(Waco TX) Mount Carmel's New Year's resolution
Published in December 1936
MOUNT CARMEL'S NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION---Having availed ourselves of an opportunity to come to Texas with an old friend and neighbor, my wife and I, after visiting and studying with some of the believers along the way from the east, are happy to be at Mt. Carmel Center just at the time when many Christians are making resolutions which, they hope, will serve as an incentive for reaching higher ideals in spiritual life. These resolutions are usually of a reformatory nature, and those who make them generally determine to exchange some bad habit for a good one.
Mt. Carmel Center's being established for the express purpose of setting the lead and directing in a reformation among God's people and moreover not desiring to "come behind in any good gift," we who man her batteries are also covenanting with God that we will, by His help, reach a higher standard during the coming year than we have in the past.
Some may say, "I do not believe in making pledges, promises, or resolutions," arguing that it is not right, but a close study of the Scriptures and the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy will reveal the fact that the outstanding characters of Bible times kept ever before themselves a goal -- a purpose or resolution -- and then subjected every other interest of life to this one end. Notable among these covenantors of the Bible is Daniel, who "purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank," thus being enabled to stand even that test which sent him to the den of lions, from which the angel of the Lord delivered him.
In like manner the three companions of Daniel, when brought to a test of their faith; expressed to the king their determined purpose to live a victorious life, declaring emphatically, "be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." As a result of their resolution, the "Son of God", Himself, came down to the furnace, which was heated "seven times more than it was wont to be heated," and delivered these young men who, in the very face of death as it were, had made such a resolution.
In the New Testament, we find the Apostle Paul, a man who always desired to attain to greater heights, realizing upon taking a retrospect of his pre-christian, or early life's labors, that they were not satisfactory either to himself or the Master Worker, declaring emphatically, "I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." As the burden of the work rests more and more heavily upon this veteran soldier of the cross, and as he realizes that there are still higher standards for him to reach, and as he desires not to be considered boastful, he humbly confesses that "I count not myself to have apprehended," after which he bursts forth in strains of holy zeal and eloquence, born of deep earnestness, resolving unto himself that "this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Then follows His admonition to the brethren, which clearly shows that those who were "thus minded" were to "walk by the same rule", being "followers together of" Paul in this determined purpose to make the future better than the past.
It was our privilege to speak to the workers at Mt. Carmel on a recent Sabbath afternoon, at which time the Lord directed our minds to some of the dangers always present among a group such as compose the staff here, and it seemed that the Holy Spirit took possession of the entire congregation, leading them into a renewed consecration, and virtually everyone present responded to the Spirit's call, by bearing a positive testimony that the new week just ahead must be a better one than any other in their Christian experience. This meeting made such a profound impression upon us that we felt impelled to enter into a solemn agreement with the Lord in respect to the New Year just ahead.
At the midweek prayer meeting, all present were of one mind, reaffirming their Sabbath decision to take an advanced step in the Christian life, and to encourage all our brethren by a resolution setting forth our determined purpose, under God, for the coming year, to drive on to the same end. Hence, all agreed that be it Mt. Carmel's New Year's Resolution:
"That we, the residents of Mt. Carmel Center, solemnly covenant with our loving heavenly Father, and with one another, that, by God's help, we will make the year 1937 better than the one just past, by 'talking less and praying more,' and by learning to be more 'kind and courteous and tender-hearted and pitiful,' one toward the other, and that when speaking of our brethren, we will take as our motto, in the words of Paul, that supreme and sublime injunction: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
In making the above resolution, we were mindful of what the servant of the Lord wrote to her son on his birthday, calling his attention to the fact that no resolution made and undertaken in his own strength would avail anything. The letter admonishes in part: "Your resolutions may be good and sincere, but they will prove a failure unless you make God your strength, and move forward with a firm determination of purpose." -- "Testimonies for the Church,'' Vol. 2, p. 262.
We believe, furthermore, that we are following the good example of the early pioneers of this message, who signed the temperance pledge, which indicated their purpose to abstain from all intoxicating liquors, and which is set forth in the following language:
"I hereby solemnly promise, with the help of God, to abstain from the use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage (including wines, malt liquors and cider), and to use all proper means to discourage the sale and use of the same." -- "Ministry of Healing," p. 170.
We thank God that He brought us years ago into the Seventh-day Adventist church, and that the beautiful principles of CHRISTIAN TEMPERANCE AND BIBLE HYGIENE have brought us to a higher standard, so that now no one on Mt. Carmel need sign the pledge, which our fathers signed nearly 100 years ago.
We, having come to the time of the ingathering of the first-fruits (the 144,000), in whose mouth there is to be "found no guile," and who are to be sealed from the household of Jacob, our father, who "vowed a vow," and kept it, that "Of all that Thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto Thee," desire, like him, to make and keep our vows to Him from whom "all blessings flow."
It is the sincere purpose of our heart to join the residents of Mt. Carmel Center in their New Year's Resolution, and we pray that the Lord will bless all who join in this noble purpose and remain true to their vow to the end that we may be able to say with the Master Worker, "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gayest Me to do."--E. T. W.
GREETINGS FROM THE EAST---Those of us here in the east who are standing in the advancing light of Present Truth are of good courage, and our confidence in God and in the sure triumph of the Third Angel's Message was never stronger than today. We are heart and soul with our brethren at Mt. Carmel -- "in the midst of the land" -- and our one desire is to witness for the Master on all occasions, the which we, believe can best be done by learning more perfectly the meaning of that wonderful statement found on page 189 of "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 9, p. 189 which reads as follows: "If we would humble ourselves before God, and be kind and courteous and tender-hearted and pitiful, there would be one hundred conversions to the truth where now there is only one."
As we visit our people from time to time, our heart is cheered to see new faces among those who have been drawn by the Holy Spirit to investigate the message contained in "The Shepherd's Rod," and their ringing testimony usually runs as follows: "How happy I am that God has at last, by the message to the Laodiceans, visited His people in mercy, and though it be a 'startling denunciation,' it does bring to us good cheer because it is indeed a 'door of hope' for us 'lukewarm' S.D.A's."
While our spirits weep to see our dear people in the clutches of the devil, yet they immediately revive when we remember that the Lord has among us as a people one hundred and forty-four thousand, who will be found without guile in their mouths, and who will stand without a single fault before Him, "being the firstfruits" of those who shall be "clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness," and who will be permitted to go "into all the world" for the final harvest. Indications are that there will be from the east many who will respond to the call of God to help "raise up the tribes of Jacob," and thus be privileged to be "a light to the Gentiles," and finally His "Salvation unto the end of the earth." -- Isaiah 49:6.
This glorious present truth message is also finding its way among the colored people in the east, and they are determined to allow it to do for them, what God designs that it should. Thus a real reformation has already begun with these dear children of the Lord, evidencing the fact that the Lord is demonstrating that the worth-while things are indeed "hid from the wise and prudent," but are "revealed to babes."
Our correspondence reveals that the "Great Reformatory Movement Among God's People" has found its way into many lands outside the United States, and an earnestness is taking hold of our people as they investigate the truths contained in the series of books and tracts of "The Shepherd's Rod." We are thus encouraged to believe that we shall soon see the fulfillment of that statement which says, "In the last solemn work, few great men will he engaged." I am so happy that it does not say, "no great men will be engaged." Therefore, let us "thank God and take courage," for the "final movements will be rapid ones."
In closing these lines, we wish to express our appreciation for the many blessings of our heavenly Father, and assure those at Mt. Carmel that we are joining them in earnest prayer to the end that it may become a real haven of rest for the aged and infirm among us, and a training center for the young, and a demonstration to the whole Universe that God does have a message which will bind together the rich and poor, free and bond of every race, language, color, and caste of this old sin-cursed earth. Yours to "follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth,"--(Signed) E.T. WILSON.
HAPPILY CURED FROM PREJUDICE
Dear Brother_________:--About two years ago you kindly mailed me some tracts. At first, I was very much prejudiced, but after praying and studying very earnestly, I saw the light, and soon secured Volumes One and Two of "The Shepherd's Rod," with the result that my wife and I are now rejoicing in this blessed message which has lifted us out of our lukewarm condition, and established our goings.
I thought that every S.D.A. would be eager to hear and better understand the prophecies, but we found that they were very prejudiced, and as unwilling to receive light as were the Jews in Christ's time -- exactly picturing Isaiah 6:6-10.
In attempting to hold Bible studies in some of the homes, we found our way blocked by opposition right from the start. Most of the church members seem determined that the sealing message shall not gain a foothold here, but their hatred, and their unholy feasts against our efforts to help them, only prove to us that we are in the right. We are not at all discouraged but rather encouraged, for says the Spirit of Prophecy:
"Among many of the professing followers of Christ, there is the same pride, formalism, and selfishness, the same spirit of oppression, that held so large a place in the Jewish heart. In the future, men claiming to be Christ's representatives will take a course similar to that followed by the priests and rulers in their treatment of Christ and the apostles. In the great crisis through which they are soon to pass, the faithful servants of God will encounter the same hardness of heart, the same cruel determination, the same unyielding hatred." -- "Acts of the Apostles," p. 431.
We would especially like to hear from believers in or from Washington and Oregon. "But to do good and to communicate forget not." (Heb. 13:16.)--(SIGNED) MR. AND MRS. EARL BUTTERFIELD
JUST AWAKENED, MUST REDEEM THE TIME---I praise the Lord for this wonderful message that has awakened me from my dreadful sleep and spiritual lethargy. I feel that I cannot lose a moment, I must be doing something to warn my brothers and sisters who are, as was I, in such a sad deception.
I desire your earnest prayers for my husband and children and for myself that I may be a clean vessel used of the Lord. May the Lord richly bless all of you at Mt. Carmel Center, and keep you true and faithful, is my prayer.
ONCE I WAS BLIND BUT NOW I SEE---I am extremely thankful for the wonderful, stirring truths of this sealing message. I am so stirred that I even dream about it. Once "I was blind but now I see" my terrible spiritual condition. Had my name come up in the Investigative Judgment before this message found me, I would have been lost. Words fail me to describe the terrible condition of our church, and how starved we are for the pure Bible truths!
Moreover, we have been urged to support the missionaries, and to give the message to our neighbors and friends, but, O, what a poor example we have been setting before them! The influence we have exerted on new converts is the kind that leads to perdition instead of to the kingdom.
The Dorcas Society has a quilt on sale for $20, and are serving "bean and corn bread suppers," "Pot luck suppers," pies, cakes, etc. to raise money for the saving of souls! Although the Spirit of Prophecy -- "The Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 9, p. 91; "Patriarchs and Prophets," p. 529, "The Great Controversy," p. 387; "The Acts of the Apostles," p. 338; "Christ's Object Lessons," p. 54 -- condemns such practices, those who do not cater to or cooperate with them are considered spiritually very low! Whereas, "drinking, smoking, dancing, attending movies, eating flesh meats, etc. are all hushed down; and those who raise their voice to rebuke sin are called 'accusers of the brethren'!"
I have a great burden for our little church, and I earnestly solicit your prayers for it, for myself, and for my children, whom, I am sorry to say, the church school has almost made infidels.--(Signed) W.E., Ohio
SURPRISED TO FIND THE TARES AMONG THE WHEAT, BUT NOT DISCOURAGED
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Present Truth:--Greetings!
After almost two years of studying Present Truth, I am rejoicing more and more in this "eleventh hour" message.
This has been, and is, a very difficult field in which to labor. At every turn there is doubting, complaining, and criticism. We witness terrible things here. People, calling themselves Christians, stand up and call us names, and then have the audacity to turn right around and get up on the rostrum and pray for God's blessings upon themselves. Oh, what answer will our people give God!
Others come to our meetings only to ask questions irrelevant to the subject, breaking right into the middle of a study and throwing it out of order, while on the contrary, we are not permitted to say anything, or to speak to any one on the church premises. But we are not discouraged, for we know that God's sheep will recognize His voice when they hear Him call.
I look eagerly every month for the Code, for it is just like a long letter from home. Many thanks for the fine recipes. We are giving them all a tryout and like them so much.--MRS. JEANETTE VEENSTRA.
CRYING FOR MORE---I am writing card to let you know how much we really enjoy the Code. I only wish it were possible to publish it oftener, for it contains so much valuable information. I also thank you for the tracts for I know that everything in them is the truth which we must have.--MRS. R.
FEASTING "IN THE PRESENCE OF MINE ENEMIES"---Enclosed you will find my tithe, and I hope soon to have a substantial offering for the advancement of Present Truth.
Regarding "The Symbolic Code," I am sorry that I haven't been getting it. I do so love to read it, for I am always eager to learn of the progress the message is making, and of the welfare of my brothers and sisters on Mt. Carmel.
I am re-reading the package of Codes which you sent me some time ago. When I return home from the church, I feel spiritually starved, but after feeding upon the "Code" and the two volumes of the SRod I rejoice that "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in he paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." (Psalm 23.)--(Signed) MRS. W. POTTS, Springfield, Ohio.
BUSY AT THE SHEAVES---I am still rejoicing in the light of Present Truth, and although the opposition is great, nevertheless I am studying with a number of persons. Pray for me that I may overcome, especially in my own home, the difficulties which beset me.--L. R. H.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
LOGIC VS. ILLOGIC
Question No. 132:--"In the study of 'THE FLOOD TYPES' ('The Shepherd's Rod,' Vol. 2, p. 250), why do you not multiply by some number the 164 days, also the 56 days? Logically, it seems that you would be obliged to multiply them if you multiply the others."
Answer:--Logic without knowledge, almost invariably proves illogical instead of logical. In the present case, we must understand why that, in the first three sections, the length of time, in the anti-type, is found by employing a multiplier, before we can understand why that the time of the last two sections remain literally the same as in the type.
The section of seven days, representing the time from the day Noah went into the ark to the time when the flood commenced, is multiplied by the significant number seven, to prove that probationary time has completely expired, while section number two, representing the forty days of rain, is multiplied by ten to prove that the destruction of the wicked after the close of probation is universal.
Thus in section number three, the one hundred and ten days of the waters' remaining immovable, is multiplied by number ten to show that the millennium, the resurrection of the wicked, and their final destruction, is universal. Having proved, therefore, that the close of probation is completed, and that the destruction of the wicked is universal, before and after the millennium, it would not only be illogical to multiply further in an effort to discover either the completeness or the universality of the events represented by the last sections, but also a vain, meaningless continuance of computations, and thus a reflection upon the wisdom of the One Who devised the type.
WAIT TILL LIGHT COMES
Question No. 133:--"After having well established as fact that the five angels of Revelation 14 represent five distinct messages prior to the close of probation, why does 'A Word to the Little Flock,' p. 11, go on to say that 'the last two angels are messages of prayer'?"
Answer:--We do not know why the thought of prayer is brought in, but the following statement, "We shall, no doubt, better understand them at the time they are fulfilled," shows that they had but little light on the subject.
THE SPIRIT'S METHOD OF REVEALING TRUTH
Question No. 134:--"Why do we have to study 'The Shepherd's Rod' and Mrs. White's writings? Is not the Bible sufficient? And does not John say 'The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost Whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things'? (John 14:26.)"
Answer:--No one has to study another's writings, but they need to understand the Bible, for the Word of God is their very life. However, as the Scriptures are of no private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20, 21), but by Inspiration only, which is evidenced by the fact that no one has ever of himself been able to discover any sealed or hidden Biblical truth, it is unavoidably necessary to study the Bible by the help of inspired commentaries, as the believers of the early Christian church studied the writings of the apostles in order to understand the Bible for their time.
Moreover, John 14:26 does not say that we can, of ourselves, discover the hidden truths of the Bible, but, on the contrary, that we should wait for the Spirit of Truth to come to teach us, which teaching is called Inspiration. Still further, if S.D.A.'s can study the Bible by themselves, without the help of others, then why not others, who also have the Bible, do the same? And, if they can, then where is the need of the ministry, missionaries, and the printed page? Has God especially favored us because we call ourselves S.D.A.'s? Furthermore, it is the writings of Sister White that founded the S.D.A. denomination, for all the truths which we claim to know, and which other denominations do not came through her writings.
CAN ONE DAY HAVE TWO MORNINGS?
Question No. 135:--"Please explain the following statements:
"'As soon as it was day, the Sanhedrin again assembled and again Jesus was brought into the council room.' -- 'Desire of Ages,' p. 714.
"And, 'The Roman governor had been called from his bedchamber in haste and he determined to do his work as quickly as possible....Assuming his severest expression, he turned to see what kind of man he had to examine, that he had been called from his repose at so early an hour.' -- Id. p. 72 3.
"Are we to understand that the above quotations cite events that took place in the same morning?
Answer:--It would be impossible for the events above cited to have taken place in the same morning, for the former quotation says: "As soon as it was day, the Sanhedrin again assembled," and the latter states that it was "so early an hour." Consequently, the trial before the Sanhedrin was in the morning prior to the day when at "so early an hour" Jesus was brought before Pilate; thus proving that each event took place on a different day. And, as Jesus was brought "the second time" into the council room of the Sanhedrin on Thursday morning "as soon as it was day," it proves that He was tried before Pilate on Friday morning.
WHEN WILL THE "SHEEP" TAKE THEIR STAND ON THE RIGHT AND THE "GOATS" ON THE LEFT?
Question No. 136:--"Does Matthew 25:31-34 and the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine transpire at the same time, or does the former scripture take place at the second coming of Christ?"
Answer:--The parable narrated in the above mentioned verses must meet its fulfillment in the period when God takes the "reins in His own hands," manifests His great power among the nations, and separates His people from among the wicked; for at that time He gathers all nations before Him, separates them "one from another" as "sheep and goats," and sets the one on His right and the other on His left. Hence, both the foregoing scripture and that of Revelation 18:4, where it says, "Come out of her My people," must transpire at the same time -- from the "closing work for the church," and during the closing work for the world to the second coming of Christ, that is, the separation between the sheep and goats takes place before the close of probation, whereas the condemnation of the class symbolized as "goats" among the second fruits, takes place after the close of probation, and culminates with Christ's visible second appearing. Thus Matthew 25:31-46 transpires in the period from the fulfillment of Ezekiel Nine to the second coming of Christ.
A SECOND SIFTING
Question No. 137:--"If the message of Ezekiel Nine is the means of the 'sifting,' why does Sr. White sometimes place the sifting in the time of the Mark of the Beast?"
Answer:--Evidently the questioner has not carefully studied this subject. "The Shepherd's Rod" explains that there are two siftings -- one for the "first fruits" -- the 144,000 -- and the other for the second fruits -- the great multitude. The former sifting is in the S.D.A. denomination, and is accomplished by casting out the bad from among the good (Matt. 13:48); the latter sifting takes place in the world, and is accomplished by calling God's people out from among the bad. (Rev.18:4).
Those who entertain the idea that there is only one sifting, and only first fruits, will never be able to harmonize every statement of the Bible and of the Spirit of Prophecy, for while their idea may perfectly harmonize in one instance, it will not in another. But the position of those who know the truth, and who all speak the same thing, will be in harmony with every inspired statement on the subject.
Consequently, the "sifting" which Sister White sometimes places in the time of the mark of the beast is the one which sifts the second fruits or the great multitude of Revelation 7:9, whereas, when the sifting is spoken of as being before time of the mark of the beast, as in "Early Writings," p. 270, which is performed by the message of the True Witness to the church instead of by the enforcement of the mark of the beast, and which is evidenced in Id., page 277 to have taken place at the commencement of the Loud Cry of the Third Angel's Message, it is the sifting of the first fruits, the 144,000 -- "the closing work for the church." -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 3, p. 266.
Thus as there are two fruits, there are also two siftings.
THE MULTITUDE--FROM ALL AGES? OR FROM THIS GENERATION?
Question No. 138:--"The 'Review and Herald,' July 2, 1936, pp. 7, 8, under the article, 'First Fruits and the Harvest' says: 'This multitude of captives, raise,) at Christ's resurrection, represented the 'great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people and tongues' (Revelation 7:9), of whom we read: 'He [Christ] presents to God the wave sheaf, -- those raised with Him as representatives of that great multitude who shall come forth from the grave at His second coming.' -- 'The Desire of Ages,' p. 834.
"Please harmonize this statement with the one on page 47 of 'The Shepherd's Rod,' Vol. 1, which says: 'Moses upon the mount of transfiguration was a witness to Christ's victor over sin and death. He represented those who shall come forth from the grave at the resurrection of the just.' (Desire of Ages, p. 421.) Moses represents the first, or general resurrection of Revelation 20:6.
"How can we say that the 'great multitude' of Revelation 7:9 came through great tribulation if they are of the first resurrection?"
Answer:--Neither in logic nor in the Scriptures can there be found the slightest evidence that the "great multitude" of Revelation 7:9 is a resurrected company. The Review and Herald's position on this subject makes it assume a responsibility which it cannot back up by any authority save its own. Moreover, it is unscrupulously garbling "The Desire of Ages," making it say that the great multitude of Revelation 7:9 is there referred to. Had that multitude been in the mind of the author, the statement would have been indicated by quotation marks, accompanied by the reference. Furthermore, inasmuch as this company is never even implied to be the resurrected of all ages, it proves that they are the living saints who shall meet the Lord in the air. (1 Thess. 4:17.) Still further, as this company "came out of great tribulation" (Rev. 7: 14), and as this can not be said of all the resurrected, it is neither Biblical nor logical to conclude that they are the resurrected saints. Hence, they are a separate company which, as a body, must go through the same experience -- great tribulation.
"The Shepherd's Rod" and "The Desire of Ages" p. 421 do not claim that those who arose in the resurrection of Christ do not represent the resurrected at the coming of the Lord; neither does the Rod on page 47 hold that Moses represents the resurrection especially, but that he represents, as upon the mount of transfiguration, the resurrected multitude enraptured with the prospect of the glory of the kingdom. Thus, while the multitude which arose with Christ represents the resurrection of the multitude at His coming, Moses represents the glory of the same company in their eternal kingdom.
SLAUGHTER, PHYSICAL OR SPIRITUAL?
Question No. 139:--"Please explain 'The Testimonies for the Church,' Vol. 5, pp. 80, 81 and give proof for a literal slaughter."
Answer:--This question has been explained several times, from a number of angles, in the volumes, tracts, and "The Symbolic Code" of "The Shepherd's Rod" series, and though this subject is as simple as that of the eternal kingdom which was not to take place at Christ's first advent, yet, just as the Jews at that time could not understand how it could be established later if Christ, who had then appeared was to be the king, so the people of today cannot see how the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine can be physical. The fact that all the Jewish nation at Christ's time erroneously agreed that the kingdom was to be set up at the Messiah's first advent, as S.D.A.'s do now in holding to the idea of a spiritual instead of a physical slaughter, proves that now, as in Christ's time, the popular, but unauthoritative, opinions of men are always erroneous.
Perhaps the minds of those who are so slow to believe all that the prophets have written would be exercised by our asking them to explain where Inspiration teaches of a spiritual slaughter, and what reason would there be for it? Then let them explain, if it is spiritual, why "the ancient men" are accused and condemned for doubting the marked "manifestation of God's power as in former days?" -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 211. When did God manifest His power in former days in a spiritual slaughter? Please write your answers to The Symbolic Code department, Mt. Carmel Center, Waco, Texas.
SORROW TO ONE, JOY TO ANOTHER
Question No. 140:--"Please give us light on the following testimony: 'O that the people might know the time of their visitation!...The time of God's destructive judgments is the time of mercy for those who have had no opportunity to learn what is truth. Tenderly will the Lord look upon them. His heart of mercy is touched; His hand is still stretched out to save, while the door is closed to those who would not enter.' - 'Testimonies for the Church,' Vol. 9, p. 97."
Answer:--The above testimony shows that God is to manifest His "destructive judgments" before the close of probation, for at that time He will be merciful to those who "have had no opportunity to learn what is truth, ... His hand is still stretched out to save." Moreover, it also proves that at the same time, "the doors" (probation), had closed "to those who would not enter."
WHY SHOULD THEY "CRY" IF THERE IS NO ONE TO LISTEN?
Question No. 141:--"The 'A Word to the Little Flock,' p. 12, places in post-probationary time 'the day and night cry' of the saints, represented by the angel's cry to Jesus in Revelation 14:14, 15, thus making the saints to cry day and night in a time when they were 'in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor.' Speaking of this time, 'Early Writings,' pp. 280, 281 says, 'The last tear for sinners had been shed, the last agonizing prayer offered.'
"There seems to be a contradiction between 'A Word In the Little Flock' and 'Early Writings,' the one's stating that after the close of probation 'the saints will cry day and night to Jesus,' and the other's stating that 'in that fearful time...the saints were living in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor,' this making it appear that they could not cry to Christ -- offer any more prayers for deliverance. Please explain."
Answer:--We are not to make it appear that Christ is no longer Christ after the close of probation, but simply that we can not cry to Him to blot out our sins or the sins of others. In other words, the cry before probation is for sinners, whereas, the one after is not.
HAS MT. CARMEL ROOM FOR US?
Question No. 142:--"I have learned that there is no room for us colored people at Mount Carmel Center, although we believe in the teachings of 'The Shepherd's Rod.' And that Sister White says that the colored and the white should not worship in the same building."
Answer:--Those who have made the above statement must know more than we who are on Mt. Carmel, for no such statement has ever been made by us. There are nearly four hundred acres of land on this hill, and we believe that we can serve all God's people regardless of color or race.
Of course, it is better in the cities and communities for the two races to meet separately, because each has individual peculiarities which are not always so compatible when brought in too close relationship. Moreover, as there unfortunately exists color prejudice and racial restrictions, especially through the South, neither the one race nor the other could work so successfully together as apart for their own unconverted people, relatives, and friends. This of course is a fact recognized by both races and needs, therefore, no further explanation. However, this does not mean that colored and white brethren should never meet together, especially if the meeting be for believers only which, sort of occasion could not hinder any in becoming interested in studying the message and being converted to Christ, for there should be no racial prejudice among God's people who are thoroughly converted.
CAN MY HOME BE HIS "STOREHOUSE"?
Question No. 143:--"May we retain our tithe and offerings to use in carrying on the work in our community?"
Answer:--The Lord's command in reference to His means is: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:10.)
Nowhere do the Scriptures permit any one to use the Lord's money at one's own discretion, except if, for some reason, it be impossible to send it to the Lord's "storehouse." Moreover, if one is allowed to continue in such a practice, then others should be allowed to do the same, which, if done, would not only deplete of means the Lord's treasury, but also cause great waste, confusion, disorder, and neglect, with the attendant consequence that the Lord's business would be as though it had no head at all -- a deprivation which the Lord's work has never in the past been able to survive, and one which it can neither row nor ever transcend.
The command is, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse" (Malachi 3:10), but it does not say to bring all the offering, thus showing that although we are to bring our offerings into His storehouse, He also expects us to do personal work with our means. This, however, does not permit us to neglect the need of His storehouse.
"Angels keep a faithful record of every man's work, and as judgment passes upon the house of God, the sentence of each is recorded by his name, and the angel is commissioned to spare not the unfaithful servants, but to cut them down at the time of slaughter....And the crowns they might have worn, had they been faithful, are put upon the heads of those saved by the faithful servants..." -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 1 p. 198.
IS MY DUTY TO SET RIGHT THE LORD'S TREASURY?
Question No. 144:--"Should we pay our tithe to the church if we know that it is not used rightly?"
Answer:--Our greatest burden should be to know that our tithe belongs to God's storehouse, and to see that it is faithfully paid there, and not to watch to see how it is used. Nowhere in the Bible do we find that the Lord has laid upon us the duty to be guardians of His tithe. Furthermore, it is His own money, and who are we to instruct Him as to what He should do with it?
The Lord's treasury should be under God's control, and if He Himself should not care how it is handled, it would be impossible for us to correct the evil regardless of how hard we might try, and much less could we help Him by withholding that which is His. If we guard carefully that part of the Lord's work which is entrusted to us, we shall have all that we can do. Our only concern should be to find out where is His "storehouse," and then faithfully deposit His money there, and, if it is His "storehouse," He will, without a doubt, take care of His own, but if He does not care for the storehouse which you think is His, then either your conception of His storehouse is incorrect, or else He has moved it to another place. "Seek and ye shall find."
Still further, we may find an unmistakable answer, and perhaps all the light we need on this question, by looking back to the Jewish economy, when the Promised Land was divided among the twelve tribes of Israel. Under God's direction, the tribe of Levi was not given an inheritance in the land as were the eleven tribes; that is, that which should have been the priests' was given to the common people, and in turn, the people were to pay one-tenth of their increase to the tribe of Levi. Therefore, that which the Levites received from their brethren was actually their own, because God had given it to them for an inheritance. Hence, as the tribe of Levi had no right to dictate to the eleven tribes what they were to do with their increase after it had been tithed, save to instruct them in all righteousness, so the eleven tribes had no right to dictate to the Levites what was to be done with the tithe, nor do we find in sacred history an account of their quarreling about the tithe or the increase, or of the Lord's laying a burden upon one to watch the other, but each were to please the Lord, and were themselves accountable to the Lord and responsible for that which He had intrusted to them. Thus it must be today.
FROM WHAT TO TITHE?
Question No. 145:--"Please give us information concerning the paying of tithe. Am I to tithe the gross or the net income?"
Answer:--In addition to what is already written in our available literature (tract No. 4, "The Latest News for Mother," pp. 80-84; "The Symbolic Code," Vol. 1, No. 14, p. 3; Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 7, 8; Vol. 2, No. 5-6, pp. 8, 9; Vol. 2, No. 10, pp. 9-12) concerning the tithe, it may be helpful to say that our duty in this matter is not to tithe the gross but rather the net increase; that is, the increase which remains after deducting all costs pertaining only to the operating of one's business or whatever employment provides one's living.
Moreover, except in the cases of dependants and minors, a tithe should be levied on all gratuities, and systematic record of all increases should be kept. Thus will one be more closely practicing systematic benevolence.
Number One---It has been reported that some Present Truth teachers, when asked curious, and irrelevant questions (usually by those who oppose the message), leave the subject of their study and begin to answer these queer questions, which lead away from the object of the meeting, thus disappointing their audience.
DO NOT DIGRESS---Present Truth teachers, remember that the enemy is constantly on your trail, doing all that he can to overthrow you and to make your work of none effect. Hence, you should not allow the enemy to drift you from one subject to another, for such a diversion from the object of the meeting will be of no benefit to your listeners. Therefore, forestall all such questions by telling the questioner that his query does not pertain to the subject of the study and that it can be answered after the meeting is dismissed.
NUMBER TWO---Another complaint concerning teachers of Present, Truth has come to the office. This time, the complaint is in regard to their using so many references to prove their points that their studies are unnecessarily prolonged, and are confusing to their listeners.
TOO MUCH PROOF PROVES NOTHING---Too many references, adding no further proof or thought on a subject than already presented, should never be employed, for such a practice only serves to waste the time, wear out the people, and kill interest in the subject.
Make your studies as clear and as concise as possible, and do not resort to uninspired writings for the basis of proving your points; and, after you have once proved the points of your study, do not prolong the meeting by useless, vain repetitions, and uninteresting words which may counteract all the good you might have otherwise effected.
INDISCRETION CAUSES GREAT LOSS---A recent communication complains as follows:
"A certain person asked Brother --------- for a report from Waco concerning his use of the tithe, and he gathered from this that the inquiring person was casting a reflection upon his honesty, but this was not the intention. Then, in one of his regular evening studies, he devoted the time to rebuking the company of believers for questioning his integrity. To substantiate his views, he read certain references and made some remarks. We who were well established in the sealing message were not, of course, greatly perturbed or disappointed, but there were two strangers at the meeting, and after hearing the trouble discussed, were thoroughly disappointed and, as a result, have never attended another meeting. Be not overzealous to guard your end, but rather the end of others.
BE YE FAULTLESS---Tithe payers, please do not use the Church's tithe and offering envelopes to enclose tithe and offering sent to Mt. Carmel.
"MAKE KNOWN HIS DEEDS AMONG THE PEOPLE--"Let those who gain...an experience in working for the Lord write an account of it for our papers, that others may be encouraged. Let the canvasser tell of the joy and blessing he has received in his ministry as an evangelist. These reports should find a place in our papers; for they are far-reaching in their influence. They will be as sweet fragrance in the church, a savor of life unto life. Thus it is seen that God works with those who cooperate with Him." -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 6, p. 336.
FIRST SHOW THYSELF APPROVED---"But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." (Matt. 3:7-9.)
No one is wanted on "Mt. Carmel" who has not studied through and through the message of..."The Shepherd's Rod;" who is not fully convinced on every point of its teaching; and who is not willing to comply with the divine rules and principles which govern the inhabitants on this mount of "green pastures," except their coming be for a visit only.
"And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from My sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them." (Amos 9:3.)
Those other than visitors must, before coming, first communicate with Mt. Carmel's Information Bureau.
"THAT THOU MAYEST PROSPER AND BE IN HEALTH"
Be Not Extremists---One of the most common perils which we have for one to keep out of, and in which many lose their way, is that of taking an extreme position. There are multitudes who cannot keep "in the middle of the road." They let Satan lead them to the edge of the Christian's pathway, and as it makes but little difference to him from which side of the road he trips them over, he lets them choose the side of the road that most appeals to them; hence, some go into extreme in the right direction while others go in the wrong.
Some teachers of the sealing message are taking an extreme position on health reform, dress reform, marriage, etc., and therefore, we request that all Present Truth followers refrain from reaching anything more or less than has been published in the Code, the books, and the tracts. The messages are plain in themselves, and you need not enlarge upon any point, but rather make sure that you, yourself, are walking in the light only as far as the light of Present Truth leads you, for which light and progress in the Christian pathway you, yourself, and those whom you teach, are responsible. Thus by precept and example, you will avoid all the pitfalls, whether they be in health reform, dress reform, or other doctrines, and will save yourself the embarrassment of having to put out the sparks of your own kindling, which only burn, wound, and lead astray instead of giving light and warmth. Says the Spirit of Prophecy:
"He who is imbued with the spirit which actuated Daniel, will not be narrow or conceited, but he will be firm and decided in standing for the right. In all his associations, whether with his brethren or with others, he will not swerve from principle, while at the same time he will not fail to manifest a noble, Christlike patience. When those who advocate hygienic reform carry the matter to extremes, people are not to blame if they become disgusted. Too often our religious faith is thus brought into disrepute, and in many cases those who witness such exhibitions of inconsistency can never afterward be brought to think that there is anything good in the reform. These extremists do more harm in a few months than they can undo in a lifetime. They are engaged in a work which Satan loves to see go on." -- "Counsels on Health," pp. 153, 154.
"Not all who profess to believe in dietetic reform are really reformers. With many persons the reform consists merely in discarding certain unwholesome foods. They do not understand clearly the principles of health, and their tables, still loaded with harmful dainties, are far from being an example of Christian temperance and moderation.
"Another class, in their desire to set a right example, go to the opposite extreme. Some are unable to obtain the most desirable foods, and instead of using such things as would best supply the lack, they adopt an impoverished diet. Their food does not supply the elements needed to make good blood. Their health suffers, their usefulness is impaired, and their example tells against rather than in favor of reform in diet.
"Others think that since health requires a simple diet, there need be little care in the selection or the preparation of food. Some restrict themselves to a very meager diet, not having sufficient variety to supply the needs of the system, and they suffer in consequence.
"Those who have but a partial understanding of the principles of reform are often the most rigid, not only in carrying out their views themselves, but in urging them on their families and their neighbors. The effect of their mistaken reforms, as seen in their own ill-health, and their efforts to force their views upon others, give many a false idea of dietetic reform, and lead them to reject it altogether.
"Those who understand the laws of health and who are governed by principle, will shun the extremes, both of indulgence and of restriction. Their diet is chosen, not for the mere gratification of appetite, but for the up-building of the body. They seek to preserve every power in the best condition for highest service to God and man. The appetite is under the control of reason and conscience, and they are rewarded with health of body and mind. While they do not urge their views offensively upon others, their example is a testimony in favor of right principles. These persons have a wide influence for good.
"There is real common sense in dietetic reform. The subject should be studied broadly and deeply, and no one should criticize others because their practice is not, in all things, in harmony with his own....
When sending in remittances, it is much safer to send by cheek or money order rather than in currency.
"The Twelve Tribes Which are Scattered Abroad"
IN THE INTEREST OF THE SDA DENOMINATION---This little paper is dedicated for the conveyance of news items and reformatory activities to Present Truth believers; to answer questions in connection with the sealing message of the 144,000 (Rev. 7:1-8) and the great multitude (Rev. 7:9); on the prophecies of Isaiah, Zechariah, Zephaniah, Micah, Hosea, Joel, Daniel, the Revelation, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, etc., but more fully on the first eight books above mentioned; on Christ's parables, on types and symbols, and also on the writings of Mrs. E.G. White.
However, this monthly visitor promises to answer questions on such passages of the Scriptures only as have been divinely revealed and authoritatively proclaimed -- bearing the positive mark of truth. Therefore, it will either give a correct answer to questions or else confess its ignorance by saying "I do not know."
Its main object is to reveal the fact that the time has come for the Lord to manifest His power and unify, and purify the church of God -- calling her to rise up from her dusty bed and put on her strength and her gift of beautiful garments, because "from henceforth" the unclean shall not come unto her. (Isa. 52:1.) Therefore, it positively demands that the messengers of "the great and dreadful day of the Lord," under its supervision, must strictly comply with all its requirements, instructions and advice which it bears to them from time to time. It will not countenance those who ignore its divine authority -- the church is to be a light to the whole world -- fair as the moon, -- clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners. Isa. 62:1-7; Prophets and Kings, p. 725.
The symbols on the title page are a reproduction of the Revelation, chapters Twelve and Nine, and Isaiah 7:21, which symbols are explained in our available literature.
This monthly comforter gladly calls on all S.D.A.'s who open their doors and welcome its visit. It freely gives its time to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation and neither collects fees nor makes charges for its unselfish service. It lives on voluntary gifts and free will offerings -- it burdens no one and comforts all. Its constant prayer is that all its clients should prosper and be in health even as their souls prospereth. (III John 2.)
Make your questions plain and distinct, giving the references, and they shall be taken care of as soon as their turn on the waiting line permits.
If you like to have this printed friend come to your home regularly, also other free literature, send your name and address to the Universal Publishing Association, Symbolic Code Department, Mount Carmel Center, Lake Waco, Texas.