That everyone who thirsteth for the truth may obtain it, this booklet of questions and answers is, as a Christian service, mailed without charge. Send for it. It levies but one exaction, the soul’s obligation to itself to prove all things and hold fast that which is good. The only strings attached to this free proffer are the golden strands of Eden and the crimson cords of Calvary–the ties that bind.
Book No. 6
Questions and Answers on Present Truth Topics in the Interest of the Seventh-day Adventist Brethren and Readers of
The Shepherd’s Rod
By V.T. Houteff
This “scribe,” instructed unto the kingdom of heaven, “bringeth forth …things new and old.” Matt. 13:52.
Now “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15
Are God’s Titles Restricted to One Language?
Which Beast Is The 666 And Why?
Why Old Testament Prophecies?
The Sabbath, The Same Day In Australia As In America?
Is Sunday The Sabbath?
When Is The Resurrection Of Daniel 12?
In The Name Of The Father, Son, And Holy Ghost Or In The Name Of Jesus?
Not Out Of The S.D.A Church Into Another
A Day, A Thousand Years?
The Condition of the Earth During the Millennium
The Time Of Trouble
Chronology Of The Seals And Trumpets
The Voice Of God?
Who Will Be Among This Movement’s Branches?
The Book “Daniel And The Revelation” – Inspired?
The Time Of The Millennium
Into All The World?
Are There Two Comings Of Christ?
Coming To Mt. Carmel Center?
The 144,000 – Why First Fruits?
Cry Aloud And Spare Not?
The 144,000 – From The Twelve Tribes Or Gentiles Too?
Harmony Between Rod And Sister White?
Pre-Millennial Kingdom From The Bible Only
The Shaking – When?
To Trust In Men Or Try The Spirits?
Was Lucifer The Holy Spirit?
The Timing Of The Seven Seals
What Do The Seven Heads On The Leopard-Like Beast Represent?
The Fifth Column In The Church
Explanation of Isa. 32:8 and Isa. 14:20
Taking Part In Church Services
The Repentance Of God
Life And Its Responsibilities
The Communion Service
Why Only Three Seals As Against Five Trumpets?
How Assyria Falls, And Who Stumbles In Their Walk?
Second or Third Angel’s Message
Time For Rebaptism?
God’s Ability to Preserve the Truth
The Infallible Consistency of Inspiration
Conflicting Revelation 18 Statements?
Uriah Smith’s Daniel and Revelation – Inspiration?
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
ARE GOD’S TITLES RESTRICTED TO ONE LANGUAGE
Question No. 166:
Is it not a fact that the Bible names of the Creator are the names of false gods? Why not use original Hebrew names – Elohim, Jehovah, El, Elahh, and Elowah?
In the beginning, upon ordaining religious worship for primitive mankind, God declared His titles in the language of Eden. Later, when sin filled the earth with violence, brought the flood, and then broke out anew to build the tower of Babel, Divine displeasure confounded “the language of all the earth” (for there was but one language), and created as many languages as there were nations into which He had divided the people (Gen. 11:9). Whereupon the Lord necessarily translated His original titles into those languages, because in a tongue foreign to the understanding of the nations, his titles would have had no meaning to them, and instead of having drawn them closer to Himself, would have driven them farther away. But as in the course of time their increasing sins widened the gulf between Him and themselves, they in their darkened way attempted to bridge the gulf with idol gods, to whom they attached the Divine titles.
Rather than give to their idols names originated expressly for them, their makers very naturally honored them with the Divine titles in order to make it appear that the idols were figures of God. A notable instance of this is seen in the history of the name “El,” concerning which Webster says: “God, as the all-powerful: applied to other gods as well as to Jehovah: any powerful deity.” This usurpation is further borne out by such manifest evidences as that the word Allah, used by the Turks for the name of their god, is from the Hebrew title Eloah; and that “Elohim is used in many cases of the gods of the heathen, who included in the same title the God of the Hebrews, and denoted generally the Deity when spoken of a super-natural being.” – Dictionary of the Bible, Smith, definition “Jehovah.”
This is further seen in the fact that the article “El” is used as a prefix to the names of certain cities in Egypt.
From these evidences we see clearly that the names of some idols were originally the titles of God. Therefore, to restrict our address to Him to one language – the Hebrew – just because His titles in other tongues were once conferred upon idol-gods, forces the conclusion that those gods have triumphed over the Creator, by wresting from Him His titles and thus His position (for that is what the titles stand for) – a thought as stultifying as it is forbidding!
The Jews called the expected Christ, Messiah, but we who speak English call Him the Anointed One because in our language that is what the word, Messiah, means. The title, Anointed One, is meaningless to a Hebrew, unless either he speaks the English language or the word be interpreted to him in his native tongue.
For instance, when speaking of the One who created all things, English speaking peoples must necessarily call Him by the English word, Creator, instead of by the Slavic Word, Sutvaritel, or by the Greek word Plasten. Then as it is proper in English to say Creator or Father when addressing the One Who created all things, then to be consistent, it must also be proper in English to call Him God, rather than to call Him by the Jewish title, Elohim.
To the Jews the words, Elohim, Elowahh, Eloah, and El, mean Mighty One, Creator, the same as the word, God, in common acceptation, means to the Anglo-Saxon; the word Theos, to the Greek; Bog, to the Slav; Gott, to the German; Gud, to the Scandinavian; Dios, to the Latin; and Allah, to the Turk and Arab.
Therefore, the words, Elohim and its variants, God, Theos, Bog, Gott, Dios, Allah, Lord, and so on, are loosely, counterparts in their respective languages. And in a broad sense, the same as that of the English words, lord and king, which are titles of respect given to a husband, a nobleman, a proprietor, a certain official personage, and to a ruler.
It is from this common acceptation of the words that both God and Lord are applied to the Deity, and no more from a point of proper name than with the word, father.
This is aptly illustrated by the titles of Augustus Caesar. This supreme Roman ruler had as one of his exalted titles, the term, “Pontifex Maximus,” because he was worshiped, in the Pagan system, as their visible god on earth. Later, the Romans honored the Pope with this title. Thus also did the Baal worshipers with God’s titles.
So this practice of sovereign rulers’ arrogating to themselves the exclusively royal and sacred titles of divinity, and of idolatrous worshipers’ conferring them upon images, is one which unfortunately has existed from time immemorial, and which will continue to exist until God puts an eternal end to man’s violating His commandment which says:
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God an a jealous God.” Ex. 20:4, 5.
All the generic terms, in the various languages, are designative of what God is, rather than who He is. They are titles of His nature, character, and office, rather than badges of His identity. Therefore, were they not translated into the languages of the nation, they would be meaningless to the people.
From these combined evidences of Scripture, history, philology, and logic, we see clearly that the words, god, lord, and their equivalents, were not originally, nor ever exclusively, the names of Baal or of any other idol. Consequently there is
Nothing Wrong With God’s Titles in Any Language.
Though the heathen used the term, god, when addressing their idols, as some use the title, father, even for a person who is not in reality their father, yet in so doing, they thereby no more truly make an idol God, than they thereby truly made the titles of the true God, the titles of idols; no more, in fact, than do those who misuse the word, father, so desecrate it that we now need to call our earthly parent by some other title.
And if it still be protested that these different titles of the Deity are profane because idol-worshiping nations used them, then by the same token it must be protested also that their Jewish equivalents are even more profane because of the more disgraceful and reprehensible idolatry of the Jews, who mockishly mouthed these titles of the only God while they went after strange gods, and killed His prophets, not even sparing His “only begotten Son.”
The apostle Paul consequently recognized, under Inspiration, the right of translating the titles, and therefore raised no objection when the disciples in Antioch took the name Christians (Acts 11:26), thus using the Lord’s name in their native tongue. Furthermore, the apostle declared God’s fame to the Greeks, not in the Hebrew term, Jehovah, Elohim, but in their own terms, THE UNKNOWN GOD.
Moreover, the term, Jehovah, supposedly the most ancient name of Divinity in the Hebrew tongue, was not only never commonly pronounced, but was even so spelled in its original form that it could not be pronounced; so in reality there was no original pronunciation for it – at least none that is now known. All we know for sure is the consonant form, Yhwh, Yvh, or Yhv.
This abbreviated form of the name made it hard for the translators to spell out a pronounceable word. They therefore chose to supply what they thought were the missing vowels. The first syllable term upon which there was general agreement was “Jah.” Other derivatives were supplied by different translators. Yahweh, Yahowah, and Yahovah were formulated to suit certain languages. The Anglicized form evolved as Jehovah. Therefore any supplied letters that go to make up the ineffable Name may not actually be the Hebrew word after all! (See Funk and Wagnall’s Standard Dictionary, definition “Jehovah.”)
Furthermore, as the God-fearing Jews anciently regarded the Divine Name as a thing to sacred for utterance, so should enlightened Christians do today. No respectable son will address even his earthly father by his given name, George, Bill, John, Mike, or whatever.
Still further, the Lord says: “I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by My name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” Ex. 6:3. Thus as He was known to the fathers by another name than by the name Jehovah, obviously even the name, Jehovah, is a title.
Finally, it is doubtful that God actually has a given name. Why should He have one if there is no other God? Who would give it to Him? And were He to have one, would it not imply the existence of other “Gods” besides Him? Consequently, Inspiration long ago declared: “I AM THAT I AM. . . This is My name forever.” Ex. 3:14, 15.
As the matter stands, we are not only unable to share any enthusiasm concerning such an original-name theory, and to accord it any of the truth and worth that some would lead us to believe that it possesses, but also we are more than ever persuaded not to address the Lord by His proper name even if we knew it, unless God so decree by revelation. Every wide-awake Christian who sincerely serves the Lord must now plainly see that to conform to such a theory, is to cause Him to insult his Creator by addressing Him by a proper noun – and that a transliterated one – instead of by His titles.
All Present Truth believers should therefore see the necessity of shunning every wind of doctrine regardless how plausible or reasonable it might appear to be. Remember the words: “Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted My Spirit in the north country.” Zech. 6:8. (See Tract No. 2, The Warning Paradox, 1941 edition, p. 29.) Get your doctrine, Brother, Sister, only from the golden bowl (see The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 2), and be not like the waves of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed – be not carried about by the many winds of doctrine that are blowing wildly from every direction.
WHICH BEAST IS THE 666 AND WHY?
Question No. 167:
Does the number “666” of Revelation 13 belong to the first or to the second beast of the chapter – to the leopard-like or to the lamb-like beast? And does not the numerical sum of the letters in the title “Vicarious Fillii Dei” total 666?
Inspiration places the number 666, not on the first or leopard-like beast, whose description is given in verses 1-10, but on the second or lamb-like beast, whose description is given in verses 11-18; for the number 666 is found in verse 18, which describes the two-horned beast, not in verses 1-11, which describe the ten-horned beast.
It is true that the number “666” can be derived by accommodated numerical computation (i.e., by using only those Roman numerals which supply the number) from the letters in the Pontifical title Vicarius Fillii Dei. However, it is just as true that by this same rigged procedure the number can likewise be derived from the letters in other titles and names. Here are three examples:
“According to Irenaeus (2d cent.), one interpretation took 666 to be the numerical value of ΛΑΤΕΙΝΟΣ1 (the Roman), while another took 616, the number given in a variant reading, to be the value of ΓAIOΣ KAIΣAΡ2 (Caligula). Moderns have seen a reference to the Hebrew letters for Neron Kaisar, which gives 666 (or 616), if the final n of Neron be omitted). Other interpretations of 666 apply it to the Roman Empire, to chaos, or make it symbolical in falling short of the holy number seven.” – Webster’s New International Dictionary (Second Edition), The Beast.
I . . . . . . . . 1
C . . . . . . . . 100
A . . . . . . . . 0
R . . . . . . . . 0
I . . . . . . . . 1
U . . . . . . . 5
S . . . . . . . . 0
I . . . . . . . 1
L . . . . . . . 50
I . . . . . . . 1
I . . . . . . . 1
E . . . . . . . 0
I . . . . . . . 1
GREEK – Lateinos
(Latin Man or Church)
A . . . . . . . 1
T . . . . . . . 300
E . . . . . . . 5
I . . . . . . . . 10
N . . . . . . . 50
O . . . . . . . 70
Σ . . . . . . . 200
But no candid student of the subject can be seriously impressed with the contrivance used to milk just 666 and no more out of the title Vicarius Fillii Dei, not when he knows that the main spring of the device is the sheer accommodation which, in order to get the desired number, 666, resorts first, as a rule of convenience, to reckoning exclusively with the Roman letters, I, V, X, L, C, U, and M, which are accorded numerical value in modern usage, and then, as a rule of necessity, to reckoning with an exception, the Roman letter U, which is accorded numerical value only in old and medieval Latin usage! Employing this specious device, one can squeeze the number 666 out of many names.
WHY OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES?
Why do you not study the New Testament? Why so much the Old?
It may appear to you that we are studying the Old more than the New Testament Scriptures, but this may appear so because Christendom, for the most part, has confined its study to the New Testament almost to the exclusion of the Old. The Shepherd’s Rod, therefore, is put to the task of opening up the Old Testament prophecies, which are now due and waiting to be fulfilled. Now that we are in the time for which the prophecies were penned, we must diligently study them in order to know what to expect, and what to do as they unfold into history.
The Old Testament people (ancient Israel) became the church for that time by fulfilling prophecy, by causing prophecy to become history. The New Testament people (Apostolic Israel) became the Church for the same reason. Likewise, it was the unfolding of prophecy that brought the church of the Reformation (Protestant Israel). And prophecy revealed is what made Adventism (present-day Israel) the church today. It is important to remember, too, that the churches of the past, are past rather than present because they refused to be led onward by the prophecies, — they all rejected further unfoldment of the scroll. If the church is to continue as the ever-advancing church, it must, feed on the Old as well as on the New Testament, else she will pass out as quickly as all the rest that have gone before her, and will have no message for the time of the Judgment of the living, and will not be the church tomorrow.
Concretely speaking, the Denomination became the church in 1844 only because it embraced unsealed prophecy (the 2300 days of Dan. 8:14), and also because of proclaiming the prophetic message – the judgment hour (Rev. 14:7) in its first phase – the judgment of the dead. But should she repeat the mistakes of her predecessors in rejecting timely truth; should she reject the additional message for this time (Early Writings, p. 277), which is now knocking hard at her door, she will not have a message for herself or for the world. As the preaching of the judgment of the living is infinitely more momentous to the living than is preaching to them of the judgment of the dead, God must necessarily get those who will proclaim it.
Several of our tracts deal exclusively with New Testament prophecy, while a number of others deal with both Testaments. Thus it is seen that the message mines its precious gold from both the Old and the New Testaments. The only way, however, for anyone to know for himself, and to profit by, the message of the day is to study all that we have published.
THE SABBATH, THE SAME DAY IN AUSTRALIA AS IN AMERICA?
I am sending you literature which declares as positively as the sky is blue that in America Sabbath should be kept on Saturday, but here in Australia it should be Sunday. If it is not so, can you disprove it?
As to Pastor Nelds’ contention that Sunday is the true Sabbath in Australia, about the best we can say is that he so confounds knowledge with words as to create an illusion of truth. But an illusion, a mere mirage, is all it is, and is as fallacious as the theory that one’s traveling west would lose him a day in time, whereas his traveling east would gain him a day, a theory which necessarily ends itself in the illogical conclusion that if one could travel either westward or eastward at the same rate of speed as that at which the earth revolves around the sun, practically 1000 miles per hour, he would lose all the days of the week, for at that rate of speed he would keep on with the sun, and would never see the end of the day if he started out in the day time, and would never see the end of the night if he started out at night time, unless he stopped.
Nelds’ way of travel may lose him one day by going in one direction and gain him one day by going in another direction, but God’s week and Sabbath never lose or gain regardless which way one goes. They never vary. Too, Nelds’ proposed Eden date line instead of the one in the Pacific Ocean, is as illogical as it can be when one considers that Eden was God’s center of civilization and His workshop of creation. Then only would he know that as soon as the sun was created, it flashed with noonday brightness from Eden, not from the Pacific Ocean. He would know then that Eden saw the first noonday sunlight, and the Pacific Ocean, east of Australia, saw the first sunset, the first beginning of a 24-hour solar day.
In addition, the further fact that an Eden date line stretches through some densely inhabited areas, whereas the other does not (as the map shows), proves that the latter is God’s natural day-line barrier. All these considerations translate themselves into absolute proof that Sabbath necessarily begins in the same day, but 8 hours earlier, in Australia as it does in Jerusalem. The simple, never-changing Truth is that God requires us to keep the seventh day of the week wherever the sun brings it to us.
IS SUNDAY THE SABBATH?
I am sending you literature which seems to prove that Sunday should be kept as the Christian’s Sabbath. How can you disprove it?
You may read the Bible through and through both Old and New Testaments, and we assure you that you will find no command, hint, or practice that would indicate, predict or imply that Sunday, the first day of the week, was, is, or is ever to be God’s Sabbath. Search and see.
The literature’s strongest argument is based on the apostle Paul’s statement: “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” 1 Cor. 16:2.
Whoever attempts to make a Sabbath by the use of this statement must certainly be either mentally incapacitated or downright dishonest with the Scriptures and anxious to deceive himself or others. Rather than implying that Sunday is a sabbath, Paul’s statement outright declares that it is not a sabbath but a day in which you may transact business and figure out what you have in the way of tithes and offerings that belongs to the Lord. Whatever it be, the apostle instructs, lay it aside on the very beginning of the week, so that when I come there will be no need of doing business but rather of devoting our time in studying and worshiping.
The same kind of mind that makes a sabbath out of a command that demands doing business on Sunday has attempted to make a sabbath out of John’s statement, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,” either not knowing that the only “Lord’s day,” a Sabbath, John ever recognized was not Sunday but the seventh day, Saturday, or else ignoring the Bible and blindfolding himself and others of a like motive, will and desire, the carnal minded that is against the law of God will forever contend that the first day, rather than the seventh, is the Lord’s day.
We are assuring you that there is not Bible command for a Sunday sabbath, and that there is neither Bible record nor historical record to show that any Bible character ever kept Sunday for a sabbath. There is neither prophecy nor history to show that God has ever changed the Sabbath from one day to another, nor that He ever will. On the contrary, though, prophecy does declare that men would try to do so (Dan. 7:25), and that His people should not allow themselves to be deceived into any man made religion. “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Matt. 15:9. If you have any doubt of what is said here, then search and see for yourself until you are absolutely convinced that Sunday-sabbath is unbiblical, foreign to the religion of Christ and as offensive to God as was Aaron’s sons who likewise presented strange fire in the sanctuary. His punishment exemplified the fall of all who would attempt to either add or subtract from the religion which the Bible advocates. (Rev. 22:18,19).
WHEN IS THE RESURRECTION OF DANIEL 12?
In your publications, Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, Nos. 7 and 42, you place the resurrection of Dan. 12:1, 2 before the close of probation. Do you not thus squarely contradict the teaching of The Great Controversy, p. 637 and Early Writings, p. 285, and hence the Denomination’s position on the subject. How can you deny it?
We do not deny that the Rod’s position on the resurrection does not square with that of the Denomination’s. But we do emphatically deny, however, that the Rod contradicts the Great Controversy or Early Writings. The question immediately asserts itself, therefore, as to how it can be settled for sure as the whether the Rod, in contradicting the Denomination’s position, is contradicting The Great Controversy and Early Writings, or whether the Denomination is misinterpreting the Great Controversy, Early Writings, and the Bible.
“I saw,” says the author of Early Writings, “that the saints must get a thorough understanding of present truth, which they will be obliged to maintain from the Scriptures. …We must examine well the foundation of our hope, for we shall have to give a reason for it from the Scriptures.” – Early Writings, pp. 87,88.
In finality, therefore, the only way to know whether the Denomination is right, or whether we are right, or whether both are wrong, is to know where Inspiration through Daniel places the special resurrection—whether after or before the close of probation.
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Dan. 12:1-3.
These three verses present a sequence of events: 1) the onset of the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation; 2) Michael’s standing up and delivering God’s people from it; 3) a mixed resurrection of “many,” not all, of the dead—the righteous to everlasting life, the wicked to shame and everlasting contempt; 4) the ministry of the righteous resurrected ones, the “wise,” turning “many to righteousness.”
No student rightly dividing the word of truth can possibly fail to see that in this sequence of events the mixed resurrection comes in probationary time, when even through the ministry of the resurrected wise many are turned to righteousness.
Since neither the Early Writings nor The Great Controversy even professes to interpret the twelfth chapter of Daniel or to place time for the resurrection, the Denomination therefore has presumptuously misinterpreted The Great Controversy and Early Writings, and thus Dan. 12:1-3.
We, too, must learn to harmonize, not the Rod literature with The Great Controversy and Early Writings, or The Great Controversy and Early Writings with the Rod, but all three with the Bible, that the Bible is not to be brought into harmony with them but they with It. When we become mindful of this, then not one of us will longer bring one book to the test of another, but every book to the test of the Bible Itself.
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY GHOST OR IN THE NAME OF JESUS?
Matt. 28:18-20,4 but it appears to some that the disciples did differently. Acts 19:5; 2:38. We believe that they did as they were told, for the Lord’s blessing rested upon their efforts.
What is the NAME of the Father, the Son, The Holy Ghost? We do not know, only have vague indefinite theories. (examples)5 Neither do we know their Names (as individuals) This is one of the “secret things.” Not necessary to know.
Why do we have names? To differentiate between people in army, social security, payrolls etc. numbers are used because there are many people.
Only one Father, one Son, one Holy Ghost, why need any names? Who would give God a name?
Many angels and they have names. Gabriel, Lucifer. Moses asked God what His Name was and he was answered. Ex. 3:14,15.
Is Jesus the name of the Son? Matt. 1:21,23 angel did not say the Son’s name “is” Jesus, but “thou” shalt call His name Jesus. Did not say we6 call Him Jesus… Merely stated that they were to use the term Jesus to designate Him the to-be born babe from others because He was to save His people from their sins. Therefore, because of the work He was to do, they were to call Him Jesus instead of something else. In which case, the name becomes a title, designating a particular work with which He was connected. Tells more of “what” He was instead of “who” He was.
Acts 17:3; 18:5, 28 tell what the Son as a man was. Jesus, the Hebrew, the man, the one being rejected, is Christ. Jesus Christ is a name in the same sense as Isaiah gives his name. Isa. 9:6
What is meant by Acts 2:38;19:5? Reconsider Matt. 28. Jesus was the one who commissioned them to go and baptize. He gave them the power or authority. They went forth in His power and authority. They had none of their own. Therefore, it was in Jesus’ name, power, or authority that they commanded the rite of baptism, even today.
Acts 4:77 In Jesus’ name, in Jesus’ power they preached, etc. (sheriff arrest in the name of the law, not John Smith, etc. Secretary of State speaks in name of the U.S.A. not own personal name – no power authority.)
Acts 16:30-33 shows that those who were baptized in Jesus’ name manifested faith in his name to be saved. It was unpopular to believe in Jesus at that time, so professing faith in Jesus was the test. The very name was despised.
The orders were to (Matt. 28:18.)8 We have no record of any words which were spoken at any of the baptisms the disciples conducted. We only know of the pre-charge that was given at different times to individuals and groups, also a past tense record of what had been done, nothing of when it was being done.
‘Jesus’ cannot be the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost as some would have us believe, neither are they all one, embraced in one Being, not having separate identities.
What ever their oneness is, it is something to which humans can attain, for Jesus prayed that His followers might be one, even as He and the Father were one, and humans are not able to become so united in unity that they cease to be separate individuals but are visible only as one being.
If all Three are actually one, then who was Jesus the Son of? To whom did He pray in the garden, who forsake9 Him while on the cross? To whom did Jesus needs present himself after the resurrection to see if his sacrifice was accepted? Why the need of going so the Comforter could come, as long as he was here? On whose right hand did Jesus sit? Before whom did the Lamb stand? Who sent who in John 3:16? In whose house are the many mansions? Etc. etc.
Not knowing of any name to use we just repeat the commission as Jesus gave it which surely can not be wrong.
NOT OUT OF THE S.D.A. CHURCH INTO ANOTHER
We are Seventh-day Adventists, have been for 35 years, and want to stay what we are. Why are you trying to get us into something else?
Reflecting the attitude of us many Seventh-day Adventists, the concern in question very markedly reveals the utter misapprehension which obtains far and wide with regard to the work and the purpose of The Shepherd’s Rod and its adherents who are practically all from the Seventh-day Adventist church, and still are Seventh-day Adventists. We would therefore make unequivocally clear that aside from our endeavoring to get everyone out of the Laodicean trap of doom and into the kingdom of glory, we are not trying to get anyone, ourselves included, out of any church, into another, and certainly least of all out of the Seventh-day Adventist church, into one of our own, the which we do not have. The plain truth of the matter is that we are no more pulling away from the Seventh-day Adventist church than John the Baptist and Christ were pulling away from the Jewish church, Luther away from the Catholic church, and Sister White from the Methodist church. But just as the scribes, pharisees, priests, and ministers, lied and worked against John, Jesus, Luther, and Sister White in their respective times, just so the scribes, priests and pharisees of today are lying and working against us, doing all in their power to drive us from the churches so as to make it look as though we are pulling out for ourselves, and thereby give the appearance of truth to their false charges against us. The very fact that we labor specifically in the interest of the Seventh-day Adventist church, and for her only, and that we constantly teach and advise all Present Truth believers and readers to attend regularly their own or other Seventh-day Adventist churches whenever they can, certainly speaks for itself that we have never left the Adventist church (save involuntarily by force), that we still as ever, and indeed ever more so, believe it to be the last of the seven churches of the Revelation – the last into which the wheat and the tares are commingled, that then follows the next church of pure gold as the illustration of Zechariah, chapter 4, forcefully shows.
A DAY, A THOUSAND YEARS?
What does the statement mean that “a day is a thousand years with the Lord”? (2 Peter 3:8.) Does it not show that whenever the Lord says a “day” He means a millennium?
Let us hear what the apostle says: “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” 2 Pet. 3:8.
The statement that one day is as a thousand years with the Lord, and a thousand years as one day, means exactly what it says – one day is a day, and 1000 years are one thousand, but that He being Eternal a thousand years are to Him as short as a day, and a day as long as a thousand years.
Note what prompted the Apostle to make the statement and you will have no need of trying to figure out whether a day is a thousand years, or whether a thousand years are but one day. The apostle you will observe is talking about those who think that the Lord has delayed His coming, assuming that a great deal of time has gone by and as yet He has not come. The Apostle, therefore, is endeavoring to establish Christ’s followers more firmly in the faith that they be not shaken by the scoffers around them. He is, in effect saying that though it seems to us humans a long time since we have been expecting the Lord’s second coming, yet when we consider that the Lord lives forever, that “one day is as a thousand years with Him, and a thousand years as one day”, we should know that as far as the Lord is concerned the time that has elapsed means almost nothing, and that we should not be carried away by unbelief in His promises, but that we should consider that they are ever sure.
THE CONDITION OF THE EARTH DURING THE MILLENNIUM
How do you prove that the earth is in a state of chaos during the millennium? And if after it is made new and purified the resurrected wicked pollute it anew during the subsequent season they repossess it, as the Rod teaches, is it not, then, in reality, to be made new and purified twice instead of once? When will be the second time?
At the presence of the Lord (His second coming), the earth, in the words of Jeremiah, is left “without form, and void; and the heavens without . . . light” (Jer. 4:26, 23). Isaiah declares, it is left “empty,” “waste,” turned “upside down,” “the inhabitants thereof” scattered “abroad,” and the land left “utterly emptied . . . utterly spoiled” (Isa. 24:1,3). Or, as Peter puts it, “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the worlds that are therein shall be burned up . . . all these things . . . dissolved” (2 Pet. 2:3, 10, 11). Still again, John the Revelator sees it to be a “bottomless pit,” a “prison” house for the Devil, “the . . . heaven and the . . . earth . . . pass away: and . . . no more sea.” Rev. 21:1. Thus the earth no longer habitable, both the living and the resurrected saints are taken to live and reign with Christ, not Christ with them (Rev. 20:6), a thousand years in the mansions He has gone to prepare (John 14:1-3).
Consequently as the earth along with the atmospheric heaven (sea, land, and sky) passes away at the commencement of the millennium, then during the millennium the earth necessarily is in a state of utter chaos, uninhabited and uninhabitable. Since, though, it is made new after the millennium (Rev. 21:7), and since the wicked are raised from their graves (Rev. 20:4, 13), and the Holy City with the righteous in it descends to earth at that time, then it is clear that the portion of the earth which the wicked pollute includes all except where the City rests. It is upon the polluted portion of the earth that the fire comes “down from God out of heaven” and devours all (Rev. 20:9), thus consummating the work of purification. The making new of the earth is one thing, the purifying finally is another.
Accordingly, after the earth is thus made new and livable, the saints no longer live and reign with Christ, as they did during the thousand years (Rev. 20:6), but Christ lives and reigns with them on earth (Rev. 21:3).
THE TIME OF TROUBLE
The Great Controversy, p. 616, and Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 202-203, say that the saints will go through the time of trouble, but The Shepherd’s Rod literature seems contradictorily to tell us that they will be in the kingdom during that time. Does not this bring on a serious clash? If you are able to show harmony, I should like to see it.
To demonstrate that there is utter harmony – and no discrepancy – between The Shepherd’s Rod and The Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets, it is but necessary to notice the fact that the time of trouble is during the time of the Loud Cry of the Three Angels’ Messages, during the time the kingdom is set up, not during the time after the close of probation. Here is the proof:
“…I saw that God had children who do not see and keep the Sabbath. They have not rejected the light upon it. And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully.” . . . “The commencement of the time of trouble, ”here mentioned, does not refer to the time when the plagues shall begin to be poured out, but to a short period just before they are poured out, while Christ is in the sanctuary…” – Early Writings, p. 85.
“In the time of confusion and trouble before us, a time of trouble such as has not been since there was a nation, the uplifted Savior will be presented to the people in all lands, that all who look to Him in faith may live.” – Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 50.
Since the Great Controversy and Patriarchs and Prophets as thus seen, teach that all saints are gathered during the time of trouble, and since the Rod teaches that the kingdom, too, begins then, there is no possibility of the one’s contradicting the other, for the saints pass through the one into the other.
I am trying to care more for the things of Heaven and less for the things of earth, but in some things I am not absolutely sure where precisely to draw the line. I do not want either to lag behind or to run ahead. How can I know just how far to go?
A faithful, earnest prayer for knowledge of duty and for grace to perform it, is the only resort that never fails to bring perfect understanding of what one should do, along with the power to do it, if after prayer one stops, looks, and listens until he hears the Spirit speaking deep down in his heart, “Follow Me.”
“This is the way, walk ye in it.” Isa. 30:21.
Should you in driving to a certain city, on a certain highway, come to a crossroad, but see no sign to indicate a turn to the right or to the left, then you should understand that the only safe thing to do would be to keep on going straight ahead. Should you deviate from this rule, you would doubtless find yourself on the wrong track. So it is with our following the Lord’s directions as to the way we should go and the thing we should do. If we do not have them, we should ask Him for them. If we already have them, we should follow them without hesitation or variation – without either fear or self-interest.
The Lord’s waymarks would be recognized by the simply note of saying, seek ye first the kingdom of Heaven and all these things shall be added unto thee. The Lord’s way will invariably be the one in which you can accomplish more for the Kingdom rather than for self
While “the way of man is not in himself: and not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23), yet wonderfully sure is the Lord’s counsel:
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Prov. 3:5,6.
“The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.” Ps. 146.18
“Cause me to hear thy loving kingdness in the morning; for in thee do I trust; cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” Ps. 143:8,10.
“Butter and honey shall he eath, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.” Isa. 7:15.
CHRONOLOGY OF THE SEALS AND TRUMPETS
Your tract No. 5, The Final Warning, p. 35 explains that the seven seals and the seven trumpets parallel each other, a trumpet following a seal, like the needle the shuttle. But how can that be, when, as the chart shows, there are only three seals as against four trumpets before the Cross?
As viewed in the light of the passage in question, the sealing and the trumpet charts may, at first thought, appear to develop a discrepancy in chronologically paralleling the periods of the seals and the periods of the trumpets. That this apparent discrepancy is solely apparent and not real, is quickly seen from the fact that though the sealing chart places the symbolism of the fourth seal after the cross, yet it could just as well place the symbolism of the fourth seal before the cross, because Rome, the power which the fourth seal symbolizes, persecuted God’s people even before the birth of Christ. With the Roman persecution thus extending over a period of time both before and after the Cross, the chart could not very well indicate the pre-cross as well as the post-cross application of the symbolism itself. Hence it must be seen, not as it appears to be on the chart, but as it actually is. Moreover, one must not take the needle-and-the-shuttle illustration too literally and too exactly in every respect, for the star that fell at the sounding of the third trumpet is symbolical of the Bible, God in the Word, and the star which fell at the sounding of the fifth trumpet is symbolical of Christ, God in the flesh, Who was, is and is to be – Truth that never ceases to be present Truth. The needle-and-the-shuttle illustration is not constructed to point out this all-significant irregularity, itself the hallmark of Divine design rather than the result of human shortsightedness.
Finally, the irregularity shows that the Bible and the Lord – the written and the living Word – are the very source of every message, the Storehouse of the Whole Truth, and that therefore rather than their being but an integral part of the whole truth, every truth is but an integral part of them – the Lord and the Bible.
THE VOICE OF GOD?
In 1901 Sister White wrote: “…That these men should stand in a sacred place to be as the voice of God to the people, as we once believed the General Conference to be, – – that is past.” — General Conference Bulletin, 34th session, Vol 4, Extra No. 1, April 3, 1901.
In 1909, though, she declared that “God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference, shall have authority… Let us give to the highest organized authority in the church that which we are prone to give to one man or to a small group of men.”
If these two statements do not, as they seem, to contradict each other, then does not the latter take precedence over the former?
The words “that is passed,” in the former statement, eliminates the thought of the latter statement having precedence over the former. And since Inspiration indicated both statements, we may straightway dismiss the possibility of their being contradictory. The 1901 statement unconditionally and unqualifiedly asserts that God was no longer to speak through the General Conference. And the 1909 statement does not say or even intimate that God will ever again speak through the General Conference. Thus much they are in perfect agreement.
Then, too, the General Conference faculty at Takoma Park, Washington, D.C., is one group of people, engaged in one capacity of business, and General Conference assembly is another people, engaged in entirely different capacity of business. Moreover, God speaking or not speaking through the General Conference men is one thing, and respect to a principle ordained by them in the long ago is another thing. Furthermore, the latter statement does not say God will speak through the world wide conference assembly, but that in the capacity they are in they should be respected. So, though God was not speaking through either one group or another, yet so long as they were laboring in a capacity of His church, law and order should prevail, and authority be respected among them until God raises one through who He can resume to speak; then whatever He says through him, should be given heed to above all else.
WHO WILL BE AMONG THIS MOVEMENT’S BRANCHES?
I am a Seventh-day Adventist minister, and have been receiving your literature steadily for several years now. I think you should drop from your mailing list my name and the names of those in my church. Do you honestly believe I should follow your course of pulling away from the denomination, and following your offshoot movement, in order to be saved? Do you really think that you can finish the gospel work in the world? How long do you think it will take you?
Our undeviating principle and practice governing such requests is immediately to remove, with writer’s wish, the requester’s own name from our mailing list, but not to remove the names of others. They themselves must write to us if they no longer want the literature. No one has a right to try to be a mind and conscience for another, to decide for him what to read and what not to read, what is Truth and what is error. This decisive office belongs only to God’s Spirit together with the individual himself. It is long past time that we all realize that though “Noah, Daniel, and Job,” were in the land (church) “they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.” Ezek. 14:14. Let us not try to be gods to the people. They need not be herded like animals.
Your asking us “How long do we think it will take us to herald the final message to the entire world,” provokes the questions of “How long has the Denomination been trying to herald the message to all the world, and to prepare a people to meet the Lord? What has she accomplished all these years aside from rocking her members to sleep and into dreaming that they are rich and increased with goods, in need of nothing? Has she wakened them to the fact that the Lord (Rev. 3:17) Himself declares that they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked – in need of everything? The specific answers to these specific questions root in the general answer that the present method of evangelizing the world is as woefully inadequate and impotent as were the methods of the Jews of old. The sooner all of us know this, the better off all of us will be.
What the world now needs is a CHURCH, not a denomination, a church to preach the Gospel and to save the people, not to raise man-made goals and to preach denominationalism. The Lord’s message for today, The Shepherd’s Rod literature, is to raise up that church, that people, within the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, and make the denomination what God would have it to be. We are therefore not offshoots but as much upshoots as were the Christians in Christ’s time, as the protestants during the Reformation, and as the Adventists at their beginning.
Regardless, though, what kind of shoot The Shepherd’s Rod is, whether up, down, or off, every humble, candid, courageous minister will squarely face up to the fact that the angel of the Laodiceans, a figure of the attendants of the church (candlestick), the ministry, is in the perilous position as plainly told by the Lord Himself. (Rev. 3:15-17).
The Shepherd’s Rod message does not mean, moreover a call for anyone to pull away from the denomination, but it does call for all to pull away from “the abominations” (Isa. 66:17) if we want to be in the Kingdom, and if we want to be privileged to have a part in the gospel work when it shall swell into the Loud Cry. Only thus will the work on earth be finished.
To be sure, all who decide to march on with the Truth of God as the scroll unrolls, must pay the price. Since those who love “the abominations” far outnumber those who hate them, they will by majority vote cast you out. But what of it? Millions of saints in times past have for Truth’s sake been cast from synagogues and churches. The names of all of them, though, have been put “in the Lamb’s book of life.” Better to have your name there than simply in a church or in a payroll.
Again and again the Holy Writ emphatically states that the church is to be made pure and kept pure in the final gospel proclamation. Accordingly, the Spirit of Prophecy declares:
“The third angel’s message is to lighten the earth with its glory; but only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it (the Third Angel’s Message) when it shall have swelled into the loud cry.” – Review and Herald, Nov. 19, 1908.
With such a ministry, the message in a short time will be preached to every creature under heaven. Then and then only all our brethren will be gathered in quickly.
“Those who have rendered supreme homage to science falsely so-called, will not be the leaders then. Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent, will not then stand at the head of rank and file. They did not keep pace with the light. Those who have proved themselves unfaithful will not then be entrusted with the flock. In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and he cannot use them. The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 80
Not the present servants, you see, but those whom the Lord is to disclose to view, are to finish His work on earth.
“Awake, awake;” therefore, “put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.” Isa. 52:1.
“Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace: O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.” Nah. 1:15.
“And He called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side; and the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others He said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” Ezek. 9:3-6.
“For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many. They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord…And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord. Isa. 66:16, 17, 19, 20. See also Testimonies, Vol. 5, p 211; Testimonies, Vol. 3, pp. 266,267.
From these inspired records, the fact is clear that all will have to change their way of thinking, for God’s thoughts are not man’s thoughts, and His ways not man’s ways. We are not commanding His work, He is commanding us. The methods these scriptures reveal are God’s method for the finishing of His great work in all the world. His methods are also our methods. Has anyone a better one? If not, then why not make His method your method too?
Now in all respect and sincerity we would ask a very pointed question: In the face of the fact that the Scriptures plainly teach that every Laodicean has need of everything, need of all the Truth which pertains to the time of the Judgment of the living, the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message, who, then, could truly believe he has need of nothing – no more light? Is there actually a one who cannot see that the old message of the Judgment of the Dead will emit only darkness if preached in the time of the Judgment of the Living?
Now in view of the fact that the whole denomination is so unlike what it should be, and so like the world, that it can hardly be told apart, the answer to the questions propounded at the outset should be of infinitely greater concern than any categorical answer to the question as to how long we think it will take us to finish the work.
Yes, there have been in the past other so-called offshoots, and most of them have disappeared as readily as did the hated prophets in ancient Israel, but believe me that this one upshoot, in God’s care, is not only here to stay, but also to become the trunk of the tree! The only question that must be answered is, Who will be among its branches?
Now, after giving these concerns prayerful consideration, should you, or anyone wish to re-study the message of the hour, we shall, upon personal request, be happy to re- enter his name on our mailing list.
THE BOOK “DANIEL AND THE REVELATION” – INSPIRED?
Do we understand correctly that Sister White declared Elder Uriah Smith’s book – Daniel and the Revelation – inspired?
In the first place, had the book been inspired, then Elder Smith should have been the first to know and say so, for who would know better of his experience than he himself? Sister White, moreover, never so much as even implied that the book was inspired. Had she, she most assuredly would have said so in writing, and would herself have believed and preached what he wrote. Such a matter is of far too great consequence to be left to hearsay. We need to be admonished by the following counsel concerning such “unauthenticated reports.”
“And now to all who have a desire for truth I would say, Do not give credence to unauthenticated reports as to what Sister White has done or said or written. If you desire to know what the Lord has revealed through her, read her published works. Are there any points of interest concerning which she has not written, do not eagerly catch up and report rumors as to what she has said.” Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 696.
The question as to Elder Smith’s Inspiration can be quickly settled simply by comparing his description of the symbolical horse of the sixth trumpet (Rev. 9:17-19), with the Revelator’s description of it. Just take a good look at the one, then at the other, and you’ll know without further study that if John’s picture is inspired, then the other is not, for at a glance you will see two entirely different creatures. When Inspiration interprets the Scriptures, it does not substitute a new-modeled symbol for the one It originally revealed. To say that John the Revelator could not correctly see what horses looked like, and where the fire, smoke, and brimstone came from, is to say that the Scriptures are inaccurate and cannot be depended upon. But they satisfy the Lord, for He Himself declares: “I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Rev. 22:16, 19.
If John did not see straight in one instance, then what assurance have we that he saw straight in another instance? And if the Revelation is an errant record, then how dare Inspiration so positively prohibit anyone’s adding to or subtracting from the book?
THE TIME OF THE MILLENNIUM.
The Shepherd’s Rod professes to be in harmony with the Spirit of Prophecy, but Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 20, p. 7, dealing with Zech. 14:4, places the event before the millennium, while Early Writings, p. 53 places it after the millennium. How could you find a more absolute contradiction?
Although an inflexible surface comparison of the two is calculated to sustain the appearance of “absolute contradiction” between them, a fair analytical comparison of each will quickly dissipate the false appearance. The trouble is, not that the Rod contradicts Early Writings, but that its enemies try to create the appearance that it does, so as to keep the church members from studying and accepting its message. They blind the laity to the fact that it is not the Timely Greetings or Early Writings by which Truth must be tested, but the Bible, the source of all Truth.
It is plain to see from even a cursory reading of the relevant passages of the two publications in question, that the event in Early Writings is post-millennial, whereas the event in Timely Greetings is pre-millennial. The two statements can never be reconciled by trying to make both events one, either pre-millennial or post-millennial. Confusion on this point comes from supposing that Early Writings is commenting on Zechariah 14:4, although it is neither quoting nor giving Zechariah as reference. However, it is true that the event recorded in Zechariah 14:4, and that recorded in Early Writings, p. 53 are similar, but they are not identical. Let us not forget that “where there is no type, there is no truth.” (2 SR p 10). The Timely Greetings is speaking of the type – of the prophecy’s first fulfillment, whereas Early Writings is speaking of the antitype—of the prophecy’s second fulfillment.
This is what Early Writings says:
“It is at the close of the one thousand years that Jesus stands upon the Mount of Olives, and the mount parts asunder and becomes a mighty plain.” – Early Writings, p. 53.
And this is what Zechariah says:
“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee unto the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal.” – Zech. 14:4,5.
To any Bible student it is plain to see that the entire chapter of Zechariah 14 (for every verse of it pertains to the same time and setting) has its fulfillment pre-millennially. The first part of the chapter envisions a united nations’ military operation against Jerusalem, and the capture of the city (verse 2). Verse 8, along with chapter 13:1, makes clear that the action occurs in the day when “living waters shall go out from Jerusalem” when probation still lingers. Verse 2 reveals that as the city falls, the houses are rifled and “the women ravished,” and that half of the city “go forth into captivity,” while a “residue of the people” are “not cut off.” Then, on the authority of verse 3, as “these Nations” turn away, laden with the spoils of their conquest, the Lord falls upon them “as when he fought in the day of battle” (Isa. 37:36). Verse 4 then adds: “And His feet shall stand in that day [in the day the city falls, and the day the Lord goes to fight against those nations] upon Mount of Olives,” whereupon, declares verse 5, “ye [the saints, the people whom He is addressing in the prophecy] shall flee to the valley of the mountains [there where the Lord’s feet stand.]” That is, they shall flee to Him, not from Him, neither shall they come down with Him. It is too plain for words that none of these events can be post-millennial.
Then, too, there “shall be the plague” to “smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem.” Verse 12. “And it shall come to pass in that day [still in the same day the Lord’s feet stand upon Mount of Olives], that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold everyone on the hand of his neighbor. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.” Zech. 14:13, 18.
The dissimilarity between what befalls Jerusalem in Zechariah’s prophecy, and what befalls the “Holy City” when it comes “down from God out of Heaven” (Rev. 21:2), is too vast to be ignored and discredited. In epitome, the difference is that at the end of the 1000 years, Satan and his army come up to take the Holy City, but are blasted into the lake of fire and perdition (Rev. 20). Whereas in Zechariah’s prophecy, the united nations’ army overthrows Jerusalem – the very thing that brings the Lord’s feet to the Mount of Olives. This is what the Bible says, if you mind what It says.
INTO ALL THE WORLD?
Do you believe in going into all the world with the message or just to the S.D.A. people?
Inasmuch as we are “not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel” (Ezek. 3:5), our message is for the Laodicean church rather than for the world. For a detailed explanation, read our Tract No. 1.
ARE THERE TWO COMINGS OF CHRIST?
Do you believe there are two 2nd comings of Christ, one for the 144,000 and then for others as mentioned?
Concerning your question in regard to Christ’s coming, “it is generally understood that when Christ visibly appears, the nations will die by the brightness of His coming, and thus the wicked will have no chance for either the Lord to speak to them or they to speak to Him. Furthermore, according to the parable, He sits on the throne of His glory instead of sitting on the clouds as in 1 Thess. 4:17. Therefore, the throne of His glory is His kingdom where He, invisible to the nations, sits on the throne and gathers all nations before Him as recorded by the prophet Isaiah also, saying: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it.’ (Isa. 2:2)” – The Symbolic Code, Vol. 4, Nos. 10-12.
We see, therefore, that there are two comings – one invisible (Christ’s coming to execute His judgment upon His church –Ezek. 9; Matt. 25:32, 33, and one visible (Christ’s coming when the saints are caught up in the cloud with Him – 1 Thess. 4:17). Vol. 2 T p. 190.
COMING TO MT. CARMEL CENTER?
Do all the S.R.S.D.A.’s come to Waco to live?
No, not all the S.R.S.D.A.’s come to live on Mt. Carmel, only those who are needed for the work to be done are here.
THE 144,000 – WHY FIRST FRUITS?
Why are the 144,000 the first fruits? Who are the second fruits?
From Revelation 7:3-8 we learn that they are sealed under the sixth seal, in our time for the seals are consecutive, one following the other; that they are of the 12 tribes of the children of Israel—of the church—not of the world. And from Revelation 14:1,4, we learn that they stand on Mount Zion with the Lamb, Christ, and that they are the first fruits only, definitely implying that there is to be a second fruits, for where there is no second there can be no first. The word “fruits” indicates “harvest,” that they are the “wheat” separated from among the tares. And from TM p. 445, along with Ezekiel nine, point out that Ezekiel’s marking and John’s sealing are one and the same thing, that the slaughter of Ezekiel nine is the destruction of the tares in the time of harvest, “in the end of the world” (Matt. 13:39.) And from the parables of the net (Matt. 39:47, 13:47) of the wedding garment (Matt. 22), and of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30), also of the goats and sheep (Matt. 25:32-33) along with the Apostle Peter’s statement that judgment must begin at the house of God (1 Pet. 4:17), all these make it plain that the harvest and the Judgment of the Living are one and the same thing, but with one exception, and it is this: The term judgment denotes a decision as to who is to be “cut off” and destroyed, and the term harvest denotes ingathering, besides cutting off and destroying the tares and the chaff. Then from Micah four and Isaiah two, we see that the church purified, the church that survives the Judgment, is the pre-millennial Kingdom into which the second fruits, the great multitude of all nations (Rev. 7:9) are gathered, the very act that gives the title (Harvest) to the work. So, then, the commencement of the Judgment of the Living (the separation of the wicked from the righteous in the house of God,”) that ___10___ the first fruits, and the harvest that gathers the second fruits out of Babylon (the separation of the righteous from among the wicked), are one and the same. In Revelation 18 we are told that these nations from which the great multitude, the second fruits, are called out (verse 4), are in Babylon during the Angel’s loud cry. And in The Great Controversy, p. 665, is illustrated that the great multitude are not all the saved from all ages, dead and living, as some think, but that they are a group of themselves as are the 144,000. The 144,000 therefore, are the first to be sealed, the first to pass through the judgment of the living and first to stand in the church without a sinner among them. Consequently the second fruits are those who are separated from the sinners in Babylon, the group that is gathered from all nations. The 144,000 are the servants of God because having escaped from the slaying of the Lord depicted in Ezekiel 9, and in Isaiah 66:16, they are sent out to the nations and peoples who to that time know not God’s fame and glory, and they thus bring in the second fruits from all nations as set forth in verses 19 and 20. Thus they are the servants of God during the period of the judgment of the living. The Spirit of God declares, moreover, that “…only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [the Third Angel’s Message] when it shall have swelled into the loud cry.” – The Review and Herald, Nov. 19, 1908.
CRY ALOUD AND SPARE NOT?
In the face of the fact that the Scriptures say: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isa. 58:1), does it not mean we are to do everything we can to point out everyone’s sins and to compel him to repent?
Yes, the Scripture itself says to show them their sins, but it does not say to compel them into anything. Moreover, the pronouns My people and the house of Jacob includes us all. We should therefore cry even louder to ourselves than to others. Furthermore, it does not mean for us Davidians to engage in the habit of discussing anyone’s shortcomings. It means that we study and teach the lessons Truth sets forth. Our listeners will then for themselves see what is required, – what to depart from, and what to hold on to. This will avoid all chances of offense, and all who study Truth with intention to profit can then see for themselves their sins as we have seen ours, and thus be urged by the Spirit within to amend their ways, rather than by our demand. Bare criticism without the remedy, the remedy which only the message offers, is harmful rather than helpful. To prove to a person that he is really sick and dying, but to offer him no remedy for his illness, will not make him well but rather the more ill. The message from God is the only thing that has the rebuke, the remedy and the power. Our bare criticism can only make them the more hostile, create enemies, scatter and destroy.
THE 144,000 – FROM THE TWELVE TRIBES OR GENTILES TOO?
The Answerer, Book No. 5, p. 90, says: “And nowhere in the Scriptures is there to be found even the remotest suggestion that the 144,000 are Gentiles.” Yet Galatians 3:28, 29, says: “There is neither Jew nor Greek…and if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Is it not the adoption by Christ rather than the blood of Abraham that makes us all Jews in Christ?
It is true that in Christ we are all counted as from the seed of Abraham, but to be from one this, that, and the other tribe of the children of Israel is quite another thing. In Christ I could be a Christian regardless of my pedigree, but to be one from any one particular tribe of the children of Israel, necessarily is to have that particular pedigree.
It is true, too, that all who join themselves to spiritual Israel by adoption become Israelites just as a naturalized European becomes an American, but the ancestral lineage, nevertheless, still exists. Moreover, though one can be an Israelite by adoption, he can never be an Ephraimite, Rubenite, or some other if he is not just that. The 144,000 are 12,000 out of each of the twelve tribes, says the Bible. Simple! Is it not?
Those who are gathered to Christ from the Gentile nations, and thus counted as of the seed of Abraham, are the great innumerable multitude (Rev. 7:9), but those that are specifically from the twelve tribes of Israel, are 144,000. To overlook the distinction which the Scriptures make, is nothing less than an attempt to dishonor Inspiration with inconsistency and inaccuracy and to crown yourself with infallibility.11
Therefore, to say that the 144,000 are not blood descendants of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel, is as much erroneous, and as unscriptural, as to contrary say that the great innumerable multitude are not blood descendants “of the nations”! Moreover, if neither is from where the Scriptures say they are from, pray tell us why is Inspiration at pains to tell us where they are from? If the Scriptures are so imperfect as to say the 144,000 are from the tribes of Israel, but be from the Gentiles, and that the great multitude are from all nations, but be not, then what good are they if they do not tell the exact truth? In fact, this scripture’s paramount reason is to give the lineage of both peoples. If it was said that the 144,000 are Israelites, then it could be taken to mean that they were sealed from the church itself. But since they are not only Israelites, but Rubenites, Josephites, Levites, etc., then the fact becomes clear that they are not only from the church itself, but also the descendants of the twelve tribes.
Having completely lost their Semitic identity as a result of the dispersions among the Gentile nations, and of the subsequent assimilation of them, especially so with the ten tribe kingdom, and with the Jews who made up the early Christian church, and who called themselves Christians, they consequently are to be unconscious of their Israelite geneology. God, however, knows the lineage of every soul. Hence when He declares in Revelation 7 that the 144,000 are from the twelve tribes, from the sons of Jacob, that is precisely what He means, and that is precisely what they must be. No amount of rationalizing and spiritualizing will alter that fact, but one’s name in the book of life. None of us know whether or not we are descendants of these tribes, but we should strive to be with them even if we cannot be of them. We need not worry over the matter of our pedigree, for whatever we prove to be, Jew or Gentile, we shall be perfectly satisfied with our rewards.
HARMONY BETWEEN ROD AND SISTER WHITE?
Must not The Shepherd’s Rod dovetail with Sister White’s writings?
It is not only necessary for the Rod to dovetail with Sister White’s writings, but that they both should also dovetail with the Bible. Your doubt arises from the erroneous idea which permeates the whole denomination; that is, the idea that Sister White’s writings are the end of all truth, whereas no prophet as yet has individually ever been given to write the whole truth for all time. Every prophet’s writings is an addition to the preceding prophet or prophets; and the writing of all the prophets is what makes the whole. Even Christ Himself did not tell everything there was to be told. After His ascension He gave the Revelation, you know. Even then he reserved some for a future revelation; that is, He restricted John from writing about the “seven thunders” (Rev. 10:4), and if we are to know something about them they must yet be revealed and written. Sister White herself says that the next message after hers is to be an “addition,” not a repetition or a reminder of something forgotten. Here we quote what she wrote on the subject:
“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…This message seemed to be an addition to the third message, joining it as the midnight cry joined the second angel’s message in 1844.” Early Writings, p. 277.
The messages which the Rod has brought do not only dovetail with Sister White’s writing, and with the Bible, but they now dovetail her writings with the Bible more than ever, because the prophecies which were sealed during her time are not unsealed, and therefore where her writings were obscured, the Rod’s light shining on them makes them understandable. The writings of the prophets, moreover, are no longer closed and unread. The Bible and Sister White’s writings have become new books and more interesting than ever to all who have read the Rod literature.
PRE-MILLENNIAL KINGDOM FROM THE BIBLE ONLY
I have not been able Scripturally to convince myself of a pre-millennial Kingdom, and I have no faith in what men say. Can you prove the subject to me from the Bible only?
You may rest sure that all our studies prove the subject by the Bible Itself. Whatever else we may use in our studies we do not use to prove the subject.
The subject of the Kingdom being the most important of all Bible subjects, the crown of salvation, the Scriptures make this subject clearer than any other. Let us see:
To begin with, let me say that this pre-millennial Kingdom is in other words only the church purified – the “wheat” separated from the “tares,” the good “fish” from the “bad,” the “sheep” from the “goats,” and put where they can never again commingle, – in “barn,” in “vessels,” on the Lord’s “right,” – the geographical location of the Kingdom. These parables, you know, were not given for nothing; they are for our learning.
As for the prophecies on this subject we shall start with Daniel. “And in the days of these kings (the kings of today) shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou saw that the stone (the first fruits) was cut out of the mountain (the Denomination) without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” Dan. 2:44, 45.
Can language make the subject plainer? Does not the Scripture say that the stone symbolized the Kingdom? And does it not say that it, the Kingdom, is to break the nations (the image); does it not say that in the days of the toe kings, not after their days “shall the God of heaven set up a Kingdom”? Moreover, what made the stone grow and fill the earth (Dan.2:35) if it was not set up before the close of probation? And if its growth is not caused by the ingathering of the second fruits, the great multitude (Rev. 7:9) that join the first fruits, the 144,000 – the stone (Dan. 2:35) then what is it? This is not one’s idea but the Bible’s. If you make this scripture mean something else, then for sure it would be someone’s idea, not the Bible’s.
Nevertheless, to be doubly sure, we now go to the prophet Micah: “Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest. But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths; for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up a sword against nation neither shall they learn war anymore. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.” Mic. 3:12; 4:1-4.
Let us now quietly and humbly try to digest what all these verses say. Here we have in prophecy that God was to bring the kingdom of the Jews down to nothing (Verse 12). Then with great positiveness He promises that in the “last days” He shall re- establish it and make it stand more prominent than the kingdoms around it. Is this not what the Bible says? And does this sound like post-millennial work to you? No, I am sure. Moreover, He declares that “people shall flow unto it.” Then, too, it makes plain that many nations shall come unto it and then invite others: “Say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain (kingdom) of the Lord,…and he will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths…” If the Kingdom is not set up, what will make them say, “Let us go”? Is this post-probationary work? You see that it is not. What more can be said to make it more certain than what the verses themselves say? And who dare say God does not tell the truth, or that He cannot perform? And if we cannot depend on these, then what can we depend on? On men?
Suppose we next inquire of Hosea the prophet?
“For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without a teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.” Hos. 3:4,5.
Does not Hosea go even further into the subject: Does he not also say that God’s ancient people were to lose their kingdom, and even their whole national identity, but that in the latter days He will reestablish them again, and have a king of their own, even the antitypical David? And I am sure you will not let men tell you that this David is Christ Himself. Surely not, for the Scriptures plainly teach that Christ is the son of David, not David.
Neither let any one talk you into thinking that these promises are conditional on the obedience of the people as they have tried to talk others into. Here you have God’s Word for it:
“For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.
“And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers (Palestine); and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleanness: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay not famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. (Among the heathen could not possibly mean in Heaven).
“Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.
“Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel…Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the Lord build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it. Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the Lord.” Ezek. 36:24-32, 36-38.
To gather them “from among the heathen,” “out of all countries,” and to bring them into their “own land”—verse 24 (and this promise is to the house of Israel, the ten- tribe kingdom, which has never yet been gathered), does it not look to you that this takes place before probation? Before the seven last plagues and before the millennium? How else could it be?
To cleanse us from all “filthiness” and from “all idols” (verse 25), to receive a “new heart,” and a “new spirit,” to cause us to walk in His “statutes,” and to keep His “judgments” (verses 26,27), does it seem to you to be taking place after the close of probation? And how can you see God and live and reign with Him before this cleansing?
To “dwell in the land” that He had given to our fathers (verse 28), — could this land possibly be some other than Palestine? Could it be in Heaven?—To promise an increase of corn and to lay “no famine” upon His people (verse 29), could be nowhere else than on earth. To multiply the “fruit of the tree,” to receive no more reproach of famine “among the heathen” (verse 30), — could it be after the heathen are done away with? When these take place then only, say the scriptures, then we all will really hate our iniquities and our abominations (verse 31).
To do all these, not for our sakes, but for God’s own, so that we be ashamed and confounded of our ways (verse 32), does it sound that these promises are conditional upon the past obedience of the people? To “dwell in the cities” and to “build the wastes,” and the heathen to know all these (verse 33,36), can these be in Heaven? What are your honest, God-fearing answers?
“Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock” (verse 37). In this verse, the Lord definitely says that His people will “enquire,” pray, for the Lord to do this for them, and how can one pray for it if he does not believe it? The Lord, though, promises to surely do it. Again, ask yourself the question, How could He multiply them it, when He does this, probation for the conversion of men has closed?
Regardless of what the ministers may say and think, is it not our duty to believe what the Scriptures say? I am sure that no human being, but the Word of God alone is answering your question and if the Scriptures themselves do not convince you, to take hold of their life-saving lines, then what will?
THE SHAKING – WHEN?
Testimonies, Vol. 5, page 81, in speaking of the mark of the beast, states that when “the mark of the beast will be urged upon us” the gold will be separated from the dross in the church; whereas Early Writings, page 27, in speaking of the shaking, states that the straight Testimony to the Laodiceans causes separation. I would like to know how you harmonize these seemingly contradictory statements.
These two statements can offer no difficulty when due consideration is given to the fact that there are to be two different shakings—one in the church, before the Loud Cry, resulting in the sealing of the firstfruits, the 144,000 (Ezek. 9:1-9; Rev. 7:1-7; Testimonies to Ministers, page 445), and the other in the world, during the Loud Cry, resulting in the gathering of second fruits, the great multitude, from among all nations (Matt. 25:31-33; Rev. 7:9; Isa. 66:20). Volume 5 has reference to the latter period, and Early Writings to the former.
TO TRUST IN MEN OR TRY THE SPIRITS?
We are warned that you do not wholly agree with Sister White’s writings, and the Scriptures command us to beware of false prophets. Besides, you criticize our leaders. That is enough for me. I do not read your literature, but still, I’d like to hear what you have to say for yourself.
We have never yet seen one valid instance wherein our literature does “not wholly agree with Sister White’s writings,” and we earnestly invite and urge and will everlastingly appreciate anyone’s showing us one such discrepancy.
It is certainly a mistake not to be cautious, not to look out for “the doctrines of the Nicolaitanes” (Rev. 2:15) and for the “fornication” of “Jezebel” (Rev. 2:20). But just because the work of one that came to you in the name of the Lord is unpopular and the majority are against it is an even greater mistake for one ignorantly, before investigating for oneself, to push it aside as a work of Nicolatitanes, and as a fornication of Jezebel.
It must be ever remembered that pride and prejudice caused the Jews to reject the prophets and their messages, till there was no remedy. The churches in the Christian era have done likewise, rejecting message after message. Now our own denomination must not follow in the same fatal course. The class who play “follow the leader,” closing their eyes and shutting ears to anything and everything the leadership does not sanction, the Lord could never, never, reach even if He Himself should come down to speak to them. Which of the two is to be recommended? To sin against the Holy Spirit, against the Spirit that unfolds and leads into all Truth, or to sensibly and conscientiously take a little time in finding out for oneself whether it be truth from God? God’s express counsel is: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God.” 1 John 4:1. “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thess. 4:19-21.
For the truth-seeker who is sincerely praying for light, and who will heed the wise counsel to “try the spirits,” and to “prove all things,” there is no possibility of God’s letting him go into darkness—certainly no more than there is of a father’s giving a stone to the son who asks him for bread (Matt. 7:9).
For one to have such an inordinate fear of false prophets as to keep himself from having anything to do with anyone purporting to be a true prophet from God, is to fear to accept the false more than to reject the true, and is automatically to turn down, along with the false, all the true, and thus also Christ Himself! It is an act of one’s cutting forever the line of communication with Heaven.
No, the Rod publications are not criticizing the leaders, not criticizing anything, but is quoting the Scripture, and if they condemn our sins, and give us the remedy, should we not be thankful rather than suspicious, malicious, hateful and rebellious?
If Christ Himself should appear in person, would He not expose and denounce the Laodiceans? He has already done so by the Revelation of John. If He should not rebuke them, but leave them in their lukewarm condition, could they be saved? It is only the renewal of the straight testimony (Gospel Workers, p. 307), a message of timely truth, of reproof and warning, that will awake the Laodiceans and save them from being spued out. But certain it is that spued out they will be, if both ministry and laity continue going as they are, regardless of how right or how wrong we may be.
The only sensible thing for all, therefore, is for each prayerfully to investigate for himself, independent of human influence, and wholly dependent on the Lord, To do otherwise is to sever all connection with Heaven and to lean on man, on the forbidden and treacherous arm of flesh (Isa. 2:22). “The mind that depends upon the judgment of others,” warns the Spirit of Truth, “is certain, sooner or later, to be misled.” Ed. 213. God has promised to send to us the Spirit which leads into all Truth, and never has His promise failed, and never will it fail.
If the Rod message is the “additional message” mentioned in Early Writings, p. 277, a message from God, as we positively know it is, how can anyone else know it unless he does as we did – obeys God’s command to walk in the “light,” unless he accepts the light God sends? Only those who follow in the pathway of the advancing light of Present Truth, will know which way to turn, and how to get to the kingdom. We are held accountable for recognizing and cherishing all the light that God sends to us. No one discovers it accidentally, or sees It without the Holy Spirit’s aid. Thus to reject light is to reject the Spirit.
All through the history of the church, new Truth has caused division, and every light bearer, every messenger of truth, has been prejudicedly and arrogantly sniffed at, turned from, ridiculed, and cast out by those in authority, as a thing unfit. In this connection, we refer to the Answerer, Book No. 1, pp 76,77. We would likewise direct attention to the following passage from the book, Great Controversy:
“Different periods in the history of the church have each been marked by the development of some special truth, adapted to the necessity of God’s people at that time. Every new truth has made its way against hatred and opposition; those who were blessed with its light were tempted and tried. The Lord gives a special truth for the people in an emergency. Who dare refuse to publish it?…They cannot remain silent, except at the peril of their souls. Christ’s ambassadors have nothing to do with consequences. They must perform their duty, and leave the results with God.”—The Great Controversy, pp. 609, 610.
We earnestly appeal to each one to give The Shepherd’s Rod literature the earnest, careful, prayerful attention which the very nature of the case demands, rather than allow to get hooked upon those pegs which the Devil would have us hang our doubts upon, and which God will never remove (Testimonies, Vol. 3, pp. 255, 258).
“If you refuse to believe until every shadow of uncertainty, and every possibility of doubt is removed, you will never believe. The doubt that demands perfect knowledge, will never yield to faith.” – Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 69.
Hold tenaciously to what is clear, and the points which may not now seem clear, the Lord will in time clear up. Only thus can the Christian walk by faith in the light, “for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17.
What is the work of Isa. 58:1?
The work of Isaiah 58:1 is being done by means of the publications.
Should we teach that the slaughter will begin in March on a Wednesday? This was taught before last March, and now some dear souls have become disgusted with the message and quit coming to services.
Since we do not find anywhere in the publications that the slaughter will begin in March, on a Wednesday, we can only reiterate that you should unquestioningly give credence to nothing you hear, and believe and teach only that which is “written.”
WAS LUCIFER THE HOLY SPIRIT?
Was not Lucifer the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, the Godhead, before he fell? If so, and if Gabriel took his place, then must not he in turn now hold that office, and therefore now be the Holy Spirit? Or is Christ Himself the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is a Power that can minister everywhere, and to everyone at the same time; an angel cannot (Dan. 10:13, 14), but can be in only one place at one time. The Holy Spirit can lead the conscience and enlighten the mind by absolute silence; the angels cannot. The Spirit convicts the sinner of sin, and empowers the penitent to choose righteousness; He leads into Truth and corrects error (Jno. 16:13); He brings all things to memory (Jno. 14:26, and is everywhere momentarily and at the same time, something like the wireless power in the air that carries radio broadcasts everywhere at the same time, to everyone who wants to listen to it. As an example, it can be said, Christ is the broadcaster, the Spirit is the Power, the radio-receiver is the heart of the listener. God’s throne is the broadcasting radio station. It was the Holy Spirit Who, years after the ascension of Christ, brought Christ’s sermons to the memory of the apostles thus enabling the gospel writers to record them more than three decades after they heard them. This office, and an unlimited number of other offices are the omnipotent and omnipresent offices of the third person of the Godhead, all of which He performs as silently (if He so chooses) as Springtime causes the plant to awaken and clothe itself with foliage, to bloom and to grow. Entirely different and definitely restricted, though, is the scope of angels’ powers and offices, as is seen instantly from the fact that they communicate orally (see Dan. 10:16-21; 11:1,2), and can be seen in one form or another, or remain unseen. (See 2 Kings 6:17; Num. 22:30-32.) Though the angels, you know, ministered to Him, Jesus declared that the Spirit could not come to earth if He Himself did not first ascend to Heaven (John 16:7-11). Most conclusively, therefore, Lucifer, could never have been, nor can Gabriel, or Christ’s person now be the Holy Spirit.
THE TIMING OF THE SEVEN SEALS
I understand that in your teaching, you start the Seven Seals at creation whereas John was told that The Revelation contains things which were to be “hereafter” (Rev. 4:1), after John’s time. No wonder that the denomination is against you. I am, too.
We do appreciate your frankness in telling just how you feel about the message to the Laodiceans. We are, however, led to believe that you have not made a personal study of the literature, but that you have listened to the opposition. The only way you will ever know for sure what we teach, is to study for yourself.
We do not only teach that the things which John was shown were to be “hereafter” (Rev. 4:1), after John received The Revelation (after 96 A.D.), but prove it so. If you really believe what you say, then why do you accept the Denominational position that the seals start with the Pentecost, sixty some years before John even had the vision? What logic or scripture is there of going six decades ahead of John’s time since what he was shown was to be “hereafter” from his time? If you must break the rule by sixty some years, then what is there to stop you from going as far back as you want?
The Rod literature sticks to exactly what The Revelation says. It puts the event after John’s time, but you have failed to see what the Rod really teaches. For your enlightenment on the subject, you may read tract No. 15, To The Seven Churches, in which you will see that we believe and teach exactly what The Revelation says. The first part of the tract will prove this to you if you want it proved.
WHAT DO THE SEVEN HEADS ON THE LEOPARD-LIKE BEAST REPRESENT?
The church teaches that the seven heads on the leopard-like beast represent seven ancient consecutive Roman administrative periods. Is this interpretation correct? And if not then what do the heads stand for?
Note that the heads did not appear on the beast one following the other, and did not drop off one after another, so as to indicate any consecutive or retrogressive links in the chain of history. All seven heads were on the beast from its beginning, and all seven stood intact until the beast was no more. Again note that the one that got “wounded unto death,” was healed and did live as did all the others, all of which denotes that whatever the heads be symbolical of, those things stand together until the beast itself comes to his end.
When the thing symbolized is progressive or retrogressive, Bible symbolism never fails to so indicate. For example, the fourth beast of Daniel seven was to portray progressive as well as retrogressive historical events in their making, and Inspiration failed not to so indicate: At first the beast appeared with ten crownless horns, then another horn came up among them which after it was fully developed it plucked out three of the ten horns. This symbolism first shows history in the making,- first ten horns. Then eleven, the eleventh being diverse from the other. He plucked out three of the horns, so that at last there were but eight. Besides this symbolism, there is the he-goat and the ram of Daniel chapter eight which also demonstrates prophetic progression in history, and history did not fail to make notice of it as prophecy passed into history. The symbolism in the leopard-like beast (Rev. 13:1-10), though, does not show any such progression save that one of its heads was wounded, and healed.
That John’s beast with seven heads and ten crowned horns, jointly with Daniel’s fourth beast, symbolize the world during the period while the little horn, having the eyes of a man, spoke “great words against the Most High,” and while John’s first beast opened his mouth in blasphemy against God. This is seen from the fact that they both blasphemed for the same length of time; that is, for time (one year), and times (two years), and half a time (half year), a total of 42 months (Daniel 7:25; and Revelation 13:6,7). The crownless horns of Daniel’s beast, indicate that in the period of the former beast the kings (horns) pictured thereon had no kingdom as yet, but that in the period of the latter beast they took up their thrones (crowns), all of which goes to say that the former beast represents only the former period of time, whereas the latter beast continued to represent the period that followed. Moreover, Daniel’s beast portrays history in progress, and John’s beast portrays history completed. Then, too, Daniel saw the ten horns (kings) crownless—having no kingdom as yet, and his beast received no kind of wound, but John saw the horns crowned—having taken their kingdoms, and the head wounded and healed. All of which shows that the two beasts jointly symbolize the period all the while they blasphemed God and His tabernacle, and all the while the little horn ruled the seven horns, but the period in which he lost his power, and in which the wound was inflicted and healed, is symbolized only by John’s beast, and it is the period in which the horns were crowned. John’s beast, therefore, is the symbol of the world of today as is Daniel’s first beast, the lion, the symbol of the world in Daniel’s day. We are next to consider the symbolization of his seven heads:
The general acceptance that the wounded head is positively symbolical of a religious organization, makes just as positive that the other six heads must also be symbolical of religious organization, too, for all heads are alike save for the wound on one of them. Finally, since the horns symbolize civil governments (kings), and the heads religious organizations, the beast with his horns and head symbolizes both the civil and religious powers in the world as does Daniel’s fourth beast with but one exception; and that is that Daniel’s beast symbolizes the church and the state combined in one government as seen from the fact that the “little horn” is a combination of horn-head—a horn having the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things.
The blasphemy of John’s beast being over the heads, not over the horns, denotes as much spiritual downfall of Christendom as the blasphemy of Daniel’s beast does. Furthermore, the general acceptance that the wound was inflicted by the reformation, positively denotes that Protestantism has failed to keep the wound open, and that itself has become a system of blasphemy. The lesson which Inspiration draws out by the symbolism is that the church must awake from her slumber and sleep, realize that she is now as much under satanic control as she was during the dark ages. The Biblical number seven (completeness) takes the whole Christian world.
THE FIFTH COLUMN IN THE CHURCH
I had one of the brothers from the Adventist Church suggest to me the other day that the Shepherd’s Rod movement was in error, inasmuch as Sister White says there will never be another movement and they have made a distinct separation and another movement by accepting tithe, which should go to the S.D.A. Conference. I am wondering what your reaction would be to this. I do know that I, myself, have read in the Testimonies that she said she saw in vision where some had slipped off the platform but saw that some of them came back. I do not know to what she referred but it was a vision that she had. This Adventist brother also quoted that to me in the conversation.
Regarding the vision which Sister White saw those who slipped from the platform, they are those whom she saw in the dream and whom she recorded in Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 578. From this vision is seen that those who have stepped from “the platform” are a great many, and are not working from outside, but from within, they are not such as have been disfellowshipped, but rather such as run the affairs of the church. Yes, Satan has successfully flooded the church with tares, and now it is, as it were, infiltrated with a fifth column – the spirit of Catholicism holds sway.
EXPLANATION OF ISA. 32:8 AND ISA. 14:20
Would you kindly forward explanation of Isa. 32:8; 14:20? It is introduced in Tract No. 8, Mount Zion at the Eleventh Hour, page 90, and we cannot seem to understand it.
As to Isaiah 32:8; 14:20, it shows that a liberal person spends his time devising ways and means to help and to bless others, and his liberalism upholds him – causes him to “stand.” On the other hand, a churlish person seeks only to gratify and please himself, and he shall be rewarded accordingly: Then will the people awake to the extent that “the vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful.”
TAKING PART IN CHURCH SERVICES
As I am attending the young people’s meetings at the church and I am asked to take a part in their different organized bands as it seems that no knowledge of the message, or any prejudice has been caused to arise in the hearts of the church members and as I am a stranger here, would it be advisable for me to take a part in the things they asked that I am come in a closer connection, gaining their confidence, and at the same time, looking for every opportunity to tell them about the Truth?
About your taking part in church services, we see no reason that you should refuse when asked to do so. By cooperating in every way possible, you will not give your brethren occasion to think you are indifferent or uninterested.
THE REPENTANCE OF GOD
What is meant by Gen. 6:6 and Jonah 3:9, Ezek. 24:14 in View of Mal. 3:6 and Heb. 13:8?
Patriarchs and Prophets page 630.
LIFE AND ITS RESPONSIBILITIES
Will you please explain the difference in the following scriptures and make them harmonize: Matt. 6:25, 26; 1 Tim. 5:8; 2 Thess.. 3:8-12. Is Paul right or Matthew? And Luke 14:26, compare Gal. 5:22, bitter and sweet water cannot come out of the same fountain and Luke 6:27, 29.
As to your questions, they are answered as follows:
The First three references which you listed, treat of three difference phases of human life and responsibilities. Matthew 6:25, 26 instructs that a man should not worry as to how he is to make a living, but should be as trusting in God as are the birds and the flowers. They make the best of whatever is provided them. 1 Timothy 5:8 teaches that a man should be industrious and a good provider – not wasteful. He should be studious and carry responsibilities. 2 Thessalonians 3:8-12 reproves a lazy man, who wastes his time and expects others to make a living for him.
Regarding Luke 14:26, Galatians 5:22, and Luke 6:27, 28, the very fact that the Bible teaches us to love one another and to do to others as we would have them do to us, shows that the Lord does not advocate that we should hate one another. Rather, He shows that we should prefer to serve Him even if some member of the family should object or attempt to interfere.
As regards to my paying 2nd tithe at this time I do not feel prompted to do so. I explained to you some time ago that I had tithed the full amount that I received for property I sold last year and had made a number of gifts where I felt charity was needed and that I might later on feel impressed to give a second tithe to Mt. Carmel.
I have no income selling that one piece of property, hence the reason why I have not sent tithe lately. I hope, however, to fix a way to have a little income again and will then be glad to pay 1st and 2nd tithe on that.
The Certificate is issued to show that the holder is an accredited member of the Association, one of the privileges being that of having priority to receive the full benefits of the second tithe fund (burial, hospitalization, etc.). Therefore, were we to issue them to those who can but do not contribute to this fund, and many of whom are sacrificing and denying themselves to do so. Thus, we would not only lay ourselves open to criticism, but would be left with no principle to follow in the matter.
However, as stated in The Answerer, Book No. 5, p. 84, “one can be a member without holding the Certificate of Fellowship” if he does not need the benefits of the second tithe fund for himself, nor cares to benefit others by it.
From this we believe you readily see that the Certificate is neither issued nor rejected basically on paying a second tithe, but wholly on the fundamental principle involved.
After your deliberation on the matter from the viewpoint here mentioned, we should like to know what your final convictions are, and what you would have us do.
THE COMMUNION SERVICE
We are studying over the tracts and sometimes are a little confused on some certain points. For instance in The Answerer, Book No. 5, p. 39, What About Communion Service. I cannot quite convince myself of dropping this ordinance completely from the Davidian ranks as the Rod commands. While I realize our condition as being lukewarm and also the solemn privilege of taking this Passover supper, yet in Desire of Ages, p. 656, 657, there are statements such as “God has not left it with men to say who shall present themselves on these occasions.” And again, “who can distinguish the tares from the wheat.” And, “There may be a Judas in the company, and if so,” and then it goes on to tell that both good and evil angels attend all such occasions, and then it states that none should exclude themselves from the communion service because some who are unworthy may be present. Every disciple is called upon to participate publicly and thus bear witness that he accepts Christ as a personal Savior. It also states at such meetings we are energized by his presence. And mentions that unworthy hands may even administer the ordinance, yet Christ is there to minister to His children. All who come with their faith fixed upon him will be greatly blessed, and “all who neglect these seasons of divine privilege will suffer loss.” “Of them it may appropriately be said, ye are not all clean.” And then states, how it keeps before us the infinite sacrifice made for us. The statement on page 659, “But the communion service was not to be a season of sorrowing. This was not its purpose as the Lord’s disciples gather about his table, they are not to remember and lament their shortcomings. They are not to dwell upon their past religious experience whether that experience has been elevating or depressing… They are not to stand in the shadow of the Cross but in its saving light.” And finally, “The Communion Service points to Christ’s Second Coming. It was designed to keep this hope vivid in the minds of the disciples. Whenever they met together to commemorate his death…” and so on, seems to all sum up into the fact that even though we are not a pure church as yet and there possibly are some who might take unworthily, yet it all seems to point to no definite time of departing from this ordinance in our midst. We realize that it is a solemn and serious thing to take this upon our shoulders and partake of this if this individual is not in accord with Christ, but it seems that this is our solemn responsibility to do so and continue to improve at each such occasion. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us and this ordinance it seems to me would give us just the strength we need and keep fresh in our minds him of whom it was intended to commemorate and also help us to look forward to his soon coming.
We are serious about this present truth message and we definitely are, with the Master’s help, trying to so arrange our lives as to prepare to be a Davidian and hope one of the 144,000. We are not satisfied with our present condition and have found an abundance of truth and light in the Rod but this just seems to be a very clear statement in the Spirit of Prophecy of us not forsaking this ordinance and we are desirous of you giving us more definite proof of a certainty that it is a safe thing to do. There has been many times of this particular article coming up as we talk present truth to the S.D.A. people and even in our own family circle and I need sound proof as you know I would.
Regarding the communion service, you will notice that the message does not teach that this ordinance be discontinued, but only that the time has not yet come for it to be instituted among Davidians, themselves, separate from the Denomination. According to the instruction given in The Answerer, Book No. 4, pp. 32, 33, we are still to participate in the communion service with our brethren in the church. This and the instruction given in The Answerer, Book No. 5, pp. 39, 40, is all the light we have at present on this subject.
In going through “A Reply to the Shepherd’s Rod,” I am a little puzzled and ask to hear your explanation of Testimonies to Ministers, p. 61, “God has a church upon the earth, who are His chosen people, who keep His commandments. He is leading, not stray offshoots, not one here and one there, but a people.”
No, we do not believe either that the Lord is leading stray offshoots, one here and one there (many people proclaiming His messages), but a united group of people just as He has on down through the ages.
Thus it has always been, even through the Protestant Reformation, even down to William Miller’s time, Sister White’s and ours. However, as church history verifies, with each advance of Truth, the majority rejected It, and cast from their midst those who walked in the advanced light. Such was the experience in 1844 when the popular churches rejected the message of the Judgment and cast out of their churches those who embraced it. Then those who remained in the churches called those whom they had disfellowshipped, “offshoots,” though they were the very ones whom God was leading. Thus it is today. (See the Answerer, Book 2, pages 5 to 22).
God proclaims His messages through His chosen servants. In 1844 through Sister White only, and now through the Shepherd’s Rod – not through many, “one here and one there,” but through one.
The Shepherd Rod places verses 3-5 of Rev. 8 with the seals, but I believe they should be with the trumpets.
The context of Revelation 8 clearly shows that the second verse is parenthetical. Furthermore, the scene presented in verses 3-5 takes place in the sanctuary where the book of the seals etc. is, whereas the work of the seven angels with the seven trumpets is on earth.
WHY ONLY THREE SEALS AS AGAINST FIVE TRUMPETS?
Question No. 207:
If the seals and the trumpets run in a simple progression, each seal preceding its corresponding trumpet, thus bringing a sealing message and then a destruction, how do you account for there being only three seals but five trumpets before the cross, as shown on the illustration in The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 2, p. 204?
The seeming discrepancy in the difference between the number of seals and the number of trumpets before the crucifixion is actually no discrepancy at all. Rather it is a deliberate and purposeful irregularity due to the fact that whereas the truths revealed through the first, second, fourth, sixth, and seventh trumpets are of temporal duration, the truths revealed through the third and fifth trumpets are of eternal duration: The star which fell at the sounding of the third trumpet is symbolical of the Bible, God in the Word; and the star which fell at the sounding of the fifth trumpet is symbolical of Christ, God in the flesh. In both instances the Fountain of Truth is represented, from which all Truth flows, even the truths of the rest of the trumpets, and the seals as well.
Thus this irregularity, a mark of Divine design rather than the result of human shortsightedness, shows that the Bible and the Lord, the written and the living Word, are the very source of every message, — the storehouse of the whole Truth, — and that therefore rather than being a part of another message, every other message is a part of It.
HOW ASSYRIA FALLS, AND WHO STUMBLES IN THEIR WALK?
Germany has fallen, and if Japan likewise falls, then who is “he that dashesth in pieces”? And how then will “Assyria” fall?
Tract No. 14 makes clear that the “worthies” of him “that dasheth in pieces,” were to “stumble in their walk,” and that they, too, “nevertheless will fall.” And although it plainly says that Assyria will fall, it does not say that “he that dasheth in pieces” will win.
Since Germany has fallen, the prophecy has been fulfilled as far as Nahum 2:5. The fall of Ninevah, therefore, must be effected by someone else after “his worthies” stumble in their walk,” as The Answerer, Book No. 5, pp. 21, 32, shows.
Assyria in the promised land, however, shall fall “not of mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man,” “for through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.” Isa. 31:8; 30:31. This will happen as soon as the saints are ready to possess the land, “for in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin.” Isa. 31:7. This is all we can see now; time and added truth will show the rest.
SECOND OR THIRD ANGEL’S MESSAGE
Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 2, p. 231, refers to the second angel’s message as the Third Angel’s Message, when it is plain that the quotation from Testimonies to Ministers, p. 59, is speaking of the second angel’s message.
The Third Angel’s Message as used in The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 2, p. 231, refers to the three angel’s message as one. This term is often used in this way the the Spirit of Prophecy.
I am having a little difficulty in harmonizing T. G. Vol. 2, No. 7, p. 13 with S. R. Vol. 1, p. 23. The S. R. gives the resurrection as under the 7th plague then far beyond probation, while T. G. has it while probation still lingers.
As to the difference you mention concerning the time of the special resurrection of Daniel 12, as mentioned in Volume 1 of the Shepherd’s Rod and then as set forth in Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 7, p. 13, the answer is thus: At the time Vol. 1 was written, we did not know any more on the subject than what the Denomination had taught us. Necessarily, therefore, the book could merely echo the voice of the Denomination. We must hold to the denominational teachings, unless Inspiration reveals them to be wrong. The theory on the subject did not originate with the Shepherd’s Rod, whereas the theory found in Timely Greetings did. Truth, you know, progresses from the known to the unknown. Timely Greetings presents the subject in the light of present Truth.
TIME FOR REBAPTISM?
On application for Certificate of Fellowship, writer stated that he did not remember having made any baptism vows.
In giving consideration to your application for the Certificate of Fellowship, we notice that you say you do not remember having made any baptismal vows and that you were later disfellowshipped because of using tobacco. In view of this, we are wondering if you believe that rebaptism is required in your case: Was your baptism a door into the “faith” or merely a door into the “church”? or a door into something else?
One’s vows in baptism are that he believes the truth, repents of all his sins, and that then, without reservation, parts from them. This is what baptism stands for – remission of sin (Acts 2:38). If you have ever understandingly turned away from these, denied the truth, and gone back to your former ways, then you have broken your baptismal vows.
GOD’S ABILITY TO PRESERVE THE TRUTH
Just because there is a great amount of truth contained in The Shepherd’s Rod literature, which constrains me to believe that the message fundamentally is from God, and that He is leading you, do you believe it follows that I am bound to swallow as divinely revealed truth all you dish out in your publications?
If we are ever humble and sensible to keep in mind the fact that “We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn” – just because we call ourselves Seventh-day Adventists, is no sign that we know it all, or that we have ever accepted as truth only what God’s Spirit through His prophets has revealed. It is no secret that Adventists have been prying the closed door of things divinely sealed, and have mistakenly thought of having brought out truth. I am sure though that God’s closed door cannot be pried out by any of us. His timely truth, therefore, cannot be stolen, and cannot be dished out by any. Since only God can open the door, and since only He can, there is no fear of Him opening the door too late, or too early, or of choosing someone, and then letting him contaminate His revealed truth with Satan’s error. As God has never failed, it is certain that He never will. The next greatest lesson for us to learn is that, as Inspiration says, “Seventh-day Adventists are in danger of closing their eyes to truth as it is in Jesus, because it contradictions something which they have taken for granted as truth, but which the Holy Spirit teaches is not truth: . . . we cannot hold that a position once taken, an idea once advocated, is not, under any circumstances to be relinquished.” Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 30, 70, 105. If we let the Spirit of Truth lead us into all truth, then only we shall “hear” and know nothing but the whole truth.
Coming now specifically to the proposition in the question, – that on the one hand God is revealing a message of truth through the instrument of the Rod, but that on the other hand He is not authorizing all the contents of its publications, “let us reason together” about it. How could God be God, and permit Himself to send to a perishing people a saving message, and at the same time allow the Enemy to corrupt it with interminglings of error? That would make God either a defeatist or an evil conspirator against Himself as well as against us – a concept that is sheer blasphemy. According to the Scriptures it is utterly impossible that God should give us a message, then let Satan mix up its saving truth with his destroying error. What kind of a God would He be? It is ever to be kept fixed in mind that God does nothing in partnership with Satan. As He has been able to speak the truth and nothing but the truth through His prophets in the past, then it is certain that He is just as much able to do so now. Let us not deceive ourselves by supposing that either He has lost His power or that man has become too wise for Him.
The Scriptures teach that a Truth-bearing instrument cannot bear both truth and error. No, no more than a well can possibly give forth two kinds of water, or a tree bear two kinds of truth. What the Rod receives through Inspiration Itself, in contradistinction to the conventional Seventh-day Adventist denominational theories to which it holds in the absence of any revealed truth on the subject, must necessarily be either all truth or all either, either all to be accepted, or all to be rejected: God is either leading us straight or not leading us at all. And He is the same all-powerful, consistent God today, yesterday, (during the years of the Bible prophets), and forever.
THE INFALLIBLE CONSISTENCY OF INSPIRATION
Since The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 1, p. 48, places the resurrection of Daniel 12:2 after the close of probation, while the Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 7, p. 14, places it before the close of probation, how can I know what is inspired and what is not inspired? Certainly they cannot both be inspired.
It is a trusim that Inspiration is always infallibly consistent with Itself. Therefore, should there obtain in inspired writings a seeming discrepancy of any kind, it should never be hastily concluded as something erroneous, but should be put to Inspiration’s representative for clarification. A case in point is to be found in Ezra’s and Nehemiah’s records of the number of captives returned from Babylon to Jerusalem, as seen from the two comparison as follows:
The Children Of
Pahath-moab (Jeshua & Joab)
Kirjath-arim, Cephirah, Beeroth
Ramah & Geba
Bethel & Ai
The other Elam
Lod, Hadid, & Ono
Jedaiah, house of Jeshua
Levites: of Jeshua, Kadmeil & Hodaviah
Singers: of Asaph
Delaiah, Tobiah & Nekoda
Though the two records are discrepant, are we to conclude that one of them tells the truth while the other tells a lie? Or shall we conclude that we are unable to comprehend what makes the numbers differ? The wisest thing to say is that since Inspiration indited both accounts, and since Inspiration is always consistent with Itself, both accounts are therefore necessarily correct, and if we read and understand them correctly we shall find them correct. The appearance of discrepancy is the product of an incorrect view; a correct view turns that discrepancy into harmony.
To be kept in mind is the fact that Nehemiah himself did not count the people; Ezra did it; that both accounts are Ezra’s and not at all Nehemiah’s; that Ezra’s record is the original, and Nehemiah’s but a restatement of it, for he declares: “And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein. These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city; Who came with Zerubbabel.” Neh. 7:5-7.
In bearing this plain record that he found the number in a register, he thus bears evidence that he himself did not number the people. To put this contention beyond question, established in fact, one need only to read Ezra’s own record:
“Now these are the children of the province that went up out of the captivity, of those which had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away unto Babylon, and came again unto Jerusalem and Judah, every one unto his city.” Ezra 2:1
Here it is seen that Nehemiah’s record restates Ezra’s record word for word, thereby giving reasonable evidence that Nehemiah is quoting Ezra, and that the register from which Nehemiah quoted and which contained the number of captives returned from Babylon, was not of his own reckoning, but of Ezra’s. Hence the discrepancy between the two accounts raises the question as to why Nehemiah’s does not correlate with Ezra’s.
The only logical answer is that Ezra 2:1 is the original record, giving the number to leave Babylon on the pioneer expedition to restore and rebuild Jerusalem; whereas the register contains a later record, giving the number of the number of the same expedition, but revised upward, showing the number who either passed away or fell away before the job was finished, and the number who either were born or who came in and took hold during the years following the arrival of the first contingent of repatriates from exile in Babylon. Very obviously the one records the number of the personnel of the pioneer expedition from the start and the other records the number of the personnel at the finish.
How very simple! How true that the eye which searches for truth finds Truth, and that the eye which searches for doubts, finds them and hangs oneself on them. And this is why the Master asked, “How readest thou?”
The same principle must be regarded in reading the writings of the four gospel writers, for in their recording the sermons of Jesus, they did not use the same words, and did not write out his discourses in exactly the same order. One, using one set of words, expresses one facet of the Truth, and another using another set of words, expresses another facet or often the same facet of the Truth.
The only inspired revelations which the prophets did not restate in their own words are those which the Heavenly Beings audibly spoke to them, and which they recorded word for word. The same is true with Sister White’s writings, with these, and with all other inspired writings.
Finally, the author is responsible only for what he himself originates, not for what he incorporates from the writings of other authors.
Coming now to the direct consideration of the question, the statements in The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 1, p. 48 and The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 2, p. 146, concerning the time of the special resurrection, did not, of course, originate with the Rod, but with the Denomination. The Rod merely echoed the belief in its early publications, and only because in its early publications, and only because it was the universally accepted position of the Denomination, and because at that time Inspiration had not yet shed It’s light on the subject, revealing the Denominational interpretation incorrect. As since then, however, the further unfolding of the scroll reveals the Denomination’s traditional position to be untenable, the tradition must give way to the truth rather than the truth to tradition. And herein is the harmony of The Shepherd’s Rod and The Timely Greetings on the special resurrection.
This case again proves that truth is never found by men, but is revealed by Inspiration. Thus in abandoning the Denominational position for revealed truth, the Rod is no wise reversing itself, for formerly the only position it could occupy on the subject was the Denomination’s. Now the Revelation has shown that to be wrong, we are urging the Denomination to follow our example, and correct itself too.
I am inclosing a tract that deals with the 144,000. Would you give me your opinion on the quotations from Early Writings relating to it? According to this it would appear that it was only the 144,000 who remain alive at this time. I have read page 45 of The Shepherd’s Rod and I think you are right but would appreciate it if you could elucidate it somewhat, and also give me your opinion of some of the other statements in the tract particularly Elder Irwin’s request to Sister White and her statements in reply that the dead will be included in the 144,000.
Regarding the subject of the 144,000, as contained in the little tract which you sent to us, we perceive that those references taken from Sister White’s writings are misconstrued. The word, “with,” does not mean “of”; that is, one “with” them cannot mean one “of them.” The difference being that she can be with them, but not one of that number. Furthermore, Sister White refers to the 144,000 as living, not resurrected saints.
The statement, “only the 144,000 enter” in the temple, and Sister White’s being inside of it, cannot be taken as actual as the tract puts it, for one must take into account that she was in vision. Neither she nor the 144,000 were bodily there; that is, she had to visionarily get into the temple in order to describe what was inside it.
Pay no attention to anything that Sister White is supposed to have said. If she had said it, and if it was Heaven’s Truth of any importance, she would have written it.
CONFLICTING REVELATION 18 STATEMENTS?
Question (No Number):13
“This message (Rev. 18:1) is the last that will ever be given to the world; and it will accomplish its work.” – The Great Controversy, p. 390
“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. This message seemed to be an addition to the third message joining it as the midnight cry joined the second angel’s message in 1844.” – Early Writings, p. 277
Certainly here seems to be irreconcilable conflict between the two statements, though it is hardly possible even for an author of secular work to contradict himself.
It is to be readily admitted that the statements in question, taken just as they stand, are illusion of conflict. The fact in the case can be quickly seen from the pen of the same author:
The two quotations in question do not show conflict between themselves, but rather that the Third Angel’s message is in two parts: the preaching of it concerning the judgment of the dead which is before the event of Revelation 18:1, the Loud Cry, takes place, and the preaching of it concerning the judgment of the living during the time of the “Loud Cry.” This is seen from the fact that the second part of the judgment message is an addition, and that it gives power and force to the first part of the same message, – that neither the one part nor the other part are complete messages in themselves.
URIAH SMITH’S DANIEL AND REVELATION – INSPIRATION?
Question (No Number):14
How should we settle the question of the book Daniel and the Revelation?
Thank you for the interesting compilation of statements regarding the book Daniel and the Revelation.
Now, let us assume that it is urged that this book be widely circulated because it contains truth. Of course no one denies the fact that it does contain truth, and therefore for the Truth’s sake it should be circulated. But the fact that the Denomination itself admits that they themselves made a number of corrections, and the fact that Sister White admits that there are some corrections, which should be made by God-inspired men, as well as the fact that she plainly says that the men who have written such books are not inspired of God to such an extent that they are infallible, – all these facts, if nothing else, should clear the foolish quarel over the book, “Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation.”
It is clear to see that Elder Smith’s book is a compilation of thoughts and ideas which others more than himself have originated. Those comments which he has taken from inspired writers are truth, of course, but the thoughts which he has taken from uninspired writers are not truths beyond question. In fact, by naming his book Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation, Elder Smith himself admits that his book is a compilation of “thoughts” and that he does not hold the book to be inspired and unquestionable. Moreover, if he had been inspired by the Spirit of Truth as were the prophets, do you not believe that he himself would have known it more than anyone else?
Yes, the book was good for its time – for the time before the scroll further unrolls. But when the scroll unrolls, then the things which are thereby revealed and about which men have passed their own opinions and formed theories and ideas, must not be shunned and covered up. On the contrary, the revealed truths must supersede the wisdom of men, and the Truths be made to shine in their true brightness, for they are our salvation, our very life. And those who would rather hold to a theory of their own or another’s than to God’s saving Truth, to meat in due season, will have to reap the reward of the sin against the Holy Ghost.
Let me use an example to illustrate the truth of what I have said: Prior to the year 1844 it was thought that the cleansing of the sanctuary was the cleansing of the earth, the second coming of Christ. Inspiration had revealed the truth of the 2300 days but not the truth on the sanctuary. And man being confronted with the subject of the sanctuary (for that is what was to be cleansed in the end of the 2300 days), the best human wisdom could do was to make the erroneous conclusion it did. This only goes to show that Truth is not found or studied out, but that it is Divinely revealed.
Finally, if man could not figure out that “sanctuary” cannot be “earth” then how can man be expected to figure out such subjects as the Seven Seals and the Seven Trumpets? No, these subjects cannot be understood except through Divine revelation.
It is my prayer, Brother _____, that after re-considering these points, you will view the subject under consideration from Inspiration’s standpoint, and that you will allow the Spirit which leads into all Truth guide your study of the Written Word.
I shall be glad to hear from you at anytime, and you may be assured of my consideration of any question you may have regarding the message contained in The Shepherd’s Rod publications.
NOTE: Since this book was not published during the lifetime of Victor Houteff, he was never able to make final edits, etc. Due to this situation, we are working from manuscripts which are incomplete and sometimes partial, or not in the best condition. If you have manuscripts of The Answerer, Book No. 6, or other of Victor Houteff’s unpublished manuscripts, please consider sending us copies so that we may provide them for all.