(Waco TX) Greetings from Mt. Carmel. Angel's voice from above, and creation from below, kept me in the straight road.
Published in May & June 1937
MT. CARMEL CENTER
Lake Waco Texas
Lightening The Earth
KEPT ME IN THE STRAIGHT ROAD
By Sr. V.T. Houteff
A little over seven years ago, a startling appeal from the courts of heaven came to me. An angel, invested with celestial glory, sufficient to illuminate the entire earth with light resplendent, was the messenger, and he, so unmistakably divine, addressed me through human lips. His voice was strong and clear as he announced that the time of "the great and dreadful day of the Lord" had arrived. But, sad to say, rather than finding me a fit subject for the kingdom, he found me in a "sad deception," fallen fast asleep. Then, suddenly being awakened from my "deep sleep," I stood awe-stricken, remorseful; and as I listened intently to him continue his discourse, my eyes began slowly to open.
To my indescribable joy, not a condemnatory word for my transgressions fell from his lips; but rather, an opportunity was given me to confess my sins, and to accept the high and exalted privilege of being one of the 144,000, who are to "stand with the Lamb on Mt. Zion."
As I pondered these good tidings my heart filled with ecstasy, and I was animated with zeal quickly to make the needful preparation, and to set my feet toward Mt. Zion, to keep the appointment that I did not even think of declining to make.
But since then, I have found that there is a far greater amount of work to do in getting ready than I at first realized, and that I must be without "spot, wrinkle, or any such thing." This seemed an impossibility, but the harder I tried to make the necessary changes in my life, the clearer I was able to perceive the glorious opportunities and privileges that afford the fond prospect of the time when the prophecies, which the prophets themselves longed to see fulfilled, shall come to pass. Thus my load was lightened and my path made clearer.
O, what a vast contrast there is between this, our happy outlook of an "exceeding and eternal weight of glory," and that of those who from day to day live empty, aimless lives of seeking only pleasures which, lasting merely for the time being, soon vanish into nothingness, leaving these poor squandered lives only the forlorn and hopeless prospect of the day of death and doom!
As time wore on, my eyes continued gradually to open more and more to the magnitude of the work--that of the ingathering of the 144,000 and the innumerable multitude--attached to the glorious truth brought by the angel of Revelation 18:1.
This solemn and weighty responsibility lay heavily upon my heart, and I endeavored to fill the place that the Lord assigned to me in helping to spread the "words of life."
My experience in the message has taught me that for my labors for Him, He has given me more blessings than I could ever recount, many of which have come in the form of invaluable lessons, chiefest among which is that, when one is busily engaged in the Lord's work, he not only shuns many temptations, but also receives great rewards; whereas, if he is doing nothing, very little, or any less than he is capable of doing, he succumbs to temptations which cause him either to lose all interest in his "Father's business," or to criticize every advance step that the Faithful and True Witness may direct. Also, I have seen many who apparently manifested great zeal in the interest of Present Truth but who, having not had an experience with God, have not received any blessing. This sad condition has constantly reminded me of the warning given to us through Ezekiel:
"Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good." (Ezek. 16:49, 50.)
But my more recent call to unite with Brother Houteff has placed upon me a far greater responsibility than that which thus far had been mine. This call I well realize did not come to me because of any worthiness in me, and although I am immeasurably thankful and happy in my lot, yet I have lost all self-reliance, realizing now more fully than ever the never-failing surety of the promise of my Lord, Who will now, in the "closing work for the church," do no less for any of us than He did for His people in times past.
And Now I Shall Endeavor to Bring to You Nature's Voice from Mt. Carmel.---In the midst of harvesting, we can now understand some of nature's lessons better than we could some months ago when the crops were merely promising an abundance of grain. The prospects were such that we felt almost sure of reaping a greater harvest of wheat and oats than this vicinity had ever seen. However, though our high expectations are not altogether disappointed, yet we have gathered less than two thirds of the amount which seemed assured in prospect but a few weeks ago.
This shortage is due to the crop's receiving no April rain. Hence, all that stood between our field's yielding but a partial crop and its yielding a full crop, was one rain.
Its being true that nature is God's open book to all nations, tongues, and peoples, be they small or great, learned or illiterate, we are admonished by the lesson from this year's harvest to avail ourselves of the moisture (truth) from above while we are now in the time of the latter rain, which is to give us the development that will recommend us to the heavenly garner. Therefore, just as the complete success of Mt. Carmel's crops depended upon the April-May rains, so the completeness of our holiness and salvation depends upon the showers of the "latter rain" (teacher of righteousness--Joel 2:23, margin) as God, Himself, is the "husbandman" of the field, and the Creator of the rain, He would not cause either too much or too little rain (Present Truth) to fall upon the grain (church). Consequently, we who have the opportunity to make use of all the Present Truth (rain) which God sends, will, if we in any way deprive ourselves of it, fail in our Christian development, as did Mt. Carmel's fields fail in their development, falling short of yielding a full crop to the "Husbandman" Who hath long waited for His "first fruits" of the promised seed.
As a secretary of the reform movement, I have seen, in my observation of the field of "wheat" (Present Truth believers), that some are letting the showers pass by. They are not only failing to make use of the "rain," but are even brushing from their garments the drops, fearing that it will do them harm! They see the rain falling, but rather than helping themselves to it, they are wasting their time gazing at the clouds (messengers) which carry it, thinking thus to know whether the clouds are traveling in the way in which mortal minds think right for rain, or in the way in which God made them go to drop their rain.
As I look with grief upon this sad condition, I cannot help but cry aloud to the field: "Shall the axe boast itself against Him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against Him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood." (Isa. 10:15.)
O, Brother, O, Sister, are you studying "the face of the sky," or the "signs of the times"? (Matt. 16:3.) Are you more interested in the movements of the clouds than in the rain which they drop for you? Awake! Awake! dear Present Truth believers who have gone back to sleep! Do you not realize that you need even the smallest of the showers, and that your growth and attainment "to the stature of the fullness of Christ" depends upon your absorbing all the showers? You need every drop of rain which God sends, and you will be called to account for all to which you have had access.
We are commanded by the great I AM, "faithfully and fearlessly" to "warn those who embrace but a part of the truths connected with the third message, that they must gladly receive all the messages as God has given them, or have no part in the matter."--"Early Writings," p. 189.
"Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture [truths that please you], but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? And to have drunk of the deep waters [the greater truths], but ye must foul the residue with your feet? And as for My flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet." (Ezek. 34:18, 19.)
Do not, my brothers and sisters, abuse God's mercy, and turn a deaf ear to His pleadings by questioning and criticizing everything now "in the unfolding of truth," when you should be feeding on the "green pastures" and on the holy "rain," lest He surprise you at your "unholy feast." ("Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 690. Why should we be like the Jews of old who questioned and criticized Christ's work, character, and experience, all the way from His parentage to His resurrection? They thought themselves wise in doing this, but as their deeds later proved both to themselves and to the world, they were but fools. And now may we, brother, sister, profit by their experience, and take the Lord's advice to lay aside all human wisdom and become child-like, so that He may fill us with divine wisdom, thus proving both to ourselves and to the world that we are not as the Jews of old. God has delegated no one either to look after or to supervise His work. He is well able to take care of it, and without our criticisms, but He cannot take care of our salvation if we do not allow Present Truth to "engross the whole mind, the whole attention" ("Early Writings," p. 118), to impel us to spread the message, and to eradicate our long cultivated evil habits, rather than to allow Satan to urge us to try to direct the work.
"The time has come to make decided efforts in places where the truth has not yet been proclaimed. How shall the Lord's work be done? In every place that is entered, a solid foundation is to be laid for permanent work. The Lord's methods are to be followed. It is not for you to be intimidated by outward appearances, however forbidding they may be. It is for you to carry forward the work as the Lord has said it should be carried. Preach the word, and the Lord by His Holy Spirit will send conviction to the minds of the hearers. The word is, 'And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.' Mark 16:20.
"Many workers are to act their part, doing house-to-house work, and giving Bible readings in families. They are to show their growth in grace by submission to the will of Christ. Thus they will gain a rich experience. As in faith they receive, believe, and obey Christ's word, the efficiency of the Holy Spirit will be seen in their life-work. There will be seen an intensity of earnest effort. There will be cherished a faith that works by love and purifies the soul. The fruits of the Spirit will be seen in the life."--"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 9, p. 141.
I cannot express how earnestly I hope and pray that every Present Truth believer may gain an experience with God and receive even greater blessings than have I. I shall do my part to help answer my own prayers in your behalf, and to grant my heart's desire, by doing what little I can for you, my brothers and sisters, whether it be in person or by correspondence, or by my endeavors to exert the kind of influence that will direct your minds to the One Who, by His death, made possible our doing even "greater works" than He.
I heartily thank all who have helped make our burdens lighter by their whole-heartedly cooperating with us in this great work of gathering the firstfruits, and for your fervent prayers in our behalf.
"WHO ART THOU THAT JUDGEST ANOTHER MAN'S SERVANT?" (ROM. 14:4)---To Whom It May Concern:
Dear Brother-------:---Brother W. kindly passed on to me your recent letter to him, and as it has been some time since I last heard from you, I was very much interested in reading it, and in learning that you are getting along so nicely in your farm home. But above all, I am happy to know that your faith in the message, is good. However, I am indeed grieved by your unwarranted statements in reference to the management of the sealing work. Hence, I am taking occasion to write to you.
In your letter, I read: "I believe the messenger and the message as much as ever, but I cannot understand some things, and the only consistent thing to do under these circumstances is not to fight the message or the Messenger, but occupy your time in such lines as you can feel that you are happy in the Lord and wait results."
It is fatal rather than wise, my brother, to state that you believe in the message and the messenger,' and yet turn right around and by your writing to tempt others to follow your example by merely occupying their time and waiting for "results," when, contrary to your philosophy, the message in which you say you believe instructs you not to "occupy your time" as you now do, but to "Plead with your mother, plead for [saith the Lord] she is not My wife, neither am I her husband." (Hos. 2:2) 'Turn the heart...of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." (Mal. 4:6.)
Moreover, the Spirit of Prophecy counsels: "Those who refuse to accept and obey God's word until every objection has been removed, and there is no longer an opportunity for doubt, will never come to the light."--"The Great Controversy," p. 527.
In the face of these specific instructions I cannot see, Brother --------, how you can understandingly say, "I believe," while you do not comply with the requirements of the message in which you believe. Your letter plainly reveals that you have settled on "your lees," and are, without fear of the evil that lies at your door, waiting for "results," thus doing the very thing that God in the following language condemns:
"And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil." (Zeph. 1:12.)
Had you lived in the days of Lot, and had you believed in his message, but simply because you did not "understand some things" you, as his sons and daughters, did not respond to his earnest plea--"escape this night for thy life"--but waited for "results," would you have escaped from the "fire and brimstone," which reduced to ashes the most proud cities of the plain?
Again you say: "I am thoroughly convinced of one thing,...and that is the fact that Brother Houteff's management is human...his work is that of an interpreter, and in this respect he shines in my estimation."
I shall not at all attempt to defend my case, Brother, but will leave it to Him Who is the "Householder", letting Him defend His Own work and management. However, suppose my management is "human," am I to be blamed if God, according to your thinking, is not interested enough in His work than to allow human wisdom to manage it? Am I responsible if He is not taking the management in His Own hands?
I believe He is more interested in the work and its management than you and I will ever be, and if for some reason He does not see fit, as you think, to instruct me in all the details of the work, then He must, to be wise and consistent, have called on some one else to assume the management of His great work. Hence, why does not that one come forth to take this heavy load from my shoulders? And if God has not called on someone else besides me to assume this great responsibility, what shall you and I do about it? Shall we sit down on "our lees" and wait, although He says, "Go"? In the case of such a predicament, if we should select someone who has no special call from God, will his management of the work be divine if my management is not? You will pardon me for my sincere questions though a bit immodest they may be, for I am trying to help you view the situation from the angle where the light shines clearest. If we should appoint someone not appointed by God, Himself, especially if that one be less informed in the message than he who is managing now, would our appointee's human wisdom be less apt to mismanage or make mistakes?
At any rate, as you think that some improvements must be made in the management, then why are you "waiting for results"? Why not come to the help of the Lord? Truly, Brother, ----, those who are best equipped to take an active part in the work, are the very ones who are waiting to see "results" from us fellows who have neither talent nor experience. And if the work should make good enough progress in our hands, do you suppose that they will then quit "waiting", and join whole-heartedly in the work? And if they should then come to help, will you please tell me what need we or the Lord would have for them so late? Moreover, would their "waiting results" now, promote them to the management then?
You say, substantially, that "Brother Houteff's" work is that of an "interpreter" and not a manager, but our tract No. 1, in which you claim to believe, and of which kind of interpretation you say, "He shines in it, in my estimation," explains that Ezekiel represents the messenger of today, and in it the words of God are quoted saying: "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel." (Ezek. 3:17.)
After you made the above mentioned statements in your letter, you then endeavored to polish them up a bit, and establish them by bringing in the prophets of old on the one hand, and the Papacy on the other hand. You claim, "That the prophets themselves were not always sure where they stood in matters of advice." However, you have not only failed to give a reference of such an account, but also to consider the king's testimony of the prophet's wise counsel, and to hear the pertinent rebuke which Christ gave against such an unwarranted statement. Hence, I quote: "Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper." (2 Chron. 20:20.) "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken." (Luke 24:25.)
I am not urging you to believe every word that is spoken by me in every day's passing conversation, but I am trying to make you realize that, for the sake of Christ, as well as your soul, you should believe all that is written. Now, I ask you, Brother ---------, what if King Jehosophat, at the time that "the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mt. Seir came up against Judah," had, by failing to believe and to heed the prophet Jahaziel's advice in the matter of the battle, taken the position which you have taken, or that which king Saul took, would he have defeated his enemies, or would they have defeated him? Or, when did God ever excuse the multitude who failed to take heed to every detail of Moses' management?
You hold that absolute obedience to the prophet's words will run into papal bondage! This is too extravagant a statement for a Present Truth believer to make, and you have not this time levelled an objection only against me, or against God, but against both Him and Moses in the time of the Exodus movement. For if you now think that such a government is tinctured with papal spirit, does not your statement also imply that, figuratively speaking, the Exodus movement took the people from the frying pan only to throw them into the fire?
The message and its Scripture interpretations, in which you profess to believe, prove that the Mosaic movement was a type of the one which is now in progress, and unless you, my dear Brother -------, radically change your mind, and the opinion which you are now holding, and allow Christ to take the reins in His Own hands, you will never have a part in the kingdom which this message is about to set up.
Quoting further from your letter, you say, "Brother Houteff is a messenger of the Lord, but he does not realize in his human weakness that he is attempting too great a problem in undertaking to manage everything! Moses himself had to be admonished by Jethro in this particular, and you will see changes in the same line ere long at Waco. He has made mistakes and will continue to make them, the same as you or me in this vale of tears."
Pardon me, Brother --------, but I think you are mistaken in saying that Brother Houteff "does not realize that he is attempting too great a problem in undertaking to manage everything," for I am in a better position than anyone else to know whether or not I realize my problems. I am not by choice, but rather by necessity, undertaking to manage "everything." Those who could and should be helping in the management have left me to do the work with children, sick women, and crippled men, while those who might be helping me are standing afar off, criticizing and waiting for "results." Yes, I am undertaking more than you perhaps will ever know--more, because in part, even those who are competent physicians, have left also their work for me to do, and are themselves doing nothing to help us in our physical infirmities but to "occupy... time...and wait results."
Today I had to treat six patients, and my wife had to treat two more. I then went to town to purchase a tire for our truck, and helped put it on, after which I wrote five letters, besides this one; edited the entire Code manuscript; not mentioning other business problems that called for my attention all day long. Yes, I even had to go twice to the farm to look after things; once to the dam to take care of an injured horse; twice to the water tank project; and drew plans for the tank and for other building construction.
While writing this, I was interrupted by a sudden call, and have just gotten through bandaging a certain brother's fractured chest. And as the clock is about to strike 9:30 P.M., I shall retire at this juncture to rest until the rising bell rings at 5:00 A.M.
Good morning, Brother -------! Though I intended to rest until 5:00 o'clock, I awakened early, finding my mind possessed of the same thoughts that were there when I went to sleep last night, and as my sleep was gone, I felt that I had better get to my duties for the day, by endeavoring to finish my writing to you. It is now 3:45 A.M., and the weather looks like it will rain. While the south breeze is very cool and refreshing, I am glad to get ahead of the work before the heat of the day commences, but my mind again runs to the farm, wondering if a rain would do any damage to our oats, as some of the sheaves are lying in the field unshocked. But I will not worry you with the farm.
I have already heard Jethro speaking, but I do not, as did Moses, have the men to invest with some of the responsibilities; and yet, with but little help, I am expected in short notice to build this camp, and at the same time to care also for the work beyond. My help on this hill consists of ten men, one of whom is but little able to do much more than to take care of himself. We cared for him for about six months while he was sick in bed. Two of the others are crippled, one of whom is a nervous wreck, and the other of whom walks with a cane and two braces. Two others are young and inexperienced. Only five of these ten men are experienced in working, and two of these are among those not in good health, as above mentioned. One is a carpenter by trade, (and at night a doctor by necessity, giving regularly two half hour treatments), another a plumber, the third, a plasterer, the fourth, a bookkeeper, and the fifth, a school teacher. With this number of men, I am expected to clear up the land, put up the buildings, construct the water system, build roads, teach school, do the farming, take care of the cattle, etc., etc.
I most heartily agree with you that there will be great "changes in the same line ere long at Waco!"--not in that sit down and "wait results,"but rather in that you brethren come forward and share in the weight of the load.
I am sorry, Bro. -------, that you have allowed the enemy to confuse you so, but what is still worse is that instead of teaching the message, you are by your writing scattering seeds of confusion! Ask yourself the question: Are my letters in any way helping those who read them? Are they putting others to work for the message or are they urging even those who are now at work to follow my example? These pages prove that your letter contains no wisdom at all, and yet in it you are passing judgment upon the entire work!
The bell for morning worship and breakfast is about to ring, and as I have but five minutes to get there, I must not be late. Hence, I stop right here, and will endeavor to finish writing to you after breakfast.
Breakfast is now over, but before getting to my duties in the office, it took me a little time to give every man his work, and now having read my morning mail, I am ready to finish this unusually long epistle.
Your letter calls for more, but as I have already taken much of your time, here I stop, trusting that this reply will not be a hindrance to you, but rather a help in your eternal warfare, and that you will neither pass blind judgments on the work, nor waste your precious time by passing the mistakes of others to those who are not at fault. Believe me, Bro. ----------, I have tried to save you from this terrible spirit of destructive criticism, and my prayer is that God will bless you and put your feet on solid ground.
Due to the fact that there are others who have fallen victims to this same "unclean spirit," and who also have poisoned the minds of others, I shall publish this letter in the Code for the benefit of all, hoping to set them free. Furthermore, in the following paragraph I am quoting from the Spirit of Prophecy a few lines of instruction along this line.
"'Satan knows how to make his attacks. He works upon minds to excite jealousy and dissatisfaction toward those at the head of the work. The gifts are next questioned; then, of course, they have but little weight, instruction given through vision is disregarded.' ...'By giving place to doubts and unbelief in regard to the work of God, and by cherishing feelings of distrust and cruel jealousies, they are preparing themselves for complete deception. They rise up with bitter feelings against the ones who dare to speak of their errors and reprove their sins.'"--"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 672.
for greater speed, more "eyesalve,"
less fault-finding, and no more
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
Is Mt. Carmel a Colony or a Training Center?
Question No. 158:--"Soon after headquarters removed from Los Angeles to Mt. Carmel, 'The Symbolic Code' stated that Mt. Carmel was not to be a place of colonization of able-bodied folk, but rather a training center where workers were to be quickly and thoroughly prepared for the field, but we are told that nearly all who go there remain, and that their training is almost entirely along manual lines; and also that plans are being formed for more extensive colonization. Is this information correct?"
Answer:--All of Mt. Carmel's inhabitants are either attending school or working, for the institution. We have here no one whose staying would make for such colonization as the "Spirit of Prophecy" or the "Code:' condemns.
We are sorry that not all can discern the difference between a colony and a training center.
Who Is the King of Mt. Carmel Center--God or Man?
Question No. 159:--"Just how much of the work at Mt. Carmel is under the direction of the Lord? Most of us have had a struggle to loose ourselves from the bands laid upon us by the church's present leadership, and it seems no more than right that we have the assurance whether or not the Lord is directing in all the movements at Mt. Carmel, before we give to a few the submission which some seem to think is now called for."
If all Present Truth believers would clearly think the matter through, they would realize that as God has promised to take the reins in His Own hands, it is His duty to fulfill His promise. Then all their confusion and perplexity over some aspects of the work, which begets irrational questionings and criticizings, would consequently cease.
Answer:--Moreover, they would then know that in the very nature of things all "the work at Mt. Carmel is under the direction of the Lord," and no phase of the question would ever arise in their minds.
Furthermore, in view of the fact that the work on Mt. Carmel is contrary to all human plans, the following statement proves that the work here is directed by the Lord Himself: "The workers will be surprised by the simple means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness."
Says the Spirit of Prophecy, "Close reasoners and logical thinkers are few." "How many men in this age of the world fail to go deep enough. They only skim the surface. They will not think closely enough to see difficulties and grapple with them, and will not examine every important subject which comes before them with thoughtful, prayerful study, and with sufficient caution and interest to see the real point at issue. They talk of matters which they have not fully and carefully weighed."--"Fundamentals of Christian Education," p. 27; "Testimones for the Church," Vol. 4, p. 361.
"It is not for you to be intimidated by outward appearances, however forbidding they may be. It is for you to carry forward the work as the Lord has said it should be carried."--"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 9, p. 141.
What Will the Poor Preacher's Answer Be?
Question No. 160:--As we are troubled with many accusations against Brother Houteff, and as we do not know the exact truth of these charges, we kindly ask the Code to give us the true setting of them, so that we may be able intelligently and truthfully, and with meekness and fear, to give an answer to every man that asketh us a reason for the hope that is in us. One of the greatest sins of which they are accusing Brother Houteff is that he has two wives, the former of whom left him because she cared not for the Present Truth, the latter of whom is too young for him. Are these things so?"
Answer:--Satan never tells the truth; thus he has used his agents to spread many false reports such as the foregoing ones concerning Brother Houteff; who was a single man when, eighteen years ago, he came in contact with the Seventh-day Adventist message, and who at no time during these years has divorced any one, or married any one save the one with whom he now lives.
As to the matter of age, the following Biblical marriages represent a great disparity of years: Abraham, the father of the faithful, certainly took to himself a wife much younger than himself, for when he married the second time, he must have been over 140 years of age, as he was a hundred years old when Isaac was born (Gen. 21:5), and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebeccah (Gen. 25:20), at which time Sarah, Abraham's first wife was yet living (Gen. 24:67), and Keturah, his second wife, was evidently somewhere under forty years of age, for she bare him six sons (Gen. 25:1, 2), which facts present a difference of at least a hundred years between the ages of Abraham and his second wife.
Again, the Lord chose for His lineage, Boaz (a Jew), and old man, and Ruth (a Moabitess), a young woman (Ruth 3:10)--a union contrary to the principles held by Brother Houteff's critics.
Moreover, the Jewess, Esther, who was forbidden by the common rule of the Jews to marry outside of her own nation, was blessed in her affinity to the old Medo-Persian king, in that her nation was thereby preserved.
Still further, Joseph married the daughter of the idolatrous priest of Egypt, and Moses took for a wife an Ethiopian woman.
Thus we see from the above unions that no set rule can be fixed to govern each individual's case. Moreover, had we lived in the days of the aforementioned unions, and had judged them by our own standards, we would have separated ourselves from Abraham, in whose bosom the righteous are protected from hell's burning torments (Luke 16: 23-25); from Joseph, in whom the life of the ancient world was spared; from Moses, by whose hand the first-born in Egypt were either spared or destroyed, and all Israel freed from the Egyptian bondage; from Esther, by which act we, as Jews, would have destroyed ourselves at the hand of the wicked Haman; and from Christ, Who is our only life.
Brother Houteff's marriage is far more in accordance with the accepted customs of today than were the above marriages in their day. Abraham's case alone is sufficient to satisfy those whom the truth can convince. Moreover, as God knew beforehand what Brother Houteff was going to do, then were his marriage to cast reproach upon the purifying message, thereby causing anyone to lose eternal life, God, for that one's life, and for His Own honor, would not have intrusted His message to Brother Houteff.
Still further, inasmuch as God has continued to reveal truth through Brother Houteff since his marriage, there should be no reason for anyone to doubt that God not only approved of his marriage, but also led him to take this step.
Some reason that in ancient times people lived longer than they do now, and that, therefore, great differences in the ages of husband and wife were then permissible. However, we see no logic in such reasoning, for though the man lived longer then than he now does, yet the woman also lived longer in those days than she does today.
Those who believe in Present Truth, yet continue to find fault with Brother Houteff's marriage, prove to us one of two things: either that they are shallow thinkers, or that they have no faith in what they believe, for the message teaches that we, as a part of the 144,000, shall never die. Therefore, if God has ever had reason to sanction marriages involving great difference of ages, He must certainly have now.
The trouble is not with Brother Houteff's marriage, but rather with those who judge Brother Houteff by their own standards. Had Brother Houteff married for the same reason that most others marry, then, of course, he could have taken a wife of almost any age, and it would have made no great difference to him. But Brother Houteff's critics seem utterly to forget that he has a tremendous work, and that he does not need a wife able only to make a home for him, but rather one most able to assist him in his work. Hence, an aged woman, or one without experience in the work, would be to him a hindrance rather than a help. Therefore, God has provided for him a "helpmeet" that will really help him, as he cannot successfully carry on the work while single.
We have already seen that, in most cases, the root of the trouble lies either with those who profess to be friends of the cause of truth, but who, themselves, were not walking in the light before the sealing message found them, and are not doing so now, or with those who have openly been doing everything to make the truth of none effect. Some of these, while professing to believe, have opposed every advanced step which the message has made, while others have, on the one hand, divorced their first wives and married again, and, on the other hand, either objected to Brother Houteff's getting married, or felt hurt because he did not take them into counsel to decide for him whom he should marry! Still others have married outside the truth, which facts prove that, by their own sins, they have been blinded, and that, as they zealously pick flaws in those who have "the words of life" for them, they are, instead of reforming, only descending deeper into darkness. This is Satan's most effective way of working, for by so doing, he is able to keep them in their sins, away from the flock that follows the Good Shepherd's voice.
The greatest trouble with most S.D.A.'s is that they are baptized in the name of the denomination rather than in the name of the Trinity. Consequently, if they see that the church is doing something which, to them, is not pleasing, they withdraw themselves from its fellowship, renounce the truth, and thus turn their backs on eternal life to face eternal death! Whereas, if Christ calls them to follow Him, and the church hears not His voice, they turn against Him to follow the church!
My brethren, make your decision on the merits of the message, itself, rather than on Brother Houteff's good or bad deeds. God has not delegated anyone of you to decide for Him Brother Houteff's marriage. Neither has He instructed any of you to take, as a criterion in settling your own case, Brother Houteff's marriage. Who knows but what God is testing you, who, like Peter, thought that you would stand with the message, regardless of what might come; but who are now showing your true relation to it?
We trust that you will no longer allow the great deceiver--Satan--to confuse your mind and thus cause you falsely to accuse us, or to doubt that which goes from this office. God's council to you is: "Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it." (Mic. 6:9.)
"Arise, shine;" "before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord...lest I come and smite the earth with a curse," "for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee." (Isa. 60:1, 2; Mal. 4:5, 6.)
"Behold upon the mountains the feet of Him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off." (Nah. 1 :15.)
"Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou are converted, strengthen thy brethren." (Luke 22:31, 32.)
Hence, do not be found among those who attempt to steady the ark, or who may say: "You are too earnest, you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way. Let me tell you how to teach your message."--"Testimonies to Ministers," p. 475.
Take your eyes off Brother Houteff and look unto Jesus through the message He sends. Anyone doubting the message because of Brother Houteff's marriage, would show not only great weakness, but also that he is following Brother Houteff instead of the message. You should be no more concerned as to what Brother Houteff does, than you are concerned as to what the ancient prophets of the Bible did. Be a student of the message instead of the messenger as you are a student of the Bible, rather a student of the prophets. This is your only safety against being bitterly disappointed in the end.
Who Are the Guardians of the Children
Mt. Carmel or the Parents?
Question No. 161:--"Is it true that the pupils who enter Mt. Carmel Academy are not permitted to leave even though their parents may desire to have them return home? I have heard that the parents' wishes and instructions have, in some cases, been disregarded, and I cannot understand why Mt. Carmel should have so much to say in respect to our children, and why the parents' desires should be slighted. Will you please explain this to me?"
Answer:--Though it is not true that we hold students here against the express wishes of their parents, yet it is a fact that we are required not only to exercise a very careful surveillance over them while here, but also that we assume a very critical responsibility in the matter of their being here in school. And our hope is that the parents shall not force us to be recreant to our trust. Moreover, the supervision which we must maintain over resident students, we must also extend toward all Present Truth youth of school age. The parents should sense that Mt. Carmel, as a spiritual mother, must assume not only this responsibility toward all her children, but also that of giving them a training of a vastly different and less inferior order than that which they have ever known either in their earthly parents' homes or in other schools. Were this not the case, then Mt. Carmel would have for the youth nothing better than that which they can receive elsewhere. If their parents do not expect Mt. Carmel to assume this responsibility and to give them an education superior to that which they could receive at home or in another school, then why should they even think of sending them here? Moreover, if Mt. Carmel, of whom is expected all the knowledge and the wisdom that Heaven sees fit to give, must, herself, be taught and instructed by the earthly parents, who, themselves, are but Mt. Carmel's children, then either Mt. Carmel is not what she ought be, or else the earthly parents are yet sound asleep and know not what they believe!
The rules of the school do not provide for students' leaving here at random, or upon any pretext, to go home or to go any other place, but rather require a very definite understanding, in a business-like way, before releasing any student placed here under our supervision.
If the world, which is under the dominion of Satan, is, in its moral philosophy, so jealous merely for the temporal future not only of its own progeny, but also of ours, that it resolutely and sternly compels all of school age to receive approximately nine months' instruction each year, then should one expect less of us who are to restore the first dominion, a theocracy under God? Ought we not, as Present Truth believers, who must carry the "words of life" to all the world, be even more jealous for the eternal as well as for the temporal future of its youth than is the world for the expected end of its children? Mt. Carmel, by divine command, assumes all the responsibility for the children's welfare, and not only requires that all of school age be in attendance at the schools of the prophets for at least the duration of the regular school term, but also, as a mother of a higher order, assumes responsibility for the youth during the summer vacation.
However, Mt. Carmel is not as yet organized properly to care for all, either old or young, but her plan is herein described, and she will do all that she can to line up all Present Truth believers with the Lord's program, and those who do not see their great need whole-heartedly to unite with the body will be isolated not only in spirit from the movement, but also in body from the kingdom.
Will you not then, my brethren, praise God for "taking the reins in His Own hands"? Will you not sing: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring, again Zion"? (Isa. 52:7, 8.)
We are commissioned to "Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts;" and to "turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers." (Joel 2:16; Mal. 4:6.)
God regards those who fail to comply with His requirements as unfaithful and disloyal to Christ, the Master Teacher, and to His cause. Parents need to learn that the children which God has intrusted to them are God's Own heritage and not theirs. If they fail to respond to His earnest plea, what will they answer when He asks them, "Where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock? What wilt thou say when he shall punish thee? for thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee: shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail?." (Jer. 13:20, 21.)
Naturally, then, when parents, who have placed their children here in our charge, and who have thus made us responsible for their "flock," suddenly decide, on the strength of one or another unwarranted provocation, to take them from the Academy before, the school term is over, we vigorously protest their decision, and do all within our power to keep the children here in school.
Such a situation could not possibly exist were it not for the sad fact that by far the great majority, even of Present Truth believers, but dimly comprehend the true nature and object of Christian education. "Many who suppose they are going, to heaven are blindfolded by the world. Their ideas of what constitutes a religious education and religious discipline are vague, resting only on probabilities."--"Fundamentals of Christian Education." p. 311.
"The education and training of the youth is an important and solemn work. The great object to be secured should be the proper development of character, that the individual may be fitted rightly to discharge the duties of the present life, and to enter at last upon the future, immortal life."--"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 4, p. 418.
"The true object of education is to fit men and women for service by developing and bringing into active exercise all their faculties."--"Counsels to Teachers," p. 493.
"To bring man back into harmony with God, so to elevate and ennoble his moral nature that he may again reflect the image of the Creator, is the great purpose of all the education and discipline of life."--"Counsels to Teachers," p. 49.
"The system of education established in Eden centered in the family." Moreover, "The education centering in the family was that which prevailed in the days of the patriarchs."--"Education," p. 33.
From these brief statements, we see that the true education is to make the individual perfect in Christ, and that in God's original plan for the education of His children, the family was to be the school; also that "This was the method of education that God desired to establish in Israel. But when brought out of Egypt there were among the Israelites few prepared to be workers together with Him in the training of their children. The parents themselves needed instruction and discipline. Victims of lifelong slavery, they were ignorant, untrained, degraded. They had little knowledge of God, and little faith in Him. They were confused by false teaching, and corrupted by their long contact with heathenism."--Education. 34.
So it is with us today. In fact, "Said the angel, Ye have done worse than they" ("Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 1, p. 129), with the result that parents now, more than the children, are in greater need than ever before of "instruction and discipline." Hence, though, in God's plan the family is still the ideal school, and thus, ideally, the place for "children of tender ages," yet both experience and the word of God reveal that we have followed in the footsteps of ancient Israel to do even worse than they to vitiate by our practice the ideal of the family as the school.
Thus "to a great extent children who are to receive an education in our schools, will make far more advancement if separated from the family circle where they have received an erroneous education. It may be necessary for some families to locate where they can board their children and save expense, but in many cases it would prove a hindrance rather than a blessing to their children." "Having always been indulged and never trained to obedience, it would be greatly for their advantage to be removed from their injudicious parents, and placed under as severe regulations and drilling as soldiers in a army. Unless something shall be done for these children who have been so sadly neglected by unfaithful parents, they will never be accepted of Jesus; unless some power of control shall be brought to bear upon them, they will be worthless in this life, and will have no part in the future life."--"Fundamentals of Christian Education," p. 313; "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 4, p. 429.
Therefore, it is more imperative now than ever before that Present Truth parents place their children in the school at Mt. Carmel, which God has provided for them, if they desire to see them saved.
Says the Spirit of Prophecy: "Students need to be placed under the most favorable circumstances to counteract very much of the education they have received" ("Life Sketches," p. 352), for "few have the instruction in religious lines that is essential....Children are in great need of proper education, in order that they may be of use in the world...Without this knowledge it is certain, that man will lose eternal life...The Lord calls upon the youth to enter our schools, and quickly fit themselves for active work. Time is short."--"Counsels to Teachers, pp. 168, 84, 13, 493.
"Time is short, and what you do must be done quickly. Resolve to redeem the time. Seek not your own pleasure. Rescue yourself!" "The hours of probation are fast passing. We have no time--not a moment--to lose. Let us not be found sleeping on guard."--"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 9, p. 200; Vol. 8, p. 252.
"In planning for the education of their children outside the home, parents should realize that it is no longer safe to send them to the public school, and should endeavor to send them to the schools where they will obtain an education based on a scriptural foundation. Upon every Christian parent there rests the solemn obligation of giving to his children an education that will lead them to gain a knowledge of the Lord, and to become partakers of the divine nature through obedience to God's will and way."--"Counsels to Teachers," p. 205.
"Our children should be removed from the evil influences of the public school, and placed where thoroughly converted teachers may educate them in the Holy Scriptures. Thus students will be taught to make the Word of God the grand rule of their lives."--"Counsels to Teachers," p. 204.
"In sending children to the public schools, parents are placing them under demoralizing influences--influences that injure the morals and habits. In such surroundings, children often receive instruction that trains them to be enemies of Christ. They lose sight of piety and virtue.
"Many public schools are permeated by the baneful influence of boys and girls who are experts in sin. And the children who are allowed to play on the street are also obtaining a training that thoughtless parents will sometime learn leads to recklessness and lawlessness."--"Counsels to Teachers," p. 200.
"Parents should neglect no duty on their part to benefit their children. They should so train them that they may be a blessing to society here, and may reap the reward of eternal life hereafter."--"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 4, p. 429.
That fathers and mothers fail not of realizing this great desideratum, God has laid upon them "the responsibility of giving a Christian education to the children intrusted to them. In no case are they to let any line of business so absorb mind and time and talents that their children are allowed to drift until they are separated far from God. They are not to allow their children to slip out of their grasp into the hands of unbelievers...They are to train them to become workers together with God.
"There is earnest work to be done for the children. Before the overflowing scourge shall come upon all the dwellers on the earth, the Lord calls on those who are Israelites indeed to serve Him. Gather your children into your own houses; gather them in from the classes who are voicing the words of Satan, who are disobeying the commandments of God."--"Fundamentals of Christian Education," p. 545.
"This experience of the Israelites was written for the instruction of those who should live in the last days. Before the overflowing scourge shall come upon the dwellers of the earth, the Lord calls upon all who are Israelites indeed to prepare for that event. To parents He sends the warning cry, Gather your children into your own houses; gather them away from those who are disregarding the commandments of God, who are teaching and practicing evil."--"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 6, p. 195.
"If God, in His providence, has established a school among our own people [at Mt. Carmel], and if in place of sending your [children] where [they] would be in the society and under the influence of those who love the truth, you place [them] in [a worldly class], who have no respect for God or His law, I ask you, how you expect the Lord will work to counteract the evil influence that must surround [them], and which you have voluntarily chosen. Will He commission his angels to do the work which He has left for you to do? God does not work in that way; He expects us to follow the light He has given in His word.
"When God was about to smite the first-born of Egypt, be commanded the Israelites to gather their children from among the Egyptians into their own dwellings, and strike their door posts with blood, that the destroying angel might see it, and pass over their homes. It was the work of parents to gather in their children. This is your work, this is my work, and the work of every mother who believes the truth. The angel is to place a mark upon the forehead of all who are separated from sin and sinners, and the destroying angel will follow, to slay utterly both old and young."--"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 505.
O, before it is forever too late, may the Spirit of God, with mighty force, send home to the hearts of parents, these fearful facts that they may quickly arouse from their long stupor, and fight for the lives of their children by placing them where God can save them!
To What Extent Is the Code Authentic?
Question No. 162:--"Shall we, without question, accept the instructions of the 'Code', or shall we accept only that which we see fit to accept? There is considerable talk that drastic changes are made in the material submitted. Personally, I would like to view the SRod writings as I do Sister White's.
Answer:--The first part of this query is answered on the back of the Code, itself, paragraph 2.
The only changes that are ever made in the material submitted to the Code, are in respect to the laws of language--grammar and logic--but never in respect to doctrine. Other submitted material, is, to the best of our ability and with the help of the Lord, carefully read and scrutinized; and only such contributions as are in perfect harmony with the sealing message, and are both encouraging and beneficial to all who may read the "Code," are sent to press. Therefore, those who study but part of the Code are depriving themselves of a blessing which others wish they might have.
Are Any Disqualified From Receiving the "Code"?
Question No. 163:--"Are any cut off from receiving the 'Code' because they do not conform to all of the requirements of 'The Shepherd's Rod'?
Answer:--No one is taken off the Code list unless he requests that we do so, or unless we do not hear from him after a letter of inquiry, to ascertain whether or not he is reading it, has been sent to him.
Evils to End of the World or to the Loud Cry?
Question No. 164:--"We find in 'Testimonies to Ministers,' p. 49, that evils will exist in the church until the end of the world. If this be true, then how would it be possible for the church to be pure, free from tares, during the Loud Cry?
Answer:--Many scriptures have come to light which prove that the church is to be pure, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, before the Loud Cry of the Third Angel's Message goes forth. This is taught not only in the Scriptures, but also in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy. Therefore, "Testimonies to Ministers," p. 49 must be interpreted so as not to contradict other portions of Sister White's writings, or the Scriptures. Consequently, "the end of the world" cannot be interpreted to mean either the time after the second coming of Christ, or the commencement of the millennium, but rather the short period of time which brings the end of the world.
When we have come to the last hour of the day (from five to six P.M.), we recognize the fact that we are in the end of the day, even though the last minute has not yet come. Likewise, inasmuch as Christ's parable of the vineyard is true to life, then according to physical analogy, we can understand the last hour (the eleventh) of the symbolical day of present human history to be only "the end of the world."
Daniel's prophecies are to be revealed "in the time of the end" (Dan. 12:4). Yet it would be unreasonable for one to conclude that these prophecies are to be revealed after the end of the world. Rather, they are to be revealed "at the end of the world," when "His angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just." (Matt. 13:49.) God has not commissioned the church to preach the gospel of an impure church, but to "Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet." (Joel 2:15-17.) For, "All the sinners of My people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us." (Amos 9:10.) "And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in 'Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem." (Isa. 4:3.)
"While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God's people upon earth. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14.
"When this work shall have been accomplished, the followers of Christ will be ready for His appearing."--"The Great Controversy," p. 425.
"Only those who have withstood and overcome temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming this message when it shall have swelled into the loud cry."--"Review and Herald," Nov. 18, 1908.
"Clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness, the church, is to enter upon her final conflict. 'Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners, she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer."--"Prophets and Kings," p. 725.
Are the First Fruits of the Dead Also of the Living?
Question No. 165:--"If Christ is the first fruits of the dead, is He not also the first fruits of the living?"
Answer:--This query is answered in tract No. 3, "The Harvest," in the illustration on p. 44, of which the barley sheaf of the first fruits is pictured in type and anti-type; that is, the ceremonial sheaf of barley prefigured the resurrection of Christ, the first fruits, including those who arose with Him. These resurrected ones constituted the spiritual sheaf which, at the beginning of the judgment of 1844, was offered before the Father as a sheaf offering of the living firstfruits.
Could Revelation 3 be Identical to Ezekiel 2 and. 3?
Question No. 166:--"How can you prove that the tract on Ezekiel's prophecy, 'The Dardanelles of the Bible,' p. 12, is correct in saying that Revelation 3:14-18 is identical to Ezekiel 2:1 through 7; 3:4 through 7?"
Answer:--The questioner, having his mind free from prejudice, and being absorbed only with the subject in question, will, upon more closely and prayerfully studying the above mentioned tract, find his question clearly answered therein.
THE VOICE FROM THE FIELD
While on My Leave of Absence---Having been affiliated with the "Shepherd's Rod" message since its very inception in 1929, and having been in active service since shortly thereafter, I was granted a six weeks' leave of absence this spring. This vacation afforded many advantages, chief among which was a much needed rest. But while receiving this, I was able, in my visiting the Seventh-Day Adventist churches, also to get a general outlook on the harvest field, in respect to the progress of the message to the Laodiceans, and the need of a reformation among God's professed people.
I was greatly impressed with the zeal of the laity in bringing before others the Sabbath truth in the light of the impending Sunday bill which is now before Congress. They are ever eager to hear any expounding of the Scriptures by the ministry. But as I sat listening to the sermons, I could not bar from my mind the wonderful studies which we at Mt. Carmel are privileged to hear, and I longed to have God's professed people share with me that which He is sending to His people at this time--truth that was a "hidden pearl" but which, now when "the fulness of the time" has come, is in such abundance and so rich that prophecy calls it "butter and honey" (Isa. 7:15).
Those in the church are looking forward to "the time of trouble" which the Sunday laws shall bring, little realizing that previous to this last attempt to destroy the saints there is a special and a "closing work for the church" itself, as described in the following references: "The Great Controversy," p. 425; "Testimonies for the Church," p. 266; "Gospel Workers," pp. 297 through 304.
As I listened to the unwinnowed truth and conflicting views in this discourses I heard, the following thoughts came to my mind:
1. The purification of the church and the work she is to accomplish in the final harvest. ("The Great Controversy," p. 425; "Prophets and Kings," p. 725; Isa. 52:1; "Testimonies for the Church," p. 82; etc.)
2. The true meaning of the sealing of God's approval. ("Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 216; "Christ Our Righteousness," p. 154; "Testimonies to Ministers," pp. 444, 445.)
3. The great privilege which is ours to become a member of that glorious "company," the 144,000, "the firstfruits" (Rev. 14:4), the antitype of the "firstborn" who on the night of the passover escaped the slaughter weapon of the death angel.
Then as the sweet thought that these poor truth-starved souls are privileged, just as am I, to be of the antitypical "firstborn," or "firstfruits",--the "sons of God"--kept growing bigger and bigger, it slowly transmuted itself into the pitiful picture of cattle herded inside a barbedwire fence to keep them from the green pastures. Then my thoughts were directed to the fearful and alarming command: "Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women but come not near any man upon whom is the mark." (Eze. 9:6.)
But this mental picture was shortly submerged by another--that of a great army, composed of 200 million ministers so triumphant that Inspiration symbolizes them as "horses" whose "heads were as the heads of lions" (Rev. 9:17), of whom God "will also take for priests and for Levites." (Isa. 66:21).
I said to myself, if these poor souls could be allowed to hear the wonderful prophecy of Ezekiel Four which, among many other prophecies, no other message but "The Shepherd's Rod" has been able to interpret within the scope of logic, they would awake and leap for joy, exclaiming from their hearts, "Once we were blind, but now we see!"
All these privileges and consequences, yea, and many more, loomed before my mind's eye as I sat among those truth-starved congregations. I cannot express my gratitude to the Lord for "The Shepherd's Rod," which is opening the Scriptures to all who are willing to listen to a "Thus saith the Lord," and who are ready and eager "to come to the help of the Lord against the mighty." Shall we not "arise" from our spiritual lethargy ("The Great Controversy," p. 311; "Testimonies to Ministers," p. 458), and thus show to all that "light is come," and that the glory of the Lord is risen upon His people (Isa. 60:1)?
Only by diligent service may we hope to fill the place which God has for each one of the ever "living saints." And if the subjects of the "kingdom of heaven" are comparable to the infinitesimal mustard seed, which grew up to be a tree, so that the birds of the air came and lodged in the branches thereof, then shall we not arm ourselves with the power of the "Spirit of truth" (John 16:13), and be among the few who "escape" the wrath of the Lamb and who "gather all their brethren out of all nations"? Is not this a more glorious experience to look forward to and talk about than that often discussed 'fleeing time," which carries with it the conclusion that God's people shall go into hiding instead of into glory?
Needless it is for me to say that I am happy to be back with my fellow workers, and now that I am again at my post of duty, I solicit your much needed prayers that I, as well as my associates, shall always be true to duty and faithful to the message, enduring "unto the end."
That God may help every one of us so to live that when the "evil" falls "in the latter days" (Deut. 31:29), we shall be among those who have their names in the Lamb's book of life, and who shall be delivered from the judgments of God and from the sword of the wicked, is my sincere prayer.--Mrs. S. Hermanson
Solomon's Wisdom Led Me to Accept the Shepherd's Rod.---When I was a young boy, I found in the Scriptures how Solomon prayed for wisdom. Sensing that such wisdom in the things of God was good for me also, I began to pray for light and truth, and ever since have continued to do so.
Later I joined a church, but soon realized that there was something wrong with it. However, this did not discourage me. I continued my studying, hoping to engage in self-supporting evangelistic work.
The Lord helped me in my search for truth, and led me to join the S.D.A. church. After reading Sister White's message on "God calls for a spiritual revival and a spiritual reformation," I knew that God would soon start a reformation in the S.D.A. Denomination.
Then sometime ago, a brother from ------- lent me Volume One of "The Shepherd's Rod," which, though I read considerably, I did not at the time realize to be the voice of God to me. But tract No. 2, showing God's changing the leadership, convinced me of the truth of "The Shepherd's Rod," and now I am convinced on all points of this message and am fully satisfied that it is Present Truth.
The Lord has blessed me not only with this wonderful sealing message, but also with good health, and I hope to help gather the 144,000, and go through with them.--(Signed) John H. Betz
The Code Reads My Mind.---"I eagerly look for the Code to arrive, and am always very happy to receive it. It helps me so much in my Christian experience, for it is full of valuable instruction. It answers questions that are always arising in my mind. I can hardly await its arrival."--(Signed) Mrs. P. J. F.
Los Angeles, Calif.
All Studying, Believing and Working, Too.
Dear Brethren and Sisters:---"We are still studying the message of Present Truth, and are believing in it more strongly all the time. We are so thankful that it came to us, and we are doing all that we can for it here.
"We have two brethren studying the tracts, and we are ordering Volume One of 'The Shepherd's Rod' to give to one of them. Our faith grows stronger all the time, and we are searching each day for every ray of light on Present Truth. Pray for us.--"Best wishes from your "Brother and Sister -------" Florida
Do Not Deeper Fall Into the Pit But Get Out.---Teachers of Present Truth, having before them the example of the tragic results caused by conflicting teachings by the S.D.A. ministry and, in addition to this, having been repeatedly warned to teach only that which has been revealed, and published, stand in great condemnation before God when they set forth conflicting or unauthorized views on any subject. Be absolutely certain that you are teaching according to that which is written, and not according to that which you may think should be or will some day be written.
Failure to comply with this requirement will disqualify anyone as a worker in this cause.
What Shall We Drink.---What shall we drink this coming summer? This question came home to me with forcefulness the other day while I was hoeing on a long row of corn. The sun was hot, and I had gone hours without water. Suddenly my ponderings were interrupted by a call from the Highway: "Ice cream? Soda pop?" I raised my eyes toward the road, and there saw a boy with a bicycle all loaded and ready for service. I quickly said, "No, thank you," and he drove off, no doubt disappointed and thinking that I was not only niggardly but also foolish to refuse a nice cool drink on such a warm day.
Had you, dear reader, been confronted with this, temptation, what would you have done? Do you not believe that God would have us know for sure just what we should do in such a case? I hear Him say:
"In health and in sickness, pure water is one of heaven's choicest blessings. Its proper use promotes health. It is the beverage which God provided to quench the thirst of animals and man. Drank freely, it helps to supply the necessities of the system, and assists nature to resist disease."--"Ministry of Healing," p. 237.
"Thousands have died for want of pure water and pure air, who might have lived."--"Healthful Living," Chap. 4, p. 56.
Soda pop is adulterated with chemicals which are injurious to the health, and is made to sell and to keep your body poor and your pocket empty.
The combination of milk and sugar makes of your stomach a "moonshine vat." Eating between meals will make your dinner fit only for the bootlegger's still.
"Food should not be washed down; no drink is needed with meals. Eat slowly, and allow the saliva to mingle with the food. The more liquid there is taken into the stomach with the meals, the more difficult it is for the food to digest; for the liquid must be first absorbed...Many make a mistake in drinking cold water with their meals. Taken with meals, water diminishes the flow of the salivary glands; and the colder the water, the greater the injury to the stomach. Ice water or iced lemonade, drunk with meals, will arrest digestion until the system has imparted sufficient warmth to the stomach to enable it to take up its work again. Hot drinks are debilitating; and besides those who indulge in their use become slaves to habit. Water is the best liquid possible to cleanse the tissues. Drink some little time before or after the meal."--"Review and Herald," '84, No. 31.
"If, in their fevered state, water had been given them to drink freely, and applications had also been made externally, long days and nights of suffering would have been saved, and many precious lives spared. But thousands have died with raging fevers consuming them, until the fuel which fed the fever was burned up, the vitals consumed, and have died in the greatest agony without being permitted to have water to allay their burning thirst. Water, which is allowed a senseless building to put out the raging elements, is not allowed human beings to put out the fire which is consuming the vitals."--"How to Live," Chap. 3, pp. 62, 63.
One may try to quench one's thirst by drinking all the soda pop, or to "cool off" by indulging all the ice cream, sundaes, Coca Cola, pop, etc. that he can hold, but after all, to obtain the desired result, one must finally call for the Creator's only thirst-relieving cure--water.
Health Promoting Summer Drinks.---For noon meals during the summer months, if you wish to take a nourishing glass of liquid as food, we recommend. the following drinks:
Fruit Drink.---Mash with a table fork two ounces of banana, strawberry, or similar fruit, then beat with a rotary beater until smooth. To this add one teaspoon of honey, and enough water to fill an eight ounce glass. Beat again, and serve with fruit meal.
Vegetable Drink.---Grind carrots fine, then press out the juice by placing them in a strainer cloth and twisting tight the cloth. This will partially extract the juice. (However, for sake of convenience and economy, a juice extractor is preferred. One can be purchased for as low as one dollar.) Then add a small amount of honey, a pinch of salt, and serve with vegetable meal.
Beets, celery, spinach, parsley, chard, and many other kinds of vegetables may be prepared in this same manner.
Health Promoting Winter Drink.---Take one ounce of unroasted nut butter and dilute with water a spoonful at a time, until the mixture is smooth, then add enough water to make one glass of liquid. Add one teaspoon honey, and beat with an egg beater. Serve with either fruit or vegetable meals.
"TO THE TWELVE TRIBES WHICH ARE SCATTERED ABROAD"
IN THE INTEREST OF THE S.D.A. DENOMINATION.---This little paper is dedicated to the mission of conveying, to Present Truth believers, edifying news items and reformatory activities, and of answering questions on the sealing message of the 144,000 (Rev. 7:1-8) and the great multitude (Rev. 7:9); on the prophecies of Isaiah, Zechariah, Zephaniah, Micah, Hosea, Joel, Daniel, the Revelation, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, etc., but especially on the first eight books above mentioned; on Christ's parables, on types and symbols, also on the writings of Mrs. E.G. White.
However, this monthly visitor promises to answer questions on such passages of Scripture only as have been divinely revealed and authoritatively proclaimed--bearing the positive mark of truth. Therefore, it will either give a correct answer to the questions, or else confess its ignorance by saying, "I do not know."
First and foremost, though, its purpose is to reveal the fact that the time has come for the Lord to manifest His power, and to unify and purify His church on earth--calling her to rise up from her dusty bed, and put on her strength and her gift of beautifl garments, because "from henceforth" the unclean shall not come unto her. (Isa. 52:1.)
Therefore, it positively demands that the heralds of "the great and dreadful day of the Lord", who are under its jurisdiction, must strictly comply with all the requirements, instructions, and advice which it bears to them from time to time, adding nothing to or subtracting nothing from the message. It will not countenance those who ignore its divine authority, for the church is to be the light of the world, "fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners." (Isa. 62:1 through 7; "Prophets and Kings," p. 725.)
The symbols on the title page are an objectification of the Revelation, chapters Twelve and Nine, and Isaiah 7:21, which symbols are explained in our literature.
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