Archive for the ‘Covenants’ Category

Messenger of the Covenant

January 9, 2016

Messenger of the covenant

Recently I came across one of our church leaders, Steve Wohlberg, and his latest YouTube video called “The Sunday Law Crisis”. He has a 5 part series explaining all the points pertaining to this upcoming world crisis. As I watched part of it, my mind drew me to the thought “how presumptuous, how utterly fooled are our leaders”.

However sincere Mr. Wohlberg is, the Lord’s Word will come and not Mr. Wohlberg’s false idea that there will be no major move by the Lord prior to the Sunday Law. The following Scripture is being fulfilled by these leaders–

“And her prophets have daubed them with untempered mortar, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.”(Ezekiel 22:28)

You see the Scriptures point unmistakably to the next coming of the Lord. And that is not coming in the clouds as we are led to believe. Yes, we all hear and speak of Jesus’ SECOND coming, our leaders have us all just waiting for the “second” coming.

Yet when we study the Scriptures, SOP and Rod, we know that this coming is the second “public and visible” coming. But we know there is an invisible secret coming, that the Lord’s three Inspired sources clearly teach us. It’s the one that Satan and his angels have fought with all their might to keep you and I from knowing about.

So let us look at this invisible coming as specifically explained in Malachi chapter 3.

To begin with we see that Malachi 3:1 is a classic example of some confusion that needed the Lord’s messenger  to  “restore” (the Truth). We will see in all It’s beauty, the Truth shown amid the easy confusion one gets if he does not listen to the Lord’s Rod (Micah 6:9 and 7:14).

Let’s look at Malachi 3:1.

“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.”

The Spirit of Prophecy in Gospel Workers (1915) page 44 explains —

“Never was there such an evangelist as Christ. He was the Majesty of heaven, but He humbled Himself to take our nature, that He might meet men where they were. To all people, rich and poor, free and bond, Christ, the Messenger of the covenant, brought the tidings of salvation.”

So one can say based on the above that Christ is the messenger of the covenant, right? Not so fast,  we read this–

 “The minister stands as God’s mouthpiece to the people, and in thought, in word, in act, he is to represent his Lord. When Moses was chosen as the messenger of the covenant, the word given him was, “Be thou for the people to Godward.” [Exodus 18:19.] (Gospel Workers, p. 20)

Then we have our King saying that John the Baptist was the messenger of the covenant spoke of in Malachi 3 (Matt 11:7, 9,10, 14)

So we have three different messengers of the covenant?  Who then is real messenger of the covenant in Malachi 3? The one who is to “prepare the way” before Christ suddenly comes to His Temple (Church)?

In 1934 Victor Houteff was asked about this subject. Brother Houteff was sent many questions in his 25 year ministry. Often the questions were of the  “prove it”, “How can you escape this wrong idea of yours?”, or “can you clear it?” type of questions. He addressed this particular Malachi quandary of statements.

Question No. 7:

How do you harmonize “Gospel Workers" p. 44, par. 2, with “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 2, p. 240, par. 2, presented comparatively as follows:

“The messenger is not the Lord Himself,...he is the one who shall prepare the way for the Lord.”--"The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 2, p. 240.

“Christ, the Messenger of the covenant, brought the tidings of salvation.”--"Gospel Workers," p.44.

Answer:

While on page 44, Gospel Workers applies the title “Messenger of the Covenant” to Christ, on page 20 it applies it to Moses. In juxtaposition, these are seen as follows:

When Moses was chosen as the messenger of the covenant, the word given him was, ‘Be thou for the people to Godward.'”—Gospel Workers, p. 20. “Christ, the messenger of the covenant, brought the tidings of salvation.”–Gospel Workers, p. 44. Whereas Gospel Workers applies the term to both Moses and Christ, Christ Himself applies it to John the Baptist.

He said “unto the multitudes concerning John…But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send My messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.” Matt. 11:7, 9, 10, 14.

As God had made both spoken and written covenants with His ancient people that He would send them Moses, John, and Christ, they came in fulfillment of those covenants. And each having brought a message, each in his own time was the Messenger of the Covenant. Nevertheless, the words of Malachi make plain that the Messenger of the Covenant is, in the strictest sense, Elijah the prophet (Mal. 3:1-5; 4:5), the last messenger who prepares the way of the Lord. (See Testimonies to Ministers, p. 475.)

In the last analysis, however, the title Messenger of the Covenant belongs to the Holy Spirit. For example, I Peter 3:18-20 states that Christ preached to the antediluvians by the same “Spirit” Who “quickened” Him. But as He preached by the Spirit in the person of Noah, not of Himself, He thereby unfolded the truth that the Holy Spirit is in all His messengers alike.

Thus “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Pet. 1:21. Briefly summarized, the term Messenger of the Covenant means the Holy Spirit (the invisible Christ) in Heaven’s visible representative-be it Moses, John, Christ, Elijah, or some other.

So we see that while the underlying true Messenger of the Covenant is the Holy Spirit, we know that the literal application for our time is Elijah the prophet.

Now, to add further confusion we read —

“This coming is foretold also by the prophet Malachi: “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.” Malachi 3:1. The coming of the Lord to His temple was sudden, unexpected, to His people. They were not looking for Him there. They expected Him to come to earth, “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel.” 2 Thessalonians 1:8. (GC, p.424)

Another quandary ?  No,  let us look at the following.

“..Jesus applied the message of Malachi Three to that of John the Baptist, and named him the Elijah that was to come, but when the Jews, priests, and Levites asked John saying, “Art thou Elias?…he saith, I am not.” (John 1:19, 21.) Shall we here conclude that both Jesus and John violated the truth? What then?

   Moreover, the “Gospel Workers” applies Malachi 3:1 to Christ’s first advent, but the same author in “The Great Controversy,” p. 424, par. 3, applies it to Christ’s coming to the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary in 1844; and on p. 425, is applied to the soon expected purification of the church.

Again, on p. 426, the author states that “…Dan. 8:14; the coming of the Son of man to the Ancient of days, as presented in Dan. 7:13; and the coming of the Lord to His temple, foretold by Malachi, are descriptions of the same event; and this is also represented by the coming of the bridegroom to the marriage, described by Christ in the parable of the ten virgins, of Matthew 25.”

   If only one of these applications could be right, then which one should we choose? When the questioner harmoniously unifies the above scattered periods to which Malachi 3:1 is applied, then “The Shepherd’s Rod” will prove to him to be in perfect harmony with “The Great Controversy” and “Gospel Workers.”

Though one statement seems to contradict the other, yet we are compelled to conclude that every one of these inspired applications must be correct. Says the great apostle, “Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That Thou mightest be justified in Thy sayings, and mightest overcome when Thou art judged.” (Rom. 3:3, 4.)

   The trouble does not lie in the statements themselves, but rather in man’s limited knowledge of the truth therein, which proves that we are in the period of the Laodiceans, — “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”

But the worst part of it all lies in that the Lord is saying to the church of today, “Thou knowest not” your great ignorance in not understanding rightly the Word of truth, and she does not believe Him! The apparent contradictions being discussed in this article are harmonized, in short, as follows:

   Any fair Bible student will, without difficulty, perceive at a glance that the perfect fulfillment of Malachi Three is yet future, and is directly applicable to the imminent “purification of the church,” — “temple” — for saith the Lord, “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.” (Mal. 3:2.)

   Though Christ and the “Gospel Workers” apply this scripture to Christ’s first advent, any student of sacred history knows that it did not meet its perfect fulfillment there, for the Jews did not “delight” in Him as prophesied in Malachi 3:1, but instead, they hated Him. Neither did Christ at that time purify His church as described by the prophet.

But by the fact that Christ applied Malachi Three to John the Baptist’s message, and as this scripture did not meet its fulfillment at that time, it proves that John was a type of the Elijah that is to come before the coming of the “great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5), at which time the prophecy will be fulfilled in its fullness.”(SC, vol.1, no. 4, p.4-5)

Commenting further on Malachi 3 , the restoring Elijah message says more —

This final work for the church, being of such great importance, is still further elucidated in the prophecy of Malachi 3.

   Of this impending purge, hope-inspiring and heartening to the righteous, but terrifyingly sorrowful to the wicked, the prophet declares:  He “shall suddenly come to His temple [the church or ‘floor’],…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.” Mal. 3:1-3.

 In explanation of this scripture, the denominational publication (published and owned by the denomination as well as endorsed and used by the Sabbath School  Department throughout the world in 1929), Isaiah,  the Gospel Prophet, Vol. 3, p. 49, says: “Verse  20. [Isa. 59.] ‘The Redeemer shall come to Zion.’  This is not the coming in the clouds, but coming to the church.  And when He comes, He will do the work mentioned in Malachi 3:1-3.”

   This official exposition of the text shows that in 1929 the denomination taught that the prophecy of Malachi 3, promising a thorough work of purification, is a message to the church.(Tract 4, p.36-37)

“A message to the church”– In 1929 our church (SDA) taught that Malachi 3 was prophesying  of our church purification!

This is a classic example of how Satan has infiltrated our church and it’s teachings, we’ve gone from the real truth to false ideas and timelines. The Sunday law has been bandied about and put on such a high pedestal  as our next big event to watch for, leaving behind what we originally taught as truth–Malachi 3 predicting the church purification.

But we praise the Lord , restoration has wiped the dusty words clean and we see God’s true prophetic words in their right application to us today for hope of a powerful Holy Spirit filled Gospel proclaiming church to all the world.

So leaders like Steve Wohlberg, however sincere they may be are giving us a false path to follow, false ideas and assumptions to look for.  Let us be mindful that the Elijah prophet made clear that the Lord want’s us to —“Hear ye the Rod and Who has appointed it.”(Micah 6:9)

Thus will be the Devil’s deal while the day of God is approaching, and while Elijah is making the announcement of it as the scroll unrolls and while the prophecies concerning the day of God are being unsealed.   His work and his interpretation of the prophecies for the great day will identify him as the promised Elijah the prophet (“Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 475), and this will enrage the Devil as never before.  Nevertheless, one’s only safety will be in the teaching of Elijah, for there will be no other voice of timely Truth and authority to whom one may turn.  Any others will lead their victims blind-folded into perdition. (Gen. Conference Special, p.7-8)

Are we listening to His Rod?

To give you an idea how miserable and lost we are, an SDA sister when shown the Micah 6:9 statement, responded , “The Rod is Christ!”  Ok then let’s just have everyone call Christ– “it” (“appointed it”). Let’s get real! If we only take the time to read God’s word as it plainly says we’ll not get tripped up and snared by false ideas.

In closing my dear brothers and sisters, the Word tells us in so many areas, to expect the Lord to come unexpectedly and not how Satan has hoodwinked our leaders to explain. As we have pointed out before– history repeats itself. The Jews were looking for Christ to come another way than He actually did. Same with our standard SDA ideas and expectations today. Let’s be serious and know the –Truth.

 

 

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Difficult Passages

June 28, 2014

Jeremiah in thought

 

The word says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.(2 Tim. 2:15).

However in our studying sometimes we come upon passages that frankly make us scratch our heads. They appear either confusing or very difficult to understand or worse yet- contradicting.

We are told in (John 16:13) “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;..” So we see that we have a helper to guide us. We should not think that we cannot kneel down in prayer and ask for guidance. 

So this week’s post we’d like to look at some specific passages that appear difficult. By the Lord’s grace, we hope we can shed some light on them.

We know that many doubters and unbelievers will use these types of passages to say”Ah ha, see the Scriptures are fallible and not necessarily God’s truth.” Ellen White gives us good counsel.

“Those who desire to doubt will have plenty of room. God does not propose to remove all occasion for unbelief.” *(Test. for the Church, vol. 3, p.255)

The unbelief that demands perfect knowledge will never yield to the evidence that God is pleased to give.” (Ibid, p.258)

So we see that even if we think we see contradictions or confused passages, we are not to be doubtful or believe that some type of error or mistake was written. God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). But this is where the “rubber meets the road.”

Those who desire to know what something really means can claim the Lord’s promise, “Seek and you shall find”(Matt. 7:7). Ok, let’s look at some of the difficult passages.

“But whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.” (Matt. 10:23)

However, we know that the apostles did preach the gospel to all the cities of Israel. Yet it’s been almost 2000 years and the Son of Man has yet to “come”. Or has He?

Now, let us go to Revelation chapter one. Let us read from verse 10 to 17.

“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it  unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one  like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his  hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:”

Could this be the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise? It sure looks and sounds like it. We notice that John heard someone speak from behind him. And His voice was from the “Alpha and the Omega”. Then John is touched by Him as he “fell at His feet”and our Lord spoke again. All this happening while John was on the island of Pathos. What we may gather from this scene is that John may have first seen Jesus and upon seeing Him then fell into vision.

In commenting on this verse the Spirit of Prophecy said, “When John in his mortal state beheld the glory of God, he fell as one dead; he was not able to endure the sight. But when the children of God shall have put on immortality, they will “see Him as He is”. (Testimonies, vol. 9, p.285)

Next we look at apostle Paul’s supposed prediction that he would see the Lord’s coming “in the clouds”.

“The we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thes. 4:17)

We could very well say that Paul prophesied falsely , right? He was writing to the faithful and encouraging them that soon they would see the Lord’s coming in the clouds. However, this appears a classic case of the Spirit of Prophecy’s prophetic words.

“Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their time than for ours, so that their prophesying is in force for us.” (Selected messages, vol. 3, p.338)

So the right way to interpret this passage of Paul’s is to understand that he was “projecting” himself into the future, although he may not have been aware of it at the time. Further, just as John the Baptist was convinced the Lord would establish His kingdom at His first advent, so too Paul appears convinced that the Lord’s coming was an event he would witness. Obviously both are declared innocent for such deep love and hope of their Lord’s kingdom.

Now we’ll look at something that is a prime example of a confused passage. Those who would like to hang their doubts on a passage, sure got one here. But the prophet who was to “restore all things” shows us how this seemingly contradiction can be perfectly understood.

Brother Houteff says,Acts 1:18: “And he [Judas] cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.” Matthew 27:5.  “Now this man [Judas] purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.” Acts 1:18.  These two halves, put together, is what tells the full story of Judas crime and death.  But the anti-Christians living in the days of the Apostles, declared:

 

   “These divergent records positively contradict each other, and the authors of them are nothing less than deceivers.”

   But were they?  Matthew 27:5 tells the first part of the story — that Judas hanged himself.  And Acts 1:18 tells the second part of it — the way he died.  Reading the two records together, they tell that Judas hanged himself, but that either the rope or the limb broke off, and that Judas fell headlong over something, perhaps a stick, or a stump that ripped his abdomen, then his bowels gushed out and that is the way he died. This harmony between the two gospel writers can be derived only if the reader reads to know the Truth, not if he is looking for pegs to hang his doubts on. (Jezreel Letter, no. 8, p.1)

Next we look at the confusing subject of “the Messenger of the Covenant.” Ellen White wrote some passages which seem confusing  and when we compare brother Houteff’s explanation , it too, appears at odds with EGW. But let us again behold the God sent explanation.

“Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John…But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.” (Matt. 11:7, 9, 10, 14.)

   Here we see that Jesus applied the message of Malachi Three to that of John the Baptist, and named him the Elijah that was to come, but when the Jews, priests, and Levites asked John saying, “Art thou Elias?…he saith, I am not.” (John 1:19, 21.) Shall we here conclude that both Jesus and John violated the truth? What then?

   Moreover, the “Gospel Workers” applies Malachi 3:1 to Christ’s first advent, but the same author in “The Great Controversy, ” p. 424, par. 3, applies it to Christ’s coming to the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary in 1844; and on p. 425, is applied to the soon expected purification of the church.

Again, on p. 426, the author states that “…Dan. 8:14; the coming of the Son of man to the Ancient of days, as presented in Dan. 7:13; and the coming of the Lord to His temple, foretold by Malachi, are descriptions of the same event; and this is also represented by the coming of the bridegroom to the marriage, described by Christ in the parable of the ten virgins, of Matthew 25.”

   If only one of these applications could be right, then which one should we choose? When the questioner harmoniously unifies the above scattered periods to which Malachi 3:1 is applied, then “The Shepherd’s Rod” will prove to him to be in perfect harmony with “The Great Controversy” and “Gospel Workers.” Though one statement seems to contradict the other, yet we are compelled to conclude that every one of these inspired applications must be correct. Says the great apostle, “Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That Thou mightest be justified in Thy sayings, and mightest overcome when Thou art judged.” (Rom. 3:3, 4.)

   The trouble does not lie in the statements themselves, but rather in man’s limited knowledge of the truth therein, which proves that we are in the period of the Laodiceans, — “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” But the worst part of it all lies in that the Lord is saying to the church of today, “Thou knowest not” your great ignorance in not understanding rightly the Word of truth, and she does not believe Him! The apparent contradictions being discussed in this article are harmonized, in short, as follows:

   Any fair Bible student will, without difficulty, perceive at a glance that the perfect fulfillment of Malachi Three is yet future, and is directly applicable to the imminent “purification of the church,” –  “temple” — for saith the Lord, “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.” (Mal. 3:2.)

Though Christ and the “Gospel Workers” apply this scripture to Christ’s first advent, any student of sacred history knows that it did not meet its perfect fulfillment there, for the Jews did not “delight” in Him as prophesied in Malachi 3:1, but instead, they hated Him. Neither did Christ at that time purify His church as described by the prophet.

But by the fact that Christ applied Malachi Three to John the Baptist’s message, and as this scripture did not meet its fulfillment at that time, it proves that John was a type of the Elijah that is to come before the coming of the “great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5), at which time the prophecy will be fulfilled in its fullness.

   Therefore, as John was a messenger to God’s own people at that time, just so at this time the Elijah of Malachi’s prophecy represents a message which is to be delivered not to the world, but to the professed people of God. As John was their last prophet, his message was their final means to fit them for the Messiah’s appearing, for which cause said the Master, “If ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. (Matt. 11:14) Likewise, Elijah’s message of today must be to the professed people of God, and is to be their last means to fit them for Christ’s appearing at this time.

   Thus as John “…declared that those who claimed to be the chosen people of God were defiled by sin, and that without purification of heart and life they could have no part in the Messiah’s kingdom” (Desire of Ages, p. 104), just so the Elijah’s message at this time will denounce the denominational corruptions — “the abominations in the midst thereof” (Etc. 9:4) — rebuke the prevailing sins, and exclaim: “What greater deception can come upon human minds than a confidence that they are right, when they are all wrong!…They know not that their condition is deplorable in the sight of God….The message to the church of the Laodiceans is a startling denunciation.” — “Testimonies for the Church, ” Vol. 3, pp. 252-3.

   The above proves that the cleansing of the ancient temple in Jerusalem was a type of the purification of the church, which will take place at a time when the house of God is made a house of merchandise by selling denominational publications and raising goals (8 T. 250), for when Christ “had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence: make not My Father’s house an house of merchandise.” (John 2:15, 16.)

 The “Great Controversy,” p. 424, applying Malachi Three to Christ’s coming to the heavenly sanctuary in 1844, and on p. 425, to the impending purification of the church at this present time, to which the parable of the ten virgins refers to, must now be harmonized.

 The fact that Malachi Three is again applied to two different periods, — the one of 1844 and also to the one in which the church is to be purified — proves that Malachi’s prophecy apprehends both the judgment of the dead and the judgment of the living.

Consequently, there are two such comings of the Lord “to His temple” and two purifications, — first, the cleansing of the temple (sanctuary) from the wicked dead (the investigative judgment), and second, the purification of the church (temple) from the living wicked, at which time Malachi 3:1-3 will meet its perfect fulfillment. The parable of the ten virgins is applicable to the latter. See “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 2, pp. 180-186.

 

   Here follows the explanation of the “messenger of the covenant.” As Christ was the “Messenger of the covenant” at His first advent; also Moses, while leading Israel out of Egypt; in like manner, John the Baptist’s message; and the one to the Laodiceans — all four were compared to the message of Malachi 3:1. Here we see that the title, “messenger of the covenant,” referred to by Malachi, is applied to more than one person, in the same manner as the promises which were made to ancient Israel are now applicable to modern Israel — the 144, 000.

   Says the Spirit of Prophecy, “…It is necessary now that the minds of God’s people should be open to understand the Scriptures. To say that a message means just this and nothing more, that you must not attach any broader meaning to the words of Christ than we have in the past, is saying that which is not actuated by the Spirit of God.” — R. & H., Oct. 21, 1890.

   The word, “covenant,” means nothing more or less than an agreement, — promise. This being true, Moses was a “messenger of the covenant;” namely, the promise God made to Abraham that He was to deliver his posterity out of Egypt by a prophet — messenger. John also came in fulfillment of prophecy as he himself declared that Esaias had prophesied of him (John 1:23), and according to Christ’s own statement (Matt. 11:7, 9, 10), Malachi had also prophesied of John.

   As God had made a written covenant with His ancient people that He was to send them the Messiah, Christ came in fulfillment of that covenant, and having brought a message by His teachings, He was the “Messenger of the covenant.” But the words of Malachi in chapter three, verse one, make plain that before the Lord comes “to His temple,” He will send a messenger to prepare the way, at which time He is to purify the sons of Levi, — those who minister in “His temple” — the church.

As he that “is filthy” at the moment probation closes must remain “filthy” (Rev. 22:11), it follows that this work of purification which the Lord is to perform at His coming must be accomplished in probationary time, and long before the gospel work is finished, for He cannot finish it with the impure sons of Levi,” — ministry. This particular coming of the Lord is also predicted in Vol. 5, pp. 80, 690.

   In view of the fact that Christ at His coming to purify the church will not in person preach the message as He did before the crucifixion, but send someone other than himself, how could He at this time be the “messenger of the covenant?”

There is but one answer to this — the one who brings the message must be the “messenger of the covenant,” and when the Lord sends him he will fulfill the promise of Malachi 4:5. Having prepared “the way,” the Lord will “sit as a refiner and purifier of silver” (Mal. 3:3), “and it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem; when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion.” (Isa. 4:3, 4.)

   Furthermore, though the title, “messenger of the covenant,” is applied to more than one messenger, it rightfully belongs to the Holy Spirit, and only for the reason that the Spirit of God is in them are they designated by that title. For example, we call the reader’s attention to 1 Pet. 3:18-20. There it is stated that Christ went and preached to the antediluvians by the same “Spirit” Who “quickened” Him.

Being stated that He went by the Spirit and not in person, it proves that Christ accomplished this by that same Spirit through Noah. Hence, Christ being the “Messenger of the covenant, and He being in Noah by the Spirit, compels us to acknowledge that the title, “messenger of the covenant,” belongs not only to those mentioned in this article, including Noah, but to all God’s chosen messengers in whose message is Christ, by that same Spirit. (Sym. Code, vol. 1, no.4, p.4-5)

In closing let us realize that the Lord’s word is sometimes like a hard to find gold nugget in the mother lode stream. We just have to search a little harder and we shall find that shining gold nugget of Truth. May the Lord guide us into all Truth.

Biblical Submission

February 9, 2013

One of the biggest traps we as Christians can get into, is to ignore or sidestep clear unambiguous words and meanings of Scripture. Ellen White explains “The language of the Bible should be explained according to it’s obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed” (Great Controversy, p.598).  Additionally brother Houteff says the same thing, “Hold not to what fabricated ideas seem to make Scripture say, but grip tenaciously to what the word, in simplicity, plainly says” (Tract 10, p.13).

We needed to lay that foundation first because this topic is somewhat controversial and therefore we must hold “tenaciously” to the obvious meaning and not use any of the often used sidestep explanations to throw out the plain obvious meanings.

It is obvious that today we live in totally different customs than was in place back in  the early Christian days. Today we have seen an ever evolving change among the relationship between man and wife. With the main stream media, via TV, internet, radio, and written literature, we can see a tidal wave of “liberal” ideas put forth for the family unit.

While I am not a anti-womens liber, I do refer always to the hand book of life–the Bible. And as I have mentioned many times during our “posting career”, the Lord strictly guides me and certain subjects appear in my walk that leads me to discuss it. Recently the issue of the man-woman relationship has risen before me and therefore I would like to point out some clear Biblical understandings in these matters.

In Ephesians 5:22 we read, “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord.”  Obviously we know that to many women today, especially the women libers, these are inflammatory words. Yet of course to those, the Lord’s word generally doesn’t ring true on many aspects of their lives that –they don’t like.

The dictionary defines the word submit as follows -“To yield or surrender (oneself) to the will or authority of another.” As we are well aware we must always read the Bible verses in context.  After reading the above quote, our brother apostle Paul explains the order in which man and woman are to be established in a relationship. “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in everything.” (Eph.5:23-24)

So we see that this “order” is to be firmly established in the man being the leader of the relationship. And who said this order? Our all-knowing Lord. The one who understands how everything works. Today the divorce rate is truly astronomical. In the well researched book, “Marriage, Families, and intimate relationships” the statement is made —

“Married adults now divorce two-and-a-half times as often as adults did 20 years ago and four times as often as they did 50 years ago… between 40% and 60% of new marriages will eventually end in divorce. The probability within… the first five years is 20%, and the probability of its ending within the first 10 years is 33%… Perhaps 25% of children ages 16 and under live with a stepparent.”
—Brian K. Williams, Stacy C. Sawyer, Carl M. Wahlstrom, Marriages, Families & Intimate Relationships, 2005 

Wow! 40 to 60 % new marriages will end in divorce! After reading this, let’s see what our Lord thinks about it. “For the LORD God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,says the LORD of hosts.” (Mal.2:16)

Could the fact that our divorce rate is so high be that we haven’t listened and obeyed the word of the Lord? Absolutely. Now I am not saying that the reason for such a high divorce rate is all the woman’s fault, because we learn in Paul’s writings that the man has a big responsiblity as well. He’s to love and respect His wife. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” (Eph 5:25)

So we see that as “head” of the relationship, the man has to establish a household of “love”. In fact this love is to be truly strong as we read, “..love His own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Eph5:33) Also we notice, again, the wife’s responsiblity to “respect” her husband.

So clearly, any breakdown of these responsibilities, can hurt the relationship. But as we have learned, there is a rightful process to all this and it’s to follow our Lord’s counsel–The man is to lead and have the authority. Does that mean women have no say or can’t have their desires and wishes met? Of course not, but if the man deems something important that should be done, and the wife disagrees, the man’s will should take precedent. This, I’m afraid,  is why the divorce rate is so high–the chain of authority is broken!

Again, we read in (1 Cor.11:3) that the Lord has established delegation of authority. “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” In this liberal world it’s very easy to fall trap to the devil’s ploy. They have to a large degree tricked the women into thinking ,”You have just as much authority in your marriage as the man!” And even more sadly, more than a few men, drop down from this authority and willfully submit to the woman!

Think of this relationship as a circle. The man starts it by requesting something and the wife obeys. Then the  man is very happy and respects his wife, and wants to “love” her even more. And she feels this strong love and gives it back to the husband. A perfect chain of love and unity before the Lord. True Biblical submission leads to true love!

Our customs, as we mentioned, are quite different today as they were back in the early Christian days, but has  men and women’s relationship to God changed? No. Likewise the relationship of man and wife hasn’t changed either, from the Lord’s point of view(His word).

Has our Lord usurped God the Father’s authority? Have we men quit acknowledging that Christ is our authority? Then the final layer of that authority chain must be kept as well–woman looking  to man for his leadership and authority.

Recently I’ve had to call it quits in a personal relationship, to a woman who was my fiance. It was tough to do but I came to the realization that I could not be the authority of the household. The arguments, the interruptions, the ignoring of my requests, all got too much to handle. I could see unfortunately, that should I go ahead and marry, the Lord’s chain of order and authority would not be there and struggles would frequently occur.

Let us always refer back to our Lord’s word for advice. His words are so plain in regards to the man-woman relationship. If we obey them we will be blessed, if we ignore them, then we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Let’s close with a brother Houteff quote, ” There could be nothing more pleasing to God than for one of His children to ask in sincerity the way of the truth; therefore, such a one shall not be left in darkness, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you, seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.” (Matt 7:7) (Shepherd’s Rod, vol 2, p.90)

May the Lord give us all true wisdom and understanding and understand that true Biblical submission leads to true and eternal love!

A Covenant With Me By Sacrifice

June 23, 2012

Our Lord’s great work of redemption caused to cease the sacrificial atonements of the slayed animals. Upon the cross, the veil was  ripped and from then on,  the “sacrifice” had new meanings, and was  forever changed. This being understood, is there now a new sacrifice, where we as His people are required to make?

Here is our quote, of which we shall base this post on, ” The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall keep not silence: A fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people. Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare His righteousness:For God is judge himself. Selah. Hear, O My people, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God (Psalm 50:1-7)

As in so many places in God’s Holy Scriptures, many revealing truths are packed into one paragraph.  Ellen White said the following ” Each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their own time than for ours, so that their prophesying is in force for us.” (Selected Messages, Vol. 3, p.338) That being the truth, then (Psalms 50:17) has  prophetic truths for us today, right now. So let us with the Spirit of Truth , look into the many applications of these words.

First we notice that our Lord is called mighty, meaning He can and will do all that He says He will do, in His word. Second, we notice “out of Zion” indicating out of His people,  aka. His church comes something beautiful.  Something performed and done by our Lord, “Our God hath shined” and “shall come”.

Next we find what work our Lord will do to obtain the “perfection of beauty”. This indicates  clearly what this event is about. “A fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him… that He may judge His people.” Notice clearly He judges HIS people. This indicates a judgment of His church, since no where in the scriptures are the heathen ever referred as “His people”. Otherwise we would find “He may judge the people” or similar words. Let us ever remember our Lord is a precise Lord, never missing on any fine point of clarification. The Spirit of Truth guides us in this.

 As studious Bible students we know that there will soon be the Lord’s judgement upon His people, and it begins in His sanctuary. “For time is come that judgment must begin in the house of God…” (1 Peter 4:17)

This fire is none other than the destroying fire of His judgments upon the church!  We as SDA are well aware that the judgment of the dead began in 1844, we must be  aware that judgment of the living begins among us in the church. The heathen judgement come after us!

Next we find that after this tempestuous judgment (meaning a surprising and shocking execution of His  judgment upon His church) He shall gather His saints to Him, who have made a “sacrifice” to  Him. On the “perfection of beauty”point, it means finally our Lord has His church which is pure. He had to take the reins into His own hands to obtain this, otherwise the co-mingling would have been never ending.

We asked in the beginning of this post if there is a current sacrifice required to be made unto the Lord. The answer is –yes, most definitely. What is that sacrifice?   The answer is–we must forego worldly pleasures! The great and tempting worldly pleasures.

Our Lord said ” For whoever wants to save his life, will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:35) Here we see that our Lord asks us to give up “our life” for him. Meaning our own desires and pleasures (Worldly TV, theatre, worldly music, lusts, passions,love of money, carnal habits(gluttony, tobacco, alcohol), and generally all worldly entrapment). As we begin a converted life, our life becomes a new life for Him. How many today are trying to straddle the two lives? They have one foot in the world and one foot in the Lord’s work. They believe the “smooth things” by the sleeping pastors, that they are safe, even while they continue to sin!

Ellen White says the following ” Your hearts will be where your treasure is. You are situated where there are temptations to be plunging deeper and deeper into the world, to be continually accumulating; and while you are thus engaged, the mind becomes engrosed with the cares of this life to such an extent as to shut out true godliness..no wonder that we experience so little of the illuminating influence from the heavenly sanctuary. Our desires are not in that direction, they are mostly confined to earthly pursuits, seeking for worldly things, and neglecting the eternal.” (Test.for the Church, Vol. 2, p.183)

Continuing with our reverenced quote,  we see that our Lord asks us,  He pleads–to hear Him! His word is speaking to us, will we hear?  Remember His word is His very essence, His core.  And then sadly, He confesses that He will testify against us. He has no other choice. Most have not converted and kept one foot in the world.

How is it that only 144,000 from His last church can sing a song that only they know?  One of the reasons is because they have overcome the most temptations that have ever fallen upon mankind. Since the beginning of time, there has never been the powerful and tempting worldly desires, as we have today! Every where we look we are tempted. Our friends, our relatives, the TV, the radio, the computer, music,  the shopping malls, the newspapers, everywhere! The devils have pulled out all stops in an effort to distract us, and sadly it has worked for the most part.The world and it’s many interests take our time and devotion.

If we give up these powerful entrapments that engage us to turn them into idols, we shall indeed overcome. This is what our Lord speaks about in (Rev.21:7) “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

So in closing my beloved, let us look upon the final goal, to walk the golden streets and drink of the pure life giving water, and behold our majestic King, His hands, His sacrifice for us. When we realize that our sacrifices really are  investments into life eternal with  our King, and all the rewards He will bestow, it really shouldn’t require much thought. Will we  make the  sacrifice that He asks for?

” My Covenant I will not break…”

January 15, 2011

In (Psalms 89:34) we read this word of God ” My Covenant I will not break, nor ALTER the word that has gone out of My lips”.  We can clearly see that God cannot and will not break the 10 Commandment Covenant made to His people. Even though His people continued to break their end of the deal , God has remained steadfast in honoring His part. Which means  that ALL of the 10 Commandments are still in force  and have not been “altered”.

Unfortunately the vast Christian empire says ” Yes, God did alter the Covenant. He replaced a spoken Commandment with another Commandment”. But when pressed and asked “where” does He say that His “new” Covenant has been changed in the Bible? Where is it said that EVEN ONE of the Covenant Commandments was changed?  They draw a blank.  They CANNOT produce ANYTHING to back up their belief. But unfortunately it really doesn’t matter to them because they would rather follow the crowd than to really study God’s word. The Bible says (Hosea 4:6) “My people perish for lack of knowledge, because they have rejected knowledge, I will also reject them…”

He goes on in Hosea to say  it  is because they have forgotten His “Law” that they perish. Should we also fail to study His word and Law? To take the chance in also perishing because we didn’t look up God’s word on all that we believe? To verify if certain doctrines are sound when compared to God’s word? IT IS IMPERATIVE WE SEARCH SCRIPTURE!

If we really study God’s word we’ll find that there was a “change” in the Old and NEW Covenant. But it wasn’t what was IN the Covenant. It was “where” the Covenant moved to. It went from tables of stone to our hearts and minds!( Heb.8:10)  THAT is the change. NOT ONE of the original Commandments was “altered”. If it had been then God is a liar. And ofcourse we can never accuse Him of this, God forbid!

How do we know God’s original 10 are still in force? There are TONS of scripture pointing to this but I’ll use my favorite (Psalms 111:7-8) “ALL His Commandments are sure, they stand fast forever and ever”  Now, think about this. This word of God was written centuries BEFORE our Lord came to earth. So it was said way before the time where many Christians say it was changed. So here again God word is lying if they did not stand forever and ever because ONE was changed ( Sabbath to Sunday). So one did not remain standing. You see how when we really believe God’s word, we become clear on His truths!

Some will say, “Rob, why are you dwelling so much on His Law?” I would answer that GOD HIMSELF  dwells on it!  In ( Rev. 11:19) we read ” And the temple of God which is in heaven WAS OPENED, and the ark of the COVENANT appeared IN HIS TEMPLE….”   Now look at that!  Right in the middle of the MOST HOLY PLACE is God’s Law– His Covenant with His people.  Do I need say more??

So I beseech all whom call themselves ” Christian” to study His word. And once you do, with humble heart, you’ll find that His word says in essence— OBEY, LOVE, FOLLOW  JESUS. But Jesus can’t be followed unless you are willing to OBEY His Law- Covenant. Sadly most don’t study and only follow the crowd.  May God be near to all who humble themselves and say ” Lord, I know nothing, teach me your word”  Then you can be SURE He will!   Amen.


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