(Waco TX) Inspiration and Its Work
Published January December 1942
Vol. 8 Symbolic Code No. 1 - 12 (Texas--1942)
Vol. 8 No.1- 12
Jan. - Dec., 1942
MT. CARMEL CENTER
Lake Waco Texas
Lightening The Earth
INSPIRATION AND ITS WORK
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, 'throughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Tim. 3:16, 17.
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Pet. 1:20, 21.
Affirmatively stated, all Scripture (not merely a part of It) is inspired. Negatively stated, none of It is privately interpreted, for the reason that It did not come of men but of God. And It can be interpreted by men only as and when God's Spirit decrees. Accordingly, every jot and tittle of Scripture and Its interpretation are of Inspiration, and thus wholly profitable to guide the man of God doctrinally, to reprove and to correct him, and righteously to instruct him, unto perfection of faith and works.
Let us therefore covenant with the Lord that from henceforth we shall neither accept nor advance as revealed truth any private interpretation of the Scriptures. And to keep understandingly inviolate this solemn promise to the Lord, we must first, of course, understand--The Phenomenon of Inspiration.
In Its Scriptural sense, Inspiration is defined as "a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul of man" (The New Century Dictionary); in other words, It is a special function of the Spirit of God. It is, therefore, in Its divers manifestations, set in operation, not by the working of the mind itself, but by the power of the Spirit. To get a correct understanding of this process, however, one must necessarily see it in historical perspective, operating in the midst of the human race from its beginning.
In His own image God created Adam, and gave him sovereign "dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." Gen. 1:26.
Accordingly, as He made Adam the king of earth's first dominion, and all living creatures the subjects thereof, Adam's natural ability to rule them, and their natural submission to him, show that all creation, man and beast, fowl and creeping things, were divinely influenced or endowed--inspired. So when Adam reviewed the whole animal creation as it passed before him, he spent no time in studying the nature of the creatures in order to identify them, but instantaneously gave every species its name; they, in turn, immediately recognized him as their king. This Super-intelligency (such as is vouch-safed in Matthew 10:19) clearly shows that all creation was influenced by a power
above and beyond its own. In short, both Adam's and the animals' understanding, came by Inspiration. Inspiration, accordingly, is not limited in Its manifestations, to man alone.
Moreover, sacred history reveals that neither is it limited to visions (Dan. 7:2), or dreams (Gen. 28:12), or indirect communication (Ex. 40: 35; 28:30), or direct face to face conversation (Gen. 18:2) with divine beings, or to any other form of expression. Rather It comes "in divers manners." Thuswise, God "at sundry times... spake in times past unto the fathers." Heb. 1:1.
This fundamental truth was, perhaps, best exemplified in Noah's work, particularly in its climax, when special intelligence was imparted to selected members of the animal creation, so that from near and far they could find their way into the ark and keep peace one with another. (See Genesis 7:1 through 4.)
But having survived the flood, the descendants of Noah's family straightway forgot the lesson of the ark as the instrument of their salvation. So it came to pass that the post-diluvians were as determined to believe that there could be a second universal flood as the antediluvians were that there could not be a first one. Thus unbelief in Noah's inspiration became as pronounced after the flood as it had been before, with the result that in the effort to gain security of life, men built the tower of Babel, the world's first skyscraper and the earliest monument to the folly of man's prodigious labors to secure his salvation without the assistance of Divine Inspiration. This insulting attitude of the builders toward the Lord's promise through Noah, so aroused His displeasure that He blotted from their memory the language which He had given them through Adam and, in its stead, inspired in them all the diverse languages of earth, with the result that the builders became confused among themselves and could no longer continue building (Gen. 11:7 through 9).
In this preternatural event which so radically changed the course of human society, we see another form of Inspiration revealing that while one individual or a group of individuals may deliberately work at cross-purposes with God, He can bestow His gift even on them, to frustrate their own evil designs (Gen. 11:1-9) while promoting His eternal purpose and getting praise to His name (Ps. 76:10).
Another example of this function is seen in Balaam's evil intent. The Lord so controlled Balaam's tongue that while his mind was bent on cursing Israel, he could pronounce only blessings (Num. 22, 23, 24).
Let these "ensamples" be our constant reminder that anyone who undertakes to work against the Lord's revealed will is doomed to failure and shame.
In later postdiluvian days, the Lord appeared and said unto Abram: "Unto thy seed will I give this land." Gen. 12:7. Later "three men stood by him, and one of them said to him, Sarah thy wife shall have a son." Gen. 18:2, 10. Thus through divine agency, in some respects different from that which controlled Adam and Noah, was Abraham enabled (inspired) to understand what the future held for him and for his posterity.
Then there was the time when Balaam (who, at the instance of King Balak, was on his way to Moab) whipped his faithful ass, which there-upon received the gift of speech, and said to his abusive master: "What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?" Num. 22: 38. The dumb creature, we see, was enabled (inspired) to speak by the Power which created him.
It will hence be well, indeed, for every man to give heed to what the Lord says and does regardless how, when, where, or through whom He says or does it.
Later on, God in His providence (Gen. 45:5) permitted Joseph to be sold by his brothers into slavery, and afterwards caused Israel to go into Egypt. This makes inescapable the conclusion that the Lord influenced (inspired) Jacob to make a coat of many colors (Gen. 37:3) and to give it to Joseph. This inspired his brothers to jealousy, and they were doubly fired in their minds by the telling of his dream and their father's interpretation of it (Gen. 37:10). So to prevent his supplanting them in influence or position, they sold him as a slave, to be carried away into Egypt. There the Lord in His own time raised him to the second throne of the realm, then brought the years of plenty, also the years of famine, as the means to remove the whole household of Jacob into Egypt.
In their desperate endeavor to be rid of Joseph so as to avoid being ruled by him, his brethren succeeded only (by stirring up the ever-attentive potential of Providence) in exalting him to the administrative throne of Egypt, and in bringing themselves down in humiliation at his feet. Here is marked evidence that he who attempts to defeat God's purposes succeeds only in defeating his own and in promoting God's.
When, as a fugitive from Egypt, Moses was attending his father-in-law's flocks in Midian, "the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed." Ex. 3:2. By this manifestation, Moses was inspired to liberate Israel from their hard Egyptian bondage. And then as the leader of the Hebrews during their forty years of wandering in the wilderness he communed with the Lord face to face (Ex. 34:30-35), and departed with his countenance divinely irradiant. Thus his experience was anomalous to that of others before him.
Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar had dreams. Joseph and Daniel interpreted them (Gen. 40:8 through 12; 41:25 through 38; Dan. 11:7; 2:28; 4:20, 24). Daniel, the prophet, John the Revelator, and other holy men of God had visions. Each was the special recipient of Inspiration in a distinctive form, and to a greater or less degree.
From these and many other examples, we see that Inspiration works in several ways Its wonders to perform. Through man and through beast, in fact through all creation, Its work is seen in many forms. Some have heard It in audible voice, both through agents seen (Ex. 34:30-35) and agents unseen (Ex. 3:2). Others have witnessed It through definite impressions, dreams, visions, providences, preternatural and instantaneous speech endowments.
In all diligence, therefore, give heed to any supernatural manifestation in the church of God, irrespective of source, whether it be human or brute, small or great, black or white, rich or poor. Unbiasedly compare its work with the Scriptures, and if it is in harmony with them, if it finds its foundation and prediction there, makes men loyal to the law and to the prophets, and adds light to the present truth, accept it whatever the cost in money, property, position, friends, and relatives, for it is your very life. He who will prove faithful in this responsibility will receive a hundred-fold for the sacrifice it has cost him to be true to the Lord's voice (Matt. 19:29).
We must constantly be on guard if we are to save ourselves from the one unpardonable sin. And this we can do only by prayerfully investigating the spirit that purports to come in the name of the Lord. Failing to do this, we stand in greatest peril of rejecting the pleading of the Holy Ghost (Inspiration), and thus of indifferently tossing away our very life.
"When a message comes in the name of the Lord to His people," says the Spirit of Truth, "no one may excuse himself from an investigation of its claims. No one can afford to stand back in an attitude of indifference and self-confidence, and say: 'I know what is truth, I am satisfied with my position. I have set my stakes, and I will not be moved away from my position, whatever may come. I will not listen to the message of this messenger; for I know that it can not be truth.' It was from pursuing this very course that the popular churches were left in partial darkness, and that is why the messages of heaven have not reached them."--Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, p. 65.
Inspiration makes very clear that the Lord's messenger dare not in any way improvise upon revelation (Rev. 22:18-20) although often privileged to articulate it in his own words. Judged by the same standard, no one else dare meddle with the inspired writer's work. This rational sequence consistently concludes that when a point in one's writings is not clear, then only the writer himself should be consulted concerning it, if he is living. Otherwise, only the same Spirit of Inspiration, the original author of the writings, can clarify whatever is involved. Indeed "if a message comes," as Inspiration says, "that you do not understand take pains that you may hear the reasons the messenger may give, comparing scripture with scripture, that you may know whether or not it is sustained by the Word of God."--Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, pp. 65, 66.
In no case is it a moral and safe procedure to appeal to an opposer of one's writings to illuminate any part of them. A Democrat would not think of appealing to a Republican to illuminate the Democratic platform, or vice versa, if each wished to know the truth. Remember that Eve's placing credence in the Enemy's interpretation of the Lord's Word (an act which lead both her and Adam to their transgression and fall, and to their consequent banishment from Paradise) is what brought the curse of sin and death upon all earthly creation. Rather, it is for us now to avoid this old stumbling block to the pit and thereby make it a stepping stone to the Kingdom.
Remember, too, that the practice of comparing statements stripped of their context is fundamentally disingenuous, and leads today to as many perversions and misapplications of truth as does the deliberate wresting practiced in Satan's challenge to Christ: "If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone." Matt. 9:6.
From the points thus far adduced, we see clearly enough that the end-products of Inspiration fall into one of two categories--either Inspiration of words or Inspiration of ideas. To illustrate specifically: an angel appears and says to one, "The Lord is at such and such a time to do thus and thus with His people. Speak unto them this message, and show it unto them from the Scriptures of truth, for the prophets have therein spoken it of old." The angel's message must be delivered with fidelity to the idea; though obviously the choice of words, aside from the quotations, is necessarily left to the messenger. Consequently, anytime he sees the possibility of making the inspired idea stand forth more clearly and powerfully, the messenger is under deepest moral obligation to revise his language. Only thus can the stream of inspired ideation become progressively more lucid and beautiful.
Still further, there are circumstances in connection with certain aspects of every message which necessitate clarification. Such clarification, however, can be no greater than the light which shines at the time. And the light may come solely from within the message itself, or, again, it may derive from a limited understanding common to the time "then present"--an understanding which the messenger himself shares.
Such a case was John the Baptist's. Inspired to declare only the coming of the King, Christ, John was squarely confronted with the question concerning the setting up of the kingdom. He answered in keeping with the common understanding which he as well as the people had of the kingdom--that when the King arrived He would doubtless set up His kingdom and thus free His people from the Roman yoke. But when Christ finally appeared, He explained that the time for the kingdom to be set up, and for the Roman yoke to be removed from His people's shoulders, was not yet come. And the truly "wise" gave no concern to these discrepant teachings, but gladly accepted the truth in its progressive form, and went on to higher and higher spiritual attainments, whereas those who stumbled on this disparity either rejected John as a false prophet and accepted Jesus as the Christ, or accepted John as a true prophet and rejected Jesus as a false Christ, and consequently slipped farther and farther backwards and downwards until they were no longer followers of either Christ or John.
The ways of Inspiration are constant, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Questions concerning revealed truth must therefore be answered in the same way today as they were in John's time. And thus now as then, the critical, the skeptical, and the doubting will find many hooks upon which to hang their doubts. But likewise now as then, the doubters will be taken in their own craftiness.
Inspiration, moreover, always brings the messengers of God into perfect harmony, never into division. This prime truth is seen beautifully illustrated in the experience of the Apostle Peter, a Jew, with Cornelius, the Roman Centurion, a Gentile. The Lord knew that Peter would never receive a Gentile, and that Cornelius would never present himself to a Jew. So both were given a vision instructing them what to do. (See Acts 10.) And obeying the heavenly vision to which they had mutual respect, they without trouble drew into mutual accord.
Then there is the marvelous experience of Paul. While be was engaged in the unholy work of persecuting the Christians, the Lord met him on the road to Damascus, converted him, and gave him instructions to interview Simon. But knowing that Simon, who knew Paul only as a persecutor of the faithful, would never receive the latter on his own profession of conversion and friendship, the Lord gave Simon a vision likewise, revealing to him Paul's conversion. And thus they, too, like Peter and Cornelius before, were not disobedient to their heavenly vision (Acts 26:19).
In the days of Moses, some rose up claiming that the Lord was speaking through them as well as through Moses (Num. 16:2, 3). Their agitation, however, instead of bringing order and harmony between Moses and them, brought confusion and dissension, with the tragic result that thousands lost their lives (Num. 16:32, 35, 49). Had the Lord spoken to those men, He would certainly have made known the fact to Moses. But the very absence of any such revelation, made clear to Moses that the Lord was not exalting Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, as they claimed He was, but that they, as jealous upstarts and impostors, were exalting themselves. Had Moses, as a servant of God, acceded to their demands, he most assuredly would have met with some such retribution as did the "man of God" who, persuaded by the "old prophet" to turn out of the way and eat bread with him, when the Lord had charged him not to do so, was slain by a lion. Solemn lesson! Give no heed to human voice contrary to God's. (See I Kings 13.)
Those, furthermore, whom the Lord promotes, ever shrink from putting themselves forward. Though David, for example, had been anointed by Samuel to be king over Israel, he never attempted to take the throne. As a matter of fact, he did not even so much as make known his elevation. And then at the risk of death at Saul's own hand, he even protected him. In all this beautiful chivalry, David showed forth the love, humility, meekness, and righteousness born (inspired) of the Spirit of God. His was the calm, kind, forbearing patience which comes with the sure knowledge that God is in control. Knowing that the Lord had anointed him to be king, be happily waited until the Lord saw fit to put him on the throne.
From these and many other examples, we see that God not only never delegates one agent to alter, to reset, or to countermand the message with which He has charged another agent, without His first making the matter known to both, but also that He never honors with promotion those who seek to uplift and aggrandize self, but that He exalts in due season those who humble themselves under His mighty hand (1 Pet. 5:6).
As a logical corollary to the foregoing phases of the subject of Inspiration, it is to be recognized that all who become converted and submissive to the Lord are recipients of Divine Illumination. For none but the Holy Spirit can convince one of the Truth, convict him of his sins, give him repentance, and empower him to obey God's laws, His statutes, and His ordinances. Man, himself, can no more effect these transformations than the leopard can change his spots.
"If you see your sinfulness, do not wait to make yourself better. How many there are who think they are not good enough to come to Christ. Do you expect to become better through your own efforts, 'Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.' There is help for us only in God. We must not wait for stronger persuasions, for better opportunities, or holier tempers. We can do nothing of ourselves. We must come to Christ just as we are."--Steps to Christ, p. 31.
"You cannot atone for your past sins, you cannot change your heart, and make yourself holy. But God promises to do all this for you through Christ. You believe that promise. You confess your sins, and give yourself to God. You will to serve him. Just as surely as you do this, God will fulfil his word to you. If you believe the promise,--believe that you are forgiven and cleansed,--God supplies the fact; you are made whole just as Christ gave the paralytic power to walk when the man believed that he was healed. It is so if you believe it."—Steps to Christ, p. 51.
Thus every true follower of Christ is inspired in his own lot--one to interpret, another to study, still another to teach, and yet still another to discern, and all to act and to sacrifice for His sake.
So also is every true Christian divinely enabled to suffer or to rejoice. Hence, whatever betide him, whether it be suffering and sorrow, or well-being and joy, the trusting child of God dare credit only the Lord and none other for his portion. And remember that "there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Cor. 10:13.
"Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore." Ps. 121:4 through 8.
Be therefore not murmurers as those who "despised the pleasant land, they believed not His Word; but murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord. Therefore He lifted up His hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness." Ps. 106:24 through 26.
But be like the faithful apostle: "Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philip. 4:11 through 13.
But while there flows from the golden bowl (Zech. 4:2) that Inspiration which enables one to be a true Christian, there flows from the cauldron of hell that opposite inspiration that works to make one a false Christian. The one saves, the other destroys. Needing as much as we do to become fully conscious and respectful of the one, the Divine, we at the same time have equal need to become fully alive to its counterfeit--Satanic Inspiration.
Tragically, this Satanic power has invariably throughout the ages been notoriously successful among the church leaderships. Unwittingly, they have all along the way been inveigled into following Satan's designs and efforts to tear down (new-model) the very work they thought to be building up.
At Christ's first advent, the leaders of the church were so inspired with the spirit of Satan that, as church history reveals, they at times acted like demons, like men who had lost their reason. Impervious themselves to the rain of Truth as it fell in that day, the priests, scribes, and pharisees were naturally imbued with the zeal to have the people remain in ignorance of the Truth. So it was that they employed every possible means to pitch an umbrella, as it were, over the heads of the people, so as to prevent even a drop of the life-saving showers of the early rain from falling upon them. Consequently, though drops of Truth were falling all around them as never before, they were content to remain in drought under the priests' umbrella.
It was in these dark hours of human history, that Truth and error, light and darkness, freedom and bondage were joined in what perhaps was the greatest battle of all time. Up to the Pentecost, only 120 persons out of the millions then living were rescued from the spiritual dearth that covered the land. And not until they were baptized with the Holy Ghost and filled with power on the Pentecost were they enabled to help other thirsty ones to break out of the Satanic circle.
Defeated in this effort to quench the Truth forever, Satan quickly renewed his efforts. Come the Dark Ages, and he is again seen inspiring hostilities against Truth and its adherents. Turning loose all his demons in all their fury upon the church, he brought in the "great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." And had those days not been shortened, there would have been no flesh saved, "but for the elect's sake those days" were shortened (Matt. 24:21, 22) by the Reformation. Accordingly, only Divine intervention prevented Satan from silencing the Reformation's voice and dissipating its power. Thus it has always been, is today, and will be to the bitter end.
As a result, despite all the light now shining, multitudes foolishly go on huddling under Satan's Truth-proof umbrella, at the same time helping to pull and hold multitudes of others under with them.
Nevertheless the promise stands fast:
"Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass." Deut. 32:1, 2.
"Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil....And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit." Joel 2:23, 24, 28, 29.
"Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes." Isa. 35:6, 7.
In spite of Satan's striving to canopy all earth with his Truth-resistant umbrella, "in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
"And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it. For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever." Mic. 4: 1 through 5.
TAKE HEED LEST YE, TOO, FALL.
Since that tragic day in Eden when he introduced sin into the world and caused the fall of man, Satan has cast in the way of each redemptive movement, a different stumbling block upon which multitudes have tripped and fallen. Most assuredly, therefore, he must be expected to have some such distinctive danger planted in our way today. We, though, having in this age the tremendous advantage of knowing the respective pitfalls which have proved fatal to the multitudes in past movements, shall suffer a proportionately greater condemnation and punishment if we fail to recognize ours. And what is more, if we fail, we shall witness thereby to the universe that we are the weakest of the weak. We must stand--stand against the most ingenious special trap ever set by the Evil One! But how shall we do this if we know not what it is or where it is?
To find the danger where it really lurks, let us briefly view in retrospect previous snares, by periods in which they occurred, beginning with the first recorded church movement:
THE NOATIC MOVEMENT was ordained to build the ark both as a warning of the impending deluge and as a refuge from it. The special block of stumbling which Satan cast in the way of the multitudes at that time, he devised from the fact that never in all nature had man seen anything that lent the remotest evidence to the possibility of there ever materializing such a phenomenon as rain. Accordingly, leaning upon their finite knowledge of nature and its potentialities, they scoffed and scorned Noah's science and his warning of doom, and continued their "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away." Matt. 24: 38, 39.
Their exalting human science and disregarding divine science, therefore, was the special snare which took the antediluvians. Their fate solemnly warns us carefully to avoid their mistake.
IN THE ABRAHAMIC MOVEMENT, the father of the faithful was called to depart from the cities of the ancient world, in the hope that someday the movement would triumphantly possess the promised land. Fully aware of this fact, Satan worked mightily to sidetrack the movement into the cities of the nations along the way. On this block of stumbling Lot fell, with the result that when the Lord finally snatched him from the destruction of Sodom, as a brand plucked from the burning, he came out the poorest of the poor.
Thus the worldly cities were the quicksands to the first postdiluvians. May we not lose all therein, as did Lot.
THE MOSAIC MOVEMENT was led out of Egypt to possess the land of promise, and there to become a kingdom. Cunningly suiting his temptations to their predispositions, Satan inspired those who were of age when they left the land of Pharoah, to continuous murmuring, complaining, office-seeking and rebelling, and finally to fearing the giant inhabitants of the promised land. Failing to see that their strength was the strong hand of the Lord, they were consequently forced to wander forty long years in the desert, and there to leave parching the bones of all but two of their members who were of age when they left Egypt.
Unbelief, stiffneckedness, distrust of divine leadership, and office seeking, therefore, were the four-headed monster that devoured the people of the Exodus. And these will devour every Present Truth believer who strays into their lair.
THE CANAAN MOVEMENT UNDER JOSHUA was ridded of all sinners and commissioned to possess the land, drive out the heathen, and set up an everlasting kingdom. Knowing that its continuance was contingent on their obedience to the Lord's instructions through His prophets, Satan moved upon the people to mock the messengers of God, despise His words, and misuse His prophets, "until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy" (2 Chron. 36:16), and He gave them back to captivity.
Hence to the subjects of the kingdom, the prophets were the great rock of offense--a rock upon which no age before or since has been free from stumbling. The wise today, therefore, will "despise not prophesyings." 1 Thess. 5:20.
THE APOSTOLIC MOVEMENT was brought forth to proclaim the transferring of the earthly sanctuary service to the heavenly "tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man" (Heb. 8:2), and to baptize "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matt. 28:19) all who should repent of their sins. But to frustrate its purpose, Satan set to work to fashion another deception, and with the departure of the Apostles he quickly succeeded in causing the church completely to lose sight both of the truth of the priesthood of Christ and the truth of baptism, and to establish in their stead an earthly priestcraft and infant baptism.
Thus being led to disbelieve and disregard the sanctuary services and baptism, their very salvation, the Christian church fell through Satan's trapdoor into error. And that door is still set to take the feet of the unwary--all who disregard or lightly esteem the ever advancing truth unfolded in the special sealing message for today.
THE PROTESTANT MOVEMENTS were raised up to declare and to exploit the primacy of the Bible, because thepre-reformation world was bound in darkness by uninspired man's religious rule, disallowing the common people the right to possess a Bible, and making them dependent upon his private interpretation of it. Hence came the Protestant churches in their succession, to restore the down-trodden Truth, each protesting against these abuses and usurpations of human rights, each being called forth to make the Christian world realize the need of true Inspiration and of freedom of religion, the right to own a Bible and to study for themselves, and the duty to make the Bible and the Bible only, the rule of their faith.
Being determined, though, to bring the Reformation to naught, Satan has from its beginning constantly worked to cause every church member to revel in private interpretation of the Scriptures and in extra-Biblical theories. Consequently, Protestantism today finds itself following not merely in the way of the uninspired Bible interpretations of one man but in the ways of the uninspired interpretations of thousands of men! And the result is that Christendom teems with schism and confusion unrivaled in history--evidence that the great work of the founding fathers of the Protestant Reformation has been perverted and turned into an undermining force for the frustration of God's special design for the church today.
Thus we see that the Reformation, which, originally under the direction of inspired men, lifted the church out of one morass, later under the direction of uninspired men, plunged her into another, wherein she has been floundering ever since. And unless we let the truth extricate us from this fatal bog of confusion, we cannot defeat the enemy of Inspiration in his tireless and powerful efforts to pervert the implements of our salvation into weapons for our destruction.
THE S.D.A. MOVEMENT was appointed to declare the sanctuary message: "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment [the harvest] is come" (Rev. 14:7) upon all the dead who, from Adam's time on, failed to get the extra oil (truth) in their vessels (Matt. 25:4), double their talents (verses 15 through 30), or put on "the wedding garment." Matt. 22:11. These shall have their names blotted from the Lamb's Book of Life.
This proclamation concerning the dead was to prepare the living for their impending judgment. For this reason, Satan has employed his every device to lull Adventists into being merely hearers and preachers but not doers of the Word; into tithing mint and anise and cummin, as it were, but omitting the weightier matters of the law. In short, he has made them to become wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked by failing on the one hand to be faithful themselves in doing what they teach others to do, and by failing on the other hand to keep themselves free from doing what they teach others not to do. And to prevent them from awakening to this "terrible deception" (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 254), he keeps them lukewarm, complacently dreaming of being rich in truth and of having need of nothing, though in fact they are in misery and in need of everything.
Clearly, then, lukewarmness and the hallucination of being rich are the faults peculiar to the Laodiceans, and are the dangers which if not recognized and removed are finally to result in God's spuing them out of His mouth (Rev. 3:16). Thus again the Lord mercifully pleads with Present Truth believers to walk in the light and shun lukewarmness, lest they fall back into thinking themselves rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, and again become poor and in need of everything.
THE ELEVENTH-HOUR MOVEMENT affects us today most immediately and intimately. Being the last gospel effort, it must "give power and force" to the Third Angel's Message and "lighten the earth with his glory" (Rev. 18:1); it must triumph, though every movement before it has failed. It is destined, not to "prophesy again to many nations" (Rev. 10:11), but to "all." And as it is to go to those who have not heard of His fame, and to bring to the house of the Lord all the saints "out of all nations" (Isa. 66:19, 20), it is consequently foreordained to endure. To effect this predetermined purpose, God is now taking the reins in His own Hands (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300), to purify the church by removing from it the tares, and to preserve it free from them henceforth, so that it may stand on Mount Zion with the Lamb (Rev. 14:1).
Indeed, in the very nature of the case, the Eleventh-Hour movement must triumph, for, being the last, the one to garner in the harvest, then should it fail, everyone in the world today would forever remain lost. Double, therefore, are the reasons that the Lord purposes it to stand. Thus the Davidians have been called to "the Kingdom for such a time as this."
"For," declares the Word, "by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many....And I will send them that escape of them unto the nations....And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations." Isa. 66:16-20.
"And they [the Gentiles] shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord." Isa 62:12.
"But who may abide the day...? Who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap." Mal. 3:2.
All the more reason, then, that its adherents must be tested and proved worthy. What, therefore, is the first and gravest danger con-fronting Present Truth believers today?
With the end of the long journey in view, the work was never so great, the time in which to do it never so short, and the laborers never so few, as now. Self-evident, therefore, is the fact that Satan's supreme effort at this hour must be to cause the time to be wasted and the work to go undone.
Rouse, then, O Present Truth believer! Rise speedily to the task set, and "whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." Eccles. 9:10. No longer let a moment be wasted, for every precious one is vital to the salvation of your own soul and to the souls of others.
Thus with the day already at hand, finding "the last movements rapid ones" (Testimonies, Vol. 9, p. 11), to no avail now will be one's zeal, efficiency, and speed unless they match that held up to view in the following warning to--Redeem The Time.
"The day is at hand. For the lessons to be learned, the work to be done, the transformation of character to be effected, the time remaining is but too brief a span."--Education, p. 184.
"Every year millions upon millions of human souls are passing into eternity unwarned and unsaved. From hour to hour in our varied life, opportunities to reach and save souls are opened to us. These opportunities are continually coming and going. God desires us to make the most of them. Days, weeks, and months are passing; we have one day, one week, one month, less in which to do our work. A few more years at the longest, and the Voice which we cannot refuse to answer will be heard, saying, 'Give an account of thy stewardship.'"--Christ's Object Lessons, pp. 373, 374.
"The life of Christ from His earliest years was a life of earnest activity."-- Christ's Object Lessons, p. 345.
"Our time belongs to God. Every moment is His, and we are under the most solemn obligation to improve it to His glory. Of no talent He has given will He require a more strict account than of our time.
"The value of time is beyond computation. Christ regarded every moment as precious, and it is thus that we should regard it. Life is too short to be trifled away. We have but a few days of probation in which to prepare for eternity. We have no time to waste, no time to devote to selfish pleasure, no time for the indulgence of sin. It is now that we are to form characters for the future, immortal life. It is now that we are to prepare for the searching Judgment.
"The human family have scarcely begun to live when they begin to die, and the world's incessant labor ends in nothingness unless a true knowledge in regard to eternal life is gained. The man who appreciates time as his working day will fit himself for a mansion and for a life that is immortal. It is well that he was born.
"We are admonished to redeem the time. But time squandered can never be recovered. We can not call back even one moment. The only way in which we can redeem our time is by making the most of that which remains, by being co-workers with God in His great plan of redemption.
"In him who does this, a transformation of character takes place. He becomes a son of God, a member of the royal family, a child of the heavenly King. He is fitted to be the companion of the angels.
"Now is our time to labor for the salvation of our fellowmen. There are some who think that if they give money to the cause of Christ, this is all they are required to do; the precious time in which they might do personal service for Him passes unimproved. But it is the privilege and duty of all who have health and strength to render to God active service. All are to labor in winning souls to Christ. Donations of money can not take the place of this.
"Every moment is freighted with eternal consequences. We are to stand as minute men, ready for service at a moment's notice. The opportunity that is now ours to speak to some needy soul the word of life may never offer again. God may say to that one, 'This night thy soul shall be required of thee,' and through our neglect he may not be ready. In the great Judgment-day, how shall we render our account to God?
"Life is too solemn to be absorbed in temporal and earthly matters, in a treadmill of care and anxiety for the things that are but an atom in comparison with the things of eternal interest. Yet God has called us to serve Him in the temporal affairs of life. Diligence in this work is as much a part of true religion as is devotion. The Bible gives no endorsement to idleness. It is the greatest curse that afflicts our world. Every man and woman who is truly converted will be a diligent worker.
"Upon the right improvement of our time depends our success in acquiring knowledge and mental culture. The cultivation of the intellect need not be prevented by poverty, humble origin, or unfavorable surroundings. Only let the moments be treasured. A few moments here and a few there, that might be frittered away in aimless talk; the morning hours so often wasted in bed; the time spent in traveling on trains or railway cars, or waiting at the station; the moments of waiting for meals, waiting for those who are tardy in keeping an appointment,--if a book were kept at hand, and these fragments of time were improved in study, reading, or careful thought, what might not be accomplished. A resolute purpose, persistent industry, and careful economy of time, will enable men to acquire knowledge and mental discipline which will qualify them for almost any position of influence and usefulness.
"It is the duty of every Christian to acquire habits of order, thoroughness, and dispatch. There is no excuse for slow bungling at work of any character. When one is always at work, and the work is never done, it is because mind and heart are not put into the labor. The one who is slow, and who works at a disadvantage, should realize that these are faults to be corrected. He needs to exercise his mind in planning how to use the time so as to secure the best results. By tact and method, some will accomplish as much work in five hours as another does in ten. Some who are engaged in domestic labor are always at work, not because they have so much to do, but because they do not plan so as to save time. By their slow, dilatory ways, they make much work out of very little. But all who will, may overcome these fussy, lingering habits. In their work let them have a definite aim. Decide how long a time is required for a given task, and then bend every effort toward accomplishing the work in the given time. The exercise of the will power will make the hands move deftly.
"Through lack of determination to take themselves in hand and reform, persons can become stereotyped in a wrong course of action; or by cultivating their powers they may acquire ability to do the very best of service. Then they will find themselves in demand anywhere and everywhere. They will be appreciated for all that they are worth.
"By many children and youth, time is wasted that might be spent in carrying home-burdens, and thus showing a loving interest in father and mother. The youth might take upon their strong young shoulders many responsibilities which some one must bear."-- Christ's Object Lessons, pp. 342-345.
"It is the very essence of all right faith to do the right thing at the right time."--Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 24.
WHICH WAY WILL IT BE?
Setting before His followers the "two ways" for life's "travelers," the Saviour early in His ministry warned: "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matt. 7:13, 14.
While viewing their own steps with complacency and perhaps even thinking themselves securely on the royal road to the Kingdom, the masses in the broad way view with scorn the handful in the narrow way, regarding them as apostates, fanatically on the way to perdition. But being thus sadly mistaken, the majority fail to see that the broad way which begins at the wide gate, leads not to "life" but "to destruction," and that the narrow way which begins at the strait gate, and which they scorn, leads instead "unto life." By this great error, they give full evidence that they are yet carnal--wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, and know it not.
"The enemy," says the Spirit of Truth, "is preparing for his last campaign against the church. He has so concealed himself from view that many can hardly believe that he exists, much less can they be convinced of his amazing activity and power. They have to a great extent forgotten his past record, and when he makes another advance move, they will not recognize him as their enemy, that old serpent, but they will consider him a friend, one who is doing a good work. Boasting of their independence, they will, under his specious, bewitching influence, obey the worst impulses of the human heart, and yet believe that God is leading them. Could their eyes be opened to distinguish their captain, they would see that they are not serving God, but the enemy of all righteousness. They would see that their boasted independence is one of the heaviest fetters Satan can rivet on unbalanced minds."--Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 294.
Knowing Satan's diabolic plans, and his aim to spare no effort to beguile the church into the broad way, the Lord therefore early in her Laodicean period (May 27, 1856) emphasized these "two ways": "These roads are distinct," He declared, "separate, in opposite directions. One leads to eternal life, the other to eternal death. I saw the distinction between these roads, also the distinction between the companies traveling them. The roads are opposite; one is broad and smooth, the other narrow and rugged. So the parties that travel them are opposite in character, in life, in dress, and in conversation.
"Those who travel in the narrow way are talking of the joy and happiness they will have at the end of the journey. Their countenances are often sad, yet often beam with holy, sacred joy. They do not dress like the company in the broad road, nor talk like them, nor act like them. A pattern has been given them. A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief opened that road for them, and traveled it himself. His followers see his footsteps, and are comforted and cheered. He went through safely; so can they, if they follow in his footsteps.
"In the broad road all are occupied with their persons, their dress, and the pleasures in the way. They indulge freely in hilarity and glee, and think not of their journey's end, of the certain destruction at the end of the path. Every day they approach nearer their destruction; yet they madly rush on faster and faster. Oh, how dreadful this looked to me!
"I saw many traveling in this broad road who had the words written upon them, 'Dead to the world. The end of all things is at hand. Be ye also ready.' They looked just like all the vain ones around them, except a shade of sadness which I noticed upon their countenances. Their conversation was just like that of the gay, thoughtless ones around them; but they would occasionally point with great satisfaction to the letters on their garments, calling for the others to have the same upon theirs. They were in the broad way, yet they professed to be of the number who were traveling the narrow way. Those around them would say, 'There is no distinction between us. We are alike; we dress, and talk, and act alike.'"--Testimonies, Vol. 2, pp. 127, 128.
In spite of this comprehensive statement focusing directly on the church today the light of the Saviour's warning, multitudes of Laodiceans have, like those before them, gone in the broad way. So gross has been this heedlessness that the Lord warns the church that she is "steadily retreating toward Egypt"; that "customs, practices, and fashions which lead the soul away from God, have been for years gaining ground in defiance of the warnings and entreaties of the Holy Spirit; until at last their ways have become right in their own eyes, and the Spirit's voice is scarcely heard."--Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 103.
"'And because iniquity abounds, the love of many shall wax cold.' The very atmosphere is polluted with sin. Soon God's people will be tested by fiery trials, and the great proportion of those who now appear to be genuine and true will prove to be base metal. Instead of being strengthened and confirmed by opposition, threats, and abuse, they will cowardly take the side of the opposers."--Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 136.
With this condition in the church, and with the time arrived when "all things [except the church] are ready" for the Kingdom to be set up, the Lord in mercy is speaking anew to His people: "Hear ye the Rod and Who hath appointed it" (Mic. 6:9)--hear the message of the purification of the church and of the subsequent setting up of the Kingdom.
Thus, the Lord's voice is crying unto the city, the church, that He shall shortly purify it by removing all but the few narrow-way travelers who have sighed and cried for the abominations therein, and have consequently received the seal of God. He is, in other words, warning the church that the harvest is come and that He is about to cast out the bad fish and transfer the good fish into the vessels (Matt. 13:47)--the Kingdom in its Davidian period (Hos. 3:4, 5).
Knowing this, Satan has launched his final campaign against the few who are in the narrow way; and is concentrating upon them the full venom of his Satanic hatred and wiles, so to slow them down as to prevent their escaping the fast approaching slaughter in the church, and thus in turn prevent their entering into "the swift-coming kingdom of God."--Desire of Ages, p. 235.
Well indeed does he know that if he can beguile Present Truth believers into dawdling and back-tracking in the narrow way rather than outrightly traveling in the broad way, he has caught them in a sure trap.
"The agonizing ones," declares the Spirit of Prophecy, "are the only ones who will urge their passage through the strait gate and narrow way that leads to life eternal, to fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. Those who merely seek to enter in will never be able. The entire Christian life of many will be spent in no greater effort than that of seeking, and their only reward will be to find it an utter impossibility for them to enter in at the strait gate."--Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 480.
"Some--yes, a large number--have a theoretical knowledge of religious truth, but have never felt the renewing power of divine grace upon their own hearts. These persons are ever slow to heed the testimonies of warning, reproof, and instruction indited by the Holy Spirit. They believe in the wrath of God, but put forth no earnest efforts to escape it. They believe in Heaven, but make no sacrifice to obtain it. They believe in the value of the soul, and that erelong its redemption ceaseth forever. Yet they neglect the most precious opportunities to make their peace with God.
"They may read the Bible, but its threatenings do not alarm or its promises win them. They approve things that are excellent, yet they follow the way in which God has forbidden them to go. They know a refuge, but do not avail themselves of it. They know a remedy for sin, but do not use it. They know the right, but have no relish for it. All their knowledge will but increase their condemnation. They have never tasted and learned by experience that the Lord is good."--Testimonies, Vol. 5, pp. 221, 222.
Brother, Sister, are you of this "large number" who believe the Truth, but who do not make the necessary effort and the sacrifice to live it; who know the right way, but who are not walking there in? "Determine to know the worst of your case. Ascertain if you have an inheritance on high. Deal truly with your own soul."--Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 161.
How can this be done? Obviously, by doing the one thing which most of us have all along failed to do: fully live the Truth--the progressive Truth. To this end, "God calls for a spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation. Unless this takes place, those who are lukewarm will continue to grow more abhorrent to the Lord, until He will refuse to acknowledge them as His children.
"A revival and a reformation must take place under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of the mind and heart, a resurrection from spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganization, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend."--Christ Our Righteousness, pp. 154, 155.
To the extent that we have so far failed to succeed in this imperative work of exchanging wrong ideas and theories, habits and practices, for right ones, the cause has largely been a half-hearted, unsystematic, and thus unscientific approach, resulting in a static experience.
"Real experience is a variety of careful experiments, made with the mind freed from prejudice and uncontrolled by previously established opinions and habits. The results are marked with careful solicitude, and an anxious desire to learn, to improve and to reform on every habit that is not in harmony with physical and moral laws. The idea of others gainsaying what you have learned by experience seems to you to be folly, and even cruelty itself. But there are more errors received and firmly retained from false ideas of experience than from any other cause, for the reason that what is generally termed experience is not experience at all; because there has never been a fair trial by actual experiment and thorough investigation, with a knowledge of the principle involved in the action."--Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 69.
"There is a science of Christianity to be mastered,--a science as much deeper, broader, higher, than any human science as the heavens are higher than the earth....Often the training and education of a lifetime must be discarded."--Counsels to Teachers, p. 20.
Understanding the work of Christianity as the supreme science, the Present Truth Christian will realize that in order to be an overcoming Christian, he must be a scientific Christian, making his every effort to conform to correct principles and methods in every sphere of the soul's activity. Otherwise his experience must inevitably continue to keep him among that hapless class of Christians concerning whom the Spirit of Prophecy says:
"You rely upon your good intentions and resolutions, and the principal sum of life is composed of resolutions made and resolutions broken."--Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 542.
O wretched men that we are! Who shall deliver unto us--The Key to the Science of Holiness?
"Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock Heaven's storehouse...?"--Steps to Christ, p. 95. It is the breath, the life, of the soul, "the secret of spiritual power."--Gospel Workers, p. 254; Education, p. 258. Hence "in the prayer of faith there is a divine science....a science that every one who would make his lifework a success must understand."--Education, p. 257.
"Those who bring their petitions to God, claiming His promise while they do not comply with the condition, insult Jehovah."--Christ's Object Lessons, p. 142.
How important, then, that prayer meet the conditions laid down--be correct, scientific, inspired! This weighty truth will compel the whole-souled believer critically to re-examine his entire prayer life to make certain that it is not unscientific and uninspired and thus ineffectual--a fraud and a cheat to him, and an insult to God!
By way of a beginning, let us make a check of the basic conditions prerequisite to the effectual fervent prayer which is fundamental to the science of spiritual power:
1. "One of the first of these is that we feel our need of help from him."--Steps to Christ, p. 95. Only then will we draw nigh unto Him, and He draw nigh to us (Eph. 1:7).
2. "If we regard iniquity in our hearts, if we cling to any known sin, the Lord will not hear us...but the prayer of the penitent, contrite soul is always accepted. When all known wrongs are righted, we may believe that God will answer our petitions."--Steps to Christ, p. 95.
"Many...are conscious of their actions as they perform them, but suffer them to pass from their memory, and therefore do not reform.... Daily review of our acts, to see whether conscience approves or condemns, is necessary for all who wish to reach perfection of Christian character. Many acts which pass for good works, even deeds of benevolence, will, when closely investigated, be found to be prompted by wrong motives."--Gospel Workers, p. 275.
"With fasting and earnest prayer, with deep heart-searching, stern self-examination, lay bare the soul: let no act escape your critical examination.
"Commune with your own heart, and then commune with God. Unless you do this, your efforts will be fruitless, made thus by unsanctified hurry and confusion."--Gospel Workers, p. 272.
3. "If we have in any way grieved or wounded others, it is our duty to confess our fault, and seek for reconciliation. This is an essential preparation that we may come before God in faith, to ask His blessing."--Christ's Object Lessons, p. 143.
"He who is unforgiving, cuts off the very channel through which alone he can receive mercy from God. We should not think that unless those who have injured us confess the wrong, we are justified in withholding from them our forgiveness. It is their part, no doubt, to humble their hearts by repentance and confession; but we are to have a spirit of compassion toward those who have trespassed against us, whether or not they confess their faults."--The Mount of Blessing, p. 166.
"If there have been difficulties,...if envy, malice, bitterness, evil surmisings, have existed, confess these sins, not in a general way, but go to your brethren and sisters personally. Be definite. If you have committed one wrong and they twenty, confess that one as though you were the chief offender. Take them by the hand, let your heart soften under the influence of the Spirit of God, and say, 'Will you forgive me? I have not felt right toward you. I want to make right every wrong, that naught may stand registered against me in the books of heaven. I must have a clean record.' Who, think you, would withstand such a movement as this?"--Review and Herald, Dec. 16, 1884.
4. "Perseverance in prayer has been made a condition of receiving. We must pray always, if we would grow in faith and experience."--Steps to Christ, p. 97.
"After the union with Christ has been formed it can be preserved only by earnest prayer and untiring effort."--Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 231.
"Seek every opportunity to go where prayer is wont to be made. Those who are really seeking for communion with God, will be seen in the prayer meeting...to reap all the benefits they can gain."--Steps to Christ, p. 98.
"The prayers offered in public should be short and to the point....A few minutes is long enough for any ordinary public petition."--Gospel Workers, p. 175.
"We should pray in the family circle and above all we must not neglect secret prayer; for this is the life of the soul."--Steps to Christ, p. 98.
5. "There is another matter too often neglected by those who seek the Lord in prayer. Have you been honest with God?"--Christ's Object Lessons, p. 143.
"Prayer offered ever so often and ever so earnestly will never be accepted by God in the place of our tithe. Prayer will not pay our debts to God."--Messages to Young People, p. 248.
6. "When speaking of divine things, why not speak in distinct tones...? Do not bow down and cover up your faces as if there were something that you desired to conceal; but lift up your eyes toward the heavenly sanctuary."--Counsels to Teachers, p. 241.
"While praying, many use careless and irreverent expressions, which grieve the tender Spirit of the Lord, and cause their petitions to be shut out of heaven."--Early Writings, p. 70.
"When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do....The repetition of set, customary phrases, when the heart feels no need of God, is of the same character as the 'vain repetitions' of the heathen."--The Mount of Blessings, p. 129.
"Some...speak of God as they would of a horse, or of any other commonplace thing."--Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 410.
"Never should that name be spoken lightly or thoughtlessly. Even in prayer its frequent or needless repetition should be avoided."--Education, p. 243.
"The words God Almighty are coupled together and used by some in prayer in a careless, thoughtless manner, which is displeasing to Him. Said the angel, "Couple them not together; for fearful is His name....I saw that these things will have to be understood and corrected before the church can prosper."--Early Writings, p. 122; (See also Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 410.)
"Both in public and in private worship, it is our privilege to bow on our knees before the Lord when we offer our petitions to Him. Jesus, our example, 'kneeled down, and prayed.' Of His disciples it is recorded that they, too, 'kneeled down, and prayed.' Paul declared, 'I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.' In confessing before God the sins of Israel, Ezra knelt. Daniel 'kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God.'
"True reverence for God is inspired by a sense of His infinite greatness and a realization of His presence. With this sense of the Unseen, every heart should be deeply impressed. The hour and place of prayer are sacred, because God is there; and as reverence is manifested in attitude and demeanor, the feeling that inspires it will he deepened."--Gospel Workers, p. 178.
7. "Jesus said, 'Ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father himself loveth you.' 'I have chosen you,...that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.' But to pray in the name of Jesus is something more than a mere mention of that name at the beginning and the ending of a prayer. It is to pray in the mind and spirit of Jesus, while we believe his promises, rely upon his grace, and work his works."--Steps to Christ, pp. 100, 101.
"We must not only pray in Christ's name, but by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This explains what is meant when it is said that the Spirit 'maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.' Such prayer God delights to answer. When with earnestness and intensity we breathe a prayer in the name of Christ, there is in that very intensity a pledge from God that He is about to answer our prayer 'exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think."--Christ's Object Lessons, p. 146.
8. Finally, "guard jealously your hours for prayer, Bible study, and self-examination. Set aside a portion of each day for a study of the Scriptures and communion with God. Thus you will obtain spiritual strength, and will grow in favor with God. He alone can give you noble aspirations; He alone can fashion the character after the divine similitude. Draw near to Him in earnest prayer, and He will fill your hearts with high and holy purposes, and with deep, earnest longings for purity and clearness of thought."--Gospel Workers, p. 100.
When our prayers are thus inspired, we know that our asking a favor of the Lord is but asking Him to open the way for us to obtain it ourselves, not him to obtain it for us. Then we put forth our supreme efforts to do our part in answering the prayer.
From this limited canvass of the science of prayer, but one phase of the science of Christianity, we get a clear, close-Up vision of what spells the difference between merely and truly being in the narrow way. That difference, we see, is exactly the difference between the unscientific, the uninspired, and the scientific, inspired consecration and zeal--the difference, ultimately, between coming short and entering into the Kingdom of God. Shall we remain desultory and uninspired Christians and lose, or become scientific and inspired Christians and win? Which will it be, Brother, Sister?
EVERYBODY KNOWS BUT NOBODY ACTS!
In this age of so-called higher criticism, when much of scholarship has grown wise beyond what is written, many Bible expositors have devoted their energies to improving on what God has wrought. With zeal and devotion they have sought to new-model the structure of Holy Writ. To unfulfilled prophecy, they have put the torch of negation, especially to the prophecies concerning ancient Israel. In vindication of this practice, these zealous Bible investigators have evolved the stock position that because the Jews failed to meet the conditions upon which the prophetic promises to them were made, the prophesies thereby became nullified.
By this device, they virtually cancel from the Christian's Bible, the many unfulfilled prophecies of the Old Testament, so that he no longer need give a moment's thought to them. This sort of rationalization, the Laodiceans, as Fundamentalists, have always stoutly opposed. But now even they have fallen into the same pernicious process of negation.
Perhaps the most notable case in point is their desperate attempt to throw out of court the many prophetic evidences of the purification of the church by the supernatural slaughter decreed in Ezekiel 9. And though The Shepherd's Rod has already brought from almost unnumbered angles a lavish amount of proof of the absolute certainty that the prophecy of Ezekiel 9 does meet its fulfillment in the imminent purification of the church, and that the "escaped" (Isa. 66:19) will gather all their brethren to the house of the Lord (verse 20), we herewith commend for prayerful evaluation the following passages:
"The true people of God, who have the spirit of the work of the Lord, and the salvation of souls at heart, will ever view sin in its real, sinful character. They will always be on the side of faithful and plain dealing with sins which easily beset the people of God. Especially in the closing work for the church, in the sealing time of the one hundred and forty-four thousand who are to stand without fault before the throne of God, will they feel most deeply the wrongs of God's professed people. This is forcibly set forth by the prophet's illustration of the last work under the figure of the men each having a slaughter weapon in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side. 'And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.'"--Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266.
"...They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked, represented by the work of the five men bearing slaughter weapons. Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those 'that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done' in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying. Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel.
"But the general slaughter of all who do not thus see the wide contrast between sin and righteousness, and do not feel as those do who stand in the counsel of God and receive the mark, is described in the order to the five men with slaughter weapons: 'Go ye after him through the city, and smite; let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity; slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary."—Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 267.
"The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions his messengers, the men with slaughtering weapons in their hands: 'Go ye after him through the city, and smite; let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity; slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children, and women; but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.'
"Here we see that the church--the Lord's sanctuary--was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God's power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil. He is too merciful to visit his people in judgment. Thus peace and safety is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God's people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs, that would not bark, are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children, all perish together."--Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211.
"This sealing of the servants of God is the same that was shown to Ezekiel in vision. John also had been a witness of this most startling revelation."--Testimonies to Ministers, p. 445.
The threefold fact that (1) the message to the Laodiceans is not to the membership, the church, but to the angel--the ministry (see Rev. 3:14, 18) which has charge of it; that (2) the 144,000 sealed or marked ones (for the sealing is the same as the marking--Testimonies to Ministers, p. 445) are the servants of God; and that (3) they are the first fruits (first implies second, suggesting a harvest); leads to the inescapable conclusion that they are the first of the wheat-harvest in the church, Israel, and that, as is sadly borne out by Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 80, they replace the ministers who serve before the "wheat" is separated from the "tares."
"We have been inclined to think," says the Spirit of Prophecy, "that where there are no faithful ministers, there can be no true Christians; but this is not the case. God has promised that where the shepherds are not true He will take charge of the flock himself. God has never made the flock wholly dependent upon human instrumentalities. But the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure and true. In the mighty sifting soon to take place, we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge his floor....Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent, will not then stand at the head of rank and file. They did not keep pace with the light. Those who have proved themselves unfaithful will not then be entrusted with the flock. In the last solemn work few great men will be engaged. They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and he cannot use them. The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view. There are precious ones now hidden who have not bowed the knee to Baal. They have not had the light which has been shining in a concentrated blaze upon you. But, it may be under a rough and uninviting exterior the pure brightness of a genuine Christian character will be revealed. In the daytime we look toward heaven, but do not see the stars. They are there, fixed in the firmament, but the eye cannot distinguish them. In the night we behold their genuine luster."--Testimonies, Vol. 5, pp. 80, 81.
Know your own case and the remedy. Will you continue to shun even mentioning the Laodicean condition? or will you lay well to heart the tragic fact: "...our own course of continual backsliding has separated us from God. Pride, covetousness, and love of the world have lived in the heart without fear of banishment or condemnation. Grievous and presumptuous sins have dwelt among us. And yet the general opinion is that the church is flourishing, and that peace and spiritual prosperity are in all her borders.
"The church has turned back from following Christ her Leader, and is steadily retreating toward Egypt. Yet few are alarmed or astonished at their want of spiritual power. Doubt and even disbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God, is leavening our churches everywhere. Satan would have it thus. Ministers who preach self instead of Christ would have it thus. The testimonies are unread and unappreciated. God has spoken to you. Light has been shining from his word and from the testimonies, and both have been slighted and disregarded. The result is apparent in the lack of purity and devotion and earnest faith among us."—Testimonies Vol. 5, p. 217.
"We have wandered away from the old land-marks. Let us return. If the Lord be God, serve him; if Baal, serve him. Which side will you be on?"—Testimonies Vol. 5, p. 137.
If love for the salvation of others means to point out their errors then great is the moral responsibility to show as much love for the Laodiceans. Indeed, even greater should be the burden, for Inspiration reveals that there are none so much in need of loving correction as are the Laodiceans (Rev. 3:14-18). Consequently, their repudiation of such sacrificing efforts is base ingratitude. It is thus that they say we are rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing. So much the more, therefore, the guilt upon God's messengers if they fail to sound the Lord's warning to their Laodicean brethren. (See Ezek. 3:19, 20.)
Remember that praise stems from flattery, but correction from love.
"Am I therefore become your enemy," asks the Saviour, "because I tell you the truth?" Gal. 4:16.
Will you not now act like men and women who delight to know the worst of their cases, and correct their course, thus finding favor with the Lord?
THE CHURCH AND THE HOME.
Making the church and the Kingdom the patterns for the home, the Bible thus implicitly reveals that the Christian must carefully study these two divine blue prints in order to model his home exactly after them.
Again, the Scriptures draw a parallel between the Lord and the husband (Hos. 1, 2), and between the church and the wife:
"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." Eph. 5:22-24.
Clearly, this divine injunction charges the wife to respect her husband as she would the Lord, the husband being the family's temporal Saviour, as the Lord is the church's eternal Saviour. ("Christ...loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word." Eph. 5:25, 26.). When she disregards this divine injunction, she insults God.
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church." Eph. 5:25.
Thus just as binding and sacred is the husband's responsibility to his wife. He is to regard his wife as Christ does His church. Whenever he does less than this, he violates the law of the Lord.
Thus, while the church is duty-bound to respect and obey her Lord, the wife is to respect and obey her husband; and the husband is duty-bound to love and care for his wife as the Lord loves and cares for His church. From this, it follows that the house of the Lord is likened to the house of the husband. Accordingly, in the same way as the Lord controls the affairs of His house, the church, so the husband is to control the affairs of his home, the family. And since the church's own welfare depends upon its cooperation with the will of the Lord, likewise the family's welfare depends upon its cooperation with the will of the father. Doubly clear, therefore, is the fact that just as Christ holds the "headship" over the church, so the father holds the headship over the home. And just as the converted church rejoices in pleasing her head, Christ, so likewise the converted wife rejoices in pleasing her head, her husband. In this happy state, both the man and the woman realize that they are, after all, each other's second self.
"But I would have you know," declares Paul, "that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered, dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God." 1 Cor. 11:3 through 5, 11, 12.
This beautiful home-relationship is often undermined and wrecked by financial mismanagement or by erroneous education, or by both, because the divine pattern is not followed. The Lord supports His wife, the church, but she herself handles the medium of exchange, the money, to pay for the things she purchases; accordingly therefore, though the husband supports the home, the wife is to handle the money and pay for the things needed to run the home. And if the husband is receiving only a subsistence income, then even more especially should he give his pay check to the wife, so that she may budget it to cover the home's necessities up to the next pay day. With the wife handling the money, great advantages will thus accrue, for, it is she alone who uses and therefore alone knows the things which are needed in the home. Thus knowing her daily financial limitations, she will know precisely what she can and what she cannot buy to run the home.
Naturally, then, she will diligently see that only the most necessary wants of the home are first cared for, thereby preventing any over-buying of one thing on her part, or any underbuying of another thing by her husband, or vice versa--this latter condition inevitably resulting if he holds the purse strings and doles out to her to do the buying. Handled as it should be, the purse will not go flat, and the home will suffer no shortages, no contentions, and no break-ups.
If, however, the family's earnings are more than just a living, then he and the wife may together more broadly budget their earnings, first caring for necessary current expenses, then banking or investing the rest.
Thus to understand that the husband is not merely the money bag, but is the king of the home, the "House-band," and that the wife is not a nonentity merely to cook the meals, wash the dishes and clothes, scrub the floor, and care for and rear the children, but is the queen of the home, the helpmeet is to have a true appreciation of the wholesomeness of divinely inspired marriage.
"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships, she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it; with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised." Prov. 31: 10 through 30.
So while the queenly wife looks after the family's internal problems, the kingly husband looks after the family's external problems.
Furthermore, as the Lord Himself is the "Principal" of His church as a school, and His "wife" (the church, but especially the ministry--those who bring forth converts, children, in the faith), the teacher of their children in the Spirit, so the husband is the principal of his home as a school, and his wife the teacher of their children in the flesh.
"To gain a proper understanding of the marriage relation," says the Spirit of Prophecy, "is the work of a lifetime. Those who marry enter a school from which they are never in this life to be graduated.
"In your life-union, your affections are to be tributary to each other's happiness....But while you are to blend as one, neither of you is to lose his or her individuality in the other. God is the owner....Of Him you are to ask: ...How may I best fulfil the purpose of my creation?...Your love for that which is human is to be secondary to your love for God...Is the greatest outflow of your love toward Him who died for you? If it is, your love for each other will be after Heaven's order.
"Neither husband nor wife is to make a plea for rulership....Both are to cultivate the spirit of kindness, being determined never to grieve or injure the other.
"Do not try to compel each other to do as you wish. You cannot do this, and retain each other's love. Manifestations of self-will destroy the peace and happiness of the home. Let not your married life be one of contention. If you do, you will both be unhappy. Be kind in speech and gentle in action, giving up your own wishes. Watch well your words; for they have a powerful influence for good or for ill. Allow no sharpness to come into your voices. Bring into your united life the fragrance of Christlikeness.
"Before a man enters a union as close as the marriage relation, he should learn how to control himself and how to deal with others....
"My brother, be kind, patient, forbearing. Remember that your wife accepted you as her husband, not that you might rule over her, but that you might be her helper.
"One victory it is positively essential for you both to gain,--the victory over the stubborn will: In this struggle you can conquer only by the aid of Christ. You may struggle hard and long to subdue self, but you will fail unless you receive strength from on high. By the grace of Christ you can gain the victory over self and selfishness. As you live His life, showing self sacrifice at every step, constantly revealing a stronger sympathy for those in need of help, you will gain victory after victory. Day by day you will learn better how to conquer self and how to strengthen your weak points of character. The Lord Jesus will be your light, your strength, your crown of rejoicing, because you yield your will to His will....By His help you can utterly destroy the root of selfishness...Forbearance and unselfishness mark the words and actions of those who are born again, to live the new life in Christ."--Testimonies, Vol. 7, pp. 45 through 50.
The great reformatory movement must begin in presenting to fathers and mothers and children the principles of the law of God....Show that obedience to God's Word is our only safeguard against the evils that are sweeping the world to destruction. Parents...by their example and teaching, the eternal destiny of their households will in most cases be decided.
"If parents could be led to trace the results of their action,...many would break the spell of tradition and custom....
"Press home upon the consciences of parents, the conviction of their solemn duties, so long neglected. This will break up the spirit of Pharisaism and resistance to the truth as nothing else can. Religion in the home is our great hope, and makes the prospect bright for the conversion of the whole family to the truth of God."--Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 119.
Only in such a Christian home is Christ's Kingdom exemplified. And in thus reflecting the Kingdom here, all such homes will, when banded together collectively, make up the Kingdom hereafter. How important, then, that the mother and the father cooperate to the full in conducting the home altogether in Christ's way in order to insure its existence both now and forevermore!
Failure on the part of either, to carry out these principles, will wreck the home and scatter the family not only for the present but also for eternity, whereas careful practice of them will safeguard the family's prosperity and happiness in this world, and insure its eternal continuance in the world to come.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
WHO HAS WANDERED AWAY FROM THE OLD LANDMARKS?
Question No. 249--The Seventh-day Adventist church has always taught that the number 666 applies to the leopard-like beast (Rev. 13:1-10). But The Shepherd's Rod teaches that it applies to the two-horned beast (Rev. 13:11). Does not the Spirit of Prophecy plainly tell us that "no line of truth that has made the Seventh-day Adventist people what they are, is to be weakened"?--Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 17. And does it not furthermore warn: "Woe to him who shall move a block or stir a pin of" those messages?--Early Writings, p. 258.
Answer--The Spirit of Prophecy does indeed so teach, and to be in harmony one hundred per cent with it on this point as on all others, The Shepherd's Rod has stripped this truth of the rubbish with which men have covered it, and have thus restored it to its primitive luster.
Though the number 666 has admittedly long been applied to the leopard-like beast, the application was not originated by the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, neither was it taught by them in the early days of the movement. Rather, it was brought in from outside and woven into the web of Seventh-day Adventist theology, despite the fact that the Spirit of Truth declared through the founders of the denomination that the number applied to the two-horned beast:
The "beast," says Elder Geo. W. Holt, writing in the early days of the message, "having seven heads and ten horns is the one referred to; and I think the image, is the beast having 'two horns like a lamb,' that 'spake as a dragon.' His number is 666."--The Present Truth, Vol. 1, No. 8, March, 1850.
The "last power that treads down the saints," says Elder White, writing at about the same time, "is brought to view in Rev. 13:11-18. His number is 666."--A Word to the Little Flock, p. 9.
And finally, Sister White in authenticating this position, declared: "I saw all that 'would not receive the mark of the Beast, and of his Image, in their foreheads or in their hands,' could not buy or sell. I saw that the number (666) of the Image Beast was made up; and that it was the beast that changed the Sabbath, and the Image Beast had followed on after, and kept the Pope's, not God's Sabbath."—A word to the little flock, pp. 18, 19. (Note: The number 666 was placed in parenthesis by the editor of A Word to the Little Flock.)
Here we have from the mouth of three witnesses absolute proof that the denomination's present teaching concerning the number 666 was neither originated nor sanctioned by its founding fathers; that, in fact, it was not one of the lines of truth, nor even one of the blocks or pins of the message, which God gave to this people. Moreover, the Bible puts the number on the two-horned beast. Note that all the characteristics which pertain to the ten-horned beast are described in verses 1-10, and that all which pertain to the two-horned beast are described in verses 11-18. As the number closes the description of the two-horned beast, it cannot logically be applied to the ten-horned beast.
This is just one of the many departures from truth, which caused Sister White far back (1882) to cry out: "The church has turned back from following Christ her Leader, and is steadily retreating toward Egypt. Yet few are alarmed, or astonished at their want of spiritual power. Doubt and even disbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God is leavening our churches everywhere. Satan would have it thus. Ministers who preach self instead of Christ would have it thus. The testimonies are unread and unappreciated. God has spoken to you. Light has been shining from his word and from the testimonies, and both have been slighted and disregarded. The result is apparent in the lack of purity and devotion and earnest faith among us."--Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217.
"We have wandered away from the old landmarks. Let us return. If the Lord be God, serve him; if Baal, serve him. Which side will you be on?"--Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 137.
IS THE SLAUGHTER OF EZEKIEL NINE LITERAL?
Question No. 250--The Shepherd's Rod teaches that the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 is literal. Could it not be a destruction such as is caused by so-called "acts of God"--earthquakes, famines, pestilences, the seven last plagues, or the like?
Answer--The five destructive agents of the wicked in the church are not forces of nature but men with slaughter weapons in their hands. They are supernatural beings, not natural elements. Hence they cannot fittingly represent earthquakes, famines, or the like.
Neither can they be the seven angels with the seven last plagues, for the plagues are seven in number, not five. Furthermore, these angels do not have "slaughter weapons" in their hands, but vials. Still further, the plagues fall in Babylon (Rev. 18:4), whereas the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 takes place in Judah and Israel (Ezek. 9:9).
Ezekiel 9, whether literal or figurative, effects a separation between the good and the bad, the tares and the wheat, in the church (Judah and Israel), just as the plagues finally do in Babylon (Rev. 18:4). And as the plagues are literal, then how could the slaughter weapons be any less literal?
The angel with the writer's inkhorn is to place a mark upon the forehead of all who sigh and cry for the abominations, then the destroying angels are to slay both old and young (Ezek. 9:4-6).
"The church, the Lord's sanctuary," is "the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestations of God's power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief and they say, The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil. He is too merciful to visit his people in judgment. Thus peace and safety is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God's people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs, that would not bark, are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children, all perish together."--Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211.
Only an indirect parallel can be drawn between the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 and the falling of the plagues, because a common end (death befalls both the wicked in the church of Laodicea and the wicked in the churches of Babylon. And only those who say, "We need not look for miracles and the marked manifestations of God's power as in former days," think the slaughter is not literal.
WHO IDENTIFIED PLANETS SEEN IN VISION?
Question No. 251--In his history of the Advent Movement, Elder Loughborough relates: "In the month of November, 1846, a conference was held in Topsham, Maine, at which Elder Bates was present. At that meeting Mrs. White...had a vision which was the cause of Elder Bates becoming fully satisfied as to their divine origin....Mrs. White, while in vision, began to talk about the stars, giving a flowing description of rosy-tinted belts which she saw across the surface of some planet, and added, 'I see four moons.' 'Oh,' said Elder Bates, 'she is viewing Jupiter!' Then having made motions as through traveling through space, she began giving a description of belts and rings in their ever-varying beauty, and said, 'I see seven moons.' Elder Bates exclaimed, 'She is describing Saturn.' Next came the description of Uranus, with its six moons; then a wonderful description of the 'opening heavens,' with its glory."--The Great Second Advent Movement, pp. 257, 258.
Our more powerful telescopes and stellar photography have enabled astronomers to discover that Jupiter has nine moons, and Saturn ten. The five additional moons of Jupiter were discovered between the years of 1892 and 1914. The eighth moon of Saturn was discovered in 1848, the ninth in 1899, and the tenth in 1905. Since this vision it has been discovered that Uranus has but four instead of six moons.
In the light of these astronomical facts, how can you contend for the inspiration of Mrs. White's writings?
Answer--The book, The Great Second Advent Movement, pp. 257, 258, is not saying that Sister White named the planets but is repeating what was purportedly said by those who were present on the occasion of her having the vision of the planets. It does not, moreover, even intimate that Sister White concurred in the particular designations which Elder Bates (in the light of then current astronomical knowledge) gave to the planets which she then envisaged. It was but natural for him, however, to identify them as he did, for it all did fit nicely into the astronomical teachings of that day. So, simply because he, in a moment of zealous enthusiasm not according to Divine revelation, presumed to identify and label what God identified or labeled not, does not give even a semblance of integrity to the charges which the question prefers against her.
She evidently knew nothing about the names of those planets; Elder Bates knew less; and we today know very little if any more. If and when God sees fit to make known their names, His identification of them will be correct; that we know.
DID THE TOWER OF BABEL PRECEDE THE DELUGE?
Question No. 252--Sister White says: "The Lord first established the system of sacrificial offerings with Adam after his fall, which he taught to his descendants. This system was corrupted before the flood, by those who separated themselves from the faithful followers of God, and engaged in the building of the Tower of Babel."--Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 3, p. 301.
This statement seems to imply that the tower of Babel was built before the flood. Did she not know that it was built after?
Answer--Anyone at all familiar with the Bible, ought to know that the tower of Babel was built after the flood. And as she was as well versed in sacred history as are her critics, she obviously did not mean to say what the questioner is trying to make her say by the seeming implication of her language. Even a half-hearted attempt to get the main point she is making, would make manifest that she is referring loosely to those who lived before the flood, and to their descendants who built the tower after the flood, without making a detailed transition. This is simply following the well-known literary practice of taking for granted that the transition is obvious to the reader.
HAS THERE BEEN AMALGAMATION OF MAN AND BEAST?
Question No. 253--"Since the flood," says Mrs. White, "there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in almost endless varieties of species of animals, and in certain races of men."--Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 3, p. 75 (1864.).
Answer--The very fact that the interpretation given Sister White's statement on amalgamation, does result in a biological absurdity such as only the most ignorant and most foolish could subscribe to, is the best evidence that her words are grossly perverted. Whatever one may insist about the grammatical meaning of the phrase, "amalgamation of man and beast," the fact remains evident in the light of what she writes elsewhere on the subject, and in the background of common sense, as well as of her wide understanding of the Bible, along with her early inexperience with words, that she is trying to show two kinds of amalgamation--one among the various races of man, the other among the various genera and species of animals: as for instance, the Hebrew with the Canaanite, and the ass with the horse, resulting in a hybrid race in the one instance, and a hybrid species in the other instance. She herself explains: "Every species of animal which God has created were preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the flood."--Spiritual Gifts, p. 75.
IS ALL OF A WORD TO THE LITTLE FLOCK AUTHENTIC?
Question No. 254--The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, p. 151, quotes from A Word to the Little Flock, concerning the number of the two-horned beast. Since, however, the booklet is written in part by Elder James White and in part by Sister White, we should like to know which wrote the statement in mention, for if it is from Elder White, we do not see how it can carry the authority that the Rod attaches to it.
Answer--Though the quotation in point is from Elder White's pen, the very fact that A Word to the Little Flock was written jointly by him and his wife, shows that she endorsed his articles in the booklet as no less authoritative than her own. Otherwise she would never have permitted his to be published as one with hers. Whatever truth, moreover, he or any of the rest of the pioneers in those days embraced, they originally received through her. In other words, in writing what he did in A Word to the Little Flock, he was only resetting that which was revealed through Sister White. The truth of this is quickly seen from the fact that her statement on the number of the beast, page 19, perfectly corroborates his statement on page 9, the part which the Rod quotes. The acceptance, therefore, of the one's views on the subject is the acceptance of the other's.
YES, THE ROD STILL TEACHES THE "SAME THINGS"
Question No. 255--In its beginning, The Shepherd's Rod agreed with the Spirit of Prophecy that "the remnant of her seed are the 144,000 against whom the dragon makes war."--The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, p. 265. Today, ten years later, it teaches that "'the remnant of her seed' are in this instance those who are yet in the world when Babylon rides the beast (Rev. 17)."--The Symbolic Code, July-December, 1941, p. 9. When was it right--then or now?
Answer--If one cannot deny that the 144,000, the first fruits, are members of the church, then one cannot deny that they are of her seed. And as they remain alive from the slaying of the unfaithful in their midst, they are therefore the "remnant"--that which remains. By the same token of logic, it is equally undeniable that since the woman of Revelation 12 is a symbol of the church to the end of time, then the second fruits of her seed, those who remain alive from the destruction of the wicked throughout the world, are also a "remnant."
Clearly, therefore, both statements are correct. The only point of difference between them is that when the one in Volume 2 was made, the Rod did not have the additional light which later inspired the one in the Code, and which shows that both the 144,000 and the great multitude are remnants: the former because of escaping from the slaying of the Lord in the church (Isa. 66:19), and the latter because of not being called out of Babylon until after the former have gone to the land of Israel (Isa. 66:20), also because of remaining alive after the wicked, from among whom they are called out, have perished.
IS THE ROD SETTING PROPHETIC DATES?
Question No. 256--How can The Shepherd's Rod set prophetic dates and yet be in harmony with Testimonies to Ministers, p. 55, and Early Writings, p. 75?
Answer--Were the Rod guilty of this offense, it of course could not be in harmony with the Testimonies. But it has never set the date of any future event. It has merely established the dates of certain prophetic events which have already taken place. Thus the dates which are treated of in The Shepherd's Rod message are of events after they have been fulfilled--never before they have been fulfilled.
WHAT IS MEANT BY "THAT WHICH IS PUBLISHED"?
Question No. 257--The Symbolic Code says: "Teach only that which is published." Will you please explain whether this restriction is intended to include Bible, Spirit of Prophecy, and Shepherd's Rod literature, all together, or just the writings of the Rod alone?
Answer--The Bible and the books of the Spirit of Prophecy being the sole source of the Shepherd's Rod message, therefore when the Rod is taught, the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy are taught. And since none but the Spirit of Truth, who transmitted the mysteries of Inspiration, can interpret them, then those who attempt to teach them without this Inspired interpretational authority, inevitably fall into the forbidden practice of private interpretation (2 Pet. 1:20)--the great evil which has brought Christendom into its present almost-boundless state of schism and consequent confusion, strife, and impotency.
As we dare not follow in such a path, we must therefore, as teachers of The Shepherd's Rod (the official publications of the Davidian S.D.A. Association), teach only in the light of the Rod those passages which in one way or another need to be interpreted. Thus only will all Present Truth believers ever become of the same mind, seeing eye to eye and speaking the same things (I Cor. 1:10; 1 Pet. 3:8; Isa. 52:8).
And such as do choose to engage in private interpretation are respectfully asked to desist from teaching in the name of the Rod and at its expense. Let them, like honest men, teach in their own names and at their own expense.
IS EVENING THE ENDING OR THE BEGINNING OF DAY?
Question No. 258--Tract No. 10, revised edition, says that the evening is the ending, not the beginning, of the twenty-four hour day. But Genesis 5:1 says the evening and the morning were the first day. Does not this statement put the evening in the first part of the day?
Answer--The Code agrees that according to Genesis 5:1 the evening truly is the first part of the day. For example, Friday night is the first part of Saturday, and Saturday night the first part of Sunday. This Bible fact was recognized by God's people all along the way. But from early in Bible time to this very day, the term "at even" has been used to designate the last part of the day--the afternoon (Ex. 12:6; 16:13; Mark 14:12, 13, 15, 17; John 20:19). Thus this terminology, though in common use, does not in any wise alter the fact that the night which follows the "at even" period and precedes the day, is to be reckoned as the first part of the twenty-four-hour cycle, for "the evening and the morning were the sixth day." Gen. 1:31. It is in this light that the statement on page 17 of Tract No. 10, is to be understood.
WILL GENTILES INHERIT THE KINGDOM?
Question No. 259--Is spiritual Israel made up of Gentiles? Am I right in saying that the relationship of the Gentiles to Israel is that of adoption?
Answer--There is to be but one family tree in the Kingdom, the tree of Jacob, into which the Gentiles are grafted, as is seen from Romans 11.
This is further shown by the holy city wherein is no Gentile gate, but each of whose twelve gates bear one of the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. Hence, the Gentiles who are saved are grafted into the original olive tree, and thus as naturalized citizens of Israel they inherit the Kingdom.
ARE ALL THE GIFTS AMONG US NOW?
Question No. 260--From Brother ---------'s teaching that the gift of healing is not yet among us, but will be restored after the church's purification, are we to understand also that the gift of teaching has not as yet been restored? If this is not to be inferred, then do teachers of The Shepherd's Rod have the gift now?
Answer--"Christ is the same compassionate physician now," declares the Spirit of Prophecy, "that He was during His earthly ministry. In Him there is healing balm for every disease, restoring power for every infirmity. His disciples in this time are to pray for the sick as verily as the disciples of old prayed. And recoveries will follow; for the 'prayer of faith shall save the sick.'"--Ministry of Healing, p. 226.
Brother ------- did not intend to convey the impression that there is no gift of healing among God's people now, but simply that the great miracles of healing, such as were wrought in the time of the early Christian church, are yet future.
Concerning the gift of teaching, we read: "And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers." Isa. 30:20.
When the church is purified, her teachers will be recipients of a greater Pentecostal power than were even the 120 disciples. This is clearly seen from Joel's prophecy of the latter rain, which comes as a teacher of righteousness (Joel 2:23, margin), then becomes invested with the power (verse 28) finally to proclaim that righteousness throughout the world. (See also Early Writings, pp. 277, 278.)
TRUE HEALTH REFORM--WHAT IS IT?
Question No. 261--Does not one meet the full demands of "health reform" when he discards from his table all foodstuffs pronounced unclean by the Bible?
Answer--The term "health reform" means more than abstaining from the use of such foods as the Lord pronounces unclean for human consumption (Lev. 11; Isa. 66:16). Abstention from forbidden foods is but the negative phase of the science. It is the forbidden tree in the garden of today. In its positive and more important phase, it teaches intelligent selection of foods--the clean or forbidden foods which are the most nourishing, which agree best with us, and which will give us the most of the nourishment we need.
No one, however, can prescribe a diet to meet the differing needs of all; for as the countenances of individuals differ, so do their constitutions. Hence, what may be beneficial to one, may be harmful to another, especially so now in this sin-deteriorated generation: for example, an individual whose system is hyperhydrochloric should drink some water with his meals to neutralize somewhat the excessive flow of acid, while, contrariwise, one whose system is hypohydrochloric, should not drink water with his meals, lest he further reduce the strength of the acid by dilution. When, however, one's condition is normal, water may be drunk about two hours after meals.
In another case, if one's metabolism is too rapid, slowly digesting foods can be used to help establish normalcy, but if one's metabolism is sluggish and retarded, slow digesting foods may aggravate his condition.
Likewise, if a stomach in a weakened condition cannot handle the coarse whole grain products, they should give place to refined or semi-refined ones. It should always, however, be remembered that a refined product is deficient both in nutriment and in roughage, and that the deficiency must be compensated for in some other way. One may, for example, make up for the laxative deficiency, caused by insufficient roughage, by using dates, figs, prunes, and the like, and he may make up for the nutritional deficiency by drinking the water from soaked bran or from some other soaked grain, or by taking vegetable broth and especially juices. These supplemental nutritives, though not wholly making up for the nutriment in a proper intake of whole foods, do provide maximum compensation.
The sum of the whole matter, then, is that a true health reformer eats, drinks, and clothes himself for better health, "for strength, and not for drunkenness" (Eccles. 10:17). He constantly studies how to live for better fitness and thus for more efficient service in the Lord's vineyard, and not for self-indulgence and self-serving.
The cause of health reform has been greatly injured, and its advance almost halted, by faddists on the one hand and gluttons on the other. And perhaps the former have done the greater harm of the two. Let us therefore pray for grace and wisdom to strike a balance between these two extremes.
The need for health reform in its proper perspective becomes doubly urgent to us when we realize that nowhere does the importance of the proper use of our time show to greater advantage than at our meal periods. To bolt our food on any occasion, under pressure of time-saving, is false economy. And giving way habitually to this temptation is a sign of uncontrolled appetite, the continued indulgence of which must eventually wreck the strongest constitution, physically, mentally, and morally. One simply cannot save time at the expense of health, and cannot develop high morals giving way to intemperate eating. When only a few moments are available for lunching, a few bites of food thoroughly masticated, are beneficial, whereas a full amount gulped down in a wolfish manner is not only positively brutish but also positively harmful.
It is likewise nothing short of abuse if we eat while under mental stress or nervous tension. Only when the mind is free from anxiety and is surrounded with an atmosphere of cheerfulness, can one realize the full benefit of a meal and sustain no harmful effect.
Amazing indeed are the twisted mental processes of the sinful human mind! For example, when one should be in haste, he is not; and when he should not be in haste, he is! Ironically, the former evil is peculiar to the job, and the latter to the table--the heart of health. It is with this latter evil that we are here concerned. Reform on it will compel one to attach as much importance to the chewing of his food as to the digesting of it, and he will accordingly no more deprive his mouth of the time required for mastication than nature would deprive the stomach of the time required for digestion. Indeed, it is imperative that both be properly maintained. How essential, then, that the mastication as well as the digestion be trouble-free.
The time spent in masticating should be governed by the flow of the saliva. Let the food be thoroughly salivated, for as we have seen, the result of compelling the stomach to handle it unsalivated is indigestion. So to eat fast at meals is to deprive the stomach of its proper chemical action. This delicate balance is easily disturbed when the food does not receive the right amount of saliva to blend perfectly with the gastric juices. Ignoring this principle will cause a vicious circle, and a preponderance of hydrochloric acid, and in turn bring a long train of woeful results: fermentation, irritation, constipation, abdominal disturbances, belching of gas, bad breath, ulcers, malnutrition--ill health.
"Meal-time should be a season for social intercourse and refreshment. Everything that can burden or irritate should be banished. Let trust and kindliness and gratitude to the Giver of all good be cherished, and the conversation will be cheerful, a pleasant flow of thought that will uplift without wearying."--Education, p. 206.
Again: time spent in catching a few bites here and there, promiscuously between meals, is worse than wasted.
Some will have to muster more than average will-power, and summon supernatural assistance, to gain victory on this front, and all must pray constantly to this end. No one can enjoy perfect health and experience maximum happiness by living on cooked food altogether. To get the fullest joy out of life, one must have the fullest development of the physical powers, and to gain this desideratum one cannot discount the importance of the daily use of the raw foods, particularly the leafy and other vegetables. Fruit cannot take the place of vegetables.
The human family of this present generation are suffering more and more ill health in direct proportion to their decreasing use of the raw vegetables. Some have already gone so far in this way of wrong living, that even if they would now completely reform and start using all the greens they could eat, they could only with the greatest difficulty compensate for the nutrition lost. The best they could possibly do in such a case would be to utilize these neglected elements in their most concentrated form. This they can do best by availing themselves of the raw vegetable juices. The Health Page of the next issue of the Code will include some featured formulas for the convenient, inexpensive home manufacture of these palatable and vital liquids.
Watch for them!
A PERSONAL TESTIMONY.
SATAN TRIES, BUT THE LORD WINS.
Dear........--Several years ago my parents, who read themselves into The Shepherd's Rod message, mailed two tracts to an older sister, who was to read them and pass them on to me. Before reading them, however, she showed them to some Adventist friends, who took them to Elder --------- to have him determine whether they contained truth or error. She never saw them again, and thus both of us were deprived of the privilege of reading them. In a few weeks, though, my parents came from Montana expressly to bring us the message. During this time, we were all invited to a Shepherd's Rod study to be held in the evening at a friend's home. Though I did not attend, the other members of my family did, and my mother was so thrilled and over-joyed with the study and the contact with believers of the same faith in a strange city, that she came to my home that same night and aroused me from my rest to tell me the good news.
After this, I began attending the meetings, and found that the message spoke according "to the Law and the Testimony." Now I am experiencing real conversion through the Rod, and am spending the happiest years of my life walking in the light of the Lord. Now I see that though Satan through his servants tries with all his might to keep the truth from a person, the Lord gets it to him anyway, thus plainly showing that those who serve Satan will never win. Surely by this time they should have learned the practical truth of Gamaliel's wise counsel.
Recently I returned from a visit in Southern California. While there I attended a number of studies, at which I heard stirring testimonies. It was indeed good to meet with established Present Truth believers who are walking in the light and seeking to be a people in whose mouth is found "no guile," for thus was I able to carry back to our company a number of points of truth not previously grasped.
Sister .......... bore an encouraging testimony of the progress of the Lord's work at Mt. Carmel. She is eagerly looking forward to returning in the spring, the Lord willing.
Members of my family and I spent many hours together, also some time with another person, studying the sealing message. And while trying to help others become established, I learned more than in months of private study, for the Lord fulfilled His promise in bringing back to my remembrance many things previously learned. Do not miss such an opportunity.
Invaluable in clearing up questions were The Symbolic Code, extracts from "The Teacher's Training Course" on The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, including the chart showing "the 1844 movement, the sealing time, and the close of probation" as understood through the Testimonies and the additional light given through the Rod, along with "A Word to the Student" for my personal admonition. If you do not have these helps, you do not know what you are missing.--(Mrs.) E. E. L.--Portland, Oregon.
Delays have lost battles, cost lives, toppled crowns! Will you let neglect turn the battle against you, take your life, and cheat you of the crown laid up for you? A delay in your receiving the latest issues of Present-Truth literature may do it, for these publications contain heaven's urgent messages to you. You are therefore in the most urgent need of receiving and heeding on time these silent messengers. Be ye not like the five foolish virgins!
By keeping the publishing office informed in regard to changes of address, you may save yourselves a great disappointment due to delay in receiving the literature. Remember that simply informing your Post Office of your change of address, without informing this publishing office, will not get the literature to you, for third class mail is not forwarded, but is returned to the sender. This results not only in extra expense but also in weeks and not infrequently even in months of delay, and sometimes failure entirely, in our getting to you the Lord's latest message to His people. This loss may mean the loss of your own soul or of another in your family. Be alert to give advanced notice when changing address.
The message invests no one with authority to solicit financial help to carry on either their work or that of The Shepherd's Rod. And all field workers recognized by this Association are furnished with 1943 credentials.
Having repeated need of many of the early S.D.A. publications, especially several old and rare volumes of the writings of Mrs. E.G. White, all long since out of print, our publishing office is sounding a call for donations of such volumes. Particularly desired are Sister White's various old published bulletins, pamphlet series (such as B), and Review and Herald articles, and most especially such volumes as Early Experience and Views, Spiritual Gifts, The Life of Paul, and Captivity and Restoration.
Our Educational Department can make very good use of all the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy in general, and of the Educational works and Conflict of Ages series in particular. Anyone donating any of these will therefore be making a very real and appreciated contribution.
AFTER TWELVE YEARS
To keep alive the hope that the brethren as a whole would sooner or later embrace the sealing message, the Divine Author of this "closing work for the church" (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266) has hitherto given His messengers no title. Hence the name of their publication, The Shepherd's Rod, has naturally been attached to them.
Having now, though, at the closing of its twelfth year, progressed to the publication of the "Leviticus," the Association receives from this governmental organ, the name, Davidian Seventh-day Adventists. No longer, therefore, does it borrow its name from its publications. The inception of this governmental set-up, along with the name, suggests that the long-predicted Davidian Kingdom is about to be ushered in.
Therefore--"Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more." Zeph. 3:14, 15.
"Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean." Isa. 52:1.
A NEW PUBLICATION FREE
Send for our forthcoming tract, War-Prophecy Digest, and just as soon as it is off the press, we will rush your copy to you. All who do this, will, moreover, be automatically qualified for our War-Analysis Participation. And every participant, irrespective of the correctness of his analysis, will receive a special and valuable memento of Present Truth. Act without delay.
CONTINUE THE OFFENSIVE
Are you among those who have with patient zeal faithfully continued in the Name-Ingathering campaign, or are you among those who, unable to endure the race set before them, have fallen by the wayside? The year 1943 should see doubled and trebled the number of names and addresses sent in. This is yours to achieve, and you shall achieve it by meeting two conditions: first, by exploiting every opportunity to commingle wisely with the church brethren, quietly making new acquaintances; renewing and continuing old ones; and second, by tactfully eliciting from them their names and addresses.
Doubtless, there is seldom a week in which the normally-circumstanced Present Truth believer does not see at least one new S.D.A. face (besides one or more of the old ones) whose name and address he forgets to ask for. Perhaps he instead talks so much that his hearer becomes prejudiced and refuses to give any address. Far more valuable is the service of obtaining this needed information, than debating doctrine.
Some can write letters to members of isolated Sabbath-schools, and church groups in various places, and tactfully ask for the listings of their members; while virtually all can gather parts of lists by personal contact at the general meetings: Regional and Camp meetings, Fall Councils and General Conferences, M.V. rallies and Colporteur Institutes, Special services, etc.
Few, if any, have exhausted all the possibilities of procuring names and addresses of our brethren who hunger for truth and righteousness. Always keep with you a notebook expressly for this purpose, and use it well! Resolve that 1943 will see you work as never before to get new names and addresses, and to get them meticulously correct.
Brother, Sister, our brethren are judgment-bound for the slaughter pre-depicted in Ezekiel 9! We must give an account for their souls. Gather their names and addresses and send them in quickly!
VOLUME 2 LESSONS READY
Those who intend to enroll "sometime" in our Teacher's Training (Correspondence) Course, should send in their applications now. To defray the cost of building and maintaining this extension service, a total charge of $7.00 will be made for the first semester of lessons on The Shepherd's Rod, which include all of Volume 1.
Only those who complete the lessons on Volume 1, will be eligible for the follow-up lessons on Volume 2, which will be equivalent to a second semester of resident Bible work. Applications are now being received for this second part of the course. The total charge for this work is $8.00.