Archive for July, 2019

Coming in the Clouds

July 13, 2019

Image result for Jesus coming in the clouds

The great hope for believers is the long sought after “coming in the clouds” of our King and Savior. Let us read–

“But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”(Matt. 14:61-62)

This, as we know, is what we are taught as basic Christianity 101. But there is advanced learning that must be accended to if you are a current member of God’s remnant church, those professing to be keeping the Commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus. In other words, if we are Seventh-day Adventists, there is present truth that will put in a clear timeline and focus on this “coming in the clouds”.

Briefly, as a personal testimony, when I first came into the SDA church, this was a basic understanding that I had and was confirmed by our church. The very “next” coming is to be His coming in the clouds with all glory and power.  In other words, our great hope and anticipation. 

Our leaders, nearly all of them, confirm this next coming and the following is a typical example of our belief.

Amazing Facts ––  “The Second Coming of Jesus is mentioned more than 300 times in the New Testament is the capstone of our teachings, it is essential to our identity as Seventh-day Adventists Christians. The doctrine is engraved in our name… without the promise of His coming our faith would be in vain, and indeed it would. This glorious truth gives us a sense of destiny and motivates our missionary outreach.

https://www.amazingfacts.org/media-library/media/e/10309/f/6/t/the-second-coming-of-jesus
(mark 13:57- 14:95)

But there is a precedent, a type, that indeed fits us SDA. That is the Jews of Christ’s day and their expectation of their King’s coming and how they taught this coming and neglected the truth of His real coming.

“As a nation the Jews had been growing prouder and prouder. They had made great boasts of their righteousness. They made broad their phylacteries, uttered long prayers in the market places, and gave alms to be seen of men. Their religion was formal, consisting of ordinances and purifications, rites and ceremonies. It was not heartfelt. Although they made their religious profession so very prominent, yet they did not scruple to grind the faces of the poor and to take advantage of them in every way possible.

This proud people could not think of acknowledging the lowly Nazarene as their Messiah. They knew that if they should take their position by the side of this humble man, all the surrounding nations would deride them and scoff at them. After having so loudly boasted of how they would be exalted when the Messiah should come, they could not think of recognizing the carpenter’s Son as the Messiah. Satan had blinded their eyes so they knew not what was for their good.” (Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, p.153)

So down through the centuries have we as God’s people learned from our past? Obviously not. Our SDA leaders continue to be generally destitute of the real knowledge of the Scriptures. The Lord’s Word tells us exactly of what His next coming will be —

 

“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.” (Malachi 3:1-5)

There are great jewels we gain from a close examination of these great prophetic words. Let us see.

1) A messenger is to come to His people before the great and dreadful day of the Lord. This rules out John The Baptist, as he did not come before that day. He was before the first advent only. As we know of only one place in all of Scripture that predicts someone to come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord, and that is “Elijah”. A male prophet.

2) We SDA are seeking Him, thinking as we have noted that He will come in the clouds, yet His word corrects us and says He will  “suddenly come to His temple”. He will come as a surprise to us (except not to those prepared for this sudden coming), and that is to His church (temple).

3) But there will be some who “stand” and some who will not. The complimentary Scripture for this understanding is found in Rev. 6: 15-17, let us read —

“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

The message explains more of these words above —

 

“In these verses are pictured the fate, the fear, and the smitten conscience of all who are not able to stand in the day of the Judgment of the living, the great and dreadful day of the Lord — the wrath of the Lamb in the great “time of trouble such as never was” (Dan. 12:1), the day following the appearance of the antitypical “Elijah the prophet” (Mal. 4:5) — yes, the day in which those who have not clad themselves in the wedding garment, are cast into outer darkness, there to gnash their teeth (Matt. 22:11-13).

   Also in these scripture (Rev. 6:14-17), asserts the Spirit of Truth, “two parties are brought to view.  One party permitted themselves to be deceived, and took sides with those with whom the Lord has a controversy.  They misinterpreted the messages sent them, and clothed themselves in robes of self-righteousness.” — Testimonies, Vol. 9, p. 268.” (Tract 15, p.56)

Thus the great and dreadful day of the Lord, the day in which judgment starts first in the house of God upon earth (1 Peter 4:17) will produce the Rev. 7-1:4 , 144,000, those who will “stand” in that day. Sad indeed to think we now have over 20 million SDA!

When questioned about this extremely small number, we often respond, how many were saved out of God’s first worldwide judgment upon His people? Eight from Noah’s many years of preaching!

In the great vast throng, some say over 1 million strong, who partook in the great exodus from Egypt, who over the age of 20 made it into the kingdom? Two, Joshua and Caleb!

These are solemn examples of the Lord not carelessly preserving those who will not listen to His prophets! This is why we time and again warn–LISTEN TO HIS ELIJAH PROPHET before it is too late!

4) We see why the Lord comes suddenly to His church, to purify His church  “like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.”

5) Then after His “strange act” (Isaiah 28:21) the church will finally please Him and “the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

6) He will draw near to us, meaning He will come to our very house, His house called by His name the Seventh-day Adventist church! he will then perform the great and dreadful day, as a “swift witness” against those who have not the wedding garment on.

So we see that just like the Jews of old, our leaders, from Doug Batchelor, Stephen Bohr, Mark Finley, 3 ABN, Amazing Facts performers, Stephen Wolberg, Kenneth Cox, and a slew of others, all are teaching us “Be ready Jesus is soon to come in the clouds, this is His next coming”. Wrong.

Be not confused the Lord WILL come in the clouds, but after He has first come invisibly to His church to produce His final Loud Cry servants, from His church purification to give the final message to the dying world.

“Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.

They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken?

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD. And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 13:3-9)

Color code Orange is our Lord/God the Father speaking, Blue is Scripture or Spirit of Prophecy, Brown is Elijah message as brought by Victor T. Houteff.

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What Is Religion?

July 6, 2019

TEXT FOR PRAYER
Parables-Links In The Chain Of Truth   I shall read from “Christ’s Object Lessons,” on page 17–

   “In Christ’s parable-teaching the same principle is seen as in His own mission to the world.  That we might become acquainted with His divine character and life, Christ took our nature, and dwelt among us…. Men could learn of the unknown through the known; heavenly things were revealed through the earthly; God was made manifest in the likeness of men.

So it was in Christ’s teaching: the unknown was illustrated by the known; divine truths by earthly things with which the people were most familiar…. Natural things were the medium for the spiritual; the things of nature and the life-experience of His hearers were connected with the truths of the written word.  Leading thus from the natural to the spiritual kingdom, Christ’s parables are links in the chain of truth that unites man with God, and earth with heaven.”

  Let us pray that we might understand Christ’s teachings of the unknown through the known — the heavenly things as revealed through the earthly; that we emulate Christ’s way of teaching, illustrating Divine truths by earthly objects; pray that we fully benefit by Christ’s parables — the outstanding links in the chain of Truth that unites earth with heaven.

 

WHAT IS RELIGION?

DOES IT PROFIT BOTH NOW AND HEREAFTER?

TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF, MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS  SABBATH, JULY 12, 1947 MT. CARMEL CHAPELWACO, TEXAS.

   If humanity needs to know any one thing above another, it is the answer to these two questions: What is religion?  Does it profit now and hereafter?

   Many think that religion consists of going to church, of praying, of having good morals, not stealing, not killing, not playing games, not gambling, not attending shows, not eating certain things, of doing or of not doing this, that, and the other.

   Others think religion is nothing more than some kind of a sociological order, and that the church is a place in which to get acquainted, etc., etc.  Let us see:

   Jesus was confronted by the rich young ruler, who said to Him, I have kept the commandments.  What yet must I do to enter into life eternal?  Here follows the answer:

Luke 18:22 — “Now when Jesus heard these things, He said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow Me.”

   To understand this scripture, we must read another one along with it:

John 3:1-3 — “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto Him, Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with him.  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

   Both the rich young man and Nicodemus were rulers, and though Nicodemus might not have been as rich as was the young man, he nevertheless was not poor.  But why was the one asked to distribute his riches to the poor, and the other told to be born again?  Why should not both pay the same price for salvation?  Here are the reasons:

   To avoid being seen in the company of Jesus, Nicodemus came to Him, not by day, but secretly by night, whereas the young ruler came to Jesus not only openly by day, but also while a multitude were with Jesus.  The rich young ruler’s basic hindrance, therefore, was his wealth, and Nicodemus’ basic hindrance was his pride.  Plainly, then, the one’s ailment called for one kind of treatment, and the other’s ailment called for another kind of treatment.

   Jesus never asked anyone to take His religion, but He asked them to “follow” Him, to be one of His disciples.  The rich young ruler could not follow the Lord because his heart was centered upon his own riches.  And Nicodemus could not follow the Lord because he was too proud to be seen in the company of unpopular and hated Jesus followed by humble fishermen. 

To remove the hindrances, the one had to get rid of his riches, and the other had to get rid of his pride.  To eradicate pride, one must be born again, must become a new man.  But to eradicate the love of money one must give his money to those who really need it.

   The Scriptures bear record that Abraham was very rich.  Yet he is called the “friend of God.”  Riches in themselves, therefore, can be a blessing, although they more often become a curse.  Pride, however, is never good.

   Remember that the Devil finds in every one of us at least one loop-hole.  Whatever that loop-hole be, it must be done away with — be it riches or be it pride.  Of course not all are rich and tied to their wealth, but everyone can be tied to himself, the “old man.”  And not all need give up riches, but all need cut loose from the “old man” who gets them into everything but what they ought to be in.

   Let us read again from John three–

John 3:4-8 — “Nicodemus saith unto Him, How can a man be born when he is old?  can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

   Nicodemus’ acknowledgment that Jesus was the Son of God made his case exceedingly bad.  Knowing who Jesus was, he should not have been ashamed to be seen in His company, nor should he have been afraid of His enemies.  He should have considered it a privilege to associate with the Son of God, with a Heavenly Being.  But inasmuch as Nicodemus was ashamed to be seen with Him, and was proud to be with Pharisees, he needed to bury the “old man,” and to arise in newness of life — needed to be born again.

   To the question, “How can a man be born when he is old?” Jesus answered, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus had to be baptized, had to publicly acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God, and receive the Spirit of Truth.

   And the illustration, “the wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit,” definitely points out that to really know what it is to be born of the Spirit is to have the experience of being one of His disciples, of being filled with the Holy Spirit, and of proclaiming His Truth.  Jesus, comparing His followers, those who are born again, with the wind, makes this fact still clearer; for if His disciples are like the wind, if no one knows where they come from and where they go to, then the only way to find out is to become one with them.

   For Jesus to become one with us He had to be born again; He had to become an earthly man.  And for us to be one with Him, we have to be born again, born of the Spirit.  The difference is that Jesus was first born a spiritual, a Divine being, and second a human being; whereas we are first born human beings, and second spiritual beings.  Prophetically speaking of Jesus’ birth, the prophet Isaiah wrote:

Isa. 66:7 — “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.”

   The Jewish church, the church into which and by which Jesus was born, Inspiration declares, neither travailed nor had pain; that is, she felt neither need of nor burden for a Saviour, and yet in spite of it, He was born.

   But speaking of the children that are to make up the Kingdom, we read:

Isa. 66:8 — “Who hath heard such a thing?  who hath seen such things?  Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day?  or shall a nation be born at once?  for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”

   Although the Jewish church in Jesus’ day travailed not, yet she brought forth the Son of God!  But when Zion travaileth she brings forth all her children at once, a whole nation!  A miracle in each instance.

   How may Zion travail? — Let us turn to the natural realm: In nature, the mother carries a child, then travails and gives birth to it.  How else, then, in the spiritual realm can Zion travail without first carrying her children before they are born?  To be specific, when one joins the church, she is pregnant with him so to speak.  When she is thus carrying her children, then they shall all be born at once, — they shall all at once receive their second birth, the birth here mentioned.

And as Inspiration makes it clear that they must be born again, they all at the outset must be in the same state of mind as was Nicodemus — ashamed to be seen in the company of present Truth believers, ashamed to be associated with believers of unpopular Truth.

   Plainly, then, our efforts to reach the people with the message of a “second birth” shall not be in vain: Zion shall bring forth all her children, as it were, in one day.  And that is why we cannot be driven to despair or to discouragement.  We are assured that “revival and reformation” will take place among all God’s people, that His word will not return unto Him void.

   Now, who could the children be? — To be children of Zion, they must some day stand on Zion.  They are therefore none other than the “firstfruits” of whom the Revelator says: “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads.” Rev. 14:1.

   From the Scriptures it is now clearly seen that in this instance when one joins the church, the church becomes pregnant with that member.  Thus it is that from the time one becomes a member of the church to the time he is “born again,” he is spiritually developing for the hour of this second birth.  Then, after he is “born again” he is still to keep on growing until he becomes a full-grown, matured, spiritual being — a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of Christ, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. 

Accordingly, this state of being no one has as yet reached, but the time is now at hand when a multitude shall reach it, for says the Lord: Isa. 66:9 — “Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth?  saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb?  saith thy God.”

   This scripture endeavors to remove all doubt.  Let us believe the Lord and know for certain that the time for this particular new birth is here and that the Lord can and will make it possible regardless how it may appear to us.

   From this study we see that religion is not made up of must’s and don’t’s; that no one is to be tied to a man, but to God’s ever unfolding Truth; that religion means to be following the Lord, and to be doing those things which He leads one to do; that from the time one accepts the Lord as his Saviour, — from that very time he is to begin to grow spiritually, first to be born again, then to become a full-grown spiritual being, not all at once, but to be growing daily. 

To reach such a high state of perfection, one must therefore be perfecting himself daily and be in keeping with the Truth of God, that each spark of Truth might add the amount of spiritual growth the season requires, or else one will fall behind in reaching spiritual maturity.  Only thus can one be reaping all the benefits which religion affords.

   No, religion is not something extra, something optional.  It is something which everyone must have.  A true and up-to-date religion is something as essential as the eyes in your head.

   For examples let me take you through the stream of time, beginning with Noah.  His religion not only saved him and his family from drowning in the terrible flood, but also made him become the progenitor of the world after the flood, — yes, the progenitor of our world.  The world in his day, though, perished because it felt no need of an up-to-date religion, no need of present Truth.  What a shame!  What nonsense for one to try to get along without religion, without God’s counsel, and without the message of the hour!

   Let us take a look at another highlight in Bible history. The mother of Moses believed in up-to-date religion.  She believed that the time had come for the deliverance of the Hebrew race, and she did all she could to make it possible.  When she saw that she could no longer hide her infant son from the hand of Pharaoh, she let her religion do the rest.  The results were great, not only did she receive her son again in her arms forever saved from being thrown into the Nile, but also a guarantee for his support, education, and all — the best Egypt could afford — were paid from Pharaoh’s treasury!  The right kind of religion, you see, does great things.

   Eighty years later Moses’ religion led the whole Hebrew nation from the brick yards of Pharaoh to the Red Sea.  The sea parted for their sake, and as soon as they passed through, it closed in on their taskmasters.  What a deliverance!  What a victory!

   Moreover, as those millions of men, women, and children, also their cattle, came into that forbidding desert place where there was neither food nor water, religion made the rocks gush with streams, and the clouds drop down manna — not for a day, nor for a month, but for forty long years!  Then the miracle of the Red Sea was repeated at the river Jordan, and the emancipated brick-makers became prophets, kings, and priests!

Notwithstanding all these great happenings, when they became careless and indifferent, when they felt no need of prophets, no need of present Truth, no need of meat in due season, they again became slaves and captives!  That is why we need the right kind of religion, and that is why we need to stick to religion and to grow with it.

   The Jews were taken captive and carried into Babylon.  Nevertheless, those who were faithful to their religion were well taken care of even in their captivity.  Daniel, for instance, rather than serving as a slave, was instead treated as a lord, and was at last made a ruler by both the Chaldeans and the Medo-Persians.  And when he was for spite thrown into the lion’s den, he was spared, while his enemies were eaten up by the wild beasts.

   When the three Hebrews, for faithfulness to their religion, were thrown into the fiery furnace, the Son of God came and rescued them and not a hair of their heads perished.  Their enemies, though, were burned to death, but the Hebrews were made rulers in the kingdom.

   Gideon had to win a war.  After recruiting 22,000 soldiers, he was told that they were too many!  Consequently the time-killers were removed, and finally there were but three hundred left to fight against a multitude that covered the plain!  In spite of his small army, Gideon did win the war overnight, and without the loss of a man!  Religion, Brother, Sister, when lived up to, is a paying proposition.

   All could have been Daniels and Gideons.  Yes, even the Jews of today could have been something, but what are they? — A nation hated by all the people in the world, a nation without a king, without a flag, without a land, — the only such nation on earth.

   Now let me tell you of an experience that is strictly personal, and news to most of you.  Several years ago while I was crossing one of the busy streets of Los Angeles, California, a woman from my left drove squarely into me.  She then became so nervous that she could not stop her car but kept going for a half block.  The car, though, did not tip me over; an unseen hand carried me ahead of it.  And when the car stopped right at the alley which crossed the street, I stopped, too! 

By that time hundreds of spectators including news reporters and three motor cops, had gathered around the car.  As they found no one lying in the street, dead or wounded, they then decided the victim must have been pinned under the car.  When I told them that it was I who had been hit, they wondered.  As I told them that I was not hurt, and as I refused to be taken to the hospital, they made me raise up my hands and legs, and they asked dozens of questions.  The pencil in my coat pocket had been crushed by the impact of the car into about a dozen pieces, but my ribs were untouched!  Then one from among the crowd said, “He must be made of rubber.”

   Religion, you see, is better than an insurance policy.

   From our study we perceive that God’s power that protected life even in the fiery furnace and in the lion’s den, is still at work; that God is still as much interested in His people today as He was in Daniel’s or in any other day.  We therefore need an up-to-date religion every day.  We cannot afford to be without it, — no, not even for a moment.

   Timely Truth not only saves our souls for eternity, but It protects us from day to day.  It supplies our needs today and gives us hope for hereafter.  There is safety in nothing else, and faith in God is our only peace of mind, especially in this day and age.

   Religion obviously is profitable not only for hereafter, but certainly for today as well.  Do not play the fool by trying to get along without it. (Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 49, p.2-13)

 


 

 



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