Archive for the ‘Elijah Interpretations’ Category

A Present Truth Sermon

May 18, 2019

TEXT FOR PRAYERBe Doers Of The Word   Our thought for prayer is found in “The Mount of Blessing,” p. 209 —

   “Not all who profess His name and wear His badge are Christ’s.  Many who have taught in My name, said Jesus, will be found wanting at last.  ‘Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name?  and in Thy name have cast out devils?  and in Thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.’

   “There are persons who believe that they are right, when they are wrong.  While claiming Christ as their Lord, and professedly doing great works in His name, they are workers of iniquity.  ‘With their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.’  He who declares God’s Word is to 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.'”

   The people here described like to hear God’s Word, but that is as far as they go.  I hope there are none here only to listen, but to do something about it.  Only the doers of the Word are justified.  Let us kneel and earnestly pray that God will help us not to be mere professors of the Truth, but actual doers of It.

 

THINGS THAT OBTAIN BEFOREAND AFTER THE EARTH IS MADE NEWIsaiah 65TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTSSABBATH, JUNE 7, 1947MT. CARMEL CHAPELWACO, TEXAS   We are to study the sixty-fifth chapter of Isaiah.  As we study we shall see that it bears record of things that take place in the period before the earth is made new, and in the period after it is made new.  We shall begin our study with the first verse.

Isa. 65:1 — “I am sought of them that asked not for Me; I am found of them that sought Me not: I said, Behold Me, behold Me, unto a nation that was not called by My name.”

   Paul, writing to the Romans, applies this verse to the Gentiles coming into the Gospel (Rom. 10:20).  They are, therefore, those who sought the Lord without asking for Him, and those who found Him without seeking after Him.  This condition laden with results, points out that the Lord is easily found.

Isa. 65:2 — “I have spread out My hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts.”

   Here is a great contrast between the well-informed in the things of God, and the ignorant Gentiles.  While the former are pulling away, although the Lord is tearfully pleading with them, the latter are drawing nigh to Him.  Here we see how patient God is.  He continues to plead on and on.  It is hard for Him to give up a sinner before all possible means to save are exhausted.  Here is clearly seen that it is easier to save a heathen than it is to save a well satisfied deluded Christian.

Isa. 65:3 — “A people that provoketh Me to anger continually to My face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick.”

   To sacrifice in gardens is to make a display of religion, and altars of brick (the product of man, not of God’s creation as is stone), are the works of man.  Cain offered an undesirable sacrifice, but the people brought to view in this scripture offer on an undesirable altar.  The one is as bad as the other.  And what could altars of brick be if not places of worship which God Himself has not commanded to be built?

Isa. 65:4 — “Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels.”

   To remain among the graves is to be denied of having a part in the resurrection of the saints.  And to lodge in the monuments is to live in a so-called exalted cliff of life — dead to God and alive to the world.

   The Jews were quite careful of what they ate, but here is a forecast of a people whose appetites are as loose as were Adam’s and Eve’s while partaking of the forbidden fruit.

   Although we as a people profess to be strict in keeping the unclean meats away from our tables, this scripture, nevertheless, unveils the shameful truth.  It makes known that many are indulging in these abominable things.  In one part of the world perhaps they indulge in one abomination, and in another part of the world they indulge in another abomination.

Isa. 65:5 — “Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou.  These are a smoke in My nose, a fire that burneth all the day.”

   On the one hand they are as careless as they can be, eating anything and everything, clean and unclean alike.  And on the other hand they have a high opinion of themselves — they think themselves holier than any others.  Plainly, then, those who indulge in the abominations which verse four tells about, are the very ones who protest against having communion with those who try to live a life consistent with their profession, fearing that reformation might take place. Satanic indeed!  God hates hypocrites more than He hates any other kind of sinners.  Those who are thus pushed to the right and to the left, see the perfect fulfillment of this scripture at this very time.

Isa. 65:6, 7 — “Behold, it is written before Me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom, your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the Lord, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed Me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.”

   Verse six needs no comments, and but a sentence on verse seven will suffice.  The Pharisees of yesterday and the Pharisees of today, so to speak, we see are to receive similar rewards.

   Isa. 65:8, 9 — “Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for My servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.  And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of My mountains: and Mine elect shall inherit it, and My servants shall dwell there.”

   The seed of Jacob, the inheritor out of Judah, is, of course, Christ.  The elect, His servants, are those who escape the destruction here mentioned.  They are to be a blessing to others.  Symbolically speaking, the mountains are the kingdoms of Judah and Israel gathered together as also foretold in Ezekiel 37:16-28.  But if taken literally, the mountains are those in the Promised Land.  The phrase, “Mine elect shall inherit it,” changes the object from the plural “mountains” to the singular “it,” and makes the symbolism carry both thoughts, the Kingdom and the location of It.  The verse that follows verifies this very thought.

Isa. 65:10 — “And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for My people that have sought Me.”

   Verses nine and ten carry us from the Jewish period into the Christian era, then down to the restoration and consolidation of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel in the land of our fathers, Sharon and Achor.

Isa. 65:11 — “But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget My holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.”

   Those who are to be destroyed are those who do not particularly care for His holy mountain, the Kingdom mentioned in these scriptures.  They are those who prepare a table, or who assemble passages of Scripture taken out of their setting, and with them they feed (teach) the group, or the troop that is of the same mind as themselves.  To “furnish the drink offering” is as much as to say that the troop is drinking in whatever their teachers put out.

Isa. 65:12 — “Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before Mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.”

   To this call of God they do not answer.  Neither do they hear Him speaking, for they are inclined to do evil.  They delight in their own ways and hate the Lord’s.  Of this sin they are possibly not conscious.

Isa. 65:13-15 — “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, My servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, My servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, My servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed: behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.  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.”

   These evil doers may not now give even a thought to this solemn warning, but as sure as day is followed by night, just that sure their want, shame, sorrow, and calamity are soon to come.

   The denominational name will they leave to God’s servants; that is, to those who escape from the Lord’s sword shall the name consequently be left.  The name, however, is left only as a curse, and His servants will be called by another name which “the mouth of the Lord shall name.”

Isa. 65:16 — “That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of Truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of Truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from Mine eyes.”

   In this verse it is implied that the Lord is taking this strange action because His unfaithful servants have not been blessing themselves in the God of Truth.  Consequently, they must have been blessing themselves in the god of falsehood; that is, they have been teaching, approving, and spreading falsehood while the Lord is endeavoring to bless all His servants with Truth fresh from His throne.  To those who embrace His Truth for this time, He will never bring up their past.

Isa. 65:17 — “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.”

   Here we are brought down to the time the Lord finally renews the heaven and the earth.

Isa. 65:18, 19 — “But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.  And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.”

   We are encouraged to rejoice because Jerusalem, as well as her people, are created for joy.

Isa. 65:20 — “There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.”

   Concerning the wicked in the earth made new, who come up in the second resurrection, the resurrection of the unjust (Rev. 20:5), there shall be neither birth nor death among them for one hundred years.  Thus the only children that shall be among them will be those who are raised from the dead.  Consequently both those who are old and those who are young will have lived a hundred years from the resurrection of the unjust to the second death.  Thus the child and the sinner, becoming a hundred years old in the earth made new, shall both succumb in the end of the century.  Then the righteous shall inhabit the whole earth.

Isa. 65:21, 22 — “And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.  They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of My people, and Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.”

   Again we see that the Hereafter is to be as real and as natural as was the Garden of Eden in the day it was created.  So the message of Elijah shall indeed restore all things — all that was lost through sin.

Isa. 65:23 — “They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.”

Much of our labor on this earth is done in vain, and many of our sons and daughters are also born in vain.  But in the earth made new, no one shall labor in vain, and nothing shall be brought forth for trouble.

Isa. 65:24 — “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”

   For the answers to some of our prayers we often wait long, and most of them are not answered as we want them to be.  But in the earth made new there shall be no delay and no disappointment.

Isa. 65:25 — “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat.  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, saith the Lord.”

   There shall be peace all around.  We shall not see men quarreling nor beasts fighting and eating one another.  There shall be real and perfect peace among them all.

   If we could only realize what God has prepared for them that love to study His Word and to walk in His ever-increasing Light, then we would make God’s business our chief interest; then we would no longer waste our energies striving for the material things of life.  They will be added unto us while we diligently labor for the upbuilding of His Kingdom, for He Himself says: “The workman is worthy of his hire.”

(Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 44 , P. 1 – 10)                       


 

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Unusual and Unique Statements from the Elijah Message

April 13, 2019

Image result for Bible character amazed face

When we take up the serious study of the Lord’s final message of Elijah, we may discover some very unusual or unique references.  This week’s post we’ll look at some of these and you may be surprised just like we were.

No. 1 —  Many of us in the message believe that it teaches that the 144,000 are to come from the S.D.A Church. Not so fast. It looks like there “may” be some from other churches or even out side of a formal denomination, let us read —

Question No. 93:

   Although I am not a member of the Seventh-day  Adventist Church, yet since I have the light on Ezekiel 9 and on the truth of the 144,000, will I fall in the slaughter of the wicked if I do not fully accept and live up to the light? And, conversely, will I be subject to the enjoyment of the privileges of the 144,000 and be one of them if I obey all the light of this message?

Answer:

   Even though you are not a member of the church, still you will be held accountable for the light which you have on the subject, for no one finds the truth accidentally, or sees it without the Holy Spirit’s aid.

  By the same law of accountability or sacred  responsibility, even though you may have come into the message only recently you can be eligible  for the election of the 144,000 if you live up to the message that is to purify and seal them. Whether or not for a certainty, however, you will be one of them, we do not know, but if you are faithful to the message, you will at least be one with them. (Answerer, vol. 4, Q-93)

No. 2  One of the stumbling blocks from naysayers who were unbelievers in the Elijah message as brought by Victor Houteff, was the fact that he was 52 and his young wife was 17 when they got married in 1937. To this situation Houteff explained —

“…the following Biblical marriages represent a great disparity of years: Abraham, the father of the faithful, certainly took to himself a wife much younger than himself, for when he married the second time, he must have been over 140 years of age, as he was a hundred years old when Isaac was born (Gen. 21:5), and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebeccah (Gen. 25:20), at which time Sarah, Abraham’s first wife was yet living (Gen. 24:67), and Keturah, his second wife, was evidently somewhere under forty years of age, for she bare him six sons (Gen. 25:1, 2), which facts present a difference of at least a hundred years between the ages of Abraham and his second wife.

Again, the Lord chose for His lineage, Boaz (a Jew), and old man, and Ruth (a Moabitess), a young woman (Ruth 3:10)–a union contrary to the principles held by Brother Houteff’s critics. Moreover, the Jewess, Esther, who was forbidden by the common rule of the Jews to marry outside of her own nation, was blessed in her affinity to the old Medo-Persian king, in that her nation was thereby preserved.

  Still further, Joseph married the daughter of the idolatrous priest of Egypt, and Moses took for a wife an Ethiopian woman.

  Thus we see from the above unions that no set rule can be fixed to govern each individual’s case. Moreover, had we lived in the days of the aforementioned unions, and had judged them by our own standards, we would have separated ourselves from Abraham, in whose bosom the righteous are protected from hell’s burning torments (Luke 16: 23-25); from Joseph, in whom the life of the ancient world was spared; from Moses, by whose hand the first-born in Egypt were either spared or destroyed, and all Israel freed from the Egyptian bondage; from Esther, by which act we, as Jews, would have destroyed ourselves at the hand of the wicked Haman; and from Christ, Who is our only life.” (SC, vol. 3, no. 5,6 P.7)

No. 3 —  Back in the 30’s Black people were referred as “Colored”. This term today  would not be “politically correct”. But the question was raised whether “colored people” would be saved. As many know at that time prejudice still existed to a great degree and unbelievably some even questioned whether the Black man had a right to be in heaven!

But what is truly amazing is not only will they be among the great multitude, but it appears that many of them will be among the 144,000. The Elijah message really has gained a foothold in many of the poorer countries, such as Zambia, So. Africa, Philippines and Mexico. Today unfortunately many of us more well to do countries, such as the USA, are “rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing.”

The percentage of Blacks who have accepted the message seems high as compared to the white race. We would say that from our viewpoint at least 80% of the people who accept the Lord’s Elijah message are from minorities.

Question No. 7:–“What is meant by this scripture: ‘Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands.’ Does it mean that the colored race will turn to God?”

  Answer:–As no people are saved as a nation, the scripture above quoted, along with others, obviously shows that there will be a great ingathering not only from Ethiopia, but from all races and thus justify the statement, “Ethiopia shall…stretch out her hands.” It is such an ingathering from all races and nations that will make the “great multitude.” — “Princes shall come out of Egypt,” says the same scripture. (Ps. 68:31.) “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.” (Isa. 2:3.)

  Concerning the church in the time of the Loud Cry, the prophet Isaiah writes: “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.” (Isa. 62:2.)

Looking forward to this great ingathering, he asks the question: “Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?” Then the Lord answers: “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. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.

The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; and I will make the place of My feet glorious. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” (Isa. 60:8-14.) “For great shall be the day of Jezreel.” (Host 1:11.) — {2 SC, no.11, p.9)

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


Thus just as obvious as strange is the fact that no one today but the recognized Jew can vouch for his ancestry, with the result that the 144,000 can be gathered from almost every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and yet be of the sons of Jacob! (Tract 8, p.9-10)

No. 4 — Victor Houteff tells of the time he witnessed God’s saving hand deliver him from being hit head on by an automobile which should have resulted either of sure death or serious injury, a miraculous providential occurrence indeed!

“Now let me relate to you another miracle that took place about that time.  One Wednesday I drove to the business section of Los Angeles.  Having finished my business quite late in the afternoon, and while walking across a street, I saw a woman driving toward me.  But as I was almost to the middle of the street, I saw no danger for there was plenty of room for her to drive by.

She nevertheless turned her car right square into me.  Yes, she struck me from my left, and being overly excited she could not stop her car before she reached the middle of the block.  And so she kept on going from the corner of the street to the middle of the alley.  What happened to me when the car struck me?  Did it lay me flat on the street, and did it run over me?  No, this did not happen because something greater took place:

   An unseen hand carried me on ahead of the car, lightly sliding my feet on the pavement with my right side ahead, and my left side against the car’s radiator! After having made about half the distance before the car stopped, something seated me on the bumper of the car, and I put my left arm around the car’s left headlight! Then I said to myself, “Now lady you can keep on going if that is the best you can do.”  When she stopped, I put my feet on the ground and stepped away from the car.

   Just then I discovered that the pencil I had in my coat pocket had broken into half a dozen pieces from the impact, but my ribs were untouched!  By that time the car and I were surrounded with people, and three policemen searching for the man that got run over.  But as they found no one lying on the street, or pinned under the car, I told them that it was I who had been run over! They wanted to take me to the hospital, and when I told them that I was not hurt, I heard one say, “He must be hurt but is too excited and does not know his condition.”

   Then they made me raise my legs and arms up and down, several times, after which one shouted, “He is made out of rubber!”  The woman was accused of driving at 30 miles per hour.  Then I walked three blocks to my car, and drove to prayer meeting in Exposition Park church, where in our season of testimonies I told them of the accident and the results.  We are still living in the days of miracles, you see.” (Timely Greetings, vol. 2, no.35, p.21-22)

No. 5 — The subject of marriage obviously is an important aspect to our walk with the Lord. The message sheds some interesting points to this “sacred” institution.

” ..as there is no truth where there is no type, the working out of divine design, in ordaining and establishing, on Friday, the sixth day of creation, the marriage institution, and on the seventh day, the Sabbath, thus gave type both to the reestablishing of these institutions, and to the restoring of them to the sanctity and beauty of their first estate. And as we must observe the Sabbath on the seventh day, likewise we ought to solemnize marriage on Friday, the sixth day of the week.

  Furthermore, as God foresaw that in the closing hours of probation, the order of events would be singularly anomalous and preternatural, He mercifully thus forewarned us in the following familiar statements:

  “Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning.”–“Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 300. Therefore, with the one who is to come in the spirit, and power of Elijah, men will find fault and say, “‘You are too earnest, you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way. Let me tell you how to teach your message.'”–Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 475, 476.

  Nevertheless, as representatives of the Elijah message, we are called to lead out by precept and example in the restoration of all things, especially the marriage and the Sabbath institutions, for the one represents the home, and the other the memorial of its creation. Therefore, before “we go forth to proclaim the Sabbath more fully,” we must lift up marriage, the first institution, from the sordid depths to which Satan has plunged it.” (3 SC, no.2, p.8)

No. 6 —  As many know, one of the prime aspects of the Lord’s Rod message is that we must “sigh and cry” for all the abominations that be done in our life and in the church. However did you know that some may not be sighing and crying sufficiently to get sealed? Let us read —

“As long as you keep wavering on Present Truth, your sighing and crying will be too feeble and insufficient to place the seal of God in your forehead — on display; that is, openly confessing that you are a disciple of Christ; and as long as they receive your tithe and offerings, they will never “cast” you out (Isa. 66:5).

By the fact that you are still a member of the church and in office, it speaks for itself that you have not yet taken a firm stand on the Lord’s side, although He has said: “Set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it.” Mark that “this” and not your name on the church books or your gifts in their treasury, “shall be a sign to the house of Israel.” (Ezek. 4:3. (2 SC, no. 5,6, p.9)

Note that the message tells us that once you accept the Elijah message, you will soon be not found as an office holder (Pastor, Elder, Deacon, Secretary, etc.), and that is because when the higher-ups find out they will demote you from office. This is our SDA history unfortunately, just as the Christians were demoted and often booted out of the Synagogue during Christ’s day. We must BOLDLY take our stand for Truth come what may.

For example yours truly was a Deacon in the church prior to accepting the Rod message. When I learned it, I found that passing the money bag around was not an acceptable action within His sanctuary on Sabbath yet I often was one of the members who handed them the bag! Long story short once the leaders found out I was a Shepherd’s Rod beleiver I was soon demoted from Deacon, thus relieved of participating in the abomination, and sighing and crying about it instead! In hindsight it was a beautiful move on the Lord’s part to keep me on the straight and narrow.

No. 7 —  Today we have so many ministries claiming we are giving the “Loud Cry” message to the world. Amaizng Facts with Doug Batchelor, Stephen Bohr with Secrets Unsealed ministries, Walter Vieth with Amazing Discoveries, 3ABN, etc. all claim that the world is receiving the Third Angel’s message of the Loud Cry. Not so fast. The message explains–

 

“Those who think that the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message, which began in 1892, has continued ever since, prove to us that they are in great darkness, “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked,” because of the fact that they can not tell the difference between that great light that lightens the earth, and the darkness that preceded it, which even a half awake Christian ought to be able to recognize.

   The light with which the earth is to be lightened is, or course, understood to be a spiritual light – the Word of God. Moreover it is also understood that the church is to diffuse this great light to the ends of the earth, for in no other way will God reveal the truth to sinful men, and the Gentiles see her righteousness, and all kings her glory. (Isa. 62:2.) Consequently, the church from 1844 to the close of probation is divided into two sections — before the Loud Cry, and in the time of the Loud Cry — the latter of which will, by comparison, be far superior to the former in spirituality. In fact, there is no comparison between the two. Hence, those who cannot tell in which one of these stages the church now is, must be in great darkness!

   The following references prove that though the Loud Cry had begun by 1892, it was muffled when the church rejected the message of 1888. Hence, instead of becoming the light of the world, she herself went into darkness.

   In the following references the description of the church in the time of the Loud Cry, and also during the time preceding it is plainly given, and no one need be confused. Says the Spirit of Prophecy:

   “In the manifestation of the power that lightens the earth with its glory, they will see only something which in blindness they think dangerous, something which will arouse their fears and they will brace themselves to resist it. Because the Lord does not work according to their expectations and ideal, they will oppose the work. Why, they say, should we not know the Spirit of God; when we have been in the work so many years?” — “Bible Training School,” 1907. (Reprinted in “Review & Herald,” Nov. 7, 1918.) This paragraph puts the Loud Cry in the future of 1918.

   “The great outpouring of the Spirit of God, which lightens the whole earth with His glory, will not come until we have an enlightened people, that know by experience what it means to be laborers together with God. When we have entire, wholehearted consecration to the service of Christ, God will recognize the fact by an outpouring of His Spirit without measure; but this will not be while the largest portion of the church are not laborers together with God.” (“Review and Herald,” July 21, 1896.)

   “The love of Christ, the love of our brethren, will testify to the world that we have been with Jesus and learned of Him. Then will the message of the third angel swell to a loud cry, and the whole earth will be lightened with the glory of the Lord.” “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 6, p. 401.

   The above references do not only plainly show that the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message is yet future, but they also show that, before it begins, there is to be a reformation among God’s people, and that, at that time, “Clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. ‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,’ she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.” — “Prophets and Kings,” p. 725. Whereas, the church at this time is polluted in her sins, and asleep, just as she is described in the message to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans, of Revelation 3:14-18, and further in the following passage from the Spirit of Prophecy:

   “What greater deception can come upon human minds than a confidence that they are right, when they are all wrong! The message of the True Witness finds the people of God in a sad deception, yet honest in that deception. They know not that their condition is deplorable in the sight of God. While those addressed are flattering themselves that they are in an exalted spiritual condition, the message of the True Witness breaks their security by the startling denunciation of their true condition of spiritual blindness, poverty, and wretchedness. The testimony so cutting and severe, cannot be a mistake, for it is the True Witness who speaks, and His testimony must be correct.” — “Testimonies for the church,” Vol. 3, p. 253.

   Moreover, it was in 1892 when the statement was made that “This is the beginning of the Loud Cry,” and just one year later, in 1893, the Spirit of Prophecy describes, in as plain a language as can possibly be stated, the church’s condition, and no more condemnatory words could be used by any writer. We read:

   “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, an place whence the divine presence and glory have departed! For this cause there is weakness, and strength is lacking.

   “Unless the church, which is now being leavened with her own back-sliding, shall repent and be converted, she will eat of the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself.” 
— “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 8, p. 250.

   In the face of these plain statements, it is most preposterous for any one to conclude   that the church is now in her Loud Cry state. If we should make such absurd statements as some of our ministering brethren make, no one who believes in the Spirit of Prophecy would have a thing to do with us, and it is right that they should not, but when the ministers in the denomination give expression to such extravagant ideas, the laity avidly accept them, for they “like to have it so.”( 2 SC, vol. 10, p.4-5)

We hope these unique statements have been a blessing this week.

 

The Lord’s Answer to the Inquirers of God

April 6, 2019

TEXT FOR PRAYERJesus’ Example In Teaching   We shall read from “Christ’s Object Lessons,” paragraph one, page 21:

   “Again, Christ had truths to present which the people were unprepared to accept, or even to understand.  For this reason also He taught them in parables.  By connecting His teaching with the scenes of life, experience, or nature, He secured their attention and impressed their hearts.  Afterward, as they looked upon the objects that illustrated His lessons, they recalled the words of the divine Teacher.  To minds that were open to the Holy Spirit, the significance of the Saviour’s teaching unfolded more and more.

Mysteries grew clear, and that which had been hard to grasp became evident.  Jesus sought an avenue to every heart.  By using a variety of illustrations, He not only presented truth in its different phases, but appealed to the different hearers…. None who listened to the Saviour could feel that they were neglected or forgotten.  The humblest, the most sinful, heard in His teaching a voice that spoke to them in sympathy and tenderness.”

   As the people in Jesus’ time were as the people of today, not anxious to learn new Truth, He used Nature to arrest their attention.  The prophets were led to use the same method.  We, therefore, need to pray for a burning desire to know God’s Truth for today.  We need to pray that we do not become self-confident, and satisfied with our attainments in the Word of God; that we lay aside all prejudices and be willing to learn from the “humblest of the humble.”

 

THE LORD’S ANSWERTO THE INQUIRER OF GODTEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTSSABBATH, AUGUST 9, 1947MT. CARMEL CHAPELWACO, TEXAS   Our subject is found in Ezekiel twenty.  This chapter, we will find, contains a prophetic history of the Church from the time of her servitude in Egypt to the time of the sealing of the 144,000.

Ezek. 20:1-8 — “And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to enquire of the Lord, and sat before me.  Then came the word of the Lord unto me, saying, Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Are ye come to enquire of Me?  As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be enquired of by you.

Wilt thou judge them, son of man, wilt thou judge them?  cause them to know the abominations of their fathers: and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up Mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up Mine hand unto them, saying, I am the Lord your God; in the day that I lifted up Mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands: then said I unto them, Cast ye away very man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt:

I am the Lord your God.  But they rebelled against Me, and would not hearken unto Me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out My fury upon them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.”

   In the writings of Moses we do not find a record as to the faithfulness of the children of Israel in the land of Egypt.  Whether they were good or bad, Moses does not say.  But here through Ezekiel we are told what they were.  Not all of them, you note, were God-fearing people.  This scripture makes clear that even when God called them to move out of the land of Egypt, the majority were unfaithful in their devotion to God.

Ezek. 20:9, 10 — “But I wrought for My name’s sake, that It should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made Myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.  Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.”

   We have now read the record of the Hebrew host, — of their spiritual standing in the land of Egypt, and of God’s reason for bringing them out of Egypt.  Next we shall read the record which they made in the wilderness.

Ezek. 20:11-13 — “And I gave them My statutes, and shewed them My judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.  Moreover also I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.  But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness: they walked not in My statutes, and they despised My judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and My Sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out My fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.”

   Here we see that the deeds of the descendants of Jacob were even less commendable in the wilderness than they were in Egypt.

Ezek. 20:14-28 — “But I wrought for My name’s sake, that It should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out.  Yet also I lifted up My hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands; because they despised My judgments, and walked not in My statutes, but polluted My Sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols.

Nevertheless Mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness.  But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols: I am the Lord your God; walk in My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them; and hallow My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.

Notwithstanding the children rebelled against Me: they walked not in My statutes, neither kpt My judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted My Sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out My fury upon them, to accomplish My anger against them in the wilderness.  Nevertheless I withdrew Mine hand, and wrought for My name’s sake, that It should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.

I lifted up Mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; because they had not executed My judgments; but had despised My statutes, and had polluted My Sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols.  Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; and I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord.

Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed Me, in that they have committed a trespass against Me.  For when I had brought them into the land, for the which I lifted up Mine hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering: there also they made their sweet savour, and poured out there their drik offerings.”

   They were unfaithful in Egypt, in the wilderness, and in the promised land.  We shall now read of the results.

Ezek. 20:29-36 — “Then I said unto them, What is the high place whereunto ye go?  And the name whereof is called Bamah unto this day.  Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers?  and commit ye whoredom after their abominations?  For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel?  As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be enquired of by you.  And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say,

We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.  As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: and I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.  And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.  Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God.”

   On one hand we see the reasons for elevating the Hebrew host from Pharaoh’s slaves to God’s priests, prophets, and kings.  On the other hand we see their scattering throughout all the nations.  Next we behold God’s promises of their gathering out of the countries in which they are scattered.  This He promises to do with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm.

Ezek. 20:37 — “And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.”

   This verse is somewhat involved and needs to be elucidated with the help of another scripture.  Let us turn to Leviticus.

   “And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord.” Lev. 27:32.

   To determine the Lord’s part, the tithe, the Lord’s lambs, goats, or sheep, were made to pass under the rod.  Each tenth then was taken and set aside for the Lord.  The statement of Ezekiel twenty, verse thirty-seven, “to pass under the rod,” therefore, means to separate His very elect from among the multitude, from among the “tares,” (Matt. 13:30) or from among the “bad fish” (Matt. 13:47, 48).  And being thus separated, they are counted.  So it is that the 144,000 (Rev. 7:3-8; 14:1) are a separate and numbered company.

   Now we see that Ezekiel twenty contains a prophetic history from the time of their sojourn in Egypt to the time of the sealing of the 144,000, and of the gathering of the people.

   When God causes His people to thus pass under the rod, He will then bring them into the bond of “the covenant which He made with Abraham, and of His oath unto Isaac; and hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant, saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance.” 1 Chron. 16:16-18.

   The promises which they failed to realize, the Lord reassures that He will now let His people have them.

Ezek. 20:38 — “And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.”

   Here we are plainly told that only the elect will He bring “into the bond of the covenant.”  Them only will He bring into the land of Israel.  The sinners (tares, bad fish or goats) that are now among God’s people shall be taken out and be no more.

   “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a net, saith the Lord, “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.” Matt. 13:47-50.  The separation, the Judgment for the Living, you note, brings the end of the world.

Ezek. 20:39 — “As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto Me: but pollute ye My holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.”

   God has now made clear His “clean work” which He is to do, both for the penitent and for the impenitent.  It is now up to them to decide whether to serve Him or to serve their idols — they are now not making their decision ignorantly.  If they wish to perish they may continue to serve their idols.

Ezek. 20:40, 41 — “For in Mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord God, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve Me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.  I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.”

   All these things, you see, take place in the sight of the heathen.

Ezek. 20:42-44 — “And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up Mine hand to give it to your fathers.   And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.  And ye shall know that I am the Lord when I have wrought with you for My name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord God.”

   These things God does for His people, not because they are deserving, but for His name’s sake, because His promise cannot fail.  The Kingdom of God, you see, does not begin in heaven, but on earth.  And the Kingdom, you now see, is not to be made up of ghosts, but of living human beings, of saints, not a sinner among them.

   Yes, the Eden that was lost is to be restored.  In fact, the Word plainly declares that Elias must first come and restore all things (Mark 9:12).  As Eden was a real home at the beginning occupied by real human beings so shall it be again.

   The remaining verses of Ezekiel twenty take up another parable.  But as time will not permit us to go into it, we shall bring our study to a close.  First, though, let it be noticed that the remaining verses of this chapter, and also chapter 21 have, with this light on hand, become self-explanatory, and you can study them at your leisure.  Verse 27 of chapter 21 though, I may touch on now.

Ezek. 21:27 — “I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until He comes Whose right it is; and I will give it Him.”

   In these chapters are brought to view both the house of Israel and the house of Judah.  In this verse God plainly declares that He was to make three overturnings, and that after that the Kingdom was to be no more until “He comes Whose right it is”; that is, after the three overturnings, He “Whose right it is” shall come and the Kingdom shall be restored.

   The first overturning took place when Assyria overturned the house of Israel, the ten-tribe kingdom; the second overturning took place when the king of Babylon overturned the house of Judah, the two-tribe kingdom; and the third overturning took place when Titus in 70 A.D. destroyed Jerusalem.  Thus it is seen that we are now living in the period after the third overturning, the period in which “He Whose right it is,” is to come and set up His Kingdom.

   The very fact that Inspiration has now unfolded these prophecies, and has brought them to the attention of the church, leads us to know for a certainty that the time for the restoration of the Kingdom is at hand; that we are now in the sealing time of the 144,000; and that if we are faithful we shall be among them, and stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion.

   This, Brother, Sister, is the Lord’s Own answer to you.

   Your duty is now to accept it if you wish life forevermore.  Let not the enemy of Truth bring doubts to your mind, and let no one talk you out of this Truth for the Devil will not stand idly by.  He will do all to overthrow you.  Check up again and again and see that the Bible teaches this Truth so that you be able to hold your own.  You cannot afford to lose out this late in the day.

——0-0-0–0–0-0-0——   “The Lord abhors indifference and disloyalty in a time of crisis in His work.  The whole universe is watching with inexpressible interest the closing scenes of the great controversy between good and evil.  The people of God are nearing the borders of the eternal world; what can be of more importance to them than that they be loyal to the God of heaven?  All through the ages, God has had moral heroes; and He has them now, — those who, like Joseph and Elijah and Daniel, are not ashamed to acknowledge themselves His peculiar people.

His special blessing accompanies the labors of men of action; men who will not be swerved from the right line of duty, but who with divine energy will inquire, ‘Who is on the Lord’s side?’  men who will not stop merely with the inquiry, but who will demand that those who choose to identify themselves with the people of God shall step forward and reveal unmistakably their allegiance to the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Such men make their wills and plans subordinate to the law of God.  For love of Him, they count not their lives dear unto themselves.  Their work is to catch the light from the Word, and let it shine forth to the world in clear, steady rays.  Fidelity to God is their motto.” — Prophets and Kings, pg. 148.   (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 1 p.2 -12)

 

A Comparison of Revelation 12 Study

February 23, 2019

This week in our SDA Sabbath School lessons, Rev. 12 is discussed. The following is some of what our leaders said about it —

“The period of Satan’s persecution is mentioned twice in Revelation 12 in terms of 1,260 days/years (Rev. 12:6) and “a time and times and half a time” (Rev. 12:14, NKJV). Both time periods refer to the duration of the little horn’s persecuting activity mentioned in Daniel 7:23-25. In the Bible, prophetic days symbolize years. The time in history that fits this prophetic period is A.D. 538-1798, during which time the Roman Catholic church, as a church-state power, dominated the Western world until 1798, when Napolean’s General Berthier brought Rome’s oppressive power to an end, at least temporarily.

During this long period of persecution, the dragon spews flooding waters out of his mouth in order to destroy the woman. Waters represent peoples and nations (Rev. 17:15). Armies and nations were sent by Rome against God’s faithful people during this time. Near the end of this prophetic period, a friendly earth swallows the waters and saves the woman, providing a safe haven for her. This provision points to the refuge that America, with its religious freedom, supplied (Rev. 12:16).”

For the full chapter 12 SDA commentary  click here–
https://ssnet.org/lessons/19a/less08.html

Notice that that Satan’s flood is described as using “Armies and nations”. Meaning this is what the “flood” symbolically means in the chapter. And the swallowing the flood means USA effectively saved the woman due to her religious freedom after 1798.

However let’s compare that to the following from the Rod message. Go through this and upon prayer and study and determine which is God’s truth and correct meaning of the chapter. Claim the promise of John 16:13 before reading.

“Our subject this afternoon is found in Revelation 12, and is illustrated on the following chart–(placed above)

Rev. 12:1-6 — “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red Dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the Dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.”

We all somewhat agree, I know, that this woman of Revelation 12 is symbolical of the Church; that the Dragon is symbolical of Satan; and that the child represents Christ. But inasmuch as we may not agree as to whether the woman is symbolical of the Old Testament church or of the New or of both, it is essential that we study to see eye to eye.

Now, the questions naturally arise, If Christ is the One Who brought forth the Christian church, then how can she be His mother? And was not Christ born at least thirty years before the Christian church came into being? Is not the egg laid before the chicken is hatched? And finally, is it not true that if we blunder forth on an erroneous premise that we shall find ourselves further and further from the truth on the subject? — Most assuredly. Let us, then, make certain of the foundation upon which we build.

We all know that Christ was born, not to the Christian church, but to the Jewish. This being so, then how can we escape the truth that this twelve-star-crowned woman is primarily the Jewish church who travailed and gave birth to the “world’s Redeemer” in the Old Testament period?

Moreover, before the child was born, and before the Gospel of Christ came to the Church, she was clothed with the sun, and the moon stood under her feet. There is therefore not the slightest excuse for one to conclude that the woman represents the Church clothed with the Gospel of Christ. And if her sun clothing does not represent the Gospel of Christ, then what does it represent?

Now, the questions naturally arise, If Christ is the One Who brought forth the Christian church, then how can she be His mother? And was not Christ born at least thirty years before the Christian church came into being? Is not the egg laid before the chicken is hatched? And finally, is it not true that if we blunder forth on an erroneous premise that we shall find ourselves further and further from the truth on the subject? — Most assuredly. Let us, then, make certain of the foundation upon which we build.

We all know that Christ was born, not to the Christian church, but to the Jewish. This being so, then how can we escape the truth that this twelve-star-crowned woman is primarily the Jewish church who travailed and gave birth to the “world’s Redeemer” in the Old Testament period?

Moreover, before the child was born, and before the Gospel of Christ came to the Church, she was clothed with the sun, and the moon stood under her feet. There is therefore not the slightest excuse for one to conclude that the woman represents the Church clothed with the Gospel of Christ. And if her sun clothing does not represent the Gospel of Christ, then what does it represent?

Since she was clothed with the sun before Christ’s birth, and before the Gospel came, then her sun-clothing must be the Bible, the Word of God that clothed her in the period of the prophets.

What is symbolized by the moon under her feet? — The fact that the moon of the heavens reflects the light from the sun to earth, the symbolical moon therefore being under the woman’s feet, and the sun shining directly upon her, not by reflection through the moon, denotes that her channel of light conveyance, the moon, was passing away, was no longer needed, that the sun itself, the source of her light, shining directly upon her, enveloped her with its bright rays.

What could the moon then symbolize but the period before the Bible came, the period before Moses, in which the Word of God did not shine directly on the people as It does to-day (for they had no Bible in those days), but was reflected on them by men of God, the medium, that is, the prophets before Moses never wrote down the messages of God but verbally passed them on.

Though this twelve-star-crowned woman symbolizes something in the Old Testament time, as we have already seen, she nevertheless is seen to symbolize something in the New Testament time. This we see from the fact that after the child was born, and after the Christian church came into being, the woman was given the wings of a great eagle, and was thus enabled to fly into the wilderness, there to be nourished “for a time, and times, and half a time.”

Moreover, her leaving the vineyard (her homeland — Palestine) and going into the wilderness (the lands of the Gentiles, for that is what wilderness symbolically stands for in contrast to a vineyard), again shows that she continued after her child was born.

Taking all these points into one common whole, they positively show that the woman is symbolical of God’s ever living Church for all times, and that she is His saving Truth, His true wife, the Truth that gave birth to Christ and that gives birth to all His “brethren” (His followers), “the remnant of her seed.” Rev. 12:17.

When the promise of the coming Saviour was made, it was then that the dragon learned that the Church was to give birth to the “man child,” and from then on he watched her closely, hoping to destroy the world’s Redeemer as soon as He was born. This he endeavored to accomplish through Herod, when he caused a multitude of little children to be slaughtered. The child Christ, nevertheless escaped, and the Devil met his first defeat in this connection.

Now the Dragon being fortified with seven heads and ten horns, denotes that he controlled all the civil and religious powers in that day (for the symbolical number “ten” denotes universality, just as do the ten toes of Daniel 2, the ten horns of the other Bible beasts, and the ten virgins of Matthew 25).

The horns represent all the civil powers, while the heads represent all the religious powers, for the Biblical number “seven” denotes completeness. Moreover, the fact that the Church (the Jews), the only agency through which God worked up to that time, crucified the Lord, is in itself sufficient proof that the Church had apostatized, that she had become the Dragon’s seventh head, and that thus was the Dragon armed with ten horns and seven heads, — with all the civil and religious powers. And, so, you see, the Dragon with his horns and heads represents the world captured by the Devil.

Thus it is that the world was lost in that day, and thus it was that Christ came to redeem it. To do all this He started a new church organization. In this light we see Christ, the world’s Redeemer, and His mission even more important than we have ever seen it before.

The Dragon’s drawing from heaven a third part of the stars (angels, Rev. 12:9) with his tail, not with his claws, denotes that in the beginning of Satan’s universal rebellion the angels volunteered to follow the rebel leader, and to unite with him in his evil work against the human family.

Rev. 12:7-17 — “And there was war in heaven: Michael and His angels fought against the Dragon; and the Dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great Dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the Devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

And when the Dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the Dragon cast out of his mouth. And the Dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

The main point to be noticed in these verses is that after the Dragon and his angels were cast out of Heaven (Satan’s second defeat), and after he had persecuted the Church, and she had taken her flight into the wilderness, the Dragon followed her there, but rather than persecuting her, he cast “water as a flood after her,” hoping to cause her to be carried away by it.

In other words, after he saw that he could not stop the growth of the Christian Church by persecuting her followers, he changed his tactics and instead compelled the Pagans to join her, expecting thereby to cause her to be paganized — “carried away.”

The Dragon, though, is again to miss the mark, for the earth is to open her mouth and swallow up the flood; that is, Inspiration definitely forecasts that those who join the Church for some purpose other than to follow and practice the Truth, shall be disposed of by a miracle, be swallowed by the earth, as it were. And when this comes to pass Satan shall have met his third defeat. Summarized, here are his three defeats: No. 1 — Failing to devour the child; No. 2 — Losing the war in Heaven; No. 3 — Failing to paganize the Church by flooding her with the unconverted.

When he meets his third defeat, when the tares which he sowed are burned (for as a flood they are swallowed by the earth, but as tares they are burned by the angels), then it is that the Church will appear “‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,’ she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.” — Prophets and Kings, pg. 725.

Having met such a mighty defeat, and having seen that the Church is freed from his flood, the Dragon’s wrath is to be intensified. He will be wroth with the woman and“make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 12:17), “the Spirit of Prophecy” (Rev. 19:10).

Obviously, the remnant are those who are left after the earth opens her mouth and swallows up the flood. They as a body keep the commandments of God, and have the living Spirit of Prophecy, the Spirit Who dictated the Scriptures, Who has led God’s people into all Truth down through the ages, and Who still is. Thus it is that the Dragon’s wrath, and the Church’s purity, caused by the Dragon’s third defeat, are to bring the time of trouble such as never was:

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Dan. 12:1.

Nothing in the world is worth as much as having our names written in the book. And therein we may have our names if we choose to follow the Spirit of Truth and to keep the commandments of God. Here we have seen that those who think that the law, the ten commandments, is “abolished,” that their lives need not comport with the law; and those who think that the Spirit of Prophecy is a thing of the past, that God has left the world to get along as best it can, that He no longer bothers Himself to send a prophet; that all such shall find themselves in league with Babylon the Great, the seat of the Dragon, and rather than having their names written in the Book, they will have the mark of the beast, and have a part in persecuting the remnant which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Now is the time for all to decide either to be swallowed up by the earth — cast into the fire — or to be delivered by Michael, our Prince.

Let us therefore choose deliverance rather than defeat. “O love the Lord, all ye His saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.” Psa. 31:23.   (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 16, page 15- 23) 

 

The Signs of Christ’s Second Coming or the Signs of the Kingdom, which?

December 29, 2018


THE SIGNS OF CHRIST’S SECOND COMINGOR THE SIGNS OF THE KINGDOM–WHICH?TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAYADVENTISTS SABBATH, JANUARY 22, 1949MT. CARMEL CHAPELWACO, TEXAS   We as students and gospel teachers have for years dwelt heavily on the signs of Christ’s second coming, but not at all on the signs of the Kingdom.  As a result of this, Christendom has theoretically merged the signs of the Kingdom with the signs of the second Advent.

   Something similar to this is what the Jews of old did when they were expecting the Messiah’s first appearing.  According to their private understanding they deeply studied the signs of the restoration of the Kingdom, but not so much of the signs of the Messiah’s coming.  Thus it was that when they were told that the Messiah had come but not the time to restore the Kingdom, the leaders of the Jews, taking for granted that their private (uninspired) interpretation of the Scriptures was infallible, rejected the message of that day. 

Then in an attempt to safeguard their influence upon the common people and to subjugate them to their way of thinking, they crucified the Lord, their Saviour and King as they did also kill the prophets who went before Him.  Their insistence that the Kingdom be restored in their day, though, profited them nothing.

The fact that Christendom itself is divided and confused, one believing one thing and another something else, is in itself sufficient evidence that besides being in total darkness of the signs of the Kingdom because of private interpretation of the Scriptures, Christendom must be in darkness of many other things as well.  In such a confused state of faith, Christendom is definitely no more led by the Spirit of Truth than were the rebellious Jews. 

Past experience teaches, however, that to try to convince the multitude of this fact would be as formidable a task as to convince the Jews even to this day that Christ is the Messiah that was to come.  The difficulty, of course, lies in the fact that hardly a theologian allows for the possibility that his understanding of the Bible might be at least in a measure erroneous, and that Inspiration might almost at any moment manifest Itself anew, unroll the scroll and bring forth timely Truth, “meat in due season,” and thus expose their private concoctions of so-called tuth.

   Now with all respect and sincerity, by the authority of the Scriptures and by virtue of the facts before me, I say that it would be easier for a chicken to find its roost in the blackest of the night than for uninspired mind to unveil the prophecies and the parables.  The difference between the two is that the chicken realizes the futility of trying to find her roost after sunset, but the self-willed man does not realize that he cannot unveil Truth at his own will and without light from above.

   We as Christians have obviously failed to note that if the secret things of God, matter not how simple, were to be unsealed at anytime by anyone, Inspiration would never in the first place have concealed them in symbols and parables.  Christendom is still blind to the fact that to attempt to break into the mysteries of God would be to attempt to defeat His purposes; yes, to try to break into the Divine code, is to try the impossible. 

For example, even when the time did come for the Book sealed with seven seals to be unsealed (Rev. 4 and 5), no one in heaven or on earth was able to do so, but only “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” could break the seals and look into the things which afterwards were shown to John, the Revelator.  And though John wrote them, he himself could not before time explain them.  Then how can we do such before time and without the Inspiration of the same Spirit Who indicted them?  The Word of God plainly warns:

2 Pet. 1:19-21 — “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

   No one, say the Scriptures, can privately (without Inspiration) unfold the prophecies, for, reasons the Apostle, as prophecy came not by private effort — not by the will of men, but by holy men and the Spirit — neither can it therefore be of private interpretation, but only by holy men led by the Holy Spirit.  Moreover, even after prophecy is thus interpreted, only to the righteous (the penitent) is given the gift of understanding it (Dan. 12:10).

   Since we as a people know some of the signs of Christ’s second coming, and none of the signs of the Kingdom, we had better now concentrate on the signs of the latter.

Matt. 13:24-30 — “Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.  But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.  So the servants of the Householder came and said unto Him, Sir, didst not Thou sow good seed in Thy field?  from whence then hath it tares?  He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. 

The servants said unto Him, Wilt Thou then that we go and gather them up?  But He said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into My barn.”

   This parable of the Kingdom, you note, contains three periods of time: First, the period of sowing the seed — the time of Christ’s ministry; second, the period of growing — the time from the ascension of Christ to the harvest; third, the time of harvest — a short period of time “at the end of the world” (Matt. 13:49), the period in which the earth is lightened with the glory of the angel (Rev. 18:1), and in which all God’s people are called out of Babylon (Rev. 18:4). 

Then those who did not respond to this gathering call will cry out: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jer. 8:20.  The “harvest,” therefore, is “the end of the world.” Matt. 13:49.  It commences in the church and ends in Babylon.

   The work of the harvest, very obviously, is synonymous with the Judgment that decides who are tares and who are wheat–who are to be burned and destroyed as noxious weeds, and who are as precious wheat to be admitted into “the barn,” the Kingdom.  Thus it is that the Judgment is the cleansing of the sanctuary (Dan. 8:14), “the house of God,” the temple to which the Lord suddenly comes and purifies His servants, the Levites.  Here is the way the latter scripture reads:

Mal. 3:1-3, 5 — “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. 

But who may abide the day of his coming?  and who shall stand when he appeareth?  for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness….

And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the Lord of hosts.”

   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 lagues.  This same truth concerning the house of God again comes to us in these words:

Isa. 66:15, 16, 19, 20 — “For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire.  For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many….And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. 

And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.”

   Again we here see that those who escape the slaying of the Lord “in the house of God” (obviously the firstfruits, “the servants of God”), are sent to the nations who know not God, and from there they bring all their brethren (the second fruits) to the purified house of God where there is neither sin nor sinner, and where the plagues of Babylon therefore do not fall.

   We have now positively seen that there are first and second fruits: one from the church — the 144,000 sons of Jacob; and one from all nations — the great multitude which no man can number (Rev. 7:9).

Who gathers the firstfruits if the firstfruits gather the second fruits? — Let us find our answer by reading–

Rev. 14:14-19 — “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud One sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in Thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for Thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.  And He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. 

And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to Him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in Thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.  And the angel thrust in His sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.”

   Here we are again told that there are two reapings, one by the Son of Man, and another by an angel.  The reaping by the Son of Man precedes the reaping by the angel.  “Son of Man,” therefore, gathers the firstfruits, and the angel gathers the second fruits.  (The vines, not the fully ripe grapes, he casts in the wine press.) The Son of Man Himself obviously reaps the firstfruits because His servants (figuratively the angel of the church of the Laodiceans) are in no condition to do such a work, for they themselves are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked,” and know it not (Rev. 3:14-18).

Looking down to this very time, the Spirit of Prophecy in Isaiah’s day said:

Isa. 63:5 — “And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore Mine own arm brought salvation unto Me; and My fury, it upheld Me.”

   Here you note that when the time came there was not even one among His servants “to uphold” the work of the harvest, and consequently the Lord Himself did the work without them.

   For the second reaping, however, He uses His guileless “servants,” the “firstfruits,” the 144,000, as prefigured by the angel with the sharp sickle (Rev. 14:17, 18).  And just as there are two fruits and two reapings from two different places, the church and the world, there are, as shown before, also two ways of harvesting: at first the bad are cast from among the good, and at last the good are called out from among the bad.

   These are some of the signs and events that precede the Kingdom of glory, the second coming of Christ.  Then, too, there are other signs, the first of which is seen from the parable of Matthew 25.

Matt. 25:1-12 — “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.”

   In this parable it is seen that the church is likened to ten virgins, five of whom do not avail themselves of extra oil — special Truth for this time, that is, these five do not give heed to the truth of the Judgment of the living, the separation or purification of the church.  When the cry is made, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him,” all ten virgins see that the light of their lamps is going out; they see that the message of the Judgment of the dead is passing. 

Quickly then, the five wise virgins refill their lamps with the extra oil which they have stored in their vessels, and go on to meet the Bridegroom.  But the five foolish virgins, those who thought there was no need for extra oil, no need for an extra message, the message of the Judgment of the living, find themselves in gross darkness. 

Yes, they find themselves without the light which the message of the Judgment of the living unfolds.  Upon discovering their foolish neglect, they rush to obtain oil, light on the subject, but in the meantime the door has been shut (probationary time for the virgins, the church, has closed).  When they call for admission they are politely told by the Lord Himself, “I know you not.”

   The sign of the coming Kingdom which this parable brings forth, is obviously the special message (the extra oil) which announces the Judgment of the living, the message which awakens the open-hearted Truth seekers, and which dooms its opposers, the hypocrites and lukewarm in the church — those who are satisfied and think themselves rich and increased with goods, in need of nothing (in need of no timely Truth), those who never awake to the fact that they are absolutely destitute.  Mind you, these are not my words, read what the Lord says to Laodicea:

Rev. 3:14-18 — “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”

   Another view of this tragic truth is given in–

Luke 14:16-24 — “Then said He unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: and sent His servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.  And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.  And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.  And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. 

So that servant came, and shewed his Lord these things. Then the Master of the house being angry said to His servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.  And the servant said, Lord, it is done as Thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.  And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that My house may be filled.  For I say untoyou, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of My supper.”

   In this parable are seen two periods of time.  The first period is while the gospel has “bade many” (Luke 14:16) to the marriage supper, the time from the Apostles to the time of His last servant with the last message God sends to His people, the time all things are “ready.”  The next period is the time in which His last servant served (Luke 14:17).  This servant is sent, we are told, at “supper time,” at the end of the day, indicating that he bears the last message. 

Moreover, he is at first sent to those who have previously been “bidden”; that is, to those who were already in the gospel truth, in the church.  At the outset he is to contact a class of people deeply engrossed with the cares of this life, and is to tell them that “all things are now ready,” that if they wish they can now prepare and go to the wedding, there to enjoy the Bridegroom’s banquet.  This is the last call for the supper.

   But what happens? — They excuse themselves from having anything to do with the banquet just then.  Some lay the blame on their professions, while others blame having to make a living for the family.  Whereupon the Master of the house angrily sends His servant to the poor and to the afflicted, to those who are hungry and not too busy to take heed, to those who are not so encumbered with business and home that they cannot answer His call.  This very thing takes place in the “city” proper — the church.  The poor, those who realize that they are not “rich and increased with goods,” come in, but still there is room for more.

   Then it is that the Lord of that servant commands that he should go after those who are on the highways and hedges — those outside the church circles, even to the ends of the earth (the “hedges”).  But before the servant goes to the highways and hedges on his last mission, the Master emphatically informs him that those who had been bidden and who excused themselves from coming in, are to be entirely excluded from the banquet; that none of them will be permitted even to taste of His supper; that by turning a deaf ear to the call these have closed their own probationary time, and that there is now nothing that can alter the situation. 

After this the servant’s compelling cry goes out to the nations and the Master’s house is filled, the wedding takes place, and the Bridegroom serves all that are in the house, but none others.

   This same event is again given from another point of view.  This time by the gospel prophet:

Isa. 52:1, 2 — “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.  Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.”

   This particular prophecy discloses that while the church, Jerusalem and Zion, is asleep and naked with the unclean in her midst, and in captivity among the Gentiles (away from her own land), an awakening cry, a message, comes urging her to arise and put on her beautiful garments, for the wicked, declares the cry, will no more come into her, for they are to be utterly cut off.

The signs of the Kingdom, you see, are even more important for one to observe than are the signs of Christ’s coming.  If one should miss the signs of the Kingdom, then the knowledge of the signs of Christ’s coming would profit nothing, for all such will be frightened at His appearing and say “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. 6:16, 17.

   Are the efforts to set up the pre-millennial Kingdom — the purified church — accompanied by great signs and wonders, by noise and pomp?  To this question the Lord answers–

Matt. 13:31-33 — “The Kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.  Another parable spake He unto them; The Kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”

Zech. 4:6 — “Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”

   Not a blast or a boom, and not a bust either, but the plain, quiet Truth, Brothers, Sisters, is what saves you and brings the Kingdom into being.

What is this pre-millennial Kingdom like?  And what other signs precede its establishment?  The answer to this question comes through Ezekiel–

Ezek. 36:23-28 — “And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.  For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.  Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.  And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.”

   Here are additional signs, signs which are displayed within and without the man himself: the scars and defects which sin has written upon the bodies of God’s people are washed away; also the sin-hardened heart is carved out of them and a new, tender heart that delights in keeping God’s statutes and judgments, is set in.

   When does this take place? — After God takes His saints “from among the heathen,” “out of all countries,” and brings them into their “own land,” say the Scriptures.  Thus shall they dwell in the land that God anciently gave to their fathers, and thus shall they be His people and He their God.  Here you see that no one can meet God face to face and live with Him eternally without first having this body-cleansing and heart-changing experience.

   Very evidently none who remain ignorant of these signs of the coming Kingdom will have this experience and consequently shall never enter into it, never be fitted to live and reign with Christ.

   Since these signs are so vital to salvation, they should no longer be overlooked, but should receive first consideration if we expect Christ’s second coming to be for our good, not to our damnation.  Indeed, for this obvious reason it is at this late hour this important message is brought to our attention.

   This great Truth is again foretold in the words of Zechariah–

Zech. 12:5-14; 13:1-5 — “And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God.  In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.  The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.

   “In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.  And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

   “In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.  And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; all the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart….

   “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.  And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. 

And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive: but he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.”

   The revival and reformation herein presented — mourning and heart searching caused by appreciativeness of God’s great mercy and goodness — shall be in the day the governors of Judah say, “The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength,” in the day the Lord makes even the most feeble among them as David, and the house of David as God, as the angel of the Lord.

   When this thorough reformation takes place then the cleansing fountain shall be opened to the whole house of David.  In that day the wicked shall be cut off and kept out of the house of David, and the false teachers, “prophets,” shall feel ashamed of having ever taught their private interpretations of the Scriptures.  Then shall men fully realize that though they could be taught by men to keep cattle, yet no man could teach them to prophesy; that this office is restricted to the Spirit of Prophecy, that no prophecy of the Scriptures is of private interpretation.

   Is this cleansing, heaven-fitting pre-millennium Kingdom, set up in probationary time? — To find our answer we shall turn to the prophecy of Micah–

Micah 3:12; 4:1, 2 — “Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest…. But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.  And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”

   Here we are told that in the latter days, in our time, the ancient Kingdom that was destroyed will be reestablished and exalted above all other Kingdoms.  Then people shall “flow into it” because “the law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”  The gospel work, therefore, is to be finished while its headquarters stand in the Holy Land.  Thus the Kingdom is set up in probationary time, in time of salvation and judicial purification, for after it is set up other people from many nations flow into it.

   This is what the Bible says, and certain it is that this is what is to be, for not even the Devil can defeat God’s plans or cheat His people.  Oh, yes, the Devil will try to explain away what these Scriptures say, but he can never make them say something other than what they do say.  Besides, anyone taking the Devil’s word in preference to God’s, deserves the Devil’s reward, and I am sure he will not be cheated out of it.

   Since these signs of the times, in addition to others, are of far greater importance than the “Lisbon earthquake,” “the dark day,” and “the falling stars,” we had better awake to the demand which they impose upon us, and which are bound to fit us for the second coming of Christ and for a home in His Kingdom if heeded.  But if these signs cannot awaken us, then it is positive that they will cause us to slide down into the bottomless pit while dreaming of being rich and increased with goods, in need of nothing, supposedly on the way to the glory land.  What a disappointment and what weeping and gnashing of teeth that would be!

   Who is to drive the Gentiles out of the land? — The answer is in

Zech. 1:14-17, 20, 21 — “So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.  And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.  Therefore thus saith the Lord; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: My house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.

Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem…. And the Lord shewed me four carpenters.  Then said I, What come these to do?  And He spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.”

   Obviously one part of the Gentile nations shall come against the part that is in the Holy Land, and chase them out to make room for God’s people.  Then will the Lord’s feet stand on Mount Olives and the Mount shall cleave in the midst thereof and make therein a very great valley.  Thus shall the Lord open the way for His people to flee there to the “valley” where the Lord’s feet stand, and all the saints with them (Zech. 14:4, 5).

   This truth, you see, supersedes all truths, for without it your other truths will not profit you, will not take you into the Kingdom.  It is the last mile of all the miles of our faith through life that takes us Home.  We have gone this long; let us, therefore, keep on going right on to glory land, which is no longer beyond the horizon.  The mile ahead is indeed the last mile that will take us Home. (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 44 p. 29-51)

 

Understanding Biblical Double Applications

December 22, 2018

Image result for picture of a man studying bible

Once we become more of a serious Bible student there soon comes to our awareness the understanding of Biblical double applications. For  the textbook example case, let us read —

“But Peter stood up with the eleven, raised his voice, and addressed them: “You men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, know this and listen carefully to what I say. In spite of what you think, these men are not drunk, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel:

‘And in the last days it will be,’ God says, ‘that I will pour out my Spirit on all people, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. Even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. And I will perform wonders in the sky above and miraculous signs on the earth below, blood and fire and clouds of smoke. The sun will be changed to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes. And then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:14-21)

Peter was no doubt serious in proclaiming Joel’s prophecy as coming true. Yet we know, looking back from our time, that the Joel prophecy could not have been the primary or first application of the prophecy. In other words the scroll has unrolled enough for us to see clearly rather than dimly as Peter saw.

The message gives us a great understanding in another double application —

 

Question: “Explain Matt. 24:15, 16. ‘When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whose readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.’ Does not this scripture refer to the destruction of the ancient Jerusalem in the Christian era?”

   Answer: In order to clear the scripture in question, it is necessary to study the verses preceding it and the verses that follow. It is generally understood that this scripture was a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in the Christian era. Nevertheless, a close study of the same will prove that at that time this scripture met only a partial fulfillment as did Joel 2:28-31 on the day of Pentecost. See The Acts 2:16-21.

   We call attention to the fact that Christ was asked to explain concerning His statement when He said: “There shall not be left here [in Jerusalem] one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down” (Matt. 24:2) as they said: “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Then Jesus pointed out that all these events will be preceded by certain signs and that His followers were to thus observe the time and escape the ruin of each event in question which span the time from the destruction of Jerusalem to Christ’s second coming — the end of the world.

   In this long period of time there were many things to transpire in fulfillment of prophecy and the signs were to forewarn His followers, but the more outstanding events were the destruction of Jerusalem, the fall of the Christian church under the domination of the popes, the great tribulation during the 1260 years of papal rule, His coming and the end of the world.

   Now let us concentrate and give undivided attention to the words of the Master: “For then [when the abomination of desolation, spoken by Daniel the prophet, ‘stand in the holy place’ and when they ‘flee into the mountains’] shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matt. 24:21.)

   It will be noticed that the “tribulation” which Christ mentions in this scripture was to come to His followers and not to the Jews who rejected Him, for He says: “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. That is, if the “tribulation” spoken of here was the destruction of the Jews, then the days of their destruction and of the city should have been shortened and some elect ones of the wicked Jews inside the city should have been “saved,” which thought is contrary to historical facts and to the thought the Master’s words contain.

Hence, as the “tribulation” is not the destruction of the city or the slaying of the Jews, but rather the persecution by the popes against the saints in the 1260 year period, and as the days of the destruction of the Jews was not shortened, it is obvious that Jesus was directly and prophetically forewarning His followers who were to fall under the persecution at the time the popes set aside the truth of God (Dan. 8:12) and instead placed the abomination; that is, the pagan system of worship in the “holy place” — the church. For further study on the subject, see “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 2, pp. 126-147.

   Therefore, Matt. 24:15 primarily contains valuable instruction for the disciples of the early Christian church, but it finds its perfect fulfillment with the setting up of the papacy. Moreover, as the S.D.A. denomination admits that the “great tribulation” is the persecution of the Christian in the days of the popes, and that the shortening of the “days” was the cessation of the martyrdom before the 1260 year period ended in 1798, it follows that the “abomination of desolation” cannot wholly be applied to something at the time ancient Jerusalem fell, for Jesus’ language proves that the “abomination of desolation” was the cause of the great tribulation and not of the destruction of Jerusalem.

In other words, if the fleeing to the mountains is the fleeing from Jerusalem and of its destruction, then the great “tribulation” should be the slaying of the Jews; and the shortening of the “days” must denote a quick dissolution of the city so that the Christians could shortly return, and every Bible student knows that this was not the case.

   Consequently, the scripture is so worded as to furnish a warning to those disciples who were then in Jerusalem although the warning is made directly to those who were to flee to the mountains from the reign of the popes. (Sym. Code, vol.1, no.13, p.10-11)

We highlighted the red part to show that our King is so far-sighted that the reason double applications exist is to give understanding to different eras of His people to know Truth. We also notice that there is one “perfect fulfillment” of the application.

Then there is the classic example of SOP’s second application of the timing of Ezek. 9. This is why it’s important to understand this important Biblical interpretation. Many S.D.A.’s get hung up on some prophecies due to their lack of understanding this concept.

Question No. 145:–“If the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine takes place in the church before the close of probation, then why does ‘The Great Controversy’ p. 656 say: ‘Now all have made their decision; the wicked have fully united with Satan in his warfare against God…The mark of deliverance has been set upon those ‘that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done?’ Now the angel of death goes forth, represented in Ezekiel’s vision by the men with the slaughtering weapons, to whom the command is given….The work of destruction begins among those who have professed to be the spiritual guardians of the people.’ 

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

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

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

  Therefore, as there are two separations, there is a double fulfillment of Ezekiel’s slaughter: one in the church before the close of probation, and the other in the worldly churches after the close of probation, when everyone has made his decision. The unfaithful spiritual guardians, or the false watch-men, of the people are the first to fall in the worldly churches, just as the “ancient men” who are in the S.D.A. church are the first to fall. (“Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 5, p. 211.)This is the only explanation that will harmonize every statement on this subject found in the Spirit of Prophecy and in the Bible. ( Sym. Code, vol. 3, p.8)

The above question is often used, particularly among the S.D.A. leaders, to dispel the Lord’s Rod message. Yet if one looks at all the other relevant references concerning Ezekiel 9 (Bible, SOP and Rod), just as in Peter’s Joel statement, we cannot accept that the Church judgment is to be in the time of the plagues. This can only be a secondary application.

In our last example we show a “present truth” quandary. The following is an often debated subject with us Elijah messengers, yet if we use the double application method we may find some harmony and clearer understanding of “Jacob’s time of trouble”. However, this complicated subject may even get into a “third application” due to Spirit of Prophecy’s putting it in the times of the plagues. Definitely requires deep study to make sense of it all!

For the sake of this post we’ll stick to the Rod understanding of this subject. We find from the original writings that there appears two different time settings (applications), one pre-Church purification and one post, for Jacob’s trouble. Remember this trouble comes from Esau.

 

Let us read the secondary first —

Isa. 66:5, 6 — “Hear the Word of the Lord, ye that tremble at His Word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.  A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompence to His enemies.”

  Some have already had the experience of being carried bodily out of the churches for no other reason than for having read “The Shepherd’s Rod,” and for having said, “I believe what It says.”  Of course, it is incredible that men should act like demons.  It is nevertheless so, and God Himself testifies against their demon practice. 

We do not pity ourselves, and are not at all angry at our adversaries, but we are sorry about their spiritual blindness, misery, poverty, and nakedness, for we know that the coming joy is to be ours, and the sorrow and shame and gnashing of teeth, theirs.  This we know as verily as Jacob knew that God was with him in his flight from the face of Esau.

The Esaus of today, though, do not know this.  No, they do not know it any more than Esau of old knew of Jacob’s night vision of the ladder that extended from heaven to Jacob’s dew-soaked bed.” (Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 45 , p.14-15)

As clear as words can make it, the Rod shows trouble “today” as well in brother Houteff’s day coming from –Esau. There is no doubt concerning this trouble as some Elijah messengers have experienced being physically removed from church by the strong-arm of the Law for absolutely nothing but quietly attending service by mad and demon like Elders, Pastors, and other leaders of the S.D.A Church! Esaus indeed!

“The S.D.A. church, repeating the history of the Jews (5 T 160), will be swayed by its “priests” and “rulers” today to take a course against “the faithful servants of God “similar to that followed by the priests and rulers in their treatment of Christ’s and the apostles’”. As the 144,000 become more and more like their Saviour, “the light of the world.” making manifest the “darkness and error” enveloping the church, the leaders in their “fanatical hatred” of the saints will move “the mob to a mad fury” against them and, in desperation born of blind and raging hatred, will reach out for the civil arm of power to accomplish their evil ends, merging the following type into antitype.” (Sym. Code, vol. 1, no.9, p.3).

Esau’s use of the “civil arm of power” has come true, yours truly has witnessed it when we were part of a ministry effort to pass out Shepherd’s Rod Tracts and literature at one of the Las Vegas churches a couple of years ago. This is by no means an isolated case of this “fanatical hatred” from the Esaus.

“..the few who do have the courage to carry out their convictions, straightway in consequence become targets for the Enemy’s fiercest darts of opposition, — bitterest prejudice, scandalizing falsehood and character defamation, ridicule and scorn and hatred embarrassment and hardship. 

Thus “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:12) find themselves “outcasts” (Isa. 66:5; Luke 6:22; Acts 24:14) at the hands of persecutive forces perpetuating and even outdoing the worst that was ever in Judaism and Romanism.  And what is still worse, when these revivalists of tyranny, clothed in apostle like robes, succeed in confusing and overthrowing the faith of an investigator or of a follower of Truth for this very time, they compel him to submit to rebaptism in order to be readmitted into church fellowship, even though he has become more faithful than ever before!  What astounding blasphemy!” (White House Recruiter, p.54-55)

Ok so our secondary application is thus confirmed. Let’s now look at the main primary application. We as present truth believers know that the “Fundamental Beliefs” are the pillars of our faith. Thus we cannot under-estimate these statements. Not only do Davidian Seventh-day Adventists believe in ALL the S.D.A Fundamental Beliefs, but also the DSDA’s as well. Let us look at number 6 and 7.

 

6.   That the angels’ letting loose the four winds to blow over the four corners of the earth (Rev. 7:1), does not anticipate a world war but rather a world-wide decree enforced throughout Babylon by the image-beast, and that then no one may buy or sell save he who worships “the image.” Rev. 13:15-17.

7.   That subsequently, the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7) for the 144,000, the sons of Jacob, logically develops on their way home (Gen. 32:1, 24) to the land of their fathers (Ezek. 36:28; 37:21, 25).(Fundamental Beliefs, p. 13).

Here is our most plain and powerful statement showing that the time of Jacob’s trouble” occurs AFTER the winds are let loose. And since we as present truth believers know, the winds are not let loose until the sealing of the 144,000  is completed.

But one may ask –When is this sealing done? Could it be before the Ezek. 9 church purification, thus showing support for the secondary application being the primary? The message answers it —

 

“And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt Thou destroy all the residue of Israel in Thy pouring out of Thy fury upon Jerusalem?  Then said He unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great,…and as for Me also, Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity.” Ezek. 9:8-10.

   After the sighing and crying ones were marked (which is not to be understood as being consummated in its entirety worldwide before the slaying follows anywhere), the slaughter completed, and the matter reported, the Lord “spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city.” Ezek. 10:2. (Tract 1, p.38-39)

The highlighted areas clearly shows that we are not to understand that the marking (or sealing)  will be consummated (completed) BEFORE the Ezek. 9 slaying starts. Thus we see that the Church purification is the time of the sealing completion–not before that! This puts the FB no. 7 solidly in the post Church purification. The journey on the way “home” to God’s land–Israel.

 

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

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

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

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

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

Again we see the time of Jacob’s trouble appearing on their “returning to the homeland.” Obviously this cannot be while the Jacobites haven’t left for home yet.

Summary —

As we have shown, Biblical double applications play an important role in our correct understandings of prophecy. Our God is so far-reaching and deep that, for all we know there may be several or dozens of applications  in some prophecies yet we won’t see them until the dim light is removed and we see brightly.

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Cor. 13:12)

“Wonderful possibilities are open to those who lay hold of the divine assurances of God’s word.  There are glorious truths to come before the people of God.  Privileges and duties which they do not even suspect to be in the Bible will be laid open before them.  As they follow on in the path of humble obedience, doing His will, they will know more and more of the oracles of God.” — Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 322.

The Old Family Tree

November 17, 2018

TEXT FOR PRAYER   I shall read from “The Mount of Blessing,” beginning on page 188, the last paragraph.

   M.B., pg. 188 — “Jesus…earnestly desired that the great multitude might appreciate the mercy and loving kindness of God.  As an illustration of their need, and of God’s willingness to give, He presents before them a hungry child asking his earthly parent for bread.  ‘What man is there of you,’ He said, ‘whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?’  He appeals to the tender, natural affection of a parent for his child, and then says, ‘If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?’ 

No man with a father’s heart would turn from his son who is hungry and is asking for bread.  Would they think him capable of trifling with his child, of tantalizing him by raising his expectations only to disappoint him?… And should any one dishonor God by imagining that He would not respond to the appeals of His children?

“…The Holy Spirit, the representative of Himself, is the greatest of all gifts.  All ‘good things’ are comprised in this.  The Creator Himself can give us nothing greater, nothing better….”

   If we do not believe what God tells us, if we do not believe what He says He is, then we dishonor Him.  He is very anxious to give us gifts, but only if we want them.  He is particularly anxious to give us the greatest gift — the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Naturally, with this gift all other gifts are given.  It was this gift that Solomon asked for, and with it he was liberally given all the other gifts.  Let us likewise pray for this great gift.  It is just what God wants to give us if we will only wholeheartedly and honestly promise — positively to use the gift in the way He would have us use it.

 

THE OLD FAMILY TREETEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTSSABBATH, MARCH 8, 1947MT. CARMEL CHAPELWACO, TEXAS   Let us turn to the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, and begin our study with the first verse.

Isa. 11:1 — “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.”

   Here is a family tree in which three persons are introduced.  This verse does not say whom the rod represents; it does not say whom the Branch represents; but it does say that the stem is Jesse, the father of king David.  The rod, of course, which came out of the stem, could be none other than the son of Jesse — David, the king of ancient Israel.  The verses following this verse explain that the Branch is the Lord Himself.  Clearly, then, this family tree represents Jesse, David, and Christ.

   The remaining verses of the chapter are concerning Christ, His work, and His kingdom.

Isa. 11:2 — “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.”

   Upon this one gift — the gift of the Spirit — all things hinge.

Isa. 11:3, 4 — “And shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears: but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth: with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.”

   These verses, I am sure, need no comment save to mention that “the rod of His mouth” and “the breath of His lips” must mean God’s Word, His Truth.  This very Truth to which we are listening this afternoon will, therefore, on the one hand slay those who reject It together with those who are disobedient to It, but on the other hand save those who give heed to It, and who comply with Its requirements.  The one consequence is as natural as it the other.  For example, did not the preaching of the gospel of Christ save the Apostles, but at the same time cause Judas to commit suicide?  And did it not save the disciples but destroy all the unbelieving of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.?

   In the Kingdom here predicted, not only are men to be at peace with men, but men with beast, and beast with beast as well.   The reason given for such perfect peace is that the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. Knowledge, then, is what we need, and shall we turn it down now when it is so freely brought to our doors?

   Just as soon as God’s people obtain this knowledge of the Lord, just that soon shall the kingdom appear.  So it is that while learning of God and of His wisdom, we are at the same time bringing peace on earth.  Plainly, then, those who have not this knowledge of the Lord cannot become citizens of His kingdom.  How essential, then, that we study for ourselves; how essential that we know what is Truth through our own personal experience, not through the experience of others!

Isa. 11:10 — “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.”

   That is, in the day of the Branch (in the Christian period), in the day this family tree is completed, then it is that the kingdom of peace (the church purified) sprouts, so to speak, from the ground up.  It then stands for an ensign to the people, and to It shall the Gentiles seek for salvation.  Plainly, then, this old family tree, Kingdom, is to be set up while probation lasts.  Moreover, the place where It is to stand (rest) shall be glorious.  It is therefore to have Its own location, and Its own boundary line.  It is to be for the gathering of the people, the ark of today as was Noah’s ark in Noah’s day.  So we are again brought to the same truth which Isaiah, chapter 2, and Micah, chapter 4, teach:

Isa. 11:11, 12 — “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.  And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”

   The Lord is to recover the remnant (those that are spared) of His people in the day this Kingdom is set up; that is, the Kingdom is set, then those who are left behind among the Gentiles, those who seek after the ensign, the Lord is to recover them.  This second recovery of His people declares Inspiration, is to be from the four corners of the earth. The first, as you know, was from Egypt only.

Isa. 11:13-15 — “The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim [–there shall be no sinner among them].  But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.  And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with His mighty wind shall He shake His hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod.”

   Both kingdoms, Israel (sometimes called the house of Ephraim) and Judah, are to be restored and united in the antitype.  They shall never again envy or vex each other. And through Ezekiel commands the Lord:

   “Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in Mine hand.  And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. 

And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be My people, and I will be their God.” Ezek. 37:19-23.

   Thus it is that “…in the days of these kings [not after their days] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it [the kingdom] shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” Dan. 2:44, 45.

   If the Kingdom is to destroy all these kingdoms, then It must be set up before these kingdoms are destroyed.  The stone that is cut out of the “mountain” in the days of these kings, is itself to become a great mountain, and It, the Kingdom, is to fill the whole earth (Dan. 2:35, 45).

   In the days of Moses the Lord smote but one stream, the Red Sea, and one nation, Egypt.  But now the Lord promises to smite every stream (all “seven”) and cause His people from the four corners of the earth to reach their land without so much as getting their feet wet.  Although today as in Moses’ day, such a thing seems utterly impossible, yet it is certain that just as God made it possible then, He will now, too.  The battle is the Lord’s, the will is ours.  We have nothing to do but to obey His voice.  That is our only duty Brother, Sister.

   There is no Bible Truth plainer than this, and there is no truth as important at this time as is this Truth.  These are the very reasons that it either saves or destroys — to accept It is to have all your sins blotted out; to reject It, is to sin against the Holy Ghost.  “Today if ye will hear His Voice, harden not your [heart]” is God’s counsel for you and for me.  You well know now that this Truth is irrefutable. Try and see for yourself.

Isa. 11:16 — “And there shall be an highway for the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.”

   After the first fruits and the Lamb are gone to Mount Sion, there shall be a highway for the second fruits, for those who are still in “Assyria,” the world.  In other words, all obstructions shall be removed.  Our faith shall not fail us, and our hope shall not be in vain, for God has not forsaken the earth.  He Who rules and guides the stars in their unerring path, is able to lead us safely to our own land. Indeed, just as not one of them fails in its course, so not one of God’s promises shall ever fail to materialize. 

Let no one deceive you in this.  Study verse by verse, word for word, read, stop and think, do not hastily pass by this positive, most urgent Truth, for as it was in the days of the flood so shall it be now, says the Lord (Matt. 24:37).  The first born (firstfruits) who failed to paint the door post with the sacrificial blood in the first exodus, the type, perished.  So any of the firstfruits of today who fails to comply with the demands of the message for today, will as certainly perish at the angel’s slaughter weapons (Ezek. 9:5, 6).

Isa. 12:1-3 — “And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise Thee: though Thou wast angry with me, Thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortedst me.  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation.  Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”

   “In that day,” that is, in the day His people are being gathered from the four corners of the earth, in that day are they thus to praise Him, because they will plainly see that His anger has been turned away from them.  They will positively know that He is their salvation, their fear, and their strength. They will therefore with greater joy drink in the freshly revealed truths of the Bible.

Isa. 12:4 — “And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted.”

   “In that day,” that is, in the gathering time shall they encourage one another to praise the Lord, to call upon His name, and to declare His doings among the people.  They will then whole-heartedly and with knowledge be doing real and profitable missionary work. Isa. 12:5, 6 — “Sing unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.  Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.”

   You certainly will not let anything hinder or stifle your voice now that God commands to cry out and shout.

   “Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in Judgment.  And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isa. 32:1, 2.

   No, this is not what popular theology teaches, but you admit that this is what the Bible teaches, and that It we must believe rather than men.

   Thus far faith in God’s promises has not failed us, and why will He fail us now? — Never.  Faith mixed with works will bring everything in due season.  The adversaries of Truth shall fail, but Truth shall triumph, and the faithful with It.

   “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  For by it the elders obtained a good report.  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

   “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.  By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.  But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

   “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in taberacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

   “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged Him faithful Who had promised.  Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 

For they that say such things, declare plainly that they seek a country.  And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.  But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city.

   “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac; and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.  By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. 

By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.  By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

   “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.  By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 

By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.  Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest He that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

   “By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.  By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.  By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

   “And what shall I more say?  for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

   “Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

   “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:1-40.

   Now while the eternal records are being made, will you not cause your name to be written among the great heroes of God?  How can you afford to eternally lose out at such a late hour?

(Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 31, P. 1-13)

Sixth Trumpet Occurrences

September 22, 2018

In 1947 brother Houteff gave the following sermon which we think will be a blessing —

TEXT FOR PRAYER

Cherished Sin Keeps Truth Out   C.O.L. p. 50 — “‘He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.’  The gospel seed often falls among thorns and noxious weeds; and if there is not a moral transformation in the human heart, if old habits and practices and the former life of sin are not left behind, if the attributes of Satan are not expelled form the soul, the wheat crop will be choked. 

The thorns will come to be the crop, and will kill out the wheat…. If the heart is not kept under the control of God, if the Holy Spirit does not work unceasingly to refine and ennoble the character, the old habits will reveal themselves in the life…. Christ specified the things that are dangerous to the soul.  As recorded by Mark he mentions the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things.  Luke specifies the cares, riches, and pleasures of this life.  These are what choke the word, the growing piritual seed.  The soul ceases to draw nourishment from Christ, and spirituality dies out of the heart.”

   This reading commands us to pray that the seed sown in our hearts may fall in good soil, that it may take root; that we be free from the cares of this life and from sin, for no matter how impressive the Truth that goes into one’s ears, It will never reach the heart if there is any cherished sin therein.

 

THAT WHICH IS TO BE DURING THE SIXTH TRUMPET WHILE PROBATION STILL LASTSTEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,MINISTER OF D. SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTSSABBATH, NOVEMBER 15,1947MT. CARMEL CHAPELWACO, TEXAS  

The subject of our study is found in Revelation, chapters 10 and 11.  We shall begin with–

Rev. 10:1 — “And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire.”

   This angel has all the characteristics of a power that sends down “the latter rain,” and that causes the spiritual grain fully to develop, for that is what cloud, sunshine, and rainbow, indicate.  As a rainbow never appears without rain, the angel is therefore the angel that brings the rain and the sunshine for the development of the final harvest.

Rev. 10:2 — “And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth.”

   There is but one book in the Bible that has had to be opened, and that is the book of Daniel (Dan. 12:4).  And since the first thing which the angel did was to open the book, the analysis proves that he actually appears on the scene at the commencement of the time of the end, the time the book was to be opened. (Rev. 10:2).

   You know that man naturally starts out with his right foot.  Now, since the angel’s right foot was upon the sea and his left foot upon the land, the symbolism shows that he starts out on the sea, the province of Daniel’s beasts (Dan. 7), then on earth, the province of the two-horned beast (Rev. 13:10-18).  His work, therefore, starts in the Old Country, and should include the very first truth that was disclosed from the book of Daniel.  All in all his message and power prove to be world-wide — land and sea.

Rev. 10:3, 4 — “And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.  And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.”

   Here we see that there was another truth which could have been recorded, but John was told not to write it.  We do not know how extensive a truth the Seven Thunders contain, but possibly as much as or more than the Seven Trumpets.  Regardless, however, one thing stands out boldly, and that is that the omission of the Seven Thunders leaves a gap in the chain of Truth.  And since the Seven Thunders are not recorded, the truth of them cannot be revealed by interpretation, for there is nothing written of them, and therefore nothing to interpret from.  If, then, we are ever to know the truth of the Seven Thunders, it is to be shown to us perhaps by the same means as The Revelation was shown to John.

Rev. 10:5-7 — “And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, Who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to His servants the prophets.” (At the beginning of the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the Mystery of God is to be finished.)

   What about the statement, “there shall be time no longer”? — The answer is found in Rev. 10:6, which in actuality proves that there shall be time no longer for the Mystery of God to be finished; that the remaining days of the sixth trumpet, the time to the sounding of the seventh trumpet, is the time for the Mystery of God, the Gospel of Christ, to be finished.  In fact, the very first announcement of the seventh angel is that the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, — that the Gospel work is finished.

Rev. 10:8-10 — “And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.  And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book.  And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.  And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.”

  To eat the book is, as it were, to “swallow” its sayings.  The honey sweet must be the joy that comes from its promises, and obviously the bitter denotes inability to digest, to comprehend all, and thus a disappointment.  These, you know met fulfillment in the days of the First Advent Movement, when through the study of the book of Daniel, they learned that the cleansing of the Sanctuary (Dan. 8:14) was to begin in the year 1844, but who misunderstood the cleansing to mean the end of the world and the return of Christ.  The disappointment came after the set date had passed and after the expectation of the people failed to materialize.

Rev. 10:11–“And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.”

   After the disappointment they were commanded to prophesy again; that is, again to proclaim the cleansing of the Sanctuary.  This work they were to do among many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings, obviously not to all.

   Thus it was that the first Advent Movement was reorganized and renamed, Seventh-day Adventists.  The Seventh-day Adventist organization, therefore, will not finish the work.  Its message does not go to all people, to all nations, tongues, and kings.  Consequently, the Church, too, is to be reorganized if the Gospel of the Kingdom is to be preached to all nations.  “‘A revival and a reformation must take place under the ministration of the Holy Spirit.  Revival and reformation are two different things.  Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death.  Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices.'” — Christ Our Righteousness, pg. 121, 1941 edition.

   How will the reorganization come about?–

   “For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire.  For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many.

   “They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord.

   “And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles.

   “And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.” Isa. 66:15-17, 19, 20.

   In these verses we see a slaughter taking place, a slaughter which takes away the transgressors of the Truth.  Those that escape the slaughter of the Lord are sent to the nations who have not seen God’s glory, or heard His fame, and they are to bring all their brethren out of “all nations.”  Plainly, then, the slaughter is in the Church, for those who escape are sent to preach to the Gentiles that know nothing of God.  Sending the faithful to the nations, after the slaying of the unfaithful, presupposes a reorganization.  And the commission at last is to go, not to many nations, but to all nations.  If they are to bring all their brethren out of all nations, then they must be the last, the ones to finish the work, “the Mystery of God,” to bring probation to a close and the world to an end.

Rev. 11:1 — “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the Temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.”

   The measuring of the worshipers is in reality the numbering of them.  And so you see that following the Seventh-day Adventist Movement there is to be a numbering of its people.  And as there is but one numbered company, the 144,000 (Rev. 7:3), the first fruits (Rev. 14:4), the servants of God (7:3), it follows that they are the ones who are numbered, who escape, and also who are sent to the nations.  Yes, they are the ones who finish the Mystery of God as they bring all their brethren out of all nations (Rev. 7:9), the second fruits.

Rev. 11:2 — “But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.”

   The worshipers, the members of the church, the tribes of Israel, are to be numbered, but those who are to fill up the court, those of the Gentiles, are unnumbered: “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.” Rev. 7:9.

   Seven times seven, forty-nine, determined the year of Jubilee, the liberation of the people and of the land, the type of the Kingdom complete.  Besides any other significance, the forty-two months being only six sevens, it signifies that the holy city, Jerusalem, will not be “trodden down” all the way up to the time of the antitypical Jubilee, — the Gentiles are to be driven out of it before the Mystery of God is finished, before the seventh angel begins to sound.

Rev. 11:3, 4 — “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.  These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.”

   When the prophet Zechariah asked what the olive trees of his vision symbolize, the angel answered, “the Word of the Lord.” Zech. 4:6.

   The two olive trees, then, are figurative of the Old and New Testaments, the Bible (The Great Controversy, pg. 267).  As to the symbolization of the candlesticks the Lord Himself points out that they are figurative of the churches (Rev. 1:20).  The two candlesticks in connection with the olive trees are therefore figurative of the Old and New Testament churches, the churches which gave us the Bible.

Rev. 11:5 — “And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.”

   From this we see that though the Bible is the best friend to Its friends, It is a terrible enemy to Its enemies.  When Truth cannot save, it kills.

Rev. 11:6-11 — “These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

   “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

   “And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.  And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.  And after three days and an half the Spirit of Life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.”

   I need not say more on these verses, for you will find a detailed explanation of them in Tract No. 2, The Warning Paradox, pp. 47-48, revised edition.

Rev. 11:12, 13 — “And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither.  And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.  And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.”

   The Bible points out that but one bottomless pit was opened, the pit out of which the locusts came (Rev. 9:2), and it was the heavenly Star that opened the pit to let out its captives, — the locusts who were to hurt only those men who have not the seal of God in their foreheads.  Since the locusts were capable of knowing who had and also who had not the seal of God in their foreheads, and since they were friends to God’s sealed people, the truth is obvious: The Star that liberated them from the pit is Christ, and the locusts are the Christians, the people that were rescued from apostate Judaism.

   Moreover, the fact that the Angel of Revelation 20:1 (Satan’s great enemy), is the One Who has the key of the bottomless pit, it follows that the Angel of Revelation 20:1 and the Star of Revelation 9:1 are the same, for the One to Whom the key was given, is the only One that could have it.

   Now we may ask who is the beast of the bottomless pit?  If the Star that came from Heaven and opened the pit is Christ, and if the locusts that came out of the pit are the Christians, then there is no way of escaping the conclusion that the beast which came out of the bottomless pit is symbolical of Christendom.  Thus it is that the Lord was crucified there.

   Now that the city is spiritually called Egypt, it denotes that it is holding God’s people in slavery.  The name Sodom denotes that God’s true people will have to be rescued from it as was Lot.

   A tenth part of the city must represent the Lord’s part, the tithe, so to speak.  The earthquake therefore represents a shaking in the church of God.  The remnant who give glory to God, can only be the faithful who survive the shaking.  Thus is the church purified.  This earthquake, then, is symbolical of the slaughter of Ezekiel nine, and coincides with Isaiah 66:16.

   Moreover, the fact that the Mystery of God is finished when the seventh angel begins to sound, and also the fact that the shaking is here shown to take place during the sounding of the sixth angel, the Truth stands out that the shaking takes place before the Gospel work is finished.  The Spirit of Prophecy in our day also foresaw this shaking:

   “I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans.  This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth.  Some will not bear this straight testimony.  They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people.” — Early Writings, pg. 270.

Rev. 11:14-19 — “The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

   “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.

   “And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned.  And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

   “And the Temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”

   If you wish to study the eleventh chapter of Revelation in all its details, read the Tract, “To The Seven Churches.”

(Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 15 p.2-13)


 

An Example of Truth Restoration

August 11, 2018

Image result for Elijah will restore all things picture

Our Lord said this —

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things.”(Matt.17:11)

The Elijah to come is to “restore all things” and this most especially includes Truth restoration. What do we mean by that? This post will delve into that to show a couple clear examples of restoration.

As we have pointed out several times, the scroll unrolls and with it our “present truth” appears for our day. SOP explains —

“In every age there is a new development of truth, a message of God to the people of that generation. The old truths are all essential; new truth is not independent of the old, but an unfolding of it.” (COL, p.127)

Now our truth may not be their truth. For example when the people of God were found to be in adultery in the Old Testament times, they were to be stoned to death. Yet that truth was changed when Jesus came. For the “new” truth was forgiveness and repentance (See John 8:1-11).

When we don’t understand this changing of truth we can get mixed up and God forbid–a false and confused teacher. Let us look at a recent example.

Brother E is a “present truth” teacher. At least he thinks of himself that  way. He makes lots of videos, even has a website with the Rod lessons and literature. Recently we visited one of his YouTube videos and noticed the following.

He proclaimed that the term “confederacy” as used in Isaiah chapter 8 was, among other things, a warning not to confederate or be a part of trade unions. He listed this as the number 1 confederacy among us S.D.A. He is attempting to teach this as our present truth. He used the following SOP as references–

“The trades unions and confederacies of the world are a snare. Keep out of them, and away from them, brethren. Have nothing to do with them.” (Country Living, p.10)

“We are now to use all our entrusted capabilities in giving the last warning message to the world. In this work we are to preserve our individuality. We are not to unite with secret societies or with trades unions.” (CL, p.11)

“Those who claim to be the children of God are in no case to bind up with the labor unions that are formed or that shall be formed.” (CL, p.12)

Ok fair enough, this seems quite clear and to the point. Not much to misunderstand here. However, this part of the scroll was to make a turn  when the Lord’s Elijah prophet appeared and “restored” this issue to our current time. Let us read–

SHOULD A CHRISTIAN JOIN LABOR UNIONS?

Question No. 139:

   What should be our position as to Labor Unions?

Answer:

   Though in their formative years Unions neither  had the power nor exercised the pressure which they do now, yet even then men were arduously  at work to make them what they now are. So to safeguard the true believer from becoming compromised by their dictates and thus involved in their strikes and picketings (not to restrain him from paying to them a part of his wages if they compel him to), the Testimonies forbid his taking part in furthering their  unchristian purpose. (See Testimonies, Vol. 7, p. 84).

   In persecuting Jesus and His followers, the Roman and the Jewish governments were doing a thing even more unrighteous than the Unions are doing today in coercing labor into their ranks, yet Jesus directed His followers then to pay tax to Caesar. So we must conclude that if one is required to pay a fee while working at a trade which permits no “open shop,” he therefore has no alternative to meeting this necessity as one of the shop’s requirements, regardless whether the Union be a good or a bad organization.

Thus, though in order to hold his job in support of himself and his family, he may pay the fee which the Unions exact for the opportunity to labor, yet he should not participate in any of their activities and functions–political, social, or otherwise. In short, he will not have any fraternal connection whatsoever with them.

   Under such circumstances, there is no difference in paying Union dues, state tax, or some other necessary expense, fee, or cost in order to keep at work. In view of this, those who follow in the light will pay Union dues only as they have to, and will discontinue paying them as soon as possible. (Answerer, vol. 5, p.64-65)
 

So we see that even though SOP was counselling the people of that day to “keep out of them”,  brother Houteff was giving the green light as long as certain conditions were met. This is a restoration issue for sure.

It is clear that we when take up the Lord’s final message of Elijah we make sure to look at what the prophet says FIRST before we attempt to teach  or report on the message. If we don’t do that we run the risk of exposing ourselves as private interpreters going against God’s prophets (See 2 Peter 1:20).

Therefore there is NO confederacy issue with joining trade unions today “in order to keep at work” to“support himself and his family”. Apparently the Lord saw down the stream of time that our economy would be vastly powered by the trade unions (even as it is today) and in order to deal with that the Elijah prophet made the statement.

Another truth restoration, which we have dealt with before is the taking of communion. Jesus told the apostles to “do this in memory of Me.”(Luke 22:19)  

Yet our present truth is different , let us read —

WHAT ABOUT COMMUNION SERVICE?

Question No. 120:

   Should believers who are well established in the message, celebrate the communion service  when they meet together?

Answer:

   As to authorizing the communion service in our own midst, we believe that since we all, as Seventh-day Adventists, have defiled ourselves as did the Jews at Christ’s first appearing (The Desire of Ages, p. 104) and since this sacred service works damnation to those who unworthily receive it (1 Cor. 11: 29), therefore we dare not now, as Davidians, take unto ourselves its hallowed privilege until as a people our lives bear convincing evidence of our repentance from the Laodicean condition.

   The lesson in not authorizing this blessed service in our midst at this time, is inversely parallel to that which John the Baptist taught in ordaining and insisting upon the baptismal service then; that is, John’s instituting the baptismal service then, showed that the Jews were not ready to meet their King, and the Rod’s not instituting the communion service now, shows that neither are we ready to meet our King, and that we must therefore quickly repent from our lukewarmness, buy the “eyesalve,” and anoint our eyes. Then we shall gloriously celebrate the communion service, and the shame of our nakedness will not appear (Rev. 3:18).

   Those who do not sense this great need are yet blind to the church’s undone condition, and to the Lord’s holiness. Just a firm outward faith in the message is not enough; its inward work in our lives is the all-essential and supreme work that must take place in the lives of all of us before we can conscientiously and profitably celebrate the Lord’s supper. Let us hasten that glad day. (Answerer, vol. 5, p.39-40)
 

Striking isn’t it? One must be advancing in the Lord’s scroll of Truth to truly appreciate those powerful and clear words of timely significance. So today we should not accept the communion as we are not worthy of it “as a people”.

So what do we have here? We basically have the anti-type test of how we respond to the advancing scroll and it’s Truth restoration. The Jews refused to advance in their understanding of Truth, as Christ clearly exposed. We as S.D.A may be looking at EGW first and foremost when faced with brother Victor Houteff’s statements. In other words we say as the Jews did, “We have Moses that is enough.” Ellen White becomes our Moses.

In closing brethren, right now we are experiencing our present truth and our instructions FOR TODAY. We must advance with the scroll, accepting Truth that may not necessarily be the same as days gone by. We must not be found with out that “extra oil” because our King said we must have this oil (our present truth) to get to the kingdom.

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

May 26, 2018

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

Continuing with part two ……

Question 4 — What is the seal in the forehead mentioned in Rev. 7 ?

DB —  Starts out by quoting Ephesians 4:30.

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” ..There is something more tangible than that, that can be seen in the life and you’ll find that in this verse, Isaiah 8:16   “Bind up the testimony, seal the seal the law among my disciplines.”

.. What’s the new covenant? I’ll take My law and write it in their hearts. But we’re going to go a step deeper. Find out what is that seal in the law. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall  labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of your Lord God ; in it you shall do no work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your  stranger who is within your gates.”  Now watch carefully  “For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth and the sea.”

There you have the name of God, the title of God, the territory of God in the middle of the law of God is the seal. 

In the last days if you will have the law of the Lord in your heart and in actions and in your mind you will not have the mark of the beast. If you don’t have the  law of God in your heart, your hand or your head, you’ll have the mark of the beast. ..if you’ll read Ezekiel 9 there’s another vision there. By the way Revelation is referring back to Ezekiel that everybody in Jerusalem was to be destroyed  except those who had this mark placed on them by this angel. Everybody in Ezekiel 9 who gets the mark is saved. Because they are sighing and crying for the abominations that re done in Israel. There was false worship that was happening among the people of Israel.

So DB declares that the seal as found in Rev. 7 is the obedience of the Sabbath and puts Ezekiel 9’s marking or sealing in past history.

VTH — Has the following report on this subject —

Question No. 21:

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

Answer:

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

“The seal of the living God,” the Truth, by which the 144,000 are sealed (Rev. 7:2), is a special seal, being the same as “the mark” of Ezekiel 9. (See Testimonies to Ministers, p. 445; Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 267; Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211). It demands one’s sighing and crying over the abominations which defile him, and which desecrate both the Sabbath and the house of God, especially against selling literature and raising goals during Sabbath services. 

As the saints have this seal or mark on their foreheads, the angels will pass over them, not slay them. It is equivalent to the blood on the door post on the night of the Passover in Egypt. The angel is to place a mark upon the foreheads of all who by sighing over their own sins, and over the sins in the house of God, show fidelity to the Truth. Then the destroying angels will follow, to slay utterly both old and young who have failed to receive the seal. (See Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 505)

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

Key points are brought up such as SOP showing the direct relationship to John’s sealing and Ezekiel’s (Testimonies to Minsters, p.445). This , we believe, is so profound that we have a separate report on it called “The Game Changer”.

SUMMARY

As we review the differences in interpretations of the two men we see clear opposing Scriptural teachings.

1) On our first question, Batchelor does not feel it’s important to expand upon the four winds in Rev. 7. Yet if the winds are held back for the sake of sealing the 144,000, then we should assume that these winds are not just some trinket but serious symbolical happenings to effect the earth and people therein. Houteff shows the most specific SOP reference there is in identifying , in context, these four winds –Testimonies to the Church, vol. 5, p.152. We cannot understand Batchelor’s ignorance of this reference.

2) Batchelor declares some standard SDA doctrinal teachings on the “spiritual” grafting in of the 144,000 into the “symbolical” twelve tribes. He does not believe that God has any heavenly record of the bloodline of the original Jews.  In other words the “twelve tribes”part of Rev. 7 is not to be taken literally.

Houteff counters that just as God has kept track of Jesus’ bloodline back to Adam, He must for a consistent reason have kept tract of the bloodline going forward in regards to the twelve tribes. In other words Houteff takes literally this accounting and since the Jews have been scattered all around the world for thousands of years, today no one knows who is who except God. The specific Bible reference Houteff uses is —

“I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there.And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.” (Psalms 87: 4-6)

3) Batchelor does not address the issue of the 144,000 in regards to it’s relationship to the SDA church. But once again we see that mysteriously he ignores the profound statement from God through SOP where Ezekiel 9 and Rev. 7 are the same event-same sealing. As far as he knows these people can be any people from anywhere, and not just from the SDA church. The haziness here is disconcerting.

Houteff builds his case once again on Inspired statements. He emphasizes that the term “first fruits” requires that second fruits are to be harvested, lest the term first fruits is a vain thing. The harvest is ONLY through the church “Jerusalem” or “City” as shown in Ezekiel 9. Thus Houteff builds the case that as the 144,000 are all that are sealed from the tribes “church” then  a second harvest is gathered by these first fruits as shown in Rev. 7:9.

   “The city” is figurative of Judah and Israel, the church in which are to be found the 144,000 servants of God (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 445) those who are to be called by another name after the unworthy servants are slain.  And as the 144,000 are the first fruits (Rev. 14:4) of the harvest, they are the “escaped” of the Isaiah 66:19 and of Ezekiel 9.  This separation of the tares from the wheat in the church is to signalize the beginning of the final harvest of earth — the end of the world.” (Tract 14, p.19-20)

In the Rod writings you will see the very important SOP reference that tells us the “Israel of today ” is the SDA church, found in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p.164.

“We are not to conclude that the Jews are the only descendants of Abraham.  Those who are fortunate enough to have this revelation brought to them, are the people.  There is no other safe conclusion if God causes the prophecies to be written, sealed, and then unsealed at His will and at the time appointed.  The Jews, therefore, are not the only descendants of Abraham.” (1 TG, no.37, p.11) 

The message is brought to the S.D.A church , and like a homing pigeon the people that come into our church are those “who are fortunate enough to have this revelation brought to them.” Yes, all within the S.D.A church have their chance but just as in Jesus day, only few decide to come aboard. As SOP says we are the “Israel of today” from God’s impeccable guidance.

4) In the very important point of knowing what the seal of God is in Rev. 7, Batchelor again uses the standard SDA understanding of the Sabbath as that seal in our foreheads. Though acknowledging a marking or sealing through Ezek. 9, he places this prophetic statement in past history, ignoring several key statements given in SOP about this subject.

“Study the 9th chapter of Ezekiel, these words will be literally fulfilled.” (Manuscript releases, p.260)

We know Batchelor has spoken of Ezek. 9 for a future event, but he has never placed it in connection with Rev. 7 and putting it BEFORE the winds blow (Sunday Law) where Inspiration places it. This we feel is serious derelict of teaching duty.

Houteff does use Manu. Releases, p.260 along with the in-depth study of Ezek. 9. Houteff shows us that Ezek. 10 which comes after chapter 9 clearly shows us the scattering of God’s Spirit “coals of fire” upon the “city” the smaller purified church, to prepare it for the second harvest of the world (See Joel  2:1-11 and Isaiah 66:15-21)

Importantly Houteff points out that while we are to keep the Sabbath, our present truth today is what gets us sealed. That is to “sigh and cry” for all the abominations done in the church per Ezek. 9 instructions. Amazingly Batchelor, as far as we know, has never expanded upon this sighing and crying to be done today in the church. Houteff leaves no stone unturned in going into what sighing and crying is  and what are some of the abominations done in the church today (See SRod , volume 1, p. 29-35)

In conclusion, the teachings are a sharp contrast and each must seek the Lord in prayer to know the Truth. Once we “study to show yourselves approved”, we should have little problem knowing what is God’s word on the 144,000 and seal and what is learned men’s ideas.


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