THE SYMBOLIC CODE NEWS ITEMS
In The Interest Of The S.D.A. Denomination
News From Carolina
Says the writer, under date of August 6:
"About two years ago there was enacted a scene in the Charleston Church which is a direct fulfillment of Hosea 1 and 2. At that particular time ten of the best members of the little church were disfellowshipped without the privilege of a word in their own defense until after the vote was taken. Those who were being turned out were quiet and calm, and some of them seemed to be under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for they read, after the vote was taken, some very striking things from the Bible and the Testimonies when they had the opportunity.
"One mother in Israel who is a firm believer in the 'reformatory movement' that is taught in the SRod, but who was not included in the list of those disfellowshipped arose and pleaded with the pastor and the members to study the Rod for themselves. She further slated to them that they were taking upon themselves a responsibility without knowing what they were doing. In response to her plea the pastor stated that he did not have anything against those being disfellowshipped and that he had not spoken against the SRod, but that he received his orders from higher authority, to which this dear sister replied, 'There is no higher authority than God, Elder.' This mother in Israel explained that the S.D.A. church was cradled in her home and referring to those who were disfellowshipped said, `These children are my children. It was a pathetic plea. If the curtain could have been lifted I believe we would have seen an angel writing over the door of that little church, 'Ichabod,' for I believe the Lord left the place desolate after such un-Christlike proceedings which took place that night. These were disfellowshipped not because they were commandment breakers, but because they were following the light that God is so graciously sending to them at this time, which makes them better S.D.A's than they have ever been.
Notwithstanding the persecution, we have new interests who appear very prospective showing that those who are trying to cry down the SRod are but bringing it to the front in fulfillment of the words, 'Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain' (Ps. 76:10.)"
News From Wyoming
A letter from that state says that a Conference Committee appeared one night in the Sheridan Church and disfellowshipped all SRod believers. The Conference president acted as the chairman, and as he admitted, that evening, of not knowing the name of the author of the SRod, it proves that without personal investigation he condemned the message and those who believed in it. And though having no personal knowledge of what they believe, he gave none a voice in defense of themselves. The customary procedure and opposition was the order of the meeting.
Sr. Hendricks understands that they are going to re-organize the church and endeavor to prevent any of the SRod believers from attending the services. It is hard to believe that the S.D.A. church, which has from its very infancy advocated religious liberty, would engage in persecuting its own members for no other reason than for studying the Bible through the eyes of the Spirit of Prophecy. It was just such a policy which the papacy employed when they forbade their people to study the Bible for themselves.
We are sorry that our brethren have allowed themselves to be controlled and lead by the spirit of the papal tyrant of the dark ages. Thus our hearts are saddened for those who think they are doing God service by crowning themselves as "correctors" of "heretics," and not for those who are being persecuted, for to them the promise is:
"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." (Luke 6:22, 23.).
Two of the Sheridan sisters composed a letter and sent a copy of it to every member of the church. This seems to be real activity, and let us pray to God that by the faithful efforts of these sisters, many will awake to search the Scriptures for themselves before the "door" is "closed."
Of Interest From Colorado
Dr. W.S. Butterbaugh, in defense of his church membership, has written a long letter to the Colorado Conference president under date of Aug. 21 from which we quote the following: "You, as advisor, had no authority to disfellowship me....For says the Spirit of Prophecy, 'A system of human invention, with its multitudinous exactness will lead its advocates to judge all who come short of the prescribed human standard....Do not set yourselves up as a standard. Do not make your opinions, your views of duty, your interpretation of Scripture a criterion for others, and in your heart condemn them if they do not come up to your ideal....In condemning others, they are passing sentence upon themselves, and God declares this sentence is just.' (M.B. 177-179.)
"...Thus it is a self-evident fact that your dealing out an ex-communication to me was based wholly upon your interpretation of Scripture as a criterion for others' in contradiction to mine; and it is perfectly natural that the laity, with but a limited study of the question, are 'leaning upon the arm of flesh' (T.M. 106) rather than a personal investigation combined with a knowledge acquired by study and obedience to the truth."
From A Worker In Indiana
Brother C.T.___________ under date of Sept. 2 explains his numerous experiences in his travels through the middle west in the interest of the SRod which, for lack of space, we cannot enumerate herein, and has been able to interest a number of families of which several of them have already fully taken their stand on the side of present truth. Besides his public and private studies he has scattered much of our free literature. Our prayers in behalf of his efforts are that God's word shall not return void unto Him.
The Message in Idaho
Dr. and Sr. Roller, laboring in Coeur d' Alene and Spokane, write that interest is on the increase there, and that they "are studying with a number." If any readers of the "Symbolic Code" have Adventist acquaintances or relatives in these localities, we request that you put Bro. Roller in touch with them by a letter of introduction. This will greatly assist Bro. Roller in his labors, and he will be very grateful for all such help received.
Joyful Expressions From Converts To The Spirit Of Prophecy Through "The Shepherd's Rod"
I have read both volumes of the SRod and the tracts a number of times with great interest. The result is that my belief in the Spirit of Prophecy is fully established. I want to know and do the truth, and it makes me happy to have learned the beautiful truths set before me as I went over the studies of the SRod together with the Spirit of Prophecy. My prayer is, while endeavoring to bring the message to our brethren in the church and loved ones, that they will soon come to the knowledge of this saving truth.
(Signed) Mrs. C. Riehl
I can truthfully say that the SRod teachings wrought such an effectual work in my heart that I was lead to purchase the Spirit of Prophecy books. I made them a study night and day. My Christian life is transformed into a new experience for which I can't even think of exchanging at an cost.
(Signed) Mrs. Elizabeth Anderson
The question as to which decree of the Medo-Persian kings is to be accredited for the commencement of the 2300 days of Dan. 8:14 is herein answered:
The Great Controversy, page 328, gives 457 B.C. as the date of Artaxerxes' issuing the decree. From this, also page 326 with Ezra 9:9, is by some understood to be the decree which was to build the temple at Jerusalem. But a more careful reading of the above mentioned pages and the Bible will reveal the fact that the first three decrees which completed the building of the temple (Ezra 6:14, 15), prepared the way for the proclamation to rebuild the city and the walls is the event which must establish the date of the beginning of the 2300 prophetic years of Dan. 8:14, for the fact that the angel said to Daniel. "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem....The streets shall be built again and the wall, even in troublous times" (Dan. 9:25), and not from the commandment to build the temple.
Moreover, Artaxerxes' decree, participating in the building of the temple (Ezra 6:14), is not the same, for the temple building was finished in the reign of Darius (Ezra 7:15), and Ezra states that "after these things" (Ezra 7:1); that is, after the finishing of the temple, the king proclaimed:
"I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily. (Ezra 7:21.)
Therefore, the decree in 457 B.C., in the seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes the king, which was not issued for the building of the temple, but rather for the city and the wall, also to beautify the house of God which had been finished some years before the above decree, and before the expeditions of Ezra and Nehemiah, who executed the king's commandment, is the date of the beginning of the 2300 days of Dan. 8:14. See diagram in tract #4, page 20; also "The Symbolic Code" of August, 1934 issue, page 5.
Christ In The Sanctuary Above And Also In The Church Upon Earth
In reference to the question as to how can the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary and the chariot of Ezekiel's vision, according to our tract #1, be harmonized; that is, how can Christ be in the heavenly sanctuary and at the same time be upon the earth also is answered as follows:
It is understood that Christ's work will continue in the heavenly sanctuary up to the close of probation. But Inspiration also declares that He will be in the midst of His people -- in the church on earth -- during the time of the Loud Cry of the Third Angel's Message, for, saith the Lord, "I will dwell in the midst of thee, " and many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day." (Zech. 2:11) "Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee." (Isa. 12:6.) The Spirit of Prophecy describes in the following quotation the time of His coming to dwell in the midst of His people:
"They will question and criticize the work and position of others, criticize every branch of the work in which they have not themselves a part. They will feed upon the errors and mistakes and faults of others, 'until,' said the angel, 'the Lord Jesus shall rise up from His mediatorial work in the heavenly sanctuary, and shall clothe Himself with the garments of vengeance, and surprise them at their unholy feast; and they will find themselves unprepared for the marriage supper of the Lamb.'" -- "Testimonies for the Church," vol 5. p. 690.
Volume 5, page 80, shows that He takes charge of the flock at the time of the purification of the church, and "Testimonies to Ministers," p. 300 states: "God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands. The workers will be surprised by the simple means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness." Therefore, whether we can with our mortal minds fully comprehend God's ways or not, His Word is true, which in the above shows that though He will carry on His mediatorial work in the heavenly sanctuary up to the close of probation, He will also be, during the time of the Loud Cry, upon earth in the midst of His people -- the church.
In the following, we shall try to give a meager illustration of how it can be possible with Him. Let us remember that He is omnipresent as described by the prophet, saying, "Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool." (Isa. 66:1.) If it was possible for Him to be in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary after His resurrection, and at the same time be upon the throne of God away from the sanctuary (Rev. 22:1; E.W. 55; see tract #3, pp. 21-23), then why would it be impossible for Him to be in the heavenly sanctuary as well as upon the earth, seeing that He is omnipresent? We mortal beings are sometimes apt to draw very narrow conclusions regarding God and His work, and limit His mysteries by comparing Him to our mortal beings.
If an angel can make the trip from heaven to earth in less than fifteen minutes (Dan. 9:23), then is it not reasonable that Christ also can do likewise? His answer to Mary, after His resurrection, "touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you (John 20:17, 19), proves the fact that Christ went to heaven and returned on the same day. Hence, if it is possible for our General Conference president to attend his business in Washington, D.C., and at the same time make a trip to some distant country, which will take him months to accomplish, is it not much more possible for Christ to attend both places while He can travel back and forth by an incomprehensibly greater speed than lightning?
This fact is again attested by the words of Ezekiel, saying, "The cherubims lifted up their wings, and moved up from the earth in my sight." (Ezek. 10:19.) And afterwards in chapter 11, verse 24 shows that they again returned. Let no one suppose that Christ is like a prisoner in the sanctuary and that He must stay there, but let us rather remember that His work only is there and at His will He can come and go more conveniently than a business man can attend his business in his office and at the same time live at home.
Christ has further illustrated this incident in the parable of Mark 13:34: "For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left His house, and gave authority to His servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch." "After a long time [from His ascension to the purification of the church] the Lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them." (Matt. 25:19.) Consequently, the period of His absence ends at the purification of the church at which time He reckons with His servants and, Himself, taketh charge of His flock.
Peter And The "Keys"
Please Explain Matt. 16:15-19.
"He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matt. 16:15-19.).
Let us first note the reason why Jesus said to Peter instead of to some one else of the disciples. "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven." Peter was the only one that gave the right answer to Christ's question, and Christ declared that "flesh and blood" could not have revealed the truth to Peter but the "Father" only.
When God reveals something to a man which he for himself cannot find, the Bible term for such revelation is, Inspiration. Hence, Jesus pronounced that Peter was inspired, and the subject of Peter's revelation was the central theme of man's salvation -- Jesus. The essential truth that had to be proclaimed in Peter's time was that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. Consequently, Peter had a message directly from the Father of which he was a debtor to every living soul under heaven, and by which every man was to be judged either for salvation or condemnation.
Therefore, the "keys" which Christ gave to Peter is the commission of the gospel, and as long as Peter was carrying this commission, he, and those who joined to Proclaim the message with him, had the keys of the kingdom by which they could bind or loose on earth and be sanctioned in heaven. Thus it is evident that a message from heaven, proclaimed by God's chosen servant, is all-powerful, and by it man's destination concerning his salvation is decided.
Plainly, then, we see that the church is not the key, neither can a man, or set of men, have the power to loose or bind with heaven's approval, except they do so by a message directly from God. Moreover, it will be noticed that "different periods in the history of the church have each been marked by the development of some special truth adapted to the necessities of God's people at that time. G.C. 609. Hence, our attention is called back to the beginning of time.
It is because Noah, like Peter, had a message, "keys," for the necessities of God's people in his time that was able to loose or bind, and in evidence of this, God sent the flood, against which the gates of hell were not able to prevail. Likewise, Abraham had the "keys" and thus God said to him: "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Gen. 12:3.) Thus Sodom and Gomorrah were "bound"-judged.
So it was also in the exodus movement, for Moses had a message -- "keys" from God -- and by it were God's ancient people's freedom, captivity or destruction eternally settled. Thus "Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the Lord hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the Lord hath not sent me. But if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the Lord. And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods." (Num. 16:28-32.)
True, the ceremonial system was committed by Moses to God's ancient people, but later, when they refused to accept God's message, which was especially adapted to the necessities of His people in the closing of the typical ceremonial system, Christ took the "keys" from the Jewish leaders and gave them to the founders of the Christian church.
Notwithstanding the example which God made of the Jewish leaders, the successors to the apostles, as the successors to Moses, by adopting worldly customs and rejecting Luther's message, they also betrayed their sacred trust. Hence, the "keys of the kingdom of heaven" were taken away from the early Christian church (Catholic later) and committed to the Lutheran, and thus down through the Reformation to the preaching by Wm. Miller. When the Protestant churches at that time rejected Miller's message, they, too, unwittingly refused to be any longer the stewards of the sacred keys. Thus Miller and his associates possessed them until God's next message in 1844, when the keys passed from the Millerite movement to the S.D.A. denomination. It is obvious then that the S.D.A. denomination was to have the "keys" during the period of the judgment of the dead, or for the time prior to the Loud Cry of the Third Angel's Message -- the judgment of the living.
Consequently, as they are now rejecting the message to the Laodiceans, which in comparison is as John the Baptist's message to the Jewish church, they are repeating the history of that people. Hence, as the Jewish leaders in the rejection of the Baptist's message unconsciously lost the "keys," just so, the S.D.A. denomination in rejecting the "counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans," which message is contained in "The Shepherd's Rod," are blindly giving the possession of the "keys" to the followers of the Rod. Thus, when the Roman Catholic, also the Greek, and others, anathematized those who disagreed with them, they only condemned themselves and were powerless to either loose or bind anything one did that heaven recognized.
Things to Remember
Our employment agency is anxious for real activity. Therefore it is very urgent that every believer in present truth report to this department as soon as he hears of or has any work to be done -- small or great. It is also necessary that those who desire to obtain employment should report. State the kind of work you are best fitted for and the amount of experience you have had along that particular line for it is our desire to place the right person on the right job.
The free distribution of our tracts is made possible by a free-will offering only. May we therefore extend the privilege to all who wish to have a part in the financial support in this free literature? We suggest that every leader take an offering once a week from his class for this worthy enterprise and that those who are isolated lay aside, if possible, something every week though it be only a penny, and have it sent to this office designating it to be used for that purpose.
Remember the appointed hour for prayer each Friday evening.