Archive for the ‘Present Truth’ Category

Interesting Q and A

June 17, 2017

Image result for picture of someone studying the bible

The Word says–

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

This week we’d like to show some of the Elijah message’s Q and A. We picked these out  for your study. Enjoy.

ARE “ZION” AND “JERUSALEM” THE SAME?

Question No. 85:

   Please explain the difference between the terms “Zion” and “Jerusalem” of Isaiah 52:1 and of Revelation 14:1.

Answer:

   “Zion” and “Jerusalem” of Isaiah 52:1 must represent people, for it would be ridiculous to say to a hill and to a city, “Awake, awake, put on thy strength, put on thy beautiful garments.”

   On ancient Zion’s exalted hill stood the palace of the king, “and the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts to dwell in other cities.” Neh. 11:1.  So the royal family resided on Mount Zion, and the lesser rulers and other government representative dwelt in Jerusalem proper.

   The call, “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem,”  is applicable to the Laodicean church, the last of the seven churches, and the one which terminates the period of the “wheat” and the “tares” commingled, because after she puts on her beautiful garments,  “the unclean shall no more come into” her. Those who will awake to the rousing call, put on strength by separating from the wicked, and put on the beautiful garments by turning to  righteousness, are those who will, in the “latter days,” make up Zion and Jerusalem–the princes and rulers of the people in the Kingdom-church restored.

   Then “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.

   Hence, “only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [the Third Angel’s message] when it shall have swelled into the loud cry.”–The Review and Herald,  No. 19, 1908.

   Now as to the meaning of the two terms, Zion and Jerusalem as used in Revelation 14:1, the second reference in question, the Revelator explains that the 144,000 of the twelve tribes of Israel are those who make up Zion. His words are, “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads.” Rev. 14:1.

   These being the first fruits (Rev. 14:4), it further shows that they are the first of the harvest in “the end of the world.” Matt. 13:39. Obviously, then, those who were seen after them, the “great multitude…of all nations” (Rev. 7:9), are none other than the second fruits of the harvest, some of whom will dwell in Jerusalem.

   So at this harvest time, “it shall come to pass…that the mountain of the Lord’s house [Mt. Zion] shall be established in the top of the mountains,  and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” Isa. 2:2. (Answerer, vol. 4, p.20-22)

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JOSIAH’S OR JOHN’S PROPHECY FULFILLED?

Question No. 77:

   Because his prediction of the fall of the Ottoman Empire on August 11, 1840, was strikingly  fulfilled, was Josiah Litch correct in claiming that the prophecy of Revelation 9:5, 15-20, was thus perfectly enacted?

Answer:

   Though in the working out of Litch’s prediction, there was a seemingly preternatural element of coincidence, the event in question could not have been that described in John’s prophecy, for the latter reveals that the four angels bound in the Euphrates were to slay the third part of men. And where in the Scriptures is any Gentile nation symbolized by angels? Moreover, the Ottoman Empire did not fall at all; instead, it placed itself “under the control of Christian nations.”–The Great Controversy, p. 335. Furthermore, the angels had an army of 200,000,000 horsemen, while Turkey never had that many cavalrymen in all her lifetime! Still further, the prophecy of The Revelation calls for slaying the “third part of men” (Rev. 9:15), whereas in the fulfillment of Litch’s prediction, no slaying took place. In view of all these facts, it is self-evident that though Litch’s prediction may have been fulfilled, it in no wise had reference to the Revelator’s.

   The Great Controversy records merely that Litch’s own prediction, not John’s met fulfillment. So, Litch’s prediction, being erroneously based on The Revelation, was a preternatural coincidence, not a fulfillment of the Revelator’s prophecy. (Answerer, vol.4, p.5-6)

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WILL ALL COME TO THE TIME OF THE PLAGUES?

Question No. 56:

 If the church is to be purified before the close of probation for the world and remain pure thereafter without any sinners in it as “The Shepherd’s Rod” teaches, then how do you harmonize this with “Early Writings,” p. 71, which says Some “will come up to the time of the falling of the plagues, and then see that they needed to be hewed and squared for the building”?

Answer:

  There are other statements from the author of Early Writings which bear even more positive evidence that God will, before that time, have a church pure and true. (See The Great Controversy p. 425, Prophets and Kings, p. 725, Testimonies Vol. 5 p. 80; Isa. 52:1-2.)

   As these several statements with reference to a preliminary purification are just as true as the one in Early Writings which seems to negate a purification, one cannot honestly disregard them and give consideration only to it. Let us remember always to observe the inviolable rule that an interpretation of one inspired statement must harmonize with all other related statements.

  Some who are anxious to risk Present Truth on the weight of what one inspired statement seems to say or imply, are thereby presumptuously or very ignorantly overlooking the “weight of evidence.” Others are doing this through shortsightedness, while still others are doing it to prop up certain cherished ideas of their own.

  The basic foundation for the no-preliminary-purification doctrine is built, not upon solid rock, but upon the same shifting sand as that which underlies such as the erroneous ideas of the conscious state of the dead, the eternal torment of the wicked, baptism by sprinkling, Sunday sacredness, and the millennial age of peace on earth.

  Since, Truth is progressive, and since the purification of the church had not yet been revealed when the statement in Early Writings was written, the danger foretold and the counsel given therein could not possibly have been stated in terms other than those then familiarly comprehended. All were thus plainly forewarned that if they continued sinning, then after the close of probation for the world, the plagues, of which they already had some understanding, would be their recompense. So for the Lord to have explained the matter in Early Writings as He does through the Rod today, He would have had to reveal, out of due time, when Early Writings was being written, the message which is applicable only to the church for today, and which we are now therefore receiving.

  In the last analysis, the unrepentant sinners who are now in the church, may never see the seven last plagues, while others who are now in the world, will in the time of the Loud Cry yet have opportunity to be “squared” for the building, and be treasured with the “living stones,” or else to suffer the consequences of the plagues.

  No one should have difficulty in seeing this now, for all those to whom Early Writings primarily spoke are already dead, though the plagues are yet in the future. Furthermore, there is much more light to come concerning the truth of the seven last plagues, and when it comes, we may again see that we have “many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn.”-Testimonies to Ministers p. 30. (Answerer, vol.3)

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WHY NOT BOTH VISIONS ALIKE?

Question No. 59:

  If Daniel 7:8, 25 and Revelation 13:3 both prefigure the same power, and if the Roman church during the Middle Ages is the one there predicted, then why is she, in Daniel’s vision, a combined secular and ecclesiastical power (horn-head), while In The Revelation she Is only an ecclesiastical power (head)?

Answer:

  That the same power is indeed symbolized by both beasts is unmistakably seen from the fact that both “blasphemed” the same length of time: the former, for “a time and times, and the dividing of time” (Dan. 7:25): and the latter, for “forty and two months” (Rev. 13:5). This same period is identically stated in Revelation 11:3, and is equivalently represented in Revelation 12:14 as “a time, and times, and half a time,” which according to the rule of interpretation of Ezekiel 4:6, is equated: “time”–1 year; “times”–2 years;  “and  half a time” or “dividing of time”–l/2 year: in the aggregate equaling 3 1/2 years, 42 months, or 1260 days (12 months to a year, and 30 days to a month, Bible reckoning).

  Daniel’s vision foretells only the formation of that church and state union, and for this very reason John’s was given to show its final stage, its dissolution only. Thus the two visions complete the whole-the formation and the dissolution. (Answerer, vol.3)

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SAVE THE CHURCH OR THE WORLD?

Question No. 67:

  If, at this late hour, we give our whole effort for the salvation of the church, how will the rest of the world ever be reached?

Answer:

  The mission to save the world cannot be more important than the mission to save the church enlarging the church membership under the now prevailing lukewarm Laodicean conditions could no more advance the Kingdom of Christ than could have been done under the condition in the Jewish church in the days of His first advent. Understanding the true situation in the church, John the Baptist and Christ Himself and even the apostles at first, engaged them selves to work, not for the world in general, but only in the interest of their brethren in the church.

  As the same departure from Christ exists within the church now as it did then (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217), it will take much greater effort to rescue the people from the Laodicean “sad deception” (Testimonies. Vol. 3, p. 253), than if they were in heathenism For in Laodicea they are made to believe that they have all the truth there is to be had, that they are rich, increased with goods, and in need of nothing,—their salvation forever secured as long as they hold membership in the church Hence there is greater risk of their losing their souls in the church while she is “lukewarm” an. about to be spued out, than if they remain in the world until the church awakes from her slumber, and anoints herself with the eyesalve (Truth)—sees right, does right, and leads an. feeds the flock aright.

  Let every honest member ask the question, If the church herself is not saved (Testimonies Vol. 3, p. 253), not following Christ her Leader (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217) and “has become an harlot” (Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 250), how can she save others? The greatest need therefore is first to save those in the church, then those in the world. The “special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people” (The Great Controversy, p. 425), “the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266), must come first then is to follow the sealing of those in the world.

  The men and means already devoted to missionary work for the world are so plenteous as entirely to overshadow the meager facilities available for carrying the message to the Laodiceans, although the church is in even greater need than is the world.

  However, carrying the message to the church does not affect the mission work for the world for while the Davidians labor in the interest of the church, the Denomination carries the old message to the world. But should the Davidians also devote their time and money to looking after the interests of the heathen then both the church and the world would be plunged into hell. Consequently, to save the world, we must first seek to save the church from the ruin that is imminent, as did John the Baptist, Christ, and the apostles, in their day.

  After the church awakes and ceases dreaming that she is “rich and increased with goods,” finds out that she is in need of everything rather than of “nothing,” puts on her strength by turning to Christ her Leader, clothes herself in the garments of His righteousness, and lets the unclean pass no more through her (Isa. 52:1), then shall her righteousness go forth as brightness and her salvation as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see her righteousness, and all kings her glory (Isa. 62:1, 2). Then will she really be able to save. Then her “gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto” her “the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve” her “shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.” Isa. 60:11, 12.

  Let all Present-truth believers, therefore, pursue this course to its happy climax: “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be My people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee.” Zech. 2:10, 11.

  Still further, as it is not we, but Christ Who “is taking the reins in His own hands” (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300), it is not our duty to tell Him which work should be done, and which should be left undone, but let every follower of His realize that He will “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.

  Be not like the class who “question and criticize everything that arises in the unfolding of truth” (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 690), but be like those who “let Heaven guide.”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 475.

  The command to us is: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house a Jacob their sins.” Isa. 58:1.

  “Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him; and His work before Him.” Isa. 62:10, 11. (Answerer, vol.3)

Signs of the Kingdom

May 20, 2017

 

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.

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   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

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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

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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

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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

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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”

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and the Revelation of John very briefly and concisely bring this truth still better to the surface.

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

   Clearly, the net represents the gospel church into which are caught both hypocrite and saint.  Accordingly, in the time of the firstfruit harvest (the Judgment “in the house of God”) “at the end of the world” (Matt. 13:49), the angels sever the wicked from among the just, not the just from among the wicked.  But in the second fruit harvest (the Judgment in the world) the separation is the reverse: the just are taken out from among the wicked, not the wicked from among the just, so says The Revelation:

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev. 18:4.  Plainly, the Judgment “in the house of God” is the harvest in which the hypocrites as “tares” are burned, but as bad “fish” they are cast out.  In the Judgment in Babylon (in the world), though, not the bad, but the good are taken out and brought into the purified house of God where there is no sin and no sinner, and where there is no danger of the plagues.  This same truth concerning the house of God again

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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).

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   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).

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   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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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   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.

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   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,”

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 51)

Amen! Let your Kingdom come Lord!

The Few Laborers

February 11, 2017

Image result for picture of a man bored sitting on a mountaintop

In Matthew 9:38 we read–

“Then saith He unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”

There is no doubt whatsoever that this statement by the Lord is true beyond measure. Today, as in days past, there are truly only a few among the large population of nearly 18 million Adventists who are “working” in His vineyard. By this we mean, not only trying to live the “right life” but proclaiming the Lord’s end time message of present truth. They are not perfect but they do endeavor to do both.

But why is this, why so few? Let us look at some of the aspects of this neglected work.

During the time of Christ, we know that there were few professed believers in the early days. The Jews had lambasted Christ’s message so far and wide that they greatly outnumbered the small faithful. The early workers had to bear much slander, accusations, persecution, etc. Yet their work was not wholly unfruitful, for example the day of pentecost.

Then in the days of the dark ages, the workers had all but disappeared, except for the small amount of Waldenses , Huguenots, etc. But the true “work” during this time was the Bible.

“And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for one thousand and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”(Rev. 11:3)

“The two Witnesses represent the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament.” (GC, p.267)

Then we come to today, has anything changed you suppose? Absolutely not. But thank the Lord there are a few faithful and courageous workers in His harvest field! Did you notice that word–courageous?

Yes indeed, just as times of old, one of the main ingredients to profess the message of the hour is courage. And it appears that the Lord puts a premium on it too–

“But to the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and sexually immoral and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death.”(Rev. 21:8)

Which one is listed first? Yes, this is one of the prime reasons, we believe, that the workers are so few today just as times past.

Search the Bible, you will find that the Lord has always placed a premium on courage, standing up for Him despite the consequences. Take for instance Joshua and Caleb. Among the vast multitude that ridiculed and doubted the word of the Lord, those two stood up and bravely said “We can take this land.”

This same courage is required today, because  our leaders, the rulership of our SDA does not like the present truth that exposes the sins of the church. Our church is full of “soothsayers” instead of “Truthsayers”.

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

   At the time the great ingathering here projected is about to take place, His professed people, He declares, please themselves among the unconverted and are charged with being soothsayers, ably explaining away God’s revealed Truth for this time rather than to magnify and to proclaim It. (TG, vol. 1, no.5, p.9)

“Our message is not one of peace and safety.” (SDA Bible Commentary, vol.4, p.1184)

So with the forces greatly stacked against God’s courageous Truth proclaimers, is it any wonder that few would want to get involved?

This reminds us of the man and his wife, mother and father of the blind man who from birth had never seen before. They rejoiced of their son’s new-found sight yet lacked courage to stand up for Jesus when the time came for favor of the self-righteous Jews.

We have a crisis here, so few realize the “clean work” God is about to do on His professed people (Testimonies, vol. p.190).  SOP describes what God thinks of those who stand idly by.

“If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God.” (Testimonies, vol. 3, p.281)

Again the SOP tells us the straight scoop–

“To excuse yourself from working for others on the plea of inability, while you are all absorbed in worldly pursuits, is mockery of God. Multitudes are going down to ruin; the people who have received light and truth are but as a handful to withstand all the host of evil; and yet this little company are devoting their energies to anything and everything but to learning how they may rescue souls from death.

Is it any marvel that the church is weak and inefficient, that God can do but little for His professed people? They place themselves where it is impossible for Him to work with them and for them. Dare you continue thus to disregard His claims? Will you still trifle with heaven’s most sacred trusts? Will you say with Cain: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Testimonies, vol. 5. p.458-459)

“Everyone who connects himself with the church makes in that act a solemn vow to work for the interest of the church and to hold that interest above every worldly consideration. It is his work to preserve a living connection with God, to engage with heart and soul in the great scheme of redemption, and to show, in his life and character, the excellency of God’s commandments in contrast with the customs and precepts of the world.

Every soul that has made a profession of Christ has pledged himself to be all that it is possible for him to be as a spiritual worker, to be active, zealous, and efficient in his Master’s service. Christ expects every man to do his duty; let this be the watchword throughout the ranks of His followers.” (Same, p.460)

In summary, the cost to bear this solemn message of the hour is but a tiny thing in return for the two -fold glory that God has promised us–

1. The be among the 144,000 end-time servants in the Loud Cry

2. To be with our great King for eternity.

Is this reward not worth the price?  Soon the few will turn into a “great multitude” (Rev. 7:9). But we must first be willing to be a –laborer in the tough harvest field of “first fruits” , our SDA church.

Think about this.

“And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.” (Matthew 20:6)

 

 

“Gathered One by One”

February 4, 2017

isaiah-27

In Isaiah 27:12 we read —

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel.”

Recently we have posted about the 144,000 and as such it would be helpful now to show from God’s word how such gathering of His people  shall occur. Let us read from Inspiration–

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

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

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

   “And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Word of prophecy in this connection, “that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 

And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel.” Isa. 11:11, 12; 27:12.

   Since, therefore, history, logic, and scripture combine their evidences to prove unconditionally that God has preserved the genealogy of the chosen branch of the human race forward from Adam to Noah (Matt. 1:1-17), and backward from Jesus to Adam (Luke 3:23-38), He must, then, for a consistent reason, also have preserved  the identity of the elect today. 

And this we see, is precisely what He has done in His designating the lineage of the 144,000, as “of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” Rev. 7:4.  And though we know not what we are, and cannot ever of ourselves tell, the One Who knows all about us, even to the last hair of each head, knows our precise ancestry, although those of us who are to be gathered from the seed of Jacob are, says the prophet, as the sand of the sea,” ..” (Tract 8, p. 9-11)

Isa. 51:1, 2 — “Hearken to Me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.  Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.”

God advises His people of today to hearken unto Him.  They are those who are endeavoring to obtain righteousness, those who are seeking the Lord, and who are anxious to have a revival and reformation among them.  They are now urged to look to the rock whence they are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence they are digged.

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. 

To find who these seekers of righteousness really are, there are several genealogical facts to consider: (1) Only the citizens of the kingdom of Judah (the two-tribe kingdom, Judah and Benjamin) received the title Jews.  (2) Those of the ten-tribe kingdom (the kingdom of Israel) were scattered among the nations, and there they completely lost their identity.  (3) The Christian church herself is an upshoot of the Jewish church and nation — the Apostles and her followers, up to about 35 A.D. were all Jews.  Then it was that again a multitude of Jews lost their identity by calling themselves “Christians.”  Comparatively speaking, only a few Jews, from the Kingdom of Judah, have preserved their national title, Jews.

The descendants of the early Christian Jews and the descendants of the ten tribes, down the stream of time must have increased to a great innumerable multitude, for Abraham’s seed was to be as the sand of the sea for multitude.  It is, therefore, obvious that the few identified Jews of today are not the only descendants of Abraham’s, but that many of the Gentiles must be of Abraham.  Since this mixed up situation exists, hardly any one can really say for sure that he is not one of Abraham’s children. 

Perhaps many of the nations whom the world calls Gentiles are the children of Abraham.  We do not know for sure who is who.  God, however, has kept a perfect genealogical record, for He says: “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.” Psa. 87:4-6.

Furthermore, though one be of Gentile blood, if he truly accepts Christ he by his spiritual birth becomes of the seed of Abraham for says Inspiration, “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Gal. 3:29.  The children of Abraham here addressed, therefore, are not to be sought among the identified unbelieving Jews, but among the Christians. 

They are admonished to look to Abraham and Sarah, and to consider that when God called Abraham, though he was alone, he nevertheless obeyed and God blessed him; that in spite of all the apparent impossibilities with both him and Sarah, He increased him.  What if you personally and alone were called by His word, as was Abraham, to stand alone for Truth and righteousness, would you be a hero for God as was Abraham, or would you do as did backsliding Judas Iscariot? (Timely Greetings, vol. 1, no.37, p.10-12)

 

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

“Yet,” that is, in spite of the fact that the children of Israel were to be scattered throughout the nations, and rejected, be no longer God’s people, yet in spite of all these, both the descendants of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah (all the children of Jacob) were to be multiplied as the sand of the sea by the time they are reaccepted and thus become the sons of the living God through the Saviour, Jesus Christ.

   From this scripture you note that this multitude of sons of Jacob are not the identified Jews of today, but rather the lost descendants of Judah and Israel, of those who were assimilated by the Gentile nations and by the early Christian church by taking upon themselves the title “Christians,” of those who thus lost their racial and national identity.  From all these, after having been scattered throughout the Gentile nations, and after having lost their identity, are to come the sons of God that are projected in this allegorical prophecy. 

Thus many of us who suppose to be of the Gentile nations may at long last discover that we are of the lost tribes of Judah and Israel, and of the apostolic Christian Jews.  Though none of us really know our genealogy very far back, yet God Who knows even the number of hairs on one’s head has kept an accurate genealogical record of each of us. 

So He says: “I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know Me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was orn 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.” Psa. 87:4-6. (Timely Greetings, vol.2, no.21, p.5-7)

Ok this is quite alot for us to digest. Let us summarize this week’s lesson.

1) The original Christians were all Jews, and they assimilated through out the world. Therefore today we of ourselves cannot tell who is who.

2) The Lord has kept track of the bloodline from Abraham, to the apostolic Jews, to the current Christians today.

3) The Lord shall set His hand a “second time” to recover His people, His “chosen branch” the 144,000. For the purpose of setting up an “ensign” ( which means a sign  –  the Loud Cry headquarters in Israel for the world to come into and from out of BABYLON).

4) The 144,000 blood line can be traced back to one of the “tribes of Israel.” These are not Gentiles, according to God but of the Jewish line down from Abraham.

5) Some who we think as Gentiles today can be from the “lost tribes of Judah and Israel”. Though if not, by acceptance of Christ they are “spiritually” born into the seed of Abraham.

6) In the future there will be so many Christians (the house of Israel) by acceptance of the Truth, they shall be “as the sands of the sea.”

7) The current identifiable Jews of today are not God’s remnant people, rather the scattered multitude from all over the world are to be found His true remnant.

Amen Lord, thanks and praise Your Holy Name, for You have faithfully kept track of Your people, our only part is to —accept , proclaim and live Your Truth.

Judgment of the Dead to the Living, the Present Truth Message

January 28, 2017

sanctuary

Seventh-day Adventists know well that the judgment for the dead started in 1844, in the heavenly sanctuary. But what is not so clear is the  subject of the judgment for the living. This should not be, because the Lord sent us the Elijah prophet to explain these things in detail. What you are about to read is deep. It delves into the aspects of the judgment for the living.

Recently I was on a phone study and the speakers discussed this very topic. Although not personally well versed in this deep topic, I could see that even among advanced present truth believers there is confusion about it. Some believed that the judgment for the living started in 1930  (when the Elijah message came to the SDA church), others believed that this judgment is yet future.

This is important my brothers and sister–very important. This passing of judgment of the dead to the living is about to take place yet nearly all SDA members (save the present truth students) know little or nothing about the specifics. Let us now look at this subject.

“Are all the living judged and sealed under the seventh seal? Or have some been considered before its opening?  To answer this question we quote Revelation 8:3, “And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.”  Note, the prayer is offered for all saints.  No one, knowing God’s truth, would dare pray for the dead, for it is abomination in God’s sight; much less would an angel commit such sin.

   The Psalmist declares that prayers for the dead are the invention of the heathen, “They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.  Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brakes in upon them.” (Psa. 106:28, 29.)  “The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence. (Psa. 115:17.)  If the dead praise not God, how can an angel offer a prayer for them before God?

   The phrase, “all saints,” has reference to all the living who are to be judged.  Evidently this is done under the seventh seal.  If “all,” then it is definite that all the living saints are counted under the seventh seal.  Thus, with the opening of the last seal, commences the judgment for all the living saints.  Let nothing confuse you on this point.  If we say the prayers of all saints had some connection with the dead, then they should have been offered at the commencement of the judgment — the opening of the first seal, for after the judgment the prayers cannot profit them.

   Note the words at the opening of the judgment for the dead in 1844: “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.” (Rev. 5:8.)  Mark that no angel offered a prayer, but the prayers of the saints were presented by the beasts and elders through praise by harps, and golden vials full of odours, that is, there was no prayer offered for the dead, but their prayers which they had prayed, being recorded while they were yet alive, were presented before the throne. 

The 144,000 are sealed before the silence “of half an hour,” or at the opening of the seal, but they are judged in the period of the seventh seal, for the prayer was for “all” saints — the living.

   Is there any way whereby we can determine the time of the opening of the seal, and the commencement of the judgment for the living?  If God so faithfully revealed to the living the commencement of the judgment for the dead, it cannot be possible that He would keep secret the time of the judgment for the living.  If He did, we would have no present truth in the time of the last seal; neither could there be justice in such secrecy, nor could such judgment be legal. 

Therefore, a revelation of the judgment for the living, is of as great importance as the revelation of the gospel itself.  For the judgment (blotting out the sins) is the crowning act in the gospel of Christ.  Thus we conclude that when the seal is opened, and the judgment for the living begins, we must know it.  The day of atonement in its type proves the same, for the Israelites were well informed of the event, their duty, and the consequence.

   The date of that most glorious event for the righteous, but exceeding solemn for the wicked, will be made known at the fulfillment of the following verse: “And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings and an earthquake.” (Rev. 8:5.) 

The casting of the fire from the altar into the earth is the outpouring of the Spirit of God.  We have stated before that the book of Revelation is a revealing of prophecies, and not a prophecy of itself.  Therefore, we find the prediction of this glorious event in Joel 2:28, 29.  The “voices, and thunderings, and lightnings,” denote the opening of the judgment for the living, as they also denote the opening of the judgment for the dead. (See Rev. 4:5.)  The earthquake will be the sign of the event.” (Shepherd’s Rod, vol. 2, p.219-221)

In the parable of the ten virgins, we know that there will be foolish virgins, who upon learning that they don’t have the necessary oil, will frantically go to those who do have extra oil (truth) in their possession. This truth for us as His remnant people is the knowledge of the judgment for the living message.

Those who have felt a serious need for truth, those who have not thought that they were all filled up with truth and in need of nothing, were guided into all truth (John 16:13). In short, we must have a sincere desire for truth today, and that truth for us, the present truth, is the judgment for the living message.

“..there must come a day of reckoning, a day when the names of those who are found unworthy of eternal life will be blotted out of the Lamb’s Book of Life — a proceeding for which the only correct term can be, “investigative judgment.”

   And now that the “time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God…,” “thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. 2:3), for “if it [the judgment] first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1 Pet. 4:17.

   Since, therefore, in the fullness of time, the judgment will begin in the house of God, the church, each one is confronted with the imperative need to know

How Names Are Retained In The Book.

   At the moment we accept Christ as our personal Saviour through the Word of Truth, — at that supreme moment God forgives us our sins, and the hands bloodstained by Calvary inscribe our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Then simultaneously the pen of angels begins in the heavenly ledger the life or death chronicle of our Christian experience separate from our past. Even “the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matt. 10:30.

Therefore “suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error.” Eccles. 5:6. For in the investigative judgment the books are opened and the deeds done in the flesh are brought to light for a final reckoning before the Ancient of days. All who have stood fast to the end will then forever have their sins blotted from the books and their names retained therein; while all who are not overcomers will then forever have their sins retained in the books and their names blotted therefrom.

   Always man’s greatest test, and one which has ever involved almost an instantaneous decision, has been in the unrolling of the scroll — in the eclipse of a past message by a new one, — present truth. On every such occasion each one has had to decide: Shall I heed the new and unpopular truth and walk in its light, joining with those who are despised by nearly every religious leader in the land? or shall I allow myself to be deterred by the decision and counsel of the ministry in my church?

   When the judgment begins and the books open and the cases of each generation pass in succession in review before the judicial tribunal, some generations suffer an almost wholesale blotting out of names instead of sins. When the generation of Christ’s first advent is weighed in the balance of the sanctuary, a whole nation will be found wanting and their names will be wiped from the book.

And so in varying degree it has been at the introduction of every message in every age. “Different periods in the history of the church have each been marked by the development of some special truth, adapted to the necessities of God’s people at that time. Every new truth has made its way against hatred and opposition; those who were blessed with its light were tempted and tried.” — The Great Controversy, p. 609.

   Accordingly, “when a message comes in the name of the Lord to His people, no one may excuse himself from an investigation of its claims.” — Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, p. 65. Lay aside all prejudices, self-opinions, and ideas of men who bear not the mark of Inspiration, and who say in effect by their actions: “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing” (truth or prophets). Rev. 3:17.

   The Bible can be rightly explained only by the Spirit Who dictated it. He “will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come” that ye may “be established in the present truth.” And “whosoever…blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost [speaketh evil against the message] it shall not be forgiven” him: for it is the only means whereby we may be saved (John 16:13; 2 Pet. 1:12; Luke 12:10).

   Consequently, the greatest danger of the people has not been their listening to error but rather their rejecting present truth. “If a message comes,” saith the Lord, “that you do not understand, take pains that you may hear the reasons the messenger may give,…then produce your strong reasons; for your position will not be shaken by coming in contact with error.” — Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, pp. 65, 66. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” 1 Cor. 10:12.

   Clearly, therefore, any attitude which disposes one not to make a candid investigation of any message that purports to be additional truth, must inevitably bring ruin upon oneself. While on the other hand he who accepts the truth but fails faithfully to live and to proclaim it, thereby brings upon himself ruin also — that against which Ezekiel warns:

“When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock [a message] before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.” Ezek. 3:20, 21. But the wicked shall “be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.” Ps. 69:28.

Thus solidly established, the foregoing position on the investigative judgment makes all opposing positions Unfounded Conclusions.  (Tract 3, p. 8-12)

The “Extra Oil” in our Vessels

December 24, 2016

five-virgins

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

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

seal-in-forehead

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

zechariah-4-picture

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

“Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.”

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

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

 

Satan’s Last Deception

November 26, 2016

satan-deception

A couple weeks back, I was having the church lunch and my wife and I happened to sit by a brother we’ll call brother P. He is a well studied SDA brother and even holds a class after Sabbath services. Over the years I have provided him with much material in the form of CD’s, DVD’s and Tracts. But during our lunch it became apparent that the following prophecy from the Spirit of Prophecy is truly being fulfilled right now.

The Last Deception of Satan

Satan is … constantly pressing in the spurious—to lead away from the truth. The very last deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God’s remnant people in the true testimony.—Letter 12, 1890. 1SM 48.3

There will be a hatred kindled against the testimonies which is satanic. The workings of Satan will be to unsettle the faith of the churches in them, for this reason: Satan cannot have so clear a track to bring in his deceptions and bind up souls in his delusions if the warnings and reproofs and counsels of the Spirit of God are heeded.—Letter 40, 1890.

I was familiar with these words of Inspiration but sometimes you witness an experience that reminds you of the clear truth of it. Such was the case with brother P. We started out discussing some Scripture, specifically about the woman of Revelation 17. We went into it and he was quasi convinced (not thoroughly) that the woman could not be the Roman Catholic church solely, but a composite of the world’s history of false religion.

But the conversation soon turned to the subject of how we are saved. He mentioned that we are saved by grace, which I totally agreed with. However I mentioned that we must not have one spot or stain upon our character or we’ll not make the Kingdom. He said , “where do you get that?” I responded from the Testimonies, vol.5, p.214. I didn’t have the Testimonies with me but for explanation it reads–

“Not one of us will ever receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them. It is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters, to cleanse the soul temple of every defilement. Then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the Day of Pentecost.” 

He responded, “we are to use the Bible first and foremost.”  I concurred but said that SOP was God’s Truth as well and it was under Inspiration. It’s light was a compliment to the Bible and helped us know more of God’s will.

But he genuinely did not appear comfortable agreeing with me that SOP was God’s word. His attitude was if it’s not in the Bible, it’s not worth knowing about. And that is when the aforementioned Inspired words came back to me. I thought  –how true!

Then he proceeded to explain more on how we are saved. He basic ideas were that Christ’s sacrifice covers our sins. This of course is true but as the ol saying goes –“we are saved FROM our sins not IN them.”

I again pointed out that if one has an habitual sin (drinking coffee or tea for example)then that one has a “spot or stain” upon one’s soul and thus is in direct opposition of God’s word as explained by SOP(See Counsel on Diet and Foods, p.425) . Further the Bible is clear on this point I said —

“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.” (Hebrews 10:26-27)

Satan is pulling out all stops right now as he knows his time is almost over. And the Testimonies give us much guidance on our walk and our ways that will please God. But if one has some sins he cherishes then it will be clear that any Inspired words that exposes them (such as the Testimonies) , are not welcomed.

“..be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23)

To help explain how the SOP writings are needed to help clarify certain areas that the Lord wanted clarified, I asked him –where in the Bible does it say that Ezek. 9 and Rev. 7 sealings/markings are one and the same? He did not know and then I pointed out that this knowledge was given us through Testimonies to Ministers, p.445.  This did not seem to make any important point to him and again, I was brought back to further truth from God’s word–

“.. they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” (2 Thes. 2:10)

We have pointed this out time and again, we MUST love the truth even if it goes against what we have been taught or think. For the Truth is –Christ

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”(John 14:6)

In our closing moments of our SDA probation we must remember that we, as His remnant church will be the “first”  to be judged , when the Lord begins the Judgment for the Living (See Testimonies vol. 5, p.211)

So where would we stand if we disregarded the Testimonies (SOP) ? We wouldn’t know that Ezek.9 and Rev. 7 are one and the same sealing , and that the SDA church is the first to experience God’s judgments. God does not bring His messengers for no reason. His message is to be heeded. SOP explains more about people like brother P–

“If we do our very best to present the truth in its stirring character, crossing the opinions and ideas of others, it will be misinterpreted, misapplied, and misstated, to those who are entertaining error, in order to make it appear in an objectionable light. There are few to whom you bring the truth, who have not been drinking of the wine of Babylon. It is hard for them to comprehend the truth, therefore the necessity of teaching it as it is in Jesus.”—(Review and Herald,  June 3, 1890)

Let us remember that we are under assault from the Satanic forces emerging from all angles.And as we have learned their very last deception is ongoing right now–unbelief in the Testimonies. Many are telling us “forget about SOP.” Ok what if we do? The following is just a small smidgen of what we would not know.

  1. As mentioned the sealing of Ezek. 9 and Rev. 7 are one and the same. John described the sealing, Ezekiel described what happened to those not sealed. Both angles are shown us.(Testimonies to Min. p.445)
  2. What “virgins” mean in Rev.14:4. (Christ Object Lessons , p.406)
  3. What the winds mean in Rev. 7 (Testimonies vol. 5, p.152)
  4. Coffee and Tea drinking is a sin (Counsels on Diet and Foods, p.425)
  5. And hundreds of other Truth nuggets

God’s truth is progressing and for us as SDA, we must know who He has spoken through as His vision of Zech. 4  pointed out last week. Two prophets in the last days are sent–Sister Ellen White and Brother Victor Houteff. Don’t be fooled that their message is  irrelevant and not needed, that’s what Satan wants you to think. God says of those He sends “Listen”. Satan and his workers say, “No need to listen”.

 

 

The Unpopular Truth Shall Triumph

November 5, 2016

144000

In Revelation 14:1 we read–

“Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.”

Someday very soon the above picture will be reality. God’s word says so.  Yet we as Elijah messengers often think to ourselves that because it seems that so few are interested in the Lord’s final sealing message,there just cannot be found 144,000 among us SDA until a long long time from now.

In our last post for example we relayed how there was no interest in studying a group we are told to “strive with ALL power God has given us”(RH, March 9, 1905) and be a part of, the 144,000. With this kind of lack of interest, and believe me this is typical with  the Elijah messengers, it seems as if Satan has successfully placed our people in a deep sleep and the promised 144,000 won’t be found any time soon. Yet our Lord sent this message to uplift us–

Isa. 66:7 — “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.”

   The Jewish church, the church into which and by which Jesus was born, Inspiration declares, neither travailed nor had pain; that is, she felt neither need of nor burden for a Saviour, and yet in spite of it, He was born.

   But speaking of the children that are to make up the Kingdom, we read:

Isa. 66:8 — “Who hath heard such a thing?  who hath seen such things?  Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day?  or shall a nation be born at once?  for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”

   Although the Jewish church in Jesus’ day travailed not, yet she brought forth the Son of God!  But when Zion travaileth she brings forth all her children at once, a whole nation!  A miracle in each instance.

   How may Zion travail? — Let us turn to the natural realm: In nature, the mother carries a child, then travails and gives birth to it.  How else, then, in the spiritual realm can Zion travail without first carrying her children before they are born?  To be specific, when one joins the church, she is pregnant with him so to speak.  When she is thus carrying her children, then they shall all be born at once, — they shall all at once receive their second birth, the birth here mentioned.

And as Inspiration makes it clear that they must be born again, they all at the outset must be in the same state of mind as was Nicodemus — ashamed to be seen in the company of present Truth believers, ashamed to be associated with believers of unpopular Truth.

   Plainly, then, our efforts to reach the people with the message of a “second birth” shall not be in vain: Zion shall bring forth all her children, as it were, in one day.  And that is why we cannot be driven to despair or to discouragement.  We are assured that “revival and reformation” will take place among all God’s people, that His word will not return unto Him void.

   Now, who could the children be? — To be children of Zion, they must some day stand on Zion.  They are therefore none other than the “firstfruits” of whom the Revelator says: “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads.” Rev. 14:1.

   From the Scriptures it is now clearly seen that in this instance when one joins the church, the church becomes pregnant with that member.  Thus it is that from the time one becomes a member of the church to the time he is “born again,” he is spiritually developing for the hour of this second birth.  Then, after he is “born again” he is still to keep on growing until he becomes a full-grown, matured, spiritual being — a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of Christ, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.  Accordingly, this state of being no one has as yet reached, but the time is now at hand when a multitude shall reach it, for says the Lord:

Isa. 66:9 — “Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth?  saith the Lord: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb?  saith thy God.”

   This scripture endeavors to remove all doubt.  Let us believe the Lord and know for certain that the time for this particular new birth is here and that the Lord can and will make it possible regardless how it may appear to us. (Timely Greeting, vol. 1, no.49, p.7-9)

Oh what a promise! Despite how we see little or no acceptance of His unpopular Truth  a
“nation”, the 144,000, shall come forth in “one day”.

Those of us who are experienced in the Elijah message work know all too well that despite decades of a few main DSDA organizations working to spread this message, the grand total membership from all of these are well below the 144,000. That means that the original type “Elijah” is also our type (anti-type) in saying or thinking the following,

“Then Elijah said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away...I still have left in Israel seven thousand followers who have not bowed their knees to Baal or kissed the images of him.”(1 Kings, 19:14, 18)

We also seem to say to ourselves and sometimes to others that few are following His final message yet as we see there is “7000”, which is a complete number of thousands (7) of which the Lord knows and we don’t. In other words, the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists organizations, although not nearly consisting of the 144,000 now, will be joined by the unknowns, most likely in our SDA churches.

Soon the faithful walking in all the light they know, dress reform, diet reform, worship reform, etc. and having no guile in their mouth will have to come up to speed on the Elijah message in a very short period of time.

“Some of us have had time to get the truth, and to advance step by step, and every step we have taken has given us strength to take the next. But now time is almost finished, and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months. They will also have much to unlearn, and much to learn again.”(Early Writings, p.67)

But right now the Lord’s message of Elijah is just about as popular as was our King Himself when, after gaining a sizable following many of His followers deserted Him because He declared —

He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in himMany of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?…From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” (John 6:56,60,66)

The Truth as seen from above can be difficult, strange, and just plain hard to comprehend yet it is still the Truth and must be followed. In Revelation  14:4 we read —

“These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they are virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They have been redeemed from among men as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb”

“They follow the Lamb wherever He goes.”?  Yes the Truth that springs from our King, strange , difficult and most unpopular is the 144,000’s path, their passion their hope. Yet it leads them often to be dis-fellowshipped, murmured against, unpopular, seen as strange or overzealous, fanatical and God knows what else. But they continue to follow the Lamb!

Can we imagine back in our King’s day, after He spoke those strange words about eating His flesh and drinking His blood how the masses, particularly the Pharisaic leaders, said things like, “Stay away from this man, he is not right and delusional.”

Apostle Paul knew all too well that the faithful followers would have to bear the burden of unpopularity.

“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Gal. 1:10)

Fast forward to today, we see the same sentiments against the Elijah messengers, the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists. The leaders, Pastors, Elders, Deacons, etc., upon the mention of the Shepherd’s Rod, will most likely say, “Stay away from them, they are an off shoot with false ideas and teachings.”

The Truth in both cases took the followers down a path that was unpopular. So today those who are stepping forward with the Lord’s final message of Elijah must lean on the Lord heavily because they will see and feel the rejection that has always accompanied the true believers.

The Elijah message says–
“When a message from the Lord is proclaimed to the church, those who would rather stay with the church than be cast out for the truth’s sake by its unsanctified members are baptized into the church but not into Christ.” (Sym. Code, vol. 2, no.7-8, p.10)

To those who are now a part of this message, our King gives us comfort–

“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. I will gather the afflicted from the solemn assembly; those who were with you, who were bearing a burden of disgrace.Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.” (Zeph.3:17-19)

Um, “outcast”? From what? You got it the very churches that proclaim to be God’s house! The Jews praised the Lord upon removing the offshoots (Christians) from their midst and now today the same blinded leaders think they are doing a good service in dis-fellowshipping and ignoring those who proclaim the Lord’s Rod message (Micah 6:9).

Hang tight all you who are enduring the rejection and ignorance because you proclaim an unpopular Truth, the tide is going to turn shortly.

“Bright Clouds Bring Gentle Rain”

August 20, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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BRIGHT CLOUDS BRING GENTLE RAIN

TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,

MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS

SABBATH, NOVEMBER 30, 1946

MT. CARMEL CHAPEL WACO, TEXAS  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   The victory shall be so complete that even the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Milk or Meat?

July 9, 2016

Milk and meat

As many of us Bible students know the Bible is full of symbolic terms and ideas. One of those is the describing of God’s word as either milk or meat. This is significant because both of these terms are specific and should be understood in their intended meaning.

When we were babies, was any of us provided a steak dinner? Of course not. Our food for the first few months was largely milk. This provided just what we needed and could handle, we were way too underdeveloped for the stronger foods such as meat. But in the spiritual realm there is an important distinction between these two symbolic meanings–Milk and Meat. Let us look at this important understanding.

In Isaiah we read —

“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine?Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.”? (Isa.28:9-10)

As a baby we have to grow and as such there comes a time when we have to be weaned off milk. Milk no longer provides all the essentials we need, like more iron and other minerals and especially protein. All this can be correlated to God’s word.

Inspiration addresses the above quote–

“The obvious lesson is that at the time one is converted (born again) to Christ, he is but a babe in the Christian life, and needs for the time being to be fed, as a new born babe, on the “sincere milk of the Word,” that he “may grow thereby.” 1 Pet. 2:2.

   Through the apostle Paul, Inspiration interprets this milk to be “the first principles of the oracles of God.” Heb. 5:12.  And through Isaiah, It asks: “Whom shall He teach knowledge?  and whom shall He make to understand doctrine?”  Then, answering Its own questions, It declares: “Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.” Isa. 28:9.(Tract 14, p.36-37)

This is something we can all relate to. From a personal testimony I remember when I first came into the truth of God’s word, particularly the Sabbath truth, that is all I wanted and desired. The holy 10 Commandments and the Sabbath truth was such an all-consuming subject that I desired little else such as the deeper prophecies.In fact, during the first couple of years during my walk, I actually was a little turned off by those who propounded the prophecies primarily. I thought they were just not that important. But I was a babe, looking back, and the meat was viewed as too much, or not needed.

But as I continued to study, the Great Guider the Spirit of Truth, began to show me the deeper things of the word. This can be pictured as a stair step. We all need to start on the bottom step and walk up one step at a time. But we do need to advance, lest we become stagnate!

Those that stay on a certain step can be likened  to continuing to want to drink milk. This can lead to deficiencies, spiritually speaking of God’s word–His meat.

You see brethren the deeper things, the Lord’s prophecies, are what we as grown ups must have spiritually to grow. Yet what are we given each quarter for our Sabbath school studies?  Mostly milk in the form of our quarterly lesson books. Take a close look at them.

For example the current SDA Adult Sabbath School Bible study guide has lessons such as —

— Justice and mercy in the Old Testament

— Loving your neighbor

— Jesus showed sympathy

Now, these are truths that give us encouragement and good solid lessons, but these are continual to the point of over feeding us milk. We all should know these things because they are foundational and help us to know the basic love of God and of one to another, but there are truths such as prophecies that expound the deep lessons of God’s love in such a way to truly make us awestruck and enlightened with His last day moves to save His church from Satan, who is now in control.

If you don’t think this true, just read Rev. 12 and what Satan has done since the days of Constantine. A worldly flood has nearly overcome the church! See our post here –https://godsloveandlaw.com/2015/03/21/the-church-and-the-dragon/

Only those who are still feeding on milk would not know that Satan has taken over ALL churches , including our own beloved SDA church.

One other note we’d like to point out is that if our study guides do contain mention of some prophecies, they are likely to be interpreted incorrectly or incompletely. Such is the case with our latest quarterly study guide in regards to Ezek. 37 and 47. But there is no reason for such oversight or mistakes. Our Lord provided His messenger with the correct interpretation, if we’ll only seek it out and  prayerfully read it!

“And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.” (Isa. 4:1)

Isaiah clearly shows us that in our last days all “seven” women, meaning churches,  universally and completely, are eating their own bread ( a man-made mixture of true and false doctrines and prophecies) yet claiming to be walking as a true Christian. Our SDA church is not excluded.

Satan knows  that if he can lull us to sleep with milk feeding, and hold back the prophecies and their correct interpretations, the people will not know the Lord’s next moves neither his own devious plans.

For instance, nearly all us SDA have been fooled into thinking that the next big move upon the world is the Sunday Law. But those who study the prophecies know well that this cannot be so. So he is playing with us much as a cat plays with a mouse. He’s got all those who fall for his tricks by refusing to want God’s meat, His prophetic words and instructions therein.

Why is this important? Because if we believe that the next move by the Lord is the setting up of the Sunday law,  we then will not expect Him when He “suddenly” comes to His temple (church)(Mal. 3:1-5).

“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.” (Mal.3:1)

The word “suddenly” denotes a surprise, an unexpected coming.

Last week we ended our two-part post of Hosea. This is a classic example of what “meat” is. These deep prophetic lessons show us what God has done and will do very shortly to reclaim His church.

Another example is a personal one I’d like to relate. For a good two years now I have attended our local church’s at home studies. Each week we hold a weekly study on God’s word at different homes of our members. But there has been almost a total neglect of prophecies in the studies. Milk is given over and over again. God cannot be pleased about this.

How many of us would want to see our children stay stunted for years and years, even well into the later years of life? Or see our older children still reading comic books and watching cartoons regularly?

The Spirit of Prophecy sheds light on how we must advance and keep pace with the Truth.

“The sanctified soul will not be content to remain in ignorance, but will desire to walk in the light and to seek for greater light. As a miner digs for gold and silver, so the follower of Christ will seek for truth as for hidden treasures, and will press from light to a greater light, ever increasing in knowledge. He will continually grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.” (Review and Herald, June 17, 1890)

Apostle Paul, speaking the words of the Lord said-

“Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy..” (1 Cor. 14:39)

The final words of our Lord bring home the great important  of prophecy–

“And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10)

To be sure Satan knows that prophecies are very important to God’s people. Therefore, to those who do attempt to begin to eat meat, they must be on guard as this area has been tampered with by the great deceiver as well.He knows that the superficial students can buy seemingly plausible ideas yet when looked closely they crumble like a sandy foundation.

“No one is lost for believing a false interpretation of a prophecy before the truth of it is revealed, provided the false interpretation does not draw him away from some other truth.  Such individuals, however, are in great danger because, as history reveals, very few who become thus involved in error are willing to humble themselves by renouncing their errors and accepting the truth when it is made known.  They are consequently in constant peril of sinning against the Holy Ghost.  And being acutely aware of this, Satan misinterprets the prophecies before they are divinely revealed.” (Tract 5, p.7)

The above message is packed with divine instructions. For example, we as SDA members have been led to believe the misinterpreted prophecy of Daniel 2 that claims that the rock that comes from the mountain is Christ. However, the Lord’s final messenger has soundly corrected that false idea. Instead of it being a narrow vision of simply Christ coming on the last day to destroy the world, it is instead a enthralling story of how Christ uses his final army of servants (the rock) to destroy the world’s kingdom symbolically and become a “great mountain” during the Loud Cry.

The prophet also exposed another example of how we can be hood winked into believing false prophecy if we are not serious students.

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

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

   Thus, plainly, the interpretation of the seven trumpets, as it is found in Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation, was not originated by the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.  But their placing upon it their endorsement makes it appear as Seventh-day Adventist doctrine.  In other words, the theories of uninspired men having the S.D.A. stamp of approval, are made to appear to the S.D.A. laity as genuine S.D.A. Bible doctrines. 

This goes to show that the majority of Seventh-day Adventists, right along with others, do not ask, “Is it true, — in harmony with God’s word? but, By whom is it advocated?” — Testimonies to Ministers, p.106.  And if the theory comes through a popular channel, they as a rule unquestionably accept it! (Tract 5, p.7-9)

In the book of Hebrews we find further light on our subject and Paul rebukes those who fail to advance from milk to meat —

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. Everyone who lives on milk is still an infant, inexperienced in the message of righteousness. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb. 5:12-14)

Wow, strong meat helps us to know good from evil! Sounds like just what the Doctor ordered. Imagine sitting down to a most delicious feast, enjoying all the satisfying nourishment our bodies can take. This is what it feels like to those of us who have tasted His “meat” and found ourselves very satisfied!

In closing my beloved, we should not remain babies and subside on milk only, but get our nourishment from the deep truths of God–the meat of His word. In this way we advance with His truth and spiritually grow up.

 


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