Understanding Progressive New Light (Part 2 of 2)

Image result for Progressive new light from Scriptures

In part 2 we’ll look at three areas where, if one surface reads what SOP says and then what the Rod says, they would possibly think one is error and one is truth. But we learned from part one that they can be reconciled because of the understanding of progressive new light.

The Spirit of Prophecy message brought by our prophetess Ellen White, did not have much light on the pre-millennial kingdom. One of  SOP’s quotes concerning this topic is as follows –

First example — (The Pre-Millennial Kingdom)

WILL OLD JERUSALEM BE REBUILT?

Question No. 43:

How do you reconcile “The Shepherd’s Rod” teaching that the Davidian Kingdom is again to be set up in Palestine, with “Early Writings,” pp. 75, 76: “Old Jerusalem never would be built up”?

Answer:

The context of the Early Writings’ statement reveals that it refers to the Jewish Zionist Movement, and it shows that the Movement’s avowed purpose to re-establish a national Jewish Homeland, centered in Jerusalem proper, will never be realized; that never will Old Jerusalem be rebuilt in accordance with the Zionist interpretation, and never will the non-Christian Jews be the subjects of the Kingdom. (See Tract No. 8, Mount Sion at the Eleventh Hour.) (Answerer, vol.2, Q-43)

But despite Ellen White not being given much light on this important Loud Cry headquarters, she still showed in other ways that God would establish it.

“That which God purposed to do for the world through Israel, the chosen nation, He will finally accomplish through His church on earth today. He has “let out His vineyard [714] unto other husbandmen,” even to His covenant-keeping people, who faithfully “render Him the fruits in their seasons.” Never has the Lord been without true representatives on this earth who have made His interests their own. These witnesses for God are numbered among the spiritual Israel, and to them will be fulfilled all the covenant promises made by Jehovah to His ancient people.”(PK, p.714)

One of the most repeated and surest covenant promises made by God , was the returning of the Holy Land to His people.

“The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.” (Jer. 30:1-3)

The Rod speaks many things about this kingdom, this was one of the primary reasons the Lord sent His Rod message (Micah 6:9)

For a study outline of the pre-millennial kingdom see this link —

http://www.shepherds-rod-message.org/outlines/kingdom.pdf

Second example — (Church judgment –Ezekiel 9)

There is sometimes the mistaken idea that our prophetess showed that Ezek. 9 takes place in the time of the plagues. She indeed does say that in one of her references but, again her limited light of the pre-millennium kingdom kept her from disclosing the final message of Elijah, which did have the blazing light on the kingdom and the church purification  (Ezek. 9).

SLAUGHTER BEFORE OR AFTER CLOSE OF PROBATION?

Question No. 145:

“If the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine takes place in the church before the close of probation, then why does ‘The Great Controversy’ p. 656 say: ‘Now all have made their decision; the wicked have fully united with Satan in his warfare against God…The mark of deliverance has been set upon those ‘that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done?’  Now the angel of death goes forth, represented in Ezekiel’s vision by the men with the slaughtering weapons, to whom the command is given….The work of destruction begins among those who have professed to be the spiritual guardians of the people.’

“Does not the above reference, which seems to place the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine after the close of probation, refute the teachings of ‘The Shepherd’s Rod’?”

Answer:

The query reveals that the questioner has not thoroughly studied or understood what “The Shepherd’s Rod” teaches, for “The Great Controversy” does not refute “The Shepherd’s Rod,” but rather strengthens it.  It has been proved that before the close of probation there are two “fruits,” the 144,000 and the great multitude (Revelation 7:9), to be separated at two different times–the former’s taking place before the close of probation while “the door is closed to those who would not enter,” and while “His hand is still stretched out to save.”  (“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 9, p. 97), thus showing, as does “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 3, p. 266, that the sealing of the hundred and forty-four thousand is the closing work for the church, whereas the sealing work for the great multitude is the closing work for the world. 

Thus, while, in the time of God’s destructive judgments before the close of probation, the door is closed to one class, it is open to another class for whom “His hand is still stretched out to save,” clearly showing that probation closes first for the tares in the church.  Moreover, as the time is that of God’s destructive judgments–the separation of the tares from the wheat–the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine is that which severs the wicked from among the just. (Matt. 13:49.)

Therefore, as there are two separations, there is a double fulfillment of Ezekiel’s slaughter: one in the church before the close of probation, and the other in the worldly churches after the close of probation, when everyone has made his decision.  The unfaithful spiritual guardians, or the false watch-men, of the people are the first to fall in the worldly churches, just as the “ancient men” who are in the S.D.A. church are the first to fall.  (“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 5, p. 211.)  This is the only explanation that will harmonize every statement on this subject found in the Spirit of Prophecy and in the Bible. (Vol. 3   Symbolic Code   No. 1. page 8.

IS THE SLAUGHTER OF EZEKIEL NINE LITERAL?

Question No. 25:

“The Shepherd’s Rod” teaches that the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 is literal. Could it not be a destruction such as is caused by so-called “acts of God”–earthquakes, famines, pestilences, the seven last plagues, or the like?

Answer:

The five agents that destroy the wicked in the church are not forces of nature but men with slaughter weapons in their hands. They are supernatural beings, not natural elements. Hence they cannot fittingly represent earthquakes, famines, or the like.

Neither can they be the seven angels with the seven last plagues, for these angels are seven in number, not five. Furthermore, they do not have “slaughter weapons” in their hands, but vials. Still further, the plagues fall in Babylon (Rev. 18:4), whereas the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 takes place in Judah and Israel (Ezek. 9:9).

Ezekiel 9, whether literal or figurative, effects a separation between the good and the bad, the tares and the wheat, in the church (Judah and Israel), just as the plagues finally do in Babylon (Rev. 18:4). And as the plagues are literal, then how can the slaughter be any less literal?

The angel with the writer’s inkhorn is to place a mark upon the foreheads of all who sigh and cry for the abominations, then the destroying angels are to slay both old and young (Ezek. 9:4-6).

“The church–the Lord’s sanctuary,” is “the first to feel the stoke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as guardians, of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestations of God’s power as in former days. Times have changed.

These words strengthen their unbelief and they say, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil. He is too merciful to visit his people in judgment. Thus peace and safety is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs, that would not bark, are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children, all perish together.”–Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211.

As in The Great Controversy, p. 656, only an indirect parallel can be drawn between the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 and the falling of the plagues, because a common end (death) befalls both the wicked in the church of Laodicean and the wicked in the churches of Babylon. And only those who say, “We need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God’s power as in former days,” think the slaughter is not literal. (Answerer, vol. 2, p.43)

So we see that Ellen White’s limited light on the subject was later expanded upon, in the form of His promised Elijah message. Let us remember that the last message of Elijah was to be as the type — a message to go strictly to God’s people. A message to warn them of judgments to come to the House of God first (1 Peter 4:17).

Third example — (Jacob’s time of trouble)

This subject has probably the most divergent teachings between SOP and the Rod. But once again, we know that they are reconcilable when we remember SOP’s limited light on the pre-mil kingdom. Progressive light beautifully adds and expands this doctrinal teaching.

This subject is based on the following Scripture —

“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” (Jer 30:7)

SOP has many references about this trouble, here are a couple important references about it —

 

“Jacob’s experience during that night of wrestling and anguish represents the trial through which the people of God must pass just before Christ’s second coming. The prophet Jeremiah, in holy vision looking down to this time, said, “We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. . . . All faces are turned into paleness. Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:5-7.

When Christ shall cease His work as mediator in man’s behalf, then this time of trouble will begin. Then the case of every soul will have been decided, and there will be no atoning blood to cleanse from sin. When Jesus leaves His position as man’s intercessor before God, the solemn announcement is made, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Revelation 22:11.

Then the restraining Spirit of God is withdrawn from the earth. As Jacob was threatened with death by his angry brother, so the people of God will be in peril from the wicked who are seeking to destroy them. And as the patriarch wrestled all night for deliverance from the hand of Esau, so the righteous will cry to God day and night for deliverance from the enemies that surround them.

…Such will be the experience of God’s people in their final struggle with the powers of evil. God will test their faith, their perseverance, their confidence in His power to deliver them. Satan will endeavor to terrify them with the thought that their cases are hopeless; that their sins have been too great to receive pardon. They will have a deep sense of their shortcomings, and as they review their lives their hopes will sink.

But remembering the greatness of God’s mercy, and their own sincere repentance, they will plead His promises made through Christ to helpless, repenting sinners. Their faith will not fail because their prayers are not immediately answered. They will lay hold of the strength of God, as Jacob laid hold of the Angel, and the language of their souls will be, “I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.”(Patriarch and Prophets, p.201-203)

“When Christ stands up, and leaves the most holy place, the time of trouble commences, the case of every soul is decided, and there will be no atoning blood to cleanse from sin and pollution…Those who live in the last days must pass through an experience similar to that of Jacob. Foes will be all around them, ready to condemn and destroy.” (Signs of the Times, Nov.27, 1879)

There is no doubt that SOP describes this time of trouble after close of probation. We should also remember that EGW had much more light on the “second fruits” than what would happen to the first fruits (144,000) because she was not able to relate their final destination here on earth–the pre-mil kingdom in the Holy Land. So in that limited light, it appears that she is describing JTT for the second fruits, the Great Multitude (Rev. 7:9).

The Rod backs this summation up —

 

Question No. 37:

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

Answer:

When it is understood that the 144,000 are but first fruits, the forerunners or advanced guard of a great multitude of second fruits, the difficulty in question is immediately resolved. The first fruits stand with the Lamb, safe on Mt. Zion (in the Kingdom). Thus those who shall find refuge in the mountains, and those who shall be put in prison, can only be from among the second fruits–those who shall accept the message during the Loud Cry, but who shall not yet at that time have reached the Kingdom. (See our Tract No. 12, The World Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow 1941 Edition, pp. 45-49.) (Answerer, vol. 2, p.66-67)

But the Lord’s Rod message speaks about this JTT  —

Jer. 30:4-6 — “And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.  For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.  Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child?  wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?”

The cause of the fear here forecast is fundamentally needless and unnecessary, declares the Lord.

Jer. 30:7 — “Alas!  for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.”

The people that have come to this antitypical time of trouble are returning to the homeland, are comforted.  Apparently it is bad enough to frighten all, but God’s encouraging counsel is, “Fear not.”

   Plainly, the burden of this chapter is concerning the antitypical returning to the homeland.  Though terrible the trouble may seem, yet the outcome of it is to be the same as in the type. (Timely Greetings, volume 1, no.47, p.14)

The message clearly shows that the first and primary application of the JTT, is the 144,000 on their way home to the Holy Land, the pre-mil kingdom. Our type (Jacob) was going to the land of promise, and the latter-day application shall also show the saints experiencing this trouble on their way to God’s kingdom promised in the Holy land at the end of time.

Thus we have seen three examples of progressive light that expand our knowledge of God’s final plans for His people. May you continue to study His word knowing that the light comes progressively and that all the prophets spoke the truth but were later expanded upon to give the particular “present truth” for us today. We serve a wonderful God that gives details to be shown when we can know them and benefit from them! Amen.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: