THE SYMBOLIC CODE NEWS ITEMS
July 1935 Waco, Texas
In The Interest Of The S.D.A. Denomination
OUR LONG NEGLECTED WORK
Long has it been the hue and cry of our own dear Seventh-day Adventist brethren and sisters that with all the large medical institutions, belting the globe, many of them here in the United States, yet the rank and file of our people are denied the benefits to be derived from said institutions because of the wrong curative principles, prohibitive prices, and uncharitable managements.
The guilt of this situation which confronts the church, depicting her neglect all these years, must be shared by all of us who have been a part of this great movement which God launched in this world of sin back in the early forties of the former century.
As one studies the Bible and the Testimonies, he cannot fail to see that God has a plan for caring for His own unfortunate, either from sickness or aged, or because of financial reverses, and the question now confronts all who claim to believe that the "Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning." "Testimonies to Ministers," p. 300. But recreant to our trust indeed would we also be, who claim to have accepted God's message of "present truth," calling for a "Great reformatory movement among God's people," should we allow this condition to remain unchanged. Shall we continue to do the planning, following in the footsteps of those who have neglected this important work?
The time, the need, and the message itself all constitute a clarion call to the remnant to "Arise, shine (144,000); for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee," and failing at this late hour, how shall we answer our own dear brethren and sisters, our fellowmen in the world about us, and above all, the angel spectators, and their loving Commander whose work we are professedly engaged in?
That this denomination is the Laodicean church, no one denies that we, as a church, have "turned back from following Christ" our "Leader" ("Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 217) all agree. That "doubt and even disbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God, is leavening our churches everywhere" (Id.), not one dares to dispute. Then what is there left for us to do, dear friends in "present truth"? Is it not high time to do as one of old, by returning to the "old landmarks," from which the servant of the Lord says "we have wandered"? "Testimonies for the church," Vol. 5, p. 137. The Gospel prophet further says:
"Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; and if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: and the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not." (Isa. 58:7-11.)
If Mt. Carmel Center is to be true to its name, and stand as an antitype of that ancient hill to which God called His people of old to prove who was the true God, then we, who are so highly privileged as to be among those chosen to pioneer this march up the mountain, must be very sure that we can do more than just say, "The Lord, He is the God, the Lord, He is the God," lest we fall under the condemnation of the false prophets, who were slain at the close of that memorable day when Elijah met the prophets of Baal on the ancient Mount, bearing the same name we have chosen, where we are now to be tested as to whether we will follow God or Baal.
Speaking of those who are expecting to give the "Loud Cry," and the necessary preparation that is to be made, the servant of the Lord says: "I was shown that if God's people make no efforts on their part, but wait for the refreshing to come upon them and remove their wrongs and correct their errors; if they depend upon that to cleanse them from filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and fit them to engage in the loud cry of the third angel, they will be found wanting." -- "Testimonies for the church." Vol. 1, p. 619.
Speaking directly to the denomination of what had been shown concerning the care of our own people, the Lord pointed out the mistakes of those in charge of the Health Institute in the following language: "When I saw those who managed and directed, running into the dangers shown me, of which I had warned them in public, and also in private conversation and letters, a terrible burden came upon me. That which had been shown me as a place where the suffering sick among us could be helped, was one where sacrifice, hospitality, faith, and piety should be the ruling principles. But when unqualified calls were made for large sums of money, with the statement that stock taken would pay large per cent; when the brethren who occupied positions in the institution seemed more than willing to take larger wages than those were satisfied with who filled other and equally important stations in the great cause of truth and reform; when I learned, with pain, that, in order to make the institution popular with those not of our faith, and to secure their patronage, a spirit of compromise was rapidly gaining ground at the Institute...when I saw these things, I said, this is not that which was shown me as an institution for the sick, which would share the signal blessing of God. This is another thing." -- "Testimonies for the Church" Vol. 1, pp. 633-4.
Then, after reciting some of the things which brought sorrow to her heart, Sr. White gives the following encouraging words: "With the blessing of God this can and will be done. Id. p. 635. Calling attention to the fact that the "health reform" is a part of our work, the Lord gives the following further instruction with a stinging rebuke;
"The brethren who have stood at the head of this work have appealed to our people for means, on the ground that the health reform is a part of the great work connected with the third angel's message. In this they have been right. It is a branch of the great, charitable, liberal, sacrificing, benevolent work of God. Then why should these brethren say, 'Stock in the Health Institute will pay a large per cent, 'it is a good investment, a paying thing'?" -- Id.
While it is clear that the Lord approved of our people taking stock in the Health Institute, which was to be a place primarily for the benefit of our own people, yet He never designed that inducements should be held out to those purchasing said stock, that dividends should accrue to them, for this would only bring in a spirit of selfishness and commercialism that we now see, and thus thwart the plan of God for the worthy poor among us, and also unfit them for the great work for which our medical institutions were established.
Although this plan of purchasing stock in the first Health Institute established among us was approved by the Lord, and evidently intended to be a model for all those which should later be established, yet He well knew that there would be those who would not be able to do what they desired to do, and words of counsel are on record covering these cases. "Many who have taken stock are not able to donate it. Some of these persons are suffering for the very money which they have invested in stock." -- Id. 639.
It would be well for all to read the entire chapter beginning on page 633 and closing on page 643, which gives a complete plan for the "great, charitable, liberal, sacrificing, benevolent work of God" which has never been done, as God designed it should be, and then ask yourselves the question, Is it now too late to do what God has said, because more than seventy years have passed since light came to us concerning it?
If we say it is too late, then how shall we answer when those burning words of the Master Workman are spoken: "For I was an hungered, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not." (Matt. 25:42, 43.) Shall our answer to the Master be, We have been so busy raising our everlasting goals that we have turned our Christian help work over to the State and County, charitable, and to other less expensive institutions?
In view of this sad neglect, which has brought a reproach upon the fair name of the S.D.A. church to which was given the blessed "ministry of healing," along with the abundant light on practical religion as set forth so clearly in the inspired writings, should we not plan very definitely, in the fear of the Lord, to "redeem the time" by answering this long-neglected call, and step into the light on this great "right arm" of the Third Angel's Message, revealing to the heavenly spectators, as well as to men, how the gospel is to be practiced by those who expect to be among those who are preparing to help give the Loud cry?
Since God is to have a pure church into which He is to gather the innumerable company by the voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues," where the spiritual necessities are cared for; will He not also provide a way whereby the physical needs may be ministered unto? Inasmuch as He is to accomplish this work through human instrumentalities, surely none should fail to enter such a high and exalted service.
All that has been stated above, is for the purpose of "stirring up your pure minds by way of remembrance," and to unburden our hearts regarding this important work. We shall be glad to hear from the readers of the Code as to how you feel about undertaking such a noble service for the "poor, the maimed, and the halt, and the blind" from the "streets and lanes of the city," as well as for those from "the highways and hedges."
APOSTASY FROM ANOTHER ANGLE
What really constitutes "apostasy"? Is it not to depart from the teachings of any religious body, whether it be that of Seventh-day Adventists, or some other church organization?
None of us enjoy being classed with apostates, yet every one of us freely admit that we have departed from many of the high standards which characterized the S.D.A. denomination in her early years, and which were clearly set forth in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, so with this frank admission on our part, are we not virtually saying that we have apostatized on many points of our faith?
In no respect, perhaps, have we departed more decidedly than in the way we conduct ourselves in the house of God, for almost everywhere it has become a place for the commonest sort of visiting, of cheap and foolish talking, all of which is specifically condemned in the following:
"When the worshipers enter the place of meeting, they should do so with decorum, passing quietly to their seats. If there is a stove in the room, it is not proper to crowd about it in an indolent, careless attitude. Common talking, whispering, and laughing should not be permitted in the house of worship, either before or after the service. Ardent, active piety should characterize the worshipers.
"If some have to wait a few minutes before the meeting begins, let them maintain a true spirit of devotion by silent meditation, keeping the heart uplifted to God in prayer that the service may be of special benefit to their own hearts, and lead to the conviction and conversion of other souls. They should remember that heavenly messengers are in the house....The whispering and laughing and talking which might be without sin in a common business place, should find no sanction in the house where God is worshiped." -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, 492.
"Parents, elevate the standard of Christianity in the minds of your children;...teach them to have the highest reverence for the house of God, and to understand that when they enter the Lord's house, it should be with hearts that are softened and subdued by such thoughts as these: 'God is here; this is His house. I must have pure thoughts and the holiest motives. I must have no pride, envy, jealousy, evil surmising, hatred, or deception in my heart; for I am coming into the presence of the holy God...
"Brethren, will you not devote a little thought to this subject"? -- Id. 494.
The above quotations are too plain to need comment, and, in view of the fact that we all stand guilty before God, and compelled to confess that we have apostatized in this very important matter, shall we not heed the final admonition quoted above by giving very definite thought to "this subject," and see to it that our gatherings are characterized by a true spirit of worship, free from all manner of common visiting and conversation, that we do not grieve the Spirit of God away from our meetings, and thus make them the most helpful to those who come to worship with us? We who claim to have the reformatory message should set an example for those whom we expect to embrace present truth. Hence, we, who are standing in the light should most rigidly observe the above admonition whether it be in a separate meeting of present truth believers or in the S.D.A. churches. The responsibility rests upon those in charge of the meeting and should see that the above instruction is carried out.
THE MESSAGE IN CALIFORNIA
A number of times in the past several months letters have been received from other parts of the field, inquiring if it be true as reported by conference workers that the work of the SRod has been stamped out in Southern California. We have endeavored to emphasize a denial of this false report, but evidently the demon doubt having been aroused in some cases cannot be put down again so easily as by a straight forward denial, so we feel it mandatory in behalf of truth and those concerned to set forth a few evidences showing the utter falsity of this type of propaganda.
The writer has been advised semi-officially that the doors of all churches in the Southern California Conf. are closed to him by order of the Conf. president. As there are many churches in this area, and as he can attend only one at a time, he is as yet unable to verify first-hand the truth of the alleged proscription, but as far as his experience has extended in this wise, he is convinced that the report of this debarment is correct. Sabbath after Sabbath and Wednesday after Wednesday (excepting one or two instances in each case) he has kept vigil by himself on the sidewalk.
In the Lincoln Park church the pastor has for two weeks running, delivered himself of most withering tirades against the SRod, descending each time to the depths of retailing current reports besmirching the good names of prominent workers in the cause of present truth. He has even gone to the length of stooping so pitifully low as to countenance the dismissal from the Sabbath School roll of the names of innocent primary graders whose parents and older sisters have accepted and are standing courageously for the sealing message.
It is written: "And whoso shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for Him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea....Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones." (Matt. 18:5, 6, 10.) "God has shown me that these men [in responsible positions] are Hazaels to prove a scourge to our people. They are wise above what is written." -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 79.
Before me lie two typewritten letters of two pages each. They come from the hand of the pastor of the large Glendale church. The first is dated May 30, and the second July 2, 1935. It is reported that a third one is yet to come. Both are addressed to the church membership. And as epistles of deceit and sophistry they outstrip almost anything that has yet come to hand. As the writer reflects upon their contents, there seizes upon his mind an almost unsakeable incredulity giving rise to the question, Is it possible that there are such men amongst us? The only answer that can be given is found in those fearful words in "Testimonies to Ministers," p. 409: "Let the son of deceit and false witness be entertained by a church that has had great light, great evidence, and that church will discard the message the Lord has sent, and receive the most unreasonable assertions and false suppositions and false theories. Satan laughs at their folly; for he knows what truth is."
If these letters could be given a general circulation, they would quickly open the eyes of the honest. However, our purpose here is only to prove from them that the SRod if dead is one of the most troublesome dead things that ever troubled Israel. The following tell-tale admission is the second paragraph from the earlier epistle:
"The emissaries of apostasy have recently become more active in our church, endeavoring to sow afresh among us that which the General Conference Committee and the whole body of our people have declared to be error and heresy."
Now, we are moved by the above quotation, to inquire how a corpse can sow, and why the dead are so feared as to be placarded in the house of those that believe dead men walk not again? These are not ironies; these are proofs that Spiritualism is in the ranks of our denomination, lying spirits and wizards that peep and mutter are ministering at the altar of propaganda. We as reformers hold: "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Is it necessary to say more as to the utter falsity and deception of the propaganda that the SRod is a corpse in Southern California?
O the tragedy of it all! A nation about to perish! Brethren, have we forsaken all and taken Him? Are our lives to those verging toward the irrevocable night of doom an epistle that reads with Pauline sincerity and love that "I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved." This is the love that will "make a break against the barriers of Satan" and bring salvation to the remnant people of God. It is all that will avail us now. It is the genesis of that character which the Spirit of Prophecy portrays in the following words which we ought all profoundly pray are a picture of ourselves:
"The man who loves God does not measure his work by the eight-hour system. He works at all hours, and is never off duty. As he has opportunity, he does good. Everywhere, at all times and in all places, he finds opportunity to work for God. He carries fragrance with him wherever he goes. A wholesome atmosphere surrounds his soul. The beauty of his well-ordered life and godly conversation inspires in others faith and hope and courage." -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 9, p. 45.
WILL OUR YOUNG PEOPLE STAND?
A letter recently received by one of our young people written by another who has recently, with her parents, made a personal investigation of the message contained in the SRod and is rejoicing in the beautiful truths contained in this present truth for the church and relates some of her experiences which reveal how some of our young people are just as willing to "stand in defense of truth and righteousness when the majority forsake us, to fight the battles of the Lord when champions are few," as those of us who are older in years.
This young lady in the heart to heart talk with her friends to whom she is writing tells how disappointed she was recently when some other young people, members of a family to whom this young lady's parents had brought the S.D.A. message, failed to speak to her, but the courage of her heart was expressed in the following words: "They were the last people on earth that I would think of that would treat us coldly for they have always been dear to us. My, they used to love us so much! But it hurts terribly to have your friends pass you by. I hope that I shall soon be able to place myself above it all so that I won't feel so badly about such things."
The noble desire on the part of this young lady who attained such heights of Christian experience speaks more loudly for the SRod message than most anything else could. It does, however, reveal the fact that God has a message for His church at this present time which we believe will turn the tide of back door exists which our young people's leaders everywhere have longed to see for many years.
To show the weakness of one's argument against the SRod message who indulges in criticizing the messengers, this young lady states to her friend that all the stories which have been told about the author of the SRod series of books and tracts have no weight whatever with her for she has learned that similar criticism has been made about herself and family because of their acceptance of the present truth message.
Thus we see that our young people, when given an opportunity, will accept a straight message and conform their lives there to just as well as those older in years. And let us bear in mind also that "honesty is the best policy" and shall we not be admonished by what this young lady has written to her friend concerning the folly of attacking character in order to destroy God's truth?
Surely the Master must have seen some of our young people as He uttered that striking prophecy when He said, "the works that I do shall He do also; and greater works than these shall he do." We believe that the hour has fully come when many of our young people in the S.D.A. church are going to demonstrate that the Lord has called them to do as great exploits as did Joseph and Daniel of old. May the Lord bless the young people who are taking their stand for present truth.
ANOTHER MOCK TRIAL
Brother A.E. Johnson, who with his wife recently lost their church membership in one of the little churches of Eastern Tennessee, sends the following report concerning the unfair way in which these church trials are conducted:
"We have reached the crisis in our beloved little Cumberland Mountain church. The SRod message has brought a shaking to all of us who have given it earnest, prayerful study....Besides the Union and Local Presidents, there were two other conference workers present, with fifteen of our thirty members, composing the Monteagle church."
After spending quite a bit of time frantically denouncing the SRod as being contrary to good sense and honesty, and declaring it to be worse than Roman Catholicism, the Union President, contrary to good form and Christian courtesy, began a tirade on Elder E.T. Wilson, who, of course was not present to defend himself. The remarks made by the elder were calculated to destroy everybody's confidence in Bro. Wilson, who had made a personal investigation of the SRod, and has found it to be in perfect harmony with both the Bible and the Testimonies, and who has accepted it as a message from God, even at the cost of his position.
"The speaker then reminded us that the Srod message has been settled by the General Conference Committee, of which he was a member, and that any church refusing to vote out SRod believers would be disbanded." He then referred to this as "God's program, in order that we might have a clean S.D.A. church."
"The Elder then submitted a proposition in the following words: 'All who are against all error taught by the SRod, and for all the truth taught by the denomination, please stand.' Nearly all stood, including myself, for I am against all error taught by the SRod, and for all truth taught by this denomination. The second proposition put to us was, 'All who believe in and are for the teachings of the SRod, stand.' Only two, my wife and I stood on the latter proposition.
"A motion was then called for to strike our names from the church records, but the one who seconded the motion asked that I be given time to reconsider my stand. I then requested ten minutes of time in which to make a statement before the church. My request was granted and I said:
"My dear brethren and sisters, Elder Wilson is not to be tried by this church; but my wife and myself are the ones whose membership is called in question. I kindly ask you not to judge us by the points the speaker has brought before you. Forget what has been said here tonight and then decide from the same principles which govern the church when taking members into its fellowship; that is, whether wife and I are in harmony with the fundamental principles of our faith. If we are, I plead that you allow us to remain as members of this church, but if we are not, then vote us out."
The parable of the Tares was then read by the brother on trial and a comment from "Testimonies to Ministers," p. 47, that the church might have something to guide them in the action about to be taken. Here follows the quotation from "Testimonies to Ministers": "The Lord forbids us to proceed in any violent way against those whom we think erring, and we are not to deal out excommunications and denunciations to those who are faulty.
"Finite man is likely to misjudge character, but God does not leave the work of judgment and pronouncing upon character to those who are not fitted for it. We are not to say what constitutes the wheat, and what the tares. The time of the harvest will fully determine the character of the two classes specified under the figure of the tares and the wheat. The work of separation is given to the angels of God, and not committed into the hands of any man."
Bro. Johnson continued by saying: "Those who oppose the SRod message hold that the harvest is after the close of probationary time, while the SRod message holds that it is before the close of probationary time. Nevertheless, as our dear brethren are endeavoring to decide who are the wheat and who are the tares acknowledge that the harvest is now during probationary time; but instead of leaving this work of separation to the angels of God, as the Master has said and as the SRod teaches, they are taking the work of the angels into their own hands. The case is before you, may God guide you."
"Elder _______ seemed somewhat restless during my closing remarks, and as soon as I was seated, rose to his feet, declared that they were not going to stand for being accused of violence in dealing with SRod believers, and denied that they were deciding between the wheat and the tares....But after he was through I stated that my understanding of tares did not have reference to those living in open sin or contrary to the principles of our faith. The church has full authority to deal with those living in open sin, but when you go further than that you are taking a responsibility which 'God has not committed into the hands of any man.'
"Sister Johnson was given the privilege to speak and said, 'The SRod message has strengthened my faith in the Bible and the Testimonies, and if it has done this, I don't see how it can hurt me.'
"Without further remarks the vote was taken, and of the thirteen members present besides ourselves, six voted to disfellowship us while the other seven did not vote at all.
"Throughout this trying ordeal we were given special grace from our Lord Jesus; and our hearts went out in love for our dear brethren and sisters, who are issuing these excommunications against believers in the SRod message; and at the same time retaining as members some who are living contrary to the fundamental principles of our faith. We can only offer the heartfelt prayer, 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.
This experience of Brother and Sister Johnson leads us to again exclaim, "O consistency thou art a jewel!"
For the benefit of those who are taking part in these unholy feasts and come in contact with this little paper we quote the following admonition which proves that by their actions they are making a likeness of the papal tyranny (an image of the beast) which work belongs to the two-horned beast of Rev. 13:11-18 and not to the S.D.A. ministry.
"To punish those who were supposed to be evil-doers, the church has had recourse to the civil power. Those who differed from the established doctrines have been imprisoned, put to torture and to death, at the instigation of men who claimed to be acting under the sanction of Christ. But it is the spirit of Satan, not the Spirit of Christ, that inspires such acts. This is Satan's own method of bringing the world under his dominion. God has been misrepresented through the church by this way of dealing with those supposed to be heretics."
FULFILLING ROMANS 8:38, 39
"I am so thankful that the message found me, and I thoroughly believe it, and nothing but death can keep me from giving it to others. The brethren are feeding the churches with husks, and many of the people are satisfied with it, and it seems so difficult to arouse them to a knowledge of this wonderful truth and of their true condition.
"The message will arouse them if we can get by the ministers who are stationed at the gate as watchmen to keep the light from the people instead of crying aloud against the abominations! May God have mercy upon them."
Mrs. M. Lansdown, Mt.
Royal, New Jersey
HAS FOUND THE DOOR OF HOPE
A brother of long standing recently expressed his deep appreciation for the light which has come to him by study and observation of the present truth message found in the SRod series of books and tracts. To use this brother's own expression in a letter to one of the workers we quote: "It is a great satisfaction, a great pleasure, yea, joy to me to express my views and opinion of this present truth message not only to you, but also to the little flock that assemble together in Los Angeles every Sabbath afternoon.
"For the last six months I missed but few of these services and at no time have any of them been a disappointment to me. Surely we are living in a time of great light for those seeking light. As I peruse and meditate upon these divine predictions and revelations from day to day it convinces me that the message is from the Lord. It is this message that has given me the missing link to many of the prophecies, and the more I examine it the more I see how it so neatly fits in the chain of gospel truth.
"For many years I have been watching and wondering what was going to befall us as S.D.A. Laodiceans, so devoid of the Spirit of God all of which is summed up in the writings of the prophets. Many times have I heard S.D.A. people express themselves and say 'Oh if I had lived in Moses' day, Daniel's, Elijah's or Paul's I surely would have been one of their followers.' Whereas, these same people have lived in a time of the greatest message the world has ever seen; and it is not going too far for me to say a message greater than all the messages put together and yet we have been blind to it.
"But what is still worse is that our leading brethren are determined to beat back the light while groping in the darkness and doing everything to keep the truth away from the people."In drawing these few remarks to a close, it seems to me that Paul's eye was cast upon this little company presenting the SRod message when He said, 'Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of the Lord...for yet a little while and He that shall come will come and will not tarry. (Heb. 10:30.)"I am extremely grateful to the dear sister who called my attention to this present truth message. May these few lines give each and all of you an encouragement. My meditation and supplication is in behalf of this 'Final Warning.'
Sincerely your friend and brother, L. W. S."
CAST OUT BUT NOT CAST DOWN
"'According to the days of thy coming out of Egypt will I show unto him marvelous things.' (Mic. 7:15.) The wonderful victories recorded in the book of Joshua will soon be ours if we are faithful. Praise the Lord for the good report in the April 'Code.' Some of us who have been cast out can with confidence claim the following precious promise: 'But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren,...and lands with persecutions.' (Mark 10:30.) No doubt as the work goes forward on the 'camp' some of the experiences of Nehemiah will come to the builders. But the Lord will give wisdom now as He did then."
(Signed) Earl Butterfield,
ARE WE BETTER THAN OUR TYPES?
Long has the attention of the world been called to the principles of religious liberty, enunciated by the Author of Christianity, and incorporated in the articles of our Federal Government, and in turn became a part of the American Constitution, but a new day seems to have dawned, and one is led to inquire whether we shall maintain these beautiful principles of liberty, given us as a heritage from the pioneers of the Advent message, or shall we, like the Jews of old, reject any message God may choose to send to us, and persecute those who dare to accept it?
We have just finished reading an article, published in one of the official organs of our church (S.D.A.), which, to say the least, contains some of the most vitriolic utterances we have seen in many a day. The free use of undignified expressions, seems to be justified by the writer of them because there is a group of men and women, residing in his territory who have followed the fundamental teachings of the S.D.A. church by making personal investigation of the SRod message, and now this Elder insinuates that the "State Institutions" should house such people, and goes on to denounce them as "erratic" and "vultures or buzzards" and "hypocritical," manifesting his hatred for those of his own brethren, who dare to think for themselves.
No wonder Sr. White told us long ago that we are repeating the history of ancient Israel, and that we have done even "worse than they." -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 1, p. 129
Speaking of the "great sin" of our types, the Spirit of Prophecy says, "The great sin of the Jews was that of neglecting and rejecting present opportunities. As Jesus views the state of His professed followers to-day, He sees base ingratitude, hollow formalism, hypocritical insincerity, Pharisaical pride and apostasy."--"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 72.
As these words of rebuke are against the ministry, it clearly shows the worst form of apostasy will arise within the church and that not from among the laity but through the leadership.That we, as a people, have lost our moorings is further shown by the following words: "We have wandered away from the old landmarks." Again: "The church has turned back from following Christ her Leader, and is steadily retreating toward Egypt." -- "Testimonies for the Church; Vol. 5, pp. 137, 217.It is bad enough to be found guilty of backsliding and apostasy, but how much worse it is when the church in her "sad deception" turns against those who refuse to sanction the sins of modern Israel and seek to deny them the God-given liberty vouchsafed by the founding fathers of our government and espoused by the pioneers of this "Great Second Advent movement.Is it not high time to "cry aloud, and spare not"?May God help us, who profess to be carrying a reformatory message to God's church, to ever keep these beautiful principles of religious liberty in our hearts and not repeat the mistakes of the Jews, the Romans, and of our own brethren of today, and show by precept and example that we not only teach, but practice the Golden Rule.
"If the sealing message of the 144,000 is being proclaimed since 1929, are they being sealed now or is that work to be done later? Moreover, if no one can receive the seal as long as he is sinning, and if some are being sealed now, are they sinning no more?"
If the sealing is not in progress now, then the sealing message which we bear since 1929 would be no more present truth than the proclamation of the judgment of the dead since 1844 would be if the dead were not judged during the same period of time. Hence, it is definite that the message and the sealing go hand in hand the same as the needle and the shuttle travel together until the seam is completed.
The Lord commands the angel with the writer's ink horn to go and "set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof" -- in the church -- so that when the men with the slaughter weapons start slaying they may pass by those who have the mark. To sigh and cry for the abominations is a sign of reformation and as reformation never takes place without a revelation of some new truth, it is evident that the message must be brought to every one's attention and if the individual does not reform at the moment he is convinced of the truth, neither will he do it later. Therefore, as the sealing message makes its way through the church, those who awake and reform (sigh) and endeavor to enlighten others by the light that is shining upon them (cry), he receives the seal.
Says the Lord: "When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand."
Therefore, if such an individual can not live without sinning now, neither will he later, and as he cannot deceive God, he is left without the seal though he may acknowledge the truth in the message. However, a true Christian never boasts of having attained perfection, but will rather exclaim with the prophet: "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eye have seen the King, the Lord of hosts." (Isa. 6:5.)
If any sin be committed by such an one, it will not be a known or willful sin. "To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (Jas. 4:17), and not to the other. Consequently, he who avails himself of every opportunity to know the truth and zealously does all he knows, it is "counted unto him for righteousness" (Rom. 4:3) living without sin.
"Is it true that the seal is placed upon the saints while Sunday observance and the worship of the image of the beast is being urged upon us?"
Yes, but let it be remembered that the sealing is in two sections. That of the 144,000, the first fruits, and that of the great multitude, the second fruits. The 144,000 being sealed before the worship of the image of the beast is urged upon us, it follows that The seal of God is placed on the second fruits while Sunday observance and the worship of the image of the beast is being enforced.
"Since 'Christ's Object Lessons,' p. 122 says: 'When the mission of the gospel is completed, the Judgment will accomplish the work of separation,' does not the separation come after the close of probation, and if so, what judgment is it after the close of probation that is to do the separating?"
As there is to be no judgment in progress between the close of probation and the second coming of Christ or the commencement of the millennium, it follows that both the completion of the gospel and the completion of the judgment as well as the work of separation take place before the close of probation to each individual. Consequently, as the gospel is presented to every soul, and as at that particular time his Individual probation closes, his case is followed by the judgment of the living which does the work of separation. It may be illustrated by a combine which at the same time cuts and threshes, separates the chaff, weeds, and straw from the grain. Let the cutter illustrate the preaching of the gospel, and the thresher the work of the judgment. Thus, although the one precedes the other, they both work hand in hand and when the one is completed the other is also. Therefore, it is said: "When the mission of the gospel is completed, the judgment will accomplish the work of separation." Although one work followed the other, they took place in the same period of time.
"Explain Matt. 24:15, 16. 'When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whose readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.' Does not this scripture refer to the destruction of the ancient Jerusalem in the Christian era?"
In order to clear the scripture in question, it is necessary to study the verses preceding it and the verses that follow. It is generally understood that this scripture was a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in the Christian era. Nevertheless, a close study of the same will prove that at that time this scripture met only a partial fulfillment as did Joel 2:28-31 on the day of Pentecost. See The Acts 2:16-21.
We call attention to the fact that Christ was asked to explain concerning His statement when He said: "There shall not be left here [in Jerusalem] one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down" (Matt. 24:2) as they said: "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?" Then Jesus pointed out that all these events will be preceded by certain signs and that His followers were to thus observe the time and escape the ruin of each event in question which span the time from the destruction of Jerusalem to Christ's second coming -- the end of the world.
In this long period of time there were many things to transpire in fulfillment of prophecy and the signs were to forewarn His followers, but the more outstanding events were the destruction of Jerusalem, the fall of the Christian church under the domination of the popes, the great tribulation during the 1260 years of papal rule, His coming and the end of the world.
Now let us concentrate and give undivided attention to the words of the Master: "For then [when the abomination of desolation, spoken by Daniel the prophet, 'stand in the holy place' and when they 'flee into the mountains'] shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." (Matt. 24:21.)
It will be noticed that the "tribulation" which Christ mentions in this scripture was to come to His followers and not to the Jews who rejected Him, for He says: "Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. That is, if the "tribulation" spoken of here was the destruction of the Jews, then the days of their destruction and of the city should have been shortened and some elect ones of the wicked Jews inside the city should have been "saved," which thought is contrary to historical facts and to the thought the Master's words contain. Hence, as the "tribulation" is not the destruction of the city or the slaying of the Jews, but rather the persecution by the popes against the saints in the 1260 year period, and as the days of the destruction of the Jews was not shortened, it is obvious that Jesus was directly and prophetically forewarning His followers who were to fall under the persecution at the time the popes set aside the truth of God (Dan. 8:12) and instead placed the abomination; that is, the pagan system of worship in the "holy place" -- the church. For further study on the subject, see "The Shepherd's Rod," Vol. 2, pp. 126-147.
Therefore, Matt. 24:15 primarily contains valuable instruction for the disciples of the early Christian church, but it finds its perfect fulfillment with the setting up of the papacy. Moreover, as the S.D.A. denomination admits that the "great tribulation" is the persecution of the Christian in the days of the popes, and that the shortening of the "days" was the cessation of the martyrdom before the 1260 year period ended in 1798, it follows that the "abomination of desolation" cannot wholly be applied to something at the time ancient Jerusalem fell, for Jesus' language proves that the "abomination of desolation" was the cause of the great tribulation and not of the destruction of Jerusalem. In other words, if the fleeing to the mountains is the fleeing from Jerusalem and of its destruction, then the great "tribulation" should be the slaying of the Jews; and the shortening of the "days" must denote a quick dissolution of the city so that the Christians could shortly return, and every Bible student knows that this was not the case.
Consequently, the scripture is so worded as to furnish a warning to those disciples who were then in Jerusalem although the warning is made directly to those who were to flee to the mountains from the reign of the popes.
"As we were admitted into the S.D.A. church membership on our former baptism by the Baptist church, we desire to know if it is necessary for us to be re-baptized."
The Holy Scriptures teach a need of one baptism only. Eph. 4:5. As you have left the Baptist church and united with the S.D.A. for no other reason than to walk in a brighter light of the Word, there is no need for re-baptism. To be re-baptized now, you would be symbolically confessing that prior to the time you joined the S.D.A. church you were going contrary to the light you have had and are now returning to walk in it.
In other words, suppose you were baptized by one of the apostles and were received in their fellowship and lived on up to the present time, you would have joined every reformatory movement as they arose from time to time if you were to walk in the light of the Lord. If your religious convictions and the Word of God would have thus led you from one movement to another and as you would not have been required then to be rebaptized every time you embrace more light, neither would you be now.
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Remember our united prayer on Friday evening (5 P.M. Pacific Standard Time; 6 P.M. Mountain Standard Time; 7 P.M. Central Standard Time; 8 P.M. Eastern Standard Time) in behalf of our brethren who are in darkness regarding present truth.