Mount Sion at the Eleventh Hour
144,000 standing on mount Sion with the lamb, and what they must do to make it to God's Kingdom, including a work of bringing a great multitude with them.
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Mount Sion At “The Eleventh Hour”
“For Zion’s sake will I not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” Isa. 62:1-3.
Wonder of divine love! fruition of the “exceeding precious promise” that God will continue speaking unto her until she become a great and powerful and resplendent light in all the world and “a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord” – the church is seen---Standing With the Lamb on Mount Sion!
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John.” Rev. 1:1.
This affirmation that the prophetic events which John was privileged to record, were to “come to pass,” not before but “shortly” after his receiving the revelation of them, shows that the prophecies of The Revelation were to be fulfilled sometime during the New Testament period.
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” Rev. 14:1-3.
Prior to this prophetic event (the standing of the 144,000 upon Mount Sion) “a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard” says John, “was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the Spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.” Rev. 4:1-4, 6.
“And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” Rev. 5:8, 11, 12.
The Lamb, standing at first before the throne in heaven, stands later with the 144,000 on Mount Sion, upon earth, though the Elders and the Beasts round about the throne remain in heaven. So, correctly to understand this prophetic event in its entirety, we must carefully differentiate the part which takes place in heaven from the part which takes place on earth.
The seven lamps’ (Rev. 4:5) being part of the sanctuary fixtures, gives conclusive evidence that the heavenly throne-scene occurs in the sanctuary, whereas the subsequent Sion-scene takes place upon Mount Sion, the King’s earthly palace grounds, not upon Mount Moriah, the sanctuary grounds, where it would necessarily have to take place were it to denote that the event occurs in the sanctuary. These scenes therefore are of two different events, in two different locations – the setting of the throne in heaven, and the standing of the redeemed with the Lamb on earth while the activities embraced in the throne-scene are still in progress.
Moreover, the statement, “I will show thee things which must be hereafter,” places the events in the Christian period. And the statement, “stood a Lamb as it had been slain” (bleeding in the sinner’s behalf), places them in probationary time.
Then from a comparison of Daniel 7:9, 10, 13, with Revelation 4:2 and 5:1, 11 (already quoted), the fact is clear that both visions are of the same event – the judgment. The one reveals it occurring in the period of the non-descript beast’s second stage, after its horn which had the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things had blasphemed (after the reign of Ecclesiastical Rome), and before the beast was slain and his body given to the burning flame (Dan. 7:11) before Rome’s destruction. And the other vision reveals it taking place sometime in the Christian period, and within probationary time.
Daniel saw thrones cast down, and the “Ancient of days,” the Judge, sit, showing that neither He nor the thrones were there beforehand. Evidently on the rest of the thrones, “seats,” sat the twenty-four elders. And finally he saw the “Son of man,” Christ, the Advocate, brought before the “Ancient of days.” Accordingly, both Daniel and John saw “the judgment…set, and the books…opened.
And as John saw the 144,000 standing on Mount Sion with the Lamb after the judgment was set and before it was closed, the event consequently comes neither before nor after the judgment, but during it.
And now remember that John’s vision of the “Lamb standing on Mount Sion” (Rev. 14:1) reveals Christ as a Saviour, whereas his vision of “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” standing before the judgment reveals Him as a King. Correlated, they show that while He is then the Saviour, He is at the same time the King of kings.
Its now being clear as to when the 144,000 emerge, increased interest follows as to who they are. Seeing that they are followers of the Lamb (Christians), also “sons of Jacob,” they are therefore---Israelites Indeed–Not Gentiles.
Whosoever has been converted to Christianity, accepting Christ as his personal Saviour, has had an experience which has completely overthrown and revolutionized his former plans and hopes, his entire way of life. He has renounced the world and all its “pleasures of sin for a season” (Heb. 11:25), and has become a new creature in Christ, born again, heir of the kingdom according to the promise! This is what Jesus meant when He declared to Nicodemus: “Ye must be born again.” And Paul, having this experience in mind, says: “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Gal. 3:29.
Regardless, therefore, whether one be Jew or Gentile, he can have no part in the kingdom of Christ, save through the second birth, by which he becomes one of the seed of Abraham. This spiritual transformation, nevertheless, does not fix anyone’s racial identity and tribal lineage. It can not, in other words, make one Judaite if he is not descended of Judah, or make him Ephraimite, if he is not descended of Ephraim. Consequently, the 144,000, being of the sons of Jacob, cannot be of the Gentile nations. They therefore, first of all, are lineal descendants of Jacob, though---Not Necessarily of the Present Identifiable Jewish Stock
The ten tribes (the kingdom of Israel) were carried away, scattered throughout the cities of the Medes (2 Kings 17:6), and so completely submerged in the sea of life of the surrounding nations, and assimilated, that they were utterly lost sight of, racially, to human reckoning.
Similarly, as the two tribes (the kingdom of Judah) were carried away into Babylon, with only a few returning to Jerusalem after the seventy years of their captivity was accomplished, a multitude also of them lost their identity.
Then, too, the early Christian church was made up of Jews only: the apostles, the 120 in the upper room (Acts 1:15), and the 3,000 who were converted on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41) were all Jews, as were, indeed, virtually all those who “were added daily” for the first three and a half years after the crucifixion (Dan. 9:26, 27; Acts 2:47). And even after this period was over, and the apostles were commissioned to take the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46), many more Jews became Christians, and subsequently, as Christians rather than as Jews, were scattered among the nations.
Clearly, therefore, in each instance most of the sons of Jacob lost their racial distinctiveness. As the Lord, however, has ever kept the genealogies of all nations, especially of the sons of Jacob, He will, as He has promised, “make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there. And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her. The Lord shall count, when He writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.” Ps. 87:4-6.
Thus just as obvious as strange is the fact that no one today but the recognized Jew can vouch for his ancestry, with the result that the 144,000 can be gathered from almost every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and yet be of the sons of Jacob!
“And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Word of prophecy in this connection, “that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel.” Isa. 11:11, 12; 27:12.
"Since, therefore, history, logic, and scripture combine their evidences to prove unconditionally that God has preserved the genealogy of the chosen branch of the human race forward from Adam to Noah (Matt. 1:1-17), and backward from Jesus to Adam (Luke 3:23-38), He must, then, for a consistent reason, also have preserved the identity of the elect today. And this we see, is precisely what He has done in His designating the lineage of the 144,000, as “of all the tribes of the children of
Israel.” Rev. 7:4. And though we know not what we are, and cannot ever of ourselves tell, the One Who knows all about us, even to the last hair of each head, knows our precise ancestry, although those of us who are to be gathered from the seed of Jacob are, says the prophet, as the sand of the sea,” whereas, comparatively speaking, the identifiable Jewish race of today, is but a handful to the nations, and therefore cannot today be the ones to whom apply---The Terms Israel, Ephraim, Joseph.
Going back for a moment to the historical approach to our subject, we recall that after Solomon’s death, the Israelite nation (the twelve tribes) was divided into two separate kingdoms (1 Kings 11:11, 12; 12:19, 27). The ten-tribe kingdom, occupying the northern portion of the promised land, was called “Israel,” also Ephraim, and occasionally the house of Joseph: “Israel,” because of its majority of tribes; Ephraim (Isa. 11:13), because its kings came from Ephraim; and Joseph (Ezek. 37:16), because he was the father of Ephraim. But the two-tribe kingdom, occupying the southern portion, was called “Judah,” because its kings were of the tribe of Judah, and therefore its descendants are called “Jews.” The term “Israel,” accordingly, often applies only to the ten tribes. So when henceforth in these pages, the reader comes upon the terms, “Judah,” “Israel,” “Ephraim,” and ---One Great Kingdom.
“The kingdom of heaven” said Christ, “is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” Matt. 13:31, 32. “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not My people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.” Hos. 1:10.
Hearing Christ’s teachings, then rejecting them and crucifying Him, the Jewish nation brought upon their heads the doom which God pronounced upon them when through His prophet he declared: “Ye are not My people, and I will not be your God,” though at the same time, in His great mercy, He let the promise be written: “In the place where it was said unto them [ancient Israel], Ye are not My people, there it shall be said unto them [ancient Israel], Ye are the sons of the living God.” (See Romans 9:24-26).
So, happily, the same people, Israel and Judah, who were set aside and scattered, will “in that day” (our time) be reaccepted and “gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land.” Hos. 1:11.
Having abode “many days without a king” (their lot from the days of their captivity in Babylon even to this very day), “the children of Israel shall…afterward” (sometime in the future), says the scripture, “…return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.” Hos. 3:4, 5.
But as David, the king of ancient Israel, had been dead for many years when this prophecy was made, and as it has never been fulfilled, he was the type of the David to come.
Accordingly, it is those who “fear the Lord and His goodness [the Christian Israelites] in the latter days” (our time), who shall appoint one “head” or “king” – the antitypical David.
(For a complete study of Hosea 1 and 2, read our Tract No. 4, The Latest News For Mother.)
From the clear-cut facts in the preceding paragraphs, we see that the children of Israel, dispersed and without a king these “many days,” are to “return,” not as Jews, but as Christians. This consolidation of the two ancient kingdoms, Judah and Israel, is set forth in the symbolism,---The Two Joined Sticks.
“Thou son of man,” says the Lord, “take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and for all the house of Israel his companions: and join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
“And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in Mine hand.
“And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be My people, and I will be their God. And David My servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in My judgments, and observe My statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob My servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and My servant David shall be their prince for ever.” Ezek. 37:16-25.
This illustrated prophecy scarcely needs to be interpreted, as it is virtually self-explanatory: showing that the two ancient kingdoms, Judah and Israel, will yet be gathered from among the “heathen,” among whom they have long been scattered and that they will become again one great nation – “a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed.” Dan. 2:44.
“Moreover,” saith the Lord, “I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.” Ezek. 37:26-28.
Since God says that He will “multiply them” when they again become a kingdom, and that “the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel,” and since He can neither “multiply” nor “sanctify” after the close of probation, the two ancient kingdoms must necessarily, then, be restored and consolidated during probationary time –---“The Times of Restitution.”
The 144,000 being the “firstfruits,” there must therefore be second fruits, for where there is first, there must also be second. And as the first fruits are the “servants of God,” they must subsequently be sent to all nations to gather the second fruits (Isa. 66:19, 20) – the great multitude (Rev. 7:9) which John saw after viewing the sealing of the 144,000. (For a detailed study of this subject, – the 144,000 and the great multitude, – see our Tract No. 1, Pre-Eleventh Hour Extra!; The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 1).
The fact that “in their mouth was found no guile” (Rev. 14:5), plainly goes to show that they are to proclaim nothing but pure gospel truth, and makes their words as authoritative and as mandatory as the written words of the prophets and of the apostles. Indeed these first fruits are invested with even greater power and authority: “In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.” Zech. 12:8.
Also “in that day,” further says Zechariah, “there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” Zech. 13:1.
When this fountain “for sin and for uncleanness” is finally opened “to the house of David,” the crowning evidence will be seen that the consolidation of the two kingdoms is an accomplished fact, and that the time has come for the proclamation of the gospel in all the world.
And “it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.” Zech. 13:2. That is, at the time that this gospel-proclaiming kingdom is set up, it will be a church without guile – free from all idolaters and false teachers. And it shall be fed by “one shepherd … even My servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them.” Ezek. 34:23, 24.
When the Lord thus takes “the reigns in His own hands” (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300), and again rules the church as a theocratic government (in the last days), “it shall come to pass,” as says Isaiah, “…that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Isa. 2:2-4.
So with the ushering in of this everlasting kingdom, and the consequent restitution of all things, there shall be on the one hand a great awakening among the nations; scrapping vast stores of war implements which they have for years been laying up, they shall seek to go up to and become subjects of the kingdom, and to join the armies of the Lord, allowing Him to fight for them; while on the other hand there shall be feverish war preparations among those who refuse to awaken: hurling all into a super armament program, they turn even their farm implements into weapons of war against the kingdom of Christ – His church (Joel 3:9-12; Zech. 12:3).
“Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee; The city of the Lord The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” Isa. 60:11, 14. (For further study on this phase of the subject, see The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 1, pp. 173-181, explaining “Micah Four.” And as a typical example of how the battle is the Lord’s, read 2 Chronicles 20: 15, 19, 24-30.) But being far, very far, from such high and holy estate,---The Church Must be Purified.
No Christian of any faith can honestly deny the church’s need of purification. And as the Lord never does anything without forewarning His church, He is now sending to her the message of purification, in order to give her a foretaste of future glory, so that as heaven’s clarion call to reformation continues sounding forth among His people, they may have a keen relish for its truth, and may give themselves wholeheartedly to the work of reform, right now while He is clearly laying before them His plan for the setting up of His kingdom with consequent results to the sinners. Those who give implicit heed to the call, shall have an irresistible desire to come fully into line and to have the Lord separate them from sin and sinners. They alone shall receive the seal of God and as the first fruits of the kingdom, 144,000 strong, stand with the Lamb on “Mount Zion”!
Such a state of holiness will today, just as in the past, cause the dragon to be wroth with the woman, also now to make war with her remnant (Rev. 12:17), a conflict which is further described in the words:
“I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth [at the time of the sealing of the 144,000], holding the four winds of the earth that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” Rev. 7:1-3.
Here are brought to view two hurtings about to take place: one by the winds, the other by the angels; and two commands to the angels: one that they restrain the winds, that the winds blow not “on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree” (Rev. 7:1); the other that the angels restrain themselves from hurting “the earth,… sea,” and “the trees,” till the servants of God are sealed. Rev. 7:2, 3). Since, therefore, as soon as the servants of God are sealed both the winds and the angels will begin to hurt the question arises as to what the work of the winds and the work of the angels represent – political strife or something else? As the nations have always been at war, this two-fold work of hurting could not represent political strife. And as Jesus says that at the time of the end “nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matt. 24:7), it is clear that the hurting by the winds, also the hurting by the angels both of which are kept back until the 144,000 are sealed, must be figurative of holding back the “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation.” Dan. 12:1. Accordingly, God’s restraining of the four winds is His holding back the image of the beast’s activity (Rev. 13:15-17) against the saints, while His restraining the four angels that they hurt not is His holding back the executing of His vengeance (Isa. 63:1-4; Jer. 51:18) upon the sinners who trouble the church, until after the sealing of the 144,000 is completed. Being coupled, these two hurtings bring the time of trouble such as never was.
Revelation 7:1-3, therefore, reveals a two-fold conflict: wicked men against God (the blowing of the winds) and God against them (the angels hurting them). But though the blowing of the winds and the hurting of the angels after the servants of God are sealed, will bring the “time of trouble,” yet “every one that shall be found written in the book” “shall be delivered.” Dan. 12:1.
From these facts we see that this time of trouble is held back in order to safeguard the sealing of the 144,000 servants, lest they, “the very elect,” be brought down to worship the image of the beast, or be killed for refusing.
Since “in the Revelation all the books of the Bible meet and end” (The Acts of the Apostles, p. 585), the sealing of the servants of God (Rev. 7) must necessarily be found also in the prophecies. In Ezekiel, chapter nine, is envisioned the marking of those who sigh and cry “for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof” (in Judah and in Israel), and the slaughter of those who do not thus sigh and cry. And the fact that God has at no time taken the sinners from among the righteous in Judah and in Israel, shows that this prophecy of purification by slaughter has never been fulfilled. So, therefore, as the marking is the same as the sealing, the angels’ slaying is the same as the angels’ hurting.
This hurting and sealing which John saw, and the slaughter and marking which Ezekiel saw are again identified as one and the same: “This sealing of the servants of God is the same that was shown to Ezekiel in vision.” – Testimonies to Ministers, p. 445; Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211; Vol. 3, p. 267.
Although the marking and the slaughter (Ezek. 9) include only the church, – Judah and Israel, – the hurting by the winds and the hurting by the angels (Rev. 7) include all the world – both “the earth” and “the sea,” each of which is indicative of a different locality: the sea, in the realm of nature the storehouse (home) of the waters, is therefore in the realm of symbols the birth-place of the nations – the Old Country, the earth, the opposite of the sea, is correspondingly a domain away from the Old Country. It is located to John in the symbol of the two-horned beast’s coming up, not out of the sea, but “out of the earth” (Rev. 13:11), the only place where trees naturally grow. And as according to Daniel 4:20-22, trees are figurative of rulers, therefore the trees in this instance represent “the ancient men…before the house” (Ezek. 9:6) – a fact which reveals that in this period, the church’s headquarters are in the two-horned beast’s dominion – the New World, “the earth.”
In the light of the clear cut facts before us, we see that the main object of the sealing or marking of the servants of God is to cleanse the church from sin and sinners, so that she may be able to stand strong against the image-beast in the time of trouble; and that when this purifying work is completed, “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: when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.” Isa. 4:3, 4.
When this “special work of purification, of putting away of sin among God’s people,” is accomplished, then “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.” – The Great Controversy, p. 425; Prophets and Kings, p. 725.
“And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.” “And they shall call them The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.” Isa. 4:5, 6; 62:12.
“The entire church, acting as one, blending in perfect union, is to be a living, active missionary agency, moved and controlled by the Holy Spirit.” “All that the apostles did, every church-member today is to do.” “His workers will then see eye to eye, and the arm of the Lord, the power of which was seen in the life of Christ, will be revealed.” – Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 47; Vol. 7, p. 33; Vol. 9, p. 33.
Then it shall come to pass, saith the Lord, that “I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them, and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
“Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.
“Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord God; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the Lord build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it.” Ezek. 36:23-33, 36.
Again: “In cleansing the temple from the world’s buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission,” first, “to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin, – from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil habits, that corrupt the soul” (The Desire of Ages, p. 161); and second, to cleanse the entire church from sin and sinners. As twice (once in the closing of John the Baptist’s proclamation of the kingdom, and in the opening of the gospel dispensation, at the beginning of Christ’s ministry, and once at the close of His work and at the opening of the apostles’ – Special Testimonies to Ministers, No. 7, p. 54) He cleansed the temple from the unholy practices by which the Jews had desecrated it (John 2:15 16; Matt. 21:12, 13), He thereby twice gave warning in type that also in the closing of the Christian dispensation, He will twice cleanse His church: once at the sealing of the first fruits the 144,000, and again at the sealing of the second fruits, the “great multitude.” Rev. 7:1-9.
Since both of these cleansings, moreover, took place at the feast of the Passover, and since, too, all who “had not sanctified themselves sufficiently” (2 Chron. 30:3; Ex. 12:3-6) were forbidden to participate in the Passover in the first month, but were permitted to prepare for it and to celebrate it in the second month (Num. 9-11; 2 Chron. 30:13), thereby is typified the purification of the church in two sections, thus showing still again that there are two gatherings, two sealings, two separations, two companies – first fruits and second fruits. (For further treatment of the two sealings see our Tract No. 1, Pre-Eleventh Hour Extra!, and for the antitype of the Passover, The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 2, p. 256.)
“There must be,” says the Spirit of Prophecy, “a cleansing of the institutions similar to Christ’s cleansing of the temple of old. ‘It is written,’ saith the Lord, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.’ There are in our institutions today transactions similar to those that took place in the temple courts in Christ’s time; and all heaven is looking on…. The Lord will work to purify His church. I tell you in truth, the Lord is about to turn and overturn in the institutions called by His name. Just how soon this refining process will begin, I cannot say, but it will not be long deferred. He Whose fan is in His hand will cleanse His temple of its moral defilement. He will thoroughly purge His floor.” – Brethren in Responsible Positions, Sept. 1895.
In parabolical preview of the purification of the church, Christ declared: “…the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just” (Matt.13:49) – take away the wicked and leave the good; whereas in The Revelation, addressing His own in Babylon, He says: “Come out of her My people” (Rev. 18:4) – calling the righteous out and leaving the wicked in. The former are purified by the wicked’s being cast out from among them; the latter, by their being taken out from among the wicked.
Also there are two distinct parables of the talents (Matt. 25:15-30; Luke 19:13-27), both of which pointedly enter the picture in its present setting. In the one, are three servants; in the other, ten servants. This significant difference shows that the former has only a local application, whereas the latter has a world-wide application (incidentally showing, as does The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 2, pp. 85, 86, that in the Scriptures, number “ten” stands for universality, and number “three” for the Trinity in the church.)
These unalterable truths of type and parable and “the word of His testimony,” bring us face to face with the solemn reality that we are come to the time of the antitypical passover and cleansing of the temple, and to the harvest of the world, – “the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” The Spirit of God bids us “with awful solemnity, ‘Get ready! get ready! get ready! for the fierce anger of the Lord is soon to come. His wrath is to be poured out, unmixed with mercy, and ye are not ready. Rend the heart, and not the garment.’ ” – Early Writings, p. 119.
O let no one be misled into thinking that after the close of probation, or after the second coming of Christ (after the sinners in the world have been destroyed), God’s church shall attain to the exalted standard of character, and to the high office, appointed of heaven, and be purified from sin and sinners! On the contrary, “in that day” (before the sinners in the world have been destroyed), says the Lord, “will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.” Zech. 12:3, 8, 9; 14:20, 21.
These verses expressly declare that the church will be “as God, as the angel of the Lord before them,” during the time of trouble, when the nations shall gather against her and the Lord in vengeance shall then smite them. Probation still lingering while this sequence of events takes place, “all they that sacrifice” (an act which is performed before the close of probation) shall therefore be holy, and “there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord.”
Every true Bible student knows that the church must reach this purity of heart and character and position, not after, but before, Christ’s mediatorial work is finished and before the “sacrifice” has ceased. All such students know also that God can neither manifest His great power to defend them in the time in which “all the people of the earth gather together against” them, nor bestow His Spirit upon them as He did upon the early Christians on the day of Pentecost, if there are sinners among His people, and if the entire church be not “with one accord” (Acts 2:1), “clad in the armor of Christ’s righteousness… ‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners’ “ – as was the apostolic church, upon which the Spirit descended as a “rushing mighty wind.” Acts 2:2.
“Only those,” says the Spirit of Prophecy, “who have withstood and overcome temptation through 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. 19, 1908.
And that the Loud Cry fail not to sound on time or at all, those who do not overcome, those who “had betrayed their trust,” – “the ancient men those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people,” – must be removed. “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.” – Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 266. “Men, maidens, and little children, all perish together.” Id., Vol. 5, p. 211.
Confronted with the towering certainty of the church’s imminent purification, sealing, and subsequent glory, we hasten to face the---Church’s Condition Just Before The Purification.
“What greater deception can come upon human minds than a confidence that they are right, when they are all wrong! The message of the True Witness finds the people of God in a sad deception, yet honest in that deception. They know not that their condition is deplorable in the sight of God. While those addressed are flattering themselves that they are in an exalted spiritual condition, the message of the True Witness breaks their security by the startling denunciation of their true condition of spiritual blindness, poverty, and wretchedness. The testimony, so cutting and severe, cannot be a mistake, for it is the True Witness who speaks, and his testimony must be correct.” – Testimonies, Vol. 3, pp. 252, 253.
“Who can truthfully say, ‘Our gold is tried in the fire; our garments are unspotted by the world’? I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: ‘Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character, “How is the faithful city become an harlot?” My Father’s house is made a house of merchandise, a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed! For this cause there is weakness, and strength is lacking.’ ” – Id., Vol. 8, p. 250.
“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…. 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.” – Id., Vol. 5, p. 211.
“It is difficult for those who feel secure in their attainments, and who believe themselves to be rich in spiritual knowledge, to receive the message which declares that they are deceived and in need of every spiritual grace. The unsanctified heart is ‘deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.’ ” – Id., Vol. 3, p. 253.
“There are many who do not have the discretion of Joshua, and who have no special duty to search out wrongs, and to deal promptly with the sins existing among them. Let not such hinder those who have the burden of this work upon them; let them not stand in the way of those who have this duty to do. Some make it a point to question, and doubt, and find fault, because others do the work that God has not laid upon themselves. These stand directly in the way to hinder those upon whom God has laid the burden of reproving and correcting prevailing sins, that his frown may be turned away from his people. Should a case like Achan’s be among us, there are many who would accuse those who might act the part of Joshua in searching out the wrong, of having a wicked, fault-finding spirit. God is not to be trifled with, and his warnings disregarded with impunity by a perverse people.
* * *
“God’s displeasure is upon his people, and he will not manifest his power in the midst of them while sins exist among them, and are fostered by those in responsible positions.
“Those who work in the fear of God to rid the church of hindrances, and to correct grievous wrongs, that the people of God may see the necessity of abhorring sin, and may prosper in purity, and that the name of God may be glorified, will ever meet with resisting influences from the unconsecrated. Zephaniah thus describes the true state of this class, and the terrible judgments that will come upon them: –
“ ‘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.’ ‘The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord; the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.’…
“When a crisis finally comes, as it surely will, and God speaks in behalf of his people, those who have sinned, those who have been a cloud of darkness, and who have stood directly in the way of God’s working for his people, may become alarmed at the length they have gone in murmuring and in bringing discouragement upon the cause; and, like Achan, becoming terrified, they may acknowledge that they have sinned. But their confessions are too late, and are not of the right kind to benefit themselves, although they may relieve the cause of God….
“Those who have been nearly all their lives controlled by a spirit as foreign to the Spirit of God as was Achan’s, will be very passive when the time comes for decided action on the part of all. They will not claim to be on either side.” – Testimonies, Vol. 3, pp. 270-272.
“We have been inclined to think 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.” – Testimonies, Vol. 5, pp. 80, 81.
The foregoing series of statements shows that the church must be cleansed before the rest of God’s people are gathered “out of all” countries. Then “in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,” says the Lord, “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for My people and for My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted My land.” Joel 3:1, 2.
But to be delivered from captivity, and to hear the Lord “plead…there” for His people, one dare not spurn now---His Pleadings.
“They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to Me, saith the Lord. Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed. Wilt thou not from this time cry unto Me, My Father, Thou art the Guide of my youth?
“Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause Mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed My voice, saith the Lord. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: and I will give you pastors according to Mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.” Jer. 3:1-4, 12-18.
Howbeit, saith the Lord: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Mal. 4:5, 6.
“Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, Whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple…. But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ sope: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years. And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the Lord of hosts. For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
“Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from Mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.
“Your words have been stout against Me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against Thee? Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts? And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be Mine saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.” Mal. 3:1-18.
“Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
“And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. For the Lord shall rise up as in Mount Perazim He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act. Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.
“Give ye ear, and hear My voice; hearken, and hear My speech.” Isa. 28:16-23.
As “God has promised that where the shepherds are not true He will take charge of the flock Himself” (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 80; Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300; Jer. 3:17), and as the descendants of Jacob, again becoming a kingdom, appoint to themselves one head (Hos. 1:11), “David their king” (Hos. 3:5), “and seek the Lord their God,” it is evident that the church in the time of the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message,---Will Be A Theocracy.
“The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” Gen. 49:10.
“Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isa. 32:1, 2.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.” Isa. 9:6-8.
“Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him: behold, His reward is with Him [He will then give them the kingdom] and His work before Him [He will then gather His people].” Isa. 40:10.
“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,” prophesies Isaiah in figurative depiction of this glorious triumph of God’s purpose, “and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” Isa. 11:1-5.
In this illustration there are three persons brought to view: Jesse (the father of David), the rod (David), and the Branch (Christ). The relationship shows that David (the rod) is not Christ (the Branch) for the “rod” sprang from the stem of Jesse, and the Branch from the rod – a fact which is born out in the cry of the multitude when Christ entered Jerusalem. They shouted: “Hosannah to the son of David.” Matt. 21:15. Plainly, therefore, the “rod,” coming from the stem of Jesse, is symbolical of David; and the Branch, coming from the rod, is symbolical of the son of David – Christ.
Upon this “ensign” (Branch and rod) “the Spirit of the Lord shall rest…,the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” Isa. 11:2-5.
So though the “ensign” emblematizes the connection of three persons (Jesse, the root; David the rod; and Christ, the Branch), yet the power and wisdom of Christ is its underlying and controlling force. Wherefore says Christ: “I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16), bearing out that He is all and in all.
Since therefore from the “stem” of Jesse came the “rod” (David), and from the rod sprang the Branch (Christ), David the visible king and Christ the invisible King of kings shall “in that day” – in our time – constitute the “ensign,” and “to it shall the Gentiles seek: and His rest [or His resting place, – the location where the “rod” or ensign stands – the kingdom] shall be glorious.” Yea “I will make the place of My feet glorious” (Isa. 60:13), saith the Lord.
“And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even My servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it. And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.” Ezek. 34:23-25.
Thus His church, or kingdom, is again reflected without “spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing” (Eph. 5:27), a theocracy of peace, safety, and invincibility, under the rule of one shepherd and a king – David, His servant. But the fact that many kings reigned over Israel, may in the minds of some give rise to the question:---Why David A Type?
Inevitably because he is the only one who perfectly fits the antitype – the leadership in the time of the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s Message. This being so, then it necessarily follows that Saul, the first king who reigned over Israel, and who was largely responsible for the early experience of David’s life, is a type of the church leadership in the period preceding the Loud Cry – the leadership which was raised up in 1844, and for the sole purpose of gathering the 144,000, the first fruits of the kingdom. In each case, type perfectly matches antitype.
On account of his outwardly kingly appearance, Saul was chosen by the people, as the reader will remember, to be their king, in spite of God’s disapproval (1 Sam. 8:7). Then finally when God rejected him and anointed David to be a king in his stead, he was determined to retain the throne by attempting to kill David, but ended up, ever before David ascended it, by deliberately killing himself (1 Sam. 31:4).
Time has already demonstrated that the S.D.A. organization is fulfilling the type. Preferring to incorporate, and to elect officers by the people’s vote, they have thereby manifested that they have cared not so much to please God by being “a peculiar people,” as He would have them to be, as they have to please themselves by being as much as possible like the other denominations – just as in Saul’s time the people wanted to be like the nations round about them (1 Sam. 8:5, 7). And although chosen by the people, yet the General Conference officers were nevertheless accepted by God to be the rulers over His people now, as Saul was anciently. Just as he betrayed his trust, however by disobeying the Word of God as spoken to him by the prophet Samuel, so the present church organization, “the ancient men…before the house,” have, says the prophet to the church today “betrayed their trust.” – Testimonies, Vol. 5 p. 211. (For a more ample treatment of the subject of organization, see our Organization Manual.)
Speaking to the S.D.A. leadership, the servant of the Lord says: “You have no right to manage, unless you manage in God’s order. Are you under the control of God? Do you see your responsibility to Him?… That these men should stand in a sacred place to be as the voice of God to the people, as we once believed the General Conference to be, – that is past. What we want now is reorganization.” – General Conference Bulletin, 34th Session, Vol. 4, Extra No. 1, April 3, 1901, p. 25, Cols. 1 and 2.
This revelatory statement conclusively proves that after the historical Minneapolis meeting in 1888, when the leaders rejected both the message and the counsel which was given them (Testimonies To Ministers, p. 468) the Lord did not any longer regard the General Conference as His servants, just as He did not any longer regard Saul as king over Israel after he turned from the Lord’s commands to him. And now, having long since granted the popular demand to organize the General Conference, in fulfillment of the type, God warns that His forbearance is come to an end today just as it did then. Solemnly declares the Spirit of Prophecy:
“ ‘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 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, p. 154. Reprinted from Review and Herald, Feb. 25, 1902.
As Saul’s fall came from neglecting to obey to the letter the Word of the Lord, and from then excusing his disobedience under the pretext that he had spared the best of the cattle for sacrifice in worship to God, so the present leadership, although commanded to shun all worldly connections and ways, and to avoid all manner of business on the Sabbath such as selling literature, raising goals, etc. nevertheless disobediently connected with the world and followed in forbidden paths, even to turning the house of God into a house of merchandise (Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 250). Then continuing in Saul-like fashion, they pleaded extenuation of this disobedient and desecrating course on the ground that such a practice is good missionary work! But, says the Spirit of Prophecy:
“A great mistake has been made by some who profess present truth, by introducing merchandise in the course of a series of meetings and by their traffic diverting minds from the object of the meetings. If Christ were now upon earth, he would drive out these peddlers and traffickers, whether they be ministers or people, with a scourge of small cords, as when he entered the temple anciently, ‘and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers and the seats of them that sold doves. And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.’ These traffickers might have pleaded as an excuse that the articles they held for sale were for sacrificial offerings. But their object was to get gain, to obtain means, to accumulate.
“I was shown that if the moral and intellectual faculties had not been clouded by wrong habits of living, ministers and people would have been quick to discern the evil results of mixing sacred and common things. Ministers have stood in the desk and preached a most solemn discourse, and then by introducing merchandise, and acting the part of a salesman, even in the house of God, they have diverted the minds of their hearers from the impressions received, and destroyed the fruit of their labor.” – Testimonies, Vol. 1, pp. 471, 472.
Though acknowledging Samuel as God’s prophet, Saul at the same time deliberately disobeyed his words; likewise, though also acknowledging Sister White as God’s servant, the General Conference, sad to say, are today, by the course they pursue, denying her authority. This wide-open fact is exposed numerous times in the Spirit of Prophecy, a representative statement being:
“Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent, will not then [after the purification] stand at the head of rank and file. They did not keep pace with the light…. 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.” – Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 80.
“If they continue in this state, God will reject them.” – Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 427.
Just as Saul’s outward show resulted, consequently, only in his being dethroned by another king, so likewise shall the great men of today, those who are at the head of the work, and who trust to “intellect, genius, or talent,” be replaced by those who, though not having a polished outward appearance, are to be “disclosed to view” at this time, as revealing “the pure brightness of a genuine Christian character.” (For further study on the change of leadership, see our Tract No. 2, The Warning Paradox.)
As Saul, furthermore, defied God by refusing to abdicate the throne, and by seeking the life of His anointed, king David, so now at the sounding of the trumpet today, we find the General Conference refusing to let God take the reins in His Own hands (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300), their attempting to usurp His throne by determining that they are to rule the denomination until the end of this world, and their availing themselves of every chance to cast us out of their midst, in order to safeguard their control of it. Those who are doing this are they whom the prophet Ezekiel prophetically heard saying: “This city is the caldron, and we be the flesh.” Ezek. 11:3. They are now doing everything possible to exalt and to perpetuate themselves in power, and to be rid of those who have in the name of the Lord “published peace,” and brought to them the “good tidings” that “the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.” Nah. 1:15. But “this city shall not,” says the Lord, “be your caldron, neither shall ye be the flesh in the midst thereof; but I will judge you in the border of Israel.” Ezek. 11:11.
Those who desire to know the truth for themselves as to what kind of treatment we have received at the hands of the church officials (as did David at the hands of Saul), may read our Tract No. 7, Count the Evidences on Both Sides Before Firing For or Against.
In rejecting the message which has come to them with warnings and reproofs, and in continuing in their evil ways, our brethren are compelling the Lord to cut them down by the slaughter weapons of Ezekiel 9, unless they immediately repent. Though on the way to suicide with Saul, yet they are saying in their heart: “The Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil. He is too merciful to visit his people in judgment. Thus peace and safety is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs, that would not bark, are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children, all perish together.” – Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211.
As Saul, still further, was responsible for the death not only of his sons, but also of the people (1 Sam. 31:6), so the ministry will be responsible for the “men, maidens, and little children” who fail to receive the seal, and who consequently perish in the slaughter.
Nevertheless, despite their great sin and certain doom, David, the type, reveals the fact that, though we may cut the skirt of their robes while they are bitter and wroth against us, and are chasing us around the “sheep cotes” (1 Sam. 24:3, 4), or that we may take “the spear and the cruse of water from” their “bolster” while they are in “deep sleep from the Lord,” or that we may, as we find them asleep within the “trench,” or covering their feet in our hiding places (1 Sam. 26:7-12), have them at our mercy, with the power and the opportunity to do them much injury, yet in no case would we hurt them in the least, but rather would befriend them.
And while they are persecuting us, as Saul persecuted David, everyone that is in distress, and everyone that is in debt, and everyone that is in discontent, will, as the type also shows, join us (1 Sam. 22:2); whereas all who are “neither cold nor hot,…lukewarm” (satisfied), are, with the angel of the church of the Laodiceans, in critical danger of remaining “wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked,” and of being as a consequence, “spued out,” rejected – “cut down.” – Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 427; Vol. 5, p. 80; Vol. 1, p. 190; Vol. 5, p. 211.
In the foregoing exposition, we see that those who respond to the Good Shepherd’s voice, are typified by David’s followers, and that those who do not respond, are typified by Saul and his followers.
In Luke’s parable of the great supper, Christ again brings to view both classes. On the one hand, Saul’s sympathizers prefigure in the parable those who excused themselves on the grounds that they were too busy with the cares of this life, and who consequently “with one consent began to make excuse”: The first saying unto Him, “I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.” On the other hand, David’s followers typify those who were found in “the streets and lanes” of the city – “the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.” Luke 14:17-24.
Immediately after Saul was informed by Samuel that because of his unfaithfulness, God had rejected him as ruler over His people, Samuel was sent secretly to anoint David to reign in Saul’s stead. And though Saul was told that the Lord had rejected him yet he refused to abdicate, with the result that the Philistines were besetting his army, and where about to take the kingdom: The giant Goliath had “stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants and serve us. And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.” 1 Sam. 17:8-11.
Though naught but a stripling despised by his brothers, and but lowly regarded by all the others, David said to Saul: “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.” 1 Sam. 17:32, 40, 49-51.
David’s victory over the giant against whom no one was able to make war, typifies the victory of the church (the house of David – Zech. 12:8), in the “time of trouble such as never was,” over the beast and his image (antitypical Goliath), concerning whose formidableness the Revelator asks: “Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” The giant, Goliath, accordingly, represents those who now defy the servants of God, and who shall comprise the Image of the Beast, that religio-politico system which shall defy the armies of the Lord, and issue a decree “that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name…and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Rev. 13:17, 15.
But “in that day,” saith the Lord, “will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.” Zech. 12:3, 8.
The five smooth stones in David’s bag, with one of which he slew Goliath, typify the five-fold power in the antitypical shepherd’s bag (the Bible), with one part of which God shall today smite the beast and his image, the nations – the antitypical Goliath. And since we know that it is by His Word, in the form of a message, that He shall smite the nations, then obviously the five smooth stones represent five messages, the last of which is to wound the beast, destroy his image, and free God’s people from the fear of the heathen.
So as the five stones in the shepherd’s bag are figurative of five messages, the messages therefore, are necessarily scheduled somewhere in the Bible. They are in Christ’s parable of the vineyard: the first, at the “early” hour (the ceremonial system); the second, at the “third hour” (the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ); the third, at the “sixth hour” (the twenty-three hundred days of Dan. 8:14); the fourth, at the “ninth hour” (the judgment of the dead); and the fifth, and last, at the “eleventh hour” (the judgment of the living, the time of the Loud Cry), which shall wound the beast, and with his own sword (the ten horns of Revelation 17:16), cut off his head, and then with fire destroy him, so that the wound shall never heal again. In the message of the hour therefore, lies the safety of God’s people. (For a complete study of the parable of Matthew 20:1-16, and of the beast of Revelation 17, read The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 2, pp. 222-239; 155, 156.)
Proclaiming “the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Mal. 4:5), “a day of slaughter” (Isa. 30:25), and “a day of darkness” (Joel 2:2), this last message is to be sounded at the eleventh hour – just before the time in which, as John foresaw, “the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand” (Rev. 6:15-17)? – none but the righteous, the future leaders of the church, as David’s reign typifies.
“Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow. He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet. I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon My name: and he shall come upon princes as upon morter, and as the potter treadeth clay.” Isa. 41:2, 3, 25.
“Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He hath glorified thee.
“Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near.” Isa. 55:4-6.
Since, for God’s honor and for the prosperity of His people, both Elijah’s message and David’s reign took the lives of many (Elijah’s message, the lives of the apostate teachers in Israel – 1 Kings 18:40; and David’s reign, the lives of the heathen who defied God and His armies – 1 Chronicles 22:6-8), therefore the work of Elijah particularly typifies the day of slaughter in the church, and the reign of David, the destruction of the heathen and the possession of the earth (Zech. 12:8, 9; Jer. 30:3, 9). Whereupon Christ (the son of David) shall visibly appear, take unto Himself His kingdom (Luke 19:15), and glorify it with everlasting peace (as typified by the peaceful reign of David’s son, Solomon). And in the days of these antitypical events shall be completely realized the promise:
“And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou [David] must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build Me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son: and I will not take My mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee.” 1 Chron. 17:11-13. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” Prov. 29:2.
While to the righteous, He makes the kingdom His place and protection, to the heathen,---God Makes It His Battle Ax.
“Thou art My battle axe and weapons of war,” declares the Lord in foreshadowing to the posterity of Jacob their ultimate destiny, “for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms; and with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider; with thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid; I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers.” Jer. 51 :20-23.
The “stone” (Dan. 2:45; Zech. 3 :9), the 144,000 (Rev. 14:1), “cut out of the mountain [the Laodicean church] without hands” (without human help), is to break the nations that are symbolized by “the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold” of the great image. And “all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” So “in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” Dan. 2:44.
“But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it. And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead. And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south. And saviours shall come upon mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.” “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.” Obad. 1:17-21; Joel 2:32.
“For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.” Isa. 60:12.
From the foregoing scriptures, we see that as a result of rejecting the truth proclaimed by His church, the wicked go to destruction. And echoing this prophetic pronouncement of their doom, Christ declares: “And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father.” Rev. 2:26, 27.
“He that overcometh” being the one who is to “rule” “the nations” “with a rod of iron,” and the need and the work of overcoming being not His but His followers’, the truth is obvious that the Lord will have a victorious nation – a kingdom through which He will manifest His great power, and which shall be---A Kingdom of Peace.
That a heaven-like safety and peace shall infuse the kingdom at the time that God shall use it as His “battle ax” with which to smite the nations, is evidenced by the following scriptures:
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Isa. 11:6-9. When this state of knowledge and peace prevails in the kingdom, then “in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: [consequently it is in probationary time] and…in that day,…the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people.” Isa. 11:10, 11.
“And in that day,” says the Lord through His prophet Hosea, in reiteration of His covenant of peace, “will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.” Hos. 2:18. (For a detailed treatment of Hosea’s chapters one and two read our Tract No. 4, The Latest News For Mother.)
As in Noah’s ark, the type, so in the antitypical ark, the kingdom, nothing shall hurt or destroy: the lion, the wolf, the lamb, the leopard, the calf, and the fatling shall live peaceably together and, like the ox, all shall feed on “straw.” Thus now, as in Noah’s time, God shall preserve a remnant of man and beast out of His whole creation, instead of exterminating every living thing, and then creating them all over again.
Recognizing this fact, the apostle Paul says: “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Rom. 8:19-23.
“And He will destroy in this mountain [this kingdom of peace],” says Isaiah, “the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.
“And it shall be said in that day [the day in which the Lord wipes away the tears from the faces of all His people], Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation. For in this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under Him, even as straw is trodden down for the dung hill.” Isa. 25:7-10. “And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.” Isa. 33:24.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul,” exults David, “and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Ps. 103:1-5. (For further study of the subject of continuation of life see our Tract No. 5, Final Warning, pp. 63-65, Revised Edition, 1940.)
“And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them. And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord. I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased. And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember Me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again. I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them. And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away. And I will strengthen them in the Lord; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the Lord.” (Zech. 10:6-12) – unfailing assurance that ours is the supreme privilege to---Let God Reign Over Us.
For centuries, Christ’s followers have prayed, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.” Now that the time has come for the prayer to be fulfilled let us live out our prayers, lest any of us be found among the unfaithful class with whom Christ concludes the following parable:
“He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for Himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called His ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But His citizens hated Him, and sent a message after Him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass, that when He was returned, having received the kingdom, then He commanded these servants to be called unto Him, to whom He had given the money, that He might know how much every man had gained by trading.
“Then came the first, saying, Lord, Thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And He said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
“And the second came, saying, Lord, Thy pound hath gained five pounds. And He said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
“And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is Thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: for I feared Thee, because Thou art an austere man: Thou takest up that Thou layedst not down, and reapest that Thou didst not sow. And He saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: wherefore then gavest not thou My money into the bank, that at My coming I might have required Mine own with usury? And He said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto Him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
“For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. But those Mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before Me.” Luke 19:12-27.
The “certain nobleman” in this parable is Christ, Himself, Who, soon after His resurrection, departed to the heaven of heavens, “the far country,” to be crowned King of kings and Lord of lords. His ten servants, who are to occupy till His coming, represent, manifestly, the ministry at the closing of the gospel dispensation. And His citizens, accordingly, represent the laity – the subjects of His kingdom. Together, then, His servants and His citizens make up His entire kingdom – church.
As they “sent a message after Him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us,” the only conclusion admissible is that shortly before His return, Christ shall inform His “citizens” that He is taking “the reins in His own hands” to set up His kingdom, and that they, upon hearing the announcement, shall refuse to submit themselves to the one through whom He is to rule.
Observe that in the message which they “sent after Him,” his servants did not say, “We will not have You to reign over us,” but rather, “we will not have this man to reign over us.” What they objected to was Christ’s reigning over them through someone else. Clearly, then, before He is coronated, and prior to His return to reckon with His servants, He appoints a “man” to reign over them in His stead. Whereupon they say to Him, by their attitude and stand toward His message, “We will not have this man to reign over us,” although “this man,” as we now see, is the antitypical David (the “simple means”), the visible king.
Thus when Christ returns and reckons with His servants, He rewards the faithful ones in proportion as they have increased the principal with which they started, but condemns those who have had no burden to work for souls and to advance His kingdom, and who have been content to let Him do without their services. For this unfaithfulness, He takes from them the “pound,” (light of truth), with which He had entrusted them, showing thereby that all are to be held responsible “for every ray of light,” for every lost moment, for every neglected opportunity. And those who will not have Him thus reign over them, shall, at His return, be slain before Him as were those who rebelled against God’s government in olden times.
The Jews at Christ’s first advent, misunderstanding His mission because they were blind as to what their message (the ceremonial service) taught, and as to what the prophets wrote concerning Him, misconstrued His doctrine of the kingdom. Dearly coveting the fruition of their long-held hope of the kingdom, they were upset by Christ’s strange teachings, and were ready to stone Him to death rather than to have their errors exposed before the multitude whom they kept in darkness. So it is with the church today. She is as blind to the message of the hour, and to the truth of Christ’s kingdom, as were the Jews in their day. And as the message knocks at her door with warnings, her answer is, Go thy way, I am “rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing,” though she is “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”
The church of Christ’s day was determined to have the kingdom set up then, when not all was yet ready for it; the church of today is determined not to have it now, when “the end of all things is at hand” (1 Pet. 4:7) – when the time is fully come! The Jews wanted back the kingdom which they had lost – a kingdom of sin and sinners. They were eager to be freed from Roman bondage only, instead of from sin and sinners also. Consequently, when Christ said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36), they would not have it so; whereas the church to day, blindly ignoring the scriptures which plainly declare that God is now to set up His spotless kingdom and is to free His people, not from Babylonish bondage only, but from sin and sinners also, is determined to put it off until after the millennium! Such is the ironic perversity of the natural heart – even in the very face of the fact that in every way she is seen on the very verge of eternity,---In Her Purified State.
In one of his grandest prophecies, Isaiah projects in lineaments unmistakable the great antitypical counterpart of the Exodus movement: “And there shall be an highway for the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.” Isa. 11:16. As the “passover” and the slaughter of the “first-born (first fruits) who had not the blood on the “door posts,” released God’s ancient people from the bondage of Egypt, so shall the antitypical passover (Ezek. 9:4; Isa. 66:16) free the first fruits, the 144,000, His first-born now, from the bondage of sin and sinners today.
“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: when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.” Isa. 4:3-6. (For a more detailed exposition of the exodus movement in type and antitype, read The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 1, pp. 64-111.
In the light of Present Truth concerning the kingdom, the following prophecy (along with numerous other relevant prophecies) is self-interpreting:
“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. Shake thyself from the dust arise, and sit down [on thy throne], O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the [man-wrought] bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money. For thus saith the Lord God My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. Now therefore, what have I here, saith the Lord, that My people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the Lord; and My name continually every day is blasphemed. Therefore My people shall know My name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am He that doth speak: behold, it is I.
“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 “Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
“Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
“Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord. For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.
“Behold, My servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: so shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.” Isa. 52:1-15.
Seeing ourselves on the brink of eternity, we are impelled to join with Elder James White in his enraptured exclamation: “O, Glory! Hallelujah! my poor heart is set on fire for the kingdom, while I dwell on this sweet prospect, before the true believer. If we ‘hold fast’ but a few days more, the dark shades of night will vanish before the glory of the preparatory scenes of the coming of the Son of man.” – A Word To The Little Flock, p. 8.
Only those who have a part in this antitypical exodus movement will be privileged to sing “the song of Moses and the Lamb,” and to share in the promises of---The Covenant in the Antitype.
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jer. 31:31-34.
The old “covenant” or agreement between God and His people was based upon the promises of both parties; to wit: “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all His commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: and all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and He shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto Himself, as He hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in His ways.”
“And all the people answered together and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.” Deut. 28:1-9; Ex. 19:8.
This first covenant reaches from the time it was ordained to the imminent and final ingathering of the twelve tribes as a kingdom. And yet, though never invalidated by God, its validity has been persistently negated by the New Testament church, and its sanctity violated by both the Old and New Testament churches, until this very day. So as the people, failing their promise, have broken God’s commandments, they thereby also have broken “the covenant that God made with their fathers.” But in the new covenant, which the Lord is now about to fulfill, the commandments of God (Ex. 20:1-17), unlike in the old will not be written on tables of stone (Ex. 31:18) but in fleshy tables of the heart, and at that time all shall “know the Lord,…from the least of them unto the greatest of them” (Jer. 31:34) – exhibiting a church without tares.
This compact which is about to take place, is the second covenant, and His law, being written on the heart, will be perfectly kept. Then, and not before, will the blessings, which His ancient people failed to receive, be fully realized.
Jeremiah, also bearing witness that this promised covenant has not yet been fulfilled, but that it is to be honored now in the gathering time, declares:
“Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. For, lo, the
These verses show vividly that God is to validate the second covenant when He brings His people again from their captivity, while subsequent verses fix the time of this liberation or ingathering: “For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: but they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.” Jer. 30:8, 9.
This prophecy, we observe, did not meet its fulfillment in the return of the Jews from their captivity in ancient Babylon, because at that time God did not “raise up” David their king. They did not, in fact, have any king at all of their own, but were under Medo-Persia rule. The prophecy, therefore, can be applied to no other time than today, when both “Israel and Judah” shall be joined into one great kingdom, established in everlasting righteousness. Then “they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them,: says the Lord. Consequently, the fact that there has never been a time from the day that this scripture was written even to the present day, that every one of God’s people, as a church or a nation, has known the Lord and kept His commandments, again proves that the fulfillment of the second covenant (of which the exodus movement was a type), is yet future.
“How long,” says the Lord, “wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.” Jer. 31:22. This “woman” must be symbolical, for no one person can possibly encompass another. She must, for this reason, be a symbol of the church, and the “man” must be Christ, Who shall at that time “have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion” – purified the church (Isa. 4:4; Testimonies, Vol. 5 p. 80). Then will He “be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her and…will dwell in the midst of her. Zech. 2:5, 11.
Though many variously raise their voices against God’s establishing “the seed of Israel” as a righteous and holy nation free from sinners, they shall fail to overthrow the plans of Him Who “giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is His name: if those ordinances depart from before Me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me for ever. Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord.” Jer. 31:35-37.
As the promises are made only to Israel (the seed of Abraham), the original vine, which has been trodden down, this vine must therefore be raised up; then the penitent Gentiles by virtue of adoption in Christ, shall be grafted into it, and only thus become of the planting of the Lord.
“I say then, Hath God cast away His people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away His people which He foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed Thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
“What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompence unto them: let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.
“I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: if by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit [the Jew] be holy, the lump [Jew and Gentile] is also holy: and if the root [the Jew] be holy, so are the branches [whether they be original or grafted in]. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree [the Gentile tree], wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the [good] olive tree; boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou [Gentile] bearest not the root, but the root [the Jew] thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith.
“Be not highminded, but fear: for if God spared not the natural branches [the unbelieving Jews], take heed lest He also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in His goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
“As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all.
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counselor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” Rom. 11.
“Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The Lord hath called me [Israel] from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath He made mention of my name. And He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand hath He hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in His quiver hath He hid me; and said unto me, Thou art My servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified. Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.
“And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob [his posterity] again to Him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength. [We, too, may say, though the whole world may reject God and His message, “yet we will trust in the Lord.”] And He said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel [only]: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth.” Isa. 49:1-6. In other words, those (of Israel) who declare the sealing message of the 144,000 to the church, shall also declare God’s glory among the Gentiles, thus be His salvation unto the end of the earth, and “bring all [their] brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations.” Isa. 66:19, 20.
“Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and His Holy One, to him whom man despiseth [the one whom they called “this man” (Luke 19:14). See page 71], to him whom “the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and He shall choose thee. Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages that thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places. They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for He that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them. And I will make all My mountains a way, and My highways shall be exalted. Behold, these shall come from far: and lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.
“Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His afflicted. But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.” Isa. 49:7-14.
Sion, as we have herein seen, being the church in which the 144,000 are at the time the sealing message is heard, and being as the apple of His eye, the Lord asks her: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands; thy walls are continually before Me. Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee.” Isa. 49:15-17. That is, the sinners will be taken out of her, cast away “from among the just.” Matt. 13:48, 49.
children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee.” Isa. 49:15-17. That is, the sinners will be taken out of her, cast away “from among the just.” Matt. 13:48, 49.
“Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth. [See Zechariah 8:23; The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 2, p. 281.] For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away. [That is, a great multitude is to join the church, but the sinners shall be kept out of it.] The children which thou shalt have [those who shall be gathered in], after thou hast lost the other [those who fell in the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine], shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell. Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been? [This question shows that the church is ignorant of the great multitude of Revelation 7:9 – the second fruits.] Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up Mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up My standard
“Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children. And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.” Isa. 49:18-26.
“But when he seeth his children, the work of Mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify My name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.” “Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far, burning with His anger and the burden thereof is heavy: His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue as a devouring fire: and His breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.” Isa. 29:23; 30:27, 28.
“But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand. Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks; until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; when it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place. Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.” Isa. 32:8, 14-20.
“Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and ye that are near, acknowledge My might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.
“Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off. Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe [secretary]? where is the receiver [treasurer]? where is he that counted [statistical secretary] the towers [conference presidents]? Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive; of a stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand [thou shalt speak and understand all the languages].” Isa. 33:13-19.
“Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 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. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isa. 35:3-10.
Inasmuch as both the “field” with the wheat and tares (Matt. 13:30), and the “net” with the good and bad “fish” (Matt. 13:47, 48), represent the gospel church during the period in which the saints and the hypocrites are commingled, then the “vessels” into which the “good fish” are placed after the “bad” are cast away “from among” them, and the “barn” into which the “wheat” is placed after the “tares” are separated from it, must necessarily represent the church passing from its unclean state (field or net) into another, its purified state, which is symbolized, not by the “field” or by the “net,” but rather by a “barn” and by “vessels” – a new place safe and clean – where “henceforth there shall no more come…the uncircumcised and the unclean.” Isa. 52:1.
So no matter what the term we may give to this new place into which the saints are to be gathered, the place, itself, will be absolutely free from sin because all sinners among the righteous have then been destroyed.
Since after the separation of the unconverted from among God’s true people, the church (then comprised of the 144,000, the first fruits of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel) is to emerge into a theocratic government, inevitably, then, the “vessels” represent the component units, the tribes, into which the redeemed are gathered severally, while the “barn” represents the composite unit, the kingdom, into which they are gathered collectively. And this great gathering, selective, absolute, and final, as it is, only goes to show again that the birth of the kingdom is absolutely dependent upon the purification of the church.
“I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” Rev. 22:16. “Arise, that we may go up against them: for we have seen the land and behold, it is very good: and are ye still?” (Judges 18:9.) Be not slothful, act promptly, get ready, follow---The Lamb to the Ruler of the Land.
“Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon. Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth. Let Mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.” Isa. 16:1-5.
Though this passage may seem to contain nothing more than the cabalistic language of cadenced mysticism, yet it holds lessons calculated to convert even the case-hardened infidel to the certain truth of the Bible. Indeed, if God’s people could get along without this scripture, we may be sure that He would not have taken either the prophet’s time to write it or space in the Bible to record it. Were it, in short, merely a mystical rhapsody of prophetic tenor without rime or reason, then it were naught but a piece of vain repetition, an imperfection – an impossible thing with God. So to attach no significance or importance to the verses, would lay one under the fearful condemnation of the following scripture:
“If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Rev. 22:19.
As Isaiah’s words, therefore, must contain light, the absence of which, leaving dark our path, exposes us to the risk of falling with the blind headlong into the pit, the diligent searcher for truth will discover that though the passage appears obscured and involved in mystery, it is plain and simple when seen in the light which shines from above.
“Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion.” Isa. 16:1.
The definite article, “the,” lends absolute meaning to the noun, “lamb,” showing that a lamb, the only one of its kind, was the object of the command to send “the lamb” from Moab “to the mount of the daughter of Zion” – Mount Sion in Jerusalem.
“For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Amon.” That is, the lamb had to be taken from Moab because the Moabites were to be “cast out” “as a wandering bird,” “at the fords of Arnon.” Isa. 16:2.
Sacred history records that the one lamb taken from Moab before the Moabites were “cast out of [their] nest,” was the One of Whom John the Baptist said: “Behold the Lamb of God” – Christ. The prophecy shows that the lamb was rushed from Moab to Mount Sion (David’s palace at Jerusalem) – an event which took place when Naomi, with her sons, went to Moab (the “wilderness” – a nation not under the direct care of the Lord and, therefore, not a vineyard) and brought Ruth, the Moabitess, from Moab to Jerusalem: for “Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife…,and she bare a son,…and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David…. And Jesse begat David.” Ruth 4:13-22.
Thus Christ, the Son of David, was “sent” from Moab to Mount Sion – David’s palace; thus showing Christ’s divinity as the Son of God, and His humanity as the Son not only of David but also of Lot – Moab.
O how wonderfully particular is our God: the names, Obed, Jesse, and David in the Hebrew tongue mean Christ – a servant (Obed), who is to be My presence (Jesse), the beloved (David).
Christ being in the flesh a Moabite as well as an Israelite, God says: “Let Mine outcasts dwell with Thee, Moab [Christ]; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler.” “And a man [again pointing to Christ] shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” Isa. 16:4;
Sent to “take counsel, execute judgment; make” His “shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth” (Isa. 16:3), Christ, our “hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest” “in a weary land,” is a great and perfect shadow, even as midnight at noonday. So also exclaims the Psalmist: “How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings. Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.” Ps. 36:7; 63:7.
And “therefore,” exclaims the Gospel prophet also, “shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee. For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.” Isa. 25:3, 4.
“And in mercy shall the throne be established: and He shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.” Isa. 16:5.
Since according to this scripture the establishment of Christ’s throne is yet future, and since furthermore it is to be set up in the tabernacle of David (the which did not take place at His first coming),
Christ, therefore, when He comes to reign in His forthcoming kingdom, will sit on the throne of David. And as He is then to judge, seek judgment, and hasten righteousness, the entire action occurs just before the close of probation – the time in which He can hasten righteousness. So, happily, this prophecy of Christ’s genealogy and of His taking “the reins in His Own hands,” was given for the “admonition and learning” of those who shall be living at the end of time, when “all these things shall come to pass.” Supremely important, therefore, is the need to remember its all-important lessons, and with---The Faithful Act Promptly.
Seeing that Lot as well as Abraham appears in the genealogical record of Christ, the question naturally asserts itself: Why should these two men be so greatly honored? And the answer awaits us: Abraham obtained this great honor because he was faithful to the Word of God and never questioned It, though all things seemed destined to fulfill themselves contrary to his interests and to God’s promises: Though God promised to give the land to him and to his posterity for a perpetual possession, Abraham, personally, never obtained the promise. Besides enduring these faith-trying tests, he waited twenty-five years for the promised son, only to be commanded when this only child was become a young man, to sacrifice him for a burnt offering! Still, through every trial, he never lost his faith in God, but implicitly trusted in Him and unreservedly obeyed His commands. For this reason God signally honored him.
Yet the great lesson here to be learned is not so much from Abraham’s experience, as from Lot’s for though Lot was not quite so generous as was Abraham, and not quite so willing to live apart from the world, still his faith in the promises of God to Abraham was as great as was the faith of Abraham, himself, yea, in some respects, even greater: for God spoke to Abraham in person, whereas He spoke to Lot through Abraham. Lot, therefore, had to have implicit confidence that God had spoken to him through Abraham.
As in the days of Abraham, moreover, there was no Bible, by which to prove that his going from his father’s house was in fulfillment of prophecy, and that God was leading him to depart from Ur of the Chaldees to go to a land the whereabouts of which he, himself, knew not (Heb. 11:8, 9), we see that Lot was not like most men today, who question and criticize everything in the unfolding of truth. Without the slightest questioning or doubting, he put his trust in Abraham’s God, and confidently followed in the quest for the promised land.
What a contrast between the character of Lot and that of the Jews who rejected the prophets and even put them to death! For this reason God honored Lot with the greatest gift heaven could bestow upon a human being – sharing the earthly parentage of the Lord of Glory, the eternal King!
Although, furthermore, Lot’s descendants, the Moabites and the Ammonites, were no better than the other heathen, yet for Lot’s sake, God did not deal with them, as He did with the rest of the heathen, but commanded Moses to “distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot for a possession.” “And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot for a possession.” Deut. 2:9, 19.
And “if any man serve Me,” said Jesus, “let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honour.” John 12:26. Also “he shall call upon Me,” says the Psalmist, “and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.” Ps. 91:15.
Aside from the happy deed of showing hospitality to the angels who visited Sodom (Gen. 19:1), the noblest act in the spotty record of Lot’s life is that he joined Abraham in his newly-found and strange religion and that, in order to do so, he departed from both his father’s house and his homeland knowing not whither he was going. Besides receiving, consequently, the everlasting blessing of being one of the earthly progenitors of Christ (a blessing which he shall realize through Christ at the glad resurrection day, and rejoice in throughout eternity), He did not go wanting for temporal blessings, and while surrounded with earthly danger, heaven-sent angels even delivered him from the doomed city of Sodom before it was reduced to ashes (Gen. 19:16, 24, 25).
Had he waited, though, for greater evidence as to whether or not God was leading him in this most momentous event of his life; had he said in his heart, “I take no chance, but shall wait until this venture proves successful. I shall first investigate and know for a surety that the land is fertile, and the climate agreeable to my family, stock, etc.,” he never would have had a part in the movement itself, or in the paternal lineage of the Lord of Glory, or in His eternal kingdom!
O Brother, Sister, have you the faith of Lot? “All these things happened unto them for ensamples: and…are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Cor. 10:11. O let us, then, follow in the footsteps of these great men of God, trusting His immutable Word, and acting upon it without the slightest hesitation! Follow not in the way of those who doubted, questioned, and criticized, and who, in fatal consequence, never arrived at the knowledge of the truth. Of such who lived at the time of the early Advent Movement, church history says: “Multitudes, trusting implicitly to their pastors, refused to listen to the warning; and others, though convinced of the truth, dared not confess it, lest they should be ‘put out of the synagogue.’
“The great obstacle both to the acceptance and to the promulgation of truth, is the fact that it involves inconvenience and reproach. This is the only argument against the truth which its advocates have never been able to refute. But this does not deter the true followers of Christ. These do not wait for truth to become popular. Being convinced of their duty, they deliberately accept the cross, with the apostle Paul counting that ‘our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;’ with one of old, ‘esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.’ ” – The Great Controversy, pp. 380, 460.
Both the Moabites and the Ammonites being the descendants of Lot, and Lot being one with Abraham, also the Edomites being the descendants of Esau, Jacob’s twin brother, to all of whom God declared, “but in the fourth generation they shall come hither again” (Gen. 15:13-16), they should therefore have known that the time had come for the fulfillment of that long-expected event, and should accordingly have been ready for it, or, had they lost sight of the truth, then they should have recalled it when they saw the movement that was now at their very borders. Had they believed in Abraham’s God as Lot believed, they would not have refused to let the children of Israel, their blood relatives, pass through their country to the promised land, but rather would have joined with them, as Lot joined with Abraham, to help them possess it.
Indeed, the Moabites went so far in their hostility toward their relatives that they even hired Balaam to curse them, in spite of the fact that God, in putting the Israelites in mind of His promise to Lot, commanded them that they harm not their brethren (Judges 11:16-18).
Thus in declining to welcome them and to grant them safe conduct through the land, the Moabites not only refused to acknowledge God’s wondrous providence, but also rejected Him in the person of His people whom they well knew He had led with signs and wonders, out of the land of Egypt.
May this tragic lesson penetrate into the innermost hearts of all today, and cause them to acknowledge God’s mighty power in fulfilling prophecy. Shall not Christians avoid the mistakes and blunders of the past and without hesitating, join God’s people on their onward march toward the antitypical promised land? Or will any in this enlightened age stubbornly disregard the Word of God, and oppose His people, as did the Moabites and the Ammonites, who consequently lost both their kingdom and eternal life? Oh, what a catastrophe, after having thus been enlightened by the Word of truth, to hear spoken against oneself the same dreadful sentence which excluded the Moabites and the Ammonites from the congregation of the Lord! –
“An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the Lord for ever: because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee.” Deut. 23:3, 4.
The Moabites’ hiring of Balaam calls attention to the fact that, in the antitype, those who should be welcoming and blessing God’s people will, instead, with promises of money and fame, be hiring false-hearted servants to curse them. But we are comforted by the truth (in type) that that which God has blessed, no man can curse.
“I am astonished,” says the Lord’s servant, “that with the examples before us of what man may be, and what he may do, we are not stimulated to greater exertion to emulate the good works of the righteous. All may not occupy a position of prominence; yet all may fill positions of usefulness and trust, and may, by their persevering fidelity, do far more good than they have any idea that they can do. Those who embrace the truth should seek a clear understanding of the Scriptures, and an experimental knowledge of a living Saviour. The intellect should be cultivated, the memory taxed. All intellectual laziness is sin, and spiritual lethargy is death.” – Testimonies, Vol. 4, p. 399.
“We desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Heb. 6:11, 12.
Those who wait for the minister to accept the message before they, themselves, act upon their convictions, will never come to the knowledge of the truth. Says the Spirit of Prophecy:
“As the light and life of men was rejected by the ecclesiastical authorities in the days of Christ so it has been rejected in every succeeding generation. Again and again the history of Christ’s withdrawal from Judea has been repeated. When the Reformers preached the word of God, they had no thought of separating themselves from the established church; but the religious leaders would not tolerate the light, and those that bore it were forced to seek another class, who were longing for the truth. In our day few of the professed followers of the Reformers are actuated by their spirit. Few are listening for the voice of God, and ready to accept truth in whatever guise it may be presented. Often those who follow in the steps of the Reformers are forced to turn away from the churches they love, in order to declare the plain teachings of the Word of God. And many times those who are seeking for light are by the same teaching obliged to leave the church of their fathers, that they may render obedience.” – The Desire of Ages, p. 232, par. 2.
“In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten. My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place. All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the Lord, the habitation of justice, even the Lord, the hope of their fathers. Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats [leaders] before the flocks.” Jer. 50:4-8.
“The time has come for a thorough reformation to take place. When this reformation begins, the spirit of prayer will actuate every believer, and will banish from the church the spirit of discord and strife. Those who have not been living in Christian fellowship will draw close to one another.One member working in right lines will lead other members to unite with him in making intercession for the revelation of the Holy Spirit. There will be no confusion, because all will be in harmony with the mind of the Spirit. The barriers separating believer from believer will be broken down, and God’s servants will speak the same things. The Lord will cooperate with His servants. All will pray understandingly the prayer that Christ taught His servants: ‘Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.’ Matt. 6:10.” – Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 251.
“The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, He shall fill the places with the dead bodies; He shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall He lift up the head.” Ps. 110:1-7.
“Remember Lot’s wife.”
“Escape for thy life.”
Thus towers forth the structure of truth, sending forth the message that the kingdom is to be restored by the antitypical prophet Elijah, just before the close of probation, but that the earth being unfit for saints to dwell on it eternally, Jesus shall therefore “come again” and receive all the redeemed (both those who are raised from their graves and those who shall be found alive at His coming – 1 Thess. 4:16, 17), and shall take them to the mansions above, which He has gone to prepare (John 14:3). Then as the saints ascend and the wicked die, the earth will be left empty and dark (Jer. 4:23-29) for a thousand years (Rev. 20:3), after which the Lord shall descend with the saints (Rev. 21:1-3), purify the earth with fire (2 Pet. 3:10-13), and fit it anew for the saints’ eternal abode (Isa. 45:18)!
Now therefore let your faith in the Word renew your love in the truth and in the promise of the future glory:
“O sing unto the Lord a new song; for He hath done marvelous things: His right hand, and His holy arm, hath gotten Him the victory. The Lord hath made known His salvation: His righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen. He hath remembered His mercy and His truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the Lord with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King. Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together before the Lord; for He cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall He judge the world, and the people with equity.” Ps. 98:1-9.
O what scenes of future glory! Who would miss them! Brother, Sister, you must be there. Whatever you lose here, be determined to make sure of a home there. “…It will be an eternity of bliss a blessed eternity, unfolding new glories throughout the ceaseless ages.” – Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 131.
Behold “…the crystal river and green fields, the waving trees and living fountains, the shining city and the white-robed singers, of our heavenly home, – that world of beauty which no artist can picture, no mortal tongue describe. ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.’ “ 1 Cor. 2:9.
“To dwell forever in this home of the blest, to bear in soul, body, and spirit, not the dark traces of sin and the curse, but the perfect likeness of our Creator, and through ceaseless ages to advance in wisdom, in knowledge, and in holiness, ever exploring new fields of thought, ever finding new wonders and new glories, ever increasing in capacity to know and to enjoy and to love, and knowing that there is still beyond us joy and love and wisdom infinite, – such is the object to which the Christian’s hope is pointing….” – Counsels to Teachers, p. 55.
(Italic Type Ours)