Answerer Book No.2
Questions and Answers on present truth topics in the interest of Seventh-Day Adventist brethren and readers of the Shepherd's Rod.
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.
Names and addresses of Seventh-day Adventists will be appreciated.
"...THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, IS COME, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH: FOR HE SHALL NOT SPEAK OF HIMSELF; BUT WHATSOEVER HE SHALL HEAR, THAT SHALL HE SPEAK: AND HE WILL SHEW YOU THINGS TO COME." JOHN 16:13.
THE ANSWERER'S INTRODUCTORY
A STEPHEN-SERMON TO THE CHURCH TODAY
"Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, and said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee." Acts 7:2, 3. "So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him" (Gen. 12:4), and went at His lead into Canaan, wherein he dwelt, though the Lord "gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet He promised that He would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child." Acts 7:5.
Then in time, the Lord purposed to lead Jacob and his household out of the land of Canaan, down into Egypt. Knowing, though, that the sons of Jacob would not go as did Abraham, by His simply telling them to, He therefore in His providence put into the heart of Jacob a greater love for Joseph than for his other children. This begot in them envy and jealousy, which in turn begot hatred and greed, manifesting itself in their cruel treatment and sale of Joseph, which resulted in his being carried away a slave into Egypt.
Years later when Joseph's brothers went into Egypt to obtain food during the seven-year famine, Joseph, recognizing Providential design in the strange drama of his life from enslavement to enthronement, said unto his brothers as he "made himself known" unto them: "Be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life...and...to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance." Gen. 45:1, 5, 7.
Thus the Lord providentially exalted Joseph to share the throne of Egypt in order to predispose Pharaoh to grant Israel permission to enter into the land.
Next, to draw them there, He brought thereabouts the seven years of plenty, followed by the seven years of famine. Whereupon He sent word to Jacob that Joseph was yet alive. At the overjoying news, there sprang up in the father an irresistible desire to see his son. This and the life-taking hunger upon Joseph's brethren, compelled them to remove into Pharaoh's land of plenty, where they lived like kings.
Not purposing, however, to leave them there forever, the Lord did not let their living continue as pleasant as at the first, lest they refuse to take heed to Moses when he should come with the word that the time had arrived for them to go back home. But He brought about another saving providence, this time permitting unbearable hardship to befall them, so that when called they would respond gladly. So slaves they had to become: and still worse, they had to be bereaved of their male children, then mercilessly driven with cruel lashes upon their backs to produce ever more bricks.
Thus the power of the Spirit combined with horrible suffering from their hard Egyptian servitude, was an over-powering force compelling them to forsake the heathen land and to return to their own.
Then, on their way back they met with another providence--their long wilderness sojourn, forty years in all--which God permitted for the express purpose of separating from them the unbelieving, unfaithful multitude who accompanied the Movement out of Egypt. These being destroyed, the survivors miraculously crossed the Jordan, just as they had forty years before crossed the Red Sea. There removing from their midst the one sinner, Achan, who then sprang up among them, they entered into the Promised Land and became the most glorious kingdom in their day. Slaves become kings--what a miracle indeed!
Naturally one would think that a people whom God had so miraculously freed from slavery, and of whom He had subsequently just as miraculously made a kingdom, would never fall now that they were strong. But losing sight of their Strength they again fell away into captivity! In weakness as slaves to Pharaoh, God had brought them to strength over their Egyptian masters; now in their strength as masters, themselves, He brought them down to servitude to the nations about them! Twice a miracle.
Here is proof positive that the Lord built them up, and also tore them down (2 Chron. 36:13,23), "that they" might, as He says, "know from the rising of the sun, and from the west. that there is none beside Me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.
In the course of time, with the fulfillment of the seventy years of which Jeremiah prophesied (Jer. 29:10), God once more brought Israel into their own land. But as the years wore on, replacing the old generations with new ones, Israel again lost sight of their Strength, this time so completely that when the long-looked for Messiah finally came, they rejected and crucified and spat on Him!
In divine retribution, God turned away His face in anger, and delivered them into the hand of the oppressor, who destroyed their temple and their city, drove them from their own land, and left them a forsaken, outcast race without God, without coin, without country, a people execrated by all nations from that day till this!
Not all, however, were thus cast away. A multitude of them had their eyes opened to the fact that their great men were falsely accusing the Lord, misapplying the prophecies concerning Him, and deceiving the people. Through those who remained faithful, He preserved the seed of Israel. Accepting Christ and becoming Christians, these faithful sons of Jacob had their name changed from Jew to Christian, as was foreshadowed in God's changing their father's name from Jacob to Israel, and their grandfather's from Abram to Abraham.
Starting out with 120 Spirit-filled disciples, this Jewish-Christian church converted 3,000 souls on the day of Pentecost by the preaching of one simple, Spirit-indicted sermon, and then "added to the church daily such as should be saved." Acts 2:47.
This great ingathering of souls so angered Satan that he avengingly "persecuted the woman [the Jewish-Christian church] which brought forth the man child. (Rev. 12:13), so as to prevent her from making converts, and to prevent those whom she succeeded in making converts, from fellowshipping with her.
(The bed rock facts that the woman's child Christ, Who was "caught up unto God," Rev. 12:5, was born to the Jewish church, and that the Christian church emerged from the Jewish, solidly establish the woman as a figure of the faithful servantsof God in both the Old and the New Testament churches.)
As a result of persecuting the woman, Satan was, ironically, only helping rather than hindering the divine purpose. Indeed, the church's field (Matt. 13:38) grew only pure "wheat," the "net" (Matt. 13:47) caught only good "fish," because against such a persecution, only the faithful dared take their stand for Truth and to become members of the hated sect. So, seeing the results of his oppression, he quickly changed his tactics.
"By the edicts of toleration," says Gibbon, "he [Constantine] removed the temporal disadvantages which had hitherto retarded the progress of Christianity; and its active and numerous ministers received a free permission, a liberal encouragement, to recommend the salutary truths of revelation by every argument which could affect the reason or piety of mankind. The exact balance of the two religions [Christian and Pagan] continued but a moment....The cities which signalized a forward zeal by the voluntary destruction of their temples [the Pagan's], were distinguished by municipal privileges, and rewarded with popular donatives....The salvation of the common people was purchased at an easy rate, if it be true that, in one year, twelve thousand men were baptized at Rome, besides a proportionable number of women and children, and that a white garment with twenty pieces of gold, had been promised by the emperor to every convert." This was "a law of Constantine, which gave freedom to all the slaves who should embrace Christianity."--Gibbon's Rome, Vol. 2, pp. 273, 274 (Milman Edition).
Just as soon as Satan caused his agents to cease oppressing the Christians, and to start fellowshipping with them, he beguiled them into thinking him their friend. Thus being eased of his persecution, they fell asleep spiritually; and while they slept, he sowed the tares.
Yea, he made a complete turn-about and even compelled the heathen to join the church, thereby casting out of his "mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood." Rev. 12:15. From persecuting those who would unite with the church, he turned to persecuting those who would not, so that she might be flooded with unconverted heathen and thereby "carried away of the flood." Rev. 12:15.
In order to keep the multitude in darkness in the days of the reformers, he put his clamps on them, then opened wide his extinguisher against the burning light, and when it failed him, he set "sleeping preachers preaching to a sleeping people."--Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 337.
This highly successful course he has unremittingly pursued ever since, until as a result the church today is almost choked with tares. It is, as it were, infiltrated with a fifth column.
"That night I dreamed," says the servant of the Lord in a remarkable view of this very condition, "that I was in Battle Creek looking out from the side glass at the door, and saw a company marching up to the house, two and two. They looked stern and determined. I knew them well, and turned to open the parlor door to receive them, but thought I would look again. The scene was changed. The company now presented the appearance of the Catholic procession. One bore in his hand a cross, another a reed. And as they approached, the one carrying a reed made a circle around the house saying three times, 'This house is proscribed. The goods must be confiscated. They have spoken against our holy order.' Terror seized me, and I ran through the house, out of the north door, and found myself in the midst of a company, some of whom I knew, but I dared not speak a word to them for fear of being betrayed. I tried to seek a retired spot where I might weep and pray without meeting eager, inquisitive eyes wherever I turned. I repeated frequently 'If I could only understand this! If they will tell me what I have said, or what I have done!'
"I wept and prayed much as I saw our goods confiscated. I tried to read sympathy or pity for me in the looks of those around me, and marked the countenances of several whom I thought would speak to me and comfort me if they did not fear that they would be observed by others. I made one attempt to escape from the crowd, but seeing that I was watched, I concealed my intentions. I commenced weeping aloud, and saying, 'If they would only tell me what I have done, or what I have said!' My husband, who was sleeping in a bed in the same room, heard me weeping aloud, and awoke me. My pillow was wet with tears, and a sad depression of spirits was upon me."-- Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 578.
The promise, however, is that the flood of tares will remain therein only until the harvest, the natural time for their separation--the end of the world.
So long as Satan can successfully carry on this subversive work of flooding the church, he will never move a finger to persecute any for joining her, lest thereby he thwart his own evil design to honeycomb her ranks with his agents--the flood, the tares. To insure the success of this insidious work, he casts out those who dare live a consistent Christian life there among the tares, while he is going about with his extinguisher turned on, trying to put out every life-spark of light.
Finally, though, as prophecy discloses, the tables are turned, and the long controversy ends with the Lord's casting out and destroying (Rev. 12:16) Satan's agents, the "flood" (the tares, the bad fish), and then lighting the earth with the glory of His angel (Rev. 18:1)!
Here we see that the approaching work of making rid of the flood, thereby freeing the church from the unconverted, is the work of "the harvest" in "the end of the world." Matt. 13:39. Next we must ascertain whether the "end of the world" brings the millennial age of peace or the great time of trouble such as never was. To determine which, we must consult subsequent events.
Since it is after the earth swallows the flood, that the dragon is to be wroth with the woman and to go "to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev. 12:16, 17), there is no escaping the conclusion that the harvest, in taking away from the church Satan's flood, his multiplied tares, does not bring the millennium of peace. Indeed not, but rather it brings God's wrath--the time of trouble such as never was: the time in which His people in Babylon are called to "come out of her" and into His purified church--the Kingdom.
The harvest, therefore, is a short period of time just before, rather than the moment at, the appearing of Christ in the clouds. It is the very last days of probation for earth's kingdoms,-- the days and work which bring the end of the world.
The fact that there is a remnant (that which is left) of the seed of the woman, shows that her seed is divided into two parts, and that consequently the symbolism represents three groups of people: (1) the woman; (2) the first part of her seed--those who in this instance are not the remnant; (3) the second part of her seed--those who are the remnant.
In the light of this symbolical representation, the woman, herself, is seen to symbolize the mother part of the church--God's appointed and Spirit-filled ministers who bring in the born-again (John 3:3) converts. The first part of her seed must, accordingly, be the first fruits, the 144,000, who, separated from the sinners that were among them, are taken to Mount Sion, there to stand with the Lamb (Rev. 14:1). Hence, "the remnant of her seed" are in this instance those who are yet in the world when Babylon rides the beast (Rev. 17). Thus they are the second and last fruits which are to be taken to the purified church, the Kingdom, where there is neither sin nor fear of Babylon's plagues falling upon them (Rev. 18:4).
And now, since in her progression of time, the woman represents each successive ministry, therefore at the time that the dragon is wroth with her, she necessarily must represent the last ordained ministry, the 144,000, those who bring all their brethren from all nations to God's "holy mountain Jerusalem." Isa. 66:20.
With this light shining on the subject, the truth is clearly seen that after the earth swallows the flood, after the angels separate the wicked ("the tares," the "bad" "fish") from the righteous (the "wheat," the "good" "fish") in the church, and take the righteous to Mount Sion ("the barn," "the vessels" Matt. 13:30, 48), the dragon will then be angry with the woman (the servants of God), and as a result will war against the remnant (the second fruits, those who are then to be called out of Babylon--Rev. 18:4).
"In the last days," says Micah in his forecast of the time in which the first fruits stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion, and in which the second fruits leave Babylon to go to Mount Zion, "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 pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 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. 4:1-4.
Conclusively, therefore, the Kingdom-church must be "set up" before the Devil turns upon the remnant, those who are left behind and who are then being gathered, and against whom he wars for refusing to worship him in the person of the beast and his image (Rev. 13:15).
In this cumulative light, one sees never so clearly that though the Lord is to allow persecution to come anew upon His people in Babylon, He will do so only to serve His own end to cause them to get out of her dominion (as He caused His ancient people to get out of Egypt), and to go into the Kingdom-church--the only place on earth where there will be no sin and upon which the destruction of the plagues will not fall. (See Revelation 18:4).
"Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee," O Lord, and "the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain." Ps. 76:10.
The separation of the wicked from among the righteous while sojourning in the wilderness in Moses' time, before entering the land of promise, was effected not only for the benefit of the church then (typical Israel) but also for an ensample to the church today (antitypical Israel), typically pointing to the forthcoming separation of the bad from among the good (Matt. 13:48), before the good are taken into the Kingdom, their own land, "the barn." Matt. 13:30. "All these things," therefore says Paul, "happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." 1 Cor. 10:11.
Through the forewarning, herein, of this imminent providence, the Lord is again pleading with each Present-truth believer:
"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.
"The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on Mine altar, and I will glorify the house of My glory.
"Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? Surely the isles shall wait for Me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because He hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in My wrath I smote thee, but in My favour have I had mercy on thee.
"Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted." Isa. 60:1-12.
So, dear brethren of Laodicean, plain it is that "while the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God's people upon earth."-- The Great Controversy, p. 425.
Then, "clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. 'Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,' she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer."--Prophets and Kings, p. 725. At that time "only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [the Third Angel's Message] when it shall have swelled into the loud cry."--The Review and Herald, No. 19, 1908.
As a flaming torch in the blackness of night, stands forth the truth that the time of trouble such as never was, finds the church free from the flood of tares, free from the "bad fish," and consequently able not only to withstand the Devil but also to go forth conquering and to conquer in the mighty power of Michael, Whose standing up delivers "every one that shall be found written in the book." Dan. 12:1.
From this rehearsal of the long history of God's people, we see that Abraham is the only one with whom God was not compelled, in order to get the desired results, to resort to means other than the simple command: "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee." Gen. 12:1.
Abraham's unquestioning and unfailing faith and his unhesitating obedience to the Lord's naked command in every instance, made him a "friend of God," the "father of the faithful," and a great pillar of living truth, with a name to be remembered and venerated throughout time and eternity.
Jacob's faith in the promises of God, and his overmastering desire to work himself into the Lord's plans and to carry them out, resulted in his becoming the progenitor of the first fruits or ministry of the Kingdom-church--those who stand with the Lamb on Mt. Zion (Rev. 14:1).
Joseph's uncompromising fidelity to principle brought him into highest estate, in which he became the world's greatest provisioner as a type of Christ, the Great Spiritual Provisioner.
Moses, in his meekness (humbleness) and in his determination "rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" (Heb. 11:25), rose to be the greatest general, leader, and deliverer of all times, and even to stand on the mount of transfiguration.
The apostles' sacrifice of life for the sake of Christ and His Truth, won them the exalted honor of having their names placed in the foundations of the Holy City (Rev. 21:14).
Luther's fearless and persevering efforts to lift up the down-trodden Truth (Dan. 8:11, 12; 11:31), fathered forth Protestantism.
Yet, Brother, Sister, none of these singularly glorious estates is greater than is yours to stand with the Lamb on Mount Sion. We beseech you, therefore, to "arise, shine; for thy light is come"! Isa. 60:1.
Now that on the one hand the Lord is pleading that you take hold of His mighty light of Truth and thereby be separated from sin, that you may escape His vengeance, be delivered from the coming trouble, and have a part in proclaiming the Loud Cry of the Three Angels' Messages; and that on the other hand Satan is pleading that you take hold of his all-exhausted extinguisher; you are brought to the valley of decision. Now has come the Zero hour to decide whether or not you will, if the Lord be God, follow His mighty Truth, or if Baal be God, follow his mighty men.
"Behold," says the Saviour, "I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me." Rev. 3:20.
Will you not, then, do as did these faithful men of old, and be God's great men today! O let nothing, Brother, Sister, longer compromise and neutralize your efforts to obtain the promise now--the un-matched privilege of being Zion's priests and kings!
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith..." Rev. 3:22.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
MAY WE KNOW THE HOUR?
Question No. 15:---"Early Writings," p. 285, states that God will announce the day and hour of His return. And "The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 2, p. 255, concludes from its treatment of the flood that this crowning event of the ages will come on a Wednesday night. But Christ says: "...of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My father only." Matt. 24:36. How can the two be reconciled?
Answer:---The Rod is in no respect setting time for Christ's return. Though it concludes from the Flood Study that He may come for His own on some mid-week night, it does not even intimate on which Wednesday night that may be. The Rod does not pretend to know that day or hour. And concerning the statement in Early Writings, Christ's words in Matthew 24:36 do not preclude the possibility of His ever making known the day and hour of His coming. Indeed, though the Scriptures do say that even the angels know not the hour, yet if they are ever to be ready to start out with the Lord upon His second advent, certainly they must someday beforehand be told of it in order to make ready and to start out. And although no man now knows the day or hour, yet if the Father sees fit to declare it, we cannot but know it.
Moreover, this secret coming (Matt. 24:36) may be another than that commonly understood as "the second coming." (For further study on this subject, read out Tract No. 3, The Harvest, 1942 Edition, pp. 45-53.)
IS GOD'S TRAVELING THRONE A LOCOMOTIVE?
Question No. 16:---I have been told that the Davidians teach that the throne of Isaiah 6 is a train pulled by a locomotive belching forth smoke. Do they so teach?
Answer:---No such idea as this is anywhere to be found set forth in the publications of The Shepherd's Rod, upon which all the Davidian teachings, are based, as a careful reading of the literature will completely verify.
The word "train" is quoted from the Scriptures and means retinue," as explained in our Tract No. 1, The Pre-Eleventh-Hour Extra, 1941 Edition, p. 8.
ARE THERE PALMS IN HAND OF SOME, OR IN HANDS OF ALL?
Question No. 17:---"The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 1, p. 44, says that the great multitude having palms in their hands are only the second fruits of the earth's harvest, whereas "The Great Controversy," p. 646, speaking of all "overcomers," says: "In every hand are placed the victor's palm and the shining harp." How can these statements be harmonized?
Answer:---The multitude on which the Rod comments and the multitude of which The Great Controversy speaks, are two different companies, in two different locations, and on two different occasions. The former, the multitude of Revelation 7:9, have their palms on earth, the latter, the multitude of The Great Controversy, receive their palms and harps in heaven. These facts may be clearly seen from reading the statements in question.
WHEN BEGINS THE TIME OF THE END?
Question No. 18:---When begins "the time of the end," in which the book of Daniel is opened?
Answer---The angel, who instructed Daniel, declared that the book would be closed until the time of the end. Accordingly, not before or after, but in the time of the end, the book must be opened.
This period is marked by an increase of knowledge and by men running "to and fro." Daniel 12:4, 9. As a large portion of the book of Daniel is now understood, and as we are in the automotive age, the age of increased knowledge, with men running to and fro, it is evident that we are living "in the time of the end."
Daniel 11:40 makes clear that at, not in, the time of the end, the King of the North was to wage victorious wars against the King of the South. Consequently, "the time of the end" must have begun at the closing of the eighteenth century and at the beginning of the nineteenth, with the victories of the King of the North. (See map in our Tract No. 12, The World Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, 1941 Edition, p. 97.)
WHY PROPHECIES IN PLACE OF LOVE?
Question No. 19:---Why do the Davidians not spend more time teaching the love of Jesus--the most important part of the Bible--instead of teaching the doctrines and the prophecies?
Answer:---The Davidians follow this procedure because of the scripture: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; where unto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." 2 Pet. 1:19. The prophecies, therefore create love for God in the heart of the student as nothing else can.
If, moreover, the prophecies are less essential than other portions of the Scriptures, why then, did the Lord cause His servants to write so many of them? Obviously, they are as important. The book of The Revelation, which is addressed directly to the people who are to be living just before the Lord's coming, is made up of symbolical prophecies, concerning which the Lord says:
"Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." Rev. 1:3. "Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book....For 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. 22:7, 18, 19.
True, the love of Jesus is the supreme need, but preaching about it to the exclusion of the doctrines and the prophecies, will profit one nothing, for through the prophecies and through the doctrines one learns not only of the love of Jesus but also how to serve Him. "All scripture" says Paul, "is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Tim. 3:16, 17.
Had the churches today taught the prophecies and the doctrines to the exclusion of the love of Jesus, then of course the Davidians would have dwelt even more extensively on the love of Jesus than on the prophecies. But as the opposite is the case, the love of Jesus being magnified to the neglect of the prophecies, then of course our first and supreme need is to study the love of Jesus through the doctrines; afterward, our greatest burden will be thus to teach it.
While the gospel of love inspires us to love the Lord, the doctrines teach us the right way to love Him, and the light of the prophecies guides our feet in the strait and narrow path along the way to the city of God, just as at night the lights of an automobile show us the way home. Without them, we would inevitably soon lose the way, crash, and pile up in the dark-- a mass of wreckage and death, perchance. Thus while we need the one, we just as much need the other. The Davidians therefore combine both, teaching the love of Jesus through the doctrines, and the way to the Kingdom through the prophecies.
WHEN DID THE SEALS BEGIN?
Question No. 20:---What Biblical proof is there to show that the events of the Seven Seals (Rev. 4-8) span the entire world's history, which is contrary to the Denomination's teaching that they cover only the Christian church period? Don't you know that the book with the seals is symbolical of the books of Daniel and The Revelation?
Answer:---The foundation upon which rests the Denominational position that the seals are prophetic of events in the New Testament period, is their interpretation of the first seal, concerning which John says:
"I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer." Rev. 6:2.
This scripture is unauthoritatively interpreted to mean the early Christian church. The facts that the horse in the vision was white and the young church pure, the rider conquering and the church growing do not in themselves make a rock foundation upon which to build up a theory that the events of the seals began with the Christian church.
John was in vision shown the seals about sixty-five years after the Pentecost, in the period when the church was already declining from her peak purity and steady growth. The Voice said to him: "Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter." Rev. 4:1. In other words, the events which he was about to be shown were to develop in the future from the time he had the vision. Now let us take notice of what he saw:
"I was in the Spirit," says John, "and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.... And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.... And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much,... and one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof." Rev. 4:2; 5:1, 3-5.
Mark that the events symbolized were to materialize sometime after John had the vision, not before. Furthermore, where in any instance have the Scriptures ever symbolized the church by a man riding on a horse? If the horse symbolizes the church, then what of the man?
Obvious it is, that in this vision John was looking forward to the commencement of some important event that was to take place in the future from the time he had the vision rather than back when the church began. Moreover, it was to be in heaven, not on earth. As thousands upon thousands surrounded the throne upon which sat the Great Judge holding up the book that was sealed with seven seals, the event obviously is more like the commencement of the Judgment of Daniel 7:9, 10 than like the commencement of the preaching of the gospel.
Speaking of the book which was sealed with the seven seals, the Spirit of Truth says: "Thus the Jewish leaders made their choice. Their decision was registered in the book which John saw in the hand of Him that sat upon the throne, the book which no man could open. In all its vindictiveness this decision will appear before them in the day when this book is unsealed by the Lion of the Tribe of Judah."--Christ's Object Lessons, p. 294.
In this connection each component part of the entire symbolism dovetails with both sacred and profane history, and also with the Third Angel's Message itself--thus giving "power and force" to the latter.
WHAT IS THE SEAL?
Question No. 21:---What is the seal of God upon the foreheads of the 144,000 (Rev. 7:3)? Is it the Sabbath seal or something else?
Answer:---Being sealed in Christ "with that Holy Spirit of promise," after having "heard the word of truth" (Eph. 1:13; 4:30), the saints are consequently sealed by Present Truth--the truth preached in their own day.
"The seal of the living God," the Truth, by which the 144,000 are sealed (Rev. 7:2), is a special seal, being the same as "the mark" of Ezekiel 9. (See Testimonies to Ministers, p. 445; Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 267; Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211). It demands one's sighing and crying over the abominations which defile him and which desecrate both the Sabbath and the house of God, especially against selling literature and raising goals during Sabbath services. As the saints have this seal or mark on their foreheads, the angels will pass over them, not slay them. It is equivalent to the blood on the door post on the night of the Passover in Egypt. The angel is to place a mark upon the foreheads of all who by sighing over their own sins, and over the sins in the house of God, show fidelity to the Truth. Then the destroying angels will follow, to slay utterly both old and young who have failed to receive the seal. (See Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 505.)
So, the former seal enables the receiver to rise from the dead in the resurrection of the just, while the latter seal enables the sighing-crying one to escape death and forever to live for God.
IS THE SEALING ON? WHO ARE SEALED? ARE ANY BEYOND SINNING?
Question No. 22:---If the sealing message of the 144,000 has been going to the church since 1929, are part (or all) of the 144,000 already sealed? Also if none can be sealed save they be free from sin and if some are now being sealed, then have they passed beyond sinning?
Answer:---If the sealing is not in progress now, then the sealing message which we have borne since 1929 would no more be present truth now than would the proclamation of the Judgment of the dead have been present truth from 1844 to 1929, had not the dead been judged during that period. Definitely, then the message of the sealing and the sealing itself go hand in hand the same as the needle and the shuttle travel together until the seam is completed.
The Lord commands the angel with the writer's inkhorn to "set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof"--in the church--so that when the men with the slaughter weapons start slaying, they may pass by those who have the mark. Thus, the sighing and crying since 1929 for the abominations in the church, has been the supreme evidence that we are living in the period of the sealing.
And as reformation never takes place with out a revelation of some new truth, then this "closing work for the church" must be accompanied by a message (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266), and must be proclaimed to all. And he who does not reform at the moment he is convinced of the Truth, will not reform later. Therefore, as the sealing message makes its way through the church, only those who awake and reform (sigh) and endeavor to share with others (cry) the light that is shining upon them, receive the seal. They are then accounted sinless through the perfection of Christ imparted in their behalf until they are given the "new heart" promised in Ezekiel 36:26, after which they will be forever sinless--forever without cause to repent.
"When I say unto the wicked," says the Lord "Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand." Ezek. 3:18.
If one cannot part from his sins now, neither will he later. And as he cannot deceive God, he is left without the seal, though he may be a professor of the Truth. A true Christian, however, never boasts of having attained perfection, for he is aiming ever higher and higher as he travels up the narrow path. And as he comes closer and closer to Him to Whom perfection begins and ends, he exclaims with the prophet: "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts." Isa. 6:5.
So the fact is that no one has attained the perfection which he will attain in his future state but the true follower of Christ has attained the perfection of the present state. He is never a minute behind time or an inch below the highest step attainable at the moment. He is progressively as perfect as the ear of corn is from the day it sprouts to the day it is harvested.
If any sin be committed by such an one, it will not be a known or willful sin. "To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17. He will be judged "for the iniquity which he knoweth." 1 Sam. 3:13. Consequently, to him who avails himself of every opportunity to know the Truth and who zealously complies with all its requirements, it is counted for righteousness (Rom. 4:3)--living without sin.
IS NOT THE HARVEST THE END OF THE WORLD?
Question No. 23:---How can your teaching of the separation of tares from the wheat in the church be harmonized with the statement which says: "The tares and the wheat are to grow together until the harvest; and the harvest is the end of probationary time.... When the work of the gospel is completed, there immediately follows the separation between the good and the evil, and the destiny of each class is forever fixed"?--"Christ's Object Lessons," pp. 72, 123.
Answer:---Yes, according to the statement in question the "harvest" is the end of probationary time taking place at, not after, the close of probation. And the fact that the Investigative Judgment acts upon one's case after his life's career in relation to salvation has ended and while probation still lingers, is another proof that the "harvest" is the last part of probationary time. This accords with Jeremiah's statement, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." Jer. 8:20. It shows that the harvest is a period of time having a beginning and ending, and that during its time men are saved. And Early Writings, p. 118, reveals that the Third Angel is the one who does the harvesting, while Matthew 13:30 shows also that the angels separate the tares from the wheat "in the time of harvest."
Hence Christ's command, "Let both grow together until the harvest," points down to our day, the "time of the end," the period in which the harvest is to be consummated and the "tares" separated from the "wheat."
Thus to all practical purposes "the harvest" is indeed "the end of the world"--the end of the wicked.
The only way in which one can otherwise understand Christ's Object Lessons is by failure to realize that the world is right now at the very "close of time." Failing to sense what the close of time really means, one is thus unable correctly to connect the related subjects of the harvest.
The Bible teaches that the Lord "will search Jerusalem [the church] with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil" (Zeph. 1:12); that is, He will punish those who by their actions say: "The Lord is not greatly concerned about what we do"; when in solemn warning truth God is declaring: "I will search Jerusalem," not carelessly and in darkness, but carefully with candles of light.
"I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us." Amos 9:9, 10.
"There shall be as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done. They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord." Isa. 24:13, 14.
These scriptures show that after the church has been shaken by the Lord's visitation, then her faithful members who are left will "sing for the majesty of the Lord." The shaking will have made the church what she ought to be.
"But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' sope." Mal. 3:2.
"In the mighty sifting soon to take place, we shall be better able to measure the strength [number] of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that his fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor."--Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 80.
Thus, both the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy proclaim that He Himself will purify the church, and that when she is thus purified "the Gentiles shall see" her "righteousness, and all kings" her "glory." Isa. 62:2.
WHEN WILL HE SEPARATE THE TARES FROM THE WHEAT?
Question No. 24:---"Christ's Object Lessons " p. 123, says: "When the work of the gospel is completed, there immediately follows the separation between the good and the evil." Does not the separation here mentioned take place at the second advent?
Answer:---The separation which takes place when Christ comes the second time, is His taking the saints to heaven with Him (John 14:3; 1 Thess. 4:17) and leaving the wicked, dead here on earth (2 Thess. 2:7, 8). In this way His second coming does bring about a physical separation. But the preliminary separation that takes place before the second advent of Christ, is at His invisible coming when He puts the "sheep" on His right and the "goats" on His left (Matt. 25:32, 33, 13:30, Rev. 18:4; Matt. 13:48).
"I saw the saints," writes Sister White, "leaving the cities and villages, and associating together in companies, and living in the most solitary places. Angels provided them food and water, while the wicked were suffering from hunger and thirst. Then I saw the leading men of the earth consulting together, and Satan and his angels busy around them. I saw a writing, copies of which were scattered in different parts of the land, giving orders that unless the saints should yield their peculiar faith, give up the Sabbath, and observe the first day of the week, the people were at liberty after a certain time, to put them to death. But in this hour of trial the saints were calm and composed, trusting in God, and leaning upon His promise that a way of escape would be made for them. In some places, before the time for the decree to be executed, the wicked rushed upon the saints to slay them; but angels in the form of men of war fought for them. Satan wished to have the privilege of destroying the saints of the Most High; but Jesus bade His angels watch over them. God would be honored by making a covenant with those who had kept His law, in the sight of the heathen round about them; and Jesus would be honored by translating without their seeing death, the faithful, waiting ones who had so long expected Him." Early Writings, pp. 282, 283.
The fact that the saints were prophetically seen in companies by themselves before the second coming of Christ, again proves that the separation between saint and sinner takes place before His appearing. The separation that is effected by Christ's second coming, however, is still greater.
So, though the message in Christ's Object Lessons, p. 123, does apply to the separation (the righteous being taken to heaven and the wicked being left on earth) at the second advent of Christ, yet it does not obviate at all the separation of the "tares" from the "wheat" (Matt. 13:30), or the "sheep" from the "goats" (Matt. 25:32).
And now, since the distinctive truth of the Investigative Judgment in heaven is the Seventh-day Adventist doctrinal magnifying glass, let us use it on the subject of the separation.
That part of the Investigative Judgment of the living, by which is determined who are to have their sins blotted out and, as a result, be given eternal life, is paralleled on earth by the work of the angel with the "writer's inkhorn," who is charged to "mark" (seal) everyone who sighs and cries for all the abominations in Judah and Israel--the church. And the work of the five others who follow on to slay all who have not the "mark" (seal), is paralleled in heaven by the blotting out of the sinners' names from the Book of Life. (See Ezekiel 9; Testimonies to Ministers, p. 445; Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211).
Thus we see that this dual prophetic work of separating the names of the sinners from the names of the righteous in the sanctuary, and separating the sinners from the righteous in the church, is the same as the work decreed in the parables: separating the tares from the wheat (Matt. 13:30); the bad fish from the good (Matt. 13:48); those who have not the wedding garment from those who have it (Matt. 22:1-13); those who have not improved their talents from those who have (Matt. 25:20-30).
As all these equivalent separations take place during the Investigative Judgment, before the wedding, the coronation, the reception of the kingdom (Dan. 7:9, 10, 13, 14), it is evident that the harvest and the Judgment are counterparts, and that they take place before probation closes-when the Lord suddenly comes to His temple to "purify the sons of Levi."--Mal. 3:1-3. And as the Judgment of the dead is followed by the Judgment of the living, so the Judgment of the church is followed by the Judgment of the world. And "if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" (1 Pet. 4:17)--when the Great Judge sits upon the throne of His glory, when all the nations gather before Him, when as a shepherd He divides His sheep (Matt. 25:31-46).
IS THE SLAUGHTER OF EZEKIEL NINE LITERAL?
Question No. 25:---"The Shepherd's Rod" teaches that the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 is literal. Could it not be a destruction such as is caused by so-called "acts of God"--earthquakes, famines, pestilences, the seven last plagues, or the like?
Answer:---The five agents that destroy the wicked in the church are not forces of nature but men with slaughter weapons in their hands. They are supernatural beings, not natural elements. Hence they cannot fittingly represent earthquakes, famines, or the like.
Neither can they be the seven angels with the seven last plagues, for these angels are seven in number, not five. Furthermore, they do not have "slaughter weapons" in their hands, but vials. Still further, the plagues fall in Babylon (Rev. 18:4), whereas the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 takes place in Judah and Israel (Ezek. 9:9).
Ezekiel 9, whether literal or figurative, effects a separation between the good and the bad, the tares and the wheat, in the church (Judah and Israel), just as the plagues finally do in Babylon (Rev. 18:4). And as the plagues are literal, then how can the slaughter be any less literal?
The angel with the writer's inkhorn is to place a mark upon the foreheads of all who sigh and cry for the abominations, then the destroying angels are to slay both old and young (Ezek. 9:4-6).
"The church--the Lord's sanctuary," is "the first to feel the stoke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as guardians, of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestations of God's power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief and they say, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil. He is too merciful to visit his people in judgment. Thus peace and safety is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God's people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs, that would not bark, are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children, all perish together."--Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211.
As in The Great Controversy, p. 656, only an indirect parallel can be drawn between the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 and the falling of the plagues, because a common end (death) befalls both the wicked in the church of Laodicean and the wicked in the churches of Babylon. And only those who say, "We need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God's power as in former days," think the slaughter is not literal.
WHO ARE THE WOMAN AND HER REMNANT?
Question No. 26:---What does Revelation 12:13-17 mean?
Answer:---"And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Rev. 12:13-17.
Nearly all Christians agree that the only tenable interpretation of the "woman" here mentioned, is that she symbolizes the church. And the fact that she gave birth to the man child, Christ, shows that she is therefore symbolical of the church in at least the Christian dispensation.
While the dragon was persecuting her through the deceived Jewish priests who rejected Christ as the Messiah, "there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Word." Acts 8:1-4.
To her were therefore given the wings of a great eagle--her means of transport into the wilderness. And being the opposite of the vineyard ("the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His pleasant plant"--Isa. 5:7), the wilderness obviously denotes the Gentile nations. The apostles, therefore, in fulfillment of this prophecy were commanded, and given the wings, speedily to go preach to all nations.
"Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles, heard this, they were glad, and glorified the Word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the Word of the Lord was published throughout all the region." Acts 13:46-49.
Seeing this, the serpent sought to destroy the woman's usefulness among the Gentiles: he "cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood." Rev. 12:15.
Anyone can see that this "flood" can represent only the church's suddenly becoming infiltrated with unconverted pagans who, as in Constantine's time and for years thereafter, were even taken enmasse and forced into baptism. In the parables of Christ this same "flood" is described, but under the different term, "tares." And the evident fact that they are still very much in the church, forces the painful realization that the earth has not as yet swallowed up the flood.
"Flood" and "tares" are figurative equivalents. The swallowing of the flood, therefore, is the same as the burning of the tares as comprehended in the parable of the harvest (Matt. 13:30).
Besides, the Revelator points out that not until after the flood is swallowed by the earth, after the unconverted are "slain" and buried, and the church thereby purified, will the dragon wage his fiercest warfare against the remnant of the woman's seed. Hence, the harvest time in the church, the time the earth swallows the flood, is before the dragon wars against the remnant.
"Fruits" garnered are the result of a harvest. When the 144,000, the first fruits (Rev. 14:4), are garnered in, and the tares (flood) are destroyed (swallowed) from among them, the 144,000 are taken to Mt. Zion, where they then comprise the Mother church, the twelve-star-crowned woman, under the protection of the Lamb, the One with them. Thus protected, she is secure from the dragon's then making war against her. So he wars only against her "remnant," those yet to be garnered--the second fruits still scattered throughout the world, away from Mt. Zion. This climax of the ages was vividly foretold by both Isaiah and Micah:
"But in the last days," declares Micah, "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 into 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." Mic. 4:1, 2. (See also Isaiah 2).
From these scriptures, it is plainly seen that Mt. Zion becomes the headquarters for the last gospel work on earth, after the time the 144,000 arrive there, and during the time the dragon wars against the remnant, "for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem"--no longer from the General Conference, or from Mt. Carmel Center.
Then shall many nations 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." Mic. 4:2.
WHO IDENTIFIED PLANETS SEEN IN VISION?
Question No. 27:---In his history of the Advent Movement, Elder Loughborough relates: "In the month of November, 1846, a conference was held in Topsham, Maine, at which Elder Bates was present. At that meeting Mrs. White...had a vision which was the cause of Elder Bates's becoming fully satisfied as to their divine origin....Mrs. White, while in vision, began to talk about the stars, giving a glowing description of rosy-tinted belts which she saw across the surface of some planet, and added, I see four moons. ''Oh,' said Elder Bates, 'she is viewing Jupiter!' Then having made motions as though traveling through space, she began giving a description of belts and rings in their ever-varying beauty, and said, 'I see seven moons.' Elder Bates exclaimed, 'She is describing Saturn.' Next she said, 'I see six moons,' and at once began a description of the 'opening heavens,' with its glory...."--"The Great Second Advent Movement," pp. 257, 258.
The more powerful telescopes and stellar photography of today have enabled astronomers to discover that Jupiter has nine moons, and Saturn ten. The five additional moons of Jupiter were discovered between the years of 1892 and 1914. The eighth moon of Saturn was discovered in 1848, the ninth in 1899, and the tenth in 1905. And since her vision, it has been discovered that Uranus has but four instead of six moons.
In the light of these astronomical facts how can you contend for the inspiration of Mrs. White's writings?
Answer:---The book, The Great Second Advent Movement, pp. 257, 258, is not saying that Sister White named the planets, but is repeating what was purportedly said by those who were present on the occasion of her having the vision of the planets. It does not, moreover, even intimate that Sister White concurred in the particular designations which Elder Bates (in the light of then current astronomical knowledge) gave to the planets which she then envisaged. It was but natural for him, however, to identify them as he did, for it all did fit nicely into the astronomical teachings of that day. So, simply because he, in a moment of zealous enthusiasm not according to Divine revelation, presumed to identify and label what God identified or labeled not, does not give even a semblance of integrity to the charges which the question prefers against her.
She evidently knew nothing about the names of those planets; Elder Bates knew less, and we today know very little if any more. If and when God sees fit to make known their names, His identification of them will be correct; that we know.
IS ALL OF A WORD TO THE LITTLE FLOCK AUTHENTIC?
Question No. 28:---"The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 2, p. 151, quotes from "A Word to the Little Flock," concerning the number of the two-horned beast. Since, however, the booklet is written in part by Elder James White and in part by Sister White, we should like to know which wrote the statement in mention, for if it is from Elder White, we do not see how it can carry the authority that the "Rod" attaches to it.
Answer:---Though the quotation in point is from Elder White's pen, the very fact that A Word to the Little Flock was written jointly by him and his wife, shows that she endorsed his articles in the booklet as no less authoritative than her own. Otherwise she would never have permitted his to be published as one with hers. Whatever truth, moreover, he or any of the rest of the pioneers in those days embraced, they originally received through her. In other words, in writing what he did in A Word to the Little Flock, he was only resetting that which was revealed through Sister White. The truth of this is quickly seen from the fact that her statement on the number of the beast, page 19, perfectly corroborates his statement on page 9, the part which the Rod quotes. The acceptance, therefore, of the one's views on the subject is the acceptance of the other's.
HAS THERE BEEN AMALGAMATION OF MAN AND BEAST?
Question No. 29:---"Since the flood," says Mrs. White, "there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in almost endless varieties of species of animals, and in certain races of men."--"Spiritual Gifts," Vol. 3, p. 75 (1864). How can this be?
Answer---The very fact that the interpretation given Sister White's statement on amalgamation does result in a biological absurdity such as only the most ignorant and most foolish could subscribe to, is the best evidence that her words are grossly perverted. Whatever one may insist about the grammatical meaning of the phrase, "amalgamation of man and beast," the fact remains evident in the light of what she writes elsewhere on the subject, and in the background of common sense, as well as of her wide understanding of the Bible, along with her early inexperience with words, that she is trying to show two kinds of amalgamation--one among the various races of man, the other among the various genera and species of animals: as for instance, the Hebrew with the Canaanite, and the ass with the horse, resulting in a hybrid race in the one instance, and a hybrid species in the other instance. She herself explains: "Every species of animal which God has created were preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the flood."--Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 3, p. 75.
WHY NOT MAKING BETTER PROGRESS?
Question No. 30:--- In view of the greatness of the work and the shortness of the time, why is the sealing message not making better headway?
Answer:---Had there not come out of Egypt in Moses' time a mixed multitude, the Exodus Movement could have gone into the promised land in a few weeks But because in the trial of that Movement followed many who were possessed of a spirit different from that of Caleb's and Joshua's the Movement fell forty years behind schedule in entering the promised land!
And though Jesus' work at His first advent was not so extensive as our work now, yet it was of even greater importance and of shorter duration than ours. Seemingly, however, it made no progress whatsoever when we consider that all forsook Him at His trial, and that Peter, the most zealous of the apostles even cursed and swore that he was not Christ's disciple. But, contrary to all appearances of seeming defeat, Jesus declared while hanging on the cross, that His work was finished.
Then, too, after His resurrection, He took His journey upward, leaving but a few half-converted followers to carry on the work. Such were the results of John the Baptist's and Jesus' untiring efforts. Hence, out of the multitudes that were baptized by John and Jesus, there were, on the day of Pentecost, but a hundred and twenty disciples of one accord to receive the outpouring of God's Spirit.
Indeed, not only small and insignificant did the work then appear to be, but also impossible to carry forward. Nevertheless, as the doubting ones among the multitude saw an excuse in the seemingly utter defeat in Jesus' crucifixion, they separated themselves from among the faithful. And as the remaining ones of His followers lost confidence in themselves, renounced self, and sought the Lord earnestly at a time when there was not in themselves even the least hope of continuing the work, they gave the Lord an opportunity to manifest His great power and to advance His cause with such rapidity that with one sermon there were converted three thousand souls in one day. Then daily after that were added only "such as should be saved"--such as were thoroughly converted. Thus did the work of the gospel begin to grow rapidly, once the Lord got a group of people that He could trust and use.
Likewise, the Advent Movement, right after the Minneapolis Conference in 1888, would have begun the work of the Loud Cry angel, but as a result of the unbelief of many in the Testimonies of the Spirit of God, the "cry" was silenced for forty years, while the Movement retreated "toward Egypt."--Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217.
In the year 1930, God again spoke to His people, as He spoke to Israel in the days of Joshua, but now, as then, there are among us the ten spies, the Korahs, Dathans, and Abirams, and the Achans--all such as love to make discouraging reports, who seek position, who covet the Babylonish garment, the silver, and the wedge of gold. And as a result, we also are held back, and will continue to be until the Lord manifests His power and takes from among us the pretending ones, makes us free from sin and sinners, as in the time of Korah and as in the time of Achan, and says to us as He said to Joshua "Go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel." Josh. 1:2.
Though at times we are greatly disappointed as we see among us the unfaithful, doubting, fault-finding, self-exalting multitude, including those who have forsaken the Lord; and those who when put on trial for their faith even curse and swear that they are not followers of the message of The Shepherd's Rod; along with those who apparently believe and who declare that they stand strongly for the message, but who are throwing rocks at us and at our work;--though we certainly are not grateful for this element, yet we are not at all discouraged but rather made glad to stand alone for truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us.
We cannot but humbly exclaim, O Lord, help us to stand true unto Thee though the whole world forsake Thee, or even though we must die like the apostles if need be. May we be as Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego--standing true at the peril of our lives so that Thou canst have the opportunity of delivering us from a lion's den, or from a fiery furnace, if need be, thus making Thyself known to all the world through our faithfulness. May we be fired with the zeal of Noah as we engage in the building of the ark for today, while many professed brethren in the message question and criticize our work and position (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 690) and retard the progress of the work, and while others accuse us of taking too much upon ourselves.
May we never say, "The Lord delayeth His coming"; or, "We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we"; or "The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof, and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons Or Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." Num. 13:31-33. May we never become so foolish and forlorn as this.
WHY AGITATE WHERE NOT WANTED?
Question No. 31:---If the Davidians think they have a message, why are they not content to go their way and let others go theirs? Why should they agitate their message in our church?
Answer:---Tracing the church's history down through the ages, we find that if all had taken the same position as the questioner, the advancing Truth would never have reached the church in any period. Had God's messengers at sundry times failed to agitate their message in their own churches, how, then, would the various reformatory messages have reached His people? Is He not more interested in them than He is in the heathen? John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostles, all sacrificed their lives in order to take their message to their own church. Why, then, should not the Davidians do likewise?
"Against these men [Wycliffe, Huss, Luther, Tyndale, Baxter, Wesley], persecution raged with relentless fury; yet they ceased not to declare the truth. Different periods in the history of the church have each been marked by the development of some special truth, adapted to the necessities of God's people at that time. Every new truth has made its way against hatred and opposition; those who were blessed with its light were tempted and tried. The Lord gives a special truth for the people in an emergency. Who dare refuse to publish it? He commands His servants to present the last invitation of mercy to the world. They cannot remain silent, except at the peril of their souls."--The Great Controversy, p. 609.
Consequently, we dare not refuse to publish the special Davidian truth for the church today.
WORK WITHIN OR WITHOUT?
Question No. 32:---On the one hand I find your literature teaching its believers not to leave the ranks of the Mother church, while on the other hand I find it causing no end of trouble to the church. How do you reconcile your precept with your example? Why not devote your time to evangelistic efforts, bringing erring souls to the knowledge of the Truth, and let the church alone?
Answer:---Assuredly we do believe that this is no time to be pulling apart, but indeed to be pressing together. And the message which we are bearing to the church, not only does not contain any doctrine or teaching which would warrant our leaving her ranks to become a separate cult, but does on the contrary absolutely forbid our doing so. For these reasons, we have from the beginning steadfastly refused, even in the face of abusive treatment, to leave the Mother church.
So far as we are concerned, therefore, existing controversy and schism is the responsibility of the Denomination's leading brethren, and none of ours, for we are only carrying out the Lord's express precept and example never to sacrifice Truth. And they themselves admit that we should obey God rather than men. Upon them, therefore, rests the heavy guilt of repeating the tragic folly of the Jews in Christ's time, by rejecting the message of the hour, "entering not in themselves" into the expansion of Truth, hindering those who would enter in, and casting out those who do enter in.
So, to devote our time to evangelizing the world while neglecting the church would be a criminal act, one of highest treason both to God and to His people. The church must first be saved from her Laodicean condition of being "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." She, not the world, is just about to be spued out. She "is the only object on earth on which He bestows His supreme regard."--Testimonies to Ministers, p. 15.
But in her present deplorable state of blindness and destitution as exposed by the True Witness (Rev. 3:14-18), she is utterly unfit for the task assigned her, and must be rescued from her sad deception before she can become a safe refuge and a saving influence to those who would join her ranks. Should God leave her in the Laodicean condition in which she now languishes, not only would she herself be lost but, in consequence, so also would the whole world along with her. He must therefore rouse her up or else raise up another to do the work which remains to be done.
Think, though, what an eternal joy it would be for Him to fit her up and use her to His glory, rather than to have to forsake her! So before raising up another as a last resort, He is trying to save her, and He will save her, as He promises:
"Satan will work his miracles to deceive, he will set up his power as supreme. The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out. The chaff is separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place. None but those who have been overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony will be found with the loyal and true, without spot or stain of sin, without guile in their mouth. The remnant that purify their souls by obeying the truth gather strength from the trying process, exhibiting the beauty of holiness amid the surrounding apostasy....
"The great issue so near at hand will weed out those whom God has not appointed, and He will have a pure, true, sanctified ministry prepared for the latter rain."--B-55-1886.
Were the Lord--Who Himself when upon earth spent all His time in the exclusive endeavor to save His lost church then--to send us to the world rather than to His lost church today, He would not only be bringing in the innocent to perish with the guilty, but would also be completely reversing His own practice and contradicting His own orders to His apostles that they preach present truth to the church first (Matt. 10:5, 6).
In mercy and in consistency with His eternal procedure, therefore, He purposed that "while the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among [His] people upon earth." This is he special work. "Then the church which...at His coming [He] is to receive to Himself will be 'a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.'"--The Great Controversy, p. 425.
"The Lord does not now work to bring many souls into the truth," furthermore says the Spirit of Truth, "because of the church-members who have never been converted, and those who were once converted but who have backslidden. What influence would these unconsecrated members have on new converts? Would they not make of no effect the God-given message which His people are to bear?"--Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 371.
But when the backslidden and the unconverted, the tares, are taken away, "then she will look forth 'as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners." --The Great Controversy, p. 425.
Yes, the honest heathen must and will be evangelized, but "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 10:6) must be sought first. How thankful, therefore, and how cooperative they ought to be, and will be, when they discover that rather than being rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, they are actually "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked"--in need of everything; and that the Lord is waiting for them to wake up to the fact so that He can make them what they ought to be.
For these reasons, God says now to work within the Laodicean congregation rather than without. And what He says, that He means, and we dare not disobey, regardless what men may say or do.
DOES THE ROD STILL TEACH THE "SAME THINGS"?
Question No. 33:---In its beginning, "The Shepherd's Rod" agreed with the Spirit of Prophecy that "the remnants of her seed are the 144,000 against whom the dragon makes war."--"The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 2, p. 265. Today, ten years later, it teaches that" 'the remnant of her seed' are in this instance those who are yet in the world when Babylon rides the beast (Rev. 17)."--"The Symbolic Code," July-December, 1941, p. 9. When was it right--then or now?
Answer:---If one cannot deny that the 144,000, the first fruits, are members of the church, then one cannot deny that they are of her seed. And as they remain alive from the slaying of the unfaithful in their midst, they are therefore the "remnant"--that which remains. By the same token of logic, it is equally undeniable that since the woman of Revelation 12 is a symbol of the church to the end of time, then the second fruits of her seed, those who remain alive from the destruction of the wicked throughout the world, are also a "remnant."
Clearly, therefore, both statements are correct. The only point of difference between them is that when the one in Volume 2 was made, the Rod did not have the additional light which later inspired the one in the Code, and which shows that both the 144,000 and the great multitude are remnants: the former because of escaping from the Lord's slaying the unfaithful in the church (Isa. 66:19), and the latter because of not being called out of Babylon until after the former have gone to the land of Israel (Isa. 66:20), also because of remaining alive after the wicked, from among whom they are called out, have perished.
IS EVENING THE ENDING OR THE BEGINNING OF DAY?
Question No. 34:---Tract No. 10, "The Sign of Jonah," 1942 Edition, says that the evening is the ending, not the beginning, of the twenty-four-hour day. But Genesis 1:5 says the evening and the morning were the first day. Does not this statement put the evening in the first part of the day?
Answer:---It is agreed that according to Genesis 1:5 the evening truly is the first part of the day. For example, Friday night is the first part of Saturday, and Saturday night the first part of Sunday. This Bible fact was recognized by God's people all along the way. But from early in Bible time to this very day, the term "at even" has been used to designate the last part of the day--the afternoon (Ex. 12:6; 16:13; Mark 14:12, 13, 15, 17; John 20:19). Thus this terminology, though in common use, does not in any wise alter the fact that the night which follows the "at even" period and precedes the day, is to be reckoned as the first part of the twenty-four-hour cycle, for "the evening and the morning were the sixth day." Gen. 1:31. It is in this light that the statement on page 17 of Tract No. 10, is to be understood.
IS IT TRUE?
Question No. 35:---We should like to know if it is true as we have heard that Mt. Carmel's policy is to treat strictly confidential all correspondence and requests for literature.
Answer:---It is one of Mt. Carmel's inviolable office ethics that no correspondence or requests for literature are made public save at the instance or permission of the writer.
IN WHICH SEAL?
Question No. 36:---How can the sealing of the 144,000 (the first fruits) and the great multitude (the second fruits), both take place under the sixth seal, as Revelation 7 indicates from its position between the closing events of the sixth seal and the opening of the seventh seal?
Answer:---Revelation 7, coming as it does between the closing events of the sixth seal and the opening of the seventh, naturally appears to place the sealing of both the 144,000 and the great multitude among the events of the sixth seal. But a careful study of the seven seals, proves that the sixth chapter connects with the eighth chapter in continuity. So the seventh chapter is parenthetical, and does not restrict itself either to the sixth seal or to the seventh.
In other words, though the seventh chapter follows the events of the sixth seal, and precedes the events of the seventh seal, the chapter itself is not to be taken as necessarily chronological any more than are chapters 12 to 22 to be taken as a part of the seventh seal simply because they are recorded immediately following its events. The time of the events of the seventh chapter must be determined relatively, in the same manner as must the events of the twelfth to the twenty-second chapters.
WHO FLEE TO MOUNTAINS?
Question No. 37:---If God's people are in the Kingdom during the Loud Cry, how can they be put in prison or driven to the mountains during that time, as the Spirit of Prophecy asserts they will ("The Great Controversy," p. 626)?
Answer:---When it is understood that the 144,000 are but first fruits, the forerunners or advanced guard of a great multitude of second fruits, the difficulty in question is immediately resolved. The first fruits stand with the Lamb, safe on Mt. Zion (in the Kingdom). Thus those who shall find refuge in the mountains, and those who shall be put in prison, can only be from among the second fruits--those who shall accept the message during the Loud Cry, but who shall not yet at that time have reached the Kingdom. (See our Tract No. 12, The World Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow 1941 Edition, pp. 45-49.)
WHEN WILL HE LEAVE THE SANCTUARY?
Question No. 38:---"The Shepherd's Rod" seems to say that Jesus will leave the Most Holy place at the execution of the slaughter of Ezekiel 9, while "Early Writings," p. 36, seems to say that He will leave the place after His work in the sanctuary is done, and then will come the seven last plagues. How do you reconcile the two?
Answer:---Though the author of Early Writings says that Christ will not leave the sanctuary before His "work is done," yet elsewhere she writes: "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.'"--Testimonies Vol. 5, p. 690.
Viewing the question in the light of both statements, we see that Christ leaves the sanctuary at a certain time in the "unrolling of the scroll." Coming to the church, He finds her not spotless and ready to meet Him, but deep in sin, yet self-complacently feeding upon the errors, faults, and mistakes of others.
Now the problem before us is not to harmonize the Rod with Early Writings, but Early Writings with the Testimonies. These are automatically harmonized when it is understood that Christ leaves the sanctuary more than the one time: Once after "the closing work for the church" (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266), and again after the closing work for the world.
WHO HAS WANDERED AWAY FROM THE OLD LANDMARKS?
Question No. 39:---The Seventh-day Adventist church has always taught that the number 666 applies to the leopard-like beast (Rev. 13:1-10). But "The Shepherd's Rod" teaches that it applies to the two-horned beast (Rev. 13:11). Does not the Spirit of Prophecy plainly tell us that "no line of truth that has made the Seventh-day Adventist people what they are, is to be weakened"?--Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 17. And does it not furthermore warn: "Woe to him who shall move a block or stir a pin of" those messages?--"Early Writings," p. 258.
Answer:---The Spirit of Prophecy does indeed so teach, and to be in harmony one hundred percent with it on this point as on all others, the Rod is carefully stripping from the Truth the rubbish with which men have covered it, and is thus restoring it to its primitive luster. So it has done with the truth concerning the number 666.
Though this number has admittedly long been applied to the leopard-like beast, the application was not originated by the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, neither was it taught by them in the early days of the Movement. Rather, it was brought in from outside and woven into the web of Seventh-day Adventist doctrine despite the fact that the Spirit of Truth declared through the founders of the Denomination that the number applied to the two-horned beast:
The "beast," says Elder G.W. Holt, writing in the early days of the message, "having seven heads and ten horns is the one referred to, and I think the image, is the beast having 'two horns like a lamb,' but 'spake as a dragon.' His number is 666."--The Present Truth, Vol. 1, No. 8, March, 1850.
The "last power that treads down the saints," says Elder White, writing at about the same time, "is brought to view in Rev. 13:11-18. His number is 666."--A Word to the Little Flock, p. 9.
And finally, Sister White in authenticating this position, declared: "I saw all that 'would not receive the mark of the Beast, and of his Image, in their foreheads or in their hands,' could not buy or sell. I saw that the number (666) of the Image Beast was made up; and that it was the beast that changed the Sabbath, and the Image Beast had followed on after, and kept the Pope's and not God's Sabbath." A Word to the Little Flock, p. 19. (Note: The number 666 was placed in parentheses by the editor of A Word to the Little Flock.)
Here we have from the mouth of three witnesses absolute proof that the Denomination's present teaching concerning the number 666 was neither originated nor sanctioned by its founding fathers; that, in fact, it was not one of the lines of truth, nor even one of the blocks or pins of the message, which God gave to this people. Moreover, the Bible puts the number on the two-horned beast. Note that all the characteristics which pertain to the ten-horned beast are described in Rev. 13:1-10, and that all which pertain to the two-horned beast are described in Rev. 13:11-18. As the number closes the description of the two-horned beast, it cannot logically be applied to the ten-horned beast.
This is just one of the many departures from Truth, which caused Sister White far back (1882) to cry out: "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. Doubt and even disbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God, is leavening our churches everywhere. Satan would have it thus. Ministers who preach self instead of Christ would have it thus. The testimonies are unread and unappreciated. God has spoken to you. Light has been shining from his word and from the testimonies, and both have been slighted and disregarded. The result is apparent in the lack of purity and devotion and earnest faith among us."--Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217.
"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, Vol. 5, p. 137.
FORMER OR LATTER VIEW?
Question No. 40:---"Early Writings," p. 75, says: "When union existed, before 1844, nearly all were united on the correct view of the 'daily;' but in the confusion since 1844, other views have been embraced." Why, then, does Tract No. 3, "The Judgment and the Harvest," 1942 Edition, p. 31, put forth still another view which was not even known then at all? Does not the "daily sacrifice" of Daniel 8:12 mean the "sacrificial altar of Jehovah"?
Answer:---True, Early Writings does say that prior to 1844 nearly all were united on the correct view, but it does not say what that view was, and no one seems to know now. It might have been that the "daily" was "not a test question," or that it was not understood at all, and that all were consequently agreed that under the then present conditions, silence was golden; thus, that would have been "the correct view" to take in that case. In fact, there are many possible views upon which they might have been united, but which would not necessarily have hinged upon the explicit interpretation of the word "daily" itself. One thing is sure, however: had they had the truth of the "daily," the author of Early Writings would have published it, and would have been teaching it; and all of us would today know what it is.
That the view was not such as to make the "daily" the "sacrificial altar of Jehovah," is pre-established by the fact that Early Writings, p. 74, says that "the word 'sacrifice' was supplied by Man's wisdom, and does not belong to the text." And without being coupled with the word "sacrifice," the word "daily" cannot of itself be connected with any such altar. The Tract's interpretation of the "daily" is both Scriptural and historical, and therefore it can but be "sound doctrine."
WHY THREE TITLES TO THE ONCE-DIVIDED KINGDOM?
Question No. 41:---Will you please explain the difference in the terms, Judah, Ephraim, and Israel?
Answer:---In its original and strictest denotation, the term "Israel" designated the children of Israel from the days of Jacob their father, to the end of the reign of King Solomon.
It will be remembered, however, that after Solomon's death, the kingdom was rent in twain (1 Kings 11:11, 12; 12:19, 20, 21). The one division, composed of the two tribes, occupied the southern portion of the Promised Land, while the other division, composed of the ten tribes, occupied the northern portion. The former took the title "Judah" because the tribe of Judah ruled over it; the latter took the title "Israel" because it was comprised of the majority of the tribes. To this ten-tribe kingdom, therefore, the term "Israel" applies when used in its secondary acceptation, excluding the two tribes, Judah and Benjamin.
The term "Ephraim," in the collective sense, also designates the ten tribes or northern kingdom (Isa. 7:1, 2) because the tribe of Ephraim ruled over it. Thus the eponyms "Israel" (when used exclusively of the ten tribes) and "Ephraim" are applicable to the northern division, and the eponym "Judah" to the southern division, of God's ancient people.
WILL THE KINGDOM BE SET UP BEFORE THE MILLENNIUM?
Question No. 42:---"The Great Controversy," pp. 322, 323, teaches that "not until the personal advent of Christ can His people receive the kingdom....But when Jesus comes, He confers immortality upon His people; and then He calls them to inherit the kingdom of which they have hitherto been only heirs." Will you please help harmonize the Bible and "The Shepherd's Rod" with these and other passages in Sister White's writings in regard to the setting up of the Kingdom?
Answer:---Although the doctrine of the Kingdom may not appear quite so complete under the lens of Sister White's writings as under the lens of the Rod, one dare not thus superficially reject either, but must the more studiously compare both views of the doctrine under the super-lens of the Bible. He must keep in mind that we are not given license to harmonize the Bible with any other writings, but are charged to measure all others by It.
First of all, in order to do justice to the Scriptures, to Sister White's writings, and to the Rod the position of each on the subject must be viewed in the light of the Scriptures, which incontrovertibly teach that the Promised Land will be reinhabited by the Lord's own converted people. (See Isaiah 2; Micah 4; Ezekiel 36, 37; Jeremiah 31-33).
As to Sister White's statement in The Great Controversy, she is there speaking of the Kingdom complete, after the dead are raised, at the time the saints receive it. This was the only phase of the subject--the consummate phase--that Providence had made known when she wrote. Now as the scroll of prophetic Truth has unrolled further since her day, the Kingdom in reality is seen to have an intermediate, Davidian phase, as well as the final one heretofore known.
Besides the prophecies relating to the literal--the Davidian--Kingdom, the Bible contains many other prophetic subjects which the writings of Sister White do not even mention, let alone treat of. And if the Lord does not now reveal them to the church to meet her need today she will not be prepared for their fulfillment but will be left to perish in her undone Laodicean condition. These prophecies must therefore be revealed in order to strengthen the church in her final warfare. Otherwise, for what purpose were they written?
No prophet of God has ever forged a complete prophetic chain of events, with no links missing. It has taken many inspired writers to complete the long chain of prophecy. The mind, therefore which takes the position that Sister White has done what no prophet in or out of the Bible has ever done, does so at the utter disregard of actual Biblical procedure and also of revealed Truth.
She herself says that "no man, however honored of Heaven, has ever attained to a full understanding of the great plan of redemption, or even to a perfect appreciation of the Divine purpose in the work for his own time. Men do not fully understand what God would accomplish by the work which He gives them to do; they do not comprehend, in all its bearings, the message which they utter in His name."--The Great Controversy, p. 343.
Some persons, being of the parrot kind, utter parrot-like statements, never stopping to think what they say, and seemingly never caring whether their statements stand or fall. Such are they who say that no other event or events can come before, between, or after those set forth in Sister White's writings.
Should one insist that the continuity of events recorded in Early Writings, pp. 15-17, must be taken as absolute, and that no other event or events can be sandwiched in, then he is getting himself into deep water, for the pages mentioned in no wise even intimate either the seven last plagues or the millennium!
Again: the Jews rejected the Lord because not all of what the prophets taught and wrote was found in the teachings of Moses. "We know," they said, "that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence He is." John 9:29.
As no prophet's writings ever predicted the entire Truth needed by the church to carry her clear through to the Kingdom, and as other prophets followed, either enlarging upon or adding to the prophecies already recorded in the Scriptures, then for anyone to turn down the good tidings of the Kingdom on the grounds that this phase of the Kingdom is not found in Sister White's writings is for him to take the same inexcusable and fatal stand as did the Jews. It is to say, "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing." Rev. 3:17. It is this attitude that compels God to spue out of His mouth the lukewarm, satisfied Laodiceans.
The eleventh-hour message has been timed and designed to reveal the Davidian Kingdom rising a new before the appearing of Christ in the clouds. Having no direct light, however, on this phase of the Kingdom, The Great Controversy could no more have expressed itself in the definite terms which the message today uses, than could William Miller have expressed himself on the subject of the cleansing of the sanctuary, in such terms as we read in The Great Controversy.
Of necessity, any statements relative to a subject which is still out of sight in the unfolding of the Scroll, are made only in incidental terms of truth as it is at the time seen or commonly understood. And if the common understanding of these incidental statements be wrong, the writer cannot be held responsible for that which he has borrowed from others or seen but very dimly and therefore expressed very indefinitely.
For example, in Christ's day "the doctrine of a conscious state of existence between death and the resurrection was held by many of those who were listening to Christ's words. The Saviour knew of their ideas, and He framed his parable so as to inculcate important truths through these preconceived opinions. He held up before His hearers a mirror wherein they might see themselves in their true relation to God. He used the prevailing opinion to convey the idea He wished to make prominent to all...."--Christ's Object Lessons, p. 263.
This circumstance is natural and common to every writer treating of Present Truth, beginning with the Old Testament writers, and continuing ever since, and will thus be until every component part of the Truth is made known. This is borne out in the work of John the Baptist. He was to proclaim, not the setting up of the Kingdom, but the coming of the King. But in announcing the one, he incidentally had to answer questions concerning the other. When speaking of the coming King, he expressed himself in terms of revealed Truth. But when circumstantially alluding to the coming Kingdom, on which there was no special light in his day, he necessarily expressed himself in terms of the doctrines as then commonly understood.
Nevertheless, when the further unrolling of the scroll revealed that the Kingdom was not to be set up at that time, then the honest, truth-seeking ones did not accuse either John or Christ, but joyously watched the scroll unfold, and jubilantly marched on with the Truth. Not so, though, with the vast majority of the Jews. Their pride of opinion, forbidding them to forgo their errors and to embrace advancing Truth, led them deeper into error.
"Thus it was," says the Spirit of Prophecy, "that the Jews did in the days of Christ, and we are warned not to do as they did, and be led to choose darkness rather than light, because there was in them an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God."--Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, p. 66; Counsels on Sabbath School Work, p. 30.
So The Great Controversy and Early Writings make the subject of the Kingdom just as clear as the partial unrolling of the scroll permitted the writer to view it, in only one of its phases, at the time she wrote both books.
While The Great Controversy may omit showing that the establishment of the Kingdom and the inheriting of it are two different events, elsewhere the Spirit of Prophecy does do so: While the apostles, it says, "were not to behold the coming of the kingdom in their day, the fact that Jesus bade them pray for it, is evidence that in God's own time it will surely come.
"The Kingdom of God's grace is now being established, as day by day hearts that have been full of sin and rebellion yield to the sovereignty of His love. But the full establishment of the kingdom of His glory will not take place until the second coming of Christ to this world. 'The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven,' is to be given to 'the people of the saints of the Most High.'"--Mount of Blessing, p. 159.
Every Christian should remember that as the Truth is ever-advancing, It will not be found today where It was yesterday, and that therefore Christ's followers must advance with It. They will not follow the examples of the Jews and the Romans.
When Moses wrote the first part of the Bible, he was not given all the light which God intended to reveal to His people through the ages. With each approaching hour for the Truth to advance, came first one prophet, then another, in a long succession ending with John the Baptist. Then came Christ, the apostles, the reformers, William Miller, and Sister White, each one in turn teaching truths which could not be borne out entirely by the writings of any one predecessor. To find all the Truth thus progressively revealed, the writings of all must be collaborated.
For instance, in setting forth the law of the Passover, and in commanding its observance Moses wrote: "Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: and ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening." Ex. 12:5, 6.
The reason which Moses assigns for the Passover observance is that it is to commemorate Israel's going out of Egypt (Deut. 16:1-3). John the Baptist, however, imputes its significance to the coming of Christ, "the Lamb of God" (John 1:29), while the apostles assign it to His crucifixion: "For even Christ our passover," says Paul, "is sacrificed for us." 1 Cor. 5:7. And the significance of keeping the Passover, he then attaches to the ordinance of the Lord's supper (1 Cor. 11:26).
Failing to advance with the advancing Truth, each generation of Jews found fault with its respective prophets, culminating with the apostles and the very Son of God Himself. The Jews justified their criminal actions on the ground that the claims of their prophets, of Christ, and of the apostles, were not founded upon Moses' writings. So while boasting of Moses' writings, they denied and killed the prophets who came after him--a solemn warning to us, lest doing as they did, we meet their fate!
The main question therefore is not as to whether Sister White's or Moses' or this one's or that one's writings contain all the messages for this day, but rather simply as to whether they are found in, and supported by, the Bible.
The Rod consequently does not claim that its message is found in its entirety in the writings of any one particular prophet, but rather in the writings of all the prophets--"here a little, and there a little." Isa. 28:13.
Let none, therefore, treacherously use Sister White's writings, as the Jews used Similarly, Moses did not explain that the Levitical priesthood in the earthly sanctuary (Ex. 40:15) was only a provisional and thus a temporary one, a figure of Christ's priesthood in the heavenly sanctuary, as the apostles explained (Heb. 6:19, 20; 9:12, 26).
The Rod does not teach either that Jerusalem is to be rebuilt, or that it is not to be rebuilt, as the capital city of the Kingdom, but only that the Kingdom in its beginning is to be set up in the Promised Land. And in confirmation of this truth, Ezekiel prophesies of---A New Division of The Land.
The prophet presents a division of the land entirely different from that in Joshua's time (Josh. 17): it is to be in strips from the east to the west; Dan is to have the first portion in the north, and Gad, the last portion in the south; between the borders of these two are to be the portions of the rest of the tribes; the city is to be in the midst of the land (Ezek. 48).
The fact that such a division of the Promised Land has never been made, shows that it is yet future. Also the fact that the sanctuary is to be there, whereas it is not to be in the earth made new (Rev. 21:22), again proves that this unique setup is pre-millennial.
In addition, the twofold fact that the name of the city is "The Lord is There," and that its location, according to the division of the land, necessarily must in some respects be different from that of old Jerusalem, shows that Jerusalem of today, the city proper, may not at all be rebuilt as a capital city of the coming Kingdom. (See Tract No. 12, The World Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, 1941 Edition, pp. 52, 53).
If the Bible makes Itself clear on any subject It certainly does so on the subject of the Kingdom. And rightly so, for the Kingdom is the Christian's crowning hope,---Satan's Constant Target, the People's Repeated Stumbling Block.
That the great controversy between Christ and Satan is over this crowning hope, the Kingdom, is seen from the Lord's repeated instructions in the prophecies, in the types, and in the parables; from Satan's constant effort to keep the human race out of it; and last, from human beings repeatedly being defeated in their warfare to become heirs of it.
Working determinedly from the beginning to plunge all humanity into hell, Satan conceived his major strategy of misleading them concerning the Kingdom. He succeeded with most of the Jews because they wanted the Kingdom set up before its appointed time or not at all. And he is succeeding with many of the Laodiceans today because now, when the time appointed actually has come, they want to have it later or not at all! What a paradox! What an irony! Indeed, as history repeats itself, so does folly!
The Bible says: "In the days of these kings [the kings that are symbolized by the ten toes of the great image] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed....It shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms." Dan. 2:44.
Observe that "the stone" (the Kingdom) does not become a great mountain until after it smites the image, showing that the Kingdom begins in its infancy with only the first fruits, who soon stand on Mount Zion with the Lamb, and who later, after they have garnered in the second fruits of the living, smite the nations finally there come from the grave the saved of all ages fully to make up the "great mountain"--the Kingdom complete!
In the face of these clear-cut and repeatedly chronicled prophecies, may no one be so foolish as to say, as did the Jews in response to Ezekiel's prophecies, "The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off" (Ezek. 12:27), thereby bringing upon his head the same dreadful doom.
WILL OLD JERUSALEM BE REBUILT?
Question No. 43:---How do you reconcile "The Shepherd's Rod" teaching that the Davidian Kingdom is again to be set up in Palestine, with "Early Writings," pp. 75, 76: "Old Jerusalem never would be built up"?
Answer:---The context of the Early Writings' statement reveals that it refers to the Jewish Zionist Movement, and it shows that the Movement's avowed purpose to re-establish a national Jewish Homeland, centered in Jerusalem proper, will never be realized that never will Old Jerusalem be rebuilt in accordance with the Zionist interpretation, and never will the non-Christian Jews be the subjects of the Kingdom. (See Tract No. 8, Mount Sion at the Eleventh Hour.)
THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB IN HEAVEN OR ON EARTH?
Question No. 44:---What is the marriage spoken of in "Christ's Object Lessons," p. 307, and in "The Great Controversy," pg. 426, 427? In one instance, it is said to be "the union of humanity with divinity"; in another "the reception by Christ of His kingdom" in still another it is said that the marriage "takes place in heaven, while [the saints] are upon the earth" waiting "for their Lord, when He will return from the wedding." Will you please clear this complex subject for me?
Answer:---Let us remember that these figures of speech, along with many others, are only illustrations of truths, not the truths in themselves. For example, the setting up of the Kingdom is illustrated, in one instance, by the "harvest;" the subjects of the Kingdom, by the "wheat"; and the kingdom itself, by the "barn." Matt. 13:30. In another instance, the setting up of the Kingdom and the separation of the sinners from among the saints, are illustrated by the angels drawing "the net" to shore then sitting down, segregating the bad from the good fish, and putting the good into "vessels, " but casting out of it the bad (Matt. 13:48). In this instance, the subjects of the Kingdom are represented by the good fish; and the Kingdom itself, by the "vessels."
So, while it is true that the marriage of Christ is a "union of humanity with divinity," it is also true that the marriage is "the reception of His kingdom," for humanity makes up the Kingdom. Therefore, the marriage is equivalent to the coronation; the Kingdom itself, to the city, or bride; and the guests, to the saints or subjects of the Kingdom. From this we see that when Christ receives His Kingdom, He indeed will unite humanity with divinity.
The reception of His Kingdom takes place in heaven while the saints are still on earth, as Daniel was shown: "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." Dan. 7:13, 14.
Bringing into prophetic focus this same event Jesus declared parabolically: "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for Himself a kingdom, and to return." Luke 19:12. Note that He receives the Kingdom (acquires ownership of it) while He is away, not when He returns. (See The Great Controversy, pp. 426, 427).
So, the marriage is the coronation of Christ, which takes place in the heavenly temple when all His subjects on earth are made ready, while the work is drawing to completion, and probation to a close. Obviously, then, the marriage takes place before He comes to "receive" the saints unto Himself (John 14:3), and before they meet Him "in the air." 1 Thess. 4:16, 17. Afterwards is served the "supper."
Consequently, though the wedding takes place in heaven, the saints while on the earth are the prospective guests for the marriage supper. Then, after the marriage is solemnized in the Holy of Holies, Jesus descends from heaven and takes the guests unto Himself, so that where He is, they may be also (John 14:1-3). There they eat of the "marriage supper of the Lamb."--The Great Controversy p. 427; Rev. 19:9. In this instance, while the saints are said to be the guests, the Holy City is said to be "the bride." Rev. 21:9, 10.
Again: just before the marriage, when the saints are still on earth, their righteousness is said to be the bride's (city's) "fine linen." Rev. 19:8.
The lessons that are taught by these and other illustrations become priceless jewels of truth to those who take heed to them.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN THE HEART, OR ON THE EARTH?
Question No. 45:---Since Jesus says "the kingdom of God is within" us (Luke 17:21), how, then, can it be an earthly kingdom?
Answer:---If the statement in question means that there is to be no Kingdom of God on earth, then by the same token of reasoning it must also mean that neither is there to be any kingdom in heaven. And if there is to be none on earth, and none in heaven, then our hope is vain. But, as always, that which proves too much, proves nothing. Consequently, to stand upon the proposition in the question is to take the position that there is to be no literal kingdom either on earth or in heaven, but only a spiritual kingdom within the heart, which is to reduce the subject to an absurdity. It is to play right into the hands of the Devil, who would desperately like to blackout the Kingdom truth, and relegate the Kingdom itself to oblivion. But in this, thank God, the Word assures us he is doomed to certain failure.
So before the Kingdom of God is established on this earth, it must indeed be spiritually established within us if we are ever to qualify for admission when it is physically established upon "earth, as it is in heaven."
Accordingly, the spiritual kingdom of God within, is within those who embody the principles of its rule before the physical Kingdom is established. So the kingdom of God "within" is the regimen of the spiritual life; it is prerequisite to an inheritance in the external Kingdom of God.
WHEN WILL THE WINDS BE LOOSED?
Question No. 46:---If the angel who seals the first fruits, the 144,000, goes right on with the sealing of the second fruits, the great multitude (Rev. 7:9), will the four angels be holding the four winds (Rev. 7:1) throughout the sealing of both fruits?
Answer:---As Revelation 7:14 says that the great multitude (the second fruits) "came out of great tribulation," it is conclusive that the four winds will be held, as the angel commanded, "till we have sealed the servants of our God...." Rev. 7:3. The winds, therefore, are loosed and blowing after the 144,000 are sealed and while the great multitude is being gathered and sealed. Thus only can it be said that the multitude came out of "great tribulation," out of "a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time." Dan. 12:1.
WHAT IS THE ANGER OF THE NATIONS?
Question No. 47:---"I saw," says Sister White, "that the anger of the nations, the wrath of God, and the time to judge the dead, were separate and distinct, one following the other, also that Michael had not stood up, and that the time of trouble, such as never was, had not yet commenced."--"Early Writings," p. 36. Could this "anger of the nations" be the "battle of Armageddon"?
Answer:---While the vision makes plain that the first three events (the judgment of the dead the anger of the nations, and the wrath of God) follow one another in consecutive order, occupying three separate, distinct, and successive periods, it does not clear the time of the fourth event--Michael's standing up.
The wrath of God, as commonly understood, is the seven last plagues (Rev. 15:1), and is visited during the period between the close of probation and the second coming of Christ. The judgment of the dead, as understood by at least all Adventists, covers two periods: the first in probationary time, immediately preceding the judgment of the living, and the second during the millennium. So with God's wrath coming in the period from the close of probation to the second coming of Christ, the anger of the nations can only take place during the time of the judgment of the living--during the Loud Cry of the Third Angel's Message.
The anger of the nations cannot therefore be the Armageddon, for it takes place in the time of the sixth plague (Rev. 16:12-16), in the wrath-of-God period. The anger of the nations and the wrath of God are, as we must ever keep in mind, two "separate and distinct" events, "one following the other."
Accordingly, rather than being the Armageddon, the anger of the nations is the "time of trouble such as never was"--the time in which Michael, taking the "reins in His own hands" (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300), stands up to deliver "every one that shall be found written in the book." Dan. 12:1.
As the anger of the nations is in the time of the judgment of the living,--the Loud Cry of the Third Angel's Message,--the "anger" is obviously directed against God's people, not against the nations themselves. Obvious is this fact, because the nations among themselves have always been angry, and are angry even today, although we are still in the time of the judgment of the dead.
"The anger of the nations" will follow upon the two-horned beast's decree "that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed" (Rev. 13:15); at the same time the notorious woman, Babylon the Great, will ride the scarlet-colored beast (Rev. 17) and rule the nations. This "same crisis will come up on our people in all parts of the world."--Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 395.
Concerning this anger of the nations, the world-wide confederacy against those who refuse to worship the beast and his image, the Lord predicted through the prophet Zechariah: "And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." Zech. 12:3.
"In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them." Zech. 12:8. Then "clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness," declares the Spirit of Prophecy, "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.
"Those who have been timid and self-distrustful, will declare themselves openly for Christ and His truth. The most weak and hesitating in the church, will be as David--willing to do and dare."--Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 81.
"Only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [the Third Angel's Message] when it shall have swelled into the loud cry."--The Review and Herald, No. 19, 1908.
(All italics ours)