(Waco TX) "Back to the Old Paths"
The Symbolic Code is a series of items published while Brother Houteff was still alive. Throughout the field, also known as the official organ of the organisation, it contains news items, testimonies, questions & answers, prophecies and health messages.
Vol. 1 The Symbolic Code No. 15
THE SYMBOLIC CODE NEWS ITEMS
September 15, 1935 Waco, Texas
In The Interest Of The S.D.A. Denomination
NEWSBREAKING WAVES FROM MOUNT CARMEL
"Back to the Old Paths"
In the symbolic Code for the month of August we reported the progress on Mt. Carmel in so far as the building program and the increased population is concerned, and as we have started nothing new in this line save the finishing of the buildings which were then under construction, we shall not say more about it at this time. However, we are glad to report of the progress made in spiritual lines; that is, in dress and health reform, which step has drawn us nearer to the Lord and we feel His blessings resting upon us, for which we are very thankful.
We feel sure that all the friends of the cause for reform will be pleased to see the entire company in perfect harmony with our profession, such as has never been witnessed since the days of the apostles. We are not saying this boastingly, for we know that there is much to be done for every one of us before our characters be transformed into His glorious image, and before we shall be worthy to be called "The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord" by those who shall embrace the Third Angel's Message after the sealing of the 144,000. (Isa. 62:12.)
We are sure that this forward step on Mt. Carmel is greater than any previous one, and if continued, says the Lord: "Thy light" shall "break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am." (Isa. 58:8, 9.)
Though it is hard to depart from some of the things which we have inherited by birth, and which we have been cultivating for years, and because we have practiced them while holding membership in the S.D.A. denomination, and because the church has many who think God has given them a sort of license to perpetuate the customs of the world, yet Mt. Carmel has stripped itself of "crisping pins," artificial embellishments, of the "veils" and the "bonnets," low necks, high skirts, naked arm pits, rolled down stockings, high heels, and all the vain customs and the idols of the land, and has cast them into perpetual desolation. Thus freeing its inhabitants -- men, women, and children -- from all these iron bands!
It is surprising to learn that many of our people who are "standing in the light of present truth" and who are even taking a part in the proclamation of the reform message have failed to reform themselves! Therefore, the attention of every believer in present truth is again being called to restudy the message of the SRod and the "Testimonies for the Church," and quickly, without a moment's delay, make all such alterations. This is your final warning.
Do not allow your children, nor yourselves, on the streets scantily clothed, or without stockings except when bare footed. Dress sleeves should be below the elbow, while the length of the skirt is to be regulated by dividing in two the number of inches from the bend of the knee to the floor. In other words, if your limb from the knee to the floor measures 20 inches, your skirt should nor be higher than 10 inches from the floor. For children under 12, the number of inches from the bend of the knee to the floor may be divided in three parts, and let the skirt be one-third below the knee, or two-thirds above the floor. If you desire to preserve your respect and modesty, and the morals of your children and receive the seal of God in your foreheads, do not yourselves, or permit your children to display their naked bodies to men and boys.
Do not go into extreme. Dress yourself and your children in such a way as to prevent special attention and immodesty, yet clean and neat, and though inexpensive, the material may be of durable quality.
"I was shown that the people of God should not imitate the fashions of the world. Some have done this, and are fast losing the peculiar, holy character which should distinguish them as God's people. I was pointed back to God's ancient people, and was led to compare their apparel with the mode of dress in these last days. What a difference!
What a change! Then the women were not so bold as now. When they went in public, they covered their faces with a vail. In these last days, fashions are shameful and immodest. They are noticed in prophecy. They were first brought in by a class over whom Satan has entire control, who, 'being past feeling, have given themselves over into lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.' If God's professed people had not greatly departed from Him, there would now be a marked difference between their dress and that of the world. The small bonnets, exposing the face and head, show a lack of modesty....The inhabitants of earth are growing more and more corrupt, and the line of distinction between them and the Israel of God must be more plain, or the curse which falls upon worldlings will fall on God's professed people."
"Young and old, God is now testing you. You are deciding your own eternal destiny. Your pride, your love to follow the fashions of the world, your vain and empty conversation, your selfishness, are all put in the scale, and the weight of evil is fearfully against you....And I saw that the Lord was whetting His sword in heaven to cut them down. Oh that every lukewarm professor could realize the clean work that God is about to make among His professed people! Dear friends, do not deceive yourselves concerning your condition. You cannot deceive God." -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 1, pp. 188, 189, 190. Read the third chapter of Isaiah, verses 16-26.
Avoid white flour and refined sugar products and do not eat fruit and vegetables at the same meal. The average stomach will hold less than a quart. Do not commit suicide by overloading it. Do not confine yourselves to a diet of a few articles. Let your table be furnished with foods which God provides for your use each season of the year, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible. Do not try to keep well on cooked food alone. Coffee, tea, cocoa, and chocolate should find no place in a S.D.A. home.
"Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David."
"They that sanctify themselves,...eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord."
"Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth a poisonful herb [margin] and wormwood; and it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst; the Lord will not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord and His jealousy shall smote against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven. And the Lord shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law." (Isa. 55:2, 3; 66:17; Deut. 29:18-21.)
"Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord." (Isa. 52:11.)
No two persons should sleep in one bed except it be in an emergency. Those who neglect this health principle are sowing seeds of sorrow instead of seeds of health and happiness.
When you go to meetings, whether it be in the S.D.A. churches or where present truth is being taught, do not dishonor your God by talking whispering, or laughing. Shaking hands with others in the church of God encourages common conversation, distracts others from the object of the meeting, and leads into evil. Greeting one another at church should be done at the close of the service on the outside of the building, but if in a cottage meeting it may be permissible on the inside after the meeting is dismissed. "Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for He is raised up out of His holy habitation." (Zech. 2:15.)
Our attention is called to another great neglect on the part of God's people. Says the Holy Spirit, "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." (1 Cor. 11:3.) Note the way the chain of divinity links humanity -- God, Christ, the man, the woman. "Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoreth his head [God]. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head [the man]: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man."
The above scripture teaches that a man ought to take his hat off when praying or prophesying (teaching the Scriptures) while the woman should put hers on. Why? Because the head of the man is God but the head of the woman is the man. If the man covers his head he dishonors God. Hence, if the woman uncovers her head when praying she dishonors her head -- the man, and by dishonoring the man she dishonors God, for the man is the "image and glory of God." Moreover, the covering of the woman's head when approaching God symbolically sets the man -- (her head) aside and thus comes before God.
Do not conclude by reading verse 15 that the woman's hair is the covering above required, for if that be the case, then the man should shave his head in order to make the distinction between the two, and as we know that man has never been required to shave his head, it proves that the woman's covering when praying is not her hair but her hat or some other head covering. Again, if the Spirit of God is teaching that the woman's hair is the covering above required, why say, When "praying or prophesying"? How could she take off her hair (covering) when not praying unless she wears a wig? Can she put on or remove her natural hair at random? Furthermore, as women never bobbed their hair in Paul's time, it would have been unnecessary to ask them to leave it on, and again he says, "If the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn or shaven. These words plainly lay down the rule that if the woman is neither shorn nor shaven, then "let her be covered." In these verses is stated that the "woman having long hair, it is a glory to her." Therefore, the covering of her hair also denotes humbling before God or, as it were, laying aside her glory.
When asking grace at meals it may not be necessary to follow this rule, but it certainly is essential when teaching or worshipping whether it be at home or in church.
"God leads His people on, step by step. He brings them up to different points calculated to manifest what is in the heart. Some endure at one point, but fall off at the next. At every advanced point the heart is tested and tried a little closer. If the professed people of God find their hearts opposed to this straight work, it should convince them that they have a work to do to overcome, if they would not be spewed out of the mouth of the Lord. Said the Angel, 'God will bring His work closer and closer to test and prove every one of His people.' Some are willing to receive one point; but when God brings them to another testing point, they shrink from it and stand back, because they find that it strikes directly at some cherished idol. Here they have opportunity to see what is in their hearts that shuts out Jesus. They prize something higher than the truth, and their hearts are not prepared to receive Jesus. Individuals are tested and proved a length of time to see if they will sacrifice their idols and heed the counsel of the True Witness. If any will not be purified through obeying the truth, and overcome their selfishness, their pride, and evil passions, the angels of God have the charge, 'They are joined to their idols, let them alone,' and they pass on to their work, leaving these with their sinful traits unsubdued, to the control of evil angels. Those who come up to every point, and stand every test, and overcome, be the price what it may, have heeded the counsel of the True Witness, and they will receive the latter rain, and thus be fitted for translation." -- "Testimonies for the,Church," Vol. 1, p. 187.
Mt. Carmel Center has set the example and let all our brethren follow by strictly complying with God's requirements if they wish to depart from the sins of the world, receive the seal of God and escape the destruction. All should make the necessary adjustments by the next issue of this paper and show to God that you are glad to obey all His righteous requirements, and by your sacrifice demonstrate your love for the salvation of His people that they may not stumble over your sins but be drawn to Him by your good example, and thus also prove true to the message we bear. Those who neglect to strictly comply to the testimony of the True Witness in this reform will be left without an excuse, and when asked: "Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?" they will be speechless. (Matt. 22:12.)
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: for we are members of His body, of his flesh, and of His bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh." (Eph. 5:25-31.)
"Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged." (Col. 3:19-21.)
And display not your bodies, watch chains, and other vain trinkets for they cast reflection on your characters and cheapen your bodies -- the image of God.
WHOM SHALL WE BLAME? THE BODY OR THE "OFFSHOOTS?"---The "Spirit of truth" makes it clear that no circumstance in life, be it ever so trying, will justify us in deviating from the plain path of duty. Paul declared that nothing would "move" him, and that he was willing to die if necessary, only that his Lord might be glorified in his life and his nation saved.
Says the Spirit of Prophecy: "To stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few, -- this will be our test. At this time we must gather warmth from the coldness of others, courage from their cowardice, and loyalty from their treason." -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 136.
Departing from the old landmarks is clearly evident from the following that it is not confined to the offshoots which have arisen from time to time through the years. We have wandered away from the old landmarks. Let us return. If the Lord be God, serve Him; if Baal, serve him. Which side will you be on?" -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 137.
"The church has turned back from following Christ her Leader, and is steadily retreating toward Egypt. Yet few are alarmed or astonished at their want of spiritual power." Id. 217. "I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then He said to me; 'Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character? "How is the faithful city become an harlot?" My Father's house is made a house of merchandise, a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed!' For this cause there is weakness, and strength is lacking.'" -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 8, p. 250.
"As Jesus views the state of His professed followers today, He sees base ingratitude, hollow formalism, hypocritical insincerity, Pharisaical pride and apostasy." - "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 72.
The above citations clearly forewarn us that the church as a body has "turned back from following Christ her Leader," and that "apostasy" is right among His "professed followers" to the extent that the "divine presence and glory have departed" from the church. These facts should cause every one of us, with fear and trembling, to "sigh and cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof," lest we gnash our teeth for sorrow in the eternal ruin. Shall we not be as responsive as were the Ninevites of old or shall we pay the terrible price?
Speaking of those who indulge in criticizing those who reprove at the gate, we read: "They will question and criticize everything that arises in the unfolding of truth, criticize the work and position of others, criticize every branch of the work in which they have not themselves a part. They will feed upon the errors and mistakes and faults of others, 'until,' said the angel, 'the Lord Jesus shall rise up from His mediatorial work in the heavenly sanctuary, and shall clothe Himself with the garments of vengeance, and surprise them at their unholy feast; and they will find themselves unprepared for the marriage supper of the Lamb.' Their taste has been so perverted that they would be inclined to criticize even the table of the Lord in His kingdom." -- "Testimonies for the Church." Vol. 5, p. 690.
The above is clear that the true leader of the church will "rise up from His mediatorial work in the heavenly sanctuary" and bring to a close forever "unholy" feasting, not after the close of probation but "in the unfolding of truth."
In view of this fearful apostasy, caused by "doubt and even disbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God" (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 217), by both preacher and layman, and inasmuch as "the ancient men, those to whom God had given great light,...had betrayed their trust" (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 211), and are now criticizing "everything that arises in the unfolding of truth," because it reproves them, shall we not be all the more faithful in our "trust" of warning our dear brethren and sisters before it is too late? But let us do it with the same spirit of Christ, taking heed to ourselves first lest we who claim to be "standing in the light" shall fall into the same trap set by the enemy and become apostates by repeating the mistakes of the quotations in this paragraph, and also fulfilling the following prophecy:
"There will be those among us who will always want to control the work of God, to dictate even what movements shall be made when the work goes forward under the direction of the angel who joins the third angel in the message to be given to the world. God will use ways and means by which it wilt be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands. The workers will be surprised by the simple means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness." -- "Testimonies to Ministers," p. 300.
RESCUED INSTEAD OF "SPUED OUT"---I am more than happy, just thrilled; the message of the SRod has found a warm place in my heart. I love my Saviour and feel that He has favored me by giving me a second chance and an opportunity to prove my love in accepting reproaches of my brethren who are much incensed against the ones who have brought the message of Revelation 18:1 of which they are ignorant and are shutting the homes and hearts against the light that Sr. White predicted would come. (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300.)
"Testimonies on Sabbath School Work," pp. 62-66 impressed me so forcibly that I purchased a copy for myself, also "Testimonies to Ministers" and, what I have read in them is enough to convince me that the enemy has crept into the church since 1844 A.D. and by his deceptive arts has spun a web of error by which he has "snared" all of God's children "in holes" and if possible he will deceive them all, but we must help them.
I feel that my heavenly Father has so magnified His Word to me that I can see plainly why He must bring to pass "His strange act" of Ezekiel Nine. Just now the message, "Cry aloud and spare not, show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins" and also the cry, "prepare to meet thy God, O Israel," is due the church. Truly the Lord has been my constant companion and I have become better acquainted with Him in the last few months than in all the twenty or more years I have been an Adventist!
I am sure that up to a short time ago I was a 100% Laodicean -- satisfied in my blindness -- but I have bought the "gold tried in the fire," and am more determined than ever before to be an overcomer, and by His grace and help to all who will allow me, I will endeavor to show them by word and example the true way that leads home. I want to have a part in the Lord Cry and that I may join in singing the song of "Moses and the Lamb.
May I find a place on your prayer list? I am desirous of having my family of seven children in the heavenly Canaan. This message alone can fulfill the promise, "The willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land."Yours for turning many to righteousness.--(Signed) Mrs. Emma Spencer, Denver, Colo.
FATHER FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO---It seems almost incredible to think that men and women professing to believe the Third Angel's Message, the last message of mercy to a dying world, would so completely lose control of themselves in the house of God as to actually lay hands on one of the mothers in Israel and eject her from the building, all because they look upon her as a heretic and unworthy to sit in the house dedicated to the worship of God, but such is the case as the following words from a letter to this office will indicate:
"When the Sabbath School superintendent saw me sitting in the church, her expression changed and she came back with the missionary secretary and they both said, 'Some people have more gaul than brains!' The elder and the missionary secretary came and lifted me out of my seat and I pulled myself down. Then they jerked me out tearing my sleeve, and pushed me out doors. What a terrible spirit! The Jews thought they were doing God's service in crucifying Christ. Truly when we reject light, darkness is all we have left."
Shall we not pray earnestly that God will help us to manifest the Spirit of Christ even when our dear brethren and sisters lose control of themselves to such an extent as is shown by the above?
"FREELY YE HAVE RECEIVED, FREELY GIVE"---I am so thankful that the message of present truth found me. My determination is to live as I am instructed by the Word, and it is my desire to give this message to others, that they may see their true condition and rejoice in this wonderful truth with me.--(Signed) Mrs. "Millie Freeman, Denver, Colo.
A "NATHANAEL" OF TODAY--Dear Brethren in the faith once delivered to the Fathers:
I first want to thank you for the two booklets sent me a few days ago,...and I have now read several of the early numbers of the Symbolic Code which you sent to my address.I read everything that comes to me. I do not care from what denomination it comes. I am not prejudiced against any. You know Paul tells us to "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good," and "Despise not prophesyings." (1 Thess. 5:21, 20.) I believe if we study our Bible and the books of Sister White diligently, we cannot be deceived no matter what we read.I have been an Adventist since May 14, 1921. I was baptized then but I had been keeping the Sabbath and other truths as far as I knew them since the 10th of December the year before. I came out of the Lutheran church. I long knew that our leadership did not live up to what they preached, but did not know where else to go, for the other churches are worse. But if someone would have told me that the S.D.A.'s have put brethren out of the church, even by force and bodily, I would have called them liars. I mean if the members had done no other wrong than to accept additional truth from the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy.
Often I have wondered how it would be possible to get ready for translation in this generation since it is so near to its end. For we must be without fault before the throne of God. The church in its present condition would not get us prepared for that event unless we walk ahead of the leaders such as we have.
According to the letters published in the Symbolic Code (which I do not doubt in the least), our churches have been turned into secret societies with their closed doors to those even of the same faith. Jesus washed Judas' feet and let him partake of the Last Supper although He knew his heart was not right and that he would betray Him in a few hours. Jesus also knew that Peter would deny Him before morning, yet He treated both of them like brothers, and even called Judas "Friend." (Matt. 26:50) Jesus never put anybody out of the synagogue except them that bought and sold there. If Jesus would do that today, there would be few left in the synagogue (church).
Please continue to send me the Symbolic Code every month.--(Signed) E.A.P.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Question:--"You make the statement in the July Code that, 'If the individual does not reform at the moment he is convinced of the truth neither will he reform later.' If this is true then I am a lost man. I believe the message you bear to the church although I do not yet fully understand it, but I know I have done things that if what you say is true, I am lost."
Answer:--The Code does not mean by the word "reform" that one must become perfect all at once, for perfection is attained through continuing in the truth and climbing step by step. "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 1, p. 187. A true Christian never drags behind but as perfect corn of the field is complete in its sphere so he also is without blemish in as far as the light brings him forth. Hence, if you have made a start and are still running in the race there is no reason why you should be lost -- "For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again" (Prov. 24:16), "And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John 2:1.)
The class which does not reform, according to the Code, are those who do not start in the race when convinced of the truth but, like Agrippe, may say, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian" (Acts 26:28), then excuse themselves as did Felix, saying, "Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee." (Acts 24:25.) The fact that you are striving to overcome sin by walking in the light, is sufficient evidence that you are not lost, and if you thus continue you shall be saved, else we are all lost.
The enemy would like to deceive us one way or another, he cares not which, and we should not give him any occasion. Says Paul: "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb. 12:1, 2.)
Question:--I have been reading your tracts and I am deeply impressed. I wonder if you could help me with some scriptures that I don't understand. I wrote twice to W.G. Wirth of the Signs, but received no answer either in the Signs or by correspondence. The texts that trouble me are Isaiah 65:20, John 3:13 (How about Enoch and Elijah?). 1 Tim. 4:3, 4 (Then why does Sr. White say to abstain from meat?). I will appreciate it very much if you can explain them and Isaiah 66:20."
Answer:--Isaiah 65:20 the questioner will find explained in "The Shepherd's Rod, "Vol. 1, pp. 164, 165.
Isaiah 66:20 is explained by verse 16 and 19. In the 16th verse appears the description of a slaughter performed by the Lord, and in the 19th we read these words: "And I will send those that escape of them unto the nations,...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."
The above question makes it plain that though the slaughter took place it did not harm the Gentiles, for those who escaped from the slain of the Lord, as described in verse 16, were sent to ail the nations. And as they were to proclaim His glory among the Gentiles who had not as yet heard of His fame, it follows that the slaughter took place among God's professed people, for those who escaped were sent to declare His glory among the Gentiles. Therefore, those who were sent could not be Gentiles but rather Christians who knew of His fame and of His glory.
Moreover, as it is said in the 20th verse that those who escaped of the slaughter "shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations...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," it proves that the slaughter took place before the close of probation and before the message was carried to all the nations and that God's church was purified by it, for they brought their brethren "in a clean vessel." Hence, the slaughter of Isaiah 66:16, and of Ezekiel 9:5-7, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 211, Vol. 3, p. 267 are the same thing -- the purification of the church (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 80), after the sealing of the 144,000 (Testimonies to Ministers, 445), at which time it could be said: "Clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. 'Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,' she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer." -- "Prophets and Kings," p. 725.
John 3:13, --"And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."
As the verse above quoted does not explain itself and if we shall attempt to interpret it isolated from its context, it is certain that we shall err in our conclusion. Therefore, by studying the preceding verses, we find that Jesus is explaining spiritual things to Nicodemus by the use of material objects, and as Nicodemus failed to comprehend the meaning, the Master endeavored to show him how stupid he was, by saying, "If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." (verses 12, 13.) That is, not that no man has ever ascended into heaven, for Enoch and Elijah had, but rather that no man had ever ascended and learned the things of heaven and then descended to earth and tell It all, save He Who "came down from heaven, even the Son of man;" that is, Christ is the only one who had been in heaven; and who came down and could explain the things of heaven.
1 Tim. 4:3-5. -- "Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer."
It is not Biblical to conclude from this scripture that we are at liberty to eat everything God has created, but rather that which "is sanctified by the Word of God." Note carefully what the Spirit saith: "Commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received." These words plainly tell that some, on their own responsibility, will command to abstain not from those meats which God has not sanctified but which He has created to be received with thanksgiving. That is, no man has the right to forbid another the things God has permitted us to eat, and which only could we receive with "thanksgiving," for no one who knows the truth would dare give God thanks for eating the things which He has prohibited.
Nevertheless, God Himself reserves the right to take it away or give a special diet to His servants at any time when He sees fit. For instance, He forbade the use of flesh food to ancient Israel during the forty years of wilderness sojourning; the fruit of the vine to Samson; and to John the Baptist He prescribed "locusts and wild honey." Though it was wrong for Samson and John to eat the fruit of the vine, it was right for others and Christ Himself made use of it. So it is today. If God gives us a special diet, we should not rebel but rather be glad to abide by it. It can be proved by the Bible that God's servants at this time, like the above mentioned examples, are to be vegetarians.
Thus far the only people known to us who perfectly fulfill this prophecy of 1 Tim. 4:3, 4 are the Roman and the Greek Catholics, especially the Roman, who forbid the priests and the nuns to marry and command to abstain from meats on Wednesday and Friday, and Lent days, which God has never commanded by His prophets.
True Sr. White advocates a vegetarian diet but she does not forbid marrying. Therefore, she does not fulfill the specifications of the prophecy. Moreover, the commandment to "abstain from meats" and the forbidding to "marry " is not where the sin lies but rather in that they "shall depart from the faith [truth], giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron." (verses 1, 2.) Our attention is called to the act of forbidding of "meats" and "to marry to enable us to identify the people who have departed from the faith and that we should not affiliate ourselves with them though they may claim to be Christians.
Question:--"If the 144,000 sing the song which no other company can, it being a song of experience, why can not the great multitude sing this song of experience, too, if they have also lived through the seven last plagues and are translated?"
Answer:--It will be noted that the SRod is stating this of the 144,000 in comparison with the dead, and not with the "great multitude." However, the 144,000 have the experience of Ezekiel Nine, which the great multitude do not possess, and this is the difference. But it is stated that as the "harpers" sang, no man could learn that song but the 144,000, "which were redeemed." (Rev. 14:3.) It is made plain that this company were redeemed, and that is the reason why they only could sing the song; that is, at that particular time. It is not saying that the great multitude, who were not as yet redeemed, could not learn that song after they are redeemed, for we read in Revelation 15:2, 3 that all who "had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name....sing the song of Moses...and the song of the Lamb."
Question:--"Is not the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine to be fulfilled by the seven last plagues?"
Answer:--The prophetic destruction as described in Ezekiel's prophecy is directly applicable to the church of God only -- "The house of Israel and Judah." (Ezek. 9:9.) Hence, this destruction only indirectly could apply to the seven last plagues.
The destruction in the S.D.A. denomination -- "Israel and Judah" (where the 144,000 are -- the twelve tribes) is not in the time of the plagues, for by the "voice from heaven" God's people are entreated to come out from all the places where there is sin and join the purified church of God where there is no sin, so that they "be not partakers of her sins, and that" they "receive not of her plagues." (Rev. 18:4.) If this is not so, then their coming out would be of no special benefit to them, because of the fact that the plagues are to fall wherever sin is. Therefore, to make this possible, God's church must be purified and made free from sin and sinners, which fact is prophetically made known by Ezekiel's prophecy, and in the following the Spirit of Prophecy further explains, saying:
"Only those who have withstood and overcome temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming this message when it shall have swelled into the Loud Cry." -- "Review and Herald," Nov. 19, 1908.
The above plainly states that only those who have proved true to God will have a part in proclaiming the Third Angel's Message in its Loud Cry. But in "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 211, speaking of the time when the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine is to take place we read: "The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust."
As both citations in the above must be correct, it proves that the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine takes place before the commencement of the Loud Cry. This same truth can be proved by the Bible from several different angles.
Question:--"Will all but the 144,000 of the present S.D.A. denomination actually be slain in the separation?"
Answer:--All but those who do not receive the mark or seal, old or young, male or female, will fall under the slaughter weapons of the angels. (Ezek. 9:6.) Only those who sigh and cry for all the abominations in the midst thereof will receive the mark. (verse 4.) John saw 144,000 sealed (marked). If others from within the S.D.A. denomination besides the 144,000 should escape, it is not known to us.To Those Standing in the Light:Complaints have come to us that some of our people, in their zeal for spreading the message, have been passing out present truth literature inside the S.D.A. churches, talking to church members during preaching, etc., and thus distract and disturb.
Our past experience has taught us not to believe all we hear. Nevertheless, we forewarn the friends of present truth to be very careful, for it is possible to cast reproach on Christ by casting reproach on the message, and also cause others to stumble over your unwise judgment. Therefore, we ask all who are interested in spreading present truth to refrain from passing out any literature on the church premises or speaking during preaching. The sidewalks belong to the public; you can meet your friends there.
No one is wanted on "Carmel" who has not studied the message of the SRod through and through; who is not fully convinced on every point of its teaching; who is not walking in its penetrating light; and who is not willing to comply with the divine rules and principles which govern the inhabitants on this mount of "green pastures" except their coming be for a visit only.
Others than visitors, before coming, must first communicate with Mt. Carmel's Information Bureau.
"That Thou Mayest Prosper and be in Health"
One of the most necessary steps for reform in this sin-cursed age is "health reform," especially in the big commercial centers of earth's so-called civilized habitations, because of the fact that there is where commercialized food products which do not contain the necessary elements and vitamins to keep up the human machine in a fit condition for its wonderful daily performance originated.
Let it be understood by all that our existence is dependent upon four indispensable fundamental facts each of which is subdivided into three undeniable factors.
I. The first of these fundamentals is the indwelling of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and "whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God for there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." (1 John 4:15; 5:7.)
II. So, in the second fundamental which is the medium for obtaining the first group of factors, "there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one." (1 John 5:8.)
III. The third fundamental fact embraces food, air, and water.
IV. The fourth fundamental fact consists of sunshine, exercise, and rest. As the two first fundamentals are spiritual, the last two are material -- the visible and the invisible.
These four groups of invaluable gifts make us complete in God's creation the same as the four directions of the compass, the four seasons of the year, the four periods of time (before noon, afternoon, before midnight, after midnight) complete the earth's mechanism. For the time being one may exist on the material while destitute of the spiritual (the light), but he can perpetuate his life no longer than can the flowers of the field -- they bud, bloom, then wither away. Therefore, as the material life when destitute of the spiritual withers away, so does the spiritual when destitute of the material. Hence, only the one who possesses all these God-given gifts is complete in God's creation, and though he may decease in the flesh as Christ did, he will be "quickened by the Spirit" which was in him. (1 Pet. 3:18.)
"And this is the will of Him that sent He, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:40.) Consequently the one who attempts to subsist on an impoverished diet is as a so-called Christian who does not accept the whole truth as it is in Christ, and who hopes to inherit eternal life but fails, so the one who endeavors to keep the human machine in a fit condition for its daily tasks on a diet deficient in the necessary elements and vitamins shall also fail in his attempt.
We are made up of sixteen essential elements which are replenished only by our daily food consumption, and when our diet does not contain all of these, as soon as we run out of one or more of them trouble will break out in the weakest part. Hence, no one should presume that it is natural for us to be sick and suffer pain, etc., but let it be understood by all that when we transgress the natural laws which the Creator has established in us, the only way nature can warn us of this transgression is by some symptom of pain or distress, and we should not be with less understanding than the dumb animals, but let us check up on ourselves and find the cause, then remove it and the trouble will begin to vanish away. This is the only sure remedy and the one which God wants us to apply.
(To be continued)