Giving a Present Truth Study/Report (Part 1 of 2)

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Recently in our part of the Lord’s vineyard, our Facebook ministry called Truth Tellers, a sister inquired on how to put a present truth study together to share with others. Frankly, this was a GREAT question and we supped with the Lord and knew it would be helpful to put a report out on this very basic yet important topic.

In 2 Tim. 2:15 we read —

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Speaking from a personal point of view, perhaps there is no greater joy than knowing that we have helped someone learn the Word of the Lord, be it prophecies or enlightening and uplifting lessons. The Spirit of Prophecy says —

“You must dig deep in the mine of truth if you would find its richest treasures. Comparing scripture with scripture, you may find the true meaning of the text; but if you do not make the sacred teachings of God’s Word the rule and guide of your life, the truth will be nothing to you.” (The Youth Instructor, July 28, 1892)

There is no doubt that study and the spreading of His truth is richly rewarding in our lives. If we want to “follow the Lamb where ever He goes” (Rev. 14:4) we must indeed be dedicated to God’s holy Word!

Let us breakdown this most rewarding endeavor. 

1 — Prayer

When we come to study we should remember that it is the Great giver of Truth we should seek first. We should claim the promise for John 16:13 —

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.”

2 — Admit your need of His help

Self-sufficiency is indeed a woeful thing! You NEED to request the Spirit of Truth in your prayer. We may think we know but we so often don’t. The message expounds upon this —

“..before a person can climb the ladder of Truth, he must first of all free himself from erroneous theories, which keep him bound in darkness. And to loose himself from such weights of error so as to reach the top step of the ladder of Truth, he must carefully investigate and “prove all things” in

Open-Mindedness.

“Do not read the Word in the light of former opinions; but, with a mind free from prejudice, search it carefully and prayerfully. If, as you read conviction comes, and you see that your cherished opinions are not in harmony with the Word, do not try to make the Word fit these opinions. Make your opinions fit the Word. Do not allow what you have believed or practiced in the past to control your understanding.” — Messages to Young People, p. 260.

This prime necessity urgently confronts those who have been disposed to accept, as unquestionable Bible truths, theories which are the results of

Adding To and Taking From the Scriptures.

Any explanation of a prophecy which adds to or takes from any part of relevant scripture in order to harmonize the interpretation, can only be false. When the Spirit of God interprets the Scriptures, He does not in any way need to alter any part of Them in order to make the explanation fit that which is being unfolded. When, moreover, the true interpretation of a prophecy is made, it always contains a lesson of present truth “adapted to the necessities of God’s people” (The Great Controversy, p. 609) at the time the scripture is revealed.” (Tract 5, p.6-7)

Thus we see that in order to do a report or prepare for a study, we need His guidance and it is given us if we prayerfully and honestly request it! God will help us to put the pieces together of the puzzle of truth we are endeavoring to make. Many times we come to do a report with pre-conceived ideas but if we let His word speak to us as it is, we’ll be on the right track.

3 — Focus on a main topic

If we do a study or report we should focus on a clear specific topic (ie. four winds, mark of the beast, special resurrection, etc.). Unfortunately, some present truth studies try to cover too many topics. This causes the report to lose the objective–to convey the main point or lesson. 

4 — Once a topic is chosen, pull out the SRod index

This is SO IMPORTANT! Why? Because it helps us not be private interpreters! We can’t tell you how many times we have read and reviewed countless reports and studies where the presenter has ignored, side-stepped, added to,  or subtracted from the actual INSPIRED words said about a topic or lesson! In other words, as revealed in the Zech. 4  lesson –inserted their own pipe into the trees and pulled out their own interpretations (oil)!

This #4 area we will have to delve into due to its extreme importance! First, God through His Elijah prophet revealed to us a most important lesson about how His truth is communicated from Him down to the church. That lesson is Zechariah 4. The message gave us a beautiful pictorial vision —

 

Here we see from one of the original Tracts that brother Victor Houteff made — the lesson in picture form of Zech. 4. The Lord’s brilliant truth conveying system is portrayed here, as the message explains —

“Summary of Zechariah Four.

This symbolic unit, having demonstrated that the Bible can be rightly interpreted only by the Spirit that dictated It, shows that the church can be led into all Truth only by this Spirit-controlled method: through the interpreters (the two golden pipes), who alone are qualified and inabled to bring forth meat in due season (golden oil) from the Scriptures (olive trees) into the storehouse (golden bowl) of Present Truth; and in turn through the ministers (seven tubes), who alone are to pass on from the bowl the oil to the church (candlestick), that it might illumine with the light of life this dark and dying world of ours.

Here in pictorial lesson God is unmistakably teaching that He controls the Scriptures and that He reveals them when a need arises, just as Joseph controlled all the grain in the storehouses of ancient Egypt, to hand it out in the time of famine. And as only through him could the Israelites, as well as the Egyptians, obtain grain in time of want, so likewise only from Christ, the King, through His Spirit-filled instrumentalities — Josephs (His specially appointed interpreters of the dreams and the visions which the Bible contains, whether they be to rebuke and enlighten the church or to forewarn the Gentiles) — can we obtain the “oil” which God has placed in the Bible.

In revealing through Zechariah’s symbolism the inspired method of interpretation of the Scriptures, God has graphically prescribed, for the present-day multifarious religious ills,

Heaven’s Specific Remedy.

The many grievous spiritual epidemics now afflicting the Christian church, are caused in large part by Christians unwittingly wresting, garbling, and perverting the Scriptures. This practice, the Devil has spawned and nurtured in order to head off Present Truth, destroy faith in the Scriptures, deceive souls, and increase infidelity, hoping thereby to cut off the human race from the knowledge of the only true and living God, and thus finally from the face of the earth.” (Tract 6, p.24-26)

A wonderful plan! Here we see that we “private” individuals can know His prophetic truth today ONLY through searching and studying “our” SDA prophets –sister White and brother Houteff. These are the TWO PIPES  that take the Inspired Word (the Scriptures) and interpret them and place them into the Golden Bowl of Truth –for us to draw out of and know through his ministers. Thus we have the SOP writings and the Rod writings that make it clear and understandable to us!

This prophecy is known by us, present truth believers, members of the SDA church, but soon as the Loud Cry comes to the world many shall know of it as well! This is the time described of in Rev. 7:9.

Let us give a good example of this truth conveying method helping to guide us and keep us from following a private interpreter’s ideas via a study or report.

Recently we were invited to brother G’s online study. It was to be about the “anti-typical king David” spoken of in Scripture (Ezek. 34:23,24). This study is a more advanced study for present truth believers, but those who have looked at ALL the references from the message on this topic, usually come to the clear decision that this king is someone Christ our King sets up to manage the pre-millennial kingdom–known as the anti-typical king David. But brother G has his own ideas. He tries to teach that Christ Himself physically (and visually) will sit upon the throne in the pre-millennial kingdom! A truly PRIVATE INTERPRETATION.

In the study, he took numerous Bible passages and interpreted them to make his point that Christ would be this anti-typical king. But by doing this he places his own “pipe” into the trees and pulls out his own oil (his ideas) and makes a study! But how do we know? Because we check the index! We carefully take note of the passages he reveals and his meaning of them  THEN we search the index. The message DOES NOT interpret the Scriptures as he interprets! In fact, in the study he presented the message is either silent on the passages he quotes or interprets them differently. This is a classic example of bypassing God’s truth conveying method for –private interpretation, condemned by the Lord’s word.

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” (2 Peter 1:20)

Take a look at one example of what someone would find if they check out the Index and look up the relevant references the message has on this topic —

 

Ezek. 34:23, 24 — “And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even My servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.  And I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.”

The self-centered shepherds against whom the prophet is told to write, are to be replaced by one shepherd, David.  When this takes place God’s people will then have but one shepherd.  This, of course, cannot be Christ Himself, for Inspiration never calls Him David, but rather It calls Him the Son of David. 

Since God’s people have always had, and still do have many shepherds, the truth stands out as clear as crystal that the David of verses 23 and 24 is yet to come, and that the shepherds whom Inspiration addresses are in particular those whom David is to succeed.

   Ezekiel, then, was not given a vision of the shepherds in his day, nor of those before his day, but of the shepherds after his day — the day in which God raises up this antitypical David to feed His hungry and neglected flock. 

God’s people shall then no longer serve strangers, “But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.” Jer. 30:9.  Here we see that not only Ezekiel, but Jeremiah also was given a vision of this same truth.  Yes, all the prophets.”( 2 TG, no. 2, p.14-15)

Thus the Lord’s Elijah message says the anti-typical king David “cannot be Christ Himself” but a private interpreter says it’s Christ–who are you going to believe? But you are strong and solid, you’ve read the Index and KNOW what the Lord’s message says!

In an attempt to exalt and honor our King–Christ, brother G ultimately does the opposite by denying our King’s prophetic word! Oh my, what snares befall those who do not properly study! A CLASSIC example of why the Lord sent us the Zech. 4 lesson!

The best SRod Index we suggest is the following, published by the Salem organization. However we do need to caution you, they have the “new codes” in them as well and many of us (yours included) don’t subscribe to them as they were published by brother Houteff’s wife and not authorized by VTH while he was alive. But the main portion of the Index is very complete and has many Rod, Scripture and SOP references, enough to help gather all the particular references for your study. Here is a picture of the book (184 pages) —

This concludes part one, next week God willing we’ll finish with part 2. Contact us at  palmguy@dc.rr.com if you would like more information on the Index.

Color code — Orange the Lord speaking, Blue is Scripture or SOP speaking, Brown is the Elijah message/Rod message as brought by Victor Houteff

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