Archive for the ‘Elijah Interpretations’ Category

Batchelor vs. Houteff on the 144,000 (Part 1 of 2)

May 19, 2018

 

Image result for picture doug batchelor  Image result for picture victor houteff

 

In today’s S.D.A church world there is very well-known pastor who is considered one of the leaders of our church movement. As many of you know we have spoken about Mr. Batchelor  several times on this blog. We agree that few contain as much knowledge of Scripture and SOP as Doug. His position as one of the prominent leaders of the S.D.A church today is undeniable. His organization “Amazing Facts” is vastly expanding yearly. With this in mind it would be illuminating and a chance to present the difference between “learned men” and what some consider– Inspiration.

As we near the end of our S.D.a probation, we thought it would be good to discuss one of the main doctrinal teachings of the Elijah message–the 144,000. This and the church reformation is what our Lord told us would be the primary focus for His people in the last days.

We know that the Spirit of Prophecy writings began with a vision of the 144,000, then decades later in 1930 we know that the Lord gave us our first instructions of His written Rod (Micah 6:9) —

“It is the intention of this book to reveal the truth of the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7, but the chief object of this publication is to bring about a reformation among God’s people.” (SRod, vol. 1, preface)

So no one should doubt today that this subject of the 144,000 is paramount to us as Adventists. Ok let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the two teachings, then you’ll decide which is Truth in the closet of prayer. Please pray BEFORE examining this study.

We will use Doug’s two-part YouTube series called “144,000 and the Seal of God” for his positions and we’ll use the Shepherd’s Rod writings for Victor Houteff’s position.

Let us first start with the Revelation Scripture that begins discussion on our subject —

“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” (Rev. 7:1-4)

Question 1-   In this context, what does the four winds represent?

D.B —  Means “winds of strife” that will eventually blow upon the earth. The strife is “kind of summarized in the seven last plagues”.  This issue of what exactly the four winds represent in this Revelation context is largely not  discussed nor examined by DB. We wish we had more to give but that is basically all DB mentions about the winds.

VTH — Uses the following SOP reference for specific clarification.

“The time is coming when we cannot sell at any price. The decree will soon go forth prohibiting men to buy or sell of any man save him that hath the mark of the beast. We came near having this realized in California a short time since; but this was only the threatening of the blowing of the four winds. As yet they are held by the four angels. We are not just ready. There is a work yet to be done, and then the angels will be bidden to let go, that the four winds may blow upon the earth. That will be a decisive time for God’s children, a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. Now is our opportunity to work.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.152)

VTH comments  —

“the winds” held by the four angels of Revelation 7:1, represent the angel’s holding back “the anger of the nations,”–the image of the beast,–also that the angels will not let “the winds” blow into being the image of the beast before the 144,000 are sealed. (“Early Writings,” p. 38.) (SC, vol.5, no.6-12, p.8)

 

 “Here are brought to view two hurtings about to take place: one by the winds, the other by the angels; and two commands to the angels: one that they restrain the winds, that the winds blow not “on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree” (Rev. 7:1); the other that the angels restrain themselves from hurting “the earth,… sea,” and “the trees,” till the servants of God are sealed. Rev. 7:2, 3). 

Since, therefore, as soon as the  servants of God are sealed both the winds and the angels will begin to hurt the question arises as to what the work of the winds and the work of the angels  represent — political strife or something else?  As the nations have always been at war, this two-fold work of hurting could not represent political strife. And as Jesus says that at the time of the end “nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matt. 24:7), it is clear that the hurting by the winds, also the hurting by the angels both of which are kept back until the 144,000 are sealed, must be figurative of holding back the “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation.” Dan. 12:1. 

Accordingly, God’s restraining of the four winds is His holding back the image of the beast’s activity (Rev. 13:15-17) against the saints, while His restraining the four angels that they hurt not is His holding back the executing of His vengeance (Isa. 63:1-4; Jer. 51:18) upon the sinners who trouble the church, until after the sealing of the 144,000 is completed. Being coupled, these two hurtings bring the time of trouble such as never was.

   Revelation 7:1-3, therefore, reveals a two-fold conflict: wicked men against God (the blowing of the winds) and God against them (the angels hurting them).  But though the blowing of the winds and the hurting of the angels after the servants of God are sealed, will bring the “time of trouble,” yet “every one that shall be found written  in the book” “shall be delivered.” Dan. 12:1.

   From these facts we see that this time of trouble is held back in order to safeguard the sealing of the 144,000 servants, lest they, “the very elect,” be brought down to worship the image of the beast, or be killed for refusing.” (Tract 8, p.22-23)

Question 2 — Are the 144,000 spiritual descendants or literal descendants of the twelve tribes?

DB — Makes a special point of saying that the list of the twelve are not the same as frequently listed in the OT Bible. For instance here is a handy list of the progressive names/changes of the 12. This is done to set up one of his pillars for establishing that the 144,000 are spiritual descendants not literal.

12 Tribes of Israel

He says, “The idea that getting an even number from each of the tribes, that would be interesting, but I believe that they are actually talking about spiritual Jews. That could include literal Jews and it could include people who have been adopted into the seed of Abraham by accepting Christ. Let me tell you why.

You read in the Bible in the old Testament, you read in 2 Kings 17:6 , ten of the tribes were conquered by the Assyrians way back hundreds of years before Jesus was born.”

He goes on to point out that the two tribes of Judah did come back to Israel but the ten tribes were dispersed, intermarried and disappeared as a distinct people.

“So when Revelation says 12,000  from the tribe of Manasseh, could you please show me someone from the tribe of Manasseh or Isaachar or Zebulun? When you talk about Jews you are typically talking about people from Levi, Judah or Benjamin… You are not going to find people who are pure bred people from Zebulun, Manasseh, Issachar and so forth. So what does it mean?”

He then quotes Gal. 3:29 —
If you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed, and heir according to the promise.”

Romans 2:28, 29 —
“For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly: neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh. But he is a jew which is one inwardly: and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit.”

“So the idea that to be one of the 144,000 you must have a DNA test is not taught in the Bible. God does not discriminate that way, if you are Abraham seed you are heirs according to the promise.”

Clearly DB does not believe in the literal application. Ok, fair enough ,let’s look at what the other view says.

VTH — has a specific report on this subject as follows —

“Whosoever has been converted to Christianity, accepting Christ as his personal Saviour, has had an experience which has completely overthrown and revolutionized his former plans and hopes, his entire way of life.  He has renounced the world and all its “pleasures of sin for a season” (Heb. 11:25), and has become a new creature in Christ, born again, heir of the kingdom according to the promise!  This is what Jesus meant when He declared to Nicodemus: “Ye must be born again.” And Paul, having this experience in mind, says: “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Gal. 3:29.

   Regardless, therefore, whether one be Jew or Gentile, he can have no part in the kingdom of Christ, save through the second birth, by which he becomes one of the seed of Abraham.  This spiritual transformation, nevertheless, does not fix anyone’s racial identity and tribal  lineage.  It can not, in other words, make one Judaite if he is not descended of Judah, or make him Ephraimite, if he is not descended of Ephraim.  Consequently, the 144,000, being of the sons of Jacob, cannot be of the Gentile nations.  They therefore, first of all, are lineal descendants of Jacob, though

Not Necessarily of the Present Identifiable Jewish Stock

   The ten tribes (the kingdom of Israel) were  carried away, scattered throughout the cities of the Medes (2 Kings 17:6), and so completely submerged in the sea of life of the surrounding nations, and assimilated, that they were utterly lost sight of, racially, to human reckoning.

Similarly, as the two tribes (the kingdom of  Judah) were carried away into Babylon, with only a few returning to Jerusalem after the seventy years of their captivity was accomplished, a multitude also of them lost their identity.

   Then, too, the early Christian church was made up of Jews only: the apostles, the 120 in the upper room (Acts 1:15), and the 3,000 who were converted on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41) were all Jews, as were, indeed, virtually all those who “were added daily” for the first three and a half years after the crucifixion (Dan. 9:26, 27; Acts 2:47).  And even after this period was over, and the apostles were commissioned to take the gospel  to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46), many more Jews became Christians, and subsequently, as Christians rather than as Jews, were scattered among the nations.

   Clearly, therefore, in each instance most of the sons of Jacob lost their racial distinctiveness.  As the Lord, however, has ever kept the genealogies  of all nations, especially of the sons of Jacob, He will, as He has promised, “make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.  And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.  The Lord shall count, when He writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.” Ps. 87:4-6.

   Thus just as obvious as strange is the fact that no one today but the recognized Jew can vouch for his ancestry, with the result that the 144,000 can be gathered from almost every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and yet be of the sons of Jacob!

   “And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Word of prophecy in this connection, “that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.  And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel.” Isa. 11:11, 12; 27:12.

Since, therefore, history, logic, and scripture combine their evidences to prove unconditionally that God has preserved the genealogy of the chosen branch of the human race forward from Adam to Noah (Matt. 1:1-17), and backward from Jesus to Adam (Luke 3:23-38), He must, then, for a consistent reason, also have preserved  the identity of the elect today.  And this we see, is precisely what He has done in His designating the lineage of the 144,000, as “of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” Rev. 7:4. 

And though we know not what we are, and cannot ever of ourselves tell, the One Who knows all about us, even to the last hair of each head, knows our precise ancestry, although those of us who are to be gathered from the seed of Jacob are, says the prophet, as the sand of the sea,” whereas, comparatively speaking, the identifiable Jewish race of today, is but a handful to the nations, and therefore cannot today be the ones to whom apply.” (Tract 8, p.7-11)

So the two are presenting opposite views. DB saying it’s symbolic and not literal descendants and VTH believes they are a people with the bloodline “seed” passed on down through the ages. VTH establishes the point that the 144,000 are literal descendants of which God alone has kept tract of the bloodline. Let’s keep in mind that the tribes intermarried both in the OT and NT and thus the original Israelites and the Israelite Christians (early Christian followers) took Black, Brown, Asian, and other nationalities as wives. Thus today we cannot tell who is who–but God can and does!

NOTE: This is a in-depth issue connecting the 144,000 to the SDA church. The SOP tells us that the “Israel of today” is the S.D.A Church (see Testimonies, vol. 9, p.164) .See the following post for more clarification —

https://godsloveandlaw.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/israelites-indeed-not-gentiles/?preview_id=6607&preview_nonce=7f98699768&preview=true

Question 3 — Are the 144,000 the only ones to be saved in the last days?

DB– Addresses this only from whether it applies from the world, does not mention or discuss whether it applies to the S.D.A church, The latter is a non-issue with him.

“If you do the math that would be pretty sad because there are about seven billion people in the world, and if only 144,000 are going to be saved, that means your chances are about 1 out of 50,000. It’s still better than the lottery in Florida, did you know that? No they are not the only ones saved. They are a special group of leaders.

Let me make the 144,000 really easy for you. In the same way that Jesus had twelve apostles that followed Him wherever He went, that had a special relationship with Him, that sang.. the Bible says that the only time Jesus sang, He sang with the twelve… Just like the twelve got the people ready for the first coming, there is going to be an army of apostles getting the world ready for the second coming.”

DB rightly says that the 144,000 are not all that are saved in the world, yet as mentioned he does not place any significance in the 144,000 and Ezekiel 9, which SOP does clearly in the following reference–

“This sealing of the servants of God is the same that was shown to Ezekiel in vision. John also had been a witness of this most startling revelation.” (Testimonies to Ministers, p.445)

So we must deal with this prophetic connection –Rev. 7 sealings and Ezekiel 9 sealings (markings) are the same event. The church purification and the birth of the 144,000. DB does not touch on this at all.

VTH — Addresses this from a S.D.A aspect. During his lifetime (died in 1955) some of the S.D.A leaders proclaimed that the 144,000 were the only ones to be saved. VTH addressed that with the following —

“The 144,000, let us note, are not from the Gentile nations, but strictly from the church, from the twelve tribes of Israel — from the descendants of Jacob (Rev. 7:3-8).  Then, to conclude that there will be no more than 144,000 living saints when Jesus comes the second time, is to say that not a soul from the Gentile nations is to be saved, which, of course, is contrary to the teachings of the Bible, not according to Jeremiah 8:20, not in harmony with the testimony of the prophets, though in harmony with the law.

   Moreover, the 144,000 are only the first fruits (Rev. 14:4) and where there is first there must be second fruits also else there cannot be first. Because there is a first resurrection we know that there is a second one.  Those that were seen after the sealing of the 144,000, the great multitude from all nations (Rev. 7:9) are, therefore, the second fruits.

   Besides their racial lineage of identification there are the words “first,” “fruits,” “servants of God,” “sealed” and “standing on Mount Zion” by which to identify who the 144,000 are and what they are.  Obviously they are called fruits because they are the result of the “harvest,” the work which separates the tares from the wheat.  The word “first” connotes that they are the first crop (group) to be harvested — separated from the “tares,” for Jesus explains that the harvest is the time in which to separate the tares from the wheat (Matt. 13:30).

   The harvest is variously termed: (1) the purification of the church (“Testimonies,” Vol. 5, p. 80); (2) the closing work for the church (“Testimonies,” Vol. 3, p. 266); (3) the time in which the bad fish are cast out, and the good put into vessels (Matt. 13:47, 48); (4) the cleansing of the sanctuary (Dan. 8:14); (5) purifying the temple (Mal. 3:1-3); (6) Judgment In the House of God (1 Pet. 4.17; Dan. 7:10).  This is Truth positive, you know, and every Seventh-day Adventist knows it, too.” (Jezreel Letter, No. 6  p.1-2)

However unlike DB, Houteff deals with this issue in a  specific way in regards to the S.D.A Church. The following references solemnly describe the 144,000 S.D.A issue.

“Will all but the 144,000 of the present S.D.A. denomination actually be slain in the separation?”

   Answer: All but those who do not receive the mark or seal, old or young, male or female, will fall under the slaughter weapons of the angels. (Ezek. 9:6.) Only those who sigh and cry for all the abominations in the midst thereof will receive the mark. (verse 4.) John saw 144,000 sealed (marked). If others from within the S.D.A. denomination besides the 144,000 should escape, it is not known to us.” (Sym. Code, vol.1, no.15, p.9)

So in regards to our church, VTH has a direct application of Rev. 7 sealings of the 144,000 applying to our SDA church. Thus the two men, are at opposite beliefs on this aspect of the 144,000 saved.  DB does not give any credence to it affecting our S.D.A church directly whereas VTH counters it has a profound direct relationship to us as Adventists.

This concludes our part 1 of this subject, next week we’ll finish with part 2. We’ll present a final summary as well.

 

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Taking the Reins into His Own Hands

May 5, 2018

The following was written in 1938 as part of the News code items  from Victor Houteff. We found this  enlightening and hope you are blessed as well .

“As most of our people hardly understand what the Spirit of Prophecy means by the statement: “The Lord shall take the reins in His Own Hands” (“Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 300) we are writing the following paragraphs. 

The foregoing prophetic statement reveals two definite things. First, that the Lord is not now holding the reins in His Own hands, and, second, that at some time He will do so. That is, as God is not now ruling the denomination through its present organization, He must reorganize it.

Moreover, it is stated that God will do this by means so simple that even “the workers will be surprised;” that is, He is not going to start reorganizing the denomination by something great, something complicated, or something which the world calls wonderful, but rather by humble means, quietly, slowly, steadily, and as naturally as represented by the mustard seed (Matt. 13:31, 32), and also as the unnoticeable lump of leaven working in dough (verse 33), whereas, the workers will still want to “control the work, but they will lose out as grass is choked by the wheat 

As God’s taking the reins in His Own hands has been demonstrated in times past, none need remain ignorant of the method He will now employ to “perfect His work of righteousness,” nor of the system He will use to rule over His Own. 

In the days when Pharaoh reigned over God’s people, the Lord did not send a great army, led by a general trained in the school of the world, to set them free, and to give Him a chance to rule over them, but he sent Moses, the simple means, with his shepherd’s rod. To Pharaoh, this appeared so simple, so small, that he paid but little attention to that which was then taking place.

Nevertheless, as he saw the leaven working in his kingdom, at times he became convinced that he should let Israel go, but as he viewed Moses’ work, simple as it was, his heart hardened, and he said: “Ha, it cannot be of God, I will not let Israel go.” This was repeated time and again. Then, finally, the blow came by the death of the first born, and there was a great cry throughout the land of Egypt as Israel went out. But as Pharaoh was not yet convinced that God had taken the reins in His Own hands, he and his army went to bring them back.

Therefore, God employed the Red Sea as a means to protect His people and as a means to destroy Pharaoh and his army. The Lord will work in no less miraculous a manner now to free His people from being ruled by a worldly organization. He will command the work Himself in the same manner as He did in Moses’ and David’s day. 

Moreover, the voice of prophecy declares that: “the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king,” and that “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.” (Hos. 3:4, 5.) That is, ancient Israel was to be scattered among the nations and be a kingdom no more for “many days,” but after the “many days,” they are to return and again become a kingdom, and “seek the Lord their God and David their king.”

Therefore, as we are now living in the time of the returning of the 144,000, the twelve tribes, it is evident that they will at this time become a kingdom in the hand of the Lord God instead of being ruled by men through a common worldly organization. 

In the days of Moses and in the days of David, when the Lord had the work in His Own hands, He spoke to the people through Moses and through David, and thus He ruled. In like manner will He, at this time, rule the work when He takes the reins in His Own hands. 

In prophecy, God revealed to Ezekiel the injustice which, in the latter days, our time, would be done to God’s people by their shepherds, and said: “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.” (Ezek. 34:23, 24.) Thus Ezekiel was also told that the present system, an organization of many shepherds, will be replaced by a new one and be conducted by one shepherd instead of by many. 

The people over whom the Lord is to take the reins in His Own hands, are, of course, only those who shall compose His kingdom. “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Therefore, the Lord’s taking the reins in His Own hands is the beginning of the establishing of His everlasting kingdom, just prior to His visible coming in the clouds.

Daniel also in vision witnessed this fact and declared to the king thus: “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 forever.” (Dan. 2:44.) 

Note that the kingdom is set up not after the “days of these kings,” but in their days, and that those kingdoms are to be broken by it. Therefore, although at first, and before the resurrection, the kingdom will not be completed with all its subjects, it will have its beginning before the second coming of Christ. 

Christ’s Own parable reveals this truth, for He says: “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.

Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt. 25: 31 through 34, 41.) 

It is generally understood that when Christ visibly appears, the nations will die by the brightness of His coming, and thus the wicked will have no chance for either the Lord to speak to them or they to speak to Him. Furthermore, according to the parable, He sits on the throne of His glory instead of sitting on the clouds as in 1 Thess. 4:17.

Therefore, the throne of His glory is His kingdom where He, invisible to the nations, sits on the throne and gathers all nations before Him as recorded by the prophet Isaiah also, saying: “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.” (Isa. 2:2.) 

The prophet Zechariah describes the case of the wicked and the conversion of the righteous in the following language: “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open Mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.

And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God. In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.

In that day  shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the House of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” (Zech. 12:3 through 10.) 

The taking of the reins in His Own hands is therefore in the time of the gathering of His people from among the nations, by the voice: “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4.) 

When this voice shall be heard calling out God’s people there shall be no sinners in His kingdom, neither shall the plagues fall there, for the saints are called out of Babylon because of the sins that are there and because the plagues are to fall upon all there. 

In Matthew 13:49 is recorded the separation of the sinners from among God’s people, for at that time, says Christ, the wicked are taken out from among the just, whereas, by the voice recorded in the Revelation, the righteous are taken out from among the wicked–the manner of the one separation being the opposite of the other–which fact proves that the Lord takes the reins in His Own hands before the commencement of the Loud Cry of Revelation 18:4. 

Our danger at the present time does not lie in that which God has said He will do, for He is well able to handle the situation, but the great peril lies in that many of us are in danger of losing out by questioning and criticizing everything that arises in the unfolding of truth, criticizing the work and position of others, criticizing every branch of the work in which they have not themselves a part (“Testimonies for the Church,” Volume 5, p. 690), instead of coming to the help of the Lord.

Yes, some will attempt “to dictate even what movements shall be made when the work goes forward under the direction of the angel who joins the third angel in the message to be given to the world.”–“Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 300. Some go still farther by saying to the promised mouthpiece of God, “You are too earnest, you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way. Let me tell you how to teach your message.”–“Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 475. 

Others, though not so dictatorial will not submit themselves to the leadership of God, for Jesus foresaw the class that “hated Him” and “sent a message after Him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.” (Luke 19:14.) 

Therefore, because of their insubordination, Jesus has plainly told that at His appearing He shall command His servants, saying, “but those Mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before Me.” (Luke 19:27.) 

The parable makes it clear that through some man Jesus is to reign before His appearing, and that those who refuse to submit themselves to the one whom Jesus has chosen to represent Him shall lose out eternally. 

Therefore, let no one by inaction or by some other way show a desire to defeat the prophetic word of God, but rather pray, for “Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.” (Ezekiel 36:37.) 

“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Heb. 2:1 through 3.) “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. And to whom sware He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not?

So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” (Heb. 3:1, 2, 18, 19.) “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” (Heb. 4:1.) “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stead fast unto the end; while it is said, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was He grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness?” (Heb. 3:12 through 17.) 

“Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but, being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty, hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” (I Pet. 5:2 through 7.)   (Symbolic Code, nos. 10-12, p. 5-8)

Sabbath Day Confusion?

January 20, 2018

Image result for picture of lunar calendar

As we have posted before, Satan has been active in these last days. One of the most talked about latest ploys is the idea that the true “Sabbath day” is not really Saturday at all. YouTube, Blogs, Facebook, email, you name it, the word is out there that we as Adventists are being hood winked. We got the day all messed up! Why we are dis-honoring God Himself!

Is it truly so?

But do not for a moment think God did not know about this ploy. Yes indeed! What you are about to read is deep and profound.The following is a report made in 1940 by Victor Houteff.

We often read where our prophetess Ellen White was gifted of God. Especially when we learn that such beautiful and profound writings came from a 3rd grade educated woman! God did it again, brother Houteff had a 4th grade education. It seems God made these lowly educated servants, an example of His power, His ability, His omniscience.

If you’re impressed, by all means copy and spread this report. Satan may very well send his workers your way with this ploy. You can effectively shut them down with this report. Be Blessed.

"The Weekly Cycle Is Neither Solar Nor Lunar. 

The Sabbath on which the Lord rested was exactly six days after the moment creation began; then, on the seventh day He rested (Gen. 2:2).  Had He, though, blessed a day which is ruled by the moon, He would have then rested the tenth day, for the moon was not created until the fourth day of creation. (See Genesis 1:14-19.)  But keeping a Sabbath on the seventh day from the creation of the moon would not have been in commemoration of  creation, but in commemoration of the moon!

   The first Sabbatical week of creation's being three days older than both the sun and the moon, makes it clear that neither of the luminaries can regulate the week of creation.  Such a regulatory force would of necessity have deprived Time and Creation of the first three days, leaving them as a phantom "lost period."

   The two foregoing paragraphs completely invalidate the idea of the week's being dependent upon the monthly orbit of the moon, and render unnecessary any further discussion of the subject.  For the sake however, of clearing some other controverted points, as well as for saving ourselves time later on in answering detailed questions on this subject, we submit the subjoined observations.  From them the reader is asked to consider that if a lunar sabbath were correctly  named, should it not be named, not the sabbath of creation, but rather

Only a Planetary Sabbath?

   The Lord having rested on the "seventh day," not on the tenth, the weekly cycle began with the first day of creation, whereas solar and lunar time commenced three days later.  A sabbath which is governed by either a solar or a lunar calendar, though, could never memorialize the week of creation, but rather only the planets themselves, and therefore, if correctly named, must be called "planetary."  Then, too, the monthly revolution of the moon round the earth, not coordinating  with the daily revolution of the earth round the sun, as already pointed out, makes it

Impossible to Keep a Planetary Sabbath.

   The fact that the moon takes longer than 28 days to complete its revolution round the earth, then were we to standardize the seventh, the fourteenth, the twenty-first, and the twenty-eighth days of the lunar month, for the observance of  the Sabbath, as the misnamed booklet advocates, we would not have kept up with the moon anyway, for the lunar month is not  actually 28 days, but approximately 29-1/2 days.

   A lunar sabbath must necessarily coordinate with both lunar and solar time.  But a sabbatical month (28 days) falls 1-1/2 days short of a lunar month (29-1/2); and a sabbatical year (12 x 4 = 48 weeks; 48 x 7 = 336 days) falls 18 days short of a lunar year (354) and 29 days short of a solar year (365).  So at the close of each sabbatical year, the lunar sabbath-keeper, in order to keep time with the weekly cycle, as well as with the rotation of the earth and of the moon, would have to make the earth stand still 29 days and the moon 18 days.

This analysis corroborates the fact that the weekly cycle cannot be governed by the motion of either the moon or the sun, but only by the power of God, which brought forth the first day of creation, three days before there was either sun or moon.  And so, as we are again shown, the Sabbath is a memorial, not of the sun or the moon, but of creation.

   There is no doubt in the minds of any that the Jewish and Apostolic churches in Christ's time were keeping the right Sabbath day; and that the zeal which the Roman Emperor, Constantine, had for the Christian faith would have absolutely forbidden him to abolish the Christian's calendar and to establish another which would annihilate both the Sabbath of creation and their memorial of the resurrection.

   Surely no one supposes that had he done such an impious thing, the Christians would have honored him so greatly as to call him a saint and to fix the twentieth day of May as his festival, which some observe even until this day. (See Twentieth Century Cyclopaedia, Vol. 3,p.13)

   Indeed, the Christians would have made so much of his sacrilege that no conceivable circumstance could have concealed the blasphemous act from the prying eye of history.  But such an entry is not to be found in

History's Record.

"The use of the week was introduced into the Roman Empire about the 1st or 2nd century of the Christian era from Egypt and had been recognized independently of Christianity before the Emperor Constantine confirmed it by enjoining the observance of the Christian Sabbath.  With the Mohammedans the week has also a religious character, Friday being observed by them as a Sabbath." -- Twentieth Century Cyclopaedia, Vol. 8, p. 487.

   "The period of seven days...was used by the Brahmins in India with the same denominations employed by us, and was alike found in the  calendars of the Jews, Egyptians, Arabs and Assyrians." -- Standard Dictionary, definition "Calendar."

   "The week is a period of seven days having no reference whatever to the celestial motions, -- a circumstance to which it owes its unalterable uniformity.  It was employed from time immemorial in almost all eastern countries; and, as it forms neither an aliquot part of the year nor of the lunar month, those who reject the Mosaic recital will be at a loss, as Dalambre remarks, to assign it to an origin having such semblance of  possibility." -- Britannica Encyclopedia.

   "It is our pleasure (such is the Imperial style) that all the nations, which are governed by our clemency and moderation, should steadfastly adhere to the religion which was taught by St. Peter to the Romans; which faithful tradition has preserved; and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus, and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of Apostolic holiness. 

According to the discipline of the Apostles, and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe the sole deity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; under an equal majesty, and a pious Trinity.  We authorize the followers of this doctrine to assume the title of Catholic Christians; and as we judge, that all others are extravagant mad-men, we brand them with the infamous name of Heretics; and declare that their conventicles shall no longer usurp the respectable appellation  of churches." -- Gibbon's Rome, Vol. 3, p. 81. (Milman edition.)

   This historical record plainly shows that the weekly period of seven days has continued unbroken from time immemorial, that Rome did not abolish the Christian week but the Roman, and that the one which took its place was the same as the Jewish, or the Christian.

   Even the lunar-sabbath advocate, himself, unwittingly admits that Constantine, in the days of his conversion to Christianity, discarded the eight-day week and adopted and confirmed the seven-day week -- the week of creation: "These three witnesses [The New International Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, and Encyclopedia  Americana]," says the brochure, "tell us that the Romans did not have seven days to their week, nor their astrological names, till the days of Constantine, but that up to that time they had eight days."--The Sabbath of Creation, p. 24.

   Though the nations of today do not follow the Biblical monthly calendar, that in no wise alters the fact that the original weekly cycle has never been changed.  And as it is entirely independent of both the solar and the lunar calendars had God not preserved it intact throughout all the ages, the saints, now in "the times of restitution of all things," would have great difficulty to restore it and to vindicate its integrity.  Thus it is seen from every test put to it, that such a lunar  sabbath is unbiblical and unhistorical and the closer it is brought to the light, the plainer it will be seen to be

Even More Illogical.

   It is true that the ceremonial system (younger than the Sabbath institution, and set up because sin entered into the human family) was in some respects subject to lunar laws; but the seventh-day Sabbath's being established, not in relation to sin, but only in relation to the perfect work of creation, could no more be governed by the law of sin than it could by the law of the moon.  The Sabbath institution is senior to the ceremonial institution and has nothing to do with the law of sin, as has the Sanctuary.  The Sabbath, therefore, cannot bow down in subservience to an institution which is not only its junior but which also owes its existence solely to sin!

   Again we see that this author's theory of a "Planetary Sabbath" is blasphemous as well as unreasonable and futile.

   The theorist has used the writings of certain historians, but let the student of Truth closely examine the quotations, and he will find that they do not support the theory any more than the Bible supports it, which leads to

The Theorist's Main Trouble.

   Going off on such tangents is due to shallow reading and to interpreting the words of others without digging deep enough to find the thought of the original authors.  And the main reason that advocates of error stay in their errors is that most of them are determined at any cost to stand by their self-made theories!  And that is their main trouble.  But we hope and pray that these mistaken  brethren will welcome the Truth as contained  in the plain, pointed, unglossed, and fundamental facts set forth in these pages, and allow It to lodge in their hearts.  Thus only may they be led to walk in the light and to find rest in Him Who is anxious to lead us into all Truth, and Who therefore, sends this

Counsel And Appeal.

   Watch your steps, and pay no homage to either a moon or a sun sabbath-day.  For by sacredly honoring such a common day, you would be worshiping those things which were created in the last three days of creations's week; namely, the planets of the heavens and the creatures of the sea, the fowls of the air and the creeping things of the ground, the beasts of the field and the mortal man of clay!

   Follow the leadership of God instead of the leadership of the moon.  Be ye not idolators, for "...it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered:  and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land." Zech. 13:2." (Tract 10, p.32-40)

Questions from the Field

November 4, 2017

We are told to investigate any purported message of Truth including our “pillars”. The Spirit of Prophecy says —

“If the pillars of our faith will not stand the test of investigation, it is time that we knew it. There must be no spirit of Pharisaism cherished among us.” (Testimonies to Ministers, p.107)

“We should all know what is being taught among us; for if it is truth, we need it….No matter by whom light is sent, we should open our hearts to receive it with the meekness of Christ….O, may we act as men who want light!” “The Lord sends light to us to prove what manner of spirit we are of. We are not to deceive ourselves.” “We must not for a moment think that there is no more light, no more truth, to be given us.”-(Gospel Workers, pp. 301, 302, 310.)

It is plain to us that “more light” will come to us as we continue to search for it. If a searcher of gold finds a nugget in the hills, he of course does not stop there and act content. No, he is just beginning. He knows much more is around the area and continues diligently to seek more. In this understanding we thought it would be a blessing to post some Q and A from our last prophet. May you be blessed and enlightened.

        Question No. 9:

“Early Writings,” p. 15, speaks about God’s announcing the day and the hour of Jesus’ coming, and pouring upon the saints the Holy Ghost. Does not all this take place at the time of the seven last plagues, just before the second Advent? If so, then does it not show that the “latter rain” is to be poured out upon God’s people after the close of probation?

Answer:

True, we do understand from the passage in question that toward the close of the seventh plague, God will announce the day and the hour of Christ’s coming, and that He will then pour out His Spirit upon His saints. We do not, however, understand this outpouring to be either the “latter” or the “former rain” of truth, or yet the power prophesied of in Joel 2:23, 28, but rather the final manifestation of God’s Spirit, not to reveal to us any more of Gospel Truth, nor to enable us to proclaim it more fully, but simply to baptize us with a fitness to behold Jesus face to face, “as He is.” (Answerer, vol. 1, Q-9)

         Question No. 17:

“The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 1, p. 44, says that the great multitude having palms in their hands are only the second fruits of the earth’s harvest, whereas “The Great Controversy,” p. 646, speaking of all “overcomers,” says: “In every hand are placed the victor’s palm and the shining harp.” How can these statements be harmonized?

Answer:

The multitude on which the Rod comments and the multitude of which The Great Controversy speaks, are two different companies, in two different locations, and on two different occasions. The former, the multitude of Revelation 7:9, have their palms on earth; the latter, the multitude of The Great Controversy, receive their palms and harps in heaven. These facts may be clearly seen from reading the statements in question.(Answerer , vol. 2, Q-17)

       Question No. 21:

What is the seal of God upon the foreheads of the 144,000 (Rev. 7:3)? Is it the Sabbath seal or something else?

Answer:

Being sealed in Christ “with that Holy Spirit of promise,” after having “heard the word of truth” (Eph. 1:13- 4:30), the saints are consequently sealed by Present Truth—the truth preached in their own day.

“The seal of the living God,” the Truth, by which the 144,000 are sealed (Rev. 7:2), is a special seal, being the same as “the mark” of Ezekiel 9. (See Testimonies to Ministers, p. 445; Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 267; Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211). It demands one’s sighing and crying over the abominations which defile him, and which desecrate both the Sabbath and the house of God, especially against selling literature and raising goals during Sabbath services. As the saints have this seal or mark on their foreheads, the angels will pass over them, not slay them. It is equivalent to the blood on the door post on the night of the Passover in Egypt. The angel is to place a mark upon the foreheads of all who by sighing over their own sins, and over the sins in the house of God, show fidelity to the Truth. Then the destroying angels will follow, to slay utterly both old and young who have failed to receive the seal. (See Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 505)

So, the former seal enables the receiver to rise from the dead in the resurrection of the just, while the latter seal enables the sighing-crying one to escape death and forever to live for God. (Answerer, vol. 2, Q-21)

     Question No. 28:

“The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 2, p. 151, quotes from “A Word to the Little Flock,” concerning the number of the two-horned beast. Since, however, the booklet is written in part by Elder James White and in part by Sister White, we should like to know which wrote the statement in mention, for if it is from Elder White, we do not see how it can carry the authority that the “Rod” attaches to it.

Answer:

Though the quotation in point is from Elder White’s pen, the very fact that A Word to the Little Flock was written jointly by him and his wife, shows that she endorsed his articles in the booklet as no less authoritative than her own. Otherwise she would never have permitted his to be published as one with hers. Whatever truth, moreover, he or any of the rest of the pioneers in those days embraced, they originally received through her. In other words, in writing what he did in A Word to the Little Flock, he was only resetting that which was revealed through Sister White. The truth of this is quickly seen from the fact that her statement on the number of the beast, page 19, perfectly corroborates his statement on page 9, the part which the Rod quotes. The acceptance, therefore, of the one’s views on the subject is the acceptance of the other’s.(Answerer, vol. 2, Q-28)

      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, Q-37)

        Question No. 49:

When does the twenty-four-hour day begin—at sunset, at sunrise, or at midnight?

Answer:

  The twenty-four-hour cycle begins at sunset, because at the moment the earth came into existence and began to rotate on its axis, there was no light “upon the face of the deep,” whereupon “God said, Let there be light: and there was light….And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Gen. 1:2, 3, 5.

  The “light” which shone on the first day, and by which God divided the day from the night (set the earth revolving on its axis), was not, however, that of the sun, for the sun and the moon were not created until the fourth day, when He spoke them forth “to rule over the day and over the night” (Gen. 1:18), which He had beforehand established.

  Thus it was that whereas the earth began punctuating eternal time with the first night of creation week, from which the weekly seventh-day Sabbath is measured; the moon began punctuating time at the end of the third day and at the beginning of the fourth night from which the month is measured, and the sun began to punctuate time at the end of the fourth night and the beginning of the fourth day, from which the year is measured. Accordingly, the time-span which measures and segments the week, is three days in advance of the time-spans which measure and segment the solar year and the lunar month. In order, therefore, that His people might commemorate the week of creation, from the instant that the span of earthly time began, God commanded: “From even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.” Lev. 23:32.

  So the twenty-four-hour day begins with the; night, at sunset; and the daytime itself, separate from the nighttime, begins at sunrise.(Answerer, vol. 3, Q-49)

Question No. 50:

Can you tell us the Hebrew New Year’s day and the days Or their sacred feasts, In terms of our Roman calendar?

Answer:

While leading the Hebrew host from bondage to freedom, the Lord was firmly establishing them in the truth of all things, including the truth of the day on which the year begins, of the day on; which the month begins, and of the day on which ‘ the week begins. Obviously, the Hebrew religion had largely to do with the days of the week, of the month, and of the year.

The Hebrews were forever to keep holy, 
(1) not a seventh, but the seventh, day of each week, the Sabbath; 
(2) the days from the fifteenth to the twenty-first day of the first month, the Passover week; 
(3) the fiftieth day after the sheaf of the j first fruits was offered, the Pentecost; 
(4) the tenth day of the seventh month, the Atonement; 
(5) the days from the fifteenth to the twenty-first ‘day of the same month, the Feast of Tabernacles; . and (6) the feasts of the new moons. 
Thus the All-knowing One, He who created the heavenly bodies and knows the very moment He set them in motion to govern the day, the month, and the year, decreed that the holy feasts be observed in the very month and on the very day on which they were first ordained.

  And He appointed the “lights in the firmament… for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” (Gen. 1:14), by the movements of which He fixed each solar and each lunar date, so that it could never be lost sight of. Then to make doubly secure against such a loss. He “spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” Ex. 12:1, 2.

  Thus we see that His great and never erring timepiece for earth, the earth’s own invariable movements, fix the day and the year; whereas the moon’s revolving round the earth makes the months.

  But the Roman New Year, January 1, finds its establishment, not in the movements of the solar system, but in the notions of mythology. Consequently, as the date does not coincide with either the vernal or the autumnal equinox, or with either the summer or the winter solstice, then should earth’s inhabitants ever lose count of the day, and need to recover it, they would be helpless to do so.

  To prevent His people from bringing upon themselves such a catastrophe, and to have them intelligent as to the time the year begins, the Lord gave to Moses the sacred yearly calendar, which cannot be lost or miscalculated so long as the earth remains. He told him that the  day which preceded the exodus was the fourteenth day of the first month- and that forever  thereafter, they were to commemorate the Pass over on that very night each year, the night following the fourteenth day. Thus was the Lord reestablishing the creation calendar, reaffirming  that the year begins on the day of the vernal equinox, on which spring, the first season of the year, commences, and on which the sun and the loon were created (the fourth day from the beginning of creation)-the only point in time at which, in the very nature of things, the year could begin. And so it is that the Passover, the Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles (the three most important feasts in the year), besides other feasts, are controlled by the solar year and by the lunar month; the weekly Sabbath by the day on which creation began; and the year itself by the vernal equinox, the immovable signpost.

  Beginning its first month of the year with the first new moon, at, or after, the vernal equinox, March 20-21, it puts the fourteenth day, that on which the Passover lamb was to be slain, on April 3. Once for all, is seen the utter impossibility of the Roman month’s having the slightest thing to do with reckoning the time of either the Passover or the sheaf offering, and thus not the slightest thing to do with reckoning the time of either the crucifixion or the resurrection of Christ.

   This is more graphically seen from the correspondence of the sacred events which came in the spring of the year A.D. 31, the year Christ was crucified, with the sacred events which came in the fall of the year A.D. 27, the year in which He baptized, as viewed diagrammatically: 
  
  
 

   This chart enables us to see that just as one solar season matches another (the vernal equinox matches the autumnal equinox, and the summer solstice, the winter solstice), in like fashion the sacred feasts of one season match the sacred feasts of another season: the tenth day of the first month, the separation of the unblemished lamb from the flock (Ex. 12:3), corresponding to the tenth day of the seventh month, the work of Atonement, the separation of the righteous from the unrighteous, signifying in both events a day of judgment, a day of separating the holy from the unholy; the sixteenth of the first month, the day Christ was crucified, corresponding to the sixteenth of the seventh month, the day He was baptized, showing that His watery grave foreshadowed His grave in the tomb; the eighteenth day of the first month, the resurrection, corresponding to the eighteenth day of the seventh month, the first day of the wilderness temptation; His forty days of victorious ministry to His disciples, corresponding to His forty days of victorious conflict with Satan; and His disciples’ preaching the gospel after the Pentecost, corresponding to His preaching the gospel after the wilderness temptation.

  To establish the date of His baptism as the sixteenth day of the seventh month, we need only to consider, aside from the coincidences, the fact -that the “more sure word of prophecy” certifies that He was to preach three and a half years, and then be “cut off.” Dan. 9:26. And as He was crucified on the sixteenth of the first month, he must have been baptized for the ministry just three and a half years before, on the sixteenth day of the seventh month. (Answerer vol. 3, Q-50)

 

 

Two Hundred Million Horsemen

September 23, 2017

Image result for two hundred million horsemen

One of the most mysterious and awesome mental pictures in the Revelation is that of Rev.9:16 –the two hundred million horsemen. What does this mean? Who are they and what do they represent? Do not worry, the Lord through His restoring prophet comes through for us. Let us look at this subject.

“And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were  two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.” (Rev. 9:15-17)

There has been many theories put forth and our own S.D.A church is without exception. But the message gives us warning and counsel in regards to privately interpreting subjects such as the two hundred million horsemen —

“Ever since John recorded this imposing symbolization, church history has repeatedly throughout her pages had to make the entry that every attempt made to unlock its mystery has but resulted the more in barricading it with mysticism and confusion.  It is necessary, therefore, in clearing the mysticism, first of all to find

THE REASON FOR THE CONFUSION.

   The very fact that nineteen centuries of prying at the subject to open it up has only made it the more impenetrable, is the strongest possible evidence that God controls the Scriptures and reveals Them only at the divinely appointed time.  The truth of this statement is conclusively substantiated by the angel’s words: “I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your Prince.” Dan. 10:21.

   And “when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come,” says Christ, in broader statement of this same truth, “He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13.

   Having been put forth prematurely and without the prompting of the Spirit of Truth, human efforts have accordingly failed to discover and explain the truth of “the trumpets.”  And no scripture ever being unfolded without Inspiration, the expositions of uninspired minds are hence of private interpretation, in forewarning of which the Bible says: “….no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” 2 Pet. 1:20.

So 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.  Knowing this, Satan is continually

Paving the Way for Sinning Against the Holy Ghost.”

No one is lost for believing a false interpretation of a prophecy before the truth of it is revealed, provided the false interpretation does not draw him away from some other truth.  Such individuals, however, are in great danger because, as history reveals, very few who become thus involved in error are willing to humble themselves by renouncing their errors and accepting the truth when it is made known.  They are consequently in constant peril of sinning against the Holy Ghost.  And being acutely aware of this, Satan misinterprets the prophecies before they are divinely revealed.  He realizes full well that many, unwilling to be corrected and to exchange their errors for revealed truth, will thereby be led to eternal ruin.  All-important, therefore, is the need that the student of the truth fortify himself with all honesty and humility as the light of truth is now turned searchingly on

Popular Theories.

(Tract 5, p.4-7)

Now we shall look at what our church has supported even though it is deceiving error. This will enable us to see the folly of such understanding that we as Adventists have been exposed to through the years on our subject. Let us read —

“To begin with, the reader’s attention is called to Elder Uriah Smith’s book, originally entitled Thoughts on Daniel and The Revelation, and later Daniel and The Revelation, in which is explained, among other subjects, the subject of “the seven trumpets.”  Here one will notice that Elder Smith is not the original author of the exposition of the trumpets.  The originators were Messrs. Keith, Clark, Barnes, et al.  “Thus far,” says Elder Smith, “Keith has furnished us with illustrations of the sounding of the first five trumpets.” — Daniel and The Revelation, p. 506.

   Then further in the same chapter, and in explanation of Revelation 9:17, we read: “As the Turks discharged their firearms on horseback, it would appear to the distant beholder, that the fire, smoke and brimstone issued out of the horses’ mouths, as illustrated by the accompanying plate.” — Id., p.510.  “Barnes thinks this was the case,” remarks Elder Smith; “and a statement from Gibbon confirms this view.” — ld., p. 510, footnote.

   Thus, plainly, the interpretation of the seven trumpets, as it is found in Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation, was not originated by the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.  But their placing upon it their endorsement makes it appear as Seventh-day Adventist doctrine.  In other words, the theories of uninspired men having the S.D.A. stamp of approval, are made to appear to the S.D.A. laity as genuine S.D.A. Bible doctrines.  This goes to show that the majority of Seventh-day Adventists, right along with others, do not ask, “Is it true, — in harmony with God’s word? but, By whom is it advocated?” — Testimonies to Ministers, p.106.  And if the theory comes through a popular channel, they as a rule unquestionably accept it!

   A fair example is their unhesitatingly applauding such manipulations as rationalizing “the heads of lions” (in the symbolism of Revelation 9:17) into heads of Arabian horses, and the serpent-like tails (Rev. 9:19), into common horses’ tails (as evidenced by the accompanying illustration) in order to connect the trumpets with the battles of the Turks!

   But even worse, they unhesitatingly agree that the “fire,” “smoke,” and “brimstone” did not issue, as John saw them, from the lion-like mouths, but rather from a gun in the hand of a Turk!

   Their accepting these additions and subtractions to and from Holy Writ, a practice condemned by the Scriptures (Rev. 22:18, 19), shows that they are victims of a faulty vision, which causes them to think themselves right when they are all wrong (Testimonies, Vol. 3, pp. 252, 253).

   Their subscribing to such a practice, moreover, undermines faith in the Bible, for if the Revelator be wrong in one instance, then can he not be mistaken in other instances also?  And if we cannot depend upon the book of The Revelation

 

just as it reads, then how can we put confidence in any of the Bible?  And if inspired prophets cannot declare the positive truth of what they see, then how can uninspired students of their writings declare it?  So, those who learn “to give an answer to every man that asketh…a reason of the hope that is in” (1 Pet. 3:15) them, will have no trouble answering  the question:

Did John See Correctly?

   True, the seer of Patmos was an erring human being like ourselves, but the one who dictated His writings — the great and infallible I Am, Overseer and Proof Reader of the Scriptures — was there to see that John made a faithful record of what he saw, for the exact truth of the symbolism means our very life.  Indeed, it is not possible that the Lord would jeopardize our salvation by displaying the symbolism so far removed from John’s sight that he could not accurately see and record it, and yet expect to save us by it.

   If John failed to see correctly the symbols in the vision, as these supposed-to-be men of learning and experience speciously explain, then does it not imply that God is indifferent as to whether or not He reveals in a misleading way truth which is essential to our salvation?  If not, and if John was wrong, why, then, did not God correct him?  Was it impossible for Him here to correct His prophet?

   “The second angel,” says the Revelator, “poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.” Rev. 16:3.

If John could not, as is contended, see exactly where the “fire,” “smoke,” and “brimstone” came from, then how could he see that “every” creature, as he says in the words just quoted, died in the bottom  of the sea?  Which condition is the more difficult to see with exactness?

   The acceptance and the teaching of such interpretations  is signboard evidence that there is today gross darkness throughout the church, enveloping both the laity and the watchmen who claim to be the “men of experience” mentioned in Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 293, and elucidated in Tract No. 4, The Latest News for Mother Revised Edition, pp. 32-35.  These men, though exceedingly “unskilful in the Word,” as is seen from the foregoing observations, forbid that anything new in which they see no light, be brought before the people. 

And despite the fact that such utterly unlawful and light-obscuring restrictions are devised to keep the people forever in their errors, the laity nevertheless accept them without question, and esteem those who devise them as wise and true friends.  And all who refuse to be bound by such restrictions  are “cast out” (Isa. 66:5), while multitudes who disbelieve the Spirit of Prophecy are retained,  and other multitudes of like unbelief are accepted as members in approved standing!  Thus is reenacted the outstanding sin of the Jews, which called forth from the lips of the Saviour the piercing pronouncement:

“If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matt. 6:23. (Tract 5, p.7-13)

Ok let us now turn to the truth of the matter —

“Rev. 9:15, first clause. “And the four angels were loosed.”

   The execution of the command, “Loose the four angels,” meaning to set the church free from her captivity in Babylon, resulted in her being liberated from her long bondage to the tyranny of church-state rule, and in the Bible’s being restored to God’s people, so that they might study and worship in fear and in favor of no man, and in accountability only to their conscience and to their God.  In the consequent dissolution of the church-state union, the “four angels” were loosed.(Tract 5, p.81)

   Rev. 9:15, last part. “…which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.”….

The marginal rendering gives the preposition “at” for the preposition “for,” making the verse read: “At an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year.”  Still more exactly rendered, it would read: “At an hour, at a day, at a month, and at a year.”  Thus are designated four points in time “at” which the four angels were to prepare “for to slay the third pan of men.”  And as the “third part” in the trumpets represents, as we have seen, those who reject God’s appeals to them to repent and be saved, then, accordingly, the angels’ preparing themselves on four successive occasions for the eventual execution of death upon “the third part of men,” shows that the men are to reject a four-phase (four-doctrine) message, each phase being revealed successively:

   (1) The only revelation of truth pertaining to and coming “at an hour” is the proclamation of the angel’s announcement: “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.” Rev. 14:7.

   (2) The only revelation of truth pertaining to and coming “at a day” is the warning of “the day of vengeance” (Isa. 63:4), “the great and dreadful day of the Lord,” which is to be heralded by the promised “Elijah the prophet.” Mal. 4:5; Testimonies  to Ministers, p. 475.

   (3) The only revelation pertaining to and coming “at a month” is “the latter rain in the first month” (Joel 2:23) — the light of the angel who is to lighten the earth with his glory (Rev. 18:1; Early Writings, pp. 277, 278).  Then “afterward,” says the Lord, “I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh.” Joel 2:28.  Glorious prophetic promise, it envisages the power that God is to bestow upon His messengers who are to proclaim  the message that is revealed in the time “of the latter rain.”  “At the right time” says the Spirit of Prophecy, “He sends His faithful messengers to do a work similar to that of Elijah.” — Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 254. (For further study on the latter rain, see The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 2, pp. 256, 257.)

   (4) And, finally, the only revelation pertaining  to and coming “at a year,” and preparing the four angels “for to slay the third part of men” is says the Lord, “the year of My redeemed.” Isa. 63:4.  And this “year” at which His people are redeemed is, of course, the time of the sealing and of the deliverance of the 144,000, — those who are redeemed who escape the slaughter decreed in Ezekiel 9.  Of these, the Lord says: “I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations,…to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations

…to My holy mountain Jerusalem,…in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.” Isa. 66:19, 20.

   These four messages prepare the four angels “for to slay the third part of men” — all who fail to receive into their lives the saving truth of the gospel as revealed in the four messages.  They are, to recapitulate, (1) those who close their ears to the proclamation of the judgment, which is revealed “at an hour”; (2) those who heed not the solemn warning of the day of God’s vengeance, which is revealed “at a day”; (3) those who receive not the latter rain, which comes “at a month”; and (4) those who do not join “His redeemed”  (the 144,000), who are sealed “at a year.”  All these who fail to make the needful preparation for gloryland after the truth is proclaimed to them, shall perish at the command of the angelic horsemen whose army numbers “two-hundred thousand thousand.” (Tract 5, p.87-89)

Rev. 9:16-19. “And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.  And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.  By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.  For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.”

   These verses immediately evoke the question Who are these “horsemen” and “horses,” numbering  200,000,000 each, “the army” which is to “slay the third part of men”?

   In answering this question, it is to be remembered that likewise the “four angels” were to “slay a third part of men,” also that they symbolize the fourfold message brought to view in preceding  paragraphs.  Unmistakably, therefore, the “army”  of “horses” is figurative of the workers who proclaim the final message.

   That the symbol, horses, is correctly interpreted to represent gospel workers is further borne out by Zechariah 14:20.  There, horses are used to symbolize preachers, those who sound “the bells” — the alarm of warning, the message of salvation.  Like the “locusts,” therefore, they represent the messengers of God, but under different  circumstances. (For more ample treatment of this  symbolical meaning of the horses, read Tract No. 2, The Warning Paradox of Zechariah 6.)

   So as the horses are representative of gospel messengers, and as they are controlled and guided by their riders (divine beings), then the “horsemen,” it automatically follows, are figurative  of the angelic host who lead and direct the saints in their work of proclaiming the message and, subsequently, in killing the third part of men who reject it.  But since riders, not horses, do the killing when engaged in battle, these supernatural beings, the angelic horsemen, are the ones who actually do the slaying.  Hence, their having “breastplates of  fire [protection of the Spirit], and of jacinth, and brimstone.”

   What, then, we may ask, is the “power” of the horses?  These 200,000,000 horses, we have learned, symbolize a great army of gospel workers, from whose lips go a message which means life or death.  That, therefore, must be the power in their mouth.  Consequently, the “fire,” “smoke,” and “brimstone,” which issue “out of their mouths,” are figurative of the message which they proclaim: the power of the Holy Spirit (the “fire”), the sacrifices of Christ (“the smoke”), and the destructive judgments of God (“the brimstone”).  By this three-fold message “was the third part of men killed.” Rev. 9:18.

“The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.” Isa. 60:12.

   “Lift ye up a banner,” saith the Lord, “upon the high mountain [God’s holy church], exalt the voice [the proclamation of the gospel] unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.  I have commanded My sanctified ones [the ministry — “two hundred thousand thousand”  “horses”], I have also called My Mighty ones [the angelic host — “two hundred thousand thousand horsemen”] for Mine anger, even them that rejoice in My highness.  The noise of a multitude [the army of Revelation 9:16] in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.  They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of His indignation, to destroy the whole land.

   “Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.  Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: and they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.  Behold, the day of the Lord  cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. 

For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.  And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.  I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.  Therefore, I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger.” Isa. 13:2-13.

   “And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray Thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:17.

   If our eyes were opened as were the eyes of “the young man,” we, too, would see an angelic host round about the “Elishas” of today.

   And now as to what swelled the number of preachers from 144,000 to 200,000,000, the Lord says: “I will also take of them [of those whom the 144,000 shall bring from “all nations,” after the fulfillment of Isaiah 66:16 — the purification of the church] for priests and for Levites.” Isa. 66:21.  The very fact of such a multitude of workers speaks for itself that they are engaged in reaping the harvest of the world.

   Here in pledged word, God foretells in clearest tenor that many of those whom He brings into the church after the purification, will join the 144,000 in proclaiming the message to the whole world, when the earth is lightened with the glory of the angel (Rev. 18:1).

Then shall “the sons of strangers,” says the Lord, “build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in My wrath I smote thee…. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel…. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders;  but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.  The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.” Isa. 60:10, 14, 18, 19.

   “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.” Zech. 13:8, 9.

   Two parts lost and one part saved make three parts in all.  The “one third” (Rev. 9:15) shall be slain by fire, smoke, and brimstone (Rev. 9:18), before probation closes.  The remaining wicked who are slain by the seven last plagues (Rev. 16) and by the brightness of His coming (2 Thess. 2:8), after probation closes, make the other third. The saved, the last third, are “the third…left therein.” Zech. 13:8. (Tract 5, p.89-95)

So there we have it the two hundred million horses are gospel workers. The horsemen, the riders, are the angelic host, divine beings, guiding them in proclaiming the message and then executing God’s judgment upon the wicked. Wow, this packs a “truth punch” doesn’t it? The Loud Cry of the 144,000 will soon produce 200 million gospel preachers!

Although we now have a little over 7 Billion people on our planet, the 144,000 and the gospel workers will reap a harvest known as the “Great Multitude” which no man could number (Rev. 7:9). What a time to be alive and witness what God’s full Spirit poured upon His vanguard the “first fruits” and His “great army of gospel workers” can do.

Let us thank the Lord for our understanding of this most mysterious and long-held confusing topic. His promise to restore “all things” including the full truth of the Scriptures is a real blessing for those of us interested in prophecy.

What Makes One Eligible?

July 29, 2017

OPENING PRAYER THOUGHT

   I shall read from The Mount of Blessing, pg. 155, beginning with the second paragraph.

   M.B. pp. 155, 156 — “The very first step in approaching God is to know and believe the love that He has to us; for it is through the drawing of His love that we are led to come to Him.

   “The perception of God’s love works the renunciation of selfishness.  In calling God our Father, we recognize all His children as our brethren.  We are all a part of the great web of humanity, all members of one family.  In our petitions we are to include our neighbors as well as ourselves.  No one prays aright who seeks a blessing for himself alone.

   “‘Which art in heaven.’  He to whom Christ bids us look as our Father,’ ‘is in the heavens; He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.’  In His care we may safely rest, saying, What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.'”

   What does the reading instruct us to pray for? — For an appreciation of God’s love and for better understanding of Him; for the right understanding of what it means to pray the Lord’s prayer; for wisdom to know why we address God as our Father, why we are members of one family, brethren of one household; for grace to remember to pray not for ourselves only but for our neighbors, and even for our enemies.

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WHAT MAKES ONE ELIGIBLE?TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTSSABBATH, SEPTEMBER 21, 1946MT. CARMEL CHAPELWACO, TEXAS  

A number of brethren have written to me from time to time, wanting to know what makes them eligible to receive the Seal of God.  Some want to know whether they will be sealed by doing this or by doing that.  Others want to know whether they will be left without the seal by not doing this or not doing the other.

   The questions are indeed very timely and commendable.  Such vital questions deserve answers as concrete as are the questions themselves.  And who can give a more concrete answer than those who have gone before us, those whose duties were similar to ours, those who were passing through a similar experience, those who traveled the same road that we are traveling, those who were preparing themselves for the Kingdom as are we.

   In whom do we find such a parallel? — In no others than those who left Egypt and started for the promised land.  No, in none others.  They are our only type.  Says Inspiration: “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” (1 Cor. 10:11.)  Their duties, therefore, are our duties, and their failures should be our stepping stones to success.  Thus it is that the deeds of those who entered into the promised land must be our

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deeds, and if we are to be sealed, then the deeds of those who failed to enter therein, we must shun as completely and as quickly as we would shun a lion’s den.

   We are now to find out why some of them went into the promised land, and why others did not go in, for this is what Inspiration commands us to do.  This scripture implies that if the experiences of ancient Israel had not been for ensamples, they would never have been written.  How important, then, that we diligently study them.  Yes, in order for us to know what we must do or must not do to receive the seal and to enter into the Promised Land, we must examine the deed of both those who entered it and of those who were left out of it.

   Let us begin our examination by starting with Moses, with the human agent, the visible leader of the movement.  Reared in the courts of Pharaoh, he received the highest education the world then offered.  And having understood that he was the one to free his brethren from Egyptian bondage, he felt quite capable for the job.

   You remember the story of how he started out to deliver them although he was not yet told to do so.  He killed an Egyptian, fell into a quarrel with one of the Hebrews, and then fled for his life.  So it was that in Midian he obtained a job, became a shepherd, and married his employer’s daughter.  During those forty years of shepherd’s life he forgot the Egyptian language, and with it the Egyptian learning.  In its place, though, he learned to tend well to sheep.  He therefore dismissed from his mind the idea of ever delivering the people of God from their Egyptian bondage.  Then it was that God saw him strong and well able, and commanded him to go back to Egypt and to bring

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out of it His groaning people.  You recall that Moses protested against the idea and argued that he had failed at his first attempt, the time he was young and well-informed and that at that late hour of his life he was not trying again, that he could no longer even speak the language.  After a prolonged conversation God removed his objections by promising to give him his brother, Aaron, to be his spokesman, and Moses finally consented to return to Egypt.

   There with his shepherd’s rod he performed many signs and wonders before both the Egyptians and the Hebrews.  And you remember what took place the night of the Passover, the night before they left Egypt: Moses had proclaimed throughout the land that in every dwelling where no blood was found on the doorpost, that very night the firstborn in each such dwelling would die.

   Those who disobeyed the Divine injunction, were, on the day following busily moaning and burying their dead, while those who obeyed the command were joyously and orderly marching out of the cities.  Yes, only those who were able to take orders were made free from slavery.  It is, therefore, prerequisite that we learn to take orders if we are to receive the seal of God in our foreheads.

   Let us not forget, though, that the children of Israel left Egypt with great zeal and high hopes.  But when they saw the Red Sea ahead of them, and Pharaoh’s army behind them, they were filled with consternation.  They saw themselves in a death trap although they were at the brink of another marvelous deliverance.  Then they turned on Moses and accused him of bringing them to the sea, of making their escape from their enemies absolutely impossible.

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   Humanly viewing the situation, they were in a precarious predicament.  In that moment they forgot their miraculous deliverance from Pharaoh’s taskmasters and their eyes closed to the wondrous cloud by day and pillar of fire by night that had led them all the way.  As they saw it, the evidence against Moses’ ability to lead them safely was overwhelming.  Insofar as they were concerned, the whole venture appeared doomed to failure.  Their hopes of going ahead or of even going back left them, and all because they thought Moses, not God, was their deliverer!  How shortsighted, unstable, doubting, and forgetful human beings are!  Experience in the gospel work has taught me that God’s people of today have the same tempter to contend with, and similar temptations to overcome if they are to receive the seal of God.

   What a great difference would there have been had the Israelites only believed that God, not Moses, was their Leader, that that which appeared to be their death trap, was their door of hope.  Let their experience teach us to remember that God is either leading us altogether or not at all, that His ways are not; our ways, and that what may appear to be our greatest obstacle, may actually turn out to be our greatest blessing.

   Israel’s real danger, we now see, was not in what Moses did, but in their unbelief of God’s having the reins in His hands, in not knowing that His ways are beyond finding out — contrary to ours.  They failed to see that God could again and again perform miracle after miracle to deliver them from their enemy’s hand, that He could dry the ocean as easily as He could flood the earth.

   Having their failures before us, we should make

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them our stepping stones to success.  Let us therefore wholeheartedly believe that God is in charge of our salvation, of our lives and of our death, too.  That He is able to take us to safety even if the earth should drop out of space, that we cannot die if He wants us alive, and that we cannot live if He wants us dead.  Let us ever bear in mind that we of ourselves know nothing about God’s plans except as told through His appointed servants, the prophets, and as we witness them day by day.  If we daily walk with God, if we commit all to Him, then the responsibility is all His.

   God, in His wisdom, brought Israel to the Red Sea for their own good, and though they could not see it His way, He nevertheless for His Name’s sake divided the sea, took them safely across, and at the same time, by the same miracle, He destroyed their enemies!

   Had Moses been as doubtful of God’s power and leadership as were the people that were with him, what effect would his rod have had as he struck the sea with it? — None whatsoever.  If the Judgment of the Infinite were the same as the judgment of the finite, then Pharaoh’s army would have either killed or enslaved Israel anew.

   Their mighty deliverances should, therefore, forever establish our confidence in God, and should stand as everlasting memorials that the wisdom of men is foolishness with God, and that faith in Him does actually remove mountains and seas, too.

   Notwithstanding these ensamples, though, men still expect God to work in accordance with their judgment, and that is why sometimes He uses children in

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His work instead of wise and prudent men.

   The Hebrew host well knew that they were led to the sea by following the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.  Yet none of these wonders seemed to have made any lasting impression on them.  There is a danger that we, too, may forget the way the Lord has led us.

   After Israel crossed the sea, and after the sea closed in on their enemies, they all sang and gave God the glory, but though Pharaoh’s army and the sea were no longer objects of fear but of interest, their trials, doubts, and fears were not yet at an end: Almost immediately after they saw the sea behind and the desert ahead they began to recriminate Moses for having brought them into the desert to starve there for want of water and food.  It never entered their minds that if God can dry the sea, He can certainly flood the desert and make it blossom as a rose.  Notwithstanding their doubts and their moanings God again performed an even greater miracle: He caused water to gush out of the rock and He brought manna from Heaven!

   Today as in Moses’ day many are duplicating the sins of that people: Some are all on fire on day, and all on ice the next.  Others praise God to the top of their voices while their ship is smoothly sailing, but when the sea becomes rough and the waves start beating against them, then they see only a man at the wheel and rather than expecting God to calm the sea they begin to hunt for a jumping off place.  Still others are constantly trying to promote themselves by continual fault-finding against the ones that bear the whole burden of the load.  So it is that there must be among us today — antitypical doubters, complainers

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office seekers and faultfinders, admitting one great truth one day and forgetting it the next day — yet expecting to be sealed with the seal of God and to stand with the Lamb on Mt. Zion!

   The Lord fed His ancient people with Angel’s food, the kind their work and climate required.  He delivered it fresh daily, and it did not cost them one cent.  All they had to do was to bring it into their tents and to eat it.  But they disliked the manna, and wished they were back in Egypt eating from its flesh pots, “the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick.”  In their eyes, Moses was the greatest of sinners, and they blamed him for every trial of their faith.  Had God given them something other than manna, they would have been just as dissatisfied with it because an evil spirit was in them.  Let us gladly and with thanks eat and drink what the Lord gives us and when He gives it to us.

   You recall that by craving flesh food they made the situation unbearable for Moses.  So, to their great surprise quail filled the camp, and the multitude carried them into their tents.  But at what a cost!  Thousands of them died even while the flesh was yet between their teeth.  Then they understood that the manna was the better food.  It was a great lesson, but an expensive one.  What about us Vegetarians?

   Their murmuring, however, did not end even then.  They found something else to murmur about.  They grew jealous of Moses and of Aaron.  “They are taking too much on themselves,” the office seekers complained.  “We are just as much favored of God as are Moses and Aaron.  God speaks with us as much as He speaks with them,” they said.  And who were the chief complainers? — The princes of the nations, the

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men who were the most capable, the very ones who should have known better.  Those who could have been the greatest help to Moses became the biggest hindrance to him.  They wanted Aaron’s office; they wanted Moses’ office.  They refused to be satisfied with anything less.  The Lord Himself got nowhere with them.  The only thing He could do was to cause the earth to swallow them.  Thus in one day thousands — practically all the so-called wise — fell into the bowels of the earth.  Are we, too, seeking office by which to exalt self and are we, too, endeavoring to usurp the seat of the Spirit of Truth?

   Finally, the emancipated children of Israel came to the borders of the promised land.  And though they had witnessed great miracles right along, yet they did not believe that God could procure the land for them!  They had seen that He was able to deliver them from Pharaoh’s brick yards, to take them dryshod through the sea, to destroy their enemies, to give them food and water in the desert where there was none to be had, yet they did not believe that He was able to take the land for them and that He could finish what He had started!

   There are thousands today who are doing virtually the same when they say, “Isaiah, chapter 2, Micah, chapter 4, Jeremiah, chapter 31 and Ezekiel, chapters 36 and 37 will never be fulfilled.”  It was those who were of age, those who should have known better, that started the ball rolling down hill to destruction.  The youth, of course, must have echoed the murmurings of their elders, but the Lord did not hold it against them.  And in order to salvage the youth, God had to bury all their murmuring parents except the two faithful, trusting men who protested against the evil report of the other ten spies.  Mark you, every adult that

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left Egypt, except Caleb and Joshua, had to be buried before the youth could cross the Jordan!  Why? — Because though God did take them with ease out of Egypt, He could not get Egypt out of them.  Are you still wondering why the prophet Elijah must “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers”? (Mal. 4:6.)

   Christians often think that the Israelites were very wicked and unruly people, but after having their experiences to profit by, think how much worse we would be if we do as they did!  If we do no better than they, how can we expect to be eligible for the seal and for the Kingdom since they were not eligible?

   In the very prime of life, Moses thought himself capable of delivering the children of Israel.  But Providence said: “You are not fit for the work, come out and I will make you fit.”  And out Moses went.

   He did not need Pharaoh’s training in order to do God’s work.  It was a hindrance to him!  Why?  Because it made him self-sufficient, independent of God.  Such a person would be the right one to lead God’s people away from Him and into sin, but the wrong one to lead them to God and away from sin.

   How true the statement in Testimonies, Vol. 5, pg. 80: “…In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged.  They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and he cannot use them.  The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view.”

   God can help only those who know that they are unequal to their task, those who know that they need His help.  So, then, those who think that they can do wonders

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are the very ones who can do nothing but harm.

   Plainly, those whom God is to use in His final work, in the time of the end, are not to be anything like the Egyptian crown prince, not anything like the learned Moses.  Those who can learn to keep and feed sheep well and to readily take orders, are the ones who can be taught how to keep and feed God’s people.

   Moses’ wife was the only Ethiopian in the entire company.  For this reason some thought they were superior to her.  They thought that Moses had committed the unpardonable sin by marrying out of his nation, as though race had anything to do with making people superior or inferior.  Moses’ own sister, Miriam, was caught in that sin.  There she was, trying to break up his family, yet Moses prayed for her recovery when she was stricken with leprosy.

   Who went into the promised land? — All but the murmurers.  Do you suppose that you can entertain the same spirit of murmuring and complaining, and in spite of it receive the seal? — How absurd the very thought!  How unfair it would be for a just God to destroy the disobedient of that day, but to save the disobedient of this day.

   What made one group eligible to cross the Jordan? — It was their trust in God, knowing that He was their Chief Leader.  They recognized Moses and Joshua as the ones through whom God was communicating with them.  They did not look upon them as being anyone other than who they actually were.  They were satisfied with their lot.  They took orders as the orders were given.  So it was that they were the only ones who entered into the land.

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   Having these ensamples before us, this picture to go by, I can confidently tell whether I am headed for the Kingdom or whether I am headed for the bowels of the earth (Rev. 12:16).  And I am sure that you, too, can tell which way you are headed.  The Lord does not require more or less of us than He required of our types.  There is therefore no mystery as to what we must do, and what we must not do to receive the seal of God.

   We need not go into a land of wonderment, need not entertain the idea that we must have a mysterious feeling, exciting emotion, need not wallow in the dust or jump to the ceiling.  No, we need not make fools of ourselves.  All we need to do is be ourselves.  Be calm, decent, respectable, heaven-like beings, endeavoring to do God’s will on earth as it is done in heaven.  We need not make a display of ourselves, but we need to mind our God-given business and to keep our noses out of other people’s business.

   Only when we have done all we can to comply with the requirements of the message for today, not of yesterday, shall we be sealed and stand with the Lamb on Mt. Zion.

   Should we not be glad that while we are being invited to the Kingdom, we are also being told how to get there?  Seeing all these, we must never let our confidence in God wane.  We ought to be stable, firm in everything, lacking nothing.  God’s eleventh-hour servants, says Inspiration, are to be “a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it.” Joel 2:2.  They know what they believe, and believe what they know.  Most important of all, they know that they are led by God, not by man.

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   They are not like the Pharisees who were building monuments in memory of the dead prophets (Matt. 23:29-31) and at the same time were slaying the living ones!  With this light shining on our pathway, Hebrews, chapters 3, 4, 10 and 11 become self-interpreting.

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The Sacred Page

A glory gilds the sacred page,Majestic like the sun;It gives a light to every age,It gives, but borrows none.

The Spirit breathes upon the word,And brings the truth to sight;Precepts and promises affordA sanctifying light.

The hand that gave it, still supplies The gracious light and heat;His truths upon the nations rise,They rise, but never set.

Let everlasting thanks be thine,For such a bright display;It makes a world of darkness shine With beams of heavenly day.–Wm. Cowper (Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, no.7 , p.15)    

Will Elijah Restore All Things? (Part 2 of 2)

July 8, 2017

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SOP tells us that there is to be more work done by those faithful ones who rest in the graves, let us read–

“Your work, my work, will not cease with this life. For a little while we may rest in the grave, but, when the call comes, we shall, in the kingdom of God, take up our work once more.” (Testimonies, vol. 7, p.17)

What was Ellen White’s referring to as “my work”? Was it playing the harp and visiting other planets? Or was it saving souls for Christ? Yes, this was the only work they knew and did and that work will be taken up once more in the premillennial kingdom, praise the Lord.

The Scriptures also declare this special resurrection of saints —

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.  And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:1-3)

The above is often not closely examined. But the Elijah prophet showed us that this cannot be about the resurrection solely to fit them for heaven, oh no! This is seen by the fact that some of these resurrected have a work to do– “they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”

The message explains this Word of God —

“In these three verses several things clearly stand out: (1) Only those whose names are written in the books are delivered; there are therefore no “foolish” ones among them; (2) Those who are resurrected, however, are mixed, both foolish and wise come up; (3) The statement, “and they that be wise [implying that some be foolish] shall shine as the brightness of the firmament” indicates that these “wise” ones are from among the raised; (4) That if the wise are from among the resurrected and turn many to righteousness, then they must be resurrected in probationary time, in time of salvation.

   “Your work, my work, will not cease with this life.  For a little while we may rest in the grave, but, when the call comes, we shall, in the kingdom of God, take up our work once more.” — Testimonies, Vol. 7, pg. 17.

Dan. 12:4, 10 — “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.  Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”

   Now what is meant by being wise? — Let us turn to–

Matt. 25:1-4 — “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.  They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.”

Here we see that the wise are those who take extra oil, extra Truth that lightens the rest of their way.  Finally, it plainly appears that this mixed resurrection is a test; that is, they are all given the opportunity to be wise, to turn many to righteousness, but only a part of them do so.  Some of them again fall into sin, and therefore they awake to shame and everlasting contempt (everlasting disobedience), but the wise awake to everlasting life, never again to die. 

This plainly shows that those who give themselves to wickedness up to the time they die, would not turn to righteousness even though they be given a second chance.  The extra oil (Truth for this time) is what decides each one’s destiny.  The wise shall embrace the “additional Truth,” while the foolish will not.  Sin is indeed a mystery! (Timely Greetings, vol. 2, no. 7, p.14-15)

So we see that there is “work” yet to be done by the faithful whom God will raise up during the “time of trouble” which we as present truth believers know is post Ezekiel 9 church judgment.

Now let’s look at the heart of this post , these are truly bright lights of truth on our subject —

“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.

Ezek. 37:24, 25 — “And David My servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in My judgments, and observe My statutes, and do them.  And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob My servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and My servant David shall be their prince for ever.”

   Since this is the addition to the “Third Angel’s Message” (“Early Writings,” p. 277) and since it is the message of the hour, consequently the day of the Davidian Kingdom is at hand.  Let us turn to–

Hos. 3:4, 5 — “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: 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.” (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, p.14-16)

We see that there is to be “one shepherd” instead of today where there are all kinds of shepherds trying to lead the flock, yet falling abysmally short. The Lord tells us prophetically that the last days shall have a kingdom and a king to rule there, no question about it!

What we also see is that the Lord will “raise up unto them” a king (Jer. 30:9).

As we mentioned the Lord left no stone unturned  and through the Elijah message He tells us what His role is in these pre-millennial kingdom days —

“The Lord will work in no less miraculous a manner now to free His people from being ruled by a worldly organization. He will command the work Himself in the same manner as He did in Moses’ and David’s day.

…In the days of Moses and in the days of David, when the Lord had the work in His Own hands, He spoke to the people through Moses and through David, and thus He ruled. In like manner will He, at this time, rule the work when He takes the reins in His Own hands.

…It is generally understood that when Christ visibly appears, the nations will die by the brightness of His coming, and thus the wicked will have no chance for either the Lord to speak to them or they to speak to Him. Furthermore, according to the parable, He sits on the throne of His glory instead of sitting on the clouds as in 1 Thess. 4:17.

Therefore, the throne of His glory is His kingdom where He, invisible to the nations, sits on the throne and gathers all nations before Him as recorded by the prophet Isaiah also, saying: “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.” (Isa. 2:2.) (SC, vol. 4, no.10-12, p.6)

It is now clear that the Lord’s promise of restoration is not hard to understand. Once we look at the whole picture, all the references, much as a puzzle it all comes together. And this restoration comes from the “Elijah” who the Lord delegated as the one to do it. It is not to our human understanding that Victor Houteff should do the initial work of Elijah, calling out the sins of the people and church and yet die then come back and finish the work. But the Lord, as SOP noted, will workin a way that will be contrary to any human planning.”

We have heard the argument “Oh no, you take away Christ’s rightful role as the restoration one”. No, “we” do not,  the Lord has spoken that HE wants His Elijah prophet to supervise and command the kingship in the time of restoration, just as He wanted Moses to lead His people.

SOP gives a most beautiful picture of these times of restoration —

“In visions of the night, representations passed before me of a great reformatory movement among God’s people. Many were praising God. The sick were healed, and other miracles were wrought. A spirit of intercession was seen, even as was manifested before the great Day of Pentecost. Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families and opening before them the word of God. Hearts were convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit, and a spirit of genuine conversion was manifest.

On every side doors were thrown open to the proclamation of the truth. The world seemed to be lightened with the heavenly influence. Great blessings were received by the true and humble people of God. I heard voices of thanksgiving and praise, and there seemed to be a reformation such as we witnessed in 1844.” (Testimonies, vol. 9, p.126)

Some of you may not know much of this man –Victor T. Houteff, but if you are like a detective, a Sherlock Holmes type, searching each piece of the puzzle, you will come to this conclusion we assure you. Stick to the Bible, SOP and the Rod and you’ll have no trouble.

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (John 16:13)

Let us remember that the Lord loves His people deeply and has pointed a clear road map for His Seventh-day Adventist people, clear to the kingdom, we only have to follow it.

In closing, there is no doubt that brother Victor Houteff, whom the Lord brought forth to give the Rod message (the Elijah message) and prepare the people for His sudden church coming (Ezek.9), will “take up the work once more” after the church purification, along with Ellen White and all the faithful pioneers. Then it shall surely be as the Lord promised, the Elijah will “restore all things.” 

“. . . a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them,  and behind them a desolate wilderness;  yea, and nothing shall escape them.

 The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness.

They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.

The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can endure it?” (Joel 2:2-11.)

Will Elijah Restore All Things? (Part 1 of 2)

July 1, 2017

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In Matthew 17:11 we read —

“Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.”

As all true believers know, the Lord’s word cannot return void. He does not lie. So this promise must be fulfilled. Yet, we as fallible humans, often do not understand clear plain Scriptures as we should. While that verse is simple it is profound and deep. Let us look at this very important promise from the Lord.

Last week we posted on the subject on the Trinity. Occasionally we will receive a comment or two below our post. Last week we received some from “Dave” and he actually brought up a very timely point and that is –if brother Victor Houteff, who we as present truth believers believe was the Elijah to come as prophesied in Mal. 4:5, was to restore all things, how can that be when he died and all things have not been restored? This is a very good and proper question!

SOP counsels us–

“The fact that certain doctrines have been held as truth for many years by our people, is not a proof that our ideas are infallible. Age will not make error into truth, and truth can afford to be fair. No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation.” (Counsels to Writers and Editors, p.35)

Ah, so true —  No true doctrine will lose anything by close investigation.”

There should be no questions, no inquires that we should be afraid to answer. If we have studied as we should, the Spirit of Truth is well able to recall for us the helpful answer. The real problem does not come from the questions but whether the hearer can shake his pre-conceived ideas for a “Thus sayeth the Lord”.

So let us look at the question in-depth.

The original Elijah as we all know , fought the good fight in calling out sin and abominations taking place among his people. He did his work then the Lord took him alive from the earth to heaven. So likewise many think that the latter-day Elijah to come must also follow in these exact steps and do his work and, like Elijah, not die and be transferred to heaven without seeing death.

But instead of our thinking, our ideas how about we take Inspired words from God’s prophets?

SOP says the following —

“Elijah was a type of the saints who will be living on the earth at the time of the second advent of Christ and who will be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, without tasting death.” (Prophets and Kings, p.227)

“Since there are two types for the living, and as Enoch himself was not a descendant of Jacob, he cannot logically represent Jacob’s descendants, the 144,000.  In fact, the name Jacob, or the title “Israelite,” did not even come into existence until centuries after Enoch was translated. Accordingly, Elijah, an Israelite himself, logically typifies the 144,000, and Enoch logically typifies the great multitude, who are from “all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” (Rev. 7:9), because from his generation have descended all nations.” (SRod Tract, p.22)

So there we have it–Elijah typifies the 144,000! These are the ones who shall not taste death as Elijah did not, type meets anti-type.

This clears one of our issues that some raise. Because brother Houteff died, that did not disqualify him as the end time prophet because, although he came “in the spirit and power of Elijah” he did not typify Elijah just as John the Baptist did not. Both came with the Elijah spirit of rebuke and calling out reform, yet died after their work was done.

One other fact we cannot overlook. Both of them , John the Baptist and Victor Houteff had a preparatory work to do, in preparing the people to meet the Lord. Present truth believers know very well that the message of the Rod is all about this preparation. It is often referred to as the “sealing message” as the instructions within It show how we are to be sealed when the Lord “suddenly comes to His temple”(Mal. 3:1).

We are all well familiar with the purpose of John the Baptist’s mission, to prepare the way for the Lord first advent.The following Scripture tells of God’s end time messenger preparing the way for the Lord’s next coming — the invisible coming to His temple (church). This is not the “Second Coming” as that is the second “visible” coming for the world to see.

“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.” (Mal. 3:1)

If you have any confusion of why this coming is needed, just continue reading verses  two to six.

You see brethren the Lord left no stone unturned. His concern is for our eternal welfare and therefore the Elijah to come “before the great and dreadful day of the Lord” was to enlighten us on all the prophecies pertaining to this fateful day, great for those who survive and dreadful for those who don’t. The message explains–

“Evidently God’s people at this particular time are not in need of visions, but rather of interpreters  of the visions of the prophets of old which are not as yet understood. And that is what He has seen fit to give us so that we may understand the Bible. This is the greatest miracle connected with The Shepherd’s Rod, (See illustration in Tract No. 6, Why Perish, 1944 edition, p. 18.)”

“… 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. ( Symbolic Code, vol. 1, no.4, p.5)

The skeptics cannot nor will they ever come to the powerful truth of these statements if they do not read what the prophet Victor Houteff interpreted for us concerning the numerous prophecies in the Scriptures. Let us review some of them —

Hosea chapter 1 and 2, Daniel 8, Daniel chapter 11, Revelation –all chapters, Nahum, Micah, Zechariah, Zephaniah, Joel and the list goes on and on. Much of this pertains to the great and dreadful day or the promise of His end time kingdom in Israel. In other words brother Houteff’s work was to reveal to us what the Lord has in store for us His remnant people.

This is always the tell-tale sign that an adversarial power is at work when the Rod is denied or rebuffed. They will not address the prophetic explanations rather try personal attacks such as “Houteff died”,  “Houteff married a very young woman”,”Houteff taught that Davidians will someday kill Adventists..” and so on.  On our sister site “HearYeTheRod” we just completed a 10 part series detailing how the most infamous accuser of the Rod–Ismael Rodriguez brings such utter falsehoods and accusations, without merit, against the Lord’s Rod.

“…since Elijah is to herald the great day, he can therefore be the only one who will rightly interpret the prophecies of the day, which are still mysteries to Christendom, and even to our own Denomination!  Indeed, to reiterate, it is for this very reason that the prophet is sent.  He is to unroll the scroll to explain what the day of the Lord is like, what the Lord will do then, and how we may survive His judgments. 

To re-emphasize the fact, let it be said again that being the last of the prophets Elijah is, therefore, the only one who can open to our understanding all the prophecies of the Scriptures pertaining to the great and dreadful day of the Lord — prophecies which heretofore have been only mysteries to all.  Thus he is, as the Scriptures say, to blow the trumpet in Zion, and to sound an alarm in God’s holy mountain, in the church.” (General Conference Special, p.19)

Ok, let’s now deal with the point of how can Victor Houteff be the Elijah to come if all things were not restored by him?

To begin with we should remember the very important statement by the prophet —

The prophet, or the message is called , Elijah, “with the spirit and power of Elijah.”(SRod, vol.1,  p.47)

The shows that though brother Houteff died, right now “Elijah” is still alive through the message sent out! Thus Victor Houteff did his job as sent by the Lord. The message explains further —

“In doing all this, he sets in motion the power that is to restore all things. Hence Christ’s positive declaration: “Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.” (General Conference Special, p.19-20)

Ok, although we’ve cleared some basic points , but we still need to go further. There remains much more restoring to be done. For instance, the final gospel proclamation, the set up of the Loud Cry kingdom headquarters in Israel. Where does Victor Houteff fit in concerning that?

As we go further it is helpful we remember that the Lord said this —

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”(Isaiah 55:8-9)

It is natural for us humans to say, “Well Victor died so that means he’ll not be able to restore all things”. But as we have shown already, Victor Houteff did the preparatory work in setting in motion the Lord’s Rod (Micah 6:9, 7:14). Yet, why would we then say that the Lord really did not mean that Houteff would do both, the preparatory work and the restoration work? Does not make any sense. Further the word promises only ONE Elijah to come, not “Elijahs”. Where does it say that another prophet is to come after the Elijah? Nowhere.

Yet watch closely, many accusers and deniers that Victor Houteff could be the final Elijah for this and that reason (or even denying him a prophet),  have their own prophet they are following, or they themselves may even declare themselves a prophet! For many SDA, just like the Jews with Moses, they are stuck on one prophet–Ellen White, even some going so far as to claim she was the Elijah to come!

“Surely the Lord GOD doeth nothing, unless He revealeth His secret unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)

“Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning.” (Evangelism, p.118)

Let us look what the Lord has in store in His word. He does not fail us in telling us the Elijah plans.

First, the following shows that “the house of David shall be as God” in the latter days –wow! Let us read–

“In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.” (Zech 12:8)

The message tells us the purpose  of this house of David–

“Now, what is the overall purpose of the house of David? — The house of David, the Scriptures reveal, is being built up for a three-fold purpose: (1) During the ingathering of the people, it is to “build the old wastes,” to “raise up the former desolations,” and to “repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.” Isa. 61:4. 

This work of rebuilding and restoring has as its type the rebuilding of ancient Jerusalem by the ancient Jews returning from their Babylonian captivity to the land of their fathers.  Just as they were to build the wastes, the former desolations — the temple of the Lord, the city and the walls — and to restore the worship of God according to the Lord’s own Divine will, so we, too, now in the antitypical ingathering are called to do a similar work, only much greater both in scope and in proportion.  We must therefore labor even more incessantly than they labored, and be happy and thankful for having been privileged to have a part in such a great and glorious work.

   (2) In addition to this great and grand work, while in God’s hand as a battle ax (Jer. 51:20), He is with it to break the Gentiles’ yoke which now rests upon the shoulders of God’s people.  With it He is to emancipate His people from Gentile rule: “from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea….” (Isa. 11:11).  With it He is to “set up an ensign for the nations,” and to “assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” Isa. 11:12.

To get this work done we are to be at first the “many fishers,” then the “many hunters” (Jer. 16:16).  Thus it is that the first fruits are to be gathered “one by one.” Isa. 27:12.  We are now in the hunting days — going from city to city, from village to village, and from door to door, a thing which has never before been done.  Besides fishing and hunting we also are to make “a highway for the remnant of His people which shall be left, [after the first fruits are gathered] from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.” Isa. 11:16. 

After this hunting is over and the highway built up, then it is that the second fruits will flow to the mountain of the Lord’s house.  One nation, as it were, will say to another nation, “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.” Mic. 4:2.

Thus our work has also as its type the Exodus movement going out of Egypt, establishing itself in the promised land.  As they were freed from their Egyptian bondage, so we shall be freed from the world’s yoke; and just as they possessed the land, and set up the kingdom, so shall we if we make their mistakes our stepping stones to success.

   (3) Finally, we are to hasten “the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.” We are to bring “new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Pet. 3:12, 13.

 (Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No., p.9-10).

This time shall be so glorious, truly a final witness to the world of God’s abilities–

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘It will yet be that peoples will come, even the inhabitants of many cities.’The inhabitants of one will go to another, saying, “Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts; I will also go.” Yes, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” (Zech. 8:20-23)

Ok so we see that the final work of God’s restoration plans is the house of David established in the Holy Land. But who runs that? Is the Lord to come down and sit on the throne? Is there to be a new person to come on the scene in the last days? Or is Victor Houteff to come back and finish the work God had him start?

Stay tuned for part two next week, Lord willing.

 

“Oh No! It’s that Word–Trinity!”

June 24, 2017

Image result for picture of Trinity

 

Today there is a growing movement within our church. It is serious, as it relates to the identity of God, specifically the Godhead. As we have often mentioned, we are active in His vineyard, watching and listening to what the workers amongst us are doing and saying. The idea of the “Trinity” is being discussed on a large-scale and we thought it important to discuss this relevant and important issue.

Wikipedia gives us a good look at the historical understanding of the Trinity–

TRINITY–

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity (Latin: Trinitas, lit. ‘triad’, from trinus, “threefold”)[2] holds that God is three consubstantial persons[3] or hypostases[4]—the Father, the Son (JesusChrist), and the Holy Spirit—as “one God in three Divine Persons”. The three persons are distinct, yet are one “substance, essence or nature” (homoousios).[5] In this context, a “nature” is what one is, whereas a “person” is who one is.[6][7][8]

According to this central mystery of most Christian faiths, there is only one God in three persons: while distinct from one another in their relations of origin (as the Fourth Lateran Council declared, “it is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds”);[9] and in their relations with one another, they are stated to be one in all else, co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial, and each is God, whole and entire”.[10] Accordingly, the whole work of creation and grace is seen as a single operation common to all three divine persons, in which each shows forth what is proper to him in the Trinity, so that all things are “from the Father”, “through the Son” and “in the Holy Spirit”.[11] 

While the Fathers of the Church saw even Old Testament elements such as the appearance of three men to Abraham in Book of Genesis, chapter 18, as foreshadowings of the Trinity, it was the New Testament that they saw as a basis for developing the concept of the Trinity. One of the most influential of the New Testament texts seen as implying the teaching of the Trinity was Matthew 28:19, which mandated baptizing “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.

Another New Testament text pointing to the Trinity was John 1:1-14, in which the inter-relationships of the Triune God are reflected in the gospel author’s description of “the Word”, again showing the elements of the Triune God and their eternal (always was, always is, and always shall be) existence. Reflection, proclamation, and dialogue led to the formulation of the doctrine that was felt to correspond to the data in the Bible. The simplest outline of the doctrine was formulated in the 4th century, largely in terms of rejection of what was considered not to be consonant with general Christian belief. Further elaboration continued in the succeeding centuries.[12]

Scripture contains neither the word Trinity,[13] nor an expressly formulated doctrine of the Trinity. Rather, according to Christian theology, it “bears witness to” the activity of a God who can only be understood in Trinitarian terms.[14] The doctrine did not take its definitive shape until late in the fourth century.[15] During the intervening period, various tentative solutions, some more and some less satisfactory, were proposed.[16]

Trinitarianism contrasts with nontrinitarian positions which include Binitarianism (one deity in two persons, or two deities), Unitarianism (one deity in one person, analogous to Jewish interpretation of the Shema and Muslim belief in Tawhid), Oneness Pentecostalism or Modalism (one deity manifested in three separate aspects). Additionally, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are three separate deities, two of which possess separate bodies of flesh and bones, while the Holy Ghost has only a body of spirit; and that their unity is not physical, but in purpose.[17]

The above give us a good basic understanding of the concept of the Trinity. But as God’s remnant church, and specifically –present truth believers , we need to know what is happening amongst us concerning this issue.

There appears two camps today amongst us. One, the camp that stands squarely with our standard SDA doctrinal belief number two , let us read it–

The Trinity , No. 2
There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three coeternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. God, who is love, is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. (Gen. 1:26; Deut. 6:4; Isa. 6:8; Matt. 28:19; John 3:16 2 Cor. 1:21, 22; 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2.)

They believe as shown that there are THREE coeternal “Persons.”

Then there is the other camp, which is unfortunately growing, that believe that there are only TWO coeternal Persons, the Father and the Son. The “Holy Spirit” is a type of force or cosmic energy and is at the beck and call of the Father and Son.

Before we go further there is a very important SOP quote that we all, both camps, must remember in any discussion about the Holy Spirit–

“The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them, but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden.” {AA 52.1}

Ah, the Lord’s Spirit of Prophecy says we “cannot explain it.” This makes perfect sense as once someone decides to do a study upon this great “mysterious” and confounding subject they come into all kinds of “what ifs” and “how comes”.

But this Inspired counsel is today thrown to the wind and many are taking upon themselves the mount of Korah, and declaring that they are inspired just as God’s prophets are and can explain who, what and where the Holy Spirit is! And they have declared that not only is there no Holy Spirit Being as God, but that the very word–Trinity– is blasphemous!

For a good example of one of the anti-Trinity proponents in our SDA church and who has the site called “The Third Angel’s Message.com”, and what they teach, let us read–

1 Corinthians 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father

“This is who he is, the father and God of Jesus Christ our Lord who is the son of the father.  A false doctrine has gained it’s way into our church today.  A doctrine “denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ”[Jude 4].

The Scriptures clearly indicate the relation between God and Christ, and they bring to view as clearly the personality and individuality of each. [Hebrews 1:1-5 quoted.] God is the Father of Christ; Christ is the Son of God. To Christ has been given an exalted position. He has been made equal with the Father. All the counsels of God are opened to His Son. (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, page 268)

1 Corinthians 1:3  Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Almost every book in the New Testament begins with a similar greeting.  The title, God, is always used in reference to the father, and there is no reference to a third being. Nowhere in the scriptures is the title, “God,” used in reference to the father, son, and holy spirit,  at the same time.

A doctrine called the trinity has denied this.  This doctrine denies who God is and who his son is.  This doctrine does not “manifest the love of God toward us”[1 John 4:9].   It denies Christ is the son of God, and makes God out to be an office of three beings, an impersonal God pervading all nature.  Co-eternal, co-equal friends is what it says when you analyze it rather than a “father and son”.

What we see here is this man’s explanation of the Godhead, specifically that there are TWO Persons, not three. Yet as we showed our important doctrinal SDA belief says we believe in THREE Persons in the God head. This man and those like him  today want to re-write or deny our doctrinal beliefs!

But  let us remember that the Omniscient God knew very well that this Trinity issue would be a concern in our last days, did He not? And Did He not decide to write a promise in His Holy Word saying that a “restorer” , the last prophet to our church, the Elijah would come and therefore explain these things?

Ok, if we believe that, then we must search what the final restoring message says in order to know the Truth of this matter. Otherwise we are like Korah, uninspired and stepping up to the Lord’s platform to tell Him and us what is Truth and that “we” know it instead of His inspired Prophets. Oh my my!

Today there are many teachers of this new doctrine, claiming that it is really a old doctrine founded with the pioneers of the SDA church. For example a website call Revelation1412.org– Nader Mansour, and the above mentioned site by David Barron. Both of these are active promoters of this doctrine.

There are two specific areas where the Elijah message confirms the belief in the Triune God, the Trinity.

In 1947 in the publication called the “Timely Greetings”, the message said the following–

“FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS OF DAVIDIAN SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS

Emerging in 1930 from within the Seventh-day Adventist denomination (“the church of the Laodiceans”), the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association has ever been committed to the prophetic work (predicted in Isaiah 52:1) of preparing the Laodicean church, the last with the “tares among the wheat,” for the final proclamation of the gospel “in all the world.” Matt. 14:14.

This Association, in common with the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, holds “certain fundamental beliefs, the principal features of which, together with a portion of the Scriptural references upon which they are based,” are originally summarized as follows:

“1. That the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, contain an all-sufficient revelation of His will to men, and are the only unerring rule of faith and practice. 2 Tim. 3:15-17.

“2. That the Godhead, or Trinity, consists of the Eternal Father, a personal, spiritual Being, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient,

Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 10, page 21

infinite in wisdom and love; the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, through whom all things were created and through whom the salvation of the redeemed hosts will be accomplished; the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, the great regenerating power in the work of redemption. Matt. 28:19.”

For a complete report on the fundamental beliefs on the SDA and DSDA, as one organization,  read this link-

http://www.shepherds-rod-message.org/tracts/2tg10.html

As a side note, if you read this link, keep it in your memory bank as many of Satan’s workers, those SDA leaders and scoffers of the Lord’s Rod (Micah 6:9),  will tell you that Davidian Seventh-day Adventists don’t believe in  the same fundamental beliefs as the SDA, which this exposes as a lie. Instead they should be worried about the real usurpers as shown above, those promoting the denial of the Trinity!

An additional  reaffirmation —

Question 214:

Why are not the given names of the Trinity used in baptizing?

Answer:

As the Scriptures give several names for the Father and for the Son (and none for the Holy Ghost), and as we are not told which of these to use in baptizing, we must, therefore, take Him at His word and baptize in just the way He commands: “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  Matt. 28:19.  Moreover the names given in the Scriptures are not absolute names, but rather titles–equivalent to the names Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Still further, even if the absolute names of the Trinity were known, their use would lead to irreverent address.  For example, suppose the Father’s name is George; the Son’s, Thomas; and the Holy Ghost’s, William.  Could any God-fearing human being even dare think of its being reverent to say, I now baptize you in the name of George, Thomas, and William!  Let us therefore comply with the Lord’s command: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of be Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  Matt. 28:19. (For further light on this subject, study our Tract No. 11.) (Vol. 7   Symbolic Code   Nos. 1-6. page 13.)

“The greatest trouble with most S.D.A’s  is that they are baptised in the name of the denomination  rather than in the name of the Trinity.” (Vol. 3, Symbolic Code, no.5,6 p.8)

So we are clear, the Lord’s restoring message of Elijah CONFIRMS that there is such a term as “Trinity” and it describes three co-eternal Beings. This is solid my brethren and we can “take it to the bank”.

So what do we have here my beloved? We have an end time deception! A side tracking issue that diverts our minds from one of our core fundamental beliefs as Seventh-day Adventists. This is for the purpose of trying to establish a form of self-righteousness, a holier than thou belief because they know who God is more than the prophets!

“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” (1 Tim.4:1)

But the anti-Trinitarians have many tricks up their sleeves such as the following James White quote–

“Here we might mention the Trinity, which does away the personality of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ, and of sprinkling or pouring instead of being “buried with Christ in baptism,” “planted in the likeness of his death:” but we pass from these fables to notice one that is held sacred by nearly all professed Christians, both Catholic and Protestant. It is, the change of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment…” {James White, Dec 11 1855, Review and Herald, Vol. 7, no. 11, P 85 Par 16}

But what they forget is that he was not inspired prophet of God. It was only when he co-wrote the booklet  “A Word to the Little Flock” that the prophetess approved, collaborated  and authorized it, thus endorsing it with her part of that booklet. Yes, he was the husband of Ellen White, our prophetess, but that did not keep him from declaring uninspired statements or beliefs. All we have to do is see what the INSPIRED prophetess, his wife said years AFTER such words.

“We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds. — Manuscript 66, 1899. (From a talk to the students at the Avondale School.) {Ev 616.5} The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. When this witness is borne, it carries with it its own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure that we are the children of God. .. . . {Ev 616.6} 

The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”–Manuscript 20, 1906. {Ev 617.1}

“Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world’s Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature.” (Desire of Ages, p.671)

Our King the Lord Himself warned us of the following —

“And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Matt: 12:32)

The Words Holy Spirit are “hagios pneuma” meaning pure spirit (being) used above and it is the same as what Christ described in authorizing baptism into His Christian faith in Matt: 28:19-20.

Is it fair and right to be VERY careful in regards to the Holy Spirit? If Christ exalts Him to be one of the THREE divine authoritative titles used to be publicly received into His faith and promises, then who are we to try in the least amount to lessen or degrade the Holy Spirit into a mankind construction. In other words, we  must go back to God’s instruction that specifically calls us NOT to explain it. Christ exalted the Holy Spirit and let’s leave it at that!

“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”(1 John 5:7)

Lastly the restoring message gives us important counsel on our subject —

“In whom are we to be baptized?–

   “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matt. 28:19.

   “This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood.  And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is Truth.  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are One.” 1 John 5:6, 7.

   When we are baptized in the name (singular, not “names”) of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, we are baptized in our Maker, the blood, and the Truth, and these three are One.  Thus we are baptized in the “name,” not names, because these three are one — The Trinity — Creation, Redemption, Truth.

   Most people, though, act as if they were baptized to the church, to a society, to Paul or to Apollos, so to speak, but we as reformers and Present Truth believers, must go on with the Truth wherever it leads us, always remembering that we have been baptized to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

   If this be not true of us, then it is certain that we shall never advance any further in the knowledge of God, Christ, or His Truth, — no, not any further than we were the day we were baptized.  Those who do this become dwarfs instead of grown-up Christians, never reaching the fullness of the stature of Christ, for they are satisfied to be what they are; they feel in need of nothing more than what they got at baptism; they are as unmovable as were the priests, scribes, and Pharisees in Jesus’ day.  God forbid that any of us should thus lose out.” (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 19, p.16-17) 

In closing, let us not fall for one of Satan’s many snags today. If we believe in our Lord, the Word, we will know the Truth. It is only when we desire to follow man instead of His inspired prophets, that we may fall. There is a concept known as the Trinity, and it is from God.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”(Matt. 28:19-20)

Fleeing to the Mountains

April 29, 2017

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One of the most frequently asked questions from both present truth believers and non believing SDA is a fair and timely one–  “If there is to be a pre-millennial kingdom in Israel why does SOP say that the people will have to flee to the mountains to escape persecution?” Let us look at this intriguing question.

The SOP quote that brings this thought into view is found in GC, p.626, let us read–

“As the decree issued by the various rulers of Christendom against commandment keepers shall withdraw the protection of government and abandon them to those who desire their destruction, the people of God will flee from the cities and villages and associate together in companies, dwelling in the most desolate and solitary places. Many will find refuge in the strongholds of the mountains. Like the Christians of the Piedmont valleys, they will make the high places of the earth their sanctuaries and will thank God for “the munitions of rocks.” Isaiah 33:16.

But many of all nations and of all classes, high and low, rich and poor, black and white, will be cast into the most unjust and cruel bondage. The beloved of God pass weary days, bound in chains, shut in by prison bars, sentenced to be slain, some apparently left to die of starvation in dark and loathsome dungeons. No human ear is open to hear their moans; no human hand is ready to lend them help.”

Here we read of the struggles that God’s people will have to endure to keep from being destroyed. But how can we reconcile this with the glorious hope that the Scriptures portray for God’s people as this reading shows–

“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. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”(Isaiah 2:2-3)

Here we read of an exalted church (mountain=God’s people) in the last days, yet we just read where the people of God will be scared and running to the hills, what gives?

To begin with let us see what the “restoring message” tells us about this very subject. God in His all seeing ways knew that this issue would need to be cleared and His last prophet addressed it–

WHO FLEE TO MOUNTAINS?

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, Q-37)

Ah, we see that it will be the “second fruits” those who will be called out of Babylon but “shall not yet at that time have reached the Kingdom.” Both the first fruits and second fruits are indeed –“God’s people” and they come into the final truth at different times and circumstances.

The message tells us more about the two fruits —

“How many yields of fruit is the harvest to give? — If the 144,000 are the “first fruits” (Rev. 14:4), then there must be “second fruits,” for where there is no second there can be no first. The word “firstfruits” absolutely necessitates second fruits.

Where do the first fruits come from, and where do the second fruits come from? — We are plainly told that the first fruits are Israelites — all from the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:4-8). Israel certainly stands for the church membership at the time they are sealed; the title “Israel” cannot be construed to mean the world. The firstfruits, therefore, are harvested from the church itself at the time the separation begins. The word “sealed” means placed in a safe place — sealed. This is exactly what the apostle Peter says:

1 Pet. 4:17, 18 — “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? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

Now, then, if the Judgment begins first in the “house of God,” in the church, then it will end in the world, outside the church circles. The parable of the “net” and the Revelation of John very briefly and concisely bring this truth still better to the surface.

Matt. 13:47-50 — “Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Clearly, the net represents the gospel church into which are caught both hypocrite and saint. Accordingly, in the time of the firstfruit harvest (the Judgment “in the house of God”) “at the end of the world” (Matt. 13:49), the angels sever the wicked from among the just, not the just from among the wicked. But in the second fruit harvest (the Judgment in the world) the separation is the reverse: the just are taken out from among the wicked, not the wicked from among the just, so says The Revelation: “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev. 18:4.

Plainly, the Judgment “in the house of God” is the harvest in which the hypocrites as “tares” are burned, but as bad “fish” they are cast out. In the Judgment in Babylon (in the world), though, not the bad, but the good are taken out and brought into the purified house of God where there is no sin and no sinner, and where there is no danger of the plagues. (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 44, page 34-35)

Our beloved sister Ellen White, though truly gifted of God, did not have all the light, especially about the pre-mil kingdom (First fruits and second fruits). The Lord’s Elijah messenger was given this task. She herself wrote under Inspiration–

“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)

So often today we hear Adventists say “Get ready, soon we’ll have to move to the hills because we’ll be persecuted in the cities if we stay.” What lack of knowledge, what presumptuousness. Our leaders are spreading this message all over. Yet we as present truth believers know that not one Adventist will be persecuted because the church judgment will leave only those who know where they are going– to the Lord’s promised pre-millennial kingdom in Israel. Their foreheads will say it all–

“The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus’ new name.” (Early Writings, p.15)

  1. God, meaning they “follow the Lamb wheresoever He goeth.” And they have been persecuted for it. (lied about, demoted, suspended and disfellowshipped, slandered against, etc.)
  2. New Jerusalem, meaning they are looking forward to where the Lord said His people will go in His last message of Elijah.
  3. Jesus’ new name, the promised name that the Word says in the following —

“And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.” (Isaiah 62:2)

“And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name.”(Isaiah 65:16)

The message describes the meaning of the above verses, quite solemn indeed!

Isa. 62:2: “A new name.”  Indicative of the new experience they have passed through, which is the separation, or sifting, as explained.  God Himself with His own mouth gives the name so it can not be counterfeited.  The time the name is received is at the end of the 430 year period as explained on the chart on pages 112-113.  Thus, the church is reorganized under a new name.  The old name, being polluted, could no longer be retained. 

There is no one to go by the old name, for the ones who were not worthy of having the new name have perished under the figure of the five men with the slaughter weapons of Ezekiel 9.  The name only remains for a curse.  In Isa. 65:15, we read: “And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto My chosen: For the Lord God shall slay thee, and call His servants by another name.”  The old order of things being changed.  The watchmen who were unfaithful have perished.”(SRod , vol.1, p.155)

So there  are basically two scenarios that take place with God’s last day people. One, the first fruits and “those with” which are the Gentiles that initially go with the 144,000 into the kingdom. And there is the resurrected SDA, such as Ellen White, God willing, that will be in the kingdom to support the believers.

Two, there are the people who are in Babylon (those in the false and confused religions), who become the termed  “great multitude” in Rev. 7:9. These are those who will either make it to the kingdom or unfortunately be persecuted or run to the hills. The escaping Gentiles (who miss the persecution) will fulfill God’s word–

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'”(Zech. 8:23)

As we showed last week in our report, the SDA who will make up the 144,000 have Israelite blood in them from their ancestors. They are all of the twelve tribes of Rev. 7.

By far the  Gentiles will be the majority in the kingdom, as they go there to hear the word of the Lord. Plus you may recall that the world will witness the awesome display of God’s power in the holy land as Isaiah chapter 11 comes to pass–

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.


They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.” (Isaiah 11:6-10)

Can we imagine the TV footage and reports showing the lion and lamb lying down together in Israel? A final witness to the world that the 144,000 are God’s messengers and that they speak in behalf of the Lord and His plans. Unfortunately Satan is not going to set idly by and watch these great works by God go unanswered. Satan’s agents will mount a strong counter movement (Sunday keeping and counter miracles) and the 666 man along with the false prophet who works the miracles shall be a strong delusion to those not grounded upon God’s word.

Soon the persecution will come and that is the time that some of the second fruits will get snared. But God, as we know, shall not abandon them even in their dire circumstances.

“I saw the saints leaving the cities and villages, and associating together in companies, and living in the most solitary places. Angels provided them food and water, while the wicked were suffering from hunger and thirst. Then I saw the leading men of the earth consulting together, and Satan and his angels busy around them. I saw a writing, copies of which were scattered in different parts of the land, giving orders that unless the saints should yield their peculiar faith, give up the Sabbath, and observe the first day of the week, the people were at liberty after a certain time to put them to death.

But in this hour of trial the saints were calm and composed, trusting in God and leaning upon His promise that a way of escape would be made for them. In some places, before the time for the decree to be executed, the wicked rushed upon the saints to slay them; but angels in the form of men of war fought for them. Satan wished to have the privilege of destroying the saints of the Most High; but Jesus bade His angels watch over them. God would be honored by making a covenant with those who had kept His law, in the sight of the heathen round about them; and Jesus would be honored by translating, without their seeing death, the faithful, waiting ones who had so long expected Him.

Soon I saw the saints suffering great mental anguish. They seemed to be surrounded by the wicked inhabitants of the earth. Every appearance was against them. Some began to fear that God had at last left them to perish by the hand of the wicked. But if their eyes could have been opened, they would have seen themselves surrounded by angels of God. Next came the multitude of the angry wicked, and next a mass of evil angels, hurrying on the wicked to slay the saints. But before they could approach God’s people, the wicked must first pass this company of mighty, holy angels. This was impossible. The angels of God were causing them to recede and also causing the evil angels who were pressing around them to fall back.” (Early Writings, p.282-283)

Even though “some” Gentiles may be stuck, the end time church of God is a prevailing power upon the world, SOP says–

“Mighty miracles were wrought, the sick were healed, and signs and wonders followed the believers. God was in the work, and every saint, fearless of consequences, followed the convictions of his own conscience and united with those who were keeping all the commandments of God; and with power they sounded abroad the third message. I saw that this message will close with power and strength far exceeding the midnight cry.

Servants of God, endowed with power from on high with their faces lighted up, and shining with holy consecration, went forth to proclaim the message from heaven. Souls that were scattered all through the religious bodies answered to the call, and the precious were hurried out of the doomed churches, as Lot was hurried out of Sodom before her destruction. God’s people were strengthened by the excellent glory which rested upon them in rich abundance and prepared them to endure the hour of temptation. I heard everywhere a multitude of voices saying, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”(EW, p.278-279)

So there is the answer to SOP’s writings and the Rod’s writings about fleeing to the mountains. When viewed in totality , harmony comes into clear focus. If you are SDA, please see that you do the following without delay —

“Let us strive with all power that God has given us to be among the one hundred and forty four thousand. And let us do all that we can to help others gain heaven.”(RH, March 9, 1905)

If you are not, know that God loves you and has a plan for your life. Walk in all the light you have, although you are not now in the full light of God’s word , the time will come that your chance for living in the kingdom will be here. Praise God for His mercy and compassion that every soul, both of the SDA and of the world, will have their opportunity to embrace the truth. But now,  let us hope that we as SDA know the “time” of our visitation, the time now of His final warning of Elijah.

For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. (Hebrews 3:14-15)


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