and the third overturning took place when Titus in 70 A.D. destroyed Jerusalem.  Thus it is seen that we are now living in the period after the third overturning, the period in which “He Whose right it is,” is to come and set up His Kingdom.

   The very fact that Inspiration has now unfolded these prophecies, and has brought them to the attention of the church, leads us to know for a certainty that the time for the restoration of the Kingdom is at hand; that we are now in the sealing time of the 144,000; and that if we are faithful we shall be among them, and stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion.

   This, Brother, Sister, is the Lord’s Own answer to you.

   Your duty is now to accept it if you wish life forevermore.  Let not the enemy of Truth bring doubts to your mind, and let no one talk you out of this Truth for the Devil will not stand idly by.  He will do all to overthrow you.  Check up again and again and see that the Bible teaches this Truth so that you be able to hold your own.  You cannot afford to lose out this late in the day.

——0-0-0–0–0-0-0——   “The Lord abhors indifference and disloyalty in a time of crisis in His work.  The whole universe is watching with inexpressible interest the closing scenes of the great controversy between good and evil.  The people of God are nearing the borders of the eternal world; what can be of more importance to them than that they be loyal to the God of heaven?  All through the ages, God has had moral heroes; and He has them now, — those who, like Joseph and Elijah and Daniel, are not ashamed to acknowledge themselves His peculiar people.

His special blessing accompanies the labors of men of action; men who will not be swerved from the right line of duty, but who with divine energy will inquire, ‘Who is on the Lord’s side?’  men who will not stop merely with the inquiry, but who will demand that those who choose to identify themselves with the people of God shall step forward and reveal unmistakably their allegiance to the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Such men make their wills and plans subordinate to the law of God.  For love of Him, they count not their lives dear unto themselves.  Their work is to catch the light from the Word, and let it shine forth to the world in clear, steady rays.  Fidelity to God is their motto.” — Prophets and Kings, pg. 148.   (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 1 p.2 -12)

 


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