Vol. 1 The Symbolic Code No. 18
THE SYMBOLIC CODE NEWS ITEMS
December 15, 1935, Waco, Texas
In The Interest Of The S.D.A. Denomination
NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN
Every news item that has been carried by this little paper through out the field, the editor has been very pleased to broadcast and happy to share with all God's people far and wide the joy that comes because of each advancing step against the foe and toward the interior of the great vineyard now in the storing time of the "firstfruits." But as it is natural for one kind of weather to be followed by another, with grief and sympathy we announce the death of our most beloved Sister Charboneau, who has been the treasurer of the Association from its very beginning over six years ago, and who sought to promote its interest even beyond her strength almost to the very day of her death.
She is now waiting for the Lifegiver inside Mt. Carmel's entrance No. 2, just a little to the left as one enters in, and though lonely by herself in her brand new cemetery, surrounding her resting place with drooping branches of the evergreen cedar trees overlooking beautiful Lake Waco seem to satisfy even the piercing rays of the proud sun which has carefully gazed almost 6000 times over every beauty spot on the face of the earth, evidencing the fact that she is well contented to rest there until the special resurrection of Daniel Twelve, at which time, she and all who then "arise to everlasting life" we shall meet with joy and singing for the majesty of the Lord! O, what a glorious gathering that will be!
Lord, help us to be true to Thee and love Thy truth as Thou hast loved us, for we want to meet our dear sister in the resurrection day.
THE FUNERAL RITES
Prayer: V.T. Houteff. Song: "The Gate Ajar for Me" sung by Mrs. John Berolinger
Talk by Brother Houteff
Our sister's case which has caused us to gather in this place, seems to be different than any other of its kind.
This is my first call to officiate in the capacity of this nature. In my remarks I wish to emphasize the word "first." This mother in Israel is one of the first of my converts to the sealing message of the "firstfruits." She was the first treasurer of the Association. She was among the first to arrive at Mt. Carmel about six months ago. The dwelling in which she gave up the breath in care of the Lifegiver was the first dwelling to be erected on that place. She is the first active convert to decease in the sealing message of the 144,000 since it first began about seven years ago, showing that the death rate of those who embrace this message is very small, due to the fact that the 144,000 shall never die. She is about to be laid in a brand new cemetery where no one has ever been laid before.
Therefore, to my knowledge, her experience is an exceptional one and perhaps the only one since Abel's death. This thought brings me to the first book of the Bible, to the beginning of the human family. I read from Gen. 2:7. "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
Thus the human race began about 6000 years ago and to remind them that though they were to have "dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" (Gen. 1:26), God planted a tree in the midst of the garden and commanded; "Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die .(margin -- "dying;" that is, begin to die).
It will not be necessary to go into a long reading to show how it all came about, for I believe that every one present is well acquainted with the fact that the intruder beguiled our first parents by causing them to disobey the word of God and to partake of the forbidden fruit. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." (Rom. 5:12.)
The amount of pain, sorrow, and tears which sin has caused from its very beginning up to the present time no human lips can describe; only the Infinite One knows -- He Who is everlasting and Who at a glance can see it all -- which horror if one of us would be permitted to behold the weight of its burden would crush us to the very dust.
Having briefly called your attention to this most dreaded and blackest cloud which is hovering over the entire human race, I shall now remind you of the One Who is just about to lift us up from beneath this unbearable weight and place us above it where we can behold its bright side and where the sun never grows dim.
Just before His crucifixion Jesus promised, saying: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:1-3.)
Here we have the words of Jesus Himself that He has gone to prepare a place for us and when it is ready He will come and receive us so that we may be with Him where He is now.
Forty days after His resurrection, on the day of His ascension, having led His disciples to the Mount of Olivet and after answering their questions concerning the kingdom, "He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:9-11)
Besides Christ's own promise we have the testimony of the apostles who witnessed all that took place and the angels who stood by testified that though Jesus was taken away He is to return. Therefore we are not trusting in cunningly devised fables.
Having prepared a place for all the redeemed Jesus will return, not only for those who are alive, but also for those who are dead, as described in 1 Thess. 4:16-18: "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
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." (Isa. 25:8.)
Concerning our holy, happy state, we read: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away." (Rev. 21:4.)
In closing I call your attention to the peaceable habitation which begins here on earth and will be ours for eternity. Says the Spirit of God: "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.)
Song: "Asleep in Jesus" sung by Mr. Jack Colvin.
Mrs. Florence Floretta Charboneau nee Gowell was born Dec. 12, 1874 in Colfax Township, Oceana County, Michigan. On May 27, 1894, in Cadillac, Michigan, she was united in marriage to Charles Edwin Charboneau. In 1900 they with the three step-children and one daughter moved to Wisconsin, and in 1920 she and her husband and daughter, Mrs. Sopha Delle Hermanson, made their home in California until May 19 of this year at which time the whole family departed for the state of Texas, and after a short stay in Waco they moved to Mt. Carmel Center, being affiliated with The Universal Publishing Assn., for which firm she has been the treasurer for nearly seven years and was active almost to the day of her death.Those surviving are: her husband, one daughter, two step-children, seven brothers, six sisters, and six grand children, and a host of friends throughout the country extend their sympathy.
Song: "Some Day We'll Understand" sung by Mr. Jack Colvin.
AT THE GRAVE
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." (Ps. 116:15.)
Ever since I met our dear sister about ten years ago I have found her to be one of the most faithful servants of God I have ever met. Her faith I have never seen waver. She has always stood steadfast for the message we bear ever since it came and has sought to promote its advancement even beyond her strength and has never held back from helping others. Therefore, there is no doubt in my mind but that our faithful sister has earned her crown of life. Hence, our sorrow should encourage us to be more careful, more faithful, and true to God so that we may meet her in the resurrection day.Song: "When the Roll is Called Up Yonder"
Leaving the grave while singing "God Be With You Till We Meet Again."
THE WORK IN DENVER
By H.G. Warden
While laboring in Southern Oregon in the summer and fall of 1933, we received letters from Bro. W.A. Eckerman, urging us to come to Denver and help them with the work there. We felt impressed that the call was from the Lord and begun to plan to that end; finally arriving there the following June -- 1934.
After some weeks of vain effort trying to get an opening for the Message, we temporarily abandoned Denver and visited other Colorado cities. The Lord led us back again in February of this year and the way opened for "the angel with the writer's inkhorn" to begin his marking. Bro. Eckerman was now free from other duties and proved himself a willing worker. Day after day we went from door to door hunting "for the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Among those whom we first visited were some of the conference men. All of them opposed the message but none were able to refute it, and some found it a bit hard "to kick against the pricks" as some of the "arrows of conviction" lodged in. One elder definitely promised to let us help him investigate, but evidently his courage was not equal to his convictions, for up to the present he has not done so.
But as in the days of our Lord, when "the common people heard Him gladly," so among the common people of today the work in Denver started which is attested by the fact that our first studies began in homes where we had to use the common kerosene lamps for light and at times the hungry souls found it a bit too dark to take notes, but this did not hinder their undivided attention. "God's way is to make the day of small things the beginning of the triumph of truth and righteousness," and so it proved to be. By "going from house to house" we found "access" to many homes, and minds were "opened to receive the Word of God." (Coming Crisis, 78.)
After thus devoting our time for a number of weeks we found ourselves giving a study every night in the week, with occasional ones in the afternoons, and Sabbath P.M.
Thus we have seen it demonstrated time and again that the message does not propagate itself, but only moves forward as a result of much faith, effort, and prayer. But the reward of joy we received at the Lord's hands words fail us to express as we saw the thirsty sheep with notebooks and pencils who carefully jotted down all the references while their faces lightened up with every ray of increased light. These are now burdened to pass on to "Mother" the blessings they have received.
The ministry fought us bitterly and there was hardly a Sabbath or a prayer meeting but that some elder railed against us; and on some Sabbaths they all railed. When questioned, concerning our message, they invariably said that it was of no importance and will soon be gone; but their actions by the fact that The Shepherd's Rod was never absent from their mind contradicted their words.
They clearly fulfilled the prophecy of "The Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 453: "Every controversy, every reproach, every slander, will be God's means of provoking inquiry, and awakening minds that otherwise would slumber." Two sisters, a mother and daughter, heard the "reproach" and the "slander" and their minds were awakened to investigate the strange teaching as they call it, and their quick response proved that "the true sheep hear the true Shepherd's voice" (The Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 6, p. 401), for after hearing only a few studies, they took their stand with us who are striving "with all the power God has given us to be among the 144,000." (Review and Herald, Mar. 9, 1905.)
Therefore, in spite of the opposition, a goodly company has been established in and around Denver, some of whom would make excellent teachers, and will no doubt enter the field as soon as they can clear the way and as God speaks to them by His providences as He does by His Word. We can truly see that the harvest is great, but the laborers are few.
We praise God and thank Bro. Eckerman for his courtesy and zeal while establishing that goodly company whom the Lord shall send "unto all nations (Isa. 66:19), and may the good Lord reward Bro. Eckerman for his faithfulness.
We who have been privileged to hear God's call know that Israel of today shall also perish if they fail to respond to the call of the hour, and if we do not improve our opportunities and fail to perform our duties, "when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then we shall" also "be trodden by it." (Isa. 28:18.) Therefore, "I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." (John 9:4.)
Please pray for the work in Pueblo.
(Signed) H.G. Warden,
FROM THEM THAT TREMBLE AT HIS WORD
"Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord harkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name." (Mal. 3:16.)
"Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at His word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall Dear Brethren and Sisters in the Message of "The Shepherd's Rod":
I have been wanting to write for some time to let you know that I am still rejoicing in this message of the "True Witness to the Laodiceans" and I am trying hard to study so I can prepare myself to give the message to our dear brethren. I have spoken to several of our S.D.A. families but have met with no success, although one or two seem to know that there is more spiritual food coming to us, but as all have been warned against The Shepherd's Rod they seem to be afraid of it. Oh if they would only sit down and study, I'm sure they would see the light....
Just about a month after I paid this tithe into the church I received the first Shepherd's Rod tract on the Harvest. Some one must have sent in my name. I was very much taken up with the message at that time and talked to some of the S.D.A.'s about it, but was always warned against it. The following summer I attended Camp Meeting and they spoke so against The Shepherd's Rod that I burned the tracts when I got home but glad to say that the Lord remembered me again and here I am rejoicing in Present Truth and now I am here to stay regardless of what they may say or do....
I look forward every month to the arrival of the Symbolic Code and whatever I am doing is always laid aside until I have read every page of it. Then when I have more time I read it over and over again.
Your sister in Christ,
(Signed) Mrs. J.V.
It has now been about four years since I received Volume One of "The Shepherd's Rod" through the mail. I studied it very cautiously, knowing that we were living in the time when Satan was laying his snares for every one who is keeping the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus.
Today I can thank God from the depth of my soul for the promise of the Holy Spirit which He is so willing to give to all who desire to know the way of Truth. And while this brings variance and division, it also brings that peace which the world cannot give nor take away, but which enables one to do as Paul say, "In everything give thanks."
I am so thankful to God that He put it into your heart to mail me this precious message of present truth. May He continue to bless you is my prayer.
Yours for a closer walk with God,
By reading "The Symbolic Code" which I received from a friend of mine, I think this reveals the truth for this time. For the things that are revealed in it shows me very plain that a modern church is gone very much astray as to the true foundation and principles. I would like to be put on the list of the ones who read the Code and if you have anything new in print I would like to have it if possible.
Yours with much love,
Since I have received the volumes of "The Shepherd's Rod," I have been busy reading them over and over and will continue to do so until I get it all clearly in my head. How I thank God that He has sent so much knowledge through Bro. Houteff. I find no other joy now, but reading on eternal things.
I received a pamphlet, "A Warning Against Error;" now I am studying this so that I can give an intelligent answer when questioned. Anybody that has read The Shepherd's Rod and then be as blind as some are is a mystery to me. The enemy would have to put out more convincing material than the "A Warning Against Error," to fool the saints.
I first heard about this added light through "The Symbolic Code" which looked to me as from the enemy, but when I read Tract No. 1, I was completely convinced of its truth. In fact, the first few pages impressed me deeply, and now I am feasting and ever counting the days till the arrival of the monthly visitor, "The Symbolic Code."
I am so happy to hear of the buildings going up in Mt. Carmel Center, and I am helping with my prayers.
Your sister in Jesus Christ,
(Signed) Mrs. E.M.
I am still rejoicing in this blessed Present Truth amidst the worldly clamor. I have an anchor that holds me steadfast. My life is happier than it ever was. May the Lord's blessing be on all the workers and brethren scattered in the length and breadth of God's universe who are hastening on the glad day is my prayer.
Your sister in Christ,
(Signed) Mrs. C.R.
Glad to say that I am rejoicing in this powerful message as a result that God led me to the Charleston church, and I am now back to my former church trying to impart to the flock that which I have learned. Few are fighting it but the majority are studying it. The head officers are standing with me. Please pray that the Lord will enable me to defeat the enemy...
My prayers go up daily for you all and this great cause. I beg to remain yours in the Master's vineyard.
"A WARNING AGAINST ERROR" PROVES TO BE GREATEST OF ERROR
By E.T. Wilson
One of the oldest members of the Charleston, S.C. church, after becoming interested in "The Shepherd's Rod" message, was visited by the pastor, and a General Conference Field Secretary, who gave the interested party a copy of "A Warning Against Error," telling her not to let any of the "Shepherd Rod" folk see it. This instruction she faithfully carried out. But in the meantime, she had come into possession of "Testimonies to Ministers," together with all the volumes of "The Testimonies for the Church," and to her great surprise, she found the truth of "The Shepherd's Rod" taught in these books also and that the "A Warning Against Error" was not only contradictory to "The Shepherd's Rod" but also to the Spirit of Prophecy! Therefore, at her first opportunity, during the fifteen minute missionary service in the church, on Sabbath, this sister arose and asked permission to speak, and her request was granted by the pastor of the church.
Stepping up to the front of the building, our sister said, "Elder ______, I have never practiced deceit in my life, and I am not going to do so now," and holding up the little pamphlet, "A Warning Against Error," she continued: "This little pamphlet has made a full-fledged Shepherd's Rod believer out of me, for I found it to be the rankest sort, such as I have never seen, of wresting the Scriptures, the "Testimonies for the Church," and the publications of Brother Houteff, and I believe it will make all of you Shepherd's Rod believers if you study it carefully, for you will discover that it is filled with error.
To this sister's testimony the readers of this article will permit me to add that the "A Warning Against Error" is also the most unfair little thing I have ever read against any publication! Nevertheless, again we see the truth of that statement of the Bible which tells us that nothing can be done against the truth but for it, and that the "wrath of man" indeed shall be made to "praise" Him.
YOUR SIN REMAINETH
Sabbath School Lesson, Nov. 2, 1935
By J.E. Looney
"As long as I am in the world," said Jesus, "I am the light of the world." (John 9:5.) After having opened the blind man's eyes, and as he beheld the light and recognized its source, those who hated the light and him whose eyes had been opened, "Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?...And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped Him." (John 9:35, 38.)
As his parents were approached with animosity by the rulers of Israel as to what they believed in regards to the miracle, they were reluctant to confess "because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that He was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him." (John 9:22, 23.)
In the lesson of the blind man it appears that so long as he could not see he was retained as a member "in good and regular standing," but when the saving power of Christ came into his soul and opened his eyes, the rulers of Israel, priests, rabbis, lawyers and teachers almost as a unit declared him unfit for the house of God, a dangerous person to speak to and a menace to society; and as their influence created prejudice, the people became an eminent factor in favor of excommunicating him who once was blind but who could now see.
We wonder how any one could possibly become as blind as those accusing Jews, and yet, right now, within the church of God's professed people, a spirit of denunciation is bracing itself for a greater and final conflict against those whose eyes have been opened! and though the Spirit of Prophecy declares that "The same disobedience and failure which were seen in the Jewish church have characterized in a greater degree the people who have had this great light from Heaven in the last messages of warning" ("Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 456), they still continue in their evil course! Consequently, the prophetic fulfillment of the above is now manifested throughout the church of God, with the result that it is almost unbelievable of the number of God fearing souls that have been put out and that are about to be put out of the church for nothing less than for taking advantage of their God-given liberty to investigate and know the truth for themselves!
In most cases the church has not allowed the defendants to make even a statement or to give any reason for the hope that is within them. They are compelled to answer "Yes" or "No" to non-essential questions.
Does this curt method of investigation appeal to you, my brethren, as God's way of dealing with His people? Furthermore, does the general spirit of aloofness that accompanies the meetings in which these Pharisaical decisions are made show forth the love of the humble Nazarene? Or do you think as the parents of the blind man that you can hold a neutral position and yet save your souls? If you do you are terribly mistaken and will in the end be disappointed and gnash your teeth.
There are but two sides in this conflict: You will be either persuaded of men who are led by the devil or else you will acknowledge the saving power of God in the light that is now piercing through the darkness. "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness." (Eph. 6:14.) "If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth." (John 9:41.)
Says the Spirit of God: "On every occasion when persecution takes place, those who witness it make decisions either for Christ or against Him. Those who manifest sympathy for the ones wrongly condemned, show their attachment for Christ. Others are offended because the principles of truth cut directly across their practice." Hence, "...to secure their own safety, bear false witness, and betray their brethren." -- "Desire of Ages," p. 630.
Our brethren in times past have stoutly spoken against the ancient rulers of Israel, against priests and ministers from Luther's time on up to 1844 A.D., but are now doing even worse than those whom they knew were led by the power of the evil one.
"Christ has warned us of this, that we may not be surprised at the unnatural, cruel course of those who reject the light." (Id. 630.) And for our encouragement, "These things have I spoken unto you," said Jesus, "that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." (John 16:1, 2.)
"Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets." (Luke 6:22, 23, 26.)
A MESSAGE TO THOSE WHO ARE IN DOUBT
There have come to us a number of questions concerning the 144,000 the great multitude, and the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine, which we shall endeavor to answer in this for all.
Those who are desirous to know the truth on this subject, if they restudy "The Shepherd's Rod" volumes and the five tracts they will find therein their questions answered. However, for convenience' sake we shall briefly call attention to some facts in answer to these questions.
As far as Ezekiel Nine meeting its fulfillment before the close of probation and the great multitude being a part of the living saints is concerned, even though "The Shepherd's Rod" may be wrong as to the time of the slaughter, it is far better to place God's visitation before the close of probation and prepare to meet the Lord now instead of putting it off until after the close of probation, for if we make ready now to meet the Lord in peace we shall also be ready then. Neither would we sin before God if we set our goal for a "great multitude" of saints instead of for 144,000 only. The doctrine of a pure church also is in God's plan, but of a defiled one is in the plan of Satan. The sower of the evil seed is the only one who through his agencies by deed and by doctrine is determined to reduce the number of saints and to keep the church defiled by multiplying the "tares" among the "wheat."
Permit us to call attention to a view of which, perhaps, most of the opponents of "The Shepherd's Rod" have never thought of. If there are only 144,000 living saints to be translated at Christ's coming, as claimed, then most, if not all, of the S.D.A. church member do not stand one chance in a thousand. Allow us to give account of this overwhelming statement.
We are told that our denomination is now numbering over 400,000, and though the Third Angel's Message has entered many countries, in comparison with the parts of the world that it is yet to enter, it has but hardly touched the great harvest field. While thousands have heard its fearful warnings, there are millions after millions that have never heard even as much as the name "Seventh-day Adventist."
If the present rate of growth should continue until the Third Angel's Message shall be preached in all the world, can the reader comprehend the size of the S.D.A. denomination when Christ comes? As there is no fear of decreasing but rather increasing the present percentage of growth as we are told from the pulpit from Sabbath to Sabbath, it is certain that the denomination at the second coming of Christ will have reached into millions. Here is the point. If there are only 144,000 to be translated without tasting death, then the millions of living S.D.A.'s at the close of probation will have to die either by the seven last plagues or by the brightness of His coming if not translated. Consequently ask yourselves, What chance do you stand?
Moreover, what is the use of bringing a multitude into the church, making them believe that they are saved when in reality they are lost? As it is contrary to God's desire to bring into the church those who are not saved (tares) the brethren's position of only 144,000 living saints is nothing short than of a thought which conveys the idea that the denominational rapid growth, as told by sweeping statements from the pulpits, is not God's doing, but the doing of the sower of the evil seed whose chief business is to choke out the wheat by a full field of "tares." Is not such a program a most terrible deception rather than salvation?
Doubtless our brethren are honest in their conclusions of the statement in "Early Writings," p. 15, as they see it, for it conveys the idea that the 144,000 are the only living saints who are to be translated. We would have come to the same conclusion had we not gone further than that particular page of "Early Writings." Let us call attention to several passages of inspired revelations on this vital subject which to our understanding refutes the brethren's position of Ezekiel Nine, of the 144,000 and of the great multitude.
If they can make the following fit their interpretations of the great multitude, the 144,000, and of the slaughter, we shall be pleased to have them set us right, but if they cannot do so then we hope they would be humble enough to admit that their idea on the subject is unreliable as they would expect us to do had we been in their position. We know that all the contradictions brought to bear against "The Shepherd's Rod" thus far, have served to confirm many in its message, for no other idea have we ever found that could harmonize every Bible and Spirit of Prophecy statement in connection with the Third Angel's Message than the one presented by "The Shepherd's Rod."
The apparent discrepancies between the Rod and the Spirit of Prophecy are fabricated by men whose minds are filled with private interpretations, opinions of uninspired men, self-exaltation, etc., to such an extent that their vision of the Scriptures and the writing of Sr. White has so greatly shrunk that they cannot see both ends of one subject at the same time, and when they are brought face to face with the truth they prefer to change their former position rather than to acknowledge the truth! We can prove this statement in black and white through the official organs of the denomination, i.e., "The Review and Herald," and "The Signs of the Times," etc.
For the sake of brevity we are calling attention to one instance only. Any one can either procure or find access to "The Signs of the Times," of May 3, 1927 in which appears an article entitled, "The 144,000, Their Triumph and Reward." There you will find that before "The Shepherd's Rod" came the denomination was then teaching the subject of the 144,000 and of the great multitude exactly as "The Shepherd's Rod" has it; that is, the 144,000 are to be sealed first, being the firstfruits, and then by their ministry they are to bring the second fruits, "the great multitude," and that both companies are living saints!
By changing their former position in an attempt to refute the message of the hour they declare that their teaching, regarding these two fruits, in 1927 was erroneous, and may we not ask them now, What assurance have they given us that their latest interpretation is correct?
Here follow questions for the opponents of "The Shepherd's Rod" to consider.
In "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 9, pp. 267, 268, we find that Sr. White quotes Revelation 6:12-17 and 7:9-17 where it tells of the "great multitude" and how the wicked are to be frightened when Christ manifests His power prior to the commencement of the millennium. Then she adds: "In these Scriptures two parties are brought to view. One party permitted themselves to be deceived, and took sides with those with whom the Lord has a controversy. They misinterpreted the messages sent them, and clothed themselves in robes of self-righteousness."
If the great multitude are the righteous dead of all ages how could they be living together with the wicked just before Christ's coming, and how could they while dead accept the messages? Would not John have seen them arise if they were the resurrected ones? If the Bible does not say they are the dead then what right have "those who have betrayed their trust"? As our brethren have a perfect right to demand that "The Shepherd's Rod" should prove its doctrines by Inspiration, we ask, Are not their doctrines subject to the same test? If there is only one close of probation, no purification of the church, and the slaughter of Ezekiel meets its fulfillment only after the close of the final probation, then how do they explain the following statements which are applicable at the time when the warning of Ezekiel Nine is proclaimed to the church. Says the Spirit of Prophecy:
"Here we see that the church -- the Lord's sanctuary -- was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God has given great light, and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God's power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus peace and safety is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God's people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs, that would not bark, are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children, all perish together." (Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 211.)
Note that the slaughter took place in the church, and that because the ministry had betrayed their trust. They rejected the warning and contended against the fulfillment of Ezekiel Nine as a miracle. They said, "The Lord will not manifest His power as in former days" and Inspiration places the blame on them for the sins among God's people.
If the slaughter comes after the close of probation, how could God finish His work with wicked ministers who have betrayed their trust? If the slaughter falls after the close of probation, and if they believed in its fulfillment, how could they say, "The Lord will not manifest His power as in former days....He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment"? For the ministry unanimously agrees that God will manifest His power after the close of probation. Therefore, the prophetic Word of God in the above reveals the fact that the ministers will reject the fearful warning as foretold by the prophet Ezekiel.
They have made the term "general destruction" of "The Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 3, p. 267 to mean the destruction of the wicked in the church and in the world all at the same time. But let us allow Sr. White to interpret her own meaning of the word "general destruction." It will be noticed in "The Great Controversy," p. 26, while speaking of the destruction of ancient Jerusalem, says those who did not desert the city were "involved in the general destruction of the wicked." Therefore, if the words "general destruction of the wicked" at the time Jerusalem was destroyed did not mean all the wicked; both in the church and in the world, why should the same words mean now the destruction of the wicked in the church and in the world?
If the present corrupt ministry is to remain in the church until after the close of probation, then what about the following quotation which comes from the pen of inspiration and was published in "The Review and Herald," of Nov. 19, 1908? "Only those who have withstood and overcome temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming this message when it shall have swelled into the Loud Cry."
The above quotation clearly states that no impure ministers will have a part in the work of the Loud Cry of the Third Angel's Message! If the church is to remain in her present condition till the close of probation, how could the above quotation be correct which is just as authoritative as "Early Writings," p. 15, and how could it be said of the church:
"Clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. 'Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,' she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer" ("Prophets and Kings," 725), if the church is to be defiled and demoralized until her work is finished and probation closed?
If the purification of the church is to take place after the close of probation and if the present church leadership is to complete the work, then how can our brethren explain the following quotation which is found in "The Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 80, from which we quote?
"But the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure and true....Those who have trusted to intellect, genius, or talent, will not then stand at the head of rank and file....They are self-sufficient, independent of God, and He can not use them...The Lord has faithful servants, who in the shaking, testing time will be disclosed to view....But, it may be under a rough and uninviting exterior the pure brightness of a genuine Christian character will be revealed."
If the purification takes place after the gospel work is finished, then why should He disclose another set of servants, and why say, After the purification He cannot use those who are self-sufficient and independent of God?
If the living saints are only 144,000, why are they called the "firstfruits"? If there are no second fruits (the great multitude) how could the 144,000 be called the "firstfruits," seeing that where there is no second there can be no first? Grant that their interpretation of the "firstfruits" is correct and that "firstfruits" means the best and not first in time, it, too, calls for second fruits; that is, even though the 144,000 be the best instead of the first, there still must be second fruits in quality if not in time, which does not only mean another company of living saints, but also greater in number, than 144,000, as nature reveals by the fact that seconds always in quantity exceed the firsts.
If there is no slaughter before the close of probation, then how do our brethren explain Isaiah 66:16, 19, 20 where it says those who escape from the slain of the Lord were sent "unto the nations" to declare God's "glory among the Gentiles" and that those who escape from the slaughter "shall bring all your brethren...unto the Lord out of all nations "?
If those who escape from the slaughter were sent to all nations and brought all the brethren are not the 144,000 in the time when the message shall go to all the world then who are they? If they escape from a slaughter after the close of probation, why should they declare God's "glory among the Gentiles" if He cannot save them at that time? Moreover, if the "general destruction" takes all the Gentiles (the wicked) there would be none left to whom the escaped ones could declare God's glory.
If the brethren can harmonize the above quotations with their interpretation of the 144,000 and of the great multitude, we will be glad to know it, and if not we hope that they will take their stand on the side of present truth.
We are sorry that some of our brethren strain at a gnat and swallow a camel by stressing the statement in "Early Writings," p. 15, and by ignoring hundreds of pages from the same author. Their question, Why "Early Writings," p. 15, speaks of the 144,000 only and says nothing of the great multitude, may also be asked of Daniel for he, in like manner, foretold only of the rise of the papacy and said nothing of its deadly wound. Hence, as they contend with "The Shepherd's Rod" by taking a position which compels them to go no further than Sr. White's first vision and first publication, then they might as well take issue with John the Revelator who adds the deadly wound to Daniel's vision!
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