(Waco TX) God's Heritage Our Supreme regard
Published July-December 1939
Vol. 5 Symbolic Code No. 6-12 incl. (Texas--1939)
July - Dec., 1939
MT. CARMEL CENTER
Lake Waco Texas
Lightening The Earth
GOD'S HERITAGE OUR SUPREME REGARD
"The schools of the prophets, established by Samuel, had fallen into decay during the years of Israel's apostasy. Elijah reestablished these schools, making provision for young men to gain an education that would lead them to magnify the law and make it honorable."--"Prophets and Kings," p. 224.
The message which is to close the Gospel work, is the last of all gospel messages before the close of probation. It is the one which is to be brought by the anti-typical prophet Elijah (Mal. 4:5, 6), for he is to appear just before "the great and dreadful day of the Lord," and is to restore all things. Matt. 17:11. Furthermore, as this last message is brought by Elijah of today, then the message which the ancient prophet Elijah carried to Israel of old must be a type of this last message, which is not only to restore all things but is also to bring the end of all wickedness, by changing the heart of the penitent (Ezek. 36:26), and by destroying all the impenitent. (Isa. 11:4.)
As the schools of the prophets in Elijah's time had fallen into decay and were in need of being reestablished, the schools of the prophets in our time likewise have fallen into decay, else the Elijah message of old could not be a type of the Elijah message of today. Moreover, as Elijah the type reestablished the schools of the prophets in his time, so Elijah the anti-type must do likewise in the day of his appearance. The word of God itself bears witness to this, for "before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord," the message of Elijah is to "turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers." Therefore the hearts both of parents and of children are not right toward each other, and are in need of the message rightly to educate them, otherwise there would be no need for it to turn the hearts of any.
In the beginning, the denominational schools were established for the sole purpose of training young and old for God's service and for His kingdom,--a training which can be accomplished only by making the Bible both the text book and the foundation of all their education. As God told ancient Israel that if they would keep His commandments, He would make them greater in every respect than any nation (Deut. 28:7-14) in the world, likewise today does He desire to exalt the church schools far above the world's schools. In other words, God did not intend that either His school or His church be the tail, but instead that they be the head. Thus, by giving mankind that which the world can not give, they were to exalt God and to bless humanity. Sadly, though, failing to do this, the church has sought prestige from the state accrediting institutions, instead of maintaining such a position as to oblige the state institutions to seek prestige from the church. Thus by coveting that which it would never have needed had it not broken its connection with God, it has thereby made its own schools the tail, and the schools of the world the head! In other words, if any school is to be raised to the standing of another, it ought to be the world's school to the standing of God's school, rather than God's school to the standing of the world's school; thus giving evidence that God's schools are of a superior order.
The fact that the accrediting boards do not recognize credits for courses in the Bible and The Spirit of Prophecy, the study of these inspired books is naturally neglected, and as they are thus considered unworthy of academic credit, it is obvious that they are no longer either the textbook or the foundation of the education in the denominational schools. Thus, by seeking the friendship of the world at such a great sacrifice as this, the church has, by the bargain, dishonored the God of Heaven and honored the god of the world, thereby leaving God's people unfit for His service and for His kingdom, exalting the schools of the world, and humbling the schools of God. Therefore the Lord now asks the question: "Where is the house that ye build unto Me? and where is the place of My rest?" (Isa. 66:1.)
These facts prove also that the love which the parents have toward their children, and which the children have toward their parents, must be the wrong kind, else there would be no need for Elijah to come turn their hearts to each other. Love that frowns upon chastisement and that overlooks indulgence and self-gratification at the cost of eternal life, is like a lion's love for a tender lamb--hell's love.
From the observations before us, it is clear that both the parents and the denominational schools have failed to carry out their part in educating the youth to right ideas of love and discipline. However, though on the one hand the Elijah message reveals that our hearts are not right toward one another, on the other hand it promises to correct our hearts if we will let it. This work of correction must be considered of first importance, for only it can fit a people to stand in " the great and dreadful day of the Lord," when He comes to " smite the earth with a curse." Therefore,
"In the Grand Work of Education" Today, "Our schools must be more like the schools of the prophets. They should be training-schools, where the students may be brought under the discipline of Christ, and learn of the Great Teacher. They should be family schools, where every student will receive special help from his teachers, as the members of the family should receive help in the home."--"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 6, p. 152.
"These schools proved to be one of the means most effective in promoting that righteousness which 'exalteth a nation'. In no small degree they aided in laying the foundation of that marvelous prosperity which distinguished the reigns of David and Solomon."--"Education," pp. 47,48.
"The heart of Elijah was cheered as he saw what was being accomplished by means of these schools."--"Prophets and Kings," p. 225.
The foregoing quotations set forth the fact that little can be done toward restoring Israel to the favor of God and to her former greatness, without the restoration of the schools of the prophets. Hence, for this, more than for any other purpose, Mt. Carmel has been established. This education is, beyond a doubt, the greatest need of today. Yet many Present Truth believers have not recognized this fact or, if they have, evidently have forgotten it.
Since the primary object of Mt. Carmel's existence is to accomplish this "grand work of education," it should receive first place in the minds and hearts of all Present Truth believers. But as Satan is working even more subtly now than in the past, he has succeeded in almost sweeping from the minds of many, the realization of the importance of this work, though their attention has been forcibly called to it time and again. Now comes Providence once more with facts and figures in an effort to arouse those who are still in deep Laodicean slumber, and to cause them to spring clear of their beds, their eyes wide open to the great danger facing both old and young.
We believe that our people will gain deep conviction and an impelling urge to action by knowing the facts contained in the following financial statement of Mt. Carmel Academy for the fiscal years of 1937 and 1938:
Total cost of operation for this period amounted to $6, 712.42, whereas the total income for the same period was but $1, 676.58, or barely 24%--less than one fifth--of the total expense; or in other words, the expenses were over four times as great as the income! Furthermore, as the school does not charge tuition, these expenses included nothing but room, board, and laundry!--and all this for ten dollars a month! This startling report brings sharply to view our great need at this time.
Because of this default on the part of parents in the payment of the expenses of their children, and also because of both student and parental belligerence, Mt. Carmel Academy has already been forced to close its doors to all who are not already in school here. However, if we could add to our buildings and thus provide housing for a few more students, we could take some of those youth who, first, are under their parents' control; who, second, are converted to the message; and who, third, are able to meet in full the expenses over and above those which they are able to defray with wages from required manual work. As a school, we are endeavoring, Brother and Sister, to save the children. Will you, against God's will, have them perish in the 'general ruin', all because of 'the selfish love of me and mine'?"
To those who fail to come up to the help of the Lord, will Christ say: "Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment." Matt. 25:45, 46.
"Let every reader of the Code reread his March-April, 1937 issue, especially page nine, and in the fear of God whole-heartedly comply with all its requirements."--"The Symbolic Code," Vol. 3, Nos. 11 and 12, pp. 15, 16.
However, the care of the children is not the only burden that the institution must carry and support. Our free literature fund, together with the building and upkeep expenses of the camp, requires a greater amount of means than merely the first tithe--the ministerial income.
lt has been estimated that the average offerings, not the tithe, received from present truth believers, amount to about 2% of their 'increase,' and that it takes about 10% to maintain a free boarding school. Hence, in unequivocal speech," The Symbolic Code" announces that if present truth believers expect us to continue to take their children in school at Mt. Carmel, they must contribute not less than 10% of their increase to this needy fund. In other words, if one's income is $15 a week, his first tithe--that which is for gospel work--will amount to $1.50, and on the remaining $13.50, the second tithe--that which is for school maintenance--will amount to $1.35, thus making for both first and second tithe on $15.00 increase, a total of $2.85.
Let all present truth believers faithfully pay a first and second tithe, then the institution can maintain, entirely free, a boarding school for all the children in Present Truth who are of school age. This most needy and urgent, as well as most trying, call, Brother and Sister, challenges your faithfulness, your loyalty, your cooperation, and your love for the message and for the Lord's heritage. Rise and Shine!
"Let none, however poor they may be gain...the erroneous idea that their circumstances excuse them from assuming any responsibility for the education of their own or other children. '...by refusing to put expensive trimmings on their garments,' and by letting 'every unnecessary expense be cut down,' they may save and thus contribute their mite to the defraying of the student's expenses. God says: 'Let every family bring their tithes and offerings unto the Lord.'"--"Testimonies or the Church," Vol. 9, p. 53.
"If the parents or guardian of each student would faithfully cut out every unnecessary expense, placing to the student's school expenses the amount thus saved; and if all other believers, assuming their share of responsibility, would do likewise, we would not now be operating the Academy at a monthly loss, which necessarily handicaps the other departments of the work."--"The Symbolic Code," Vol. 3, Nos. 3, 4, p. 9.
Wishing, from the very beginning, to make the parent's burden as light as possible, we determined to room and board the students for the extremely small amount of ten dollars a month, including laundry, tuition, and all! Moreover, being desirous of being like the good Samaritan, the institution further determined to sacrifice to the limit, and itself to assume full responsibility for the expenses of those children whose parents were altogether unable to pay anything toward their children's upkeep, so that every child might have the opportunity of obtaining a Christian education. However, this latter class of parents have so disappointed us that we no longer dare be so generous as to educate, room, board, and clothe their children free of charge.
If in addition to our strict economy and hard work, we had regularly received for each student, ten dollars a month for his room, board, and laundry, we then would have been able to keep the school from burdening the other departments of the work. But now we are confronted with a situation similar to that set forth in the following testimony:
"'When the managers of a school find that it is not meeting running expenses, and debts are heaping up, they should act like level-headed business men, and change their methods and plans. When one year has proved that the financial management has been wrong, let wisdom's voice be heard...
"'In some of our schools the price of tuitions has been too low. This has in many ways been detrimental to the educational work. It has brought discouraging debt; it has thrown upon the management a continual suspicion of miscalculation, want of economy, and wrong planning; it has been very discouraging to the teachers; and it leads the people to demand correspondingly low prices in other schools. Whatever may have been the object in placing the tuition at less than a living rate, the fact that a school has been running behind heavily is sufficient reason for reconsidering the plans and arranging its charges so that in the future its showing may be different. The amount charged for tuition, board, and residence should be sufficient to pay the salaries of the faculty, to supply the table with an abundance of healthful, nourishing food, to maintain the furnishing of the rooms, to keep the buildings in repair, and to meet other necessary running expenses. This is an important matter, and calls for no narrow calculation, but for a thorough investigation. The counsel of the Lord is needed. The school should have a sufficient income not only to pay the necessary running expenses, but to be able to furnish the students, during the school term with some things essential for their work.
"'Debts must not be allowed to accumulate term after term. The very highest kind of education that could be given, is to shun the incurring of debt as you would shun disease.'"--"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 6, pp. 210, 211.
Hence, unless parents, guardians, and all present truth believers, herewith resolve that they will come up to the help of the Lord by making a covenant by sacrifice, thus placing themselves squarely under the burden, not only of relieving the school of its present indebtedness, but also of maintaining the institution in the future, the management will have no alternative but to proceed according to the instruction set forth in the foregoing quotation from "The Spirit of Prophecy," which would mean that a number of worthy students now enjoying the advantages and benefits to be secured at no other school than Mt. Carmel, would have to leave because of an inability to meet the increased expenses.
Brethren, we must do all we can to keep up the school. Therefore, in the fear of God, read Judges 5:23, along with "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 284, paragraph two, and take heed.
To every wide awake, conscientious present truth believer, these startling facts will act as a stimulus, impelling each to deep heart-searching, self-sacrificing activity. As the school is yours, aud has no one but you to look to for support, it is therefore imperative that you get under its financial burden if the institution itself is to discharge its great responsibility of accomplishing the divinely appointed work of gathering in and educating your children. You dare not fail in this and thereby let the enemy of God and man triumph. And Mt. Carmel has every confidence that you are not going to allow this to happen, for the 144,000 are to "make a covenant with Him by sacrifice."
Moreover, as "all His biddings are enablings," no true Israelite will fail "to come to the help of the Lord" in the crisis which faces the educational work at this time. Nor will this sacrifice reduce you to want, but will, on the contrary, bring rich blessings. For in this connection, the Lord has said: "The spiritual prosperity of every member of the church depends on...strict fidelity to God." "Close and unexpected tests will be brought to bear upon them to see who are worthy to receive the seal of the living God."
"When Paul sent Titus to Corinth to strengthen the believers there, he instructed him... in the grace of giving:...Unselfish liberality threw the early church into a transport of joy;...their benevolence testified that they had not received the grace of God [the message] in vain. What could produce such liberality but the sanctification of the Spirit?
"Spiritual prosperity is closely bound up with Christian liberality. The followers of Christ should rejoice in the privilege of revealing in their lives the beneficence of their Redeemer. As they give to the Lord, they have the assurance that their treasure is going before them to the heavenly courts....The sower multiplies his seed by casting it away....By imparting they increase their blessings."--"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 382; "Acts of the Apostles," pp. 344, 345.
Brother, Sister, will you have these blessings, and will you have God's school to endure and prosper, fulfilling its high and holy purpose as "a sanctuary for the sorely tried youth of today?" If you will, you must meet the conditions, which God has made beautifully simple, and with which even the little children at Mt. Carmel are joyfully complying; and which are that every present truth believer now respond to God's requirement that each give the school the fullest cooperation by bringing into the storehouse, not only tithe and offerings, but also a faithful second tithe....Furthermore, if in cheerful obedience you will thus render to God His own, unselfish liberality, will not only put His school on a solid financial basis, but will throw you, too, as it did the early church," into a transport of joy"!
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
Counsels to Parents--Part 4.
One of Mt. Carmel's Greatest Concerns.
Questions No 198--"Did not Christ say: "Suffer little, children, and forbid them not, to come unto Me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:14)? Why then should children have to be disciplined and chastened to be saved?"
Answer--The foregoing scripture, though manifestly describing the nature and spirit prerequisite to forming a character for the kingdom, is a common refuge of sentimental and indulgent parents, guardians, and teachers who are opposed to subjecting their charges to any discipline at divergence with their own. Indulgent, lax, careless, or indifferent with themselves, they must at all costs (however prohibitive) secure for their proteges the same easy-going, indulgent, compliant handling, even appealing to Christ's words as warrant for their idea that the naturally unregenerate ways and propensities of the young should be of no great cause for concern and discipline, but should be suffered and left to be "outgrown"!
"I have heard persons argue that their children were too young to be corrected. They said, 'When the children are older, they will be ashamed...and will overcome."--The Signs of the Times, March 16, 1891.
"The false idea entertained by many, that the restraining of children is an injury, is ruining thousands upon thousands. Satan will surety take possession of the children if you are not on your guard."--"Testimonies," Vol. 5, p. 541.
"Weakness in requiring obedience, and false love and sympathy,--the false notion that to indulge and not to restrain is wisdom,--constitute a system of training that grieves angels; but it delights Satan, for it brings hundreds and thousands of children into his ranks. This is why he blinds the eyes of parents, benumbs their sensibilities, and confuses their minds."—Testimonies vol. 5, p. 324.
Yet confirming themselves, by every means possible, in this sophistic idea, they ardently and tenaciously continue to cling to it, with increasing detriment to themselves and their children now, and to the inevitable undoing of both ultimately. But the words of Christ which they use as a cloak of white for their off-color ideas, rather than being justification for allowing children "just to grow up naturally," uninhibited and unrepressed, is on the contrary a profound appeal for strict discipline which, in the last analysis, is but salvation--the supreme gift, the pearl of great price, which He gives to all who come unto Him.
"Come unto Me," He tenderly invites; "take My yoke [discipline] upon you, and learn of Me...for My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." Matt. 11:28 through 30.
"My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of His correction: for whom the Lord loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth." Prov. 3:11, 12.
"As many as I love [save], I rebuke and chasten [discipline]." Rev. 3:19.
Of such, therefore, as "sell all and buy the field;" as are "zealous therefore, and repent;" in short, as implicitly accept the discipline, the yoke, of Christ,--"of such is the kingdom of heaven."
Thus the scripture," Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto Me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 19:14), rather than lending the slightest support to the specious doctrine of natural behavior, teaches on the contrary the twin doctrines of strict discipline and perfection: for such as shall make up the kingdom of heaven, shall have let heaven's discipline bring "into captivity (their) every thought to the obedience of Christ," and thus having the mind of Him, shall "be as God" (Zech. 12:8),--perfect.
Clearly, then, truly to suffer and forbid not children to come unto Christ, is to discipline them by precept and example to unfailing obedience to God's requirements,--"to every word that proceedeth out of His mouth," --"till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the son of God, a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." Eph. 4:13.
"Parents cannot succeed well in the government of their children until they first have perfect control of themselves. They should first learn to control themselves, then they can more successfully control their children."--"Testimonies," Vol. 1, pp. 399, 398.
With both parents and children thus faithfully walking in the light and diligently working in Christ's line,--exchanging their ideas and theories, habits and practices for that which is written; disciplining themselves in self-abnegation, self-control, and self-denial,--with all thus striving, the message might soon reach the church, the Loud Cry be given, the kingdom set up, and the endless ages of joy and peace and happiness ushered in.
"With such an army of workers," says "The Spirit of Prophecy," "as our youth rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world! How soon might the end come,--the end of suffering and sorrow and sin! How soon, in place of a possession here, with its blight of sin and pain, our children might receive their inheritance where 'the righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever;' where 'the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick,' and 'the voice of weeping shall be no more heard.'"--"Education," p. 271.
With such an ineffably thrilling and glorious prospect before them, will parents continue to permit themselves and their children to go out with the tide? Will they continue to compromise with the world and to debate with God over right and wrong and duty? Will they now, while opportunity lingers yet a moment, part company with world-loving relatives, friends, and associates, and make a clean break with their old ways of living and thinking? Will they, specifically, cease spoiling and ruining their children with pampering, coddling, and indulging; with sentimental praising and endearing; with proud glorying in worldly popularity and fashionable dress; with selfish, envious, jealous currying of favor; with wheedling, cajoling, coaxing, brandishing, and buying to gain obedience; and then, cruelest of all, with sympathizing with them in their grievances against those who dare lift voice or hand against their careless, willful, hell-bent ways? Will parents, in short, in an earnestness commensurate with the tremendous responsibility devolving upon parenthood, cry out to God to be delivered from the fatal deception of parental mismanagement in all its many forms and phases, and in its every ramification?
"Children have gloried in their freedom to do as they pleased. They have been released from home responsibilities and have despised restraint. A life of usefulness appears to them like a life of drudgery. Lax government at home has unfitted them for any position, and, as a natural consequence, they have rebelled against school discipline. Their complaints have been received and credited by their parents, who, in sympathizing with their imaginary troubles, have encouraged their children in wrong-doing. These parents have, in many instances, believed positive untruths that have been palmed off upon them by their deceiving children. A few such cases of unruly and dissembling children would do much toward breaking down all authority in the school, and demoralizing the young people of our church....
"Indulgent parents, who justify their children in their wrong-doing, are thereby creating an element that will bring discord into society, and subvert the authority of both school and church...
"The fearful state of the youth of this age constitutes one of the strongest signs that we are living in the last days; but the ruin of many may be traced directly to the wrong management of the parents. The spirit of murmuring against reproof has been taking root and is bearing its fruit of insubordination. While the parents are not pleased with the characters their children are developing, they fail to see the errors that make them what they are."--"Testimonies, Vol. 4, p. 199.
"The curse of God will surely rest upon unfaithful parents. Not only are they planting thorns which will wound them here, but they must meet their own unfaithfulness when the Judgment shall sit. Many children, 'will rise up in judgment and condemn their parents, for not restraining them, and charge upon them, their destruction. The false sympathy and blind love of parents causes them to excuse the faults of their children and pass them by without correction, and their children are lost in consequence, and the blood of their souls will rest upon the unfaithful parents."—Testimonies for the church, Vol. 1, p. 219.
Oh, why will parents continue in their proud, sentimental, overfond, indulgent, foolish ways to make infidels and outlaws of their children, with their feet taken hold on the road to hell--victims of a wrong home training?
In view of these divine injunctions and requirements, be it henceforth known to all that Mt. Carmel Academy will from now on accept none but those who can give satisfactory evidence that they have learned at home to wear the yoke of Christ--learned to be obedient, truthful, honest, self-controlled, self-denying, respectful of the rights of others, respectful of parents, respectful of older people, and, above all, to have reverence for God, reverence for the Word of God, and reverence for His house;--who, in fine, have laid the foundation of a good character.
"No family is justified in bringing children to...[Mt. Carmel] who are not under the control of their parents. If their parents have disregarded the word of God in the matter of instructing and training their children....[Mt. Carmel] is no place for them. They will only be the means of demoralizing the young people of...[this] place, and bringing discord where peace and prosperity should reign. Let such parents take up the neglected work of restraining and disciplining their children before they venture to impose them upon...[Mt. Carmel]."--"Testimonies," Vol. 4, p. 204.
Furthermore, the institution will accept only those who, before they leave home, have deposited in advance with the Bank of Palestina, Mt. Carmel Center, $20.00 for two months' upkeep, in addition to the amount of return fare home, against the eventuation that two months' stay here prove for any reason the inadvisability of their longer remaining.
Parents, God will no longer be trifled with, and those who would have a place in His school from now on, must first demonstrate that they behave like well-trained horses rather than like wild zebras, and that they are builders, and not wreckers.
Testimonies versus Alleged Cruelties.
Question No. 199--We have heard terrible tales told about Mt. Carmel's school,--that the teachers are cruel to the children, and that the children stay there only because they have to. We are anxious to know the truth of the matter directly from you. Please relieve our minds immediately.
Answer--In view of the inevitable repetitions of past history, it is but natural that we are thus accused. Satan opposes the work of God on all fronts.
Knowing that finally through the instrumentality of the schools of the prophets of today, fully restored by Elijah the prophet "before the great and dreadful day of the Lord," God is to educate and redeem ("Education," p. 30) His people, and thus bring to an end the long reign of darkness and death, Satan has come down with great wrath to discourage and dishearten, doing all in his power to devour the school and all who are connected with it, so that the firstfruits of the church, the 144,000, cannot be delivered from their long bondage and servitude to the prince of this world.
Little wonder is it, then, that almost from its very inception Mt. Carmel Academy, as the school of the Elijah message,--today's school of the prophets,--has been a special target for Satan's fiery darts.
All has been grist to the mills of these opposers. Capitalizing on everything which they might turn to account against the institution, they have gone hither and thither with their spurious stock of glittering gems and jewels, palming them off wherever possible. Some have maliciously and unmercifully on the one hand magnified molehills of unreached perfection into mountains of great wrongs, and on the other hand have reduced mountains of advancement to molehills of natural virtue, in order to maintain their perverse ideas as to what the school must do.
Thus these brethren who are given to exaggeration, perversion, and slander, having left hardly any horror to be added to the list, has Satan found to be zealous and efficient agents through whom effectively to carry on his destructive work against the institution.
Without imposing upon our readers the specific tales and reports of cruelties allegedly perpetrated, and without attempting to deny or refute the charges against the institution, in order to clear it, which attempt would prove wholly in vain so far as changing the minds of those who still prefer to believe the assertions, we shall let the readers of the Code judge for themselves, from the letters of some who are pleading to be allowed to return to the school, the truth of the matter.
A young lady from California, wishing to return, wrote:
"This is to assure you that my faith in present truth is strong and that I whole-heartedly believe in Mt. Carmel.
"I write at this time, thinking that now a new year is here, perhaps conditions are such that applications for admittance to Mt. Carmel may be considered. The first opportunity cannot come too soon for me!
"In the meantime, I shall 'wait on the Lord' and continue to pray that God's will may be done."
And another young lady also from California, desiring deeply to return, pleaded:
"Please have mercy! How I have stood being away this long I do not know, but do believe me that never did any one want a place in the work, and the privileges of Mt. Carmel, more than I do. Must I remain away longer? I have pledged my strength, my mind, my heart, in fact my whole being to the Lord's work. Why must I longer work for the enemy of all good, the destroyer of both the mind and soul of man who is 'the crowning act of creation'?
"How happy I will be if you will only answer, come up to the help of the Lord against the mighty.'"
From one in Texas we received the following petition:
"It has been my misfortune to be away from Mt. Carmel since the fourteenth day of the month of September. All my interest, my hopes, in fact, my very life, are centered there. My all-consuming desire is to be permitted to return. Whatever my mistakes have been, I pray that I will be forgiven them, and that I may resume my work there. And whatever the work assigned to me, I will perform it faithfully, esteeming myself as honored by my heavenly Father.
"I have no money, nor other such valuables to offer, but I have my life, and that I offer gladly. May I hear from you?"
A mother and her three children in Georgia pleading to return, write the ensuing lines:
"If you will let me come back to Mt. Carmel, I will not make this mistake again. I will mind God and not Satan. I see where I have done wrong. I want to be saved and not lost. Forgive me, and let me come back."
"I see now where I have made the mistake. I love Mt. Carmel and want to get back, so that I may be educated in God's school. I wish I had stayed there. I love Mt. Carmel school, and I want to get back and work my way through. Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, let me come. Let me come, please."
"I would like to come to Mt. Carmel. Please let me come, so that I may learn the message and go teach other souls. If you will let me come, I will do my best to work my way through."
"We all like our new home, but for myself I feel so unhappy about the children's being out of school. Oh what a mistake we made in bringing them home! And how my heart longs for them to return. I pray every day for help to gain in the future what I have lost. "
"As I have stated before....it does not seem fair to deprive them indefinitely of the benefit
of Mt. Carmel. I feel that there is no sacrifice too great on my part to have B and L return as soon as possible."
"I have just realized what I have done, and that we are about to be lost. If I had stayed away from Mt. Carmel, L would have never come back. And if I had stayed away long enough to have considered B's case, I could have had strength enough to have stood the trial. But it is too late. Now L has become dissatisfied and wants to return if you will take her back. Now, I started out in order that my children could belong to God and Mt. Carmel, and in order that they would have no home but there. I would like to hear from you at once, so that I can return them as quickly as possible."
The foregoing letters from our files are, without exception, from ones who have been here and who have gone away. If the cruelties which Mt. Carmel's critics and enemies accuse her of are true, then why should the ones who have gone away from here, have a longing desire to return? Judge for yourselves.
The Mark of the Beast, When and What Is It?
Question No. 202--"Is the mark of the beast the Sunday law? Is it to be enforced before or after the fulfillment of Ezekiel 9? And when will 'the gold...be separated from the dross in the church'?" ("Testimonies," Vol. 5, p. 81.)
Answer--Former publications of Present truth have made clear that "the winds" held by the four angels of Revelation 7:1, represent the angel's holding back "the anger of the nations,"--the image of the beast,--also that the angels will not let "the winds" blow into being the image of the beast before the 144,000 are sealed. ("Early Writings," p. 38.)
Thus those who in the time of the sealing are among the 144,000, and who do not receive the mark of God, according to Ezekiel's vision, are to be tested, not by the image of the beast, but by their attitude toward the abominations in the church; and those who do not "sigh and cry" against the abominations therein, will be separated by the angels' slaughter weapons (Ezek. 9:6), rather than be left to be tested by the image beast and to be separated when it enforces the reception of the mark of the beast. (Rev. 13:11 through 18; 3 T 266, 267; 5 T 211.)
Then will the influence of the truth "testify" to the world of its sanctifying, ennobling character. ("Testimonies to Ministers," p. 18.) Then the church will appear "fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners," going forth "into all the world, conquering and to conquer."--"Prophets and Kings," p. 725.
Consequently," the gold...separated from the dross in the church " ("Testimonies," Vol. 5, p. 81), by the enforcement of the mark of the beast, cannot be the 144,000, the first fruits ("Testimonies to Ministers," p. 445), but rather is the second fruits,--the great multitude of Rev. 7:9,--to whom, after the sealing of the 144,000, will come the test of choosing between the commandments of God and the commandments of men.
The mark of the beast constitutes homage to the image of the beast, in compliance with his commandments, just as the mark of God (Ezek. 9:4, 6) constitutes homage to God, in compliance with His commandments.
What About Christmas?
Question No. 203--"Do not the 'Testimonies for the Church' sanction the observance of Christmas?"
Answer--As the Testimonies regard Christmas as a heathen custom, passed on to the people in a charming Christian disguise, our greatest concern should be, not merely as to whether the Testimonies sanction the observance of Christmas, but as to whether the custom is Christian or heathen, and as to whether our observance of it would be honorable to Christ, profitable to His followers, and acceptable to God. Let God Himself answer the question:
"Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe: "They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good." Jer. 10:1 through 5.
Thus has God warned the church against the customs of the heathen.
Moreover, to multitudes of infidel Christmas revelers, Christ means little if any more than does a common man, and to still other multitudes, His birthday means not half so much as does the birthday of any other man in honor of whom there is observed a holiday.
Furthermore, one of Christmas' greatest evils is the exchanging of gifts--a sin-breeding custom which is not only jealousy-creating, but is also either pocket or heart-breaking. The results are that while it goads one multitude to display of pride, and lures them into debauchery and immorality, there is another multitude of unfortunates whom it drives to envy or discouragement, or to both, even to the point of committing suicide.
Still further, as the whole Christmas observance is a specie of heathen worship that is demoralizing the nations, let the Lord's servants shun its pretentious spirit and spurious humanitarianism by not exchanging gifts.
"Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain. They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish. For the pastors are become brutish, aud have not sought the Lord: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered." Jer. 10:7, 15, 21. (See "The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 1, pp. 146, 147.)
VITAL DOCTRINAL POINTS DISCUSSED.
Dear Brother J.--Although the reasons for my delay in replying to your long letter, which delay you call "profound silence," are many, the main reason is that I was not convinced that my answers to your questions would satisfy you, for your correspondence reveals to me the fact that you are becoming more involved each day in criticism and fault finding.
At the first, your only doubt in the doctrines of the message was, to my knowledge, concerning the doctrine of the kingdom, in regard to which subject you had but indirectly heard that a study had been given, though it had not yet been published. However, your last letter to me reveals that you are now questioning something in every publication. Of course, I am not at all surprised at this, for past church history, also my own experience in the message, has taught me that when one begins entertaining doubt on one point of faith, one eventually goes back even on points which one has long defended as positive truths, and finally, in many instances, gives up the entire truth.
Hence, Brother J, I am satisfied that, though at the present time you still believe that "The Shepherd's Rod" contains a message for the Seventh-day Adventist church, it will not be long until you deny that fact also, unless a decided change takes place in you. Nevertheless, I shall try to discharge my responsibilities to you by endeavoring to answer your questions to the best of my ability and according to the light that the Lord has given me. For if I do not reply to your letter, you will no doubt continue to think your questions unanswerable, and my "profound silence," thus continued, you would only construe so as to appease your guilty conscience. Therefore I shall take your questions by paragraphs in the same sequence in which they appear in your letter.
Recommends Private Interpretation.--In paragraph five of your letter, you say: "Perhaps, the greatest hindrance to unity of faith, is in the multitude of individual [one man's] interpretations and applications."
In this observation, Brother J, I believe you have stated the true cause of your trouble. But had I gathered from all Present Truth believers their ideas concerning the interpretations of any Bible subject found in the writings of "The Shepherd's Rod," I would have about as many ideas as there are individuals. And what would appear reasonable to one, would appear wholly unreasonable to another. Yet you recommend such a procedure to bring unity! Furthermore, had I gathered my information from men, and then written the books and tracts, would you then accept as inspired from God that which they contain?
Your private position on some of the prophecies convinces me that you are right in saying:
"The only remedy for this [diversity of opinion] is that as individuals we have our eyes anointed with the 'eyesalve' of grace and spiritual discernment. 'Those who fail to do this will sooner or later be separated from the message.'"
Yet ironically, you are one of those most lacking in this respect! You admit that the interpretation of Isaiah 7, as found in Tract No. 6, is correct: that the "butter and honey" is figurative of the Word of God; the "two sheep," of the Bible; and the "young cow," of "The Spirit of Prophecy." But you have failed to see that "a man," not "men," is nourishing them. It is evident that only through that one "man" can anyone obtain the "butter" and the "honey," whether it comes from the Bible or from "The Spirit of Prophecy."
Moreover, the symbolical prophecy of Zechariah 4, illustrated in "The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 2, p. 270, is so plain that a child, even before school age, can, with but a little help, recognize in the illustration that the candlestick represents the church membership; the seven tubes, the ministers, the bowl, the inspired writings; and the two pipes, the inspired human channels through which the prophecies are revealed. But you have failed to see that in this unique and beautiful symbolism, God is teaching you precisely that of which "Testimonies to Ministers," p. 475, is warning you; namely, that when the prophet Elijah appears, you are not to tell him how to interpret the Scriptures, or how to teach his message. Yet, while by the critical and opposing position which you take on several prophecies, you are failing to recognize God's prophets as authority, you are at the same time inconsistently accusing me of unbelief in "The Spirit of Prophecy"!
As you think that God is leading you by your own private understanding to interpret the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, and as you are saying, as did Korah, Dathan, and Abiram: "Had not God spoken also by us? "In fact, you virtually say that in the words, "We are the 'children of God' and led by the 'Spirit of God' like the man who is to 'nourish the young cow and the two sheep.'"
If you do not believe my words, Brother J, you ought to believe your own experience, for you well know that thus far in your lifetime, you have not brought forth any light either from the Bible or from "The Spirit of Prophecy," yet you hold that you are "like the man who is nourishing the young cow and the two sheep!"
Moreover, though it was "The Shepherd's Rod," and not any light of your own, that reconverted you to "The Spirit of Prophecy," yet you imply that you no longer need the help of inspired writings, when you say, "My purpose in writing this is not to 'Criticize' and 'find fault' with the 'butter aud honey' or with anyone personally, but that we may individually partake of this 'butter and honey' and refuse the evil and choose the good until we come into the unity of the faith."
By this last statement, Brother J, you give clear evidence, though of course you do not sense the fact, that in interpreting God's Word you prefer a method which is contrary to His method. Ignoring the aforementioned warning of "Testimonies to Ministers," p. 475, and of the prophet's illustration, also of your own experience, you, yourself, independent of "The Spirit of Prophecy," want to extract oil from the olive trees, and want also to get hold of the one man's sheep and cow, and do your own milking! Just such uninspired methods of interpretation as you advocate, is what has thrown Christendom into confusion.
Disapproves of Present Organization.--In your paragraphs six to nine, you are endeavoring, though perhaps unwittingly, to put "The Shepherd's Rod" in the wrong by referring to "The Symbolic Code" of July, 1934, also of April, 1935, and to Tract No. 5, concerning the phase of organization therein treated. You are trying to make us believe that the interpretation of Isaiah 7:25 in the 1934 "Code," is contradicted by the interpretation of Isaiah 7:25 in the 1937 "Code"; that is, you are endeavoring to make us believe that whereas the "Rod" originally applied Isaiah 7:25 to a spiritual hill, it in later writings applied the same verse to Mt. Carmel. This, however, is not so. To one who does not know what the series of "The Shepherd's Rod" publications contain, your argument is convincing, but the statement is not true.
You approve of the organization formed in 1934, but disapprove of the one formed in 1937, which is simply the outgrowth of the former, or, in other words, the difference between the two is that there were no officers mentioned in 1934, but there were in 1937. The purpose for which both stand is the same--organized to carry the message to the church of the Laodiceans, not to raise up a denomination regardless of whence its members come.
The term "organization," as used in the writings of "The Shepherd's Rod," has two different applications--one in the sense of an organization like the S.D.A. denomination,--organized to increase its membership regardless of the source; the other in the sense of an organization to concentrate its efforts only within the church. We constitute the latter. I am sure you know that nothing can successfully be accomplished by any group of people without their organizing themselves. Even a common home can be well ordered only by having some organization--system. You have failed to recognize that our work cannot be carried on successfully without our organizing ourselves.
Furthermore, though you have no inspired authority for your interpretations, yet you demand that from me by saying that you fail "to see any authority, in this prophecy of Israel in the type and in the anti-type, for a re-organization of the Seventh-day Adventist church and for the removal of the 'storehouse' before the 'purification of the church.'" This may be so, but is that particular prophecy the only source of light on the subject? The fact that there are other lines of prophecy on the subject, is evidence that every angle of the message could not have been brought in one symbolical prophecy or type. Could it have, the Lord would have given us but that one. I have inspired authority for what I have said, and you should not have failed to see it, for the booklet, "Christ Our Righteousness," p. 154, plainly states that reformation means "re-organization," and I hardly think that you expect the reformation to take place after the purification.
Questions Financial Support of the Message.--You are endeavoring to show that Tract No. 4 contradicts "The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 1, p. 51, in regard to the tithe. But you fail to recognize the differences that obtain at different times and under different conditions. Volume One was our first publication. Since the conferences knew nothing of the message before the book was distributed, and since the Lord intended that they should accept it, He could not take the tithe away from them before they rejected the message and at the same time expect them to accept and carry it on to its completion. After they rejected it, disfellowshipped some of us, and refused even to take our tithe, it became necessary for us to carry the message to the laity, and to use the tithe to that end. Pray tell me, how could the message be advanced without any financial support? If you know of a way that it could be done, and if you think that our tithe would benefit the church, after she has rejected the message, and at a time when God is drawing the net ashore, we would be very glad to let the conferences have it. Truly, Brother J, your inconsistent attitude reveals that you spoke wiser than you perhaps are aware, when you said in your letter, "The only remedy for this is that as individuals we have our eyes anointed with the 'eyesalve' of grace and spiritual discernment."
In one instance you admit that the apostles received the tithe, but you justify their taking it by saying that they "started a new movement and a new organization," holding that we have not; whereas in another instance you accuse us of having started a new movement and a new organization, and at the same time you find fault with us for using the tithe! Your statement convinces me that something has confused your mind, causing you already to forget what you did know about our message. You once well understood that our work and organization are the same as were the apostles'. They, too, were told not to go in the way of the Gentiles first, but to teach the message to the church, then afterwards, to the Gentiles. Thus are we commanded now to gather the firstfruits from the church, and after that, the second fruits from the nations.
You ask me if Elijah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and David claimed the tithe, by which question you imply that they did not receive tithe. I fail to find anywhere written that they did or did not take the tithe. But I am clear that they took the tithe if their message required financial support as does ours.
In the parable of the net, the statement is made that when it was full, they drew it to shore and "sat down." We understand that the net is a figure of the gospel church; that the fish are a figure of the church membership; that the time has now come for the angels to separate the bad fish from among the good; and that as far as God is concerned, He has "sat down" to draw the net to shore and to separate the one from the other instead of arising to cast out the net for more fish. Hence, as there is no need of casting the already filled net after more fish, there is no justification for continuing to devote the tithe to the purpose of throwing out the net. But as there is need of separating the good fish from among the bad, we must devote everything to the separating. rather than to the catching. This is what the "Harvest" tract teaches, and in your letter you admit that it is "irrefutable."
Supposes that Ezekiel Delivered His Message.--You argue that Ezekiel's statement--"I spake unto them of the captivity all the things" (Ezek. 11:25)--contradicts our statement, which says that that particular message found in Ezekiel Nine was prophetic, and that "Ezekiel never delivered the message to Israel." Tract No. 1, p. 8. I did not think, Brother J, that you were so utterly literal-minded as to believe that because Ezekiel went and told his experience to those with whom he associated, it therefore meant a delivery of the message to all Israel! If by such means he could have delivered his message, then we delivered ours in 1929, and therefore, according to your position, there is no need of our continuing with it, for at that time, we too told our experience to all our associates.
Still further, if Ezekiel had delivered the message to ancient Israel, then the Lord should have fulfilled His word by marking the 144,000 in Ezekiel's time and by slaying all those who received not the mark.
Limits Application of the Brass Mountains.--You suppose that if "The Shepherd's Rod" taught that the mountains of brass (Zech. 6:1) were parallel in time with the "brass kingdom" (Dan. 2:39), it would give strength to our position. But we would be wholly unable, Brother J, thus to explain the prophecy, for if we make the "brass mountains" parallel with the brass kingdom, then the prophecy should have transpired in the period of the Grecian Empire, whereas it meets its fulfillment from the beginning of the Christian church to the time of the end. That is, one of the mountains prefigures the early Christian church, and the other, the church in the time of the Loud Cry. Moreover, if we should apply one of the brass mountains to the time of the brass kingdom, and the other to the time of the iron kingdom, then, in order that they may correspond with the time and with the kingdoms, one of the mountains should be of brass and the other of iron, rather than both being of brass.
By your thus quibbling and cavilling over such points, you are, I believe, in effect doing all that you can to find a possible way by which to contradict the sealing message--not the whole, but just enough, if possible, to show your ability, and to pacify your guilty conscience. However, in the end this unwitting errancy will result in your thus arguing yourself out of the kingdom. In this, my brother, your work shows 'spiritual blindness, poverty, and wretch-edness."--"Testimonies," Vol. 3, p. 253.
Confuses One Judgment with Another.--Next, you criticize the application that the "Code" makes of "Early Writings," p. 36--the "judgment." But I am confident, Brother J, that if the "Code" had said that the "judgment of the dead," mentioned there, applied in the time of the millennium, as you would have it, that application would likewise not have satisfied you. If the "Code" had put it as you think it should be, you would then surely have had something against us, whereas you now have nothing. For it is a known fact among us, as Seventh-day Adventists, that when we speak of the time of the judgment during the millennium, we always term it "the judgment of the wicked dead"; whereas, when we speak of the judgment from 1844 to the judgment of the living, we call it exactly as it appears in "Early Writings"--"the judgment of the dead," just as "The Spirit of Prophecy" educated us to do. Nevertheless, whether it be the judgment of the one or the other, it makes no difference at all so far as the lesson is concerned. Therefore, I am again convinced that you are doing your best, even though you do not sense the fact, to make issues and to borrow trouble.
I know where "the judgment of the dead" applies, but had I stated the whole truth, it would not have pleased you at all. However, since you have raised the question, I must tell it now. The judgment of the dead, as referred to in "Early Writings," applies to as many judgments of the dead as there are, for the statement does not specify any particular judgment, or distinguish one from another. Therefore, it first applies from 1844 to the time of the judgment of the "living," and second, during the millennium, for there is a judgment of the "dead" in both periods.
Exhibits Inconsistency.--Because we have made a single application of the trumpets, you want us to give them a double one; whereas, because we have made a double application of "the judgment of the dead," you want us to give it a single one! Here we may pardonably sigh for the jewel of consistency!
Because we have held to the symbolical key of interpretation on the subject of the seven trumpets, concerning which subject you confess that you "cannot refute the explanation," you want us to symbolize everything we read in the Bible, or it amounts to that, for you tell us that we must interpret the "camp" of Ezekiel 4:2 to be symbolical.
Because I was honest enough to admit that I did not fully understand the seven last plagues, you are now accusing me of not believing "The Spirit of Prophecy." Hence, your quibblings convince me more and more that had I given any interpretation of the plagues, you would have again taken me to task. I thought that those who read the "Code," well knew that we believe a hundred per cent in "The Spirit of Prophecy." I thought also that they could read for themselves, and that they would not expect me to tell them what "The Spirit of Prophecy" had to say about the plagues. Thinking that they wanted to know whether I had more light on the plagues than that which is found in "The Spirit of Prophecy," I confessed by the "Code's" statement that I did not.
After you critically studied, and accepted "The Shepherd's Rod" as a message from God to you, had you then just as critically examined your standing on God's side, and continued studying the publications with the intention of finding more truth rather than of seeing how much you might contradict, you would not have arrived at the place where even the simple points must again be explained to you.
Holds That 144,000 Stand on Mt. Zion Only After Millennium.--Your question as to whether or not the 144,000 stand on Mt. Zion before the close of probation will now be considered. If the 144,000 stand on Mt. Zion only after the millennium, then why is Christ there seen as a lamb rather than as a king? (Rev. 14:1.) And why at the same time is the investigative judgment in session, as is evident in verses two and three? For there it is stated that at the time the 144,000 stand on Mt. Zion, the harpers "sung...before the throne and before the beasts and the elders," showing that at that time the judgment was in session, because of the fact that the beasts and the elders after the close of probation do not stand before the throne. (Rev. 15:6 through 8.) For further explanation on this point of the Judgment, see "The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 2, pp. 194 through 200.
You want to put a double application on the trumpets, where plainly there is but one, whereas you ought to know that if there is a Mt. Zion on earth after the millennium, there must also be one before the millennium. Had you not been wasting your time Brother J, in quibbling, you would have seen that simply because the 144,000 stand on Mt. Zion after the millennium, it does not prove that therefore they could not stand there before the millennium. Tract No. 8, pp. 3 through 5, and "Early Writings," pp. 17 through 19, deal with two different times and events. You, yourself, admit that the 144,000 must stand on Mt. Zion before the earth is made new, for you say, "Of course, in experience of Christian living, they are to first follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth in their lives here on earth."
Attempts to Discredit Jewish Lineage of the 144,000.--You contend that it would be impossible for the 144,000, after being intermingled with the nations, to be the direct descendants of Jacob. If this be so, then we might just as well conclude that the descendants of the twelve sons of Jacob are not Israelites, for you well know that they all married outside their nation. Joseph, the most honored one, married the daughter of an idolatrous Egyptian priest. Gen. 41:45.
Furthermore, you do not suppose that while the twelve tribes lived in Egypt for hundreds of years, besides the years they were in the promised land, that one tribe did not intermarry with another, do you? If you admit that they did intermarry, then you must also admit that regardless of the maternal side, God still separated all of them by tribes.
You have become so blind, Brother J, as even to say, "If God by the natural descendants of Jacob and his sons should so honor them as to make them members of the 144,000, would He not choose them from those Jews who have kept pure their racial if not their tribal descent, rather than those who have lost their identity by yielding every principle of their faith and marrying out of their faith contrary to His express command?"
By this statement you are making the flesh greater than the Spirit, for you are trying to tell us that the present identified Jewish race who, through their fathers, denied and crucified the Lord, and who in nearly two thousand years have failed to accept Him as their Saviour, are more worthy to be honored to stand with the Lamb on Mt. Zion than are those Jews and their descendants who composed the Christian church in the beginning, and who were willing to die rather than to deny their Lord. The promise is not to those unbaptized Jews and their descendants who are Jews only in name, but to those who are Jews also in faith. In other words, the promise is not to those Jews who sold their birthright for less than a mess of pottage, and who crucified the Lord, but to those Jews who, like Jacob, allowed the Lord to change their name from "Jews" to "Christians,"--natural and spiritual Israel--to those Jews who are born twice. Thus the 144,000 are by their natural birth the descendants of Jacob and, by their spiritual birth, the descendants of Christ: sons of Jacob and sons of God-full--fledged Jews, Israelites indeed. Thus only can the Scriptures be perfectly fulfilled. A Christian Jew who marries a converted Gentile does not yield any Bible principle of his faith, but abides by it.
Interprets Ezekiel's Sticks to be Symbolical of the Dead.--Anyone who would interpret Ezekiel 37:16-28 to mean that the gathering together of the tribes of Israel and the joining of them in one kingdom, as revealed in these verses, is the resurrection of the dead, as you think, must have lost nearly all his spiritual discernment. Did not the Lord, in these verses, say to Ezekiel: "Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen," not from their graves? Ezek. 37:21. Is He to multiply the dead instead of the living? Or shall the heathen, after the resurrection "know that...the Lord" has sanctified Israel? (Ezek. 37:26, 28.) You are accusing me of not having authority to interpret this chapter as it is found in our Tract No. 8, yet at the same time, your interpretation does not carry the authority, nor even good logic. This proves to me that you are trying your best to run away from the truth, without respect to yourself, to God, or to man.
In your letter, you have quoted pages of references in an endeavor to make yourself believe by cumulative implications that Christ will have no literal kingdom before the close of probation, but you deny the statements which plainly say that He will have a literal kingdom! Why do you, in an endeavor to run away from the truth, resort to words which seem to imply the contrary? Why base your opinion on passages which you do not understand, in preference to the following citations which do not imply, but definitely say:
"Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither."
"Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
"Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is His name. If those ordinances depart from before Me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me forever." Jer. 31:8, 10, 35, 36.
"And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land."
"Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.
"Thus saith the Lord God: In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the Lord build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it. Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock." Ezek. 36:23 through 28; 33 through 37.
"And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto Me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto Me saith the Lord. The fierce anger of the Lord shall not return, until He have done it, and until He have performed the intents of His heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it. " Jer. 30:21, 24.
"In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom...It shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms." Dan. 2:44.
"Thou art My battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms." Jer. 51:20.
These scriptures, Brother J, plainly say that God will make the seed of Jacob again a kingdom while the heathen are yet in existence; that after He has brought us into our own land as a kingdom, He will then cleanse our hearts; and that with this kingdom He will break and consume the nations. Do you suppose that God is here promising something which He either cannot or does not intend to carry out? or that He will cleanse us of our sins after the close of probation?
No one denies the fact that a number of times in the Scriptures Christ is called "a man," but you surely will not try to make me believe that the "man" in Luke 19:14 is Christ Himself. I care not how spiritually blind you may be, you can still see the literal part of the scripture: that at the time those citizens sent the message, Christ was in Heaven, and the "man" whom they did not want to reign over them was on earth, and that this happened before Christ's return.
STILL PREPARING FOR THE "EVIL TO COME".
Just four years ago to the day from the present date of publication, The Symbolic Code went forth to its eagerly waiting readers with its first obituary notice, thus sorrowfully punctuating a year and a half of glad news bearing.
Now as the tenth year of the message fleets on into the unreturning past, again in deepest bereavement, this time, for Brother Eugene Soper Lipsey, goes forth the Code, announcing that another of the faithful has gone to his rest inside Carmel's own cemetery, "solitarily in the woods", waiting for the resurrection morn.
Again we are reminded that "the righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. [We as present truth believers should realize that the evil day spoken of in this scripture is now ten years nearer than when the truth concerning it was first made known to us.]...they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness. [If we are to meet them, we must be wide awake, lest we be found among those who make a wide mouth, drawing out the tongue, and whom the Lord shall reprove by the words:]....Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood?" Isaiah 57:1, 2, 4.
The Funeral Rites.--Sermon.
Prayer--V.T. Houteff.--"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Romans 5:12.
How horrible death is, Death is the most dreadful of all things. While sinning, sin appears to be desirable, but its results are pain, sorrow, and woe, and at last, this gruesome end--death!
Nevertheless, the Lord's word, through the prophet Daniel, is that "Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Dan. 12:2.
Though we are exceedingly grieved over Brother Lipsey's sudden death, and over the
thought of his parting from us, yet our happiness exceeds our grief, for the fact that his life and character have been such as to give us the greatest confidence that there is laid up for him a crown of eternal glory, which he will receive on the resurrection morn.
The apostle Paul, speaking of the resurrection, expresses it in the following words:
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise, first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thess. 4:13 through 17.
(Song: "What a Gathering That Will Be."--Sr. A.G. Smith)
At the sounding of the trumpet, when the saints are gathered home,
We will greet each other by the crystal sea;
When the Lord Himself from heaven to His glory bids them come,
What a gath'ring of the faithful that will be!
What a gath'ring, gath'ring,
At the sounding of the glorious jubilee!
What a gath'ring, gath'ring,
What a gath'ring of the faithful that will be!
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for," says John the Revelator "the former things are passed away." (Rev. 21:4.)
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." Isa. 11:6.a
And the Holy Spirit, speaking through the Apostle Paul, says:
"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." I Cor. 2:9.
(Song: "There'll be no Dark Valley "--Sr. V.T. Houteff)
There'll be no more sorrow when Jesus comes,
There'll be no more sorrow when Jesus comes,
But a glorious morrow when Jesus comes
To gather His loved ones home.
Friends, Brother Lipsey's sudden death again presents the fact that life is uncertain, and that those who expect eternally to enjoy the promises of God, cannot afford to close their ears, or to harden their hearts, when they hear the Master's still small voice, saying:
"Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." Matt. 11:28-30.
"Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." Heb. 4:7.
Song: "Asleep in Jesus."---Sr. V.T. Houteff.
Asleep in Jesus! blessed sleep
From which none ever wake to weep;
A calm and undisturbed repose,
Unbroken by the last of foes.
Asleep in Jesus! O how sweet
To be for such a slumber meet!
With holy confidence to rest
In hope of being ever blest.
Asleep in Jesus! Peaceful rest,
Whose waking is supremely blest;
No fear, no woe, shall dim that hour
That manifests the Saviour's pow'r.
Asleep in Jesus! Soon to rise,
When the last trump shall rend the skies;
Then burst the fetters of the tomb,
And wake in full, immortal bloom.
Obituary.--Eugene Soper Lipsey was born in Chicago, Illinois, on March 9, 1911. Later the family moved to San Diego, California.
Brother Lipsey was the first to embrace Present Truth in San Diego, California. Purchasing a copy of "The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 1, in 1932, he read himself into the message. Then in the spring of the same year, when Brother Warden went from Los Angeles to San Diego, Brother Lipsey took him to his friends to labor for them. The result of their endeavors being that a small company of about twenty believers was raised. Brother Lipsey was a very zealous Present Truth worker. He assisted Brother Warden in raising another small company in Escondido, about 30 miles north of San Diego. Later he labored in and about Los Angeles, where he added still others to his list of converts.
In July of 1936, a year after the building work of Mt. Carmel had begun, Brother Lipsey came to assist us here, and has worked in almost all the departments in the last three years. Faithful in whatever department to which he was assigned, zealous as a student of the Bible, apt to teach, honest in all things, Brother Lipsey's religion was very sincere.
We have learned to love Brother Lipsey, but we never realized this as much as we now do. Next to his wife, parents, and relatives, I believe we feel the most grieved for his leaving us.
On September 7, 1939, he was married to Miss Carol Hogan, who is also whole-hearted for Mt. Carmel. They made their home here.
On November 8, 1939, he expired from this life from an illness of less than a week's duration. Left to mourn, besides his wife, his father, mother, a brother, and a sister, are a host of friends, and all of Mt. Carmel's inhabitants.
Song: "Sweet Be Thy Rest"---Sr. A.G. Smith and Sr. V.T. Houteff.
At Grave.--Prayer was offered that we be faithful and true if we want to meet Bro. Lipsey in the resurrection day.
"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Gen. 2:7.
Therefore, "dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." Gen. 3:19.
"Again He said unto me, Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: and I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath into you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord." Ezek. 37:4-6.
As the great white cloud appeared, upon which sat the Son of man, "they responded to the call, and came forth clothed with glorious immortality, crying, 'Victory, victory, over death and the grave! O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?' "--"Early Writings," p. 287.
The congregation left the grave while singing: "When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder I'll Be There."