Archive for the ‘Elijah Interpretations’ Category

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)

That Which Shall be in the Last days (Part 2 of 2)

January 14, 2017

Continuation of the sermon by brother Houteff concerning Isaiah —

The sinners in Zion are first to cry to the rocks and to the mountains, then will the proclamation of the great and dreadful day of the Lord go forth far and wide saying: “Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge My might.” Isa. 33:13.

   Now is the time to quit fooling ourselves, to make up our minds to wholeheartedly serve the Lord, and Him alone.

   How do I know that the great day of the Lord is almost here? — I know it because the announcement of it is here already, and because the message of the marking that is foretold in Ezekiel’s chapter nine, the work of the Judgment, is already making its way throughout the Adventist world.  I know it also because the material for the glory that follows immediately thereafter (the material that is to lighten the earth with the glory of the angel, the Loud Cry — Rev. 18:1) is all ready and waiting.

   And what happens then? — the cry goes out to the whole dominion of Babylon, “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.  God’s people come out of Babylon to join His purified sin-free church, His guileless servants, the 144,000, the first fruits of the mountain of the Lord’s house.

   Then it shall come to pass that from all nations will the saints flow into it.  “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee [upon the church purified, the mountain of the Lord], and His glory shall be seen upon thee.  And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.  Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. 

Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.  The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord. 

All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on Mine altar, and I will glorify the house of My glory.   Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?  Surely the isles shall wait for Me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because He hath glorified thee. 

And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in My wrath I smote thee, but in My favour have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.” Isa. 60:2-11.

   Then it shall come to pass that

Isa. 2:11 — “The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.”

   Man has long been exalting himself; so much so, in fact, that there are perhaps only a few Christians in the world that are really following “the light of the Lord.”  Most of them are following sparks of men, following uninspired interpretations of the Scriptures, — devisings of men, men who scoff at the idea of Inspiration; they see no need of more Truth or of prophets, although they well know that the only Truth that has ever come has been through chosen servants of God. 

Even present Truth believers have not as yet fully awakened to this startling revelation, many of them are carried away with every wind of doctrine, much of which is created by impostors such as Korah, Dathan and Abiram (Num. 16:9-11) coveting Moses’ office — usurpers of Inspiration’s Throne — taking sides, one for Paul and another for Apollos, as it were!  Inspiration’s eye focusing to this day and message, reveals that much of this self deception is the result of what the Spirit describes, a double face hypocrisy, saying:

“Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord.   And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. 

And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.  And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.” Ezek. 33:30-33.  We need to be doers of the Word not merely hearers.

Isa. 2:12, 13, 15, 16 — “For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: and upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan,…and upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, and upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.”

   These are of course figurative expressions, referring to proud and self-sufficient men who in the people’s eyes are as the cedars of Lebanon, and as the oaks of Bashan.

Isa. 2:17-20 — “And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.  And the idols He shall utterly abolish.  And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth.  In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats.”

   What idols are to be abolished? — Idols that walk.  They are, therefore, men whom the people idolize.  They, and those who idolize them will run into “the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth.”  Only those that cast out the idols shall be spared.  In these verses three kinds of idols are mentioned: (1) works of men’s hands, (2) men that are revered, (3) gold and the silver that are worshipped.  These shall be abolished, there are to be idols no more.

They and their worshipers are;

Isa. 2:21 — “To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth.”

   If we do not now voluntarily cast out all our idols, we shall be forced to cast them later, but what good will it do us then?

Isa. 3:1 — “For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water.”

   The time is at hand when the sinners in Jerusalem and in Judah — the General Conference men and the church as a whole, will not have a drop to drink or a bite to eat.  Who are among them?

Isa. 3:2-4 — “The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, the captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.  [Having taken away the men that have been exalting themselves, and thus having freed His people, the Lord puts children and babes, so to speak, humble ones to rule over His people.]  And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.”

   The signs of the times are to be recognized by the conditions revealed in

Isa. 3:5 — “And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: thechild shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.”

   Since these things are now taking place, we need not be ignorant of the fact that the “great and dreadful day of the Lord” is at hand.  The unruly and disrespectful shall not survive the day.

Isa. 3:6 — “When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand.”

   To say “come and rule over us because you have clothing,” is perhaps equivalent to saying, “If you rule over us you can at least give us something to wear, and this ruin shall be under your control, you can remedy the situation.”

   The people’s way of thinking and acting in this soon-coming time of trouble, ruin, and adversity of all kinds, clearly reveals that they are not taking God into consideration, — no, not at all.  They are trusting in men and goods.  They hope that someone can yet remedy the situation, can save them from ruin.  Thus by their calling on men to help instead of calling on God, they are acting as if God has forsaken the earth.

Isa. 3:7 — “In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people.”

   The one that is called to rule, also shares the people’s attitude.  He declares that he is not able to heal the evil, that he, too, is poor.  God, though, makes clear the cause of the trouble: Let us read

Isa. 3:8 — “For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of His glory.”

   Not the world, but Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen.  Why? — Because their doings and their tongues are against the Lord; that is, they are against His Judgment Truth.  What are the eyes of His glory?  According to Isaiah 62:3 and 4:5, His glory is the ever-living Zion, His Truth- enlightened church.  The depository of His revealed Truth is, therefore, His glory, His seers are His “eyes.”  See I Samuel 9:9.  That is, God’s Spirit-filled servants who lead into all Truth, are the eyes of His glory whom the sinners shamelessly provoke.

   You know for a fact that there is not one who names himself a Christian that talks outright against God.  What professed Christians really do, is say things against God’s revealed Truth, without realizing that they are talking and sinning against the “Holy Ghost,” and thus against God Himself, too.

   Even some present Truth believers now and then drop a word of criticism, saying things by which to bolster their own reputation and down another’s or to win someone to their way of thinking at the expense of God’s cause!  These kinds of sins are the most insidious.  And the greater the ability of the one that is engaged in such practices, the greater the damage.

   Are these tongues of ours not given to us to glorify God through His Truth, or are they given to us to use God’s revealed Truth in a way to exalt self, to get others to think our own way?

   Perhaps most destructive of all are the unjust criticisms that are often spoken in the hearing of the children and youth, or in the presence of the inexperienced and uninformed.  These are damages that can never be altered! Parents on the one hand work hard to save their children, and on the other hand by unwise conversation they drive them away from God and His Truth.

Isa. 3:9 — “The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not.  Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.”

   The sins that are committed, are not the kind that people as a rule do in secret, but rather the kind that people are proud of, for they hide them not, they sin openly and their shamelessness continues to witness against them.  The very men who could have been a great help to Moses, were a great hindrance, creating trouble and discontent.  Even the Lord Himself could not bring them to their senses so the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them all.  (See Num. 16:26- 33; Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 400-405.)

   The time has come for us to get out of our childhood, to be stable men and women — fully grown in the faith.  The time has come for us all to take “strong meat,” and to fully realize that the work we are doing would have gone into the “dumps” ere this, if it had to depend on human wisdom.

Isa. 3:10-12 — “Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.  Woe unto the wicked!  it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.  As for My people, children are their oppressors [rulers], and women rule over them.  O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.”

   God Himself cannot rule over the proud, self-important, and self-sufficient.  But as to His people, even children and women rule over them.  Thus they are now being warned that the proud who now rule over them are causing them to err, destroying God’s plan for them.

   A certain brother said, “I hope the Lord will soon take the reins in His Own hands to deliver Israel.”  Even after coming to the Red Sea, the multitude did not know that God had taken the reins in His Own hands.  They, too, thought everything was in Moses’ hands.  Though by miracle they passed through the Sea, and though they sang the song of deliverance, and understood that God’s hand had delivered them, yet soon after, they forgot, and again began to accuse and to condemn Moses for bringing them into the desert wastes.  They bogged even at the borders of the promised land, and as a result had to spend forty years in the desert.

   Even the manna coming down to earth daily could not convince the multitude that God had taken the reins in His Own hands.  So it was that their carcases fell in the desert, but the children whom they thought would never reach their goal possessed the land (Num. 14:1-3, 27-32; 26:63-65).

   There is a certain element whom even God Himself cannot convince that He has taken the reins in His Own hands.  They never take orders from any but themselves.  Such independent ones will continue to question and criticize everything in which they themselves have no part.  So regardless of their profession, of what they think or say, they are not God’s people.  His real people, He declares, are able to take orders even from women and children.

   God’s people take orders from anyone whom God appoints because they walk in the light of the Lord, not in the sparks of men.  He plainly states that those who now rule over them, are causing His people to err, and are destroying the way of their right path!

Isa. 3:13, 14 — “The Lord standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.  The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of His people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.”

    This scripture emphatically declares that the Lord is pleading while He stands to judge the people, showing that the Judgment of the Living begins after this announcement of it has sounded throughout Laodicea.  The charge against the ancient and the princes (leaders and ministers) is that they have eaten up the vineyard, that they have consumed the entire income, and that they have robbed His people to enrich themselves. 

It is a known fact that not only the tithe (the only lawful allowance for the ministry) but also the offerings (the portion for the poor) and all else are consumed by the ministry, and that they have turned even the Sabbath and the house of worship into institutions of money raising, using all kinds of means and devices in the name of religion by which to make the poor poorer and themselves richer. 

Not I, but the Lord is the One Who says so.  It is no exaggeration, therefore, to say that the house of God is become a house of merchandise, run by thieves, that the dwelling places of the ancients and the princes thereof are used as pack rat nests, and that the Sabbath day has been turned into a market day.

  “Who can truthfully say, ‘Our gold is tried in the fire; our garments are unspotted by the world’?  I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness.  Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath.  Then He said to me: ‘Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character?’  “How is the faithful city become an harlot?”  My Father’s house is made a house of merchandise, a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed!  For this cause there is weakness, and strength is lacking.'”–Testimonies, Vol. 8, pg. 250.

   Seeing that nearly all are overcome by the Enemy of souls, we should, therefore, so much the more fear God and walk closer with Him, else we, too, fall into the Devil kidnapping bag.  We should be careful and considerate shepherds, not cruel grafters.

   You will find that the Devil will fight for life and violently contest this Judgment message, and will try to convince all that these prophecies will not be fulfilled.  God’s true people, though, will see the importance of their fulfillment at this special time, and will gladly take what God’s Word’s says.

   We are called to be reformers, not deformers, gatherers with God, not scatterers with Satan.  Let’s be what we profess to be, and thus stand faultless before the Throne of God, without guile in our mouths and eventually without sinners in our midst.

Isa. 3:15 — “What mean ye that ye beat My people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor?  saith the Lord God of hosts.”

   What an awful charge for one to be taking advantage of the poor.  It is too bad that our brethren have fallen down so low.  And still worse it is that they do not pay any attention to these Heaven-sent messages, and rather than to welcome them, they are doing all to dodge them and to keep the laity away from coming in contact with them.

   May their mistakes become our stepping stones to success. That where they grind the faces of the poor, may we make them happy, and may we realize that to receive one of the least of God’s people, is to receive God Himself.  How thankful we ought to be for this great privilege.”

(Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 5 , page 12-23)


That Which Shall be in the Last days (Part 1 of 2)

January 7, 2017

Come now and let us enjoy of that “extra oil” we spoke of a couple posts back. If the following does not thrill you with deep truths, then please check your spiritual pulse because something is amiss.

OPENING PRAYER THOUGHT   Before engaging in prayer and Bible study, I shall read from The Mount of Blessing, beginning with the first paragraph on page 151.  The chapter is based on the Lord’s Prayer.

   M.B. pp. 151, 152 — “The Lord’s prayer was twice given by our Saviour, first to the multitude in the sermon on the mount, and again, some months later, to the disciples alone.  The disciples had been for a short time absent from their Lord, when on their return they found Him absorbed in communion with God.  Seeming unconscious of their presence, He continued praying aloud.  The Saviour’s face was irradiated with a celestial brightness.  He seemed to be in the very presence of the Unseen: and there was a living power in His words, as of one who spoke with God.

   “The hearts of the listening disciples were deeply moved.  They had marked how often He spent long hours in solitude, in communion with His Father.  His days were passed in ministering to the crowds that pressed upon Him, and in unveiling the treacherous sophistry of the rabbis, and this incessant labor often left Him so utterly wearied that His mother and brothers and even His disciples, had feared that His life would be sacrificed.”

   What did they fear?  They feared that Jesus was doing too much, and that if He thus continued to overtax His strength, He would not live long.  They felt sure He would soon take sick and pass away.

   Did their expectations come true? — No.  The opposite of what they feared took place.  What made Him equal to His task?  Was it not prayer?  If Jesus could receive sufficient strength in prayer to perform His daily duties, why cannot we?  Let us kneel and pray to this end.

THAT WHICH SHALL BE  IN THE LAST DAYS
 
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, SEPTEMBER 7, 1946
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
WACO, TEXAS

   Our study for this afternoon is to be from Isaiah, chapter three.  But since the story, or prophecy, of this chapter begins in the preceding chapter we cannot profitably study the third chapter independently of the second.  No one by beginning to study a subject from the middle, backward or forward, can learn its continuity and know what it is all about.  If one is to learn the full truth of a subject, he must study it in its entirety.  Dogs and cats, not civilized human beings, start eating the slice of pie from the center out.   As intelligent human beings, as God’s people, we ought to eat the pie correctly.

   How do I know that the prophetic subject of chapter three begins with the second chapter? — The very first word of chapter three, the preposition “for,” points out that something has gone before.  To pick up the continuity of Inspiration’s burden, and also to get the background of the subject, we are compelled to start our study with the very verse Isaiah was led to commence the prophecy:

Isa. 2:1 — “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.”

   What was Isaiah led to reveal? — Things concerning Judah and Jerusalem, the church.  We need to know, though, the exact generation of that people, because if the prophecy is concerning our generation, then it will have greater meaning to us.  Its teachings will then be especially adaptable to our present and dire needs — will be “meat in due season.”  For this very reason we need to ascertain who are the people that Inspiration is addressing.  Let us read

Isa. 2:2 — “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.”

   Not a man, not a people or a nation, but the Lord Himself so declares.  The prophet was shown things concerning the Lord’s house (church), “in the last days,” — not in Isaiah’s days.  The statement “last days,” in itself leads us to the “time of the end.”  As we were shown last Sabbath that the time of the end began in the 18th century, obviously then, the time is here for this marvel of the ages to take place.

Isa. 2:3 — “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.”

   Since no such gathering as here predicted has as yet taken place, the subject becomes exceedingly obvious that it is still future.

   Some years ago in my interest of Isaiah 2, I interrogated a well-informed preacher, who also was an eloquent speaker.  He answered as emphatically as he could, by saying, “That will never be fulfilled.”  At that time I did not know, and his answer to my question did not help me one way or another, but now that the scroll has unrolled God Himself declares that His Word never fails, and Him we must trust, for if this prophecy cannot be fulfilled, then what assurance have we that any of the prophecies will be fulfilled?

   Moreover, if this prophecy is not to be fulfilled, then consequently the gospel work will not be finished either, for this prophecy tells the way the work is to be finished– that the law of the Lord during the judgment day of the living is to go from Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem, — not from Takoma Park, not from Mt. Carmel Center, and not from some other place either.

   After the judgment work in the house of God (1 Pet. 4:17) is completed and the 144,000 guileless servants of God, the first fruits (Rev. 14:4) take their high and exalted post with the Lamb on Mt. Zion (Rev. 14:1), then commences the ingathering of the second fruits.  Finally the world’s eyes will come open to the situation, and as one nation invites another nation, the gospel work will intensely speed up. Many will then say, “Let us go up to the mountains of the house of the Lord, to the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we wall walk in His paths.” All the prophets have spoken of this great and marvelous event, but for brevity’s sake I shall quote only from one chapter — Zechariah 2.

    “And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein.  For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her…. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.  And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be My people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee.  And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the Holy Land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.  Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for He is raised up out of His holy habitation.” Zechariah 2:4, 5, 10-13.

Isa. 2:4 — “And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

   Not the nations, but Inspiration Itself declares that in the day God judges the living, then those nations who go to the mountain (Kingdom church purified) of the Lord “shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks” — they will go farming instead of spending their strength in war.  The nations that do not accept the Lord’s “rebuke,” in that day, though, will madly arise against the “mountain” of the Lord, as forecast by the prophet Joel, saying: “Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.  Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord.  Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.” Joel 3:9- 12.

 Since Inspiration has dedicated these publications to the announcement of this most important event in connection with the gospel — the climax and the triumph of it, the separation of the good from the bad (Matt. 13:30, 47, 48), the goats from the sheep (Matt. 25:32); and the establishment of the mountain of the Lord’s house; there is therefore no escaping the conclusion that these chapters of Isaiah were penned especially for the church today.  Now that we are the forerunners of this great and glorious event, we must give special heed to what these chapters have to say.  This we must do if we are to prepare the way of the Lord (Matt. 3:3; Isa. 4:3-5).  This message to the church, you plainly see, is to prepare her members for the Judgment before the “great and dreadful day of the Lord” begins (Mal. 4:5).  For this very reason the Scriptures at this time are unsealed.  Let us now hear the Lord’s plea.

Isa. 2:5 — “O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.”

   Because the church greatly needs this light, the light that now illuminates the Judgment Day, the Lord makes the foregone plea to the antitypical “house of Jacob,” the house in which are the 144,000 Jacobites, the descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel, who down through the ages became assimilated by the Gentile nations, and thus lost their racial identity.

   The Lord’s concern, that the church walk in the light of the Lord (in Inspiration’s light for today) definitely implies that she is not now walking in His light; and His command, found in the last verse of Isaiah’s chapter, clearly reveals that she is walking in the sparks of uninspired men.   The Lord, therefore, commands:

Isa. 2:22 — “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?”

   The reason that her members should immediately cease from men is told in the verses that follow:

Isa. 3:1-4 — “For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, the mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, the captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.  And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.”

   For over a century we as Seventh-day Adventists have been preaching the work of the Judgment for the Dead, and should now with ease see that when the Judgment for the Living begins it is to separate the saints from the sinners — the wheat from the tares (Matt. 13:30), the good fish from the bad fish (Matt. 13:47, 48), the sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:32-46), the wise virgins from the foolish ones (Matt. 25:1-13).

   Plainly then, Isaiah 3:1-4 reveals that among those who are found wanting, are some of the mighty men, men of war, judges and prophets (teachers of religion), prudent and ancients, captains and honorables, counsellors and cunning artificers and eloquent orators, and that God is not a respecter of persons, but only of penitent sinners; that He is not dependent on so-called great men.

   Those who have been exalting themselves and who have thus caused His people to follow learned men instead of Inspiration and thus the Lord’s advancing Truth, are all to be carried away as chaff!

   The brethren who for years have been preaching the Judgment for the Dead have gone spiritually blind and foolish, do not even expect a message of the Judgment for the Living and are insultingly saying. “These prophecies are never to be fulfilled!”  Now is the hour for them to ponder over this light along with the statement: “In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged.” — Testimonies, Vol. 5, pg. 80.

   Let us go back to chapter 2.

Isa. 2:6 — “Therefore Thou hast forsaken Thy people the house of Jacob, [those men that are causing the people to follow them], because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.”

   At the time the great ingathering here projected is about to take place, His professed people, He declares, please themselves among the unconverted and are charged with being soothsayers, ably explaining away God’s revealed Truth for this time rather than to magnify and to proclaim It.

Isa. 2:7 — “Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots.”

   The house of Jacob to which God is here speaking is again identified by the fact that it dwells in a land that is full of silver, of gold, and of chariots, that there is no end to the number of them.  Since there is no land in all God’s world that is as rich with silver, gold and motor vehicular traffic as is this land of the United States of America, very obviously America, the land where the headquarters of the gospel is, is the land to which God refers.  He is, therefore, this day, Brother, Sister, in a special way talking to you, to me, to the whole denomination and particularly to the General Conference (the house of Jacob) in newly revealed Truth, and in unmistakable language.  Shall you, shall I, gladly comply with the Lord’s wishes?  is the great question before us.  Soon the Judgment will begin and we must make sure that our cases will stand.

Isa. 2:8 — “Their land also is full of idols [He declares]; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.”

   The land from which the gospel now eminates is also full of idols, He declares, the kind their own hands have made; that is, they are proud of their idolatry, and their accomplishments they worship as if they were their God.  Both the mean and the great practice hypocrisy.  Forgive them not He exclaims, except they repent.

Isa. 2:10 — “Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty.”

   Here we are plainly told that the sinners will eventually find themselves unprepared for the great and dreadful day of the Lord, and when God thus manifests His Power they will indeed be terrified.  They will as wild men run to the rocks and the mountains there to hide themselves.  The event of this particular verse runs parallel with that of The Revelation:

“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains.  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Rev. 6:15-17.

   Very evidently Isaiah’s prophecy meets its fulfillment in the time of the sixth seal, the time in which the Lord sits on the Throne of His Glory, not on the clouds, the throne before which gather all nations, whereupon the Judgment work begins: the separation takes place, the saints (sheep) are then put to His right and the sinners (goats) to His left (Matt. 25:33).  The prophet Joel declares the day in these words:

   “Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.  Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.  The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.  The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Joel 3:13-16.

   It is the time in which shall be said,

   “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites.  Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?  who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?  He that walketh righteously and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high; his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.  And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.” Isa. 33:14-16, 24. (Timely Greetings, vol.1, no. 5, p. 1-12)

The “Extra Oil” in our Vessels

December 24, 2016

five-virgins

One of the greatest and most spiritual lessons our Lord gave is the parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. We know that only those virgins who had the “extra oil” in their lamps made it to  eternal life. The Elijah message tells us this parable has a direct application to His end time SDA church. Let us read the parable,

“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. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”

We shall go over this lesson closely and see today’s application which we must heed if we are to get to the Kingdom. The message describes the parable as follows–

“Here is Truth that should not be lightly passed by any: The oil can but represent revealed prophetic Truth, Truth that lightens the path ahead. Oil in a vessel, before being put into a lamp, however, cannot lighten the path of anyone. Hence the oil in the vessels of the five virgins must represent an extra supply, extra Truth, that came to them during the period of slumber and sleep.

For when the call was made, “Behold the Bridegroom cometh,” all ten virgins found the oil in their lamps consumed. The vessels of the wise, however were full and so they could refill their lamps. In contrast, the foolish found that not only were their lamps out, but their vessels were empty, too. They then went to obtain the oil, but it did them no good, for they found the door closed to them.

They had been satisfied with what they had in their lamps, presuming that there was no need for more. Contrary to their assumption though during the period of slumber and sleep they suddenly saw their lamps go out. Finding themselves in spiritual darkness and confusion they were then anxious to get oil.

Here is seen that the message which the Church has during the period of slumber and sleep is not sufficient to carry her members through to the end. They need an extra message.

Now what is the difference between the oil in the lamp and the oil in the vessel? — Just this: The oil that is in the lamp, that already lightens the traveler’s path toward the Master’s mansion, must represent Truth in progress. But the oil in the vessel, must represent Truth that is to lighten one’s path after the former Truth has accomplished its work.

For example, after the harvest (Investigative Judgment) of the dead is past, other truths even more important must be introduced for the harvest of the living. I say more important truths because they are concerning the living themselves, concerning those whose own cases are to be weighed in the balances, those who personally are to be judged either as “wheat” or as “tares,” either as good “fish” or as bad “fish.”

Moreover, after the judgment of the dead which the Church has been preaching for a number of years, is over, if the Church does not then receive a new message, the message of the judgment of the living, she will have no message, no oil, for the time of the judgment of the living.

As the oil was available to all ten virgins, the parable makes clear that the message of the judgment of the living is brought to the Church, but that only half the virgins availed themselves of it. When the judgment of the living begins and the cry is made, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh: go ye out to meet Him,” they will all arise, but only half of them will gain admittance. The other half will have sinned against the Holy Spirit, will have rejected His Truth! Consequently when they knock on the door, the Bridegroom’s answer will be, “I never knew you.” What foolishness! and what a disappointment that will be!

This, you see, is not man’s theory, Brother, Sister. It is God’s plain Truth. How sad the case, then, for those who are not only neglecting their own vessels, but are even preventing others from getting the extra oil now while it is dispensed to all. Indeed, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth unless all the lukewarm Laodiceans now at their first opportunity change their minds about being rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing.” (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 11, page 12-14)

This present Truth oil is what makes the difference! Let us give a clear example that shows why we need this prophetic extra oil.

Nearly all SDA are saying “We are waiting for Jesus to come in the clouds.” In fact just yesterday we received an Amazing Facts Magazine, with the bold headlines, “Preparing for the Return of Jesus” meaning the coming in the clouds of glory.

This present Truth oil has specific knowledge for us, to light our path. And this extra oil tells us that Jesus’ next coming shall not be in the clouds. What? some may ask. Yes, the Scriptures foretell of this false idea of expecting the Lord’s coming when we should know , from the Elijah message , that the secretive unseen coming into His churches (Mal. 3:1-5)  is His next coming!

“Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! To what end is it for you? The day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? (Amos 5:18-20)

Now wait a minute! The “day of the Lord” is the great coming in the clouds, with all light and glory yes? No. That is the next “visual” coming for the world’s redeemed (which includes the SDA who survive the judgment in God’s house, the resurrected, and those brought out of Babylon –great Multitude).

There must first come His judgment bound yet unseen Chariot as explained in Ezek. chapter 1, and then comes the beginning phase of judgment upon the living right in our churches as explained in Ezek. 9. Then in Ezek. 10 we see that the Loud Cry begins (coals of fire scattered over the city-outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit to the purified church).

All of this knowledge the wise virgins possess in their vessels right now. The foolish are not concerned with this “extra” supply of oil, they are covered to make the trip to the kingdom, they think. “What pre-millenial Kingdom?” they ask. But it will be too late then.

You see my brethren, God will soon go through our church and see those with their forehead illuminated with present truth. They have in their foreheads the knowledge (seal) of where they are going. We read,

“As the sealed of God we are Christ’s purchased possession, and no one shall pluck us out of His hands. The seal given in the forehead is God, New Jerusalem. “I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God” (Manuscript Releases, vol. 15, p.225)

As those who have studied the Elijah message well know, the kingdom does start in it’s pre-millennial form here on earth, established in Israel. This will be a glorious time for the righteous virgins, those who took the time to get the extra oil before their trip started (back to Israel). They knew keenly where they were going and the purpose (give the final Loud Cry).

seal-in-forehead

“Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:3)
We read more from the message —

“When finally the judgment passes from the dead to the living, thus outmoding by expiration the initial phase of the First Angel’s Message (the judgment of the dead), what timely Truth will the church then have for herself and for the world?  What, indeed, if she does not now accept and practice the message of very present Truth, the final phase of the First Angel’s Message, which is presently announcing the stealthy approach of judgment upon the living, and which is knocking at each heart’s door?

   Tragically, those who now fail to fill their vessels (Matt. 25:1-4) with this extra oil (the additional truth — that of the judgment of the living) flowing from the golden bowl (Zech. 4) will finally see their lamps flicker out forever like a gutted candle.  O, in what consternation then will they search for the precious golden oil!  And with what infinitely greater anxiety than they now search for gold and for prestige! 

But, alas, then like Esau, though they seek it “carefully with tears,” they shall find “no place of repentance”: they purchase their oil too late.  The door is closed when they reach it.  And to their frantic knocking at it comes the terrifying reply, “I never knew you.” Matt. 7:23.  Then is the harvest of the first-fruits past, the fruits garnered in, and the tares shut out unto destruction, there in agony to wail and to gnash their teeth: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jer. 8:20.

 

   “The time of the Judgment is a most solemn period, when the Lord gathers His own from among the tares.  Those who have been members of the same family are separated.  A mark is placed upon the righteous.” — Testimonies To Ministers, p. 234.

   “…The pure ore and the dross will no longer commingle.” — Testimonies To Ministers, p. 236.

   “…The church is to be fed with manna from heaven, and to be kept under the sole guardianship of His grace.  Clad in complete armor of light and righteousness, she enters upon her final conflict.  The dross, the worthless material, will be consumed, and the influence of the truth testifies to the world of its sanctifying, ennobling character….” — Testimonies To Ministers, p. 17, 18.  (The White-House Recruiter, p.37-38)

The Lord is all encompassing and foreseeing and do you remember that Zech. 4 showed us how to get this oil? The specific prophets (two pipes) gather it from the Bible (two trees) and place it in the Golden Bowl (Inspired writings), so that the 7 ministers ( the seven tubes from the bowl, the true ministers of God) can get the oil out of the bowl and give to the church (seven candlesticks). Again for a refresher look at this original chart draw by the prophet, brother Houteff.

zechariah-4-picture

In closing, let us now, as we have time, stock up on this extra oil, for we shall need it when the Lord “suddenly comes to His Temple” (Mal. 3:1).

“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.”

That messenger, the Elijah to come, has provided for any and all who wish to partake, a great supply of oil (present Truth) will you not take some and fill up? Below is a link to 15 Tracts of extra oil. Enjoy!

http://shepherds-rod.org/Tracts/tracinx.html

 

Who is Abaddon and Apollyon, Satan or Christ?

November 19, 2016

Image result for picture of satan as angel of light         Image result for picture of Christ coming in clouds of glory

One of the most noted long running Biblical controversies involves the question — who does Abaddon and Apollyon represent? Generally speaking there is a majority opinion among Bible scholars that it is Satan. Our historical SDA belief is not clear and not much help here.

One of the end time prophecies revealed to us, His remnant church, was the understanding of Zech. 4, the two olive trees (old and new Testament) , the two pipes (God appointed two end time interpreters), seven tubes (ministers) going from the Golden Bowl (the Inspired writings) down to the seven candlesticks (the churches of God). In this symbolism we learn how the Lord’s system of Biblical truth is conveyed and passed down to His people and exposing the path of usurpers and false prophets. For those who wish to review our post on this very important subject , click here- https://godsloveandlaw.com/2014/07/12/zechariah-4-gods-method-of-revealing-truth/

Because Zech. 4 was not properly understood until the Lord sent His last prophet to our church–Victor Houteff, many could not truly know subjects like our study subject. In other words , there are all kinds of man-made ideas floated around as–truth. But let us now sink the mine shaft of truth way down and get some pure golden nuggets of glistening gold from the Golden Bowl.

First, let’s look at the specific Bible verses–

“And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.” (Rev. 9:1)

“And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” (Rev. 9:11)

The following is generally the prevailing opinion concerning Abaddon and Apollyon.

“In Revelation 9:11, Abaddon is described as “Destroyer”,[6] the angel of the abyss,[6] and as the king of a plague of locusts resembling horses with crowned human faces, women’s hair, lions’ teeth, wings, iron breast-plates, and a tail with a scorpion’s stinger that torments for five months anyone who does not have the seal of God on their foreheads.[7]

The symbolism of Revelation 9:11 leaves the identity of Abaddon open to interpretation. Protestant commentator Matthew Henry (1708) believed Abaddon to be the Antichrist,[8] whereas the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary (1871) and Henry H. Halley (1922) identified the angel as Satan.[9][10][11] Latter-Day Saints believe that the use of “Abaddon” in Revelation 9 refers to the devil.[12]

In contrast, the Methodist publication The Interpreter’s Bible states: “Abaddon, however, is an angel not of Satan but of God, performing his work of destruction at God’s bidding”, citing the context at Revelation chapter 20, verses 1 through 3.[13][page needed] Jehovah’s Witnesses as well cite Revelation 20:1-3 where the angel having “the key of the abyss” is actually shown to be a representative of God, one from heaven, and, rather than being “satanic”, is the one that binds Satan and hurls him into the abyss; concluding that “Abaddon” is another name for Jesus Christ after his resurrection.”[14] (Wikipedia)

As we can see there is a variety of opinions. But generally throughout Christendom the belief is that these two titles describe Satan. The noted exceptions are the Methodists ,Jehovah Witnesses and Davidian SDA. However, such ideas most likely are arrived at by thinking that “a star fell from heaven” means Satan and his fall. And then because he falls he now has the symbolical key to hell. Sure seems plausible if one surface reads.

But as we mentioned we are going to go beyond surface reading and understandings into an understanding that is all-encompassing, just as the Lord’s promised restoration shows us (Matt.17:11).

To understand the meaning of the “star” and “bottomless pit” mentioned in Rev. 9:1,  we read–

Rev. 9:1-4. “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.  And He opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.  And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.  And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.”

   Taking in order the parts (the “star,” the “key,” the “pit,” the “smoke,” the darkness, and the locusts) of this fifth trumpet symbolism, we come first to

The Star.

   Just as did the star of the third trumpet, so this  fifth-trumpet star descended from heaven to earth.  And as the third-trumpet “star” has been conclusively identified as representing the advent of the Bible then this latter one, since it is similar to the former must stand for something the equivalent of It.

   The Bible and Christ being complementary affinities, each the Word of God (John 1:1-14), then the fact that the descent of the first “star” is symbolical of the advent of the Bible, compels the conclusion that the descent of the second star is symbolical of the first advent of Christ.  Moreover, the star is personified as “Him” (masculine in gender), thus being limited to a male person.  And finally Christ Himself gives testimony that He is “the bright and morning star.” Rev. 22:16.  To Him, be it remembered, was given

“The Key of the Bottomless Pit.”

   “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.” Rev. 20:1, 2.

   As Christ is the one who secures Satan’s captivity, thereby ushering in the millennium, He alone can be fittingly symbolized by the “angel…having the key of the bottomless pit,” and by the “star” to whom the “key” was given.  And as the “giving” of a thing to any certain one must precede the having” of it by that one, the verbs “given” (Rev. 9:1) and “having” (Rev. 20:1; 1:18)  point, of course, to two different times.  Obviously, therefore, Christ received the “key” at the sounding  of the fifth trumpet — sometime before the millennium.  Hence at the commencement of the millennium He already has it.

   Christ’s mission being to bring deliverance from the prison house of sin and of death (the bottomless pit), and to do so through the preaching of the gospel,  the key, therefore, must be figurative of the gospel,  the only power that is able to set free those who are  imprisoned in

The “Bottomless Pit.”

   Since the “bottomless pit” of Revelation 20:3 is symbolical of the earth as a prison house during the millennium, then the “bottomless pit” of Revelation 9:1, being identical, must likewise be symbolical of the earth as a prison house at another time.

   This implicitly Biblical interpretation of the “star,” the “key,” and the “bottomless pit,” reveals  that the earth, at Christ’s first advent, had become a prison house (a pit) for God’s people and that Christ came to open it in order to save them.

   The very fact that God’s people are vested with the power to keep open the bottomless pit, then should they be defeated, the pit would be shut and would become a prison house from which there would be no escape unless it be reopened.  And so Satan in the latter days of the Jews, as sacred history records, attacked them, took them captive, and thus shut the pit.  And knowing that when the Saviour should come, He would open it, the dragon therefore stood ready to devour the “child as soon as it was born.” Rev. 12:4. 

But losing sight of the infant Christ, he incited Herod to slay “all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under” (Matt. 2:16), in the hope of making rid of the Saviour.  Under the protection  of Providence, however, Christ was kept from the  bloody hand of Herod.  Then subsequently with the  gospel key, He opened the “pit” and freed His people.  This, He Himself avowed:

   “The Spirit of the Lord,” He declared, is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovering  of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18, 19. (Tract 5, p.58-61)

To the names and their meaning we read–

“Rev. 9:11. “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.”

   Genuine Christians, as subjects of the kingdom of Christ, have over them Christ, their King.  Ruling over them in Old Testament time (1 Cor. 10:1-4)  as well as in New Testament time, He is therefore King over them in both periods.  Consequently the Old Testament Scriptures being originally written  in the Hebrew tongue give Him the name Abaddon, whereas the New Testament Scriptures, being originally written in the Greek, give Him the name Apollyon.

   In the blazing light of this symbol, intensifying the illumination from the whole series of symbols of which it is a part, and which no human mind could either have devised or thus rightly interpreted, Christ is clearly seen to be King of His people in both the Old and the New Testament periods, and Author of the Scriptures in both the Hebrew and the Greek.  And from this fact it follows that as He is “the Word” (the Bible in human form), His Hebrew name, Abaddon, is also the name of the Old Testament Scriptures, and His Greek name, Apollyon, is also the name of the New Testament Scriptures.

   Showing that he recognized Christ’s sovereignty over the church not only in the New Testament  period but also in the Old Testament period,  Paul, in his epistle to the Corinthians, declared:  “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were…baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea:…and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Cor. 10:1-4.

   Woe to him who accepts the one Testament and casts aside the other, pays no attention to either, or exalts tradition above both!

   Abaddon, Christ’s name in the Hebrew, signifying Him as a “destroyer,” shows that in the Old Testament period He simply destroyed many of His enemies; whereas Apollyon, His name in the Greek, signifying Him as an “exterminator,” shows that in the New Testament period He will exterminate all the wicked. (What beautiful precision  of connotation in these symbolic appellations!)  And this exterminatory work is vividly pictured in the climactic scene:

   “And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.  And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.” Rev. 19:15-18.

   To those, therefore, who accept Christ as their King, He is a Saviour, while to those who refuse to have Him rule over them (Luke 19:14), He is a destroyer.  Hence, accordingly, the curses, or judgments, fall (as the trumpets reveal) upon those who reject the teachings and the authority of the Bible, and who as a result do not have the seal.

   These solemn facts gravely admonish us not to forget the Bible’s warning that our treatment of It will bring one of two results — death or life. (Tract 5, p.69-72)

Christendom has a hard time calling Christ “Destroyer”and “Exterminator”, they cannot fathom the vengeance of Christ to justify His Truth. The Bible calls Him this and we must accept and acknowledge it. Let us not be on the losing end of the soon to come Destroyer/ Exterminator, rather with Godly fear and hope keep living everyday to do as the Word says–

“He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” (1 John 2:6)

 

The Woman of Revelation 17 (Part 2 of 2)

October 21, 2016

 Who Is the Woman Riding On the Beast?      

The reason John was shown the vision, is made clear by the words of the angel: “Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters.”  The angel’s interpretation of the “waters” is given in Rev. 17:15: “Peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”  The woman sitting on them denotes that the inhabitants (waters) had fallen into her trap of deception (sitting on them).

   “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.” (Rev. 17:4.)  The woman is a symbol of a counterfeit religious system.  From her cup she hands out false doctrines.  Being golden, it has an appearance of splendor — inviting.  Her costly garments of loud colors and precious ornaments vividly portray the magnificence of this most vile woman and her kingly pomp, and vain glory. 

By the power of her attraction, so irresistible to the human eye, she has conquered men of the strongest intellect — “With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication.”  Millions with strong mental faculties, men who appear as giants among the inhabitants of the earth, have fallen helpless victims in her trap.  The kings of the earth are guilty of spiritual adultery with the “woman” (drunk with false doctrines), thereby becoming entangled in her seductive snares.

   Any so called Christian organization handing out false doctrines under an appearance of virtue, evidently is governed by the power of the “woman.”  The origin of all such fallacious teachings can be traced back into the golden cup.  Said the angel: “The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.”  It has been previously explained that the heads are symbols of so-called Christians denominations, and as she sits on them all, it denotes a union of churches under one head — “the woman.”  The Biblical number “seven” apprehends all such organizations.

Let us break away from this report and go back to this same SRod report on page  117 to see what was said about the “heads”–

Rev. 17:9, “And here is the mind which hath wisdom.  The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.”  All the heads being present on the beast, and the woman sitting on them, proves that all seven “mountains” must be in existence at the same time.  They cannot be consecutive for the woman sits on them all, which denotes one great union of the heads by the medium of the woman.  They are called “mountains,” as God’s denomination is called “mountain,” in Isaiah 2:2, and Micah 4:1.  The “mountain” (singular) is God’s denomination, but the “mountains” (plural by both Isaiah and Micah) have reference to the same denominations represented by the heads on the beast.  Thus “the seven heads are seven mountains.”(page 117)

   If all the churches at this present time were led by the Holy Spirit, there would be no confusion among the so-called Christian sects.  As it would be impossible for all to be right while no two believe alike, it is warrantable to say that those who are drinking the wine from the “cup of her fornication,” are not few, for Inspiration says: “And the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” (Rev. 17:2, last part.)

   Note that the “woman” sits on the “waters,” also on the “heads,” and on the beast.” (See Rev. 17:1, 3, 9.)  As it would be impossible for one person to sit on all three objects at one time, the prophetic symbols reveal a spiritual fraud in three different periods.  Thus John declares: “I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast.” Not upon the “waters”, nor upon the “heads.”  Before he saw her, the angel said, The woman “sitteth upon many waters.”  It was the angel also who added, “The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” (See Rev. 17:1, 9.)  Thus, John saw her last exploit only (sit upon the beast).  Consequently, the symbol, sitting on the “waters” is her first act, according to the vision.

   Therefore, her first achievement (“sitting on the waters”), must have been in the past from the time the prophetic symbol is revealed.  Hence, the sitting on the heads becomes her second accomplishment, and the sitting on the Beast is the last; at which time she is judged.

   As the Protestant churches are represented by the heads, she could not have sat on them before the reformation, for they were not as yet in existence.  As the heads upon which the “woman sits” are unharmed, it is evident that the prophetic symbol is to meet its fulfillment some time after the deadly wound of the leopard-like beast of Revelation 13:3, is healed.  The symbol, sitting on the heads, denotes union of churches, for she sits on them.

   Therefore, when Catholicism, Protestantism, and Spiritualism clasp each other’s hand by the medium of a league, then it could be said, “the woman sitteth on the heads.”

   The symbol of the “woman sitting on the beast,” will meet its fulfillment when that religious federation shall make an alliance with the powers of the world.  Such an act would give the woman full control of the entire beast, horns and heads — the world.  At that time the following Scripture will meet its perfect fulfillment: “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast.” (Rev. 13:16, 17.)

   Thus the symbol of the “woman” sitting on the “waters,” represents the period before the reformation.  This was true during the period of papal supremacy, for at that time the papacy ruled the Roman world — “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”  Thus the “woman” sat on the “waters” during the 1260 prophetic years of Daniel 7:25, but she is yet to sit on the “heads,” and on the “beast.”  Had she sat on the non-descript beast instead of on the “waters,” it would have been wrongly symbolized, for, the “woman,” by the tool of Catholicism, did not reign over all the world (beast), but over many “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues” (many waters).  Therefore, the symbol, “sitting upon the scarlet colored beast,” denotes an international religio-political system.
 

                            How Long Has the Woman Been In Existence?

   This question may be answered by the following Scriptures: “And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” (Rev. 17:6.)  This could truly be said of the Roman church, for, she persecuted the Christians and martyred them.  Therefore, she is “drunk” with their blood.  True, the Roman church has had unlawful connection with the “woman”; was, and is drunk with the wine of her fornication.

   The “woman” did not originate with the Roman church, but rather she produced that church.  Therefore, we must trace her existence beyond the beginning of the papacy.  Revelation 18:24, throws light upon the subject: “And in her was found the blood of the prophets, and of the saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”  The holy Word of God declares that the “woman” is guilty of the blood of the martyrs in all ages.  Therefore, the “woman” is drunk with the blood of Abel, and thus the blood of “all” the martyrs is found in her; proving that Cain was her first client by presenting a counterfeit sacrifice (false doctrine), and by slaying his brother.

   There are many so-called Christians, who like Cain, say, “It makes no difference; one thing is as good as another.”  But God accepts no substitute and no man’s religion.  That which human wisdom has devised, is man’s righteousness, and not the righteousness of Christ.  Therefore, it is an abomination in God’s sight.  The human fiber of obedience to divine requirements being weakened, and the sinful inclinations strengthened from generation to generation, the nature of man cannot be better at this Present time than when the disciples asked Jesus: “Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?” 

So-called Christians, like the Pharisees, become offended when told of their errors, and rebuked for their sins.  “But He answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.  Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind.  And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matt. 15:12-14.)

   “And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.” (Rev. 17:5.)  The woman riding on the beast is the mother.  The seven heads on the beast are the symbols of her daughters (harlots).  Catholicism is her first daughter in this symbol, and as Protestantism sprang from Catholicism, then, apostate Protestantism in the multiplicity of sects, are her daughters also.  Or it may be said, the woman” is the mother of Catholicism, and Catholicism is the mother of Protestantism.  Says the Revelator: “I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy.” (Rev. 17:3.) 

Thus the number of “heads,” and “full of names,” include all the offshoots from Protestantism and Catholicism.  Had there been no mention made of being “full of names,” more than seven, and “scarlet,” which denotes that God’s people have been called out of it, therefore, “scarlet” — skimmed — under curse ready to perish, the Biblical number “seven heads,” would have included those who are carrying God’s message as in the period of the leopard-like beast of Revelation 13:1, at the time his deadly wound was healed. 

Therefore, it would have made no allowance for the church which “keep the commandments of God, and the Faith of Jesus,” and thus it would have contradicted the following Scripture: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman [God’s church], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed [Israel the true — the 144,000], which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Rev. 12:17.)

   God has never had more than one movement in existence at a time and it could not be otherwise now, for Christ cannot be divided.  (See 1 Cor. 1:13.) God’s church is well marked in every generation by obedience to present truth.  The fact itself proves the claim true as there is only one church in the period of the beast which has the “Spirit of Prophecy” and all of the commandments as written by the finger of God. 

Said Jesus: “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:19.)  It is this divine principle that shall divide the world into two classes — the commandments of God and the traditions of men.  “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.” (Matt. 25:32, 33.)  (Shepherd’s Rod, vol. 2, p.121-125)

Summary 

We noted in our last report, part one that there would be solid Scriptural evidence that the Woman of Rev. 17 could not be representative of the RCC solely. And we have found the evidence. As noted above  God’s word says, ““And in her was found the blood of the prophets, and of the saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” Since the RCC did not come into existence until approximately the early 5th century there is no way that it can be said that the blood of Abel was found in the RCC church (Woman).This one truth is undeniable and should put to rest the idea that the woman represents the RCC. Hence we have learned that the Woman represents all the false religions down through the ages. 

There are much more revelations to show, such as the true understanding of the Beasts of Rev. 13 and the beast that the woman rides in Rev. 17. We hope to report on these soon. In summary, let us praise the Lord that He did indeed send the Elijah to make known the true understanding of the Revelation and Daniel prophecies– part of the Lord’s promised restoration. This study and the like, should truly gives us an “entirely different religious experience.”

 


The Woman of Revelation 17 (Part 1 of 2)

October 15, 2016

The study of the Revelation is both fascinating and very complex. This book truly must have the Lord’s “Spirit of Truth” to correctly interpret it. In 2 Peter 1:20 we read.

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

Thankfully our all-seeing Lord sent us an end time prophet, the promised “Elijah” spoken of in Mal. 4:5. He knew that the mysteries of this deep book would have to be unlocked and so it is today. What we will see is the true interpretation of this woman and who/what she is.

There are two SOP quotes that specifically apply concerning our study this week, let us read.

“We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn. God and heaven alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed. As long as we hold to our own ideas and opinions with determined persistency, we cannot have the unity for which Christ prayed.” (Testimonies to Ministers, p.30)

“When the books of Daniel and Revelation are better understood, believers will have an entirely different religious experience. They will be given such glimpses of the open gates of heaven that heart and mind will be impressed with the character that all must develop in order to realize the blessedness which is to be the reward of the pure in heart.

The Lord will bless all who will seek humbly and meekly to understand that which is revealed in the Revelation. This book contains so much that is large with immortality and full of glory that all who read and search it earnestly receive the blessing to those “that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.”

Result of True Study

One thing will certainly be understood from the study of Revelation—that the connection between God and His people is close and decided.” (TM p. 114)

So we see that once we understand the books of Daniel and Revelation we will have “entirely different religious experience.” In other words we will shift into a higher gear spiritually speaking. This truly is what the Lord was talking about when he admonished us as Laodiceans to stop thinking we are “rich and increased with goods”–have all the truth, because Revelation truth (along with other end time prophecies) is needed so that we can “buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich.” (Rev. 3:17-18)

The verses we shall go over in part one are Rev. 17:1-6, 9–

“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration….And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.”

Ok let us look at this woman of Rev. 17. Before we do it’s helpful to know what we as SDA have been generally taught about this, our historical understanding.

As with many of our standard SDA teaching, one of the leaders in this department is pastor Doug Batchelor. Recently we watched one of his YouTube videos entitled ,”Revelation 17 and Protestant Reformation.”

In agreement with the typical well-known SDA belief, his presentation proclaimed that this woman is symbolic of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). A few clues presented were —

  1. The seven heads represent the seven mountains, which is then interpreted to mean the seven hills of Rome. Because Rome has sometimes been referred as “the city of seven hills” DB connects Rev. 17:9’s  mountains to Rome’s hills. In other words he promotes a literal application in regards to what the mountains mean.
  2. The woman has the colors purple and scarlet and is symbolically meant to mean the RCC because these two colors are historically prominent in Catholicism.
  3. The woman has precious adornment of gold and precious stones and shows that this woman is fabulously rich just as the RCC is known to be. DB points out that the RCC has the most silver in the world and owns some of the world’s most priceless relics.
  4. The golden cup is indicative of the priest’s mass cup.
  5. The woman therefore is symbolical of the RCC solely.

As widely distributed and proclaimed by our leaders, this warning of the woman being the RCC is promulgated to have us focus on it exclusively instead of knowing the whole picture and the forecast. All parts of this Revelation puzzle must fit, there can be no dis-jointed piece forced into the picture.

You see brethren, this is Satan’s ploy similar to the “Sunday Law” hoodwink. Having us look for the implementation of this law, while not getting ready for the Lord’s “suddenly” coming to His temple to begin the judgment for the living (Mal. 3:1-5).  Satan has the SDA’s leading teachers right where he want’s them–mis-understanding the prophecies, looking left when they should be looking right. He wants us to focus on the RCC instead of the real culprit–apostate Protestantism.

“..I saw the Mother of Harlots; that the mother was not the daughters, but separate and distinct from them. She has had her day, and it is past, and her daughters, the Protestant sects, were the next to come on the stage and act out the same mind that the mother had when she persecuted the saints. I saw that as the mother has been declining in power, the daughters had been growing, and soon they will exercise the power once exercised by the mother.” (Spalding/Magan Collection, p.1) 

What we’ll be presenting is a  different understanding of this woman provided by the Lord’s Elijah message, another restoration of truth promised by the Word (Matt. 17:11) . Carefully study all aspects of this and then decide whether our historical SDA understanding is correct or whether the following part two presentation is based on  a “more sure word of prophesy.”

What do we find a  “woman” means symbolically in Scripture?

“I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.(Jer. 6:2)

“In Revelation 17 Babylon is represented as a woman—a figure which is used in the Bible as the symbol of a church, a virtuous woman representing a pure church, a vile woman an apostate church.”(GC, p.381)

We see that both Scripture and SOP say that a woman, and particularly the Rev. 17 woman,  represents a church , which is an apostate and impure people  –false religion. Contrarily, for example, we see that Rev. 12’s woman is a pure church, and true religion.

So on this point our historical understanding that the woman is impure and is of a false faith is correct. Being a “whore” she obviously cannot represent purity.

In our part one we see that the historical understanding is that the woman represents the RCC  and that this is based on the afore-mentioned clues (among others). In our part two we’ll bring evidence that this woman cannot be the RCC solely for solid Biblical reasons. Stay tuned, you’ll be blessed and enlightened.

 

 

 

 

“Bright Clouds Bring Gentle Rain”

August 20, 2016

One of the  most rewarding aspects of learning the Lord’s Elijah message is to read sermons such as the one that follows. When read slowly and carefully one cannot help but be satisfied in their soul of the depth of “Truth” spoken. Let us learn more about the “Latter Rain”. Enjoy–

THOUGHT FOR MEDITATION AND PRAYER   I shall read from “The Mount Of Blessing,” beginning with the first paragraph on page 170.  This page is based on the scripture.  “Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil one.” — R.V.

   M.B., pg. 170 — “Temptation is enticement to sin, and this does not proceed from God, but from Satan, and from the evil of our own hearts.  ‘God can not be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempteth no man.’

   “Satan seeks to bring us into temptation, that the evil of our character may be revealed before men and angels, that he may claim us as his own…. The enemy leads us into sin, and then he accuses us before the heavenly universe as unworthy of the love of God….”

   Every temptation resisted, every trial bravely borne, gives us a new experience in character building.  The soul that resists temptation through Divine power reveals to the world and to the universe the efficiency of the grace of Christ.

   Here is seen that Satan is the great tempter of our souls, that he constantly seeks to make us fall.  But he cannot do anything against us if our hearts be right with God, and if we stay within the hedge He has built around us.  He can succeed only if we ourselves make it possible.  If we willingly yield to sin, we thus voluntarily surrender to Satan.  Let us not forget that no one can keep on going his own way and at the same time pray the Lord’s prayer without making a liar of himself.  But those who wholeheartedly take the Lord at His word and allow Him to direct their steps, they never go wrong.  We should pray to be among this latter class.

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BRIGHT CLOUDS BRING GENTLE RAIN

TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,

MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS

SABBATH, NOVEMBER 30, 1946

MT. CARMEL CHAPEL WACO, TEXAS  

This afternoon we are to study the tenth chapter of Zechariah.  To find the time of the fulfillent of its prophecy and of the promises it contains, we need look no further than the first verse of the chapter.

Zech. 10:1 — “Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.”

   These figures of speech, you know, are not used by Inspiration promiscuously, the term “latter rain” must have its special and accurate significance.  Inspiration chose to use the term “rain”, because rain makes things grow and brings abundant harvest.  The term “latter” denotes the last rain before the harvest, the rain that completes maturity and that ripens the grain.

   The latter rain of Truth, therefore, is the very last, the one that is to develop the people of God for the harvest, for the time in which God separates the wheat from the tares (Matt. 13:30), the wise virgins from the foolish ones (Matt. 25:1-12), the good fish from the bad (Matt. 13:47, 48), and the sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:32, 33).  In short, the harvest is the day of cleansing, the day of Judgment, the antitypical

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Day of Atonement, the day in which the sinners are cut off. This spiritual latter rain is, therefore, to do to the church just what the natural latter rain does to the field.  Without this latter rain the saints could not develop for the heavenly garner, neither could the tares for the fire. By the “latter rain,” therefore, is illustrated the last shower of Truth.  And, too, this last portion of Truth must come as freely to every member of the church who lives just prior to the harvest time as does the rain come to every grass in the field.  Just as soon as this final touch of development is accomplished, the sickle is to be put to the precious golden grain.  But let us remember that it is not left in the field to rot, it is put into the “barn,” (Kingdom) while the tares are burned, so says the Lord (Matt. 13:30).  What is symbolized by the “latter rain?  Is it miracle-working Truth, or is it miracle-working power? — The prophet Joel explains that the miracle-working power comes after both the “former and the latter rain.”  Says he:

   “And it shall come to pass afterward [after the former and the latter rain — Joel 2:23], that I will pour out My spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit.” Joel 2:28, 29.

   Plainly, then, the “latter rain” is miracle-working Truth that causes the saints to mature for the harvest of which the 144,000 are the first fruits (Rev. 14:4).  Then, in order to quickly gather the second fruits, God pours His Spirit upon every first fruit saint, (upon “every one grass”) old or young, boy or girl — not upon one here and upon another there.

   Obviously “bright clouds” represent agencies conveying Truth which they scatter everywhere in the

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Lord’s vineyard — over every church member — “every one grass,” wheat or tare.

   Literally speaking, dark clouds suggest a very heavy and damaging rain that frightens the beholders.  Conversely, bright clouds suggest a gentle rain, the kind that descends in such a way so that the ground can absorb all of it.  It does not waste itself.

   Spiritually speaking, dark clouds would, therefore, represent a source of dangerous reading matter and too voluminous for one to welcome or to comprehend.  But bright clouds stand for a source of small, easily comprehended Truth-laden publications packed with “meat in due season,” Truth that comes in portions easy to take in, easy to assimilate all of It, and thus to develop the recipient of It for the “master’s” use and for His service.

   Then, too, spiritual “latter rain” must fall as freely and without cost to the recipients as does literal rain.  Thus it is that never before has the world witnessed so much absolutely free literature scattered away as this literature is.  Millions!  So it is that these small comprehensive publications, the bright clouds, laden with present Truth, are now being scattered as leaves of autumn throughout Laodicea to every church member, “to every one grass” in the vineyard of the Lord.  The final results?  “More than one thousand,” attests Inspiration, “will soon be converted in one day, most of whom will trace their first convictions to the reading of our publications.” — “Review and Herald,” Nov. 10, 1885.  Accordingly, along with the world’s dark clouds that now hover over those who are pessimistic about the promises of God, there are these bright clouds that hover over the faithful believing and trusting children of God.

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   And so, Brother, Sister, you need not listen to the voices that urge you to shut yourself in from this gentle rain, or to tuck in under someone’s umbrella.  Come out and avail yourself of this much needed shower.  It is sent to give you the development which you need, and to enable you to survive the great and dreadful day of the Lord, the Judgment for the Living.  Delay no longer, get out in the open and let the precious rain fall upon you, let it soak in through and through lest the angels find you unfit for the “barn” and they cast you into the fire along with the tares. Inspiration makes it as clear as can be made that not a soul (not one blade of grass), can be fit for the Kingdom (“barn”) if it fails to absorb this rain of Truth.

   How important then that you should avail yourselves of it. No, you cannot afford to stand dry under the umbrellas of Truth-haters.  Get out from under their devilish umbrellas lest you lose out eternally, lest you hopelessly cry out, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jer. 8:20.

Zech. 10:2 — “For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd.”

   Here is conveyed the thought that this character-building and wisdom and light-importing “rain” that fits one for the society of Heaven, finds the waiting ones listening to idols speaking “vanity” and to diviners telling false dreams, in vain trying to comfort.  Will you not heed Inspiration’s Voice and turn away from listening to idols?

   Who could they be if not vain self-important Truth-hating

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ministers that are idolized by the laity, false preachers trying to comfort by preaching falsehood.

   Revival and reformation therefore must do their work among both ministers and laity.  Indeed the sheep are troubled because there is no real shepherd anywhere, they all have gone their own way!

Zech. 10:3 — “Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the Lord of hosts hath visited His flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as His goodly horse in the battle.”

   This verse discloses that the Lord has visited His people with revealed Truth preparatory to separating the goats from the sheep whereupon He is to reward the sheep and punish the goats — the work of the Judgment for the Living.  His visit makes His servants as goodly horses in His vineyard.

Zech. 10:4 — “Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together.”

   The Lord Himself chooses from Judah the “corner” stone (founder), the “nail” (organizer), the “bow” (the Truth, or instrument by which to gain the victory over the Enemy), and every “oppressor” (ruler).  With these He builds the house of Judah.

Zech 10:5 — “And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the Lord is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded.”

   The victory shall be so complete that even the

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demons who lead our enemies in the conflict, will themselves be confounded.

Zech. 10:6 — “And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them.”

   The statements, “I will strengthen,” instead of save, “the house of Judah,” and “I will save” instead of strengthen “the house of Joseph,” imply that the house of Judah is saved before the house of Joseph is, and to save the house of Joseph He strengthens the house of Judah.  The second fruits need to be saved, whereas the first fruits need to be fitted for service.  Both are gathered into one place, (the “barn,” the Kingdom).  The Lord extends this favor to both of them because He has mercy upon them and will treat them as though they had never caused Him to cast them out.

Zech. 10:7 — “And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord.”

   The fathers shall rejoice and the children shall see it.  He shall thus “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers….” Mal. 4:6.

Zech. 10:8 — “I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased.”

   “They shall increase,” that is, the second fruits

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are to be added to the “firstfruits.” (Rev. 7:4, 9).

Zech 10:9 — “And I will sow [multiply] them among the people: and they shall remember Me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again [to their homeland].”

Zech. 10:10 — “I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them.”

   The elect shall be gathered from everywhere, and shall spread as far as the land of Gilead and Lebanon.  But even then, the place shall be too small for them.

Zech. 10:11, 12 — “And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away.  And I will strengthen them in the Lord; and they shall walk up and down in His name, saith the Lord.”

   That is to say, the gathering of the people is to be unobstructed.  Every hindrance is to be removed.  The reign of sin is to be brought to an end.  The nations who have enslaved God’s people are to be humbled, and their scepters (thrones) are to be no more.

   Be strong in the Lord, walk up and down happy and without fear, saith the Lord.

   The work that God has begun in the human heart by Divine light and knowledge, must continually go forward.  “…Every individual must realize his own

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necessity.  The heart must be emptied of every defilement, and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit.  It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.  The same work, only in greater degree, must be done now.  Then the human agent had only to ask for the blessing, and wait for the Lord to perfect the work concerning him.  It is God who began the work, and He will finish His work, making man complete in Jesus Christ.  But there must be no neglect of the grace represented by the former rain.

   “Only those who are living up to the light they have, will receive greater light.  Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain.  It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it. — “Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 507.

   Since this Truth is so vitally important do not let any enemy against revealed Truth confuse you.  If he tries to convince you against this Truth, you take him to task — make him give a more Biblical interpretation of these scriptures.  If he cannot give you something better or as good, then tell him to mind his own business and you will mind yours.

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The Meaning of Hosea Chapter One and Two, Part 2 of 2

July 2, 2016

hosea

Continuing with part two of  our study —

Continuing with the same family illustration, and pointing to the Christian era, the Lord commands:

Hos. 2:1 — “Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah.”

   Here we see that the names of the two children of chapter 1 are again mentioned, but the first two letters of each name have been dropped:

Lo-ruhamah has become Ruhamah, and Lo-Ammi has become Ammi.  Now the fact that these are the brother and sister of Jezreel, bears out the truth that the one whom the Lord commands to speak to them, is Jezreel, the first-born of the three.  He is to deliver the message to his brethren, Ammi and Ruhamah.

 

   Now, what is it all about? — It is not too difficult to see.  The one to whom God speaks, Jezreel, represents a prophet.  His brother and sister, Ammi and Ruhamah, can only represent the church membership, both male and female.  In actuality Jezreel must deliver God’s message to them.  And here is the message:

Hos. 2:2 — “Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not My wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts.”

   The fact that God Himself calls the prophet Hosea’s visionary wife His own wife, reveals that she represents the church, that Hosea represents God, and that while Jezreel represents the mouthpiece of God, Ammi and Ruhamah represent the church membership.  In childhood (Hosea 1), they represent the Old Testament church, the Hebrews, but in their youth, having their names altered, (Hosea 2), they represent the New Testament church, the Christians.

   Now that the laity, at the command of God are through a prophet to plead with the church, therefore, the reformation here called forth is sponsored by Inspiration and carried out by the laity.  It is the long expected revival and reformation to the Laodiceans, and hence a layman’smovement called forth by the revived Spirit of Prophecy.

 

   From this prophecy, you see, the Denomination is by God Himself charged with “whoredom,” with having illicit connections with the world.  This lewdness she must give up if she is to obtain favor with God.

   These are not man’s words, you understand, but God’s.  And should we not be grateful that He is doing everything He can to save us?  The church must repent, says the Lord:

Hos. 2:3 — “Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst.”

   The Denomination often boasts of gain in membership (children), but God charges that those whom she brings in are illegitimate children!  And how could it be otherwise if the church herself is corrupted with the world?  What else could her converts be?  What would free them from the worldly influences, if she (the ministry), is herself tainted with the practices of the world?  Indeed her converts cannot be lawful children.

Hos. 2:5 — “For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.”

   The church has gone after the world because she mistakenly thinks that her support comes from worldlings, from her “lovers.”

Hos. 2:6 — “Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.”

Here we see that the church proposes, but that God disposes; her plans do not work out as expected — she loses her way as does a ship without chart or compass drifting at sea.

 

Hos. 2:7 — “And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.”

   Again we see that trials and adverse circumstances are for our good, for thus is the church brought to her right senses.

Hos. 2:8-12 — “For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.  Therefore will I return, and take away My corn in the time thereof, and My wine in the season thereof, and will recover My wool and My flax given to cover her nakedness.  And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of Mine hand.  I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her Sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.  And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.”

   From these verses we see that it was just such a departure from God that caused the church in her early Christian era to lose her path and all her possessions, including her feast days, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.

   This is exactly what happened when the “Dark Ages” of religion began.  The Pagans in whose clutches the church fell were no more to blame for the church’s going into darkness than were the Chaldeans of destroying Judah and her temple.  The real blame falls on the church herself.  And this should be a lasting lesson to each of us, that we should never again have illicit connection with the world, should never depart from the Lord.

 

   Now, let us read what other experiences the church was to go through:

Hos. 2:13, 14 — “And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat Me, saith the Lord.  Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.”

   Notice that the Lord visits the church not when she is in good spiritual standing with Him, but when she is in her greatest idolatry.  Indeed, He could not visit her at a more opportune time, because only when she is in greatest darkness can she possibly discern light.  And her condition, you know, can never improve unless He should call on her.  Thus it was in John the Baptist’s day, also when the Protestant reformation came, and thus it is today.  God knows how to save.  Saving is His chief concern.

   “God requires certain things of His people; if they say, I will not give up my heart to do this thing, the Lord lets them go on in their supposed wise judgment without heavenly wisdom, until this scripture [Isa. 28:13] is fulfilled.  You are not to say, I will follow the Lord’s guidance up to a certain point that is in harmony with my judgment, and then hold fast to your own ideas, refusing to be molded after the Lord’s similitude.  Let the question be asked, Is this the will of the Lord?  if not, Is this the opinion or judgment of __________?” — Testimonies to Ministers, pg. 419.

    And what is God’s promise now to His church?

 

Hos. 2:15 — “And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.”

   As a result of her vineyards’ being restored, and also of her being given the valley of Achor for a door of hope, the church is to sing as in the days of her youth, as when she came up out of Egypt and lodged in the Promised Land.  What could her vineyard be but her own land?  And if the valley of Achor is for a door of hope to her, what can it be but what it was in Joshua’s time — removal of the Achans of today from her midst (Hos. 2:15)?  Indeed, this is her only hope — in fact, even more so than it was in the day of Israel’s defeat at Ai, the gate to the Promised Land.

   “The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God.  The Lord commissions His messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands: ‘Go ye after him through the city, and smite; let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity; slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children, and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.  Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.’

 

   “Here we see that the church — the Lord’s sanctuary — was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God.  The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust.  They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God’s power as in former days.  Times have changed.  These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil.  He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment.  Thus peace and safety is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins.  These dumb dogs, that would not bark, are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God.  Men, maidens, and little children, all perish together.” — Testimonies, Vol. 5, pg. 211.

Hos. 2:16 — “And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call Me Ishi; and shalt call Me no more Baali.”

   So it is that after the hypocrites and sinners are taken out of the way, the church shall no longer call the Saviour Baali (Lord), but she shall call him Ishi (Husband).  The significance is that then He will truly be her husband, whereas now He is to her as it were only some great personality.

Hos. 2:18 — “And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.”

     Here is peace, the only peace that one can have today if he so desires.  This is peace overflowing with safety.  The saints, after the sinners have been removed from among them, need not fear beasts, fowls or creeping things of the ground, neither gun nor sword; they shall lie down in confidence and assurance that nothing shall hurt them, for He “Whose fan is in His hand,…will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matt. 3:12.

 

Hos. 2:19-21 — “And I will betroth thee unto Me forever; yea, I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.  I will even betroth thee unto Me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord.  And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth.”

   In saying that the Lord will hear the heavens, and the heavens the earth, Inspiration actually says that when these things take place on earth, the Lord is to be in the midst of His people, that He is to speak from earth and His subjects in heaven shall hear Him.

Hos. 2:22 — “And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.”

    To hear the corn, the wine, and the oil is to hear them speak, and since real corn, wine, and oil cannot speak, they must be figurative of spiritual food and drink — figurative of the mighty message in the great and dreadful day of the Lord.  And by the fact that the people of the earth shall hear Jezreel, the mouthpiece of God, it is made clear that the call, “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), will accomplish its appointed work.  Those who come out, go into the aforementioned place of safety.  And those who do not hear Jezreel shall perish as did the Jews who rejected the prophets in their day.

 

   Let us now review our study of today by following this graphic illustration:
 

hosea
 (Click to Enlarge)

Here we see Jezreel, Lo-ruhamah, and Lo-ammi as little children pictorially representing the kingdoms of Israel and Judah in their calamities, a complete but brief history of the Old Testament church and her people.

   Then we see that the letters “Lo” are dropped from the names Ruhamah and Ammi, denoting a change of names — Jews called Christians, — meaning “mercy” and “My people” instead of “no mercy” and “not My people.”  Jezreel’s name, though, remains the same, and as he represents the prophets of God in all times, this shows that they are the descendants of Jacob and therefore we must hear and obey them.

 

   The family as little children representing the people of the Old Testament church, and as youth representing the New Testament church, show that spiritual growth has been made through the stream of time, that they are now grown, able to take “strong meat,” and truly to be the reformers to the church, and the missionaries to the world.

   We also see that the same mother and the same father, along with the same children, represent both the Old and New Testament churches; that the descendants of Jacob in reality are the old olive tree (Rom. 11:24), that the only way the Gentiles can get into the kingdom is for them to be grafted into the old olive tree.  Jew or Gentile, all must join it if they are to be in the kingdom.  This can be done only by our own consent and action now while the Spirit is pleading with us, and while the Lord stands ready to do the work.  No one need be excluded.  No one need remain a lukewarm Laodicean unless he so chooses.  My hope is that all will choose life rather than death.

 

   Next we see that the church as a whole, as a family, is composed of a father, a mother, and of sons and a daughter, that the father is God; that the wife is the ministry (those who bring in converts); that the children are the laity.  We see also that the church (woman) was married to the Lord in her youth, in the day she came out of Egypt; that although the ministry as a whole never advanced from one truth to another, the church (wife) continued by being replaced by new and successive ministers time and again.  And now that she is deep in whoredom, obviously she is again to be replaced by a new ministry, and thus will she become faithful to our Father; that this will be accomplished by taking away the sinners from her midst.  Then will she be given her vineyards, and then will she and all her children live in peace and safety.

   Clearly, then, lewdness shall actually flee away, and this revival and reformation brought forth by this layman’s movement shall accomplish its given work.  And so, you see that as a result of the childrens’ protest, the whole family of God shall live happily in peace and safety forevermore.

(Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 6  P.17-27)

What a beautiful story described in Hosea. The all -loving God gives His all and goes all out to win back “Mother”. Yet she will not return and He must execute , as a last resort, judgment “the valley of Achor for a door of hope” upon His people. Very soon the relationship with the King of Kings shall be one of “Husband and wife”, do we realize the utter privilege that awaits those who are prepared for the Lord’s visitation upon His remnant people, those who have accepted His final message of Elijah?

The Meaning of Hosea Chapter One and Two, Part 1 of 2

June 25, 2016

hosea

When the Lord promised to send His final messenger to our church, one of the greatest things we find is the understanding of long-held mysteries of the Bible. One of those mysteries we now understand is the often confusing story of Hosea. All too often the people are told that Hosea chapter one and two is a “real” story. That Hosea really did go out and marry a whore. This idea stems mostly from our protestant friends, those who also tell us the Sabbath has been done away with. However we as SDA have some private ideas on this story from our leaders as seen here –https://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/materials/bible-ot-texts/hosea-12

But let us  look at the story and find out the real spiritual meaning as brought to us by the final prophet, Victor T. Houteff. We shall see a pleading story from God to us His remnant church, a story that shows the depth of His love for us and the desperation that exists in bringing her back to Him.

 

 

Let us now break this story down and study it from our prophet’s interpretation.

Hos. 1:2 — “The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea. And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord.”

   We immediately see that this wife and these children symbolize God’s people departing from Him, and that such a wicked act, He calls whoredom.

Hos. 1:3, 4 — “So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son.  and the Lord said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.”

   God’s reason for thus naming Hosea’s first visionary son, was to signify that in a little while He was to avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, who was then the king of Israel.  Then declared the Lord:

Hos. 1:5 — “And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel, in the valley of Jezreel.”

   To break the bow would mean to break the nation’s military strength.  The history of this is recorded in 2 Kings 10, 11.

Hos. 1:6 — “And she conceived again, and bare a daughter.  And God said unto him, Call her name Lo-ruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.”

   This child’s name was to denote the complete destruction of the house of Israel, the ten-tribe kingdom.  This destruction, we know, was accomplished by the king of Assyria, who scattered the people throughout the cities of the Medes.  The history of this is found in 2 Kings 18:11 — “And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.”

Hos. 1:7 — “But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.”

   The Lord promised to spare the house of Judah from the invasion of the king of Assyria.  The history of this incident is recorded in 2 Kings 19:35 — “And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.”

Hos. 1:8, 9 — “Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son.  Then said God, Call his name Lo-Ammi: for ye are not My people, and I will not be your God.”

   The name of the third child was to signify that though Israel and Judah were God’s chosen people, the day was fast approaching in which they would no longer be called His people.  The fulfillment of this phase of the prophecy brings us to the Christian era.

Hos. 1:10 — “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not My people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.”

   In spite of the calamities that were to overtake the children of Israel, they were to become very numerous.  And when they are thus greatly multiplied, they are again to be called the sons of God.  And so here we see a prophecy of the rebellion of God’s people and God’s rejection of them, as well as their repentance and re-acceptance by Him. (Timely Greetings, vol. 2, no.6, p.13-17)

Let us here for a moment discuss the titles “Judah” and “Israel.”  When superficially read these titles are as a rule misconstrued and made to mean the identified Jews.  But we must not be superficial readers and thinkers.  Let us be deep Bible students.  Now, everyone knows that the identified Jews of today are but a handful — certainly not as the sands of the sea.  The innumerable children of Israel, therefore, cannot be the unbelieving Jews of today.  Besides, theidentified Jews of today are not the descendants of the ten-tribe kingdom, but of the two-tribe kingdom.  Who, then, is this multitude of people referred to in Hosea’s prophecy?

 

   We must not overlook the fact that the Gospel of Christ divided the house of Judah into two sects — Jewish and Christian, that the Christian church for about four years after the resurrection of Christ consisted practically only of Jews.  Plainly, then, the original Christians were full-blooded Jews, — the Christian church is only a branch of the Jewish church, but they and their descendants have, through the years, lost their racial identity. 

Then, too, the descendants of both Israel and Judah who through the years of captivity lost their identity as did the Jews who embraced Christianity, according to prophecy must also have greatly multiplied.  Plainly, then, many who are taken as Gentiles, are but unidentified descendants of ancient Judah, Israel, and the Jewish Christians.  The Christian church herself is, as we have seen, a Jewish-Christian church.

   These descendants of Jacob, who were assimilated by the Gentile nations, therefore, were to multiply as the sand of the sea.  They are the ones who, after becoming Christians, are again called the sons of the living God.

   Of those who first embraced the Christian faith, the Apostle Peter speaks thus: “Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Pet. 2:10.

   And the Apostle John says: “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” John 1:12.

 

   Now we see that the prophecy of Hosea 1 begins with the house of Israel and Judah, and brings us down through the stream of time to the Christian era.  For light on the church in the Christian period, we turn to–

Hos. 1:11 — “Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.”

   The Word of God, therefore, definitely declares that the subjects of the torn-down kingdoms — Judah and Israel — as Christians, along with the Gentiles that have joined them, will gather together and appoint themselves a king.

   In a similar symbolism, the prophet was told that after many days of obscurity and wandering, “shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king [evidently David is the “one head” whom they appoint], and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.” Hos. 3:5. (Timely Greetings, vol. 2, no.6, p.13-17)

 

(Next week we’ll finish the Hosea prophecy with chapter two and a summary about it’s lesson for us today)

Color code– Scripture  and  Victor Houteff


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