Archive for the ‘Proper teachings’ Category

Understanding Progressive New Light (Part 1 of 2)

October 26, 2019

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As faithful Bible students, we all should know the idea of progressing “new light”.  In other words the Scriptures are an evolving scroll of truth, allowing us to gain more and more understanding as we go through Its pages, front to back.

For example, in the time of Moses we saw that the Lord spoke through him to enlighten the people of the sacrificial and sanctuary services and its significance in pointing to Christ as the final and fulfilling sacrifice for humanity. The scroll soon unrolled further to say that, unlike in Moses’ time, the ceremonial services would no longer be needed in order to obey the Lord and His new progressive light (Truth). Apostle Paul makes that clear —

“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,  having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” (Col. 2:13-17)

Ah, but did you see something in that light that would later be adjusted and straightened out for God’s people today? As we read that we see a perfect example of progressing light from one time to another and even something that would be clarified in detail later (today).

Paul, at that time, was living among God’s people who were free to eat “meat”. At that time God allowed it to be partaken of. But progressive light later came through prophetess Ellen White and prophet Victor Houteff, as we see below.

“Greater reforms should be seen among the people who claim to be looking for the soon appearing of Christ. Health reform is to do among our people a work which it has not yet done. There are those who ought to be awake to the danger of meat-eating, who are still eating the flesh of animals, thus endangering the physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Many who are now only half converted on the question of meat-eating will go from God’s people to walk no more with them….. A diet of flesh meat tends to develop animalism. A development of animalism lessens spirituality, rendering the mind incapable of understanding truth.“(Counsels on Diet and Foods, p.382)

“Vegetables, fruits, and grains should compose our diet. Not an ounce of flesh meat should enter our stomachs. The eating of flesh is unnatural. We are to return to God’s original purpose in the creation of man.”—Manuscript 115, 1903 (Counsels on Diet, p.380)

“..while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, God provided them with manna. But when they murmured against it, and attributed its phenomenon only to circumstances, claiming that it was impossible to obtain flesh foods in the desert, He literally and angrily heaped quail upon them. At what price, though! Thousands died in order to teach the lesson that the manna was not the mere result of circumstances but rather a purposive Providence. For “while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague.” Num. 11:33.

Because the Exodus movement was to fit up a people to take the promised land and to set up the kingdom then, as we are now, they were charged to abstain from all flesh foods. And because John the Baptist bore an important message in his day (“Repent ye: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”–Matt. 3:2) similar to ours today, his diet was of honey and of the fruit of the locust tree. How much more important, then, as our types teach, that we who have the culminating message of the gospel, and who are the vanguard of the hosts of the eternal kingdom, defile not the temples of our souls with that which our types were forbidden to eat.” (Answerer, vol. 5, Q-148)

Thus we see that progressive light illuminated down through the ages to today. Our truth is not necessarily their truth, yet both were/are –truth.

Inspired Counsel

There is a real need among us advanced students of the unrolling scroll to know how we can understand certain difficult areas of the message.

The following shows some relevant quotes that the “restoring message” tells us about understanding difficult passages within God’s word (including SOP and the Rod). Here will be our basis on how to decipher and comprehend seemingly difficult and sometimes seemingly contradictory statements that we’ll show in part two.

“As no prophet’s writings ever predicted the entire Truth needed by the church to carry her clear through to the Kingdom, and as other prophets followed, either enlarging upon or adding to the prophecies already recorded in the Scriptures, then for anyone to turn down the good tidings of the Kingdom on the grounds that this phase of the Kingdom is not found in Sister White’s writings is for him to take the same inexcusable and fatal stand as did the Jews. It is to say, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” Rev. 3:17. It is this attitude that compels God to spue out of His mouth the lukewarm, satisfied Laodiceans.” (Answerer, vol. 2, p.77)

“...any statements incidental to a subject that is still out of sight in the unrolling of the scroll are made only in terms of truth as it is seen, or as it is commonly understood, not in terms of truth not seen. And if the understanding of that be wrong, the writer cannot be responsible for that which he has necessarily borrowed.

This circumstance is natural and common to every writer treating of present truth, even to the gospel writers, and will thus continue until every component part of the Truth is made known.

For example, John the Baptist’s message was to proclaim, not the setting up of the Kingdom, but the coming of the King. But while announcing the one, he incidentally had to make mention of the other. When speaking of the coming King, he expressed himself in terms of revealed truth. But when circumstantially alluding to the coming Kingdom, on which there was no light, he necessarily expressed himself in terms of the subject as then commonly understood.

Nevertheless, when the further unrolling of the scroll revealed that the Kingdom was not to be set up at that time, then the honest truth-seeking ones did not accuse either John or Christ, but joyously watched the scroll unfold, and jubilantly marched on with the Truth. Not so, though, with the vast majority of the Jews. Their pride of opinion forbidding them to forgo their errors and to embrace advancing Truth, they went deeper into error, rather than rising higher in truth!” (Sym. Code, vol. 7, no. 7-12, p.21-22)

“…the end-products of Inspiration fall into one of two categories– either Inspiration of words or Inspiration of ideas. To illustrate specifically: an angel appears and says to one, “The Lord is at such and such a time to do thus and thus with His people. Speak unto them this message, and show it unto them from the Scriptures of truth, for the prophets have therein spoken it of old.” The angel’s message must be delivered with fidelity to the idea; though obviously the choice of words, aside from the quotations, is necessarily left to the messenger. Consequently, anytime he sees the possibility of making the inspired idea stand forth more clearly and powerfully, the messenger is under deepest moral obligation to revise his language. Only thus can the stream of inspired ideation become progressively more lucid and beautiful.

Still further, there are circumstances in connection with certain aspects of every message which necessitate clarification. Such clarification, however, can be no greater than the light which shines at the time. And the light may come solely from within the message itself, or, again, it may derive from a limited understanding common to the time “then present”–an understanding which the messenger himself shares….Inspiration, moreover, always brings the messengers of God into perfect harmony, never into division.” (Answerer, vol. 1, p.48-49,51)

 

“ Let us remember always to observe the inviolable rule that an interpretation of one inspired statement must harmonize with all other related statements.”(Answerer , vol. 3, question 56)

“While Ezekiel calls them “men,” John says they are “virgins.” (Rev. 14:4.) Now, if we should take the position that Ezekiel means men only, then we can as well say, John means women only. Can it be possible that one writer should contradict the other? No indeed.”(Shepherd’s Rod. vol. 2, p.167)

  Wow, now that is so much information and counsel in understanding progressive light! Let us breakdown the main points we learn —

1. No prophet wrote all the light for us.

2. Later prophets came and either enlarged upon the light given or they added to it.

3. Prophets sometimes make writings that agree with the “commonly understood” understanding of that day. Though this may not be the full light on that subject which comes later.

4. Inspired messengers are harmonious, not divided. In other words, we must strive to see the underlying harmony that exists.

5. Interpretation of one inspired statement must harmonize with all other related statements. One writer of God’s inspired writings should not contradict the others.

With this counsel, we shall look at three areas of the Lord’s Rod message next week, in relation to SOP that sometimes makes people scratch their heads, even throw up their hands and say “well one is wrong the other is right..” Or they say “one had correct light the other had incorrect light”. Both of these lines of thought are not in harmony with our above divine counsel. There is a right way to understand these difficult areas according to Inspiration.

More Counsel for us —

“But no man, however honored of Heaven, has ever attained to a full understanding of the great plan of redemption, or even to a perfect appreciation of the divine purpose in the work for his own time. Men do not fully understand what God would accomplish by the work which He gives them to do; they do not comprehend, in all its bearings, the message which they utter in His name.” (GC, p.343)

“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.” (Answerer ,vol. 3, p.41-42)

 

Next week, God willing, we’ll conclude with part 2 ….

 

 

 

 

Faith in the Prophets

October 5, 2019

A THOUGHT FOR PRAYER   I shall read from The Mount of Blessing, page 168, beginning where we left off last Sabbath.

   “The one thing essential for us in order that we may receive and impart the forgiving love of God is to know and believe the love that He has to us.  Satan is working by every deception he can command, in order that we may not discern that love.  He will lead us to think that our mistakes and transgressions have been so grievous that the Lord will not have respect unto our prayers, and will not bless and save us. 

In ourselves we can see nothing but weakness, nothing to recommend us to God, and Satan tells us that it is of no use; we can not remedy our defects of character.  When we try to come to God, the enemy will whisper It is of no use for you to pray; did not you do that evil thing?  Have you not sinned against God, and violated your own conscience?  But we may tell the enemy that ‘the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.’  When we feel that we have sinned and can not pray, it is then the time to pray.  Ashamed we may be, and deeply humbled; but we must pray and believe….”

   Here is seen that it is Satan’s studied purpose to discourage us, to make us think that God does not love us, and that He cannot save us from our sins.  We are therefore to resist the whisperings of the Enemy.  When we see ourselves as sinners, then is the very time for us to come to God, and to accept His love and to fully believe in Him.

   We should now pray for an absolute realization that God is in business to save sinners, of whom we are chief.  That it matters not how deep in sin we may be, if we but depart from evil and choose to do good He will gladly grant us forgiveness.

 

THE JEWS AND THE CHRISTIANS’FAITH IN THE PROPHETSTEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTSSABBATH, NOVEMBER 16, 1946MT. CARMEL CHAPELWACO, TEXAS   Let us turn to the writings of the gospel prophet whom the Jews so maliciously sawed asunder.

Isa. 1:18, 19 — “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.  If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.”

   With this Divine recommendation for God’s professed people, the gospel prophet was instructed to introduce his book. And now that we are living in the present-day application of his prophecies, we dare not neglect to comply with Inspiration’s sound and fair recommendation.  Our first step shall be to honestly and unbiasedly consider the successes and the failures of those who have gone before us.

   Let us beforehand refresh our minds with the Jews’ attitude toward the prophets: Rather than going with the purpose of learning and reasoning, the Jews went to the prophets with prejudiced minds, with malice, with hatred in their hearts, and with instruments of cruelty.  (We must not.)  This evil spirit was prevalent among the Jews throughout their history.  It was manifested even against Moses although for forty years he led the Hebrew host with Divine signs and wonders all the way from the brickyards of Egypt to the borders of the promised land.

   The remnant finally crossed the Jordan only because they whole-heartedly believed that Moses was God’s mouth piece, and because they ceased murmuring, took and obeyed orders.  The Hebrews ever after deeply cherished his writings, and this reverent regard for the Pentateuch continued among the Jews even to the days of Christ.  As a man of God and as the nation’s emancipator and founder of its sacred ceremonies, Moses was highly esteemed by all.

   Ironically, though the prophets that followed after Moses were rejected by the Jewish nation as a whole.  Those who survived in the Babylonian captivity did accept the prophets Haggai and Zechariah only because they were the founders of the movement then on foot as was Moses in his day.

   The Jews, according to their own way of reasoning, were honest, though blind, in concluding that they had no need of prophets, because as they saw it, Moses’ writings were complete, there was nothing lacking in them: They contained both the civil and religious laws.  They, therefore, saw no need for greater light and no need of another prophet.  Through their unbelief in the prophets, they failed to see that their kingdom was only a type of a greater one to come, they failed to see that God’s Truth is progressive and ever unfolding, that each generation has to have added Truth especially adapted to meet their particular needs.  Their blindness to this was their basic sin that led them on to ruin.

   While the Jews boasted of their faith in Moses’ writings, Jesus reprehended them by saying: “…had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me.” John 5:46.  He had reference to–

Deut. 18:15 –“The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken.”

   Of the coming Messiah Zechariah also wrote:

Zech. 9:9 — “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”

   Though they professed to believe in both Moses and Zechariah yet they gave no heed to any of these passages, and ever since a curse has rested upon them.

   In rejecting the prophets the Jews thought they were surely keeping out of deception, and thought that they were thus actually loyal to Moses’ writings and consequently to God.  This they believed as much in Jesus’ day as Israel believed in Elijah’s day.

   Let us now note that they fell into ruin only because they refused to give heed to the prophets who were sent to reform their ways, to correct their erroneous interpretations of Moses’s writings and to lighten the path of their feet the rest of the way — clear to Paradise.  Having deprived themselves of the gift of the Spirit of Prophecy by doing away with the prophets, they completely cut off Heaven’s communication line and were thus left in gross darkness and led into error, fanaticism, and crime.  They became self-sufficient, proud, boastful, and high minded.

They felt rich and increased with goods, in need of nothing more.  Thus it was that their perversions of the Scriptures by their uninspired interpretations of them caused them to lose the way, and finally to reject and even to crucify their own long-expected Redeemer.

   Of Moses’s writings the Jews made a mighty weapon against Christ and the prophets of that day.  They were, however, at one time or another forced to acknowledge that their dead fathers were guilty of the blood of the prophets.  The same is true today.  Many admit that sectarianism is thriving on uninspired interpretations of the Scriptures, yet they expect no inspired interpreters for this day.  They thus reject the antitypical prophet Elijah even before his appearance though the Scriptures definitely predict his coming before the great and dreadful day of the Lord, before the Judgment of the Living commences.

   If we accept Inspiration’s counsel and come and reason together while we are examining our own standing with the prophets, then an excellent place to begin is

Gen. 49:10 — “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

   Here Moses wrote that the gathering of the people shall be unto Judah, and that when Shiloh comes, Judah shall have a king and a lawgiver of her own.  Do we as Seventh-day Adventists believe in this particular part of Moses’ writings?  If not, then we have no better standing with Moses than did the Jews.

To examine our standing with the rest of the prophets, we need not depart from the subject which Moses has introduced in the scripture just quoted.  Mark that between the writings of Moses and of Isaiah, the Bible contains the records of history, the judges and the kings.  Isaiah, then, is the next prophet after Moses that we shall go to.

Isa. 2:1, 2 — “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.  And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.”

   Not to Takoma Park, not to Mt. Carmel Center, not to some other place, but to house of Judah and Jerusalem shall the final converts from all nations flow.  Isaiah you plainly see absolutely confirms that the gathering of the people shall be unto Judah.  Do you?

   Jeremiah being the next prophet to Isaiah, we shall read

Jer. 31:6 — “For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God.”

   “Mount Ephraim,” you know, is the location of the ancient ten-tribe kingdom, Israel.  According to this scripture, the kingdom of Israel, which is still lost among the nations, shall some day emerge from the four corners of the earth and gladly join the kingdom of Judah.  So shall the gathering of the people be.

Jer. 31:7, 8 — “For thus saith the Lord; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save Thy people, the remnant of Israel.  Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.”

   Jeremiah discloses that the gathering unto Judah shall be from the four corners of the earth.  Indeed, Jeremiah, Moses and Isaiah, all three, speak alike on the subject.  The question is, Do you believe what they say?  If not, are you then better than were the Jews?

   Next we are to test our standing with the prophet Ezekiel.

Ezek. 36:17-27 — “Son  of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their  own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings:  their way was before Me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.  Wherefore I poured My fury upon them for the blood that they had shed  upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: and I scattered them among the  heathen, and they were dispersed  through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.   And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned My holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of  His land.   But I had pity for Mine holy name, which  the house  of Israel  had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.

   “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for Mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.  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.”

   What more could Inspiration say to make the subject clearer?  God plainly and solemnly promised to recreate and to rebuild the ancient kingdom, to set it up in its own land.  This He is to do after Judah and Israel are scattered among the Gentile nations, and assimilated by them — after they have lost their racial identity — then as Christians, not as Jews, He is to gather them from the four corners of the earth and to bring them to their own land.  (And moreover, the Scriptures teach that they are as the sand of the sea for multitude.)  This He is to do, you note, not because they are worthy, not because they had been good before or during their dispersion among the Gentiles, but because He is anxious to sanctify His Own name among the heathen.

   Still further, after He gathers them from all countries and brings them into their own land, then it is that He promises to cleanse them eternally from their filthiness and from their idolatry — to remove all the defects that sin has wrought upon them.  Then it is that He gives them a new heart, puts His Spirit upon them and enables them to unavoidably keep His judgments.  Mark carefully that regardless of our ideas and opinions all these things take place after God’s people return to their father’s land.

   The 144,000 descendants of Jacob, whose fathers were assimilated by the Gentile nations and who thus down through the centuries lost their racial identity, are the first fruits, the first to be gathered unto Judah.  They are those who stand on “Mount Zion with the Lamb.” Rev. 14:1.  The faithful descendants of the Jews who composed the early Christian church, and who also lost their national identity by naming themselves Christians (Acts 11:26), are also to be gathered from everywhere and brought unto Judah.

   Finally, if these prophecies are not to be fulfilled, as the angel of the Laodicean church supposes, and if God’s people are not to return to their homeland, then how will they ever be cleansed from their filthiness since the cleansing is to be done there only?  How will they ever have their hearts changed?  And what is to make them keep His statutes and judgments unless, as promised, beforehand receive His Spirit in the Promised Land?  Indeed, if these prophecies fail, then how will God’s people ever be able to stand before a pure and holy God? 

And how will they ever obtain immortality and be on schedule for translation if they do not comply with the prophecies, with His expressed will and plan for His people?  And if they ignore these prophecies, the fulfillment of which is during the Judgment for the Living, the harvest, the gathering time, what chance do they then stand to survive that great and dreadful day of the Lord?

To be more specific, if the denomination fails to recognize and accept these promises, then where are the laity to be led from here on?  Certainly not to the Kingdom if their leaders do not believe in It.  Do you now believe in Moses, in Isaiah, and Ezekiel?  Or do you rather still believe in fables devised by men?

   Next to Ezekiel is the prophet Daniel.  Incidentally, let us remind ourselves that to begin with, Daniel did not prophesy to the Jews, but to the Chaldeans and to the Medes and Persians.  The Jews accepted him as God’s servant only as they saw his prophecies fulfilled.  The great question before us, however, is, Do we fully believe in the prophet Daniel’s writings?  Let us see.

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

   On Daniel’s own word, the stone is symbolical, not of something else, but of the Kingdom, the which in the parable of the wheat and tares Jesus calls “barn,” the place into which He is to put the wheat (saints) after it is separated from the tares (Matt. 13:30).  Now mark carefully that according to Daniel’s interpretation the stone depicts the Kingdom, the which God shall set up not after the days of these kings, but in their days, and that the stone Kingdom Itself, not something else, shall break the great image.  If our interpretation of the stone contradicts Daniel’s interpretation of it, then we do not only reject Daniel’s inspiration, but even misconstrue the Word of God!  We better not.  We now come to the prophet Hosea.

Hosea 1:11; 3:5 — “Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel…. Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.”

   Can one believe Hosea on the subject of the Kingdom if he does not believe in the former prophets who taught exactly as he? — Of course not.

   We are now at Joel’s prophecies.

Joel 3:1, 2 — “For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for My people and for My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted My land.”

   When God frees the antitypical children of Judah and of Jerusalem, the church of today, and takes them back to their own land, then it is, you note, that He gathers all nations into the valley of Jehoshaphat.  There He is to judge them — to separate the good from the bad, (Matt. 13:47, 48), the sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:32).  And this work you must know is the work of the Judgment for all the living. 

Are we to reject Joel along with the prophets before him, and consequently the message of the Judgment for the Living after having for over a century preached the Judgment for the Dead?  Ponder over what the Scriptures say and thus make up your mind to forsake all other voices.  And what about your belief in the prophet Amos?  Let us read

Amos 9:9-15 — “For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.  All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.  In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by My name, saith the Lord that doeth this. 

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.  And I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.  And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.”

   Since Amos with even greater emphasis bears the same testimony as all the prophets before him, and since the language on the subject is crystal clear as is the language of all the prophets before him, so much so that it needs no comments, what shall we do with him?  We are now to read Obad. 1:15-18 —

“For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.  For as ye have drunk upon My holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.  But upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.  And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it.”

   In harmony with all the prophets before him, and in perfect clarity, Obadiah, too, relates that in the day the Lord destroys the heathen, in the day of harvest, or judgment, otherwise called the cleansing of the Sanctuary (Dan. 8:14) and the purification of the church (Mal. 3:1-3), and also the great and dreadful day of the Lord, there shall be deliverance upon Mount Zion, and the house of Jacob shall possess the wealth of the heathen.  Do you now believe in the testimony of Jesus through His prophets?  If not, then how can you say that you speak according to the “law and to the testimony” (Isa. 8:20)?  Ever remember that the law and the testimony always go hand in hand.

   The prophet Jonah is next in line, but we shall consider his prophecies when we come to the prophet Nahum.

   We shall now see what is to be done with the prophet 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.”

   As emphatically as all the prophets before him, Micah declares that after the destruction of the Lord’s ancient “mountain,” (the kingdom), comes the reestablishment of it in the last days, and that peoples and nations shall flow unto it because the Law and the Word of the Lord shall go forth from Zion and from Jerusalem.  Shall you now close your ears and eyes against this promise?  or do you as servants of God intend to get there with the first fruits?  I hope it is the latter.  We now come to the prophecy of Nahum:

Nah. 1:12, 13, 15 — “…Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more.  For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder…. Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace!  O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.”

   Nahum’s burden is concerning the restoration, and the fall of Assyria, the powers which rule them in the day He restores the latter-day Kingdom of Judah; in the day He breaks the Assyrian yoke, in the day He bursts asunder the bands that bind His people.  In that day He sends His messenger to bear good tidings to His people, tidings of peace while the world is upset with wars. Through His messenger He is urging His people to perform their vows, for He is to take away the wicked from among them.  Assyria is to vacate and give room to Judah.  “For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.” Isa. 30:31.  Now He pleads:

   “Turn ye unto Him from Whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted.  For in that day [in the day Assyria falls] every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin. Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited.  And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, Whose fire is in Zion, and His furnace in Jerusalem.” Isa. 31:6-9.

   The purification (Judgment), here you see, is conducted from Zion and Jerusalem.  And through Malachi asks the Spirit, “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 [the ministry], and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Mal. 3:2, 3.  Do you accept Nahum?  And since Jonah’s prophecy is a counterpart of Nahum’s, then if you reject Nahum, you automatically reject Jonah, too.

   The prophet Habakkuk was told to “write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run who readeth it.”

Hab. 2:3 — “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

   Then Habakkuk prayed, saying,

Hab. 3:12, 13 — “Thou didst march through the land in indignation, Thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.  Thou wentest forth for the salvation of Thy people, even for salvation with Thine anointed; Thou woundest the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck.  Selah.”

   Can we in faith pray for the same thing Habakkuk prayed? — That the Lord go forth for the salvation of His people, that the vision be fulfilled without delay, and that we run to proclaim the good tidings?  If not, then truly we spurn Habakkuk also.

   Let us see what Zephaniah has to say concerning the latter day house of Judah — the mountain of the Lord.

Zeph. 2:5-7 — “Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites!  the word of the Lord is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.  And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.  And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the Lord their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.”

Since Zephaniah’s prophecy is also definite that the Lord is to re-establish the kingdom of Judah, and since it, too, needs no comment, we shall quickly pass to Zechariah’s prophecy.

Zech. 1:20, 21 — “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.”

   Once God raised “horns,” nations, to scatter His people throughout the Gentile nations, but those “horns” in the restoration of “all things,” are seen to become “carpenters,” so that while they as horns at long last cast the Gentiles out from the promised land, they are as carpenters to build for Judah.  Thus Zechariah, as do all the prophets before him, prophesies of the restoration of the kingdom of Judah.  Now we shall read from Malachi, the last of the Old Testament prophets.

Mal. 3:1-3 — “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.”

If, in the face of the plain and unquestionable teachings of all the prophets, we as Seventh-day Adventists fail to give heed to the truth of the Purification of the church (the Kingdom here dealt with), the message of the Judgment for the Living and of the restoration of the kingdom of Judah — the sanctuary for the purified ones, — then certainly others will have to take our places in proclaiming it.  Then along with the Jews we will have to bear the guilt of rejecting all the prophets since the world began.  Why? — Because unless we actually believe all that they have written, our merely pretending to believe in them means as much to Heaven as the faith of the Jews in the writings of Moses meant to the Lord.  What!  Preaching the gospel of the Kingdom but denying the Kingdom Itself!

   In closing I shall read from Early Writings, in the chapter entitled “The Loud Cry.”

   “This message [that is the message that makes the Loud Cry] seemed to be an addition to the third message, joining it as the midnight cry joined the second angel’s message in 1844.” — Early Writings, pg. 277.  And on page 118 we read: — “I then saw the third angel.  Said my accompanying angel, ‘Fearful is his work.  Awful is his mission.  He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal, or bind, the wheat for the heavenly garner.  These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention.'”

   The author of these statements makes clear that the Loud Cry is not made by a lot of noise, but by an additional message, and that the third angel’s message in the end of the world, not the end itself, selects the wheat from the tares.  Who among you would be foolish enough to close his eyes and ears to the testimony of the prophets, and at last in consternation cry out, “The harvest is passed, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jer. 8:20.

   Now, if we as a church do not even so much as expect an additional message, besides rejecting the former prophets, then how much better is our attitude toward God and His prophets of today as well as of yesterday?

   The Jews wanted a kingdom of their own, a kingdom of this world (saint and sinner in it).  Yes, they wanted a kingdom on earth, but none in Heaven.  What is more, they wanted it two thousand years ahead of schedule.  Now, ironically, in the time of the restoration of the Kingdom, the Denomination takes an opposite attitude: It wants a kingdom in Heaven, but none on earth.  Indeed, it wants to board the “chariot” from Takoma Park.  And besides while the Lord says He is to save nations, the Denomination says “He is to save only 144,000 living sons of Jacob,” and consequently none of the sons of other nations!

   The Jews wanted nothing but what they wanted, and nothing is just what they got.  So it will be with the Denomination if this clear cut and extra Biblical Truth, and the example of the Jews does not help her see that she has drifted “to sea without chart or compass.” — Christ Our Righteousness, pg. 37 (1941 edition).  If she continues to want nothing but what she wants, it is certain that nothing is what she can expect.

   Pray tell, what more should one expect to get from partial belief in the prophets, from private human interpretation of the Scriptures, from a system of explaining away the Scriptures, of making mysteries of simple passages by the use of unknown manuscripts and sectarian translations?  Let us hold to “the book of the Lord” which His mouth hath commanded, and which manuscripts His “Spirit…hath gathered….” Isa. 34:16.

   Say anything you wish against the Jews, but my study tells me that we as Seventh-day Adventists are outdoing them in mischief.

   Moreover, it is now seen that our study of this afternoon is a summary of the message to the Laodiceans, who think that they are rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing more, though they have need of everything.  They had better awake to their poverty.

   To be sure, the present state of affairs does appear gloomy. Yet seeing that this dark and cloudy day holds forth a future of unsurpassing glory, let us with the prophet Habakkuk say: “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Hab. 3:17, 18.  Thus, just as the apostles defeated the enemy of the church in their day, likewise shall we defeat him in our day.

(Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 15, p.2-21)                        

Burning Hellfire Forever?

September 28, 2019

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One of the most profound and disturbing teachings that exist among so-called “Christians”  today is the idea that if one rejects Christ in this world, he is destined to burn alive forever and ever and ever. No escape from the scorching heat throughout eternity!

There is so much wrong about this, that one hardly knows where to begin. But we can be assured the Lord’s Word soundly rejects this Satanic teaching when one carefully studies the Scriptures and His end-time prophetic writings.

Recently a brother and I discussed this hell teaching and I was somewhat amazed that such short-sightedness and downright ignorant teachings can exist and be promoted. In our discussions, I made the point that I have often made in a real human life perspective on this eternal burning idea. In other words bring it home in a practical and human reasoning way.

How many of us have ever accidentally grabbed a kitchen pot handle that we forgot was very hot?  I am sure many of us have experienced this. We recoil back in great pain in our hand. Hopefully, we didn’t hold it long and make a scar.

Now imagine in your mind that same feeling over ALL YOUR BODY FOR ETERNITY! Yes, try and grasp that thought! Not for a day, not for a week, but for eternity, never-ending in other words. This thought just cannot be fully comprehended, try as we may. Yet this is what Satan has promulgated upon those who are hoodwinked by him.

This teaching alone, if the truth is told has probably done more to push people away from God than almost any other teaching. Why , they ask, would one want to serve a vindictive God who punishes souls for rejecting him in our short 70-80 years here on earth, with eternal burning forever and ever?

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. (Gen. 3:4)

This was his very first lie, and it has been promulgated ever since. The idea that we are never-dying souls, either to live forever or to burn forever is built upon this first lie. But God’s word clearly says —

“By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Gen. 3:19)

The Word is full of confirmations that we cease to exist at death, and only a resurrection of life or death follows —

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die..”(John 11:25)

“His breath goeth forth, he returneth to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.” (Psalms 146:4)

“The soul who sins is the one who will die.” (Ezek. 18:20)

Apostle Paul also let’s us know that death is as one “asleep”.

“And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” ( 1 Cor. 15:17-18)

But some of the proclaimers of Satan’s trick, say that the following reference saying “worm” means human souls.

“And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against Me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” (Isa. 66:24)

The Lord’s message of Elijah shows us that the worm context means as follows —

“Although the preceding verses of this chapter are not studied much by any, the last two have often been discussed and debated upon by many. To some they mean that there is to be an eternal torment. But does the scripture at all sustain such a thought? — No, it does not. The definition of “carcasses” is “lifeless bodies.” And the prophet Malachi says: “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.” Mal. 4:1-3.

The carcasses at first and the ashes at last of the unfaithful servants being under the feet of the saints, can hardly indicate that the unfaithful are pushed into “hell fire,” there to live forever. Moreover since only the righteous are given eternal life, then the wicked must be given eternal death. Furthermore, “second death” (Rev. 20:14) cannot mean “second life.”

The theory of eternal torment has been superficially derived from the statement, “their worm shall not die.” “Their worm,” the worm that gorges on their carcasses, though, cannot possibly mean the souls of the people. At least it cannot mean such to him who digs deep into the well of salvation, and that can think and reason for himself. Such a one reads between the lines and notes the full value of each word. If “worm” means anything, then it means that the worm thrives on the carcasses, that it is the agency which reduces the constituents of the carcasses to their original elements.

Indeed, “the worm shall not die”; it shall certainly accomplish its consuming work; the carcasses shall He bring down to dust, “for dust thou art,” says the scripture, “and unto dust shalt thou return.” Gen. 3:19. It is this disintegrating agency, the consuming worm that does not die. Moreover, we are told that the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezek. 18:4).

It is plainly seen that the preaching of eternal suffering in hell fire rather than eternal death, is prompted by unscrupulous so-called soul winners endeavoring to drive their audiences into church by fright. But if they knew that only the born-again through the love of the Truth are given the right to enter into the Holy City, if they knew that those who must be frightened in are excluded from it, if they knew that anything which maketh a lie is also not given the right to enter therein, — if they wholeheartedly knew all these, they would perhaps stop preaching eternal life in hell fire, and begin to preach eternal love of the Truth.” (1 TG, no. 45, p.21-23)

Let us discuss a good example of “eternal fire” as used in the Bible  —

And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling–these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day, as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 1:6-7)

Peter under the Holy Spirit describes and interprets Jude’s hellfire comments —

“He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction, having reduced them to ashes, having set an example of what is coming on the ungodly..” (2 Peter 2:6)

Are those who lived in Sodom and Gomorrah now burning with “eternal fire”? Of course not but they are utterly destroyed to ashes, their souls and their works! This, the Scriptures say is “an example”-total destruction–the end of living forevermore.

Another inspired Word of God showing an important point in our discussion–

“For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.” (Ecc. 9:5)

The message expounds on this important Word —

 

“Take for example the Revelator’s statement: “…I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God,…and they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood?” Rev. 6:9, 10.

   The literalist on the one hand, would interpret this scripture to mean that the souls were conscious and actually crying out, though the Bible is very explicit that “the dead know not anything.” Eccles. 9:5. And, too, were the souls under the altar literally crying out for vengeance on their murderers, then, to be consistent, the Lord’s statement, “the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto Me from the ground” (Gen. 4:10), also the statement, “all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isa. 55:12), likewise must be interpreted literally in spite of the fact that it is impossible physically for blood to cry out and for trees to clap hands.

   If all, however, are obliged to admit that Abel’s blood could not literally cry out, and that trees can only figuratively clap hands, then, again to be consistent, the person given to extreme literalizing should easily take hold of the actuality that “the dead know not anything,” and that they are “asleep” — unconscious.” (Tract 3, p.89-90)

Once we truly understand that the dead are dead, and not alive (until the resurrection) the idea of going directly to heaven or hellfire ceases to be as divinely plausible, much less –truth!

To be sure, there will be burning and damnation cast upon the sinners, but NOT eternally! The message gives us a beautiful mental pictorial presentation of the final hellfire that will come to past —

 

Satan Is Loosed For a Little Season.   By the resurrection of the wicked dead, “…Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” Rev. 20:7, 8.

   Concerning this “little season” in which Satan will be allowed to deceive the nations, the prophet Isaiah heard the Lord say:

   “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.  But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.  And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.  There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.” Isa. 65:17-20.

   The reader will observe that when the Lord creates  the new heavens and the new earth, then from the time that the wicked arise from their graves to the time that they are destroyed  forever by the second death, — the “little season,” — “there shall be no more thence [among them] and infant of days [no more births], nor an old man that hath not filled his days [no more deaths before man’s days are fulfilled]: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.”

Both the old and the young (that is, those who remain in their graves during the millennium) will afterward come forth together, each to live “an hundred years” — “the little season” in which Satan will again deceive them.  There will be neither death nor birth, but all the wicked will then be forever accursed by

The Second Death.   That portion of the new earth which the feet of the wicked have trodden and defiled during the “short season,” will be purified by the fire’s coming “down from God out of heaven” and burning them and their works, while those who will inhabit the new earth for eternity, will be shielded in and about “the holy city.” Rev. 21:2.

   “And they went up on the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever…. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Rev. 20:9, 10, 14, 15.

   Since not only Satan, but also “whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life, was cast into the lake of fire,” the fire in the lake simply continues the same destruction wrought by the fire which comes “down from God out of heaven.” Rev. 20:9.  After the thousand years, in other words, the fire which comes “down from God out of heaven,” results in “the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:10) and in eternal extermination of all sinners. 

Of this final destruction, a pre-millennial demonstration is to be given when the beast and the false prophet are cast into the “lake of fire” — their grave for the thousand years.  And as the fire does not, of course, keep burning during the thousand years, the statement, “the devil…was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone,  where the beast and the false prophet are” (Rev. 20:10), shows therefore that there are both a typical and an antitypical destruction; the lake of fire before the millennium, being a type of the one after the millennium. (Tract 9, p.37-39)

In closing, as we announce to the World that we are “Christian” let us teach and proclaim the TRUTH about our eternal life and sadly for many–eternal death. Burning forever and ever is Satan’s trickery upon those who are NOT being guided by the Spirit of Truth (John 16:13). Let’s humbly submit to His Word and the preponderance of evidence showing what will befall us (life or death).

 

Color Code :  Orange — the Lord speaking,  Blue — Scripture or SOP speaking, Brown — Elijah message or Lord’s Rod (Micah 6:9) as brought by Victor Houteff  Red– special highlight of Inspired Words

God’s Meat — Prophecies

September 21, 2019

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The Elijah message tells us —

“He who controls the Scriptures is able to reveal present truth to His people at a time when needed. Therefore, though such truths are originally prophetic, they become new, and stand as a direct letter from God to men at the time revealed. “Thus saith God the Lord,… Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.” (Isa. 42:5, 9.)”(SRod, vol. 2, p.9)

Let’s face it, prophecy is sometimes so deep and mysterious that many throw up their hands and say “Well, there are more important things to know about God than prophecies. They are not so important as Jesus taught about love and that is what we need to concentrate on.”

True, God is all about love and His unfailing Word to us is about salvation and how His Son enables us to live forevermore. Amen! But the Scriptures tell us Jesus is the –Word (John 1:14), and as such the Scriptures are Him — the Word–ALL of it. Thus all of the Word, including the prophecies are about Him.

To say that one part of His Word is needed and not the other is to short change ourselves about learning about the Lord’s plans for mankind. The prophecies guide us to know about end-time events and what to expect in the future.

Our post was motivated by Brother R who recently seemed to say that prophecies are not the real focus, and that doing His will is the key. True, Commandment keeping is first and foremost, but doctrine is equally important–hand and glove as they say —

“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Tim. 4:16)

 

To be sure, prophecies are sometimes complicated and involve symbols. The message tells us —

“These prophetic symbols of beasts, wings, horns, heads, crowns, etc., prove to be most perfect symbols in revealing the truth represented by them and when correctly applied it is certain that their meaning cannot be misconstrued.” (SRod, vol. 2, p.10)

We are to grow in our spiritual walk not remain stagnant. The Word tells us about growing up–

Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly–mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able.” ( 1 Cor. 3:1-2)

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.” (Hebrews 5:12)

Here we see that spiritual growth is expected of us. We need to advance in our knowledge of God’s Word. We need to ultimately eat “solid food” and not stay on “milk” like a stunted baby all our spiritual life.

Unfortunately, some want to stay as a baby just speaking and knowing the elementary things of His Word, not attempting to take some solid food for nourishment. And once we start eating this solid food –wow, we really feel deeply satisfied and know for certain God is truly brilliant and able to show us great and wonderful things in His Word and prophecies! Symbols become understandable, end-time events come into focus.

If anyone steers clear of prophecies due to the deeper and more complicated nature of them, the Word gives us a simple solution to know them more clearly —

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)

Parables also are filled with symbols and the message explains more —

“The reason these wonders were portrayed by symbols is the same as that which caused Christ to teach by parables. “And the disciples came, and said unto Him [Christ], Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” (Matt. 13:10, 11.) “But the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Dan. 12:10.)”

Thus we see that symbols are not freely given to be understood, but only by those who it is “given”. Those who do the will of God and receive His gift — the Spirit of Truth.

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

Did you read that?? The Spirit of Truth shall show us —THINGS TO COME–Prophecy! Thus prophecies will be correctly understood and we shall know what to expect. The Word will then become a roadmap guiding us to know where we are going. No longer we will have this fuzzy “well I am just waiting to go to heaven” or “I am just waiting for Jesus to come in the clouds”, etc. No! We will know His plans for the end times and what His servants (God willing we will be one) are to do in the last days.

But God has perfect timing. His prophecies are meant to be understood at their proper time. For example, the Jews had in the Scriptures the following prophecies such as —

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and will call Him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for Me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2).

“My people, hear My teaching; listen to the words of My mouth. I will open My mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old” (Psalm 78:1–2)

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Zech. 9:9)

Yet they did not dwell or teach on them as significant prophecies. They were only revealed as timely truth once His Word was ready to be understood after Christ ascended. But even then only some understood due to their willing reception to understand prophecy! The searchers of truth thus rewarded!

“The prophecies, we all know, are Heaven’s light to our feet.  If we fail to open our eyes and hearts to them at the time the Lord would have us profit by the unrolling of the Scroll, how then shall we escape being like the blind leading the blind?” (WHR, p.27)

“Truth is ever timely, ever unfolding as time goes on.  So it is that our knowledge of one phase of a message is followed by God’s revealing another phase of it.  How glad and how anxious, then, ought we to be to keep pace with the unfolding of the Scroll, as we keep pace with time.” (WHR, p.29-30)

So why do we need to know prophecies today? As mentioned they provide a roadmap of where we are going. For example, much of the Christian world does not know that Jerusalem shall be seriously devastated soon and then rebuilt quickly by the Lord for the final Gospel Loud Cry headquarters, let us read —

“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” (Zech. 14:1-5)

A gigantic war is soon to happen over Israel. And those of us watching the news daily know that the middle east is a powder keg, ready to explode. This is all the Lord’s doing to bring back His people, beginning with the 144,000 and then the Great Multitude (Rev. 7:1-9). Prophecy confirms the ultimate purpose of the great war —

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:2-3)

What will those who have ignored certain areas of His word–especially the prophecies, think when they see these things come to past? Well just like the Jews, they will have a decision to make. Search the Scriptures to see what God revealed or stay stuck on limited ideas (milk) not letting the Lord’s prophetic movements guide you as it should–just like the Jews! The Spirit of Truth either works or He doesn’t, the choice is ours.

So we see a clear map to end time events. 1) gigantic war 2) the 144,000 and great multitiude go back to the Holy Land  3) the Word of the Lord comes from the headquarters–Jerusalem.

In closing, let us be grown men and women, who are able to feast on meat in due season. We grow up for a time on milk, but soon our growth needs more to keep spiritually fit and strong.

Studying the Seventh Seal

August 17, 2019

Image result for the seventh seal revelation

We all can agree that the book of Revelation, with perhaps the book of Ezekiel being the exception, is the most mysterious and difficult Bible book to understand. But we should not fear as the Lord, as promised, sent a prophet who would enlighten our minds with the deep truths therein. The following is an in-depth report on the Seventh Seal of Revelation. May you be blessed. 

The Seventh Seal, Revelation 8:1-5   Rev. 8:1, 3-5: “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.  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.  And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.  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.”

We have omitted the second verse, for it has reference to the seven trumpets.  The silence in heaven for about half an hour cannot be the second coming of Christ, as some have thought, for afterward the angel with the golden censer and incense, offered the prayers for the saints from the golden altar.  The altar is in the holy place, just opposite the throne that is in the most holy.  The two apartments were separated by a vail.  In the day of atonement, the vail or door of the earthly tabernacle was opened and the high priest went in. 

But let it be remembered that the door (vail) was left open while the high priest officiated.  Thus the two apartments became one.  For this reason the congregation were not permitted in the holy place on that day, as they were at other times, for the vail being lifted, the holy place also became most holy.  So while the door to the most holy was open, the entrance to the holy was closed.  Therefore, the high priest alone used both apartments on the day of atonement. (See Lev. 16:17.) 

Thus the golden altar before the throne, from which the angel offered the prayers of the saints, was, and is, used in both periods — before, and in the time of the judgment.  As the entire judicial tribunal (Judge, Advocate, Elders, etc.) were in the temple after the seventh seal had been opened, it is evident that the judgment was in progress, and probation had not closed at the time of the “silence.”  For after the judgment has ceased and probation closed, no man can enter the temple. (See Rev. 15:8.)

   Had the “silence” of “half an hour” pointed to the coming of Christ, at which time He takes his saints with Him, there would be no necessity for the angel to offer their prayers.  Furthermore, it would be unnecessary to “cast” fire, which is the Spirit of God, from the golden altar to the earth. 

Again, if the opening of the seventh seal means the coming of Christ, then only those under the six seals would have been considered in the judgment, and there could be no seventh seal, which would show lack of perfection and completeness of the judgment, and of the gospel.  It would also be contrary to the number of seals on the book.  As the six seals have reference to six periods in which the saints were sealed, the seventh must also apply to a sealing period; otherwise it cannot be called, seventh “seal.”

   Now let us consider the truth as taught by the last seal.  Note carefully the order of each act.  The seal is opened, and silence follows, for it reads: “and when he had opened the seventh seal there was silence.”  The Revised Version, Weymouth, the Greek, and the Bulgarian Bibles read the same way.  The silence was followed by the angel coming to the altar with the censer, after he offered the prayers of the saints.  And then he filled the censer with fire, and cast the fire to the earth and again the voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.  This is the exact order of each event.

   What made the silence?  As the judgment opened, John states: “And out of the throne proceeded lightnings, and thunderings and voices;” and the four beasts “rest not day and night, saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.” (Rev. 4:5, 8.)  The voices are continuous day and night while the judgment is going on.  But sometime after the seventh seal was opened these voices were silenced for about half an hour.  After the angel offered the prayers of the saints, and cast the fire upon the earth, the voices resumed.  “And there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” 

Evidently the judgment, for some reason, had stopped, and half an hour later it resumed.  It cannot be otherwise, for, if the judgment was going on, and the beasts and the elders kept silent, it would indicate that there was something wrong — something to which they could not say “amen” and praise God.  Therefore, the only proper conclusion is, that for some reason the judgment retired for half an hour.

   What made the interruption and brought about the change?  Let us first determine the length of the prophetic half hour’s time.  A day in prophetic time stands for a year. (Ezek. 4:6.)  One hour is a twenty-fourth part of a prophetic year, and figuring thirty days to a month, it would be about two weeks.  Half an hour would be half of two weeks; therefore, seven literal days.  Seven days were used for purification.  (See Ex. 29:35, 37; Lev. 12:2; 13:4, 5; 1, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 21, etc.)  From these references we conclude that the “half an hour” or seven days stand for the purification of the church, pointing forward to the fulfillment of Malachi 3:1-6.  But we have a more definite proof, which will clear all doubts.

   In observance of the Passover, the Lord commanded Israel to celebrate that occasion seven days. (See Lev. 23:5-8.)  Surely no one would say that God commanded His people to commemorate that event seven days with no object in view. 

Israel after the flesh going into Egypt, then out of Egypt to Mount Sinai, the passover in Egypt on the night when the death angel smote the first born of man and beast at the departure of Israel, are types of the church at the present time — the church going out of Egypt — worldliness, the purification of the church, the separation of the tares form the wheat — the fulfillment of Ezekiel 9.  (A complete explanation of the subject is given in “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 1, pp. 64-113; see also chart on page 224.)

The Spirit of Prophecy bears witness of this by the following statement: “The Passover was to be both commemorative and typical, not only pointing back to the deliverance from Egypt, but forward to the greater deliverance which Christ was to accomplish in freeing His people from the bondage of sin.” — “Patriarchs and Prophets,” p. 277.

   Thus the silence of half an hour points forward to this great event for the church of God.  Its fulfillment would bring us to the time of the harvest, or as it is called, the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message of Revelation 18 — the last message for the world.  Thus, while the five men with the slaughter weapons are taking away those represented by the tares within the church, there will be silence in heaven for about half an hour (seven days), after which the judgment will commence again for those who shall be sealed in the time of the great harvest, which is the end of the world. 

Said Jesus: “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” — the church.  (Matt. 13:30.)

   They who are to be sealed at that time were seen by John as a great multitude with palms in their hands. (See Rev. 7:9.)  Hence the scroll has made a turn, and the sealing for those who shall be judged while living, has begun.  As we stated before, the passover night in Egypt is a type of the purification of the church, separating the tares from the wheat.  The crossing of the Red Sea by the Israelites pointed forward to the fulfillment of Isaiah 63. (See “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 1, pp. 96-103.)

   Therefore, the prophet declares the words of the Lord: “For the day of vengeance is in mine heart and the year of my redeemed is come.” (Isa. 63:4.)  We quote verses 1-3, also 17, 18: “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah?  this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength?  I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.  Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? 

I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment…. O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear?  Return for thy servant’s sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.  The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary.”

   The prophet saw Christ himself returning from the slaughter of the Edomites — the class who were deceiving God’s people in the church, the tares, or adversaries who had trodden down His sanctuary.  “Bozrah” means “sheepfold” — the church.  He saw His garments stained with the blood of the tares, in delivering His people from their hands. 

The prophet asked: “Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth the winefat?” The purification of the church makes it necessary for Christ to leave the place of judgment and descend to deliver His redeemed (the 144,000), and this is what causes the judgment to cease, and the voices to be silenced for about half an hour — seven days. 

The Spirit of Prophecy bears witness of the same.  “The Lord Jesus shall rise up from His mediatorial work in the heavenly sanctuary, and shall clothe himself with the garments of vengeance, and surprise them at their unholy feast; and they will find themselves unprepared for the marriage supper of the Lamb.” — “Testimonies for the Church,” vol. 5, p. 690. 

Peter, looking forward to the purification of God’s church, and the commencement of the judgment for the living, says: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall be the end of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17.)

   Had the church as a body, or at least the leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination accepted the message of reform as presented to them in “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 1, there would be no necessity for that class to fall by the figure of the five men with the slaughter weapons. 

It is the reception or rejection of the message that will fix the destiny of the two classes as described in the following testimony: “I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the true witness to the Laodiceans.  This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth.  Some will not bear this straight testimony.  They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people.” — “Early Writings,” p. 270.

   In the earthly sanctuary, the high priest entered the most holy apartment once a year, and on that particular day every Israelite was to confess his sin.  He who neglected to comply with the divine requirements was cut off from his people. (See Lev. 23:29, 30.)  Thus the day of anti-typical atonement, judgment, or cleansing of the sanctuary, as set forth in Daniel 8:14, is a day of purification for the camp of Israel, the church — putting away sin and sinners.  The earthly sanctuary was a figure of the heavenly. (See Heb. 9:23, 24.) 

It was instituted with its ceremonial system to point forward to the work of Christ, our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary during the anti-typical period — New Testament time.  As the sanctuary with all its services, was a figure of type of the true, heavenly, under the administration of Christ, so the typical day of atonement must point out the truth in the anti-typical period — our time.

   While the judgment for the living is in progress, every sin must be confessed and put away.  He who would neglect this great privilege, will find himself involved in everlasting ruin — cut off from among His people.  Ignoring this most vital subject would not profit us in the least.

Reformation in View

The great reformation in view, vividly represented by the angel at the golden altar with the prayers of the saints, and the casting of the fire from the altar to the earth, is foretold, also, in the following testimony: “In visions of the night representations passed before me of a great reformatory movement among God’s people.  Many were praising God.  The sick were healed, and other miracles were wrought.  A spirit of intercession was seen; even as was manifested before the great day of Pentecost.  Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families, and opening before them the word of God. 

Hearts were convicted by the power of the Holy Spirit, and a spirit of genuine conversion was manifest.  On every side doors were thrown open to the proclamation of the truth.  The world seemed to be lightened with the heavenly influence.  Great blessings were received by the true and humble people of God.” — “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 9, p. 126.

   My brethren, the Lord is speaking to us.  Shall we not heed His voice?  Shall we not trim our lamps and act like men who look for their Lord to come?  “The time is one that calls for light bearing, and for action.”  Awake, I beseech you, from the sleep of death.  Let not the last day find you destitute of heavenly treasure.

   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 Iess 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. (SRod, vol. 2, p.214-221)

Looking at John Knox’s teaching of the Holy Spirit

July 20, 2019

Image result for John Knox

Three weeks ago we made the post “Mysterious God”, in it we expounded upon the Holy Spirit and how it is truly the Third Person of the Godhead. But recently the Lord has impressed upon us to delve more into the John Knox tie in and why it is important for us present truth believers to know what he taught in regards to the Holy Spirit.

To begin, once more we need to see this issue from the Lord’s final pleading message of Elijah (Mal.4:5-6), the “restoring” message that is to restore all things (Matt. 17:11). The Lord knew undoubtedly that this Holy Spirit issue would become a real controversy among His people, and for sure it has!

The Seventh-day Adventist church, along with even some present truth believers, the Davidian SDA, are seriously battling this controversy right now, with many online websites and YouTube videos proclaiming that we are dishonoring God and even blaspheming Him when we claim the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Godhead.

Two of the leading proponents of this “two Beings” only doctrine, is Nadar Mansour and David Barron, both being quite active in online media today. But to be sure, there are many others as well. So we feel there must be a counter-voice from the present truth believer standpoint to expose this folly, this terrible doctrine, lest us Elijah messengers get snagged also!

Let us look at what specific counsel the Lord sent through His message to us. First, we shall look at the Ezekiel 4 chart.

 

 (Click this link to enlarge)
http://www.davidiansda.org/Chart02.htm

Once you click the enlarged chart, you will notice step two showing John Knox as the Barley, as symbolically described in Ezekiel 4:9.

“Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof.”

We should also take notice of the words “Presbyterian”. John Knox and John Calvin were the leaders in starting this movement and today their teachings in this denomination are largely based on their doctrinal understanding of the Bible, particularly the Godhead, ie. The Holy Spirit. Thus we need to see what John Knox and their Presbyterian teachings were concerning our issue because obviously they were inspired and approved by the Lord and allowed into His Elijah chart above.

As present truth brethren, we should know well this Ezekiel 4 teaching. This we believe sets straight our issue of clarity on the Holy Spirit understanding.

For those who aren’t familiar with the basics of this teaching see this link for a general outline —

http://www.shepherds-rod-message.org/outlines/eze_4.pdf

The Eliajh message confirms that Knox’s teachings on the Holy Spirit was sanctioned by the Lord —

“The Jews never rose higher than the height to which Moses led them. When Moses died, they as it were died with him so far as spiritual progress was concerned. Thus it was that they rejected and killed the prophets that came after Moses, not sparing the Son of God.

The same spirit prevailed in the Christian church. She never rose above the level on which the Apostles left her, and for a time she even fell almost to the bottom of the pit. And she would have dropped out had God not again visited His people in the persons of Luther, Knox, Wesley, Campbell and the other reformers, through whom the Lord brought to light certain parts of Bible Truth that had long been trampled under foot.” (Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 26, page 21)

Let’s note the words “certain parts of the Bible”. This explains how those reformers were given specific “parts” of truth (parts of the spiritual food) and their sum total is the whole spiritual food fed to God’s people in six steps (courses) during the time of the Reformation. The Protestant denominations are built chiefly on the six doctrines;

1) Wheat = Faith brought by Martin Luther (Lutherans)  Hebrews 11:6

2) Barley = Holy Spirit  by John Knox  (Presbyterians)  Judges 7:13-14

3) Beans = Grace  by John Wesley  (Methodists)  Rom. 3:24; 4:4

4) Lentils = Baptism by Alexander Campbell  (Baptists)  Matt. 3:16

5) Millet = 2300 days  by William Miller (1st-Day Adventists) Dan. 8:14

6) Fitches (Spelt) = Sabbath/Sanctuary by E. G. White  (SDA) Gen. 2:1-3 Ex. 20:4-6

 

The message explains more detail of this important Ezekiel grain prophecy —

 “The Lord said to the prophet Ezekiel, “Put them in one vessel” (Ezek.4:9).   It will now be considered as to whether he really did put all these doctrines in one vessel.  Luther believed in the doctrine he taught, but the great enemy flooded the church with deception.  Not with arguing the truth.  No, no.  But suggesting to the people that they now have all the truth, and that they surely were right, thus hardening their hearts against more light.

Soon additional truth came, but Satan had already flooded the church with his agents, and prejudice was aroused against the new light.  The result was that the majority turned down the truth.  A few saw the light and as the case generally is, they were voted out by the church.  Necessity gave birth to a new movement, or denomination.  Such has been the experience with the church in each advancing truth up the line to our own time.

   In like manner, the truth represented by the barley (Spirit) was turned down by those who had accepted the doctrine symbolized by the wheat (faith).  Knox believed in all the truth he had and also all the truth Luther taught.  Thus the wheat and the barley were in one vessel and carried to the second step.

   We next have the truth symbolized by the beans (grace) and presented by Wesley, who believed also in the truths previously taught by Luther and Knox, which were represented by the wheat and barley.  The third step was made, and the wheat, barley, and beans were in one vessel.  The fourth truth was represented by lentils (baptism by immersion) and taught by Campbell, who believed in the doctrines of Luther, Knox, and Wesley.

Thus the wheat, barley, beans and lentils were carried to the fourth step, and in one vessel.  The fifth truth (2300) was represented by millet, and this step upward was made by William Miller who believed in all the truths symbolized by wheat, barley, beans, and lentils.  The fifth step was made and the five varieties of food of truth were carried in one vessel.

   We now come to the last variety of the cereals: “spelt” (Sabbath), in connection with the judgment.  Is it not a fact that the Seventh-day Adventist denomination believes in all these truths: The wheat (faith); barley (Holy Spirit); beans (grace); lentils (immersion); millet (2300 days); spelt (Sabbath, with the sanctuary truth)?  It will be noticed the Lord said, “Put them in one vessel”.  He did not say in two, or more, but in one.

There are no other people besides Seventh-day Adventists who believe in the 2300 days (cleansing of the Sanctuary), and it is this denomination (vessel) which teaches all the six doctrines as represented by the six varieties of food.  Thus the prophecy meets its fulfillment in our day, and we are amazed with the difficulty to comprehend the great wisdom of the Lord our God.” (SRod, vol. 1, p.120-122)

Ok, we have established the fact that the Lord’s Rod message shows us to look closely at what John Knox taught in regard to the Holy Spirit, so let’s see exactly what that teaching is —

Our first reference comes from the Presbyterian creeds of confession —

Chapter 12 – Faith in the Holy Ghost

“Our faith and its assurance do not proceed from flesh and blood, that is to say, from natural powers within us, but are the inspiration of the Holy Ghost; whom we confess to be God, equal with the Father and with his Son, who sanctifies us, and brings us into all truth by his own working, without whom we should remain forever enemies to God and ignorant of his Son, Christ Jesus.

For by nature we are so dead, blind, and perverse, that neither can we feel when we are pricked, see the light when it shines, nor assent to the will of God when it is revealed, unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus quicken that which is dead, remove the darkness from our minds, and bow our stubborn hearts to the obedience of his blessed will.

And so, as we confess that God the Father created us when we were not, as his Son our Lord Jesus redeemed us when we were enemies to him, so also do we confess that the Holy Ghost does sanctify and regenerate us, without respect to any merit proceeding from us, be it before or after our regeneration. To put this even more plainly; as we willingly disclaim any honor and glory from our own creation and redemption, so do we willingly also for our regeneration and sanctification; for by ourselves we are not capable of thinking one good thought, but he who has begun the work in us alone continues us in it, to the praise and glory of his undeserved grace”.https://www.apuritansmind.com/creeds-and-confessions/the-scottish-confession-by-

We note that the Holy Spirit is said to be “God”, and “equal with the Father and the Son”. This is profound and cannot be misinterpreted!

Next we go to our second reference  direct from an authorized Presbyterian website —

“Presbyterian theology, like Christian theology, begins with the triune God. The Trinity is the basis for understanding who God is. The three persons are one God. Who we see in Jesus Christ is God. What we see the Holy Spirit do is God. The God who is revealed in the Old Testament is God. All the work of God is one work in that it is carried out by the one God. But God works as three divine persons, united in the divine love. The Bible distinguishes the work of the persons of the Godhead. But we believe in and worship, as the hymn says, “God in three persons, blessed Trinity”
https://firstpresbyterian.org/sites/default/files/other/What-Presbyterians-Believe-Session1.pdf

In our last reference, again is from the Presbyterian site we read —

“1. The Holy Spirit is God. That is to say, the Holy Spirit is understood strictly in Trinitarian terms. The Trinity is a doctrinal way of referring to the three ways God has of being God — all three simultaneously, and each always in active relation with the other two. This means that our experience of God as Holy Spirit always involves also our relation to God as Creator (Father) and to God as Mediator-Savior (Son).

God as Holy Spirit comes into our lives in and through and with God’s creation of Israel and its history, in and through and with the coming of the Word of God in the “flesh” of Jesus of Nazareth. No matter how profound is our sense of the immediate spiritual presence of God in our lives, that awareness is always initiated, given substance and definition, corrected, and sustained in and through and with our being encountered by the eternal Word of the Creator — finally and decisively by that Word incarnate in the life-death-resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

The Holy Spirit moves within us, but there is no merging and loss of identity in the union of Holy Spirit and human spirit.”
https://www.presbyterianmission.org/what-we-believe/holy-spirit-3-views/

Summary —

Because our King told us through His final restoring message of Elijah that John Knox, the barley of Ezek. 4 prophecy, taught the correct understanding of the Holy Spirit, we would do well to know this doctrine and stand upon His word, fortified and solid upon the Rock of Jesus.

Those that come to us saying something different must be shown as the usurpers they are, counterfeits and leading souls into the pit, prepared for the devil and his angels. The Lord says there are THREE BEINGS in the Godhead, the Father as God, the Son as God, and the Holy Spirit as God, amen.

If we reject this clear teaching shown by Knox’s doctrine of the Holy Spirit then we should not call ourselves present truth believers, rather some other description and be honest by denying connection to our Lord’s Rod message, aka the Elijah message. The two being doctrine cannot be reconciled with the Lord’s Rod.

“And such as do choose to engage in private interpretation are respectfully asked to desist from teaching in the name of the Rod and at its expense. Let them like honest men, teach in their own names and at their own expense.” (Answerer, vol. 5, Q- 133)

 

Coming in the Clouds

July 13, 2019

Image result for Jesus coming in the clouds

The great hope for believers is the long sought after “coming in the clouds” of our King and Savior. Let us read–

“But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”(Matt. 14:61-62)

This, as we know, is what we are taught as basic Christianity 101. But there is advanced learning that must be accended to if you are a current member of God’s remnant church, those professing to be keeping the Commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus. In other words, if we are Seventh-day Adventists, there is present truth that will put in a clear timeline and focus on this “coming in the clouds”.

Briefly, as a personal testimony, when I first came into the SDA church, this was a basic understanding that I had and was confirmed by our church. The very “next” coming is to be His coming in the clouds with all glory and power.  In other words, our great hope and anticipation. 

Our leaders, nearly all of them, confirm this next coming and the following is a typical example of our belief.

Amazing Facts ––  “The Second Coming of Jesus is mentioned more than 300 times in the New Testament is the capstone of our teachings, it is essential to our identity as Seventh-day Adventists Christians. The doctrine is engraved in our name… without the promise of His coming our faith would be in vain, and indeed it would. This glorious truth gives us a sense of destiny and motivates our missionary outreach.

https://www.amazingfacts.org/media-library/media/e/10309/f/6/t/the-second-coming-of-jesus
(mark 13:57- 14:95)

But there is a precedent, a type, that indeed fits us SDA. That is the Jews of Christ’s day and their expectation of their King’s coming and how they taught this coming and neglected the truth of His real coming.

“As a nation the Jews had been growing prouder and prouder. They had made great boasts of their righteousness. They made broad their phylacteries, uttered long prayers in the market places, and gave alms to be seen of men. Their religion was formal, consisting of ordinances and purifications, rites and ceremonies. It was not heartfelt. Although they made their religious profession so very prominent, yet they did not scruple to grind the faces of the poor and to take advantage of them in every way possible.

This proud people could not think of acknowledging the lowly Nazarene as their Messiah. They knew that if they should take their position by the side of this humble man, all the surrounding nations would deride them and scoff at them. After having so loudly boasted of how they would be exalted when the Messiah should come, they could not think of recognizing the carpenter’s Son as the Messiah. Satan had blinded their eyes so they knew not what was for their good.” (Manuscript Releases, vol. 10, p.153)

So down through the centuries have we as God’s people learned from our past? Obviously not. Our SDA leaders continue to be generally destitute of the real knowledge of the Scriptures. The Lord’s Word tells us exactly of what His next coming will be —

 

“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.” (Malachi 3:1-5)

There are great jewels we gain from a close examination of these great prophetic words. Let us see.

1) A messenger is to come to His people before the great and dreadful day of the Lord. This rules out John The Baptist, as he did not come before that day. He was before the first advent only. As we know of only one place in all of Scripture that predicts someone to come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord, and that is “Elijah”. A male prophet.

2) We SDA are seeking Him, thinking as we have noted that He will come in the clouds, yet His word corrects us and says He will  “suddenly come to His temple”. He will come as a surprise to us (except not to those prepared for this sudden coming), and that is to His church (temple).

3) But there will be some who “stand” and some who will not. The complimentary Scripture for this understanding is found in Rev. 6: 15-17, let us read —

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

The message explains more of these words above —

 

“In these verses are pictured the fate, the fear, and the smitten conscience of all who are not able to stand in the day of the Judgment of the living, the great and dreadful day of the Lord — the wrath of the Lamb in the great “time of trouble such as never was” (Dan. 12:1), the day following the appearance of the antitypical “Elijah the prophet” (Mal. 4:5) — yes, the day in which those who have not clad themselves in the wedding garment, are cast into outer darkness, there to gnash their teeth (Matt. 22:11-13).

   Also in these scripture (Rev. 6:14-17), asserts the Spirit of Truth, “two parties are brought to view.  One party permitted themselves to be deceived, and took sides with those with whom the Lord has a controversy.  They misinterpreted the messages sent them, and clothed themselves in robes of self-righteousness.” — Testimonies, Vol. 9, p. 268.” (Tract 15, p.56)

Thus the great and dreadful day of the Lord, the day in which judgment starts first in the house of God upon earth (1 Peter 4:17) will produce the Rev. 7-1:4 , 144,000, those who will “stand” in that day. Sad indeed to think we now have over 20 million SDA!

When questioned about this extremely small number, we often respond, how many were saved out of God’s first worldwide judgment upon His people? Eight from Noah’s many years of preaching!

In the great vast throng, some say over 1 million strong, who partook in the great exodus from Egypt, who over the age of 20 made it into the kingdom? Two, Joshua and Caleb!

These are solemn examples of the Lord not carelessly preserving those who will not listen to His prophets! This is why we time and again warn–LISTEN TO HIS ELIJAH PROPHET before it is too late!

4) We see why the Lord comes suddenly to His church, to purify His church  “like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.”

5) Then after His “strange act” (Isaiah 28:21) the church will finally please Him and “the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

6) He will draw near to us, meaning He will come to our very house, His house called by His name the Seventh-day Adventist church! he will then perform the great and dreadful day, as a “swift witness” against those who have not the wedding garment on.

So we see that just like the Jews of old, our leaders, from Doug Batchelor, Stephen Bohr, Mark Finley, 3 ABN, Amazing Facts performers, Stephen Wolberg, Kenneth Cox, and a slew of others, all are teaching us “Be ready Jesus is soon to come in the clouds, this is His next coming”. Wrong.

Be not confused the Lord WILL come in the clouds, but after He has first come invisibly to His church to produce His final Loud Cry servants, from His church purification to give the final message to the dying world.

“Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.

They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken?

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD. And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 13:3-9)

Color code Orange is our Lord/God the Father speaking, Blue is Scripture or Spirit of Prophecy, Brown is Elijah message as brought by Victor T. Houteff.

Life Is But What We Make It

June 1, 2019

TEXT FOR PRAYERReveal God; Do Not Conceal Him   I shall read from “Christ’s Object Lessons,” page 18, beginning with the first paragraph–

   “In His teaching from nature, Christ was speaking of the things which His own hands had made, and which had qualities and powers that He Himself had imparted.  In their original perfection, all created things were an expression of the thought of God…. The earth is now marred and defiled by sin…. God’s object lessons are not obliterated; rightly understood, nature speaks of her Creator. 

In the days of Christ these lessons had been lost sight of…. The sinfulness of humanity had cast a pall over the fair face of creation; and instead of manifesting God, His works became a barrier that concealed Him…. So in Israel, man’s teachings had been put in the place of God’s.  Not only the things of nature, but the sacrificial service and the Scriptures themselves, — all given to reveal God, — were so perverted that they became the means of concealing Him.”

   I wonder if the world is not about the same today as it was in Christ’s day.  The Jews were given a great opportunity to reveal God to humanity, but instead they concealed Him.  Christians that are quarreling and bickering, bringing doctrines of man into the doctrines of God, are not revealing God to the heathen but are concealing Him, turning them against Him.  Such are not making converts to Christ but are driving souls away from Him.  We must pray that we do better; that we do not conceal Christ but reveal Him in all our works and through our lives.

 

LIFE IS BUT WHAT WE MAKE ITTEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTSSABBATH, JULY 19, 1947MT. CARMEL CHAPELWACO, TEXAS   To find out that life is really what we make it, I shall bring to attention seven examples, beginning in Noah’s day and ending in our day:

   Example No. 1: Noah was commanded to build an ark, and to tell the world that a flood was to cover the earth, that only those who would get into the ark would escape alive.  One hundred twenty years later the animals were strangely seen to march two and two into the ark!  Noah and his family also went in, while the rest of the world laughed and ridiculed.  But when the rain began to pour, the situation ceased to be “funny.” Those outside the ark cried, mourned, pled.  But all perished as fools only because they had failed to give heed to present Truth, had failed to feed on “meat in due season.”  What folly!  What disaster!

   One would think that after the deluge, the world would have had great respect for religion and for the prophets of God.  But that was not the case.  The antediluvians did not believe Noah’s prediction that there was to be a flood, so they refused to go into the ark!  But the flood came and they perished.  The postdiluvians did not believe his prediction that there was not to be another flood so they set about to build the tower of Babel!  But when God saw the tower sky-rocketing,

He blasted the top of it, and confounded the builders’ language.  That is, He blotted their own language from their minds and carved into them the languages of today.  Thus he caused the birth of various races and languages which we today find even in the remotest parts of the earth.

   It was not God’s purpose that the people should stack themselves in the plains of Shinar, but that they should spread out and replenish the earth.  And so when they refused to obey His command He gave them the next best He had for them, and that they had to obey.

   Man’s work independent of and contrary to God’s, you see, is certain to meet with disaster.  A house that is built on sand cannot survive a storm, and no man can possibly defeat God’s purpose for men.  Do not make a fool of yourself by trying.

   It takes years in the schools of men to learn a language, but in the school of God, it takes but a moment.  He can blot out one language from man’s brains and carve in another, and at the same time change the features of his face and the color of his skin.  Yes, God can do all this more quickly than a dentist can pull a tooth.  But whether a change be made for better or for worse, all depends upon the individual.

   Example No. 2: Nebuchadnezzar was given a dream.  Being troubled with it he summoned the wise men of his realm to tell him the interpretation of it.  They came but there was nothing that they could do.  At last Daniel was brought before the king.  After hearing the king’s story of the dream, Daniel said:

Dan. 4:24-26, 28 — “This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which is come upon my lord the king: that they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will.  And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule….came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.”

   The king heard the interpretation of it, and he understood the decree.  Nevertheless he was not willing to admit that there was One greater than he.  Then it came to pass that–

Dan. 4:29, 30 — “At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.  The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?”

   What a statement to make after having heard God’s decree!  The king had yet to learn that God rules the nations, sets up kings and deposes kings.  Let us now hear God’s answer to the king’s folly:

Dan. 4:31-33 — “While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.  And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will.  The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.”

   Some even to this day do not realize that God rules, that men are not independent of Him although they are permitted to choose whether or not to serve Him.  It was not necessary for the Chaldean king to live with the beasts of the field, but as he could not learn his lesson by words, in the easy way, he was removed from his palace and put into a corral, there to learn by experience, in the hard way.  In the end of seven years, after he had graduated, so to speak, from God’s school of hard knocks, the king walked back into his palace, and said:

Dan. 4:34-37 — “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honoured Him that liveth for ever, Whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His Kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest thou? 

At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.  Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all Whose works are Truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase.”

   Through pride and disloyalty to God Nebuchadnezzar made life miserable for himself, but at last he did awake.

   Example No. 3: Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom continued until the reign of his grandson, Belshazzar.  Belshazzar knew his grandfather’s history and his experience with God, but he failed to profit by it.  He made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and commanded that the vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, be brought to the feast, so that the king himself, and his princes, wives, and concubines might drink therefrom.

   As soon as this revelry took place there came forth fingers of a man’s hand, which wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace. Belshazzar was greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonished.  Then was Daniel brought before the king.  And Daniel emphatically declared:

Dan. 5:18-31 — “O thou king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour: and for the majesty that He gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. 

But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: and he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the Most High God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that He appointeth over it whomsoever He will. 

And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; but hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of His house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in Whose hand thy breath is, and Whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: Then was the part of the hand sent from Him; and this writing was written.  And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. 

This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.  TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.  PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.  Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.  In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.  And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.”

   What a difference there would have been in the scroll of history if Belshazzar had profited by the priceless lesson which his grandfather had learned.  Yes, what a difference it would have made!  This is the needful lesson for us all, kings and peasants alike.

   Example No. 4: The Chaldean empire became a Medo-Persian empire, not because the Medes and the Persians were stronger and mightier, but because God had so decreed.  Let us see:

Isa. 45:1 — “Thus saith the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two-leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut.”

   Cyrus, under whose command the Medo-Persian army marched into Babylon, had not yet been born when the prophet Isaiah wrote of him.  But God remembered His promise and when Belshazzar felt perfectly secure on the night of revelry and fatal debauchery, God opened before Cyrus the two-leaved gates and made possible the capture of the kingdom.  There the Medes and Persians met Daniel and his companions, who called Cyrus’ attention to the Scriptures which not only predicted his victory, but even foretold his name.  Having seen and felt the power of God, Cyrus was moved to decree:

Ezra 1:2-11 — “Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to build Him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.  Who is there among you of all His people?  his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (He is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.  And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem. 

Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.  And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered. 

Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods; even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and numbered them unto Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah.  And this is the number of them: thirty chargers of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives, thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second sort four hundred and ten, and other vessels a thousand.  All the vessels of gold and of silver were five thousand and four hundred. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up with them of the captivity that were brought up from Babylon unto Jerusalem.”

   It is not difficult to see that if the rulers of the Medo-Persian empire had continued to rule in the same spirit as Cyrus, the kingdom would have stood until this day.  That kingdom, though, gave way to Grecia; Grecia, to Rome; and Rome, to the nations of today.  Plain enough it is to see that the kingdoms of today still stand because God has purposed it so.

   Their growing more and more independent of God will sooner or later bring the end of them too, for looking down the stream of time, down to the kingdoms of today which are depicted by the feet and toes of the great image, the Spirit of Truth wrote: “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.  And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 

And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.  And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a Kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the Kingdom shall not be left to other people, but It shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and It shall stand for ever. 

Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” Dan. 2:41-45.  Rather than merging into the Kingdom of God, they will have to be destroyed.

   Example No. 5: Now let us see what benefit the kingdoms and nations reaped from coming in contact with the church. Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, and Rome, who came in contact with the church, make up the civilized world of today.

   Look at the nations and peoples (the heathen in the somewhat isolated places of the earth) who were not so fortunate as to meet the church as early as the other nations.

   Still further, look at those who are still more isolated in the remotest parts of the earth who have had no contact with the church, not until just recently.  Most of them are but little better than animals not only in intelligence but even in progress.

   The people who were fortunate enough to be the closest to the religion of Christ, are, you will find, the most intelligent, the most prosperous.  England, for example, who translated the Bible and published and scattered It throughout the world to all peoples and languages, became the greatest of the nations in its time. 

Then the United States (but a sister nation to the English Empire), who less than two centuries ago founded its government upon the principles of the Bible and inscribed on its dollar, IN GOD WE TRUST, and who also established the American Bible Societies, in but a comparatively few years became the greatest of nations, as did the Hebrews in their day.

   On the other hand those who turned against the religion of the Bible, were left desolate — their blessings became a curse to them.  The hated Jews, for whom there is no spot on earth, are the best example.  Germany, who led out in the Reformation but who turned back from it, has reaped a sorrowful harvest, too.

   And what is true with the nations is, of course, just as true with individuals, homes, families, and communities.

   If you will take a little time to observe, you will see this law of blessings and cursings in demonstration everywhere without exception.

   The world was founded upon religion, and you can rest assured that when religion disappears from the earth, the world will disappear with it.  Those who fall in love with the Truth will find that blessings will, reciprocally, fall in love with them.  Let us read:

2 Thess. 2:8-12 — “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the Truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the Truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

   We see that if we do not fall in love with the Truth, deception is inevitable.  No, none are deceived by coming in contact with error (for we are in contact with it anyway from the time we are born to the time we die), but everyone who does not love the Truth is sure to be deceived, regardless what he may do to avoid It.

   And those who are satisfied with the Truth of yesterday, who are not looking for fresh Truth for today from the throne of God, not looking for “meat in due season,” — such ones will find themselves in as terrible a predicament as did the Jews — spued out.

Deut. 30:15, 19 — “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil:… I call Heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”

   Example No. 6: If we fail to profit by what God tells us we shall fail as badly as, if not worse, as any who have failed before us.  I think some of you who have had personal contact with God, know these things through experiences of your own.  Doubtless you have found that you cannot long prevent explosion while keeping fire and gunpowder in the same room; that you cannot serve the Devil and yet have peace and security.  Let me illustrate this by an actual incident:

   A certain man dreamed that a horse killed him by kicking him.  To safeguard his life he ever after kept his distance from all horses.  Nevertheless one windy day as he was walking down a street, he passed a blacksmith’s establishment in front of which was hanging a sign with a horseshoe painted on it.  The sign suddenly fell on his head and he died from the impact.

   We can no more avoid the consequences of sin and of isolation from God, than could the dreamer avoid death by dodging it.  We never know what the day will bring forth, and we cannot afford to isolate ourselves from God even for a moment.  Neither can we say definitely that we will or will not do this, that, or the other.

   Example No. 7: Some years ago while in Europe, I heard that one of my cousins had left for America.  I then said to myself, “Poor cousin, I will never leave home and go to live anywhere as far away as America for any reason.”  But about that time, I, along with others, was falsely accused of conspiracy.  It was in the season when the nights were long, and as we put on the lights in our store one morning before daylight, a mob gathered with guns and stones, and stormed the windows. 

So it was that just a few months after I took pity on my poor cousin’s estrangement from his homeland I found myself in America in the same house with him.  It was a great disappointment at first, no not lesser than Joseph’s of old, but what a favor at last!  God bless the mob!

Only God knows the future, and we should place our hopes and ambitions in His mighty hand.  Then, and then only, will we come to the “top.”  And if we are tempted to say we will or will not do this or that, then let us remember Jonah: He said he would not bear a message to Nineveh, and straightway took a boat for Tarshish.  But the boatmen threw him overboard and the great fish picked him up and brought him right back to the place whence he was trying to run away.

   Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, thought to perpetuate his kingdom by ordering all his subjects to bow down to his golden image.  The three Hebrews, though, defied his purpose and changed the course of history.  The men who threw the Hebrews into the fiery furnace were themselves burned to death, but not a hair of the Hebrews’ heads was singed all the time they remained inside the fiery furnace.  Let us with the Psalmist lift up our voices and say:

Psalms 8:1-6 — “O Lord our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!  Who hast set Thy glory above the heavens.  Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that Thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.  When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou art mindful of him?  and the Son of man, that Thou visitest Him?  For Thou hast made Him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned Him with glory and honour.  Thou madest Him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under His feet.”

   The prophet Malachi was instructed to write for the people that were to live in the time of the end.

Let us read from chapter four:

Mal. 4:1-3 — “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.  But unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.  And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.”

   Is it not better to be a human being in God’s order, a beautiful ever-living creature, than to be ashes under the soles of the saints?  Why not now respond to His call and make life what it ought to be?

Mal. 4:4-6 — “Remember ye the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

   Are you waiting, watching, praying and hoping that when this antitypical Elijah the prophet appears and calls on you, your heart be turned toward your children and their hearts toward you, or are you crawling under your shell, as it were, for fear that you be deceived if you should meet him?

   Life, you see, is what you make it.  Most people do not know how to make it better, but “if you know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”

To summarize this study: We have learned that we have been put in this world for a purpose, that if we want salvation and blessings we must cooperate with God.  This we can do by following the examples of God’s Truth-hungering people.  To enable us to do this He has seen to it that both the glories and calamities of both classes have been noted in His Book.

   If we compare our works with Noah’s works we will see whether we measure up with him in obeying present Truth.  Neither the antediluvians nor the postdiluvians did profit from Noah’s preaching.  The former did not believe it possible to flood the earth and perished; the latter did not believe it possible for the earth not to be flooded again.

They built the tower of Babel because they feared another flood although they were plainly told that there will be such a flood no more.  God, though, not only destroyed their work, but also confounded their language, and in exchange gave them all different languages so that few could understand one another.  If we work to fulfill God’s plans for us we shall never be confused or confounded.

   Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon at last saw these things as God sees them, but the hard way — not before God turned him loose for seven years to eat grass like the oxen.  Later when he came to himself, he acknowledged God as the God Who rules both heaven and earth.  Let us do better than did the King.

   Then Belshazzar, the king who failed to profit by the experience of Nebuchadnezzar, over night lost himself, his kingdom and his all.

   Ruler followed ruler and finally the kingdom passed to the Medo-Persians, then to the Grecians, next to the Romans and finally to the nations of today.  The nations, you see, belong to God, and He lets them be ruled by whomsoever He will.

   The nations who came nearest to God and His teachings became great and respectable nations, and those who kept themselves away from Him are not much better than animals.

   It is best to learn what God wants you to do, then do just that.  Life truly is just what we make it — no less and no more.  Now is your chance, now you are at the two cross roads.  Which will it be for you?  The wide, or the narrow, which?

 

The Gifts of GodHis gifts are greater than my dreams,The gifts of God to me;As countless as the sunset’s golden beams,As boundless as the sea.I ask a part, He gives the whole–Himself, and all beside;His loving-kindness overflows my soul,Inrushing as the tide.Within my heart He shall have placeTo rule and reign supreme;My voice will ever praise Him for the graceOf which I ne’er could dream.His gifts are greater than my dreams,The gifts of Him who set me free;And more and more abundant daily seemsThe grace of God to me.–J.B. Pounds(Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 50, p.14- 31)                        

Esau or Jacob – Which?

March 9, 2019

PARADE OF PARADES! BEHOLD IT PASS:

  • First
  • The millions of escorting angels who ministered to the redeemed in all ages.
  • Second
  • Moses, the first inspired penman, general and leader peerless among men, clothed in white and crowned with a glittering golden crown, leading the van of the resurrected, themselves wearing white robes and golden crowns.
  • Third
  • Abel, first among martyrs, leading the martyred host of the ages, all clad in glorious white robes with borders of red.
  • Fourth
  • Enoch, his head encircled with a dazzling white wreath surmounted with a lovely crown brighter than the sun, and upon his arm a glorious palm; and following him a great multitude, all clothed in pure white robes, with palms in their hands and golden crowns on their heads.
  • Fifth
  • Elijah the faithful, arrayed in a glorious white mantle from his shoulders to his feet, leading the 144,000, a royal priesthood, all, like himself, attired in glorious white mantles.
  • Sixth
  • The Adams, the “sons of God,” from the worlds of God’s universe, with father Adam in the van.
  • Seventh
  • Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of Lords, the Majesty of all creation, the first and the last, and with Him ten thousand times ten thousand and thousand thousands of angels.

Throughout the infinite expanse of eternity never before has heaven beheld and never again will it behold the like – a procession supernal!

   Brother, Sister, it is ours to choose either the habiliments of the saved or the cerements of the lost; either to walk with the ransomed in white or lie down with the damned in black.

   If it be the latter — God forbid that it should be — then the dreadful price must be, not the first death alone, but also the second death, from which there is no release.

   Yes, which will it be — shrieking lamentations in the lake of unquenchable fire, or rapturous songs at the fount of unquenchable joy? Now, at the last hour you will have to choose either the company of —

ESAU OR JACOB-WHICH?

“And Isaac entreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.  And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus?  And she went to enquire of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels;  and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.  And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.  And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.  And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob.” Gen. 25:21-26.

   In the preternatural birth and the lives of Esau and Jacob, there is unmistakable Divine design and typology.  The strange anomaly of this family’s experience obviously dramatized in miniature an experience through which God’s church would one day pass.   Rebekah herself was made well aware of this fact when “the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people, and the elder shall serve the younger.” Gen. 25:23.

 What is the typology in this throbbing life drama? — Basically that which stands forth in Paul’s interpretation of the equally intense drama of Hagar and Ishmael, Sarah and Isaac.  Inspiration unveils the fact that the former pair represent the Old Testament Church and its members, the Jews; and that the latter pair represent the New Testament Church and its members, the Christians (Gal. 4:22-31).

   Similarly, though in another phase, Rebekah also represents the church, while Esau and Jacob represent her offspring, the laity.  And since the two struggled within the mother before they were born (delivered), the important lesson is that while the church is travailing with her children just before they are delivered, receive the second birth (John 3:3) and are led into the kingdom, they are to struggle within.  So, Rebekah’s carrying two sons makes known that the church is carrying within her two classes of people — Esaus and Jacobs.

   “There are two opposing influences,” affirms Inspiration, “continually exerted on the members of the church.  One influence is working for the purification of the church, and the other for the corrupting of the people of God.” — Testimonies To Ministers, p. 46.

   The manner in which Esau and Jacob were born — Jacob’s following Esau ahold of his heel — has very obvious significance: Esau’s leading makes him a type of leaders possessing his character, and Jacob’s following makes him a type of followers possessing his character.  This analogy unerringly signifies, too, that the one represents a class which precedes the other in church fellowship. Broadly speaking, therefore, they together represent candidates for a successor ministry and laity respectively.

   There is also typical significance in the further fact that Esau was born hairy and Jacob smooth.  This outstanding external unlikeness obviously imports some kind of outstanding visible identification of the two classes typified.

   God ordained the man to lead and the woman to follow, and as such He created the man hairy and the woman smooth.  These Divine marks of distinction reveal that Esau and the class which he represents possess the natural equipment for leadership, while Jacob and the class he represents do not.  Besides, being the first-born, Esau by birthright was to be the family’s priest.  Through him were to come the progenitors of the twelve tribes, the prophets the princes, and the kings of Israel, even the King of kings Himself, the Saviour of the world.

   But the desires, ambitions, and aims of Esau and Jacob, ran counter to their inherited positions.  Esau had no special interest in the part of the work which his birthright permitted, whereas Jacob coveted it.  Blocked, though, by the law of inheritance from possessing Esau’s part, Jacob in his inordinate longing for the birthright managed to purchase it at the opportune time.  Then in order to receive his father’s blessings, he consented to his mother’s conniving to obtain it through deceit.

   The tragic lesson is painfully conspicuous: The Esau class who attend the duties of their office less than its sanctity demands, indifferently let it slip from their hands into the eager reaching grasp of the Jacob class, who do veritably appreciate and prize its obligations, but who, not being natural-born leaders, must acquire the equipment for the holy office by passing through the disciplinary training of some soul-trying experience as foreshadowed by Jacob’s training while he was a fugitive from home. Thus in their providential lot, cast out of the church by their elder brethren, as was Jacob cast out of the home by his elder brother, because of their zeal in God’s service, they gain a training for the privileged work which is to be theirs.

   What an inestimable blessing the first-born, the present ministry, are losing!  Theirs is the matchless privilege of standing on Mt. Zion with the Lamb and of fathering forth the latter day subjects of the Kingdom, ushering the Kingdom itself, bringing the second advent of Christ, and finally leading the redeemed host into the heavenly Canaan, into the realms of faceless glory.  But they are about to lose out — tragedy of tragedies!

   For some tempting mess of pottage they let slip this sovereign privilege! Sadly, they are even now letting it slip away to the Jacob class, the faithful laity, the 144,000 future servants of God (Rev. 7:3; 5:10, Testimonies, Vol. 5, pp. 475, 476)

   “As Esau awoke to see the folly of his rash exchange when it was too late to recover his loss, so it will be in the day of God with those who have bartered their heirship to heaven for selfish gratifications.” — Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 182. (Read also Testimonies, Vol. 2, pp. 38, 39.)

   “Brethren,” years ago pleaded the Spirit of Truth with the first-born in warning them of their danger of losing their birth-right, “if you continue to be as idle, as worldly, as selfish as you have been, God will surely pass you by, and take those who are less self-caring, less ambitious for worldly honor, and who will not hesitate to go, as did their Master, without the camp, bearing the reproach.

The work will be given to those who will take it, those who prize it, who weave its principles into their every-day experience.  God will choose humble men, who are seeking to glorify his name and advance his cause rather than to honor and advance themselves.  He will raise up men who have not so much worldly wisdom, but who are connected with him, and who will seek strength and counsel from above.” — Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 461.

   “The call to this great and solemn work was presented to men of learning and position; had these been little in their own eyes, and trusted fully in the Lord, he would have honored them with bearing his standard in triumph to the victory….

   “God will work a work in our day that but few anticipate.  He will raise up and exalt among us those who are taught rather by the unction of his Spirit, than by the outward training of scientific institutions.”  — Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 82.

   “Here [Ezek. 9:5, 6] we see that the church — the Lord’s sanctuary — was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God.  The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God’s power as in former days.  Times have changed.  These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil.  He is too merciful to visit his people in judgment.

Thus peace and safety is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins.  These dumb dogs, that would nor bark, are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God.  Men, maidens, and little children, all perish together.” — Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211.

   Now as this numerous-phased typology turns round to its next aspect, Esau and Jacob are seen in a further representation of two sinful classes: Esau, both by the color of his skin and by the significance of his name after it was changed from Esau to Edom; Jacob, by the meaning of his name before it was changed from Jacob to Israel.

   Singularly enough, as was the color of Esau’s skin red, so was the meaning of his new name, Edom.  And as he failed to appreciate and cherish the paternal gift, never fulfilling the meaning of his birth name (“he that finishes”), it is seen that his new name, unlike Jacob’s new name, signifies, not advancement, but rather failure to advance, going on unrestrained in his carnal ways — remaining in his inborn, “red,” character. Hence, the class of leaders which he typifies are to lose out, never to finish their God-appointed work, and never to be transformed from sinners to saints!  What a loss!

   Not so, though, with the Jacob class.  Just as their type, who diligently cared for the sheep, carefully tended to his business, and triumphantly overcame his covetous nature, had his name changed from Jacob (supplanter) to Israel (and overcomer and thus a Prince), so they, too, finally, triumphing over their own carnal nature, have their names changed from Jacobites to Israelites, from supplanters to overcomers, — from servants of self to servants of God, from common Christians in Laodicea to exalted princes on Mt. Zion.  Thus in their own right the antitypical Jacobites become antitypical Israelites, by acquisition of the priestly birthright they become finishers of the gospel work and as servants of God they stand on Mt. Zion with the Lamb. ( SRod Tract, p.24-31)

A Comparison of Revelation 12 Study

February 23, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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