Archive for the ‘The 144’ Category

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

May 26, 2018

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

Continuing with part two ……

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

DB —  Starts out by quoting Ephesians 4:30.

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

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

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

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

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

VTH — Has the following report on this subject —

Question No. 21:

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

Answer:

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

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

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

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

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

SUMMARY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Batchelor vs. Houteff on the 144,000 (Part 1 of 2)

May 19, 2018

 

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

 

In today’s S.D.A church world there is very well-known pastor who is considered one of the leaders of our church movement. As many of you know we have spoken about Mr. Batchelor  several times on this blog. We agree that few contain as much knowledge of Scripture and SOP as Doug. His position as one of the prominent leaders of the S.D.A church today is undeniable. His organization “Amazing Facts” is vastly expanding yearly. With this in mind it would be illuminating and a chance to present the difference between “learned men” and what some consider– Inspiration.

As we near the end of our S.D.a probation, we thought it would be good to discuss one of the main doctrinal teachings of the Elijah message–the 144,000. This and the church reformation is what our Lord told us would be the primary focus for His people in the last days.

We know that the Spirit of Prophecy writings began with a vision of the 144,000, then decades later in 1930 we know that the Lord gave us our first instructions of His written Rod (Micah 6:9) —

“It is the intention of this book to reveal the truth of the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7, but the chief object of this publication is to bring about a reformation among God’s people.” (SRod, vol. 1, preface)

So no one should doubt today that this subject of the 144,000 is paramount to us as Adventists. Ok let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the two teachings, then you’ll decide which is Truth in the closet of prayer. Please pray BEFORE examining this study.

We will use Doug’s two-part YouTube series called “144,000 and the Seal of God” for his positions and we’ll use the Shepherd’s Rod writings for Victor Houteff’s position.

Let us first start with the Revelation Scripture that begins discussion on our subject —

“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” (Rev. 7:1-4)

Question 1-   In this context, what does the four winds represent?

D.B —  Means “winds of strife” that will eventually blow upon the earth. The strife is “kind of summarized in the seven last plagues”.  This issue of what exactly the four winds represent in this Revelation context is largely not  discussed nor examined by DB. We wish we had more to give but that is basically all DB mentions about the winds.

VTH — Uses the following SOP reference for specific clarification.

“The time is coming when we cannot sell at any price. The decree will soon go forth prohibiting men to buy or sell of any man save him that hath the mark of the beast. We came near having this realized in California a short time since; but this was only the threatening of the blowing of the four winds. As yet they are held by the four angels. We are not just ready. There is a work yet to be done, and then the angels will be bidden to let go, that the four winds may blow upon the earth. That will be a decisive time for God’s children, a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation. Now is our opportunity to work.” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.152)

VTH comments  —

“the winds” held by the four angels of Revelation 7:1, represent the angel’s holding back “the anger of the nations,”–the image of the beast,–also that the angels will not let “the winds” blow into being the image of the beast before the 144,000 are sealed. (“Early Writings,” p. 38.) (SC, vol.5, no.6-12, p.8)

 

 “Here are brought to view two hurtings about to take place: one by the winds, the other by the angels; and two commands to the angels: one that they restrain the winds, that the winds blow not “on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree” (Rev. 7:1); the other that the angels restrain themselves from hurting “the earth,… sea,” and “the trees,” till the servants of God are sealed. Rev. 7:2, 3). 

Since, therefore, as soon as the  servants of God are sealed both the winds and the angels will begin to hurt the question arises as to what the work of the winds and the work of the angels  represent — political strife or something else?  As the nations have always been at war, this two-fold work of hurting could not represent political strife. And as Jesus says that at the time of the end “nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matt. 24:7), it is clear that the hurting by the winds, also the hurting by the angels both of which are kept back until the 144,000 are sealed, must be figurative of holding back the “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation.” Dan. 12:1. 

Accordingly, God’s restraining of the four winds is His holding back the image of the beast’s activity (Rev. 13:15-17) against the saints, while His restraining the four angels that they hurt not is His holding back the executing of His vengeance (Isa. 63:1-4; Jer. 51:18) upon the sinners who trouble the church, until after the sealing of the 144,000 is completed. Being coupled, these two hurtings bring the time of trouble such as never was.

   Revelation 7:1-3, therefore, reveals a two-fold conflict: wicked men against God (the blowing of the winds) and God against them (the angels hurting them).  But though the blowing of the winds and the hurting of the angels after the servants of God are sealed, will bring the “time of trouble,” yet “every one that shall be found written  in the book” “shall be delivered.” Dan. 12:1.

   From these facts we see that this time of trouble is held back in order to safeguard the sealing of the 144,000 servants, lest they, “the very elect,” be brought down to worship the image of the beast, or be killed for refusing.” (Tract 8, p.22-23)

Question 2 — Are the 144,000 spiritual descendants or literal descendants of the twelve tribes?

DB — Makes a special point of saying that the list of the twelve are not the same as frequently listed in the OT Bible. For instance here is a handy list of the progressive names/changes of the 12. This is done to set up one of his pillars for establishing that the 144,000 are spiritual descendants not literal.

12 Tribes of Israel

He says, “The idea that getting an even number from each of the tribes, that would be interesting, but I believe that they are actually talking about spiritual Jews. That could include literal Jews and it could include people who have been adopted into the seed of Abraham by accepting Christ. Let me tell you why.

You read in the Bible in the old Testament, you read in 2 Kings 17:6 , ten of the tribes were conquered by the Assyrians way back hundreds of years before Jesus was born.”

He goes on to point out that the two tribes of Judah did come back to Israel but the ten tribes were dispersed, intermarried and disappeared as a distinct people.

“So when Revelation says 12,000  from the tribe of Manasseh, could you please show me someone from the tribe of Manasseh or Isaachar or Zebulun? When you talk about Jews you are typically talking about people from Levi, Judah or Benjamin… You are not going to find people who are pure bred people from Zebulun, Manasseh, Issachar and so forth. So what does it mean?”

He then quotes Gal. 3:29 —
If you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed, and heir according to the promise.”

Romans 2:28, 29 —
“For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly: neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh. But he is a jew which is one inwardly: and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit.”

“So the idea that to be one of the 144,000 you must have a DNA test is not taught in the Bible. God does not discriminate that way, if you are Abraham seed you are heirs according to the promise.”

Clearly DB does not believe in the literal application. Ok, fair enough ,let’s look at what the other view says.

VTH — has a specific report on this subject as follows —

“Whosoever has been converted to Christianity, accepting Christ as his personal Saviour, has had an experience which has completely overthrown and revolutionized his former plans and hopes, his entire way of life.  He has renounced the world and all its “pleasures of sin for a season” (Heb. 11:25), and has become a new creature in Christ, born again, heir of the kingdom according to the promise!  This is what Jesus meant when He declared to Nicodemus: “Ye must be born again.” And Paul, having this experience in mind, says: “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Gal. 3:29.

   Regardless, therefore, whether one be Jew or Gentile, he can have no part in the kingdom of Christ, save through the second birth, by which he becomes one of the seed of Abraham.  This spiritual transformation, nevertheless, does not fix anyone’s racial identity and tribal  lineage.  It can not, in other words, make one Judaite if he is not descended of Judah, or make him Ephraimite, if he is not descended of Ephraim.  Consequently, the 144,000, being of the sons of Jacob, cannot be of the Gentile nations.  They therefore, first of all, are lineal descendants of Jacob, though

Not Necessarily of the Present Identifiable Jewish Stock

   The ten tribes (the kingdom of Israel) were  carried away, scattered throughout the cities of the Medes (2 Kings 17:6), and so completely submerged in the sea of life of the surrounding nations, and assimilated, that they were utterly lost sight of, racially, to human reckoning.

Similarly, as the two tribes (the kingdom of  Judah) were carried away into Babylon, with only a few returning to Jerusalem after the seventy years of their captivity was accomplished, a multitude also of them lost their identity.

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

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

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

   “And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Word of prophecy in this connection, “that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.  And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel.” Isa. 11:11, 12; 27:12.

Since, therefore, history, logic, and scripture combine their evidences to prove unconditionally that God has preserved the genealogy of the chosen branch of the human race forward from Adam to Noah (Matt. 1:1-17), and backward from Jesus to Adam (Luke 3:23-38), He must, then, for a consistent reason, also have preserved  the identity of the elect today.  And this we see, is precisely what He has done in His designating the lineage of the 144,000, as “of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” Rev. 7:4. 

And though we know not what we are, and cannot ever of ourselves tell, the One Who knows all about us, even to the last hair of each head, knows our precise ancestry, although those of us who are to be gathered from the seed of Jacob are, says the prophet, as the sand of the sea,” whereas, comparatively speaking, the identifiable Jewish race of today, is but a handful to the nations, and therefore cannot today be the ones to whom apply.” (Tract 8, p.7-11)

So the two are presenting opposite views. DB saying it’s symbolic and not literal descendants and VTH believes they are a people with the bloodline “seed” passed on down through the ages. VTH establishes the point that the 144,000 are literal descendants of which God alone has kept tract of the bloodline. Let’s keep in mind that the tribes intermarried both in the OT and NT and thus the original Israelites and the Israelite Christians (early Christian followers) took Black, Brown, Asian, and other nationalities as wives. Thus today we cannot tell who is who–but God can and does!

NOTE: This is a in-depth issue connecting the 144,000 to the SDA church. The SOP tells us that the “Israel of today” is the S.D.A Church (see Testimonies, vol. 9, p.164) .See the following post for more clarification —

http://shepherds-rod.org/TGvol1/1tg37.htm

Question 3 — Are the 144,000 the only ones to be saved in the last days?

DB– Addresses this only from whether it applies from the world, does not mention or discuss whether it applies to the S.D.A church, The latter is a non-issue with him.

“If you do the math that would be pretty sad because there are about seven billion people in the world, and if only 144,000 are going to be saved, that means your chances are about 1 out of 50,000. It’s still better than the lottery in Florida, did you know that? No they are not the only ones saved. They are a special group of leaders.

Let me make the 144,000 really easy for you. In the same way that Jesus had twelve apostles that followed Him wherever He went, that had a special relationship with Him, that sang.. the Bible says that the only time Jesus sang, He sang with the twelve… Just like the twelve got the people ready for the first coming, there is going to be an army of apostles getting the world ready for the second coming.”

DB rightly says that the 144,000 are not all that are saved in the world, yet as mentioned he does not place any significance in the 144,000 and Ezekiel 9, which SOP does clearly in the following reference–

“This sealing of the servants of God is the same that was shown to Ezekiel in vision. John also had been a witness of this most startling revelation.” (Testimonies to Ministers, p.445)

So we must deal with this prophetic connection –Rev. 7 sealings and Ezekiel 9 sealings (markings) are the same event. The church purification and the birth of the 144,000. DB does not touch on this at all.

VTH — Addresses this from a S.D.A aspect. During his lifetime (died in 1955) some of the S.D.A leaders proclaimed that the 144,000 were the only ones to be saved. VTH addressed that with the following —

“The 144,000, let us note, are not from the Gentile nations, but strictly from the church, from the twelve tribes of Israel — from the descendants of Jacob (Rev. 7:3-8).  Then, to conclude that there will be no more than 144,000 living saints when Jesus comes the second time, is to say that not a soul from the Gentile nations is to be saved, which, of course, is contrary to the teachings of the Bible, not according to Jeremiah 8:20, not in harmony with the testimony of the prophets, though in harmony with the law.

   Moreover, the 144,000 are only the first fruits (Rev. 14:4) and where there is first there must be second fruits also else there cannot be first. Because there is a first resurrection we know that there is a second one.  Those that were seen after the sealing of the 144,000, the great multitude from all nations (Rev. 7:9) are, therefore, the second fruits.

   Besides their racial lineage of identification there are the words “first,” “fruits,” “servants of God,” “sealed” and “standing on Mount Zion” by which to identify who the 144,000 are and what they are.  Obviously they are called fruits because they are the result of the “harvest,” the work which separates the tares from the wheat.  The word “first” connotes that they are the first crop (group) to be harvested — separated from the “tares,” for Jesus explains that the harvest is the time in which to separate the tares from the wheat (Matt. 13:30).

   The harvest is variously termed: (1) the purification of the church (“Testimonies,” Vol. 5, p. 80); (2) the closing work for the church (“Testimonies,” Vol. 3, p. 266); (3) the time in which the bad fish are cast out, and the good put into vessels (Matt. 13:47, 48); (4) the cleansing of the sanctuary (Dan. 8:14); (5) purifying the temple (Mal. 3:1-3); (6) Judgment In the House of God (1 Pet. 4.17; Dan. 7:10).  This is Truth positive, you know, and every Seventh-day Adventist knows it, too.” (Jezreel Letter, No. 6  p.1-2)

However unlike DB, Houteff deals with this issue in a  specific way in regards to the S.D.A Church. The following references solemnly describe the 144,000 S.D.A issue.

“Will all but the 144,000 of the present S.D.A. denomination actually be slain in the separation?”

   Answer: All but those who do not receive the mark or seal, old or young, male or female, will fall under the slaughter weapons of the angels. (Ezek. 9:6.) Only those who sigh and cry for all the abominations in the midst thereof will receive the mark. (verse 4.) John saw 144,000 sealed (marked). If others from within the S.D.A. denomination besides the 144,000 should escape, it is not known to us.” (Sym. Code, vol.1, no.15, p.9)

So in regards to our church, VTH has a direct application of Rev. 7 sealings of the 144,000 applying to our SDA church. Thus the two men, are at opposite beliefs on this aspect of the 144,000 saved.  DB does not give any credence to it affecting our S.D.A church directly whereas VTH counters it has a profound direct relationship to us as Adventists.

This concludes our part 1 of this subject, next week we’ll finish with part 2. We’ll present a final summary as well.

 

A 144,000 Sermon

April 7, 2018

Back on Oct. 26, 1946, brother Houteff  gave the following sermon, which is as timely today as it was then, may you be blessed.

“Before we engage in prayer, I shall read from The Mount of Blessing, pages 162, 163.  The reading is based on the scripture, Give us this day our daily bread.” 

   M.B., pp. 162, 163 — “The first half of the prayer Jesus has taught us, is in regard to the name and kingdom and will of God, — that His name may be honored, His Kingdom established, His will performed.  When you have thus made God’s service your first interest, you may ask with confidence that your own needs may be supplied…. Be not dismayed if you have not sufficient for to-morrow.  You have the assurance of His promise, ‘Thou shalt dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.'”

   Jesus pulled nothing out of storage, so to speak.  He received day by day a fresh supply for all His needs, for Himself and for His work.  Yes, everything — topics for His teaching, the wine at the marriage, the bread to feed the multitude, and even the coin to pay the tax.  All these He received as He had need of them.  Never did He lack a thing.  If we make God’s Kingdom our chief business as He did, work for It as He worked for It, pray as He prayed, trust as He trusted, — then there will be no reason for us to receive less than He.  Heaven’s wealth will be at our disposal.  In fact He assures us: “All these things shall be added unto thee.”

   Now what shall we pray for? — We should pray that our first concern be not essentially that of supplying ourselves with this world’s goods, but, rather, that of advancing the Kingdom of God; pray that we may really realize that it is His business and good pleasure to serve our needs, and that we make it our business and delight to serve His interests.

Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 12                         14

IF ONLY 144,000 TRANSLATED,WHAT CHANCE FOR YOU?TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTSSABBATH, OCTOBER 26, 1946MT. CARMEL CHAPELWACO, TEXAS   This afternoon we shall resume our study of Zechariah two. Inasmuch, however, as Zechariah two is a continuation of the story that begins in chapter one, we shall commence our study with it.

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.”

   Previously the prophet saw these as four horns, as powers that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem throughout the Gentile nations, but as the angel projected the prophetic view to the time of the end he saw them as four carpenters; that is, as “horns” they come to “fray” and to “cast out the horns of the Gentiles” from the land of Judah, but as carpenters they obviously come to build for Judah.  Evidently, then, when the horns (powers) of the Gentiles are cast out of the land, and God’s people are brought into it, then “the times of the Gentiles” shall have been fulfilled.

Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 12                         15

   After having been shown the symbolism of the four horns and four carpenters, the prophet’s attention was turned to another symbolism.  We read about it in the first four verses of chapter two:

Zech. 2:1-4 — “I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand.  Then said I, Whither goest thou?  And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof.  And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him, and said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein.”

   From the fact that the angel suddenly ordered the young man not to measure Jerusalem, is clearly seen that the man on his own initiative had started to do something that was not in God’s plan.  Hence, his endeavor to measure the city (number its inhabitants) was a mistaken idea of his own or of some other for which he was quickly corrected and definitely told to abandon his trying to measure the city; that it would be as a town having no walls, no prescribed boundary line, because for the multitude of both men and cattle; it could not, therefore, be “measured” (numbered).

   Since Inspiration is looking down to our time, and speaking in our terms, the “young man” therefore represents latter day Christian workers (young, not ancient) who subject themselves to the reign of uninspired Bible interpreters that limit the Lord, imagine that the living saints in the city are to be so few that a man can number them, namely 144,000, not considering that these are only the “firstfruits” (Rev. 14:4) of the great “harvest.”

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   The angel’s explanation that Jerusalem is to be inhabited by an innumerable multitude of both men and cattle, proves that this was news to the young man.  When and how in the stream of time is this young man corrected? — The only logical and fair conclusion one can come to, is that when the Spirit of Prophecy unrolls the scroll, when God raises an interpreter of the Scriptures, then it is that such a doctrinal correction can be made.

   So important is the living Spirit of Prophecy in the church, as “the young” man’s experience proves, that regardless of one’s zeal, sincerity and integrity, he cannot rightly serve God without It, that even one’s best work and intention is bound to be at cross purposes with God’s.  It is therefore, high time for the church to start believing all the prophets have written, “knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.   For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Pet. 1:20, 21.

   Inspiration insists that it is absolutely impossible for one to privately (without the Spirit of Truth) interpret the sealed prophecies.  And let us remember that no revealed Truth ever came, nor ever will come through the halls of learning.   It is, therefore, of vital importance that you let alone the Angel of the Laodiceans lest you, too, be spued out (Rev. 3:16).  If he chooses to feed on his empty sermons, still teaching that the church needs no more Truth, that she has enough to carry her through the pearly gate, that he can without Inspiration interpret the Scriptures and know what Truth is, then let him himself eat his unholy feast.  Tell him that you prefer to live on “meat in due season” (Matt. 24:45) direct from the

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Throne of God.  Now hear God’s plea:

   “They which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” Isa. 3:12.  “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: and I will give you pastors according to Mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Jer. 3:14, 15.

   Ever have your ears open to any claimant of Inspiration if you are not to repeat the history of the Jews.  God will not let you be deceived if you really hunger and thirst after righteousness, if you really want to know the Truth, for He is anxious that you keep up with His progressively revealed Truth.  There is therefore no danger for one to be deceived by coming in contact with error, but there is a great danger for staying in darkness by not coming in contact with fresh Truth.  Inspiration’s counsel is thus:

   “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1.  To keep this commandment is just as important as to keep any other.

   To be more specific, the Laodicean angel assumes that there are to be only 144,000 living saints — a measured or a numbered company — who are to make up the Kingdom.  He also believes that no kind of cattle will be taken there, all of which is contrary to that which the Heavenly angel revealed: that not a numbered company of living saints but rather a great multitude which no man can number are to be the immediate inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Kingdom eternal — the church purified and set apart from the world so that

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the called ones out of Babylon may find refuge in It.  The 144,000 are only the “first fruits” (Rev. 14:4) and the great innumerable company of saints projected in Revelation 7:9 are the second fruits, for where there is no second there can be no first.

   Elders, you proudly tell us that the Denomination now numbers nearly a million members, and that she has set her goal to double the membership.  On one hand you brag about its rapid growth, and on the other hand you try to refute “The Shepherd’s Rod’s” teaching on the great multitude of Revelation 7:9 which the “Rod” proves by the Scriptures that they are the second fruits of the harvest.  By your positively holding that the living saints are to be only a few in number, only 144,000, and by your bragging about the Denomination’s growth and multiple thousands of members already in the church, you are thus creating a paradox for yourselves and for all your sympathizers.

Besides this, you admit that the greatest part of the work is yet to be done — that there are millions upon millions even in the United States itself who have not as yet heard so much as the name Seventh-day Adventist, much less “the everlasting gospel.”  Plain it is, therefore, Brethren, that at the present rate of growth, when the work is finished and Jesus comes to take His church to glory-land, the Denomination by then will have grown to several million strong.

   Notwithstanding this background that you Elders have yourselves built up, yet contrary to it all, you teach that when Jesus comes, there will be only 144,000 living saints, no more!  Are you Elders not confused and confusing!  If you really believe in your theory of the 144,000, then will you in the Spirit of Christ and at least for your own soul’s sake, take paper and pencil and accordingly figure the percentage

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of saints and the percentage of tares, devils, that even now constitute the membership of our churches?  Since it already numbers no less than 800,000, and if there be only 144,000 saints in it when Jesus comes, then according to this ratio, considering the membership at the present time, a congregation of 100 members would even now consist of about 18 saints and 82 devils!  If this be so, then what chance for you?  And since the officers who run the churches are elected by majority vote, do you see who elected them, who is in office, and who is in control of the churches?  Do you wonder then why things are running as they are?

   If it be true that there are to be only 144,000 living saints when Jesus comes, and if the membership doubles by the end of 1953 or 1954 as the aim seems to be (though doubtful), then at that rate in 1955 there will be only 9 saints to 91 devils out of every hundred members.  Accordingly, if the membership doubles several times before Jesus comes to receive His church, then there will not be even one saint in a hundred members!  Still lesser chance for you!  If this be so, then ask yourselves whose church is the church? — the Devil’s?  or the Lord’s?  and where shall He look for it when He comes?

   These sad facts stand as high as mountains against your private interpretations, Elders, and as eye-openers to your flocks.  If you therefore continue to say that you are not asleep, that your interpretation of the Word is unquestionable, that you have all the Truth to take you through the Pearly Gates, that you have need of nothing more, then there is no hope; you are too far gone.

   We personally know, though, that there are many who are not so badly fooled, who have not bowed the

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knee to Baal, who have not permitted themselves to be locked in corrals as it were, like sheep and cattle, by imposters who control and feed the flock of God there with such low grade husks as this study shows.

   Your bragging about the Denomination’s achievements and of her numerous conversions the world over, if it be true, Truth now challenges you to honestly answer the questions that here ensue: Why are you giving them hope of a home in the Kingdom if you positively know that they cannot be saved?  Is not such an ingathering outright deception and the greatest endeavor to infiltrate the church with tares ever heard of?  and is it not spiritual whoredom of the worst kind to fill the church of God with devils?

   To cover up the deep slumber that is reflected by the aforesaid figures, one minister explained: “When the work closes,” he said, “there would be in the church many more thousands than 144,000 living saints, but rather than being translated, the greater number of them will have to die from the plagues or from epidemics before Jesus comes, because they could not be good enough for translation although perfect enough for resurrection”!

   What an eye-opener to the laity these outstanding false doctrines!  And what a compelling power and a good chance now for you Elders to admit Christ’s charge that you are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Rev. 3:17.  If the Spirit of Truth cannot now convince you of Truth and righteousness, then He never will.  It is, therefore, imperative that you now confess to the laity your guilt of passing out false doctrines, that you will no longer fool yourselves or your flocks by wasting time and energy trying trying to measure Jerusalem.  Wisdom cries

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out that you at once take to heart His counsel:

   “I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire [inspired Truth], that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve [such as this], that thou mayest see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Rev. 3:18, 19.

   For your sake these things have been kept away from the public eye, but since you have completely scorned every Heaven-sent plea for twenty long years, you are now reaping a harvest.  Your nakedness, you see, is already beginning to be uncovered.  And if you do not respond to this Truth and turn against the abominations here exposed, and gladly accept this plea for reformation, then every one will know that your doings, Elders, are deliberate attempts to deceive “the very elect,” the 144,000, who, according to the prophecies that are now unsealed, are now almost all in the church.  We shall now continue with Zechariah’s prophecy of chapter two:

Zech. 2:5 — “For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.”

   Only a stone wall surrounded Jerusalem in Zechariah’s time. But a wall of fire is to surround the Jerusalem of our time, the Jerusalem of which Zechariah was instructed to write.  It is from this latter Jerusalem that the Lord is to teach us of His ways, and to cause us to walk in His paths, “for,” declares the gospel prophet, “…out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem,” Isa. 2:3.  Thus the call:

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Zech. 2:6 — “Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the Lord: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the Lord.”

   The statement “I have spread you abroad as the four winds of heaven,” cannot be limited to the Jews in Babylon.  It embraces universal scattering of God’s people, Judah and Israel, throughout the lands of the Gentiles.  Since the prophecy is directed to our time, then the call to “come forth” and to “flee from the land of the north” is to be sounded to God’s people at the time the Babylon of Revelation chapter seventeen reigns.  The call, “come forth and flee from the land of the north” is parallel with the call, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev. 18:4.  This call cannot be taken to mean that God’s people should merely come out of one building, or of one land, and go into another where, too, sin is practiced.

The place that they are called to come must be free from sin and thus free from the plagues.  Obviously they are called to come to the Kingdom whose immediate citizens are to be the first fruits, the 144,000, the church purified and set apart from the world.  Then it shall be said to it, “…henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.” Isa. 52:1.

Zech. 2:7 — “Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.”

   Certain it is that “the daughter of Babylon” cannot possibly be the mother, ancient Babylon.  Rather, she must be the latter day Babylon, the Babylon that drives (rules) the scarlet-colored beast (Rev. 17).

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   It is plain, moreover, that all the saints are called to get out of Babylon before the plagues of Revelation 16 fall upon her if they are to be delivered from them.  But how can Zion deliver herself, if she does not hear the Lord’s warnings to leave Babylon?  It is therefore very urgent that this message reach her ears.

Zech. 2:8 — “For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath He sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye.”

   God permitted His people to be scattered (spoiled) among the Gentile nations, but now He is to send His messengers after them because they that touch them, touch, as it were, the ball of His eye, the most sensitive member of the body.  His church, “the glory,” is His supreme regard.

Zech. 2:9 — “For, behold, I will shake Mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me.”

   Servants spoiling their masters is one of the signs at the time this prophecy is brought to light.  And the world knows that labor and management are now engaged in their greatest struggle, and that as a result Communism threatens the whole world.

   The statement, “And ye shall know that the Lord hath sent me,” is used several times in Zechariah’s prophecies.  We find it twice in verses 9 and 11 respectively of chapter 2, and once in verse 9 of chapter 4.  What does it signify? — It definitely implies that at the time these scriptures are unfolded, the majority of the people are doubters but that at last they shall know that the Lord has sent this message to them.

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Doubters as a rule wait until there is unquestionable evidence before they acknowledge that the message is from God, but it may not do them any good at that late hour.

Zech. 2:10 — “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.”

   Obviously this coming of the Lord is not the one in which the saints meet Him in the air (1 Thess. 4:16, 17), for the Lord does not in this scripture say that He comes to receive His people so that they may dwell and reign with Him a thousand years (Rev. 20:4), but that after the sinners have been taken away from among them He comes to “dwell” with them, to protect them from the angry Gentile nations during the “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation.”  He protects them by a “wall of fire round about” them.  That time of trouble is almost here.  The world sees it coming.  Do you, Brother, Sister?  And what are you doing about it?

   “In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.  And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.  And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a

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defence.  And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.” Isa. 4:2-6.

   Zechariah’s coming of the Lord therefore, is the same as Michael’s standing to deliver all those whose names are written in the Book. Dan. 12:1.  Ever remember that the books are open and examined during the Judgment Day. (Dan. 7:10).  That our names be found in that “Book” should now be the most absorbing concern of each of us.

Zech. 2:11 — “And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be My people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee.”

   Just as soon as we as a Denomination awake to the fact that “many nations shall be joined to the Lord,” and be His people, just that soon will the theory of only first fruits die out.  And just as soon as this message reaches every church member, just that soon will the purification take place.  “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.  Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.” Mal. 3:3, 4.  “The wicked shall no more pass through” her, “he is utterly cut off.” Nah. 1:15.

   Now it is clearly seen how narrow our ideas have been of God’s great work and of His way to finish it, not knowing that while the work is being completed, a great multitude, which no man can number, out of

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all nations (Rev. 7:9), will join the “mountain of the Lord’s house” and shall be His people (Isa. 2:2).  Pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is [done] in Heaven.”  The need of a genuine revival and reformation now becomes exceedingly evident.  What does revival and reformation mean? — “Revival and reformation are two different things.  Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death” and “reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices.” — Christ Our Righteousness, pg. 121, 1941 edition.

   Finally, observe that Zechariah 2 contains the same truth that Isaiah 2, Micah 4, Jeremiah 31, and Ezekiel 36 contain.

    Let us continue our study with:

Zech. 2:12 — “And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the Holy Land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.”

   This is what the Bible teaches, and no one can afford to doubt the Word of God.  This being the message of the hour, and as all are to be judged by It, then if we do not fully accept It we would be in God’s sight naught but “cumberers of the ground.”  Our so-called good works alone will not lead us out of Babylon, but our understanding the Truth for this time, and implicitly heeding God’s call, will.

   You remember that while Noah was preaching that a destruction would come from the Almighty, he was also preparing a place of refuge — building the ark.  Those who doubted Noah’s announcement of the flood, and who scoffed at the idea that they should enter the

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ark for safety at a time when there was not even the slightest sign of threatening rain, were doubters no longer when the elements of nature were unleased.  Then they madly rushed to the ark; but to their dismay and utter disappointment, they found the door tightly closed against them.  Thus all, both good and bad who chose to remain outside the ark, perished.  The antedeluvians’ experience should serve as a reminder to us that we be not presumptuous as were they.  We should instead take to heart the clear warning that is pertinent to this hour, for we are told that as it was in the days of the flood, so shall it be at the time of the Lord’s coming.

   The ark of today is “Zion and Jerusalem,” “for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Mic. 4:2.

Zech. 2:13 — “Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for He is raised up out of His holy habitation.”

   Note carefully what the Word says, “He is raised,” not “He shall rise.”  Plainly, then, when the Lord uttered this prophecy, He projected His words into the future, speaking in the present tense as though it were at the very time the prophecy was in the process of being fulfilled.  Thus the statement, “He is raised,” means that now at the revelation of this Truth “He is raised”; and the statement, “The Lord shall inherit Judah His portion in the Holy Land,” means that He is yet to inherit Judah, the church purified.  We are, therefore, now living between these two points of time — between “He has raised up,” and “He shall inherit.”

   What shall our resolution now be?  Shall we close our eyes to these solemn and glorious revelations of

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events that are now taking place?  Shall we still doubt and continue to await results?  or shall we arise whole-heartedly and do God’s bidding?  Shall His Kingdom or our own homes be made our first interest?  If we do not now correct our perverted motives, how can we then honestly say, “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done”?  and how can you expect the temporal things of life to “be added unto you?” Matt. 6:33.

   Have we resolved once and forever to serve God, not self, to study as never before, and to put aside all doubting?

   Have we resolved once and forever to serve God, not self, to study as never before, and to put aside all doubting?  Says the Lord, “…It is a light thing that thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth.” Isa. 49:6.

   “…He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His Truth,” Ps. 96:13.

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“It Shall Be Well With Thee Be tranquil, O my soul,Be quiet every fear! Thy Father hath supreme control, And He is ever near. Never of thy lot complain, What ever may befall,Sickness or sorrow, care or pain, ‘Tis well appointed all. A Father’s chastening hand Is leading thee along: Nor distant is the promised land,Where swells the immortal song.O, then, my soul, be still! Await heaven’s high decree; Seek but to do thy Father’s will,It shall be well with thee.”
–Thomas Hastings

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Israelites Indeed-Not Gentiles

April 22, 2017

Image result for picture of ancient jews

As many of you know we have written extensively on the 144,000. But this week we’d like to show a report from the message showing a deeper look into this area.

“Whosoever has been converted to Christianity, accepting Christ as his personal Saviour, has had an experience which has completely overthrown and revolutionized his former plans and hopes, his entire way of life.  He has renounced the world and all its “pleasures of sin for a season” (Heb. 11:25), and has become a new creature in Christ, born again, heir of the kingdom according to the promise!  This is what Jesus meant when He declared to Nicodemus: “Ye must be born again.” And Paul, having this experience in mind, says: “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Gal. 3:29.

   Regardless, therefore, whether one be Jew or Gentile, he can have no part in the kingdom of Christ, save through the second birth, by which he becomes one of the seed of Abraham.  This spiritual transformation, nevertheless, does not fix anyone’s racial identity and tribal  lineage.  It can not, in other words, make one Judaite if he is not descended of Judah, or make him Ephraimite, if he is not descended of Ephraim.  Consequently, the 144,000, being of the sons of Jacob, cannot be of the Gentile nations.  They therefore, first of all, are lineal descendants of Jacob, though

Not Necessarily of the Present Identifiable Jewish Stock

   The ten tribes (the kingdom of Israel) were  carried away, scattered throughout the cities of the Medes (2 Kings 17:6), and so completely submerged in the sea of life of the surrounding nations, and assimilated, that they were utterly lost sight of, racially, to human reckoning.

Similarly, as the two tribes (the kingdom of  Judah) were carried away into Babylon, with only a few returning to Jerusalem after the seventy years of their captivity was accomplished, a multitude also of them lost their identity.

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

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

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

   “And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Word of prophecy in this connection, “that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.  And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel.” Isa. 11:11, 12; 27:12.

Since, therefore, history, logic, and scripture combine their evidences to prove unconditionally that God has preserved the genealogy of the chosen branch of the human race forward from Adam to Noah (Matt. 1:1-17), and backward from Jesus to Adam (Luke 3:23-38), He must, then, for a consistent reason, also have preserved  the identity of the elect today.  And this we see, is precisely what He has done in His designating the lineage of the 144,000, as “of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” Rev. 7:4. 

And though we know not what we are, and cannot ever of ourselves tell, the One Who knows all about us, even to the last hair of each head, knows our precise ancestry, although those of us who are to be gathered from the seed of Jacob are, says the prophet, as the sand of the sea,” whereas, comparatively speaking, the identifiable Jewish race of today, is but a handful to the nations, and therefore cannot today be the ones to whom apply

The Terms Israel, Ephraim, Joseph.

   Going back for a moment to the historical approach to our subject, we recall that after Solomon’s death, the Israelite nation (the twelve tribes) was divided into two separate kingdoms (1 Kings 11:11, 12; 12:19, 27).  The ten-tribe  kingdom, occupying the northern portion of the  promised land, was called “Israel,” also Ephraim, and occasionally the house of Joseph: “Israel,” because of its majority of tribes; Ephraim (Isa. 11:13), because its kings came from Ephraim; and Joseph (Ezek. 37:16), because he was the father of Ephraim.  But the two-tribe kingdom, occupying the southern portion, was called “Judah,” because its kings were of the tribe of Judah, and therefore its  descendants are called “Jews.”  The term “Israel,” accordingly, often applies only to the ten tribes.” (Tract 8, p.7-11)

 

The Few, the Proud

April 18, 2015

EGW vision -144,000

As many are aware the Marines have a saying called ‘The few, the proud”. Although this saying is known as representing these warriors, soon the world will know about a different group of people also known as–the few, the proud.

In 2 Corinthians 10:17, we read-

“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Before we touch on the meaning of the few, let’s look of the meaning of proud. The Bible is full warning against pride in the human character. Pride is what caused Satan to drop from his exalted position, to become an enemy of God.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”(Isaiah 14:12-15)

His talent, his beauty, his intelligence, all this and more welled up inside of him to the point where his pride consumed him, eventually demanding worship. But there is a pride that is good before the Lord. It is as said above–pride in the Lord. Of this we can be–proud.

In other words, our life should be Christ centered and we should be willing to “boast” of what Christ has done in our life. We tell of our Lord’s great prophecies, His signs, His love, His guidance in our life, etc. In other words we have real and well founded pride.

Now, lets’ look at the few. Before we talk about this, let it be known that the Lord has expressively made it clear that He wants ALL souls saved and to live forever more.

“For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord GOD. “Therefore, repent and live.” (Ezekiel 18:32)

Our Lord  describes the meaning of few.

Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”(Luke 13:23-24)

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matt. 7:13-14)

In the book of Revelation, we see a specific prophecy that also describes the “few”.

“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed:and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” (Rev. 7:1-4)

As we have shown in this report https://godsloveandlaw.com/2014/08/09/who-comprises-the-s-d-a-church/ the Spirit of Prophecy and the Elijah message clearly shows beyond doubt that the “Israel of today” is the SDA church.

So once we know that “all” the tribes of Israel is ALL the church, we see a most startling prophecy. Yet if we are truly objective and know our history, we know that such low numbers “few” were delivered by God in times past. Noah’s time produced 8 people from the whole world (some estimates are in billions). In Lot’s day one family was saved out of the whole city. From out of Egypt there may have been close to one million people, yet two adults  (over 20 years old)  made it to the promised land.

Just so we are not confused, the Scripture foretells a “great multitude” that will be called out of “Babylon” (world false churches and religions) by the few (144,000) when they will be proclaiming the Loud Cry. The few we are discussing is concerning the church.

The Spirit of Prophecy  declares plainly what the word few means. These Inspired words were given to the remnant church, our beloved Seventh day-Adventist church.

“I have tried in the fear of God to set before His people their danger and their sins, and have endeavored, to the best of my feeble powers, to arouse them. I have stated startling things, which, if they had believed, would have caused them distress and terror, and led them to zeal in repenting of their sins and iniquities.

I have stated before them that, from what was shown me, but a small number of those now professing to believe the truth would eventually be saved–not because they could not be saved, but because they would not be saved in God’s own appointed way. The way marked out by our divine Lord is too narrow and the gate too strait to admit them while grasping the world or while cherishing selfishness or sin of any kind.

There is no room for these things; and yet there are but few who will consent to part with them, that they may pass the narrow way and enter the strait gate.” (Testimonies, vol. 2, p.445-446)

“In concluding this narrative, I would say that we are living in a most solemn time. In the last vision given me, I was shown the startling fact that but a small portion of those who now profess the truth will be sanctified by it and be saved. Many will get above the simplicity of the work. They will conform to the world, cherish idols, and become spiritually dead. The humble, self-sacrificing followers of Jesus will pass on to perfection, leaving behind the indifferent and lovers of the world.

I was pointed back to ancient Israel. But two of the adults of the vast army that left Egypt entered the land of Canaan.” (Testimonies, vol.1, p.608-609)

So we see that ultimately His word says that few of us will find life. Yet, there is hope. How? By believing and obeying His last message of mercy from His Elijah prophet. It’s in our hands right now.  Our destiny depends on our decision now while we are under our SDA probation.

“..Look, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor. 6:2)

So who are “the few, the proud”? It will be the 144,000. Our prophetess was given her very first vision from the Lord showing the end time result of our church, unfortunately we as SDA either blindly ignore this, or explain it off as “well, that was just a vision for back then.” Let us review this very important SDA church vision.

“While I was praying at the family altar, the Holy Ghost fell upon me, and I seemed to be rising higher and higher, far above the dark world. I turned to look for the Advent people in the world, but could not find them, when a voice said to me, “Look again, and look a little higher.”

At this I raised my eyes, and saw a straight and narrow path, cast up high above the world. On this path the Advent people were traveling to the city, which was at the farther end of the path. They had a bright light set up behind them at the beginning of the path, which an angel told me was the midnight cry.

This light shone all along the path and gave light for their feet so that they might not stumble. If they kept their eyes fixed on Jesus, who was just before them, leading them to the city, they were safe. But soon some grew weary, and said the city was a great way off, and they expected to have entered it before.

Then Jesus would encourage them by raising His glorious right arm, and from His arm came a light which waved over the Advent band, and they shouted, “Alleluia!” Others rashly denied the light behind them and said that it was not God that had led them out so far. The light behind them went out, leaving their feet in perfect darkness, and they stumbled and lost sight of the mark and of Jesus, and fell off the path down into the dark and wicked world below.

Soon we heard the voice of God like many waters, which gave us the day and hour of Jesus’ coming. The living saints, 144,000 in number, knew and understood the voice, while the wicked thought it was thunder and an earthquake. When God spoke the time, He poured upon us the Holy Ghost, and our faces began to light up and shine with the glory of God, as Moses’ did when he came down from Mount Sinai. 

 The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus’ new name.”(Early Writings, p.14-15)

Let us now carefully review this. Several facts  and possibilities are examined here.

1) This vision is about the “Advent people”only.

2) Why would she have to look “higher” to find them?  Could it be that they were taking the higher road, ie. the more pure upright walk with Jesus? Their spiritual condition was found higher and closer to God? Obedience to His word, especially His final word spoken by His Elijah? Remember this was vision for the future.

3) The path was “straight and narrow”. Does this sound familiar?

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”(Matt. 7:13-14)

4)  The 144,000 are led by Jesus, yet the others “fell off the path into the dark and wicked world below.”

How many make it to the heavenly destination from the Advent people? 144,000. Did not God know that there would be a vast multitude within His last remnant church? Of course. But He also knew not many would make the effort to obey His final sealing message and walk in its requirements.

So where does the problem lie? How come it will be only “the few, the proud”? Let read some the Lord’s pleading Elijah message of hope.

“Be not like the Jew.  But open your heart; cast out its pride, its prejudice, and its self-conceit; let them not deprive you of eternal life at such a late hour as this.  If you repeat the mistake of the Jews, your shame and your loss will be much greater than theirs–as much greater as are your light and your opportunities and privileges.  Yea, beyond comparison!

So will you not, then, we plead with you, end your long Laodicean sickness and poverty, and no longer imagine that you are

RICH, INCREASED WITH GOODS.

Never do you even so much as intimate that you have all the buildings, all the institutions, all the money, all the workers, all the converts you need!  Your only boast is of having no need of truth!  This attitude, therefore, God says, is the way in which you are saying, “I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.”  It is the source of your trouble, and the thing which the Lord expects you to confess and to repent of.

The angel’s (the ministry’s) false claim of being rich and increased with goods, and in need of nothing, does not make him a liar, but rather shows him to be a victim of ignorance and delusion.  But his thinking that he has and knows all the truth, makes his condition even more perilous than a liar’s, for a liar knows that he is lying.  O awake, Brother, Sister, awake!  awake!” (Symbolic Code, Vol. 7, no.7-12, p.4)

The door is still open, the call for the elect is still being made, will you and I  agree to His terms and conditions? Do we even know them? It’s all there in the Elijah message for any who want to know it. All we have to do is forget about TV, social events, worldly time-wasting activities and pick up His written material that He spoke to His Elijah prophet and start seriously studying as if our life depended on it!  It does.

For the scoffers who say “Listen we only need Jesus and to live a good clean life and we’re good to go”, I submit to you I too once believed this. Until I started to notice and was bothered by “sins in the midst”. Then I found out that ONLY sighers and criers for sins done in the church and our own life will make up His few from our church. (See Testimonies, vol. 3, p.265-267, vol. 5, p.209-214, Ezekiel 9, Testimonies to Ministers, p.445)

The ultimate trap for us as Laodiceans is that “lukewarm” trap. We must escape that. In Revelation chapter 3 the Lord saw down through history to our very day, that few would awake from this condition and accept His Elijah message. Will you or I accept it and obey it? We must.

Help us Lord, to let go of our Laodicean pride and self-complacency  and become one of  –the few, the proud.

Are the 144,000 just Men?

September 13, 2014

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The command to mark this company so that they fall not under the slaughter weapons by the figure of the five men, reads as follows: “And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” (Ezekiel 9:4.)

Because the Word says: “Set a mark upon the foreheads of the men,” therefore some have held the position that the entire company is made up of men only.  The second reason given for this erroneous idea is that they are to be kings and priests and therefore they must be men.  The idea carried by these passages cannot be sustained by other portions of Scripture.  Thus we are compelled to study deeper into the subject.

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.  We conclude by the following Scriptures that the 144,000 are of both sexes: “The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men through him might believe.” (John 1:7.)  “All men,” must include both men and women, otherwise salvation would be for men only.  “

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32.)  If the word all men in this text does not include both sexes, then the women are lost.  “And the time of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” (The Acts 17:30.)  Again, if “all men” include not both male and female, then women are not commanded to repent.  It is evident that the noun, men, is a collective Biblical term of both men and women.

The same is true by creation, for, God made the woman of the man.  Therefore, she is a wo-man.  Again in Gal. 3:28, we read: “There is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Since there is no difference between either sex in Christ, then we see that women as well as men can be kings and priests.  The same thought can be carried out by the experience of the Jewish nation: “And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time…. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.” (Judges 4:4, 5.)

This woman held a man’s position, being a judge of God’s people, which is equivalent to a king.  Not only a king, but she was a prophetess as well.  Again we read in Luke 2:36,37, “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”

Also the wife of Shallum being a prophetess taught Israel and controlled the college. (See 2 Kings 22:14-16.)  Phillip the evangelist had four daughters who also did prophesy.  (See The Acts 21:8, 9.)

From Paul’s statement in 1 Timothy 2:12, “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence,” you will note the meaning here is, that the woman is to be in subjection to the man as God had ordained, and not that she is forbidden to hold the office of a teacher.

Again we quote, “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.” (1 Cor. 14:34.)  Read the chapter and you will see that Paul wishes to establish order in the churches, for there was great confusion by speaking in unknown tongues.  Therefore, to silence the confusion, he says: “Let your women keep silence in the churches.”

He is not forbidding them to speak if they have a duty to perform.  If this lesson was heeded in this age there would be a great change for the better in the house of God.

In the beginning God created both the man and the woman equal, as king and queen.  “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Gen. 1:28.)  Note that the dominion was given to them both.

However, after they sinned a change was made: “Unto the woman He said,… thy desire shall be to thy husband, and He shall rule over thee.” (Gen. 3:16.)  So, after the woman sinned she fell under the government of man.  But that which Eve lost by deception, shall be restored by redemption.  Thus again the equality of both shall be established as kings and queens.

Therefore, “There is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus.”  Christ himself confirms the idea in the following expression: “For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels which are in heaven.”

Thus the noun “men” used by Ezekiel, and the noun “virgins” by John is a collective Biblical term comprehending both.  Furthermore, the denomination numbers a little over 300,000 at present time.  Only about a third of them are men.  If every man was sealed and numbered as one of the 144,000, we still would be far short of reaching the total.  Again we note at the time of the passover in Egypt the blood on the door-post was a type of the marking or sealing. (“The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 1, pp. 96-98.)

In that night wherever the blood appeared on the door-post, the first born whether male or female, perished not, just so now, those who receive the seal, have applied the blood on the door-post (forehead), and as the first born of both classes, those who died and those who did not, were a type of the present priesthood (ministry), evidently, the type points forward to a ministry in the anti-type made up of both sexes — the first born who died represent the class that shall fall under the slaughter weapons of the five men, and the first born who escaped from death, represent the class that shall receive the mark of the man with the writer’s inkhorn and pass from death to life.

Thus the first born who lived and passed through the red sea, are a type of the 144,000.  The first fruits of the harvest, are the servants of God in the time of the “loud cry” of the Third Angel’s Message.

The above was taken from Shepherd’s Rod volume 2, p.167-168.

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As the holy angels are now going about marking those who accept and obey the last message of the Lord, the Elijah message, we know that woman as well as men will comprise the 144,000. Certainly children as well. Let us get ready as time is quickly coming to an end. The pieces are getting set-up with tension in the Mideast soon to erupt.

Our prophetess gave us the Lord’s command–“Let us strive with all power God has given us, to be among the one hundred and forty four thousand. And let us do all we can to help others to gain heaven.” (Review and Herald, March 9, 1905)

The 4th Angel’s message of Rev. 14

May 11, 2013

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As SDA we no doubt think of the “Three Angel’s” messages of Rev. 14 as our calling to the world. We have been established and known  largely upon the 3 angel’s of Rev. 14. However, upon closer examination what do we really find there in Rev. 14?  We find SIX angels, with 5 of them declaring a message and one portrayed as “doing” something but yet not speaking. Could it be that the other 3 angels also have very important messages for us as well, especially the 4th angel?  

In Test. for the Church, Vol.6, p.17, we read, ” The light we have received upon the third angel’s message is the true light. The mark of the beast is exactly what it has been proclaimed to be. Not all in regard to this matter is yet understood, nor will it be understood until the unrolling of the scroll..”

As we are so well aware, the Scriptures and the light it bears, is left in God’s hands. When He declares that we should understand “new light” we then see clearly that which is intended for us.

As SDA we have always understood that the 3 angels have been symbolic of three messages of truth proclaimed by the church. Way back in the mid 1800’s, the understanding of  more than 3 “messages” to be given to us,  appears in the book–” Word to the Little Flock” by James White. On page 10-11 it reads, ” All classes of second advent believers agree, that the angel brought to view in the 6th, and 7th verses of this chapter, represents the advent message, to the church and world.”

“If this is true, then all five of the angels brought to view in this chapter represent five distinct messages, prior to the advent, or we are left without a rule to interpret this chapter… The last two angels are messages of prayer. We shall, no doubt, better understand them at the time of their fulfillment.”

 Ellen White confirmed her husband’s light of truth received from God. “God has permitted the precious light of truth to shine upon his word, and illuminated the mind of my husband.” (Test. for the Church, vol.3, p.502)

In Rev.14, we find the following.

1) The first angel speaking in 14:7

2) The second angel speaking in 14:8

3) The third angel speaking in 14:9

The above “messages” are spoken with a loud voice. Obviously they are important messages of truth, needed by God’s people. These are the well-known “three angels message” which we are known for as SDA.

4) The fourth angel’s “cries” his message in 14:15

5) The fifth angel appears to be a “reaping” angel(Rev. 14:17)(14:19). One who gathers the second harvest in the world, known as the “great multitude”

6) The sixth angel appears to be the cry of the 144,000 to the world in the “Loud Cry” period (Rev. 14:18)

Concerning the 4th angel, we see he  cried his message with a “loud cry”. Also we notice that this cry is to Someone who “sat on the cloud”. We also notice that this message is spoken to “One like the Son of Man”. In other words this message is given to our Lord and Savior, King of Kings. The cry here represents that the message of  reproof, corrections and warnings have finally sealed those whom have accepted it and therefore the Lord now is asked to ” reap”. Meaning to fulfill His Ezekiel 9 promise.

Ellen White describes this also, ” “While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14.” (Great Controversy, p.425)

This fourth angel’s message is so important that we should read our last prophet’s words to get a good understanding. In  (Tract 3, p. 47) we read ,   ” Inescapably, therefore, the Lord’s coming to His temple (Mal. 3:1-3), His coming with all His angels (Matt. 25), and His coming enthroned above the living creatures (Ezek. 1), — all three representing the same event as has been shown, — take place at the beginning of the judgment of the living: the time in which the judicial activities of the heavenly sanctuary extend to the earthly sanctuary — the church.

   “And I looked, and behold a white cloud,” exclaimed John the Revelator, envisaging the same coming variously described by Malachi, Matthew, and Ezekiel, “and upon the cloud One sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in Thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for Thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.” Rev. 14:14-16.

   This coming of the Son of man is plainly, therefore, not when the resurrected and the living righteous are caught up together to meet Him in the air: for verses 17-20, following the ones quoted in the paragraph above, reveal that after He came and reaped the earth, “another angel…having a sharp sickle” came and reaped a second harvest before the wrath of God — the seven last plagues (Rev. 15:1) — was poured out upon the wicked.”

So we see that the fourth angel’s message is the proclaiming the “judgment for the living” message. The very same one that is being cried right now! And with the advent of the telecommunication age, is growing steadily. It is none other than the message of the Davidians to us within the SDA church. It is for us to get ready,  the Lord is about to enter the churches “suddenly” (Mal.3:1) to begin the first phase of the judgment for the “living”.

Ellen White further enlightens upon this 4th angel. ” Then I saw another mighty angel commissioned to descend to the earth, to unite his voice with the third angel, and give power and force to his message. Great power and glory were imparted to the angel, and as he descended, the earth was lightened with his glory. The light which attended this angel penetrated everywhere, as he cried mightily, with a strong voice, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” The message of the fall of Babylon, as given by the second angel, is repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the churches since 1844. The work of this angel comes in at the right time to join in the last great work of the third angel’s message as it swells to a loud cry.” (Early Writings, p.277)

It is important to point out that one of the main focus points of the SRod message is/has been –church corruption, just as is prophesied. Ellen White explains further of this other angel (4th) ” We are to throw aside our narrow, selfish plans, remembering that we have a work of the largest magnitude and highest importance. In doing this work we are sounding the first, second, and third angel’s messages, and are thus being prepared for the coming of that other angel from heaven who is to lighten the earth with his glory.” (Test. for the Church, Vol 6. p.406)

When she spoke those words , she was pointing to our time, right now, as this 4th angel (symbolic of us the messengers) is proclaiming a message that will soon “lighten the earth”.

Let us again review an important aspect of the understanding of the angel messages of Rev.14 . As we’ve learned in our studies through the previous posts–The promised “Elijah to come” has primarily a single purpose in mind. That is to reveal all the pertinent Scriptures and SOP that describes the “great and dreadful” day of the Lord. In other words, the Elijah was to begin the 4th angel’s message of preparation for the aforementioned day which has the purpose of the judgment for the living, as opposed to the prior work of judgment for the dead.Very shortly, the Lord will be moving onto the judging of existing living souls right here on earth! And so many of us don’t realize how close He is to beginning this solemn work.

And as such we know that we, the SDA church,  are the first to experience these judgments and just as importantly–execution of judgments (per Ezekiel 9). In addition to the Rev. 14 evidence,  the important  Scriptures and SOP for this judgment work is (1 Peter 4:17)  and (Test. for the Church, Vol. 5, p210-212).

Our last prophet explains more on (Rev. 14:14-19).

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

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

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

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

   “For the second reaping, however, He uses His guileless “servants,” the “firstfruits,” the 144,000, as prefigured by the angel with the sharp sickle (Rev. 14:17, 18).  And just as there are two fruits and two reapings from two different places, the church and the world, there are, as shown before, also two ways of harvesting: at first the bad are cast from among the good, and at last the good are called out from among the bad.”  (Timely Greetings, Vol.2 No.44, p.37)

We notice that immediately after the work of the angels in Rev. 14, then there is Chapter 15 where it says, “Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.” (Rev. 15:1) Then it is time for probation no more. All rapidly comes to an end the heavenly kingdom is home to the righteous for 1000 years.

So in closing we note that the current and most important work right now is that of our 4th message(angel). We are being shown a decisive message of truth, and then watched whether we accept it and then live it. As in times past, the Lord has always given us what is called “testing truth”. For example, in Noah’s day the test was to accept Noah’s message of warning for the world wide flood to come. In Mose’s time, it was the test of whether the people would obey the 10 Commandments. In Christ’s day, the test was whether the people would accept Him as God’s Son. In Ellen White’s day the test was whether they would accept the Sabbath and sanctuary truth.

Ofcourse the testing truth is also known as the “present truth”. The holy Law of God, the 10 Commandments have remained constant (Psalms 111:7-8) but each generation has met a new challenge, a new “testing truth”. Another way of looking at it is that each generation has had a new “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” and then watched to see if God’s people obey Him or not.

“God means that testing truth shall be brought to the front and become a subject of examination and discussion, even if it is through the contempt placed upon it. The minds of the people must be agitated. Every controversy, every reproach, every slander, will be God’s means of provoking inquiry and awaking minds that other wise would slumber. ” (Test. for the Church, Vol 5, p.453)

Has there been a message from God that has tested us today? Yes there has,  it’s called– The Shepherd’s Rod message, the 4th angel’s  message.


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