Archive for October, 2019

Understanding Progressive New Light (Part 1 of 2)

October 26, 2019

Image result for Progressive new light from Scriptures

As faithful Bible students, we all should know the idea of progressing “new light”.  In other words the Scriptures are an evolving scroll of truth, allowing us to gain more and more understanding as we go through Its pages, front to back.

For example, in the time of Moses we saw that the Lord spoke through him to enlighten the people of the sacrificial and sanctuary services and its significance in pointing to Christ as the final and fulfilling sacrifice for humanity. The scroll soon unrolled further to say that, unlike in Moses’ time, the ceremonial services would no longer be needed in order to obey the Lord and His new progressive light (Truth). Apostle Paul makes that clear —

“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,  having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” (Col. 2:13-17)

Ah, but did you see something in that light that would later be adjusted and straightened out for God’s people today? As we read that we see a perfect example of progressing light from one time to another and even something that would be clarified in detail later (today).

Paul, at that time, was living among God’s people who were free to eat “meat”. At that time God allowed it to be partaken of. But progressive light later came through prophetess Ellen White and prophet Victor Houteff, as we see below.

“Greater reforms should be seen among the people who claim to be looking for the soon appearing of Christ. Health reform is to do among our people a work which it has not yet done. There are those who ought to be awake to the danger of meat-eating, who are still eating the flesh of animals, thus endangering the physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Many who are now only half converted on the question of meat-eating will go from God’s people to walk no more with them….. A diet of flesh meat tends to develop animalism. A development of animalism lessens spirituality, rendering the mind incapable of understanding truth.“(Counsels on Diet and Foods, p.382)

“Vegetables, fruits, and grains should compose our diet. Not an ounce of flesh meat should enter our stomachs. The eating of flesh is unnatural. We are to return to God’s original purpose in the creation of man.”—Manuscript 115, 1903 (Counsels on Diet, p.380)

“..while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, God provided them with manna. But when they murmured against it, and attributed its phenomenon only to circumstances, claiming that it was impossible to obtain flesh foods in the desert, He literally and angrily heaped quail upon them. At what price, though! Thousands died in order to teach the lesson that the manna was not the mere result of circumstances but rather a purposive Providence. For “while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague.” Num. 11:33.

Because the Exodus movement was to fit up a people to take the promised land and to set up the kingdom then, as we are now, they were charged to abstain from all flesh foods. And because John the Baptist bore an important message in his day (“Repent ye: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”–Matt. 3:2) similar to ours today, his diet was of honey and of the fruit of the locust tree. How much more important, then, as our types teach, that we who have the culminating message of the gospel, and who are the vanguard of the hosts of the eternal kingdom, defile not the temples of our souls with that which our types were forbidden to eat.” (Answerer, vol. 5, Q-148)

Thus we see that progressive light illuminated down through the ages to today. Our truth is not necessarily their truth, yet both were/are –truth.

Inspired Counsel

There is a real need among us advanced students of the unrolling scroll to know how we can understand certain difficult areas of the message.

The following shows some relevant quotes that the “restoring message” tells us about understanding difficult passages within God’s word (including SOP and the Rod). Here will be our basis on how to decipher and comprehend seemingly difficult and sometimes seemingly contradictory statements that we’ll show in part two.

“As no prophet’s writings ever predicted the entire Truth needed by the church to carry her clear through to the Kingdom, and as other prophets followed, either enlarging upon or adding to the prophecies already recorded in the Scriptures, then for anyone to turn down the good tidings of the Kingdom on the grounds that this phase of the Kingdom is not found in Sister White’s writings is for him to take the same inexcusable and fatal stand as did the Jews. It is to say, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” Rev. 3:17. It is this attitude that compels God to spue out of His mouth the lukewarm, satisfied Laodiceans.” (Answerer, vol. 2, p.77)

“...any statements incidental to a subject that is still out of sight in the unrolling of the scroll are made only in terms of truth as it is seen, or as it is commonly understood, not in terms of truth not seen. And if the understanding of that be wrong, the writer cannot be responsible for that which he has necessarily borrowed.

This circumstance is natural and common to every writer treating of present truth, even to the gospel writers, and will thus continue until every component part of the Truth is made known.

For example, John the Baptist’s message was to proclaim, not the setting up of the Kingdom, but the coming of the King. But while announcing the one, he incidentally had to make mention of the other. When speaking of the coming King, he expressed himself in terms of revealed truth. But when circumstantially alluding to the coming Kingdom, on which there was no light, he necessarily expressed himself in terms of the subject as then commonly understood.

Nevertheless, when the further unrolling of the scroll revealed that the Kingdom was not to be set up at that time, then the honest truth-seeking ones did not accuse either John or Christ, but joyously watched the scroll unfold, and jubilantly marched on with the Truth. Not so, though, with the vast majority of the Jews. Their pride of opinion forbidding them to forgo their errors and to embrace advancing Truth, they went deeper into error, rather than rising higher in truth!” (Sym. Code, vol. 7, no. 7-12, p.21-22)

“…the end-products of Inspiration fall into one of two categories– either Inspiration of words or Inspiration of ideas. To illustrate specifically: an angel appears and says to one, “The Lord is at such and such a time to do thus and thus with His people. Speak unto them this message, and show it unto them from the Scriptures of truth, for the prophets have therein spoken it of old.” The angel’s message must be delivered with fidelity to the idea; though obviously the choice of words, aside from the quotations, is necessarily left to the messenger. Consequently, anytime he sees the possibility of making the inspired idea stand forth more clearly and powerfully, the messenger is under deepest moral obligation to revise his language. Only thus can the stream of inspired ideation become progressively more lucid and beautiful.

Still further, there are circumstances in connection with certain aspects of every message which necessitate clarification. Such clarification, however, can be no greater than the light which shines at the time. And the light may come solely from within the message itself, or, again, it may derive from a limited understanding common to the time “then present”–an understanding which the messenger himself shares….Inspiration, moreover, always brings the messengers of God into perfect harmony, never into division.” (Answerer, vol. 1, p.48-49,51)

 

“ Let us remember always to observe the inviolable rule that an interpretation of one inspired statement must harmonize with all other related statements.”(Answerer , vol. 3, question 56)

“While Ezekiel calls them “men,” John says they are “virgins.” (Rev. 14:4.) Now, if we should take the position that Ezekiel means men only, then we can as well say, John means women only. Can it be possible that one writer should contradict the other? No indeed.”(Shepherd’s Rod. vol. 2, p.167)

  Wow, now that is so much information and counsel in understanding progressive light! Let us breakdown the main points we learn —

1. No prophet wrote all the light for us.

2. Later prophets came and either enlarged upon the light given or they added to it.

3. Prophets sometimes make writings that agree with the “commonly understood” understanding of that day. Though this may not be the full light on that subject which comes later.

4. Inspired messengers are harmonious, not divided. In other words, we must strive to see the underlying harmony that exists.

5. Interpretation of one inspired statement must harmonize with all other related statements. One writer of God’s inspired writings should not contradict the others.

With this counsel, we shall look at three areas of the Lord’s Rod message next week, in relation to SOP that sometimes makes people scratch their heads, even throw up their hands and say “well one is wrong the other is right..” Or they say “one had correct light the other had incorrect light”. Both of these lines of thought are not in harmony with our above divine counsel. There is a right way to understand these difficult areas according to Inspiration.

More Counsel for us —

“But no man, however honored of Heaven, has ever attained to a full understanding of the great plan of redemption, or even to a perfect appreciation of the divine purpose in the work for his own time. Men do not fully understand what God would accomplish by the work which He gives them to do; they do not comprehend, in all its bearings, the message which they utter in His name.” (GC, p.343)

“Some who are anxious to risk Present Truth on the weight of what one inspired statement seems to say or imply, are thereby presumptuously or very ignorantly overlooking the “weight of evidence.” Others are doing this through shortsightedness, while still others are doing it to prop up certain cherished ideas of their own.” (Answerer ,vol. 3, p.41-42)

 

Next week, God willing, we’ll conclude with part 2 ….

 

 

 

 

Nations see Edom perish, Desert bloom, and a highway to Zion

October 19, 2019

TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, APRIL 5, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
WACO, TEXAS

TEXT FOR PRAYER “Do Ye Even So To Them”

Our reading this afternoon is found on pages 192 and 193 of “The Mount of Blessing”–

“On the assurance of the love of God toward us, Jesus enjoins love to one another, in one comprehensive principle covering all the relations of human fellowship.

“The Jews had been concerned about what they should receive; the burden of their anxiety was to secure what they thought their due of power and respect and service. But Christ teaches that our anxiety should not be, How much are we to receive? but, How much can we give? The standard of our obligation to others is found in what we ourselves would regard as their obligation to us.

“Every one who has been made a steward of the manifold grace of God, is called upon to impart to souls in ignorance and darkness, even as, were he in their place, he would desire them to impart to him….

“So also with the gifts and blessings of this life: whatever you may possess above your fellows, places you in debt, to that degree, to all who are less favored.”

What shall we pray for this afternoon? — That we may imbibe the great principle of the Golden Rule, and realize that our concern should not be as to how much we are to receive, but as to how much we can give. Let us pray for understanding that the standard of our obligation to others is found in what we personally would regard as their obligation to us; and also that whatever we possess above our fellowmen places us to that degree in debt to those less favored.

NATIONS SEE EDOM PERISH, DESERT BLOSSOM, AND A HIGHWAY TO ZION

Our subject for this afternoon is found in Isaiah 34 and 35. Last week, you recall, we studied the thirty-third chapter, the Lord’s burden concerning the church as she approaches the time of “harvest,” — the time the “wheat” is put into the barn, and the “tares” burned (Matt. 13:30); the time the “good fish” are put into “vessels” and the “bad fish” cast out (Matt. 13:47-49) as are those who have not the “wedding garment” on (Matt. 22:1-13). Continuing now into the thirty-fourth chapter, we there see that God invites the nations of the world to draw near and to hear His mighty work of refining:

Isa. 34:1-3 — “Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies: He hath utterly destroyed them, He hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.”

Why does God invite the nations of all the earth to draw near and to hear? — That they might consider His indignation against the wicked in His church and know what to expect when His Judgment spreads out among all nations; that they might know what to expect when His refining work begins among them; that they might therefore beforehand count the cost. His judgment, He declares, is already pronounced upon the armies of the world — “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”–1 Pet. 4:17.

Isa. 34:4 — “And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.”

While verse 3 points out that the solemn events of this chapter take place in a day of gigantic world-wide armament program, verse 4, being parallel with Revelation 6:14, it reveals that they take place in the period of the sixth seal, in the days of the sealing of the 144,000 and the gathering of the innumerable multitude out of all nations, the seal that we are now living in. The sixth seal may overlap the seventh.

Isa. 34:5-11 — “For My sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of My curse, to judgment. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.

For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and He shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.”

The immediate curse, we see, rests upon Idumea. Antitypically speaking, it is the land of the antitypical Esauites — those who by rights should have kept the office which the antitypical Jacobites take away from them. They so underestimate its value that they, like Esau of old, sell their rights for a dish of red pottage as it were. (For further study on the subject, see “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 1, pp. 52-111.)

Isa. 34:12 — “They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing.”

Evidently after the destruction falls upon Idumea, none of her so-called nobles shall be found there to participate in the exodus (Isa. 11:11) to the antitypical Kingdom (the church purified), and her princes shall be as nothing. Then, it must be that those who escape and enter into the Kingdom are mostly from among the common people, those from the streets and the lanes (Luke 14:16-21).

“…In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self- sufficient, independent of God, and he cannot use them.” — “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 5, pg. 80. “…Only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [the Third Angel’s Message] when it shall have swelled into the Loud Cry.” — “Review and Herald,” Nov. 18, 1908.

Isa. 34:13-15 — “And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls. The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate.”

God does not forsake the earth. He does not forgo His power nor His interest in Truth and righteousness. He does not let the world go into oblivion. What He does do, though, is make examples of some in order to save many others, for when the judgments of God are upon the earth, the inhabitants will learn righteousness. (Isa. 26:9.)

Is it armament then that the nations of today need for peace and security? Is atomic war to be their fear? — What they need to fear is “the sword of the Lord,” for His “sword shall be bathed in heaven,” “it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of [His] curse.” They need not fear anything if they fear the Lord. Let them make Him their fear, their dread and protection (Isa. 8:13). So He commands:

Isa. 34:16 — “Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for My mouth It hath commanded, and His Spirit It hath gathered them.”

God here counsels us to search the Bible and to implicitly believe that not one of Its prophecies shall fail, — no, not one shall fail to follow another in its turn. And why should we have this confidence? — Because God Himself has commanded, and because His Spirit, not the wisdom or efforts of men has gathered into a single volume, the writings of the prophets of old, “the book of the Lord” — the non-sectarian Bible as we know It today.

Isa. 34:17 — “And He hath cast the lot for them, and His hand hath divided it unto them by line: they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation shall they dwell therein.”

Regardless whether we take this verse to say that the wild beasts “shall possess it forever,” or whether we take it to say that those who seek “out of the book of the Lord” “shall possess it forever,” our greatest concern must be to personally acquaint ourselves with the Lord and His Truth if we would gain His favor and find a shelter in this time of trouble.

“Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a Man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isa. 32:1, 2.

Now we shall go on into the thirty-fifth chapter of Isaiah, which is but a continuation of the thirty-fourth.

Isa. 35:1 — “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.”

What a difference when God manifests His power and purifies His church! Then the lands of the Gentiles (the wilderness) and the land of the heathen (the solitary place) shall both be glad to see God’s holy people. Finally as God’s Truth for this time penetrates throughout the lands where there are no Christians at all, the desert places shall blossom as the rose, so to speak, and thus yield an abundant harvest of souls.

Isa. 35:2-4 — “It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; He will come and save you.”

This great commission and opportunity to proclaim God’s soon coming vengeance are ours. We must not fail to take advantage of these privileges. With the mighty message for this time we must strengthen the weak; we must make firm the knees that are giving out. Those who are unable to stand up and to hold their own must be strengthened. We must reassure the fearful that God is to come with vengeance against the unbelieving and with recompence for the faithful.

Isa. 35:5, 6 — “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams [of truth] in the desert.”

When these things take place, then it will be just as natural for the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to leap, and the dumb to sing, yes, as natural as blossoms are followed with fruit. God’s Truth for this time is to spread everywhere and reap a great harvest of souls.

“I saw jets of light shining from cities and villages, and from the high places and the low places of the earth. God’s word was obeyed, and as a result there were memorials for Him in every city and village. His truth was proclaimed throughout the world.” — “Testimonies”, Vol. 9, pg. 28. If but one soul saved from every city and village there would be several times 144,000 living souls.

Isa. 35:7 — “And the parched ground [the places which are now entirely devoid of Truth] shall become a pool, and the thirsty land [the land that thirsts for God’s Truth] springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.”

There shall be fruitage, you see, even where the dragons lie.

Isa. 35:8 — “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.”

None shall be left in the “wilderness,” for there shall be a highway for all the followers of God’s Truth. Matters not what the faithful be, illiterate or otherwise, they shall not err therein. Indeed, all the “wheat” shall be gathered and put into the “barn,” the Kingdom. (See Tract No. 3, “The Judgment and the Harvest.”)

Isa. 35:9 — “No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there.”

Once the hypocrites are taken out, they shall not be allowed to return and to endanger the peace of God’s people. Only the redeemed shall walk on the Highway of Holiness. And where does the Highway lead? — The next verse gives the answer:

Isa. 35:10 — “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

Yes, the Highway leads to Zion. With songs and everlasting joy shall the redeemed enter therein, never more to sorrow or to sigh. “For He cometh, to judge the earth; He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His Truth.” Ps. 96:13.

Brother, Sister, the sacrifices we may be called to make are as nothing in comparison to the privilege of heading for Zion via the Highway of Holiness. Ponder upon this, then act. Let nothing deter you from complying with God’s Truth for this time — the day in which the nations see Edom perish and the desert blossom. Act now while the highway to Zion is in preparation.

“We all went under the tree and sat down to look at the glory of the place, when Brethren Fitch and Stockman, who had preached the gospel of the kingdom, and whom God had laid in the grave to save them, came up to us and asked us what we had passed through while they were sleeping. We tried to call up our greatest trials, but they looked so small compared with the far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory that surrounded us that we could not speak them out, and we all cried out, ‘Alleluia, heaven is cheap enough!’ and we touched our glorious harps and made heaven’s arches ring.” — “Early Writings,” p. 17. (Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 35, page 18 – page 26)

 

Update on the Middle East – Iran’s back pushed to the Wall

October 12, 2019

Sardar Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

As many present truth believers know, we are right in the middle of a precautious situation, even a perilous one to be sure. The hotbed known as the Middle East is ready to explode. This one area, we are told, is to be our focus right now. The message tells us so —

 “O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.”

   Here in prophetic utterance is not only a promise to purify the church when modern Assyria is being crushed, but also a suggestive statement as to what constitutes “meat in due season” for men today; and as to what movement they are to enlist in if they would make sure of salvation.  They are enjoined to fix their vision upon the feet of him who brings “good tidings” (message from the Lord), who publishes “peace” (the peace of Christ’s Kingdom), and who declares that while the powers of earth are engulfed in a gigantic war, the wicked in the church shall be cut off, no more to pass through her.” (Tract 14, p.22) 

So this being so, we thought we would look at the latest developments in the area. Just a few days ago President Trump announces the complete pullout of  US armed forces in Syria. Announcing that we are done with our mission to eliminate ISIS there (although it was Russia who actually defeated ISIS) and to let the local nations take control of their area.

As we have posted before the area has basically two opposing Blocs, the Western and Eastern Blocs. Nations forming together, even loosely, to take a stance on which side they stand. One of those Eastern block countries–Iran, we believe will play a major role in the upcoming gigantic war.

For a quick update in the nations forming sides, we see Iran, Syria, and Turkey being the regional Eastern Bloc leaders. Of course, they have their “firepower” fellow Eastern Bloc nations–Russia and China as their “big brothers” so to speak.

Recently Turkey met with Iranian and Russian diplomats to work out a “final settlement” for the war in Syria. However, a recent report by Ilan Goldenberg, a former senior official under the Obama administration and now a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a think tank, said —

“The real power brokers in Syria are Iran and Russia,”

As we said make no mistake about it, Iran will turn out to be a key player in the Lord’s final prophecy of the following —

“Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’S anger come upon you. Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hidden in the day of the LORD’S anger. For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up. Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.” (Zeph. 2:1-5)

The Eastern Bloc is prophesied to win this gigantic war, and Iran, along with Russia, Syria, Turkey, China, and others shall be victorious in achieving the Lord’s desire to return His land to His people. The USA has been complicit with the “King of the North “.The message tells us whoever controls the Holy Land is the King of the North. For a good 100 years the Rothschild’s dynasty, from Great Britain, has ruled the Holy Land (the Zionists). But the Eastern Bloc shall soon destroy the current controllers.

However, the Eastern Bloc does not experience the victory for themselves but are used as tools for the Lord’s purposes. Let us read —

 

“And the Lord answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words. So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction. Therefore thus saith the Lord; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.

Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem. Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.

And the Lord shewed me four carpenters. Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.” (Zech. 1: 14-21)

 I lifted up my eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand.  Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof. And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him, And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein:

 For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her. Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the Lord: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the Lord. Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.

For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.

And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee. And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.”(Zech. 2:1- 13)

Back to Iran, we see the “screws” being tightened hard. The US sanctions are certainly straining their oil income to very low levels. As we spoke before on this, the GB/USA Hegemony is upset that Russia, Turkey, and Iran have basically defeated them through their takeover attempt on Syria and their surrogates–ISIS.

The following was reported by The Western Journal —

 

“Top leaders in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps are lobbing fresh threats at Israel, with the commander of the IRGC saying Iran now has the ability to wipe Israel off the map.

Gen. Hossein Salami made his threats against Israel on Monday in a speech to fellow IRGC leaders, according to Fox News.

“This sinister regime must be wiped off the map and this is no longer … a dream (but) it is an achievable goal,” Salami said.”

Iran’s intentions are clear if they are pushed much more they have every intention of targeting Israel. And if this is done we know the USA, being Israel’s closet friend will not sit idly by. A snowball effect will occur and that “gigantic war” predicted in God’s word will happen.

Let’s keep our eye on the ball. This hotbed could ignite at any moment.

 

Faith in the Prophets

October 5, 2019

A THOUGHT FOR PRAYER   I shall read from The Mount of Blessing, page 168, beginning where we left off last Sabbath.

   “The one thing essential for us in order that we may receive and impart the forgiving love of God is to know and believe the love that He has to us.  Satan is working by every deception he can command, in order that we may not discern that love.  He will lead us to think that our mistakes and transgressions have been so grievous that the Lord will not have respect unto our prayers, and will not bless and save us. 

In ourselves we can see nothing but weakness, nothing to recommend us to God, and Satan tells us that it is of no use; we can not remedy our defects of character.  When we try to come to God, the enemy will whisper It is of no use for you to pray; did not you do that evil thing?  Have you not sinned against God, and violated your own conscience?  But we may tell the enemy that ‘the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.’  When we feel that we have sinned and can not pray, it is then the time to pray.  Ashamed we may be, and deeply humbled; but we must pray and believe….”

   Here is seen that it is Satan’s studied purpose to discourage us, to make us think that God does not love us, and that He cannot save us from our sins.  We are therefore to resist the whisperings of the Enemy.  When we see ourselves as sinners, then is the very time for us to come to God, and to accept His love and to fully believe in Him.

   We should now pray for an absolute realization that God is in business to save sinners, of whom we are chief.  That it matters not how deep in sin we may be, if we but depart from evil and choose to do good He will gladly grant us forgiveness.

 

THE JEWS AND THE CHRISTIANS’FAITH IN THE PROPHETSTEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTSSABBATH, NOVEMBER 16, 1946MT. CARMEL CHAPELWACO, TEXAS   Let us turn to the writings of the gospel prophet whom the Jews so maliciously sawed asunder.

Isa. 1:18, 19 — “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.  If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.”

   With this Divine recommendation for God’s professed people, the gospel prophet was instructed to introduce his book. And now that we are living in the present-day application of his prophecies, we dare not neglect to comply with Inspiration’s sound and fair recommendation.  Our first step shall be to honestly and unbiasedly consider the successes and the failures of those who have gone before us.

   Let us beforehand refresh our minds with the Jews’ attitude toward the prophets: Rather than going with the purpose of learning and reasoning, the Jews went to the prophets with prejudiced minds, with malice, with hatred in their hearts, and with instruments of cruelty.  (We must not.)  This evil spirit was prevalent among the Jews throughout their history.  It was manifested even against Moses although for forty years he led the Hebrew host with Divine signs and wonders all the way from the brickyards of Egypt to the borders of the promised land.

   The remnant finally crossed the Jordan only because they whole-heartedly believed that Moses was God’s mouth piece, and because they ceased murmuring, took and obeyed orders.  The Hebrews ever after deeply cherished his writings, and this reverent regard for the Pentateuch continued among the Jews even to the days of Christ.  As a man of God and as the nation’s emancipator and founder of its sacred ceremonies, Moses was highly esteemed by all.

   Ironically, though the prophets that followed after Moses were rejected by the Jewish nation as a whole.  Those who survived in the Babylonian captivity did accept the prophets Haggai and Zechariah only because they were the founders of the movement then on foot as was Moses in his day.

   The Jews, according to their own way of reasoning, were honest, though blind, in concluding that they had no need of prophets, because as they saw it, Moses’ writings were complete, there was nothing lacking in them: They contained both the civil and religious laws.  They, therefore, saw no need for greater light and no need of another prophet.  Through their unbelief in the prophets, they failed to see that their kingdom was only a type of a greater one to come, they failed to see that God’s Truth is progressive and ever unfolding, that each generation has to have added Truth especially adapted to meet their particular needs.  Their blindness to this was their basic sin that led them on to ruin.

   While the Jews boasted of their faith in Moses’ writings, Jesus reprehended them by saying: “…had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me.” John 5:46.  He had reference to–

Deut. 18:15 –“The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken.”

   Of the coming Messiah Zechariah also wrote:

Zech. 9:9 — “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”

   Though they professed to believe in both Moses and Zechariah yet they gave no heed to any of these passages, and ever since a curse has rested upon them.

   In rejecting the prophets the Jews thought they were surely keeping out of deception, and thought that they were thus actually loyal to Moses’ writings and consequently to God.  This they believed as much in Jesus’ day as Israel believed in Elijah’s day.

   Let us now note that they fell into ruin only because they refused to give heed to the prophets who were sent to reform their ways, to correct their erroneous interpretations of Moses’s writings and to lighten the path of their feet the rest of the way — clear to Paradise.  Having deprived themselves of the gift of the Spirit of Prophecy by doing away with the prophets, they completely cut off Heaven’s communication line and were thus left in gross darkness and led into error, fanaticism, and crime.  They became self-sufficient, proud, boastful, and high minded.

They felt rich and increased with goods, in need of nothing more.  Thus it was that their perversions of the Scriptures by their uninspired interpretations of them caused them to lose the way, and finally to reject and even to crucify their own long-expected Redeemer.

   Of Moses’s writings the Jews made a mighty weapon against Christ and the prophets of that day.  They were, however, at one time or another forced to acknowledge that their dead fathers were guilty of the blood of the prophets.  The same is true today.  Many admit that sectarianism is thriving on uninspired interpretations of the Scriptures, yet they expect no inspired interpreters for this day.  They thus reject the antitypical prophet Elijah even before his appearance though the Scriptures definitely predict his coming before the great and dreadful day of the Lord, before the Judgment of the Living commences.

   If we accept Inspiration’s counsel and come and reason together while we are examining our own standing with the prophets, then an excellent place to begin is

Gen. 49:10 — “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

   Here Moses wrote that the gathering of the people shall be unto Judah, and that when Shiloh comes, Judah shall have a king and a lawgiver of her own.  Do we as Seventh-day Adventists believe in this particular part of Moses’ writings?  If not, then we have no better standing with Moses than did the Jews.

To examine our standing with the rest of the prophets, we need not depart from the subject which Moses has introduced in the scripture just quoted.  Mark that between the writings of Moses and of Isaiah, the Bible contains the records of history, the judges and the kings.  Isaiah, then, is the next prophet after Moses that we shall go to.

Isa. 2:1, 2 — “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.  And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.”

   Not to Takoma Park, not to Mt. Carmel Center, not to some other place, but to house of Judah and Jerusalem shall the final converts from all nations flow.  Isaiah you plainly see absolutely confirms that the gathering of the people shall be unto Judah.  Do you?

   Jeremiah being the next prophet to Isaiah, we shall read

Jer. 31:6 — “For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God.”

   “Mount Ephraim,” you know, is the location of the ancient ten-tribe kingdom, Israel.  According to this scripture, the kingdom of Israel, which is still lost among the nations, shall some day emerge from the four corners of the earth and gladly join the kingdom of Judah.  So shall the gathering of the people be.

Jer. 31:7, 8 — “For thus saith the Lord; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save Thy people, the remnant of Israel.  Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.”

   Jeremiah discloses that the gathering unto Judah shall be from the four corners of the earth.  Indeed, Jeremiah, Moses and Isaiah, all three, speak alike on the subject.  The question is, Do you believe what they say?  If not, are you then better than were the Jews?

   Next we are to test our standing with the prophet Ezekiel.

Ezek. 36:17-27 — “Son  of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their  own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings:  their way was before Me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.  Wherefore I poured My fury upon them for the blood that they had shed  upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: and I scattered them among the  heathen, and they were dispersed  through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.   And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned My holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of  His land.   But I had pity for Mine holy name, which  the house  of Israel  had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.

   “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for Mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.  And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.  For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 

Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.”

   What more could Inspiration say to make the subject clearer?  God plainly and solemnly promised to recreate and to rebuild the ancient kingdom, to set it up in its own land.  This He is to do after Judah and Israel are scattered among the Gentile nations, and assimilated by them — after they have lost their racial identity — then as Christians, not as Jews, He is to gather them from the four corners of the earth and to bring them to their own land.  (And moreover, the Scriptures teach that they are as the sand of the sea for multitude.)  This He is to do, you note, not because they are worthy, not because they had been good before or during their dispersion among the Gentiles, but because He is anxious to sanctify His Own name among the heathen.

   Still further, after He gathers them from all countries and brings them into their own land, then it is that He promises to cleanse them eternally from their filthiness and from their idolatry — to remove all the defects that sin has wrought upon them.  Then it is that He gives them a new heart, puts His Spirit upon them and enables them to unavoidably keep His judgments.  Mark carefully that regardless of our ideas and opinions all these things take place after God’s people return to their father’s land.

   The 144,000 descendants of Jacob, whose fathers were assimilated by the Gentile nations and who thus down through the centuries lost their racial identity, are the first fruits, the first to be gathered unto Judah.  They are those who stand on “Mount Zion with the Lamb.” Rev. 14:1.  The faithful descendants of the Jews who composed the early Christian church, and who also lost their national identity by naming themselves Christians (Acts 11:26), are also to be gathered from everywhere and brought unto Judah.

   Finally, if these prophecies are not to be fulfilled, as the angel of the Laodicean church supposes, and if God’s people are not to return to their homeland, then how will they ever be cleansed from their filthiness since the cleansing is to be done there only?  How will they ever have their hearts changed?  And what is to make them keep His statutes and judgments unless, as promised, beforehand receive His Spirit in the Promised Land?  Indeed, if these prophecies fail, then how will God’s people ever be able to stand before a pure and holy God? 

And how will they ever obtain immortality and be on schedule for translation if they do not comply with the prophecies, with His expressed will and plan for His people?  And if they ignore these prophecies, the fulfillment of which is during the Judgment for the Living, the harvest, the gathering time, what chance do they then stand to survive that great and dreadful day of the Lord?

To be more specific, if the denomination fails to recognize and accept these promises, then where are the laity to be led from here on?  Certainly not to the Kingdom if their leaders do not believe in It.  Do you now believe in Moses, in Isaiah, and Ezekiel?  Or do you rather still believe in fables devised by men?

   Next to Ezekiel is the prophet Daniel.  Incidentally, let us remind ourselves that to begin with, Daniel did not prophesy to the Jews, but to the Chaldeans and to the Medes and Persians.  The Jews accepted him as God’s servant only as they saw his prophecies fulfilled.  The great question before us, however, is, Do we fully believe in the prophet Daniel’s writings?  Let us see.

Dan. 2:44, 45 — “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.  Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”

   On Daniel’s own word, the stone is symbolical, not of something else, but of the Kingdom, the which in the parable of the wheat and tares Jesus calls “barn,” the place into which He is to put the wheat (saints) after it is separated from the tares (Matt. 13:30).  Now mark carefully that according to Daniel’s interpretation the stone depicts the Kingdom, the which God shall set up not after the days of these kings, but in their days, and that the stone Kingdom Itself, not something else, shall break the great image.  If our interpretation of the stone contradicts Daniel’s interpretation of it, then we do not only reject Daniel’s inspiration, but even misconstrue the Word of God!  We better not.  We now come to the prophet Hosea.

Hosea 1:11; 3:5 — “Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel…. Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.”

   Can one believe Hosea on the subject of the Kingdom if he does not believe in the former prophets who taught exactly as he? — Of course not.

   We are now at Joel’s prophecies.

Joel 3:1, 2 — “For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for My people and for My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted My land.”

   When God frees the antitypical children of Judah and of Jerusalem, the church of today, and takes them back to their own land, then it is, you note, that He gathers all nations into the valley of Jehoshaphat.  There He is to judge them — to separate the good from the bad, (Matt. 13:47, 48), the sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:32).  And this work you must know is the work of the Judgment for all the living. 

Are we to reject Joel along with the prophets before him, and consequently the message of the Judgment for the Living after having for over a century preached the Judgment for the Dead?  Ponder over what the Scriptures say and thus make up your mind to forsake all other voices.  And what about your belief in the prophet Amos?  Let us read

Amos 9:9-15 — “For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.  All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.  In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by My name, saith the Lord that doeth this. 

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.  And I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.  And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.”

   Since Amos with even greater emphasis bears the same testimony as all the prophets before him, and since the language on the subject is crystal clear as is the language of all the prophets before him, so much so that it needs no comments, what shall we do with him?  We are now to read Obad. 1:15-18 —

“For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.  For as ye have drunk upon My holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.  But upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.  And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it.”

   In harmony with all the prophets before him, and in perfect clarity, Obadiah, too, relates that in the day the Lord destroys the heathen, in the day of harvest, or judgment, otherwise called the cleansing of the Sanctuary (Dan. 8:14) and the purification of the church (Mal. 3:1-3), and also the great and dreadful day of the Lord, there shall be deliverance upon Mount Zion, and the house of Jacob shall possess the wealth of the heathen.  Do you now believe in the testimony of Jesus through His prophets?  If not, then how can you say that you speak according to the “law and to the testimony” (Isa. 8:20)?  Ever remember that the law and the testimony always go hand in hand.

   The prophet Jonah is next in line, but we shall consider his prophecies when we come to the prophet Nahum.

   We shall now see what is to be done with the prophet Micah.

Micah 3:12; 4:1, 2 — “Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest:… But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.  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.”

   As emphatically as all the prophets before him, Micah declares that after the destruction of the Lord’s ancient “mountain,” (the kingdom), comes the reestablishment of it in the last days, and that peoples and nations shall flow unto it because the Law and the Word of the Lord shall go forth from Zion and from Jerusalem.  Shall you now close your ears and eyes against this promise?  or do you as servants of God intend to get there with the first fruits?  I hope it is the latter.  We now come to the prophecy of Nahum:

Nah. 1:12, 13, 15 — “…Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more.  For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder…. Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace!  O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.”

   Nahum’s burden is concerning the restoration, and the fall of Assyria, the powers which rule them in the day He restores the latter-day Kingdom of Judah; in the day He breaks the Assyrian yoke, in the day He bursts asunder the bands that bind His people.  In that day He sends His messenger to bear good tidings to His people, tidings of peace while the world is upset with wars. Through His messenger He is urging His people to perform their vows, for He is to take away the wicked from among them.  Assyria is to vacate and give room to Judah.  “For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.” Isa. 30:31.  Now He pleads:

   “Turn ye unto Him from Whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted.  For in that day [in the day Assyria falls] every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin. Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited.  And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, Whose fire is in Zion, and His furnace in Jerusalem.” Isa. 31:6-9.

   The purification (Judgment), here you see, is conducted from Zion and Jerusalem.  And through Malachi asks the Spirit, “But who may abide the day of his coming?  and who shall stand when he appeareth?  for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ sope: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi [the ministry], and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Mal. 3:2, 3.  Do you accept Nahum?  And since Jonah’s prophecy is a counterpart of Nahum’s, then if you reject Nahum, you automatically reject Jonah, too.

   The prophet Habakkuk was told to “write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run who readeth it.”

Hab. 2:3 — “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

   Then Habakkuk prayed, saying,

Hab. 3:12, 13 — “Thou didst march through the land in indignation, Thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.  Thou wentest forth for the salvation of Thy people, even for salvation with Thine anointed; Thou woundest the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck.  Selah.”

   Can we in faith pray for the same thing Habakkuk prayed? — That the Lord go forth for the salvation of His people, that the vision be fulfilled without delay, and that we run to proclaim the good tidings?  If not, then truly we spurn Habakkuk also.

   Let us see what Zephaniah has to say concerning the latter day house of Judah — the mountain of the Lord.

Zeph. 2:5-7 — “Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites!  the word of the Lord is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.  And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.  And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the Lord their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.”

Since Zephaniah’s prophecy is also definite that the Lord is to re-establish the kingdom of Judah, and since it, too, needs no comment, we shall quickly pass to Zechariah’s prophecy.

Zech. 1:20, 21 — “And the Lord shewed me four carpenters. Then said I, What come these to do?  And He spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.”

   Once God raised “horns,” nations, to scatter His people throughout the Gentile nations, but those “horns” in the restoration of “all things,” are seen to become “carpenters,” so that while they as horns at long last cast the Gentiles out from the promised land, they are as carpenters to build for Judah.  Thus Zechariah, as do all the prophets before him, prophesies of the restoration of the kingdom of Judah.  Now we shall read from Malachi, the last of the Old Testament prophets.

Mal. 3:1-3 — “Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, Whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.  But who may abide the day of his coming?  and who shall stand when he appeareth?  for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ sope: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.”

If, in the face of the plain and unquestionable teachings of all the prophets, we as Seventh-day Adventists fail to give heed to the truth of the Purification of the church (the Kingdom here dealt with), the message of the Judgment for the Living and of the restoration of the kingdom of Judah — the sanctuary for the purified ones, — then certainly others will have to take our places in proclaiming it.  Then along with the Jews we will have to bear the guilt of rejecting all the prophets since the world began.  Why? — Because unless we actually believe all that they have written, our merely pretending to believe in them means as much to Heaven as the faith of the Jews in the writings of Moses meant to the Lord.  What!  Preaching the gospel of the Kingdom but denying the Kingdom Itself!

   In closing I shall read from Early Writings, in the chapter entitled “The Loud Cry.”

   “This message [that is the message that makes the Loud Cry] seemed to be an addition to the third message, joining it as the midnight cry joined the second angel’s message in 1844.” — Early Writings, pg. 277.  And on page 118 we read: — “I then saw the third angel.  Said my accompanying angel, ‘Fearful is his work.  Awful is his mission.  He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal, or bind, the wheat for the heavenly garner.  These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention.'”

   The author of these statements makes clear that the Loud Cry is not made by a lot of noise, but by an additional message, and that the third angel’s message in the end of the world, not the end itself, selects the wheat from the tares.  Who among you would be foolish enough to close his eyes and ears to the testimony of the prophets, and at last in consternation cry out, “The harvest is passed, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jer. 8:20.

   Now, if we as a church do not even so much as expect an additional message, besides rejecting the former prophets, then how much better is our attitude toward God and His prophets of today as well as of yesterday?

   The Jews wanted a kingdom of their own, a kingdom of this world (saint and sinner in it).  Yes, they wanted a kingdom on earth, but none in Heaven.  What is more, they wanted it two thousand years ahead of schedule.  Now, ironically, in the time of the restoration of the Kingdom, the Denomination takes an opposite attitude: It wants a kingdom in Heaven, but none on earth.  Indeed, it wants to board the “chariot” from Takoma Park.  And besides while the Lord says He is to save nations, the Denomination says “He is to save only 144,000 living sons of Jacob,” and consequently none of the sons of other nations!

   The Jews wanted nothing but what they wanted, and nothing is just what they got.  So it will be with the Denomination if this clear cut and extra Biblical Truth, and the example of the Jews does not help her see that she has drifted “to sea without chart or compass.” — Christ Our Righteousness, pg. 37 (1941 edition).  If she continues to want nothing but what she wants, it is certain that nothing is what she can expect.

   Pray tell, what more should one expect to get from partial belief in the prophets, from private human interpretation of the Scriptures, from a system of explaining away the Scriptures, of making mysteries of simple passages by the use of unknown manuscripts and sectarian translations?  Let us hold to “the book of the Lord” which His mouth hath commanded, and which manuscripts His “Spirit…hath gathered….” Isa. 34:16.

   Say anything you wish against the Jews, but my study tells me that we as Seventh-day Adventists are outdoing them in mischief.

   Moreover, it is now seen that our study of this afternoon is a summary of the message to the Laodiceans, who think that they are rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing more, though they have need of everything.  They had better awake to their poverty.

   To be sure, the present state of affairs does appear gloomy. Yet seeing that this dark and cloudy day holds forth a future of unsurpassing glory, let us with the prophet Habakkuk say: “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Hab. 3:17, 18.  Thus, just as the apostles defeated the enemy of the church in their day, likewise shall we defeat him in our day.

(Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 15, p.2-21)                        


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