Archive for the ‘Present Truth’ Category

A Message straight to Laodicea (Part 1 of 2)

December 9, 2017

Image result for Laodicea picture

This week in our studies we came across a profound and powerful truth packed message which we would like to share. May you be blessed and enlightened.

“Dear Brethren in Laodicea, do you know that prophecy positively declares that the people of God in the Laodicean church are in a critically dangerous condition and know it not? Well, Brethren, whether or not you realize it, whether or not you believe it, that precisely is the case. And if you hope to enter into eternal life, you must believe it, and that without delay. Whatever else you may believe or disbelieve, this one thing you must believe, “for it is the True Witness who speaks, and his testimony must be correct.” –Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 253.

And remember that above all people, the Laodiceans should not only be the last but the least inclined to criticize, for they themselves, says the True Witness, are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked,” without so much even as suspecting it, but instead blissfully imagining that they are “rich, and increased with goods, and” in “need of nothing.” Rev. 3:17. How, then, can they be in a position truly to know anything about others!

Think, Brethren, and rouse to life! This voice, pleading with you to awake and avert the Enemy’s pitfalls cannot possibly be the Enemy’s voice! Remember that the Lord “surprises us by revealing His power through instruments of His own choice, while He passes by the men to whom we have looked as those through whom light should come. God desires us to receive the truth upon its own merits,–because it is truth.”–Testimonies to Ministers, p. 106.

“No matter by whom light is sent, we should open our hearts to receive it with the meekness of Christ….We should all know what is being taught among us; for if it is truth, we need it.”–Gospel Workers, p. 301.

“The great danger with our people has been that of depending upon men, and making flesh their arm. Those who have not been in the habit of searching the Bible for themselves, or weighing evidence, have confidence in the leading men and accept the decisions they make; and thus many will reject the very messages God sends to His people, if these leading brethren do not accept them.”–Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 106, 107.

“He will use men for the accomplishment of His purpose whom some of the brethren would reject as unfit to engage in the work.”–The Review and Herald, Feb. 9, 1895.

In the light of these warnings, will you not take time carefully and prayerfully to ascertain whether or not God is leading in this reformatory work? He has promised to all who will do this, that He will not leave them in darkness but will guide them into all Truth. So will you not take Him at His Word, and try Him?

We plead with you to, for already “the agencies of evil are combining their forces, and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world,” says Inspiration, “and the final movements will be rapid ones….The time is coming when in their fraud and insolence men will reach a point that the Lord will not permit them to pass, and they will learn that there is a limit to the forbearance of Jehovah….Those who hold the reins of government are not able to solve the problem of moral corruption, poverty, pauperism! and increasing crime. They are struggling in vain to place business operations on a more secure basis….Soon everything that can be shaken will be shaken, that those things that can not be shaken may remain….

“It is impossible to give any idea of the experience of the people of God who shall be alive upon the earth when celestial glory and a repetition of the persecutions of the past are blended. They will walk in the light proceeding from the throne of God. By means of the angels there will be constant communication between heaven and earth.”–Testimonies, Vol. 9, pp. 11, 13, 15, 16.

In view of these solemn realities even now looming before our eyes, no longer, Brother Sister, hide yourself in the darkness. Stand in the light, lest you stumble and fall and not be found. Come, take time, and

Let Us Reason Together.

The Laodicean church, the last of the seven churches (Rev. 2, 3), being figurative of the Christian church in her last period, our time, the message on record to her is therefore the last message to the church. So, plainly, if there is any Bible subject essential for the church to study, the message to the Laodiceans certainly is.

Although satisfied with their attainments, the Laodiceans who believe and take God at His Word will not question Him concerning their condition but will, whether they see it or not, acknowledge that they are in a “sad deception,” “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked.” Having honestly made this acknowledgment, they will, in consequent obedience to the True Witness’ counsel to buy of Him eyesalve which He alone can supply, anoint their eyes with it and be able to see.

Those, though, who recline in the false security of self-complacence, will pay no attention to the warning counsel, and will as a result lose everything–be spued out! Yet how few does this dread threat alarm! How few does it impel to find out where the trouble lies and how they stand! How few, indeed, does it even trouble! And O how few incline to inquire into it for fear that it may rebuke their evil course and deprive them of some sinful pleasure which they dearly cherish! Surprisingly few yet all too truly.

Then, too, there being instilled in them great fear of false prophets, and not at all awakened in them any expectation of true ones (although there can be no false where there are no true), they are now therefore almost beyond reach. And behind their careless attitude is seen the truth that “the pains of duty and the pleasures of sin are the cords with which Satan binds men in his snares” (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 53), while behind the deeply instilled fear of false prophets, is seen the false watchman’s carefulness to keep them from coming in contact with the messengers whom God has sent to them.

Our deep concern, therefore, is that there awaken an interest in you, dear Laodicean, to go to the bottom of the matter, to make sure of your salvation. So will you not be sensible and courteous enough to sit down with this lightbearer in humble,impartial, prayerful study which must repay you many, many times over what you put into it? Remember, there is a divine law that converts every honest effort into joy, a personal experience with God, and eternal life. So will you not start now to measure yourself, no longer by what you think you are or will be but by what the Lord says you are and must be? Begin your investigation with the ensuing

Seven Questions.

1. Who is Laodicea?

2. Whom does the angel represent?

3. What is meant by being wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked?

4. What is it to be “lukewarm”?

5. Why does God prefer one either cold or hot rather than lukewarm?

6. What is the eyesalve?

7. Should Laodicea fail to repent, how would her shame be uncovered?

The Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, describes the condition of each of the seven churches the last of which is the Laodicean. These churches, admittedly, portray the Christian church in seven different periods; the seventh, Laodicea, depicting her in the period just before the “harvest,” the last in which the “wheat and tares” are comingled, and the one in which she is to experience the separation of the bad from among the good (Matt. 13 :30, 47-49).

Since in her every section, the church must be true to her name (it alone being her identification), we shall therefore consider the question:

Who is Laodicea?

Laodicea may be infallibly recognized amidst the many “isms” of Christendom by the work she is doing–declaring the judgment. Indeed, this mark of identification is pointed out by the very name Laodicea, compounded of the two Greek words lao and dekei, the one meaning “people,” also “speak,” the other meaning “judgment,” the two in one meaning the people declaring judgment.

The church therefore, which declares, “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come” (Rev. 14:7), is evidently the one called Laodicea. And it is almost as well known outside Seventh-day Adventist circles as within, that the Seventh-day Adventist church is endeavoring to carry the judgment message of Revelation 14:7, and is therefore unchallenged in her claim to the title, Laodicea.

Since, therefore, the Seventh-day Adventist church is the only one proclaiming the judgment, and since each of the seven messages is addressed to the angel of the respective churches, the message to Laodicea is accordingly addressed

To the Seventh-day Adventist Angel.

According to Revelation 1:20, the “candlesticks” symbolize the churches, and the “stars” the angels (leaders) who have charge over the churches. Being the attendants of the churches, the angels are thus seen to be the ministry, whose responsibility is to have the lamps trimmed, filled with oil, and burning brightly, so that the church may give light to all about her.

Accordingly, as the Laodicean angel, him to whom the condemnatory message is sent, is symbolical of the ministry in Laodicea, he should consequently be the more anxious to discover where the trouble lies, for he is, says the Lord,

Wretched, Miserable, Poor, Blind, and Naked.

With a ministry wretched, miserable, poor blind, and naked, what church (candlestick) could possibly stay lighted? And with her light thus gone out or but flickering dimly, how could she lighten the world as God has set her to do? Through the eyes of the True Witness, therefore, the tragedy of Laodicea is starkly seen–“sleeping preachers preaching to a sleeping people” (Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 337) while a sin-benighted world plunges on hell-bent in its darkness! O what a piteous plight! And yet it is so utterly overlooked!

With both ministry and laity in such a pitiful state of darkness, it is clear to be seen that though the Laodicean church is the last in the order of the seven churches, God cannot through her lighten the world and prepare His people for the Kingdom when she is in darkness and unprepared herself. Hence the necessity of a new order, a new ministry, as predicted inTestimonies, Vol. 5, p. 80, and in Zephaniah 3:11, 12.

Then it will come to pass that “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.

In the light of these facts, the prophetic message to the angel of the Laodiceans must obviously be brought and proclaimed by someone other than the angel himself. But this, of course, is the very thing that neither the ministry nor the laity expect or wish to happen. For the sake of the faithful, nevertheless, it is happening.

So since God’s Word says that the ministry of the Laodicean church is wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked, and that neither they nor the laity are aware of the fact, it lends heavy emphasis to the statements: “Sleeping preachers preaching to a sleeping people!” (Testimonies, Vol. 2. p. 337); “the message of the True Witness finds the people of God in a sad deception, yet honest in that deception.”–Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 253.

Although they are in this horrible predicament, one which should make them tremble and fear, and give anything to get out of, yet they continue

Lukewarm–Neither Cold Nor Hot.”  (Answerer, vol. 1, p. 5-14)

Stay tuned for part 2 next week …

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Questions from the Field

November 4, 2017

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

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

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

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

        Question No. 9:

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

Answer:

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

         Question No. 17:

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

Answer:

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

       Question No. 21:

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

Answer:

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

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

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

     Question No. 28:

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

Answer:

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

      Question No. 37:

If God’s people are in the Kingdom during the Loud Cry, how can they be put in prison or driven to the mountains during that time, as the Spirit of Prophecy asserts they will (“The Great Controversy,” p. 626)?

Answer:

When it is understood that the 144,000 are but first fruits, the forerunners or advanced guard of a great multitude of second fruits, the difficulty in question is immediately resolved. The first fruits stand with the Lamb, safe on Mt. Zion (in the Kingdom). Thus those who shall find refuge in the mountains, and those who shall be put in prison, can only be from among the second fruits—those who shall accept the message during the Loud Cry, but who shall not yet at that time have reached the Kingdom. (See our Tract No. 12, The World Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, 1941 Edition, pp. 45-49.) (Answerer, vol. 2, Q-37)

        Question No. 49:

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

Answer:

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

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

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

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

Question No. 50:

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

Answer:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

The Lord Cries Out

October 21, 2017

Image result for the Lord hanging on cross crying out picture

 

Let’s face it, when we know that the almighty Lord God of the universe cries, we know it’s serious and of profound importance. Such as when we read in Matt. 27:50 —

“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the Spirit.”

In His last pleading moment upon His first advent, our Lord cried out with extreme passion. For all of humanity, this act was done, to His Father and to us His creation.

We also know that Jesus cried, albeit in a different way, when His dear friend Lazarus had died —

“Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!” (John 11:35-36)

Also we note that privately Jesus cried many times to the Father —

“Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered..” (Hebrews 5:7-8)

But as we review the Old Testament, we cannot find where our Lord “cried” except one place. This is noteworthy my brethren, very noteworthy! God does not place His Word carelessly about. Each and every Word is placed with meaning and if we find HIm crying out to us–well this must STOP US IN OUR TRACKS!  We must hear.

So where is this crying out to be found in the Old Testament, let us read–

“The LORD’S voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy Name: hear ye the Rod, and Who hath appointed it.” (Micah 6:9)

Our Lord is crying out, pleading for us to do something–to hear His Rod. This must be important my brothers and sisters for the Lord pleads with us! Not only has He bled and died an awful death for us, He foresaw that something would be so paramount, so vital, to our spiritual welfare –He cried out!

Now that we know that this instruction is so important , let us read what the Elijah prophet, sent by the Lord tells us about this pleading message.

"That the S.D.A. organization is divided over the issue of The Shepherd's Rod publications, we deeply deplore, and the more so when we stop to realize that such a break need never to have taken place, for God desired His voice, the Rod, to be heard, as He says, through His prophet: "The Lord's voice crieth unto the city [the church], and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: Hear ye the Rod, and Who hath appointed it." Mic. 6:9

   As you are among the many in the "city" to whom the Lord's voice is crying to hear the Rod and as we want to believe that you are zealous for your salvation and for the salvation of your brethren, and wholeheartedly devoted to the welfare of the denomination, we must certainly believe that you are concerned to know the truth about this serious trouble squarely facing every Seventh-day Adventist." (Tract 7, p.5-6)

“And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.” Isa. 4:2-6.

   This glorified repetition of God’s leading an exodus movement by the shepherd’s rod shows that He is again using the same method to bring modern Israel out of the nations.  Where the Jews failed to make their kingdom a working model of Theocracy, ordained solely to manifest God’s power and thus convert the world to their precious Faith, the present kingdom movement must succeed.  God’s plans know  no final failure; sooner or later, they will be carried out. (See Patriarchs and Prophets,  p. 283.)

   So today, in the antitype, “the Lord’s voice crieth unto the city [church] and the man of wisdom [the teachable] shall see thy name hear ye the rod, and Who hath appointed it.” Mic. 6:9.  “And by a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.” Hos. 12:13.

   Obviously, therefore, God will pity all who come under the authority of His rod today, confessing their sins and seeking mercy.  But He will have no mercy upon the disobedient, not even upon any who covetThe Babylonish Garment of Today.”(Tract 4, p.41-43)

 

“Behold,” says the Word, “I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”  To him shalt thou hearken.  “And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter,  when the towers fall.”  “Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far, burning with His anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue as a devouring fire: and His breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err,” “because  they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” Mal. 4:5; Isa. 30:25, 27, 28; 2 Thess. 2:10.

   Here it is seen that the prophecies and the correct interpretations thereof are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect.” 2 Tim. 3:16, 17.

   Therefore, brethren, settle it once and forever, that with the Lord’s help you will no longer be carried away by winds of doctrine that are created and driven by the spirit of error, not by the Spirit of Truth, but that you will always look for, and stand by, the Inspired Word of God — “the testimony of Jesus,” delivered to you by “the Spirit of Prophecy” (Rev. 12:17; 19:10);  that you will “hear the rod, and Who hath appointed it.” Micah 6:9. (Tract 6, p.79-80)

“We know that the Lord is speaking to His people at this very time through the publications of The Shepherd’s Rod; that the message they contain is that which “will cause a shaking among God’s people” (Early Writings, p. 270); that those who accept this counsel of the True Witness will receive the seal of God and be numbered among the 144,000 (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266); that those who reject it, will fall in the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 445; Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211) and Isaiah 66:16; and that those who “escape of them,” the 144,000, the first fruits, are to be the servants of God in the time of the Loud Cry (Rev. 14:4; Testimonies, Vol. 5 pp. 80, 81) to bring the second fruits out of “all  nations.” Isa. 66:19, 20.

   Therefore, Brethren, as we have “full assurance  of faith” that our knowledge, judgment, and faith in the S.D.A. doctrines are as sound as yours, and as you know not our position as well as we know yours, there is at least as much chance of our being right as there is of your being right.  So for your own soul’s sake, you dare not refuse to investigate.  If you close your ears to the voice of the True Witness, it will mean your eternal ruin!  This is why our hearts are troubled, why we are concerned that you investigate for yourselves, the message of the Rod. And if you are a “man of wisdom” who heeds “the Lord’s voice…unto the city,” you will “hear…the Rod,” and know “Who hath appointed it.” Mic. 6:9.

   We have unloaded our responsibility.  Now you must shoulder yours, and exercise your God-given ability and duty to make sure your eternal reward.  Risk not your crown of life on a peradventure, on any possibility of losing out after being years in the message.  What a loss, tragic loss, “world without end” that would be!  Accept this counsel and obey its demands, and your obedience will secure unto you peace and joy and life everlasting.” (Tract 7, p.71-73)

“Hear Ye the Rod, and Who Hath Appointed it.Micah 6:9.   Sunken in Laodicean slumber and sleep, “the city,” the church, in God’s merciful effort to prepare it against this day of trouble, is to be startled to life by His urgent cry:

   “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.”  Isa. 52:1.

   “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.  For, behold the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall rise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.  And the Gentiles shall come to the light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” Isa. 60:1-3.

   The church of the Laodiceans, being the last of the seven churches, is the last section of the Christian church in which the wheat and the tares are commingled.  The overcomers, the marked ones, from it, those who hear the Rod, begin the eighth section of the church — the one symbolized by the “barn” (Matt. 13:30)  and by the “vessels” (Matt. 13:48), also by the “golden candlestick” of Zechariah 4.  Of her the Lord says: “…the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.  Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” Isa. 62:2, 3. (Tract 9, p.61-62)

Questions and Answers —

How did  the name Shepherd’s Rod come about? Did Victor Houteff read Micah 6:9 and then decide to call his message the Shepherd’s Rod, thereby advancing his own cause?

“The only rod God’s people have ever been asked to hear is this “Shepherd’s Rod.”  At the time we gave the name to this book, we knew nothing about the prophecies in the book of Micah, neither did we know this passage was there.  We mean to say it is not any of our knowledge of this particular scripture that compelled us to name the book by that title, but we feel it was done by the same divine providence that brought about the entire truth, in order to fulfill the scripture.  See also explanation on page 95, under the heading “The Shepherd’s Rod.” (SRod, vol. 1, p.243)

Can you tell us what the simple basic message of the Rod is?

“It is the intention of this book to reveal the truth of the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7, but the chief object of this publication is to bring about a reformation among God’s people. The truth herein contained is divided into seven sections, giving proofs from seven different angles, to prevent any doubt or confusion. This subject is mad clear by the use of the Bible and the writings  given by the Spirit of Prophecy.
    The truth revealed here is of great importance to the church just now because of the foretold danger which God’s people are soon to meet. It calls for decided action on the part of the believers to separate themselves from all worldlings and worldliness; to anchor themselves on the Solid Rock by obedience to all the truth known to this denomination, if we must escape the great ruin. “The Lord’s voice crieth unto the city: Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.” (Micah 6:9)  (Preface to SRod vol. 1)

What significance in mentioning the Rod does Lev. 27:32 have, if any?

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

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

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

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

   The promises which they failed to realize, the Lord reassures that He will now let His people have them.” (2 TG, vol. 1, p.7-8)

 

“THE CHURCH ENTERING INTO AND IN THE HARVEST PERIOD”

September 9, 2017

Image result for picture of a wheat harvest

Brother Houteff gave this sermon on Dec. 28th , 1946  on the Church Harvest. May you be blessed.

Matt. 25:1-5 — “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.”

Again it plainly appears that the church membership is divided into two classes, the wise and the foolish.  The wise take no chances; they continually search for oil (Truth) and they fill their vessels with It at first opportunity.  The foolish, though, see no need for any more than what is in their lamps; they are satisfied with what they already have.

The oil, a substance which lightens ahead one’s path, obviously is figurative of prophetic Truth, Truth that lightens the heart by unveiling the future.  Concretely speaking, the lamp filled with oil denotes the individual’s reservoir of Truth in action, Truth that meets his needs only for the time then present.  The extra oil in the vessels, therefore, represents additional Truth, Truth that takes up where the old Truth leaves off.  In other words, the oil in the lamps and the oil in the vessels represent two revealed truths, at two different times, one following the other.  For example, while the Judgment for the Dead is Truth in action, the Judgment for the Living is Truth to go into action as soon as the Judgment for the Dead is over.

Obviously, oil that has been consumed, as is the oil in the virgins’ lamps, represents past Truth, Truth that has accomplished Its purpose; but the oil in the vessels represents Truth ready to be activated and made to shine immediately after the oil in the lamps is consumed.  Since the ten virgins represent the church membership during the Judgment for the Dead, the oil in the lamps manifestly represents the truth of the Judgment for the Dead.  The extra oil, that is in the “vessels” must, therefore, represent the truth of the Judgment for the Living, the additional Truth (Early Writings, pg. 277).  Plainly then, the lamps gone empty represent the Judgment for the Dead passing away, and the oil in the vessels represents the Truth of the Judgment for the Living going into action.

Since all ten had oil in the lamps, but only half of them had the oil in the vessels, the symbolism clearly discloses that, as always, the whole church membership did not accept the message of the Judgment for the Living.  The foolish virgins were satisfied with the Truth they had acquired while joining the church that bore the message of the Judgment for the Dead, but failed to acquaint themselves with the additional message — the message of the Judgment for the Living.  Finally, after the necessity for It became imperative, they began to search for It but it did them no good, they were too late getting It.

These were left out with the tares only because they let the Devil sow in their hearts seeds of foolishness, seeds of contentment (lukewarmness) with the initial truths by which they joined the church; thus they mistakenly felt no need of additional light from the Lord.  But when prophecy began to fulfill itself beyond their scope of Divinely revealed knowledge, and as they saw the events of the gospel shaping themselves contrary to their expectations, they became alarmed and confused, saw themselves in darkness.

The lesson is unmistakable: Those who for ever feel “rich, and increased with goods, and in need of nothing more, will not get to the “door” on time.

Besides the tares among the wheat, there are idlers, inactive folk who are to be cast out and destroyed with the tares.  Let us read–

Matt. 25:14-30 — “For the Kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, Who called His own servants, and delivered unto them His goods.  And unto one He gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took His journey.

“Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.  And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.  But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his Lord’s money.

“After a long time the Lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.  And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, Thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.  His Lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

“He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, Thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.  His Lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

“Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew Thee that Thou art an hard man, reaping where Thou hast not sown, and gathering where Thou hast not strawed: and I was afraid, and went and hid Thy talent in the earth: lo, there Thou hast that is Thine.  His Lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: thou oughtest therefore to have put My money to the exchangers, and then at My coming I should have received Mine own with usury.  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.  For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

From this parable is seen that when a Christian falls asleep, Satan comes along and sows seeds of idleness in his heart so as to cause him to be cast out with the tares.  At the commencement of the harvest, therefore, this class of tares is the first to appear as such.  It is high time to learn that religion is not an opiate.

There is still another class of church members who in a different way fall victims with the tares.  This we shall see from–

Matt. 25:31-46 — “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.

“Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me in: naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me.

“Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, and fed Thee?  or thirsty, and gave Thee drink?  When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in?  or naked, and clothed Thee?  or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee?

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.  Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an hungered, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not.

“Then shall they also answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto Thee?  Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

The most outstanding sin of the goat class of professed believers is that they are all for self and none for others. The sheep class are the opposite in character.  Since those who do charity work are not to make a display of it — not to let the left hand know what the right hand is doing (Matt. 6:3) — and since the system of such benevolent work is clearly pointed out in the Hebrew economy, we would do well to look there for it: “To promote the assembling of the people for religious service, as well as to provide for the poor, a second tithe of all the increase was required. 

Concerning the first tithe, the Lord had declared, ‘I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel.’  But in regard to the second he commanded, ‘Thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always.’  Thus tithe, or its equivalent in money, they were for two years to bring to the place where the sanctuary was established. 

After presenting a thank-offering to God, and a specified portion to the priest, the offerers were to use the remainder for a religious feast, in which the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow should participate.  Thus provision was made for the thank-offerings and feasts at the yearly festivals, and the people were drawn to the society of the priests and Levites, that they might receive instruction and encouragement in the service of God.” —  “Patriarchs And Prophets,” p. 530.  For this work to be carried out systematically by the Lord’s treasury through gifts and free will offerings, sometimes called second tithe, we cannot but do likewise if we are to find favor with God.  Now back to–

Matt. 13:44 — “Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”

Matt. 13:45, 46 — “Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”

These parables distinctly point out that those who do not care to invest everything they possess, if need be, to obtain the Kingdom, are to be cast out with the tares.

Matt. 13:47, 48 — “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.”

A net cast into the sea naturally catches good and bad, small and large fish.  But fish, like all other living creatures, move in families, each species with its kind, and so each time the net is cast, it catches families of fish.  So it is that the gospel net in many instances naturally brings in families and relatives all in one catch; that is, as parents accept the gospel of Christ, along with them are often brought the children, and even relatives and friends.

The bad fish represent those who, with no real knowledge, conviction and conversion of their own but through emotion and the influence of others join the church.  So it is that those who never studiously, whole-heartedly and zealously take hold of the principles of Christ are cast out, there to perish with the tares.  All who are too lazy to study, and who give the Devil a chance to sow devilish seed in their hearts, making them believe that the preacher or the minister will take them through the Pearly Gates, having no experience of their own, are cheated of eternal life; they instead get eternal death.

True enough, the Spirit of God causes people to become one thing, and the spirit of Satan causes them to become another thing, but the difference is discernible only as the harvest time approaches — when the Truth of the harvest is revealed.

From these simple parables comes the fact that Satan raises tares in the church and ever tries his level best to keep them in it.  Why? — Let us find the answer in Revelation 12 —

Rev. 12:13 — “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.”

When the Devil saw that he was no longer permitted entrance into Heaven, he went to persecute the church after she brought forth “the man child,” Christ.  The dragon, therefore, is to persecute the church in her Christian period.

Rev. 12:14 — “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

Because of the persecution, the church was given the means by which to take her flight from the promised land (the vineyard) into the land of the Gentiles (the wilderness).

Rev. 12:15 — “And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.”

At the beginning, the serpent persecuted the church, but as he saw that the church still grew and prospered, he reversed his tactics, and began instead to persecute the Pagans who would not join the church, and raised ministers by whom to bring in a flood of unconverted by which to paganize the church, so that she could not Christianize them.

Rev. 12:16 — “And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.”

Thus is the church purified and thus are the tares destroyed.  As tares they are burned; as unprofitable workers they are cast into outer darkness there to weep and gnash their teeth; as unfit guests for the wedding they are bound hand and foot and cast out into outer darkness; as foolish virgins they are refused entrance; as goats they are sent into everlasting punishment; as dragon’s flood, they are swallowed by the earth.  But the actual thing that happens to them all in common, is fully described in Ezekiel’s prophecy, chapter 9.  Let us turn to it–

Ezek. 9:1-11 — “He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.  And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.

“And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon He was, to the threshold of the house. And He called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side; and the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

“And to the others He said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.  Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.  And He said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth.  And they went forth, and slew in the city.

“And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord God!  wilt Thou destroy all the residue of Israel in Thy pouring out of Thy fury upon Jerusalem?

“Then said He unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The Lord hath forsaken the earth, and the Lord seeth not.  And as for Me also, Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head.  And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as Thou hast commanded me.”

The promise to purify Jerusalem, Judah and Israel stands as sure as any promise in the Word.  The terms, Jerusalem, Judah, Israel you know, cannot be applied to anything but to the church, the place where everyone should sigh and cry against abominations.  Those who do not sigh and cry are to be left without the mark, and then the angels who have charge of the church smite everyone of them — “old and young, both maids and little children, and women.”  Only those who have the mark shall be left.  They are the remnant.  The angels are thus to take care of both the wheat and the tares.

Yes, there is to be a clean riddance of every sort of tare just as anciently there was a clean riddance of all the first-born in the households that failed to paint the doorpost with the sacrificial blood on the evening of the Passover in the land of Egypt.  So shall it be at the commencement of the harvest, in the purification of the church: The angels shall smite everyone who fosters the abominations “in the midst thereof.”

When is this thorough purging to take place?  For the answer let us turn to Zephaniah, chapter 1.

Zeph. 1:2, 3 — “I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the Lord.  I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumbling blocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the Lord.”

Here is a promise that the Lord is to thoroughly cleanse the land, and I am sure none of you will say that these prophecies have ever been fulfilled.

Zeph. 1:4, 5 — “I will also stretch out Mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests; and them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the Lord, and that swear by Malcham.”

Not only the land but the people that are to make up the house of Judah, are to be cleansed: There is to be a clean land and a clean people as well.

Zeph. 1:6 — “And them that are turned back from the Lord; and those that have not sought the Lord, nor enquired for Him.”

The backslider and the indifferent, those who are unstable and those who see no need of God, are to perish along with the tares.

Zeph. 1:7 — “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God: for the day of the Lord is at hand: for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, He hath bid His guests.”

This is the long-expected great and dreadful day of the Lord.

Zeph. 1:8 — “And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord’s sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.”

Zeph. 1:9-11 — “In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.  And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills.  Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off.”

The great crashing shall be from both the fish gates and from the hills — from land and from sea.  Both, the servants that bring violence and deceit upon their master’s houses, and the wicked masters themselves, shall be punished.

Zeph. 1:12-18 — “And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil.  Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof.  The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. 

That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.  And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.  Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy: for He shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.”

The time of the day of the Lord is pointed out by increased “wrath,” “trouble,” “distress,” “wasteness,” “desolation,” “darkness” and “gloominess,” — a time in which no one knows what to do to avert disaster, a time of so much fear even by the cities that are best fortified.  So far as I know there has never been the like.  The world’s condition of today is the only condition that meets the challenge of these prophecies.  Since this is true, then this is the day in which the Lord is to search Jerusalem with candles.  This is the day in which he is to cleanse His people from sin and sinners.  It is “the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”

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

Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.  And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the Lord of hosts.”

Should we not now consider ourselves the most fortunate people in the world for knowing these things beforehand?  Shall we not be glad and thankful for having been warned beforehand that we have come almost to the time of the harvest, and that we have been given the opportunity to make ready for it?  Shall we not be glad that we are not left in darkness, and that we are now plainly shown that these are the closing hours of the pre-harvest period, that the harvest will soon begin?

Rev. 18:1 — “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.”

The fulfillment of this scripture is what is called the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message.  But note that the whole earth is lightened with his glory.  Let us now take notice of what happens after the Three Angels’ Messages permeate the earth, after the earth is thus lightened with the glory of the angel.

Rev. 18:2 — “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”

Ah, after the earth is lightened, then it is that Babylon falls.  Plainly, then, Babylon has not actually fallen as yet.  In fact Babylon has not even come into existence yet, for she is yet to mount (rule) the beast (the world).  See Revelation 17 and Tract #12, “The World Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.”

Rev. 18:4 — “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.”

This voice from heaven, you see, comes to God’s people after the earth is lightened with the Loud Cry of the angel.  The burden of the Voice is that God’s people should come out of Babylon so that they be not partakers of her sins, and receive not of her plagues.  If on this account they must come out of Babylon, then it must be that the place into which they are called to come is free from sin and thus free from danger of the plagues. 

And where could that be but in the purified land and church of God, where there is no more sin and no more sinners to endanger the peace of God’s people?  Vain, indeed, it would be if the people were called from one place of sin and brought into another place of sin.  As clear as crystal it is that the purification of the church (“cleansing” — Dan. 8:14; Judgment of the Living — 1 Pet. 4:17) takes place before the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s message begins in the world, before God’s people are called out of Babylon.

“The third angel’s message is to lighten the earth with its glory; but only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it when it shall have swelled into the loud cry.” —  “The Review and Herald,” Nov. 19, 1908.

Most Christians know that there are two classes in the church — wheat and tares — but few, if any, seem to care.  We, as reformers though, especially since we have been given this great light on the subject, cannot afford to be indifferent.   We may now intelligently choose to be “wheat” or choose to be “tares.”  If after knowing this Truth, some choose to be “tares,” they, of course, will have gained nothing and need not be surprised when they land in hell.

At the time labor and capital are in a clash, then it is that Jerusalem (the church) shall be searched, as it were, with candles.  Consequently, the men who have settled in their houses, those who act as though the Lord has forsaken the earth shall have their punishment.

Not only do we behold and feel the day of the Lord approaching but even hear Its Voice.

(Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 21. page 5- 21)

Meat In Due Season

August 12, 2017

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Many Christians are very familiar with what is known as the “Great Commision”. In Matthew we read–

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt: 28:19-20)

Here we see our Lord giving a command to His disciples to “teach all nations” the gospel of Christ. This command has been one of the long-held biblical foundations of the Christian faith. However, we need to discuss this issue particularly as it applies to us Seventh-day Adventists, His remnant church today.

As we have discussed many times on this blog the term “present truth” is just as it sounds– present truth. This Truth is our current road map to the kingdom. The maps of old, present truth from days of old, may or may not be “our” present truth.

As we walk day-to-day in our Christian walk we are to advance in more and more light. This blog is an example of advancing light. On June 26, 2010, we posted how we must being doing this great commission to preach the gospel to all the world. But as we studied and desired for more light, we were “guided into all Truth” by the Great Promiser (John 16:13).

Recently, on our Facebook website “Truth Tellers”, while reviewing it, I received a chat message from a brother in Africa , we’ll call brother C . He has received the Lord’s Rod message materials over the last couple years. But he was excited as he wrote the following —

“Its good to tell you that we have organised a crusade called Paradise Crusade, our aim is to preach to the world, giving hope to the hopeless people and having bible studies and doing efforts in all places..”

I read it and immediately knew that he needed to know the present truth of the situation. As I read it, it reminded me of my prior understanding of Truth (Jesus). For I too was out to “win the world” for Jesus. We put on large billboards in our hometown, I went door to door after Sabbath handing out flyers of 3 ABN and our church.

This week as I was reading some New Testament Scriptures I came across a familiar text that we as believers have read many many times.

“But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.” (Matt. 24: 43-47)

As I read this, it took on a whole new fresh meaning. Suddenly I saw it as never before. Allow me to explain.

The Lord is showing that it is He Himself who He is describing. For it is as a” thief” He will be coming.

“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”(Rev.16:15)

Next we see that only those who are “watching” will be prepared. And if we don’t our whole house will be broken into (our life destroyed.) But watching for what –the Lord coming in the clouds?  That is not how the “thief” will be coming next. We as present truth believers know He will come “suddenly to His Temple”-His church (Mal. 3:1).

This next part is very very important to concentrate on. Our Lord then shows us who it is that is “faithful and wise”. And to him He makes “ruler over his household”. It is those who are giving “meat in due season”!

And those servants will “rule over all his goods.” Is this not a great promise to those who read these things and heed them?! But did you catch the meat of the text? The Lord is telling us to dispense meat in due season– present truth!

This is where we must have true understanding as Seventh-day Adventists. The message says–

“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” and 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 and feeds the flock aright.”(Answerer, vol. 3, Q-67)

Wow! Do we understand this? There is “greater risk of their losing their souls in the church..than if they remain in the world..” !

We need to understand that there is great accountability upon joining God’s people. It’s not “fun and games” as so many in our church think today. Our shepherds have so thoroughly given a peace and safety message that the “meat” they are dispensing is worse than the quail given the people in the desert during Moses’ day! The same dire result will happen lest we wake up and start giving the people their “meat in due season”.

More from the Elijah message–

“..to devote our time to evangelizing the world while neglecting the church, would be a criminal act, one of highest treason both to God and to His people. The church must first be saved from her Laodicean condition of being “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” She, not the world, is just about to be spued out. She “is the only object on earth on which He bestows His supreme regard.”-Testimonies to Ministers, p. 15.

But in her present deplorable state of blindness and destitution as exposed by the True Witness (Rev. 3:14-18), she is utterly unfit for the task assigned her, and must be rescued from her sad deception before she can become a safe refuge and a saving influence to those who would join her ranks. Should God leave her in the Laodicean condition in which she now languishes, not only would she herself be lost but, in consequence, so also would the whole world along with her. He must therefore rouse her up or else raise up another to do the work which remains to be done.

Think, though, what an eternal joy it would be for Him to fit her up and use her to His glory, rather than to have to forsake her! So before raising up another as a last resort, He is trying to save her, and He will save her, as He promises:

“Satan will work his miracles to deceive, he will set up his power as supreme. The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out. The chaff is separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. None but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouth. The remnant that purify their souls by obeying the truth gather strength from the trying process, exhibiting the beauty of holiness amid the surrounding apostasy ….

“The great issue so near at hand will weed out those whom God has not appointed, and He will have a pure, true, sanctified ministry prepared for the latter rain.”-B-55-1886. (Answerer, vol. 2 Q-32)

How can we be practical in dispensing meat in due season to our church?

  1. We can get to know members in our church and have Bible studies. Specifically studying present truth such as Revelation, Malachi, Ezekiel, Isaiah, etc.
  2. We can suggest to them present truth  sites proclaiming the message.
  3. We can suggest to them YouTube videos proclaiming the message.
  4. Make business cards with our name/number to pass out to our friends in the church in case they want to get together for studies.
  5. We can start our own blog website and put links on it to the different recommended present truth sites.
  6. We can pass out present truth literature (CD’s DVD’s Tracts, etc.)
  7. If we are short on available time we can begin paying Tithes to the present truth organizations, and thus be found giving meat in due season by our financial faithfulness.

In regards to no.7 we read —

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”(Malachi 3:10)

Ah, the meat in due season can be found there due to the financial faithfulness of His true servants! Those who know where present truth is coming from. If we as Seventh-day Adventists think that our Tithes going to the current General Conference/ local SDA church is producing “meat in due season” then we have a seafront property in Arizona we’d like to sell you.

In closing, in the parable above we see that the Lord is coming as a thief and that He will bless those who He “finds” giving meat in due season. Will you make a commitment to support and get going with your dispensary?

” Your Christian life must take on vigorous and stalwart forms. You can attain to the high standard set before you in the Scriptures, and you must if you would be children of God. You cannot stand still; you must either advance or retrograde.” Testimonies, vol. 5, p.264)

Interesting Q and A

June 17, 2017

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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)


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