In The Interest Of The S.D.A. Denomination
A LETTER OF INTEREST
Dear Brother Lysinger:
We received your circular letter dated Oct. 24, warning us against "The Shepherd's Rod," and enclosing the little tract: "A Warning Against Error." I had already read the little tract and also the booklet: "A Reply to the Shepherd's Rod." I have also corresponded with Prof. O.J. Graf, who was so clearly the governing mind in both the Pacific Union Conf. and the Gen. Conf. Committees. He being the chief author if not the editor of both of these pamphlets, my reply to the little tract shall be to him and not to you.
With no desire to question your sincerity, and with all due respect for your office, may I ask whether you have personally made a prayerful investigation of the SRod message? Or is your warning against it based solely on the investigation of another as given in the little tract? My reason for asking this is that your predecessor also sent us a warning against the SRod message based, as he later acknowledged, not on his own investigation, but on a warning received by him from one in higher office.
You say that "among the 2175 ordained ministers that we have in the S.D.A. denomination there is one E.T. Wilson, who has accepted the teachings of the SRod." But is it safe to take this as evidence against the SRod message or to condemn those who do accept it as heretics? We will be better able to judge of this in the light of the following inspired quotations: "Have any of the rulers of the Pharisees believed on Him?" John 7:48.
"But beware of rejecting that which is truth. The great danger with our people has been that of depending upon men, and making flesh their arm. Those who have not been in the habit of searching the Bible for themselves, of weighing evidence, have confidence in the leading men and accept the decisions they make; and thus many will reject the very messages God sends to His people, if these leading brethren do not accept them.
"No one should claim that he has all the light there is for God's people. The Lord will not tolerate this. He has said: 'I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.' Even if all our leading men should refuse light and truth, that door will still remain open. The Lord will raise up men who will give the people the message for this time." ("Testimonies to Ministers," pp. 106, 107.)
In the light of these clear, positive warnings against rejecting truth because men in high office do not accept it, may every Seventh-day Adventist minister and layman search his own heart in the light of his own Bible, before condemning "The Shepherd's Rod" Message as heresy. Have the other 2174 ordained ministers made an earnest and prayerful investigation of "The Shepherd's Rod" Message as has Elder E.T. Wilson? Surely, to be fair to themselves, honest with the people, and true to God, they should do so before branding him as a heretic, and before barring him from the homes of the people.
This message will stand or fall on its own merits regardless of who may accept it or reject it. Let no one stand by waiting for it to come to naught until they have investigated and proven it false.
(Signed) A.E. Johnson.
LEARN TO TRUST IN HIM
"Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way." (Luke 10:3, 4.)
In fulfillment of the above promise I wish to relate a few experiences showing His tender watch care over the work and the workers. Early in the year, when beginning to labor in Loma Linda, the first brother we met at that place told us that we had come to "the valley of dry bones." As the days went by we realized more and more how terribly true this was. Nevertheless, we could see occasional signs of life, and though at one time it looked as if we must move on to another field, we continued to work and pray, with the result that God rewarded us by resurrecting several for a memorial as firstfruits in that locality.
On one occasion those who were fighting the message tried to take our room from under us so we would be compelled to leave. This failing, they started circulating malicious reports and tales, but the Lord prevailed and we stayed. During this time my food and money ran out and things looked dark. I went into the field and pulled a handful of alfalfa along with some mustard greens, enjoyed a good salad, and went back to work. Thus I learned precious lessons in trusting in the Lord and of the possibilities in health reform. "'The Lord can spread a table in the wilderness.' Under His direction food will go a long way. When we place ourselves in right relation to Him, He will help us, and the food we eat in obedience to Him will satisfy us. We can subsist on very much less than we think we can, if God's blessing is on the food; and if it is for His glory, He can multiply it." -- "Counsels on Health," p. 495. In opening my mail the next morning, there I found a one dollar bill! The Lord knoweth what things we have need of before we ask Him. "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?...Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:)." (Matt. 6:25-32.) Upon returning from a journey some time later, I again knew not whence, my next meal was coming, and as I unpacked my books, there seemed to be a leaf turned down in my Bible. Upon examining it, there I found two one dollar bills! And several times since, when just about at the point of necessity, letters have come which, when opened, gave material assurance that God cares for those who put their trust in Him.
Upon a recent visit to Loma Linda, we left the little company there trusting in the Lord and determined to press the "battle to the gate." M.L. Deater.
A TRUTH REFORMATION
During the past four weeks which we have spent among our dear people in Virginia, we have seen a longing of heart for a power that will save them from their sins, whether those sins be lukewarmness, the attitude of being rich and increased with goods, addiction to cigarettes, love of movies, display of jewelry, affiliation with lodges, robbing God of tithe, or whatsoever. The message of present truth has fulfilled this very longing and has put a new song in their lips and brought forth praises to God.
About twenty precious souls at Meadows of Dan are rejoicing in the truths contained in the SRod. This number comprises most of the little church there, and besides these, two in Richmond have declared themselves anew in love with the Third Angel's message, and know for the first time in all their lives that God has something for His people that will save poor, wandering, discouraged S.D.A.'s from their sins. To God be all the glory for what has been accomplished in this interesting field, and shall we not join these dear children of the Lord in most earnest prayer to the end that they may be used to bring Present Truth to many others in the church before the destructive judgments of the Lord fall upon the lukewarm professors therein? E.T. Wilson.
PRAISES TO HIM
I love the SRod message and have loaned the books to several persons. I do not know how any true Seventh-day Adventists could be against such a message, for it upholds and exalts all of Sr. White's writings, which I love with all my soul,...I sincerely pray that all those who are fighting against the truth may be led to see their mistake before it is too late.
Mrs. E.E. Martin, Kinsale, Montserrat, British West Indies.
I have read, reread, studied, and prayed over the writings of the SRod, and I am convinced that God has sent the message to enlighten our people at this time. I have wondered many times if dear Sister White had given us all the light that God had for us, but I now see by her own teaching that there is much more light to come, and I truly thank God for the new light in the unfolding of the prophecies. Praise His holy name. Now I love the truth and the people more and study every day. I have been an Adventist 52 years and have never once in my life doubted the writings of Sister White, but now they are more precious than ever.
(Signed) Mrs. Olive, Perris, Calif.
I find the SRod to be present truth. If the Montana Conference fights the message, you will receive my tithe and offerings. There is another family here besides ourselves who have accepted the message in the SRod. Surely the Lord is good to His people by showing us our true condition that we may repent.
(Signed) O.O. Callentine, Bozeman, Montana
VISITING FROM COLORADO
To the Symbolic Code, -- to those in the office, and those out in the field, and to those who are halting between two opinions -- greetings: We came to Los Angeles from a distance of 1400 miles for the purpose of investigating more thoroughly the claims of the SRod, to make sure that we be not led into error, and at the same time to make sure of not being left behind in the darkness as were those who closed their ears to the messages in the ages past. We find Bro. Houteff very earnest, sincere, and a deep student both of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. When questioned about a part of Scripture, he either explains it with convincing evidence or else he says, "I do not know." Besides making this first hand investigation, I have studiously read Vol. 1 of the SRod twenty-one times, and Vol. 2 about fifteen times. I have also read the four tracts that are now in circulation, and I can testify that the reports we hear against him and his writings I have found to be baseless and false. My investigation of the publications and the man convinces me beyond question that God has given him a message for the S.D.A. church, and I want to be in line with those who are endeavoring to bring it before the people. I find on the one hand that those who have investigated the message are convinced that God is speaking to them while on the other hand those who have made no study of it, and who think they are "rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing," think themselves capable of knowing without investigation, in spite of the fact that the Lord says to them, "Thou knowest not." May God manifest His power and awaken His sleeping church before it is too late.
(Signed) Arthur Carver, Cory.
ATTEMPTS TO DEPRIVE THE SHEEP
The church at Muncie, Indiana, has made another drive against the members who are studying the SRod. The first two were made by the Indiana Conference president. He came to the church under the impression that the entire membership was being led astray, and seemed astonished when he learned that only one member was studying the SRod. But in his attempt to stamp out present truth, he suggested this member be given 30 days in which to renounce the SRod. A vote was taken and carried in his favor. However, as in the end of the "30 days" the one in question was still studying, the Conference president called another meeting and disfellowshipped this member on the former vote. Nevertheless, instead of crying down the SRod it just gave it a good start. Several meetings have been held with a goodly number present. Books and tracts have been distributed and there are several interested ones weighing the claims of the SRod. The church elder and deacon, like the Jesuits in the days of the Inquisition, and the Pharisees of old, were spying to find out who were studying the SRod. They called another meeting, at which portions of the Bible and Testimonies were read by the accused, but the reading made no effect. The church officials would try to turn the readings around and use them against the accused. They finally made a call for all who were against the SRod to move to one side of the room and the command was obeyed. Besides the ones who were studying the SRod, three others remained seated, feeling they could not intelligently say they were against a thing that they had not studied and knew nothing about. Nevertheless they were all given the customary 30 days.
(Signed) R.H. Smith, Muncie, Ind.
ANOTHER EVIDENCE OF HOW THE MESSAGE GOES AND HOW IT REFORMS
It has been about sixteen months since I got hold of the first volume of the SRod. I have read it along with the other publications several times, and the more I read the clearer it becomes, and my heart is filled with gratitude to God for the wonderful truths I have found. A certain family came recently to Hartford City. I called on them but found they had never heard of the message. So I gave them the SRod and the tracts. Now they are rejoicing in present truth and are having a real reformation in their home, what with restoring the family altar, observing the principles of health reform, returning to the system of tithing, and ordering their conversation. The church voted my name off the books two weeks ago, and last Saturday night there were two ministers here and they surely did preach against the SRod. At that time they took away from another sister all her church responsibilities because she was reading the book and gave her the usual 30 days to renounce the SRod. Sr. Sebring, from Hartford City, Indiana, who wrote the above, and the other sister were simply complying with the instruction given by the Spirit of God in the following injunction: "When a message comes in the name of the Lord to His people, no one may excuse himself from an investigation of its claims. No one can afford to stand back in an attitude of indifference and self-confidence, and say: 'I know what is truth. I am satisfied with my position. I have set my stakes, and I will not be moved away from my position, whatever may come. I will not listen to the message of this messenger; for I know that it can not be truth.' It was from pursuing this very course that the popular churches were left in partial darkness, and that is why the messages of heaven have not reached them." -- "Testimonies on Sabbath School Work," p. 65. Mark how positively the above proceedings are reproved by the Spirit of Prophecy in the following quotation:
IN THE TRACK OF ROMANISM
"Those who are enjoined to represent the attributes of the Lord's character, step from the Bible platform, and in their own human judgment devise rules and resolutions to force the will of others. The devisings for forcing men to follow the prescriptions of other men, are instituting an order of things that overrides sympathy and tender compassion; that blinds the eyes to mercy, justice, and the love of God. Moral influence and personal responsibility are trodden underfoot. "The righteousness of Christ by faith has been ignored by some; for it is contrary to their spirit, and their whole life-experience. Rule, rule, has been their course of action." -- "Testimonies to Ministers," p. 363. It is fearful irony to see the tyranny of popes being cradled anew in the lap of the "Mother" of religious liberty! Yet it is doubted by many that the deadly wound is healed! Not only does this sort of action leave no such possibility of doubt, but almost convinces one that it is more than merely an old wives' tale that there are papal agents throughout our ranks, disguised as angels of light (Seventh-day Adventist ministers). "O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion." (Isa. 52:2.)
A SAD BUT HAPPY EXPERIENCE
Sr. Knudsen from San Diego relates the following experience:
"After the Seventh-day Adventists destroyed my faith in the prophet Joseph Smith, I ceased to believe in the doctrine of Latter Day prophets, and accepted the advent message while wholly ignorant that they, too, had a prophet. "The day I was to be baptized, a visiting elder spoke on the Spirit of Prophecy, on which occasion I learned for the first time that they had a prophetess. Then my heart truly ached and my mind was confused and I refused to be baptized. But when the evangelist who killed my prophet learned of this, then more studies were given me, but they failed to convince me that Sr. White's writings were inspired. Finally on the strength of the Sabbath truth the evangelist persuaded me to be baptized, leaving me to be converted later to the Spirit of Prophecy. "Eight years after I had joined the church I went to a meeting where the message of the SRod was being presented. In the course of the study, facts were brought out which proved the inspiration of Sr. White's writings, and before the close of the study I was fully convinced to the Spirit of Prophecy, for which I have ever since been increasingly thankful, not only because of the great blessings deriving therefrom but also because I now know I am a genuine Seventh-day Adventist.
"When I was an unbeliever in the Spirit of Prophecy -- that which made the Seventh-day Adventist church -- and was an Adventist mostly in day and in name, I retained my membership, but when the SRod converted me to the Spirit of Prophecy and made me a true Seventh-day Adventist, my membership was deprived me! But I thank God for the privilege to be cast out for the Son of man's sake." We cannot think of any greater irony than that of the foregoing experience, which is typical of more than one such incident in the church today. We simply cannot understand how our brethren in the church can sleep complacently on through such irrational, outrageous proceedings. To retain one's membership for eight years while that one is but half converted to its doctrines, and then to disfellowship this person when fully converted is the most appalling inconsistency imaginable. And yet this is the precise thing that God's church is about today.
"Too much hasty work is done in adding names to the church roll. Serious defects are seen in the characters of some who join the church. Those who admit them say, We will first get them into the church, and then reform them. But this is a mistake. The very first work to be done is the work of reform....Do not allow them to unite with God's people in church relationship until they give decided evidences that the Spirit of God is working upon their hearts. Many whose names are registered on the church books are not Christians." (Mrs. E.G. White, in, Review and Herald, May 21, 1901.) Then when they finally become converted, the church repents itself of having brought them in and straightway sets about to disfellowship them!
Sister Palmer of Red Cloud, Nebraska, sends this most cordial invitation: "We came here the middle of October and would be glad to have any SRod member stop with us if in this vicinity."
Carelessness on the part of some has cost them a good deal, and much mail has gone astray, never reaching the office. Our correct address has been published in the past, but some have not given it any consideration. Please remember to address any member of this office in the following manner:
Universal Publishing Assn. Station K, Box 68 Los Angeles. California, Person's name
Do not place currency in common mail. Send either P.O. Money Order or a bank check. Make sure that your return address is given on all mail.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
WAS CHRIST ARRESTED AND CRUCIFIED THE SAME DAY?
"In reading The Desire of Ages it seems that Christ was taken by wicked men on Thursday night and His trial rushed right through, and from what I am able to understand, His trial from the time He was taken in the garden till His crucifixion took about twelve hours. Am I right in this?" The apostle, Mark, emphatically states that Christ was crucified at the third hour of the day (Mk. 15:25), which is but three hours after sunrise, as proven by the fact that the Bible is dealing with the ancient time piece. Let the questioner carefully follow the diagram in page six -- appended to facilitate comprehension. In those days, and even now, in some of those countries, the time piece is regulated so that when the sun sets the clock hand points to the twelfth hour. The sixth hour in the night part always ended at midnight, and the sixth hour in the day part always ended at noon. Thus the Jews divided the day into two equal parts of 12 hours each, from sunset to sunrise, and from sunrise to sunset. Matt. 15:33 reveals that while Jesus was on the cross darkness covered the land from the sixth hour (noon) to the ninth hour (3 P.M.), and that when He died the darkness disappeared. (Matt. 27:46-50.) Then Luke adds that the Saviour was buried by the twelfth hour (sunset), at which time the Sabbath drew on. (Luke 23:52-54.) Here we see that the chronological record of the events proves that from the time He was crucified to the time He was buried -- the hours between three A.M. and twelve P.M. -- were consumed about 9 hours.
John 19:14 states that about the sixth hour Christ was in Pilate's judgment hall. This sixth hour could not be the sixth hour after He was crucified, for at that hour He was hanging on the cross. Therefore, the closest sixth hour preceding His crucifixion was the one at midnight, the dawning of Friday morning. Thus we see that there are on record at least 18 hours from the time Christ was brought before Pilate to the time He was buried. Study the diagram herein and you will be convinced of the impossibility for one to entertain a different view and yet be in harmony with Biblical reckoning of the event.
The foregoing facts prove positively that half of a twelve hour night and one whole day of twelve hours were consumed by the Roman Judiciary, crucifixion - death - and burial - of the Saviour. As it was prohibited by the Jewish law to try one by night, and as Christ was judged by the Sanhedrin before He was taken to Pilate's judgment hall, it proves that Jesus stood before the Jewish tribunal the day before He was crucified. Moreover, the words of Jesus: "
That this night, before the cock crow thou shalt deny Me thrice" (Matt. 26:34), proves that He was taken from the garden at night. Therefore, from the time Christ was brought before the Sanhedrin to the time he was buried there were 36 hours, for the circumstances were such that the Jewish dignitaries were urged to arraign Him before their highest court as soon as the sun arose. Study the illustration and you will see how accurate the above explanation proves to be. Was He crucified Friday or some other day?? -- Mark says, "It was the preparation; that is, the day before the Sabbath." (Mk. 15:42) It would be erroneous for one to conclude that "the Sabbath," above mentioned, is some other that "the seventh-day Sabbath." It could not have been the Passover day itself -- the day the lamb was eaten (Ex. 12:3, 6) at the beginning of the seven days of paschal feasts -- for the Sabbath mentioned by Mark came after Jesus died, whereas on the first of the feasts (Ex. 12:3, 9; Num. 28:17), on the Passover day itself, Jesus was yet alive and celebrated it with the twelve. (Luke 22:7-12). Again, we read that after He was buried "they returned, and prepared spices and ointment; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment (Luke 23:56), and not that they returned and ate the Passover. Furthermore, the day in which they rested was followed by the first day of the week, for Luke says: "Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared." (Luke 24:1). Consequently, Jesus was arrested on Wednesday night, after which He was tried twice before the priests, twice before the Sanhedrin, twice before Pilate and once before Herod (D.A. 760) -- seven trials in all which denotes completeness.
Moreover, in view of the hours that are recorded in the Bible, only a mind wholly devoid of the sense of time in measuring the natural duration of events could conclude, after shown, that the seven trials, the crucifixion, and the burial, all took place in one day.
John 19:31 says, "That Sabbath day was an high day," because it was a Sabbath within the Passover week -- a Sabbath within one of the paschal feasts, occurring only once a year.
Matt. 28:1, 2 proves that the Lord arose on the first day of the week, commonly called Sunday, for it is stated in these verses that, "In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it." As the women came to the sepulchre just before the rising of the sun (John 20:1), and as the "earthquake" occurred while they were on their way to the place, it shows that the angel descended from heaven and rolled away the stone just before they arrived. Mark also testifies that "Jesus was risen early the first day of the week." (Mark 16:9.)
Hence from the time Jesus was taken before the priests to the time He arose, there were exactly three days and three nights, fulfilling the words: "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" that is, in the hands of sinful clay. (Matt. 12:40.)
This study proves Sr. White's exposition of the subject correct, and the fact that she has enumerated His trials before the priests, Pilate, and Herod, shows that she is not teaching that it was all accomplished in one day as some think her language seems to imply.
The statement, "Later that same day" (D.A. 722), has no reference to the day Judas betrayed the Lord but rather to the day when he exclaimed, "It is too late! It is too late!" for the expression of Judas' consternation, not the event of his betraying the Lord, is the antecedent event of the statement, "Later that same day."
In reference to the question as to "how can we harmonize the statement, 'On the second day of the feast, the first fruits of the year's harvest were presented before God,' (Patriarchs and Prophets, 539), with the statement, 'The sheaf offering...was to be offered before the Lord on the morrow after the Sabbath,' (The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, p. 20)" we answer as follows:
The fact that the author says, "On the day the Passover was eaten He was to be sacrificed," proves that she does not mean the second day from the feast which Jesus celebrated, but rather from the paschal feast on Friday night, which actually falls on the Sabbath, for the Passover on Friday, before He was crucified "the second day of the feast," would not fall on Sunday but rather on the Sabbath, and as her position is that Christ arose on Sunday, on the day the sheaf was offered (D.A. 785), it is evident that the statement in "Patriarchs and Prophets" must be understood to refer to another than the second day from the first feast -- the real Passover. In other words if she means that which seems to appear on the face of it, the second day of the feasts, according to what she has written elsewhere, would fall on the seventh day Sabbath instead of on the day the resurrection took place.
Page 6 of this issue, in answering a question in regards to the length of time from the day Jesus ate the Passover to the crucifixion, proves that He ate the Passover feast with the twelve on Wednesday night and that He was resurrected on Sunday morning; that is, on the day the sheaf was to be presented before the Lord. This proves that the words, "On the second day of the feast, the first fruits of the year's harvest were presented before God" (P.P. 539), could not mean the day after Jesus ate the Passover. However, thus far we are not able to give a better explanation of P.P. 539; nevertheless, the facts herein prove the SRod correct.
"THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY" OR "THE GATHERING CALL" WHICH?
From Colorado comes a question concerning the warfare waged against the Spirit of Prophecy, by the publication, "The Gathering Call."
Having read a number of E.S. Ballenger's Tracts, we are compelled to say that we have not found a message in any of them. Their chief aim is to overthrow our faith in the writings of Sr. White. They seize upon everything and anything they can find a chance to talk about. Not once have we seen them successfully refute any of the doctrines which Sr. White teaches in her writings, and the means which they employ to destroy her teachings are as weak as a spider's web suspended to catch an eagle.
We note on page 24 of our copy of "The Gathering Call" for Sept.-Oct. an article written against the sanctuary truth as taught by Sr. White. Therein we see that the article does not refute her position by Bible truth but attempts to do so by making light of what actually took place in the earthly sanctuary. The author endeavors to convince us that the "holy place" is not in this connection the first apartment of the sanctuary, and because he cannot prove this by the Bible, he tries to explain away the truth with his darkened mind by reasoning along the following tenor:
The Bible says, "Thou shalt take the ram of the congregation, and seethe his flesh in the holy place." (Ex 29:31.) Her interpretation he questions by asking, "Was the first apartment a boiling kitchen?" Again he quotes, "In Lev. 16:24 Aaron is instructed, after he has sent the scapegoat into the wilderness, to 'wash his flesh with water in the holy place.'" He thinks the holy place here mentioned cannot be the first apartment, and therefore he again makes light by asking the question, "Was the first apartment turned into a bath room?" Now he quotes from Lev. 6:27, "When there is sprinkled of the blood thereof upon any garment thou shalt wash that whereon it was sprinkled in the holy place." Then he asks, "Where do you suppose they put a laundry tray in the first apartment of the tabernacle temple?"
What proof has he given us that the holy place is not the first apartment? -- Not the slightest. "The Gathering Call" in the above expresses a carnal human mind which is unable to comprehend that the ceremonial system with its daily sacrifices in every aspect was symbolical, and that the cooking of the flesh in the "holy place" and the washing of the priest's flesh and of his holy garments had to be done in the "holy place" though contrary to human reason.
Human beings without divine enlightenment, as the case is with "The Gathering Call," can see no reason at all for all those daily sacrifices of bulls, goats, rams, lambs, pigeons, turtle doves, some of which were to be males and others females, sometimes a year old and sometimes three years old, each offered in a special way by meat and drink offerings; and for the many other rituals of the Jewish economy. If we were to employ the mind of "The Gathering Call," our demeanor would not be that of making light of the services in the "holy place" only, but of the ceremonial system also. Human judgment would compel us to decide that the entire ceremonial system was devised for nothing else but to wear out the people, bring them to poverty, and make them think that God was some kind of being, blood-thirsty, flesh-hungry, and cruel to animals.
Had the advocates of the "The Gathering Call" lived in Moses' time, and had they been in the same frame of mind then as they are now, they would have found a thousand times better reason to find fault with what he was teaching then than they now have for finding fault with Sr. White's writings, and if God was to deal with them now as He would have dealt with them then, He would destroy them as quickly as He destroyed those who found fault with Moses.
We are sorry that we must speak in such plain terms but, as we realize that we are dealing with a life and death problem, for Bro. Ballenger's sake we are compelled to make ourselves as plain as we know how, and hope that he will reconsider his views.
We say again that "The Gathering Call" has not refuted a single thing. For example we call attention to how it tries to prove that Sr. White was wrong in believing that probation had closed in 1844. We quote from page 7: "...A letter written to Elder L. by Mrs. White in which she says, 'With my brethren and sisters, after the time passed in forty-four I did believe no more sinners would be converted."
By the above statement "The Gathering Call" is trying to prove that Sr. White was teaching, some years later, the probation had closed in 1844 and that there was no more probation for sinners after that date. But note carefully what she says: "With my brethren and sisters, after the time passed...I did believe;" that is, she believed that which Wm. Miller taught, and when the time set for Christ's coming had passed in 1844 she, with the Millerites, believed that probation had closed for all. But she does not say that she was teaching this after she became God's messenger. Now we ask "The Gathering Call" to tell us if her belief in Miller's message would disqualify her from becoming a prophetess after the disappointment, and would her belief before 1844 make the pioneers of the S.D.A. denomination wrong in their doctrines after they had more light? -- Not at all. Rather, it proves Sr. White right and "The Gathering Call" wrong for using such a weak argument against a proven fact.
In part Two of a paper entitled, "The Doctrine on the Investigative Judgment," by W.W. Fletcher, an ally of "The Gathering Call," the author quotes from "The Advent Review," Aug. 1850 (which our efforts fail to verify), where Elder James White is speaking of the judgment of the wicked during the millennium, and is using for his proof Dan. 7:22, which scripture applies to that event. The article misconstrues both Elder White's statement and the scripture, in trying to make us believe that Elder White is teaching that the investigative judgment is to begin after the second coming of Christ.
It then asks: "At what time do you expect the judgment of Daniel 7 to take place?" In answer, it quotes from Elder White's writings this statement: "'Daniel,' in the night visions' saw that 'judgment was given to the saints of the Most High,' but not to mortal saints -- not 'until the Ancient of days came,' and the 'little horn' ceased prevailing, which will not be until he is destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming.
As by the above statement Elder White is not explaining the investigative judgment but rather the one during the millennium, and as the article tries by the quotation to make out, contrary to fact, that he did not believe in the investigative judgment as now taught, the charge can unfortunately be only a boomerang to the hand of its author.
When one is compelled to resort to unfair dealings in order to disprove the writings of Sr. White or the doctrines of the denomination, one only proves that her writings are inspired and that her opponents find themselves at a loss honestly to refute what she has written.
On page 8 of "The Gathering Call" of Sept.--Oct. appears the following quotation from Sr. White's writings: "'I was shown in vision, and I still believe, that there was a shut door in 1844. All who saw the light of the first and second angels' messages and rejected that light, were left in darkness.'" Then "The Gathering Call" asks the question: "We would like to have the editor of the Review and Herald point out any light that was presented in the first and second angels' messages."
The trouble does not lie in what Sr. White is teaching but rather in the exceeding spiritual darkness that surrounds those who are kicking "against the pricks," for they see only one close of probation, whereas the Bible teaches a close of probation after every message that God sends. As there was a close of probation for the antediluvians, for the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, and for the Jewish nation, Just so there is a close of probation for each individual at the moment that individual rejects the message. Therefore after the first and second angels messages were presented to the people at that time, their probation closed and their destinies were unalterably fixed either for eternal life or eternal death, as was the case with Saul, king of Israel.
The prophet of God informed Saul, saying, "Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord (message), He hath also rejected thee from being a king" (1 Sam. 15:23.) Though Saul pleaded and "said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord. And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel....The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day,...for He is not a man that He should repent." (1 Sam. 15:23-26, 28, 29.)
The reprint of the "Jones Letter," as I see it, proves nothing. The weightiest item "The Gathering Call" has in it is that Sr. White did not reply to the letter. However true that may be it does not prove her wrong. They must have been debating over those controverted points for some time before that particular letter was written, and God only knows the number of letters and counsels Jones had received treating on these points before he wrote that particular letter. Evidently she saw no reason why she should waste her time any longer in an unprofitable way, for those men, like "The Gathering Call," were determined to destroy the faith of the people in her writings. The writer, himself, many letters has not answered, not because they could not be answered, but because they were not worthy of his time.
Though all the quarrels against the Spirit of Prophecy are the result of misunderstanding and misjudging, dishonesty has been the leading factor in most cases. The strongest arguments against Sr. White's writings we have ever heard or read are weaker than the weakest ones used against the Sabbath truth.
In a letter under date of April 4, 1933 to a certain sister, the editor of "The Gathering Call" says, "...No one can get the truth of God's Word until he abandons the inspiration of Mrs. White. One that follows her teaching will always be in darkness."
By the fact that "The Gathering Call" has no message at all, though it has abandoned "her inspiration," and as "The Shepherd's Rod" is full of present truth, radiating unparalleled light from the Bible to the people, while being at the same time in perfect agreement with "her inspiration," proves the assertion in the "April 4" letter false.
Page 9 says of "The Gathering Call" for Sept.--Oct. says, "We would like to have the editor of the R. & H. point out any light that was presented in the first or second angel's messages. The first angel's message taught at that time was that Christ was coming on Oct. 22, 1844, to deliver the saints, and destroy all the wicked....Was there any truth in that? It was all error."
It is true that the Millerites understood the event of Christ's coming to His temple in heaven to be His final coming to earth "to deliver the saints and destroy the wicked." Nevertheless, the interpretation of the 2300 days as pointing to that event in 1844 is correct.
Hence, if we must reject the announcement of the investigative judgment on account of the fact that the nature of His coming was misunderstood, then what right have we to accept John the Baptist's message, for John also preached that the Messiah was at that time to set up an earthly kingdom? If "The Gathering Call" had been in existence in John's time, it would have surely rebelled against the teachings of his and thus against Christ.
Moreover, who were the better prepared to meet the Lord in 1844, those who believed that the Lord was coming then, or those who put His coming afar off? -- Most assuredly the ones who were waiting in solemn expectancy for His momentary coming.
Brother Ballenger thinks he is positively right and the Spirit of Prophecy positively wrong in that, for one thing, the leaders of the denomination cannot successfully refute his arguments, but though this may be the fact of the matter, it means nothing, for how can he expect a "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" Laodicean angel to show him anything? This is taking an unfair advantage of the "Spirit of Prophecy" in measuring it by the angel's unconscious blindness. Brother Ballenger should take the Lord at His word when He says of the angel, "Thou knowest not," and should fear to judge the light by the darkness, lest he incur the anger of the Lord.
God has never yet revealed the whole truth to any one person. But He expects us to keep pace with the ever increasing light, and though each advancing truth at first dawning seem more or less hazy as to its real essence and magnitude, we shall see it more and more in its true character the nearer we come to it, for the prophecies of the Bible stand as a road map to the kingdom.
Let no one discourage another in the 1844 movement. God has an awful surprise in store for all who are misusing their time in trying to overthrow the truth of the Millerite and 1844 movements, for "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2 Pet. 1:19-21.)
The above mentioned surprise the Lord will present in soon coming publications.
"Are we giving the 11th hour message now or will it not be given until after the fulfillment of Eze. 9? Has the angel that is to lighten the earth with his glory (E.W. 277) already come?" If the questioner will consult the chart on page 224 of Vol. 2 of the SRod, he will observe that the angels of Rev. 7 and 18 are represented as coming at the 11th hour, and as we are in the sealing time, it proves that we are now in the 11th hour.
Concerning the angel of Rev. 18:1, with whose glory the earth is to be lightened, we do not claim to have as yet all his light, nor do we believe that the earth is at present lightened with his glory. But we do maintain that a large part of that light has already been revealed and that as soon as the 144,000 are sealed and the church is purified by the separation of the sinners from "the midst thereof" by the men with slaughter weapons as described in Ezekiel's vision, the earth will then be lightened as the 144,000 go forth proclaiming the message to all nations. (Isa. 66:19, 20.)