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That everyone who thirsteth for the truth may obtain it, these publications are, as a Christian service, provided without charge. They levy but one exaction: the soul's obligation to itself to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. The only strings attached to this free proffer are the golden strands of Eden and the crimson cords of Calvary - the ties that bind.
 
Benjamin L. Roden

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BRANCH SABBATH SCHOOL LESSONS

VOLUME 4, NUMBER 10, 11


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That everyone who thirsteth for the truth may obtain it, these Lessons are, as a Christian service, mailed without charge. They levy but one exaction: the soul's obligation to itself to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. The only strings attached to this free proffer are the golden strands of Eden and the crimson cords of Calvary - the ties that bind.






THE UNIVERSAL PUBLISHING ASSN.
New Mt. Carmel Center
Rt. 7, Box 471-B
Waco, Texas 76705



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CONTENTS


                                                    Page


Lesson 1 - A Parable and a Riddle. . . . . . . . . . . 4


Lesson 2 - The First Great Eagle . . . . . . . . . . . 6


Lesson 3 - The Willow Tree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8


Lesson 4 - The Spreading Vine. . . . . . . . . . . . .10


Lesson 5 - The Second Great Eagle. . . . . . . . . . .12


Lesson 6 - The Withering of the Rod. . . . . . . . . .14


Lesson 7 - The King of Babylon -- Part I . . . . . . .16


Lesson 8 - The King of Babylon -- Part II. . . . . . .18


Lesson 9 - Planted in the Mountains of Israel. . . . .20


Mail Bag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22


Announcements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26


Into New Territory in Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . .27



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Lesson 1

A PARABLE AND A RIDDLE

Dec. 13, 1969


MEMORY GEM: "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." – Deut. 29:29.


STUDY AIM: To show that the hidden things of God must needs be interpreted by God through His servants, upon whom He bestows the gift of prophecy, before we can understand them.


INTRODUCTION: "There are many things apparently difficult or obscure, which God will make plain and simple to those who thus seek an understanding of them. But without the guidance of the Holy Spirit we shall be continually liable to wrest the Scriptures or to misinterpret them... when the thoughts and affections are not fixed upon God, or in harmony with His will, the mind is clouded with doubt....Those who look to the Scriptures to find discrepancies, have not spiritual insight. With distorted vision they will see many causes for doubt and unbelief in things that are really plain and simple....Instead of questioning and caviling concerning that which you do not understand, give heed to the light that already shines upon you, and you will receive greater light....God invites us to prove for ourselves the reality of His Word, the truth of His promises. He bids us 'taste and see that the Lord is good'." – Steps to Christ, pages 110, 111.


*      *      *


1.


WHAT DIFFERENT METHODS HAS GOD USED TO CONVEY TRUTH TO HIS PEOPLE THROUGH THE AGES? Gen. 31:11; Ex. 3:1-6; Ps. 89:19; Eze. 20:49; Ps. 49:1-4; 78:1, 2; Matt. 13:34.


NOTE -- "The Bible points to God as its author; yet it was written by human hands....The Infinite One by His Holy Spirit has shed light into the minds and hearts of His servants. He has given dreams and visions, symbols and figures...the truths thus revealed unite to form a perfect whole adapted to meet the wants of men in all the circumstances and experiences of life." – Great Controversy, pages 7, 8.


"Through nature, through types and symbols, through patriarchs and prophets, God has spoken to the world." – Desire of Ages, page 34.


2.

WHY DOES GOD USE PARABLES TO EXPLAIN PARTICULAR LESSONS TO HIS PEOPLE? Mark 4:10-13, 33, 34.


NOTE -- "For His own wise purpose the Lord veils spiritual truths in figures and symbols....In parables and comparisons He found the best method of communicating divine truth." – Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 236.


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Lesson 1, page 2


"…through types and symbols He makes wise the simple and confounds the prudent..." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, page 10.


"The chief purpose of teaching by parables is that the truth may be revealed to God's children and at the same time concealed from His enemies....For this same reason the prophecies...had to be clothed in symbolic and parabolic language to insure their preservation." – Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly, (S. D. A.), Second Quarter 1932, page 33.


3.

EZEKIEL TELLS US HIS PROPHECY IS BOTH A PARABLE AND A RIDDLE, WHAT DOES THIS INDICATE? Eze. 17:2.


NOTE -- "The dictionary defines a riddle as a perplexing or puzzling question; a thing difficult to understand; a mystery; and a parable as a short story to illustrate a religious truth....In this prophecy the Lord is teaching a parable (a short story) with a mystery connected with it." – J.H. Jezreel Letter, No. 1, p. 4.


4.
TO WHOM IS THIS PARABLE PRESENTED? Eze. 17:1, 2.


NOTE -- "We (Seventh-day Adventists) are numbered with Israel. All the instructions given to the Israelites of old...are for us." – MH, p. 405


"The prophets spoke less for their own time than for the ages which have followed, and for our own day." – E.G. White, Signs of the Times, April 2, 1896


"Do not hastily conclude, Brethren, that Ezekiel's prophecies is herein misapplied. Before you speak your mind let us first look into it. Ezekiel wrote this prophecy thirty years after they went into captivity. See Eze. 1:1. At that time there was no 'house of Israel' or a 'house of Judah.' Since this is so, then, the book was not at all written in behalf of God's ancient people, but in behalf of his people today - the day the prophecies are unsealed to the house of Israel and Judah – the church of today." – Tract No. 16, page 59.


5.

HOW ONLY CAN WE UNDERSTAND THE MYSTERIES OF GOD? Isa. 29:10-24; 2 Pet. 1:20; Amos 3:7.


NOTE -- "Since the Scriptures explain that the church in all ages has been led into truth only through the gift of prophecy, the Christian has no choice but to conclude that God's will and plan for this time is just as it was for times past; that is, that the knowledge of salvation be imparted through the writings of the Old Testament prophets, as interpreted by those upon whom, as the scroll unfolds, He bestows the same Spirit by which He moved upon 'holy men of God' 'in old time.' 2 Pet. 1:21" – Tract No. 6, page 10.


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Lesson 2

THE FIRST GREAT EAGLE

Dec. 20, 1969


MEMORY GEMS: "Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. " Isa. 42:9. "And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them." Eze. 33:33.


STUDY AIM: To show the meaning of the first great eagle depicted in Ezekiel 17, as revealed through Inspiration today.


INTRODUCTION: "The most wonderful thing about these prophetic symbols is that they are perfectly capable of revealing the truth, and once understood aright, they cannot be contradicted. Any interpretation of symbolical prophecies that do not perfectly fit the explanation given is never to be depended upon. The interpretation of such symbols must not only be in harmony with the hole tenor of God's book and law, but it must point out, some important lesson for God's people; and when such an explanation, as referred to, is derived from the scriptures, then only we have the truth." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 2, pages 30-33.


*      *      *


1.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST THING EZEKIEL SAW IN THE PARABLE? Eze. 17:3.


2.
WHAT DID THE GREAT EAGLE REPRESENT? See Rev. 4:7; Tract No. 1, page 36.


NOTE -- " 'A great eagle' - 'Figurative of the saints in time of judgment.' (shown also by the faces of the beasts standing before the Judgment throne in heaven)...." More specifically, "Sr. White was this great eagle." – J.H. Jezreel Letter, No. 1, pages 4, 5.


3.

WHAT DO THE WINGS OF THIS EAGLE REPRESENT? Eze. 17:3; Ps. 91:4; Eze. 1:24, 25; 10:5; Rev. 12:14; 4:7, 8.


NOTE -- " 'Great Wings'….'The wings of the woman (of Rev. 12:14) also must denote two great periods of Church history.' 2 S.R. 141:4. Wings not only represent periods of time, but they stand as a symbol of truth. 'History flies, therefore, wings make a perfect symbol.' 2 S.R. 42. If secular history flies – then religious history flies – Truth flies. The Three Angels are seen flying in the midst of Heaven. (Rev. 14:6-9) The woman was given 'two wings of a great eagle to fly into the wilderness.' (Rev. 12:14.) We understand this woman to be symbolical of the true church. The thing that distinguishes her from other women is her wings, (truth) for her wings were not literal but are symbolic of truth. 2 S.R. 76:0 (read 2 S.R. 33-42; 195, 196; 75; W.H.R. 29, 30:1.)" – Ibid., page 4.


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Lesson 2, page 2


4.
WHAT DOES THE DESCRIPTION OF THE WINGS INDICATE? Eze. 17:3.


NOTE -- " 'Long winged' – long time prophecy – 2300 days of Dan. 8:14. 'Full of feathers' – plenty of scriptural evidence on prophecies. 'Divers colors' – different aspects of the Gospel besides the time prophecies." – Ibid., page 4.


5.
WHAT DID THIS EAGLE DO? Eze. 17:3, 4.


NOTE -- " 'Came to Lebanon' – to the Millerite Church. 'Took highest branch' – First and Second Angel's Messages. 'He cropped off the top of his young twigs and carried it into a land of traffick: he set it in a city of merchants.' verse. 4, 'Cropped off young twigs' – (took the Millerite doctrines) second Corning of Christ and His Kingdom." – Ibid., pages 4, 5.


6.
WHAT IS THE "LAND OF TRAFFICK?" Eze. 17:4.


NOTE -- " 'Land of traffick' – a land of national and international commerce U.S.A. (1 S.R. 76:1, 2)" – Ibid., page 5.


"The beginning of this denomination was typified by Israel's entrance into Egypt....The land of Goshen stands as a symbol of the United States of America in which the church came into existence. While our country is productive like the land of Goshen, the richest in the world, and a Protestant nation, it is the best for missionary work, for it is made up of all nations, and therefore like the land of Goshen, the most productive in Egypt (the world)." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, (Fireside Edition), page 76 (parenthesis in quote belong to author).


7.
WHAT IS THE "CITY OF MERCHANTS?" Eze. 17:4; Isa. 1:8; Eze. 9:1.


NOTE -- "City of merchants' – City (church) in a commercial era – Seventh Day Adventists. (8T:250; 1T:471:2)" – J.H. Jezreel Letter No. 1, page 5.


"A great mistake has been made by some who profess present truth, by introducing merchandise in the course of a series of meetings, and by their traffic diverting minds from the object of the meetings. If Christ were now upon earth, He would drive out these peddlers and traffickers, whether they be ministers or people, with a scourge of small cords, as when He entered the temple anciently, 'and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers. And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.' These traffickers might have pleaded as an excuse that the articles...were for sacrificial offerings. But their object was to get gain, to obtain means, to accumulate." – 1 Testimonies, pages 471, 472.


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Lesson 3

THE WILLOW TREE

Dec. 27, 1969


MEMORY GEM: "And they (Israel) shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses." – Isa. 44:4


STUDY AIM: To show the work of the first great eagle in the establishment of God's people today – modern Israel.


INTRODUCTION: "The Lord has been giving me light in regard to many things....Light was given me that there is health in the fragrance of the pine, the cedar, and the fir. And there are several other kinds of trees....There are lessons for us in these trees. God's Word declares, 'The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. David says, 'I am like a green olive tree in the house of the Lord; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever. The Christian is likened to the cedar of Lebanon....Genuine Christians, like the cedar of Lebanon, do not crow in the soft surface soil, but are rooted in God, riveted in the clefts of the mountain rocks. Study these lessons from the trees." – Letter to Brethren Kilgore and Jacobs, from Ellen G. White, "Elmshaven" Sanitarium, California, June 28, 1902.


*      *      *


1.
WHAT DID THE EAGLE TAKE BESIDES THE HIGHEST BRANCH OF THE CEDAR? Eze. 17:5.


2.

WHAT DID HE DO WITH THE GOOD SEED AND WHAT DOES IT REPRESENT? Eze. 17:5; Matt. 13:38; Rom. 9:8.


NOTE -- " 'The good seed are the children of the kingdom;...' The good seed represents those who are born of the word of God, the truth." – Christ's Object Lessons, page 70.


" 'Planted seed in fruitful field' – in Seventh Day Adventist Church (field)." – J.H. Jezreel Letter No. 1, page 5.


"We must understand this as signifying the church of Christ in the world." – Christ's Object Lessons, page 70.


3.

WHAT WERE THE GREAT WATERS BY WHICH THE GOOD SEED WAS PLANTED? Eze. 17:5; Jer. 2:13; Isa. 12:3; John 4:10, 14.


NOTE -- "Placed by great waters' – waters of salvation – Inspired


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Lesson 3, page 2


interpretations – the former rain [a teacher of righteousness – Joel 2:23 margin] – the Spirit of Prophecy (Ellen Harmon-White) to gather the 144,000." – J.H. Jezreel Letter No. 1, page 5.


4.
HOW WAS THE GOOD SEED SET? Eze. 17:5.


5.
WHAT DO TREES REPRESENT IN THE SCRIPTURES? See Introduction.


NOTE -- Trees are used to represent God's chosen people in different periods of time as shown by Christ Himself. "The cursing of the fig tree was an acted parable. That barren tree, flaunting its pretentious foliage in the very face of Christ, was a symbol of the Jewish nation The Saviour desired to make plain to His disciples the cause and the certainty of Israel's doom. For this purpose He invested the tree with moral qualities, and made it the expositor of divine truth." – The Desire of Ages, page 582. See also page 583:1.


"Not by its name, but by its fruit, is the value of a tree determined. If the fruit is worthless, the name cannot save the tree from destruction. John declared to the Jews that their standing before God was to be decided by their character and life. Profession was worthless. If their life and character were not in harmony with God's law, they were not His people." – Ibid., page 107.


6.
WHAT DOES THE WILLOW TREE REPRESENT IN EZEKIEL'S PARABLE? Eze. 17:5; Isa. 44:4.


NOTE -- "Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness were to be numbered among the Israel of God. 'They shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the watercourses; ...' " – Prophets and Kings, page 371.


"The Bible portrays a tree that is symbolic of God's true church today. With the prophetic knowledge of this tree we are able to prove to the world who God's true Israel of today really is. No other church or denomination can lay claim to the distinction of living out the fulfillment of this symbolic prophecy besides the Seventh-day Adventist people...So it is our purpose not only to point out the people this tree symbolizes, but to prove what nourishes the tree." – The Healing of the Nations, page 2.


" 'Set as a willow tree' – a willow tree grows out rather an up. It grew in inspired knowledge and gathered many people with the message of the Sabbath and Sanctuary truth – Righteousness by Grace. The people dwelt under the 'shadow of the Almighty.' " – J.H. Jezreel Letter No. 1, page 5.


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Lesson 4

THE SPREADING VINE

Jan. 3, 1970


MEMORY GEM: "Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?" – Jer. 2:21


STUDY AIM: To show that God's church, without the living Spirit of Prophecy in its midst, is a strange vine and cannot accomplish its God-given work.


INTRODUCTION: "In varying ways, the fatal weakness which has characterized every Movement, from that of Israel to that of Laodicea, has been in 'laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works.' Heb. 6:1. And what is still more basic, and more urgently to the point, is that each Movement alike failed to progress from one message to the next, and to go on to reach its final goal of transcendental attainments in divine knowledge. Instead, each fell from the heights of its own early rich experience, back down to spiritual poverty, because it failed to keep pace with the Truth. Each Divinely called Movement came to a standstill where it contentedly satisfied itself that is was yet in the sanctified steps to the Mount of Perfection, that it was 'flourishing, and that peace and spiritual prosperity' were 'in all [its] borders' (Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217), when in reality, quite the opposite was the truth .... Here in more extensive relief is the picture of a people who have indeed lost their 'vision' (the supernatural guidance afforded by the living voice of the prophetic gift resident among them), but who realize it not. More amazing still, they have evidently introduced their own inventions (idols) as substitutes for the things of God. This they have done so gradually that they are quite as unaware of it as they are that many have not availed themselves of the volumes of the Spirit of Prophecy – their very 'eyesight.' And where others have had these volumes of vision lying all around them, they have let them go either unread or unheeded and therefore 'unappreciated.' – Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 217." – Answerer Book No. 1, pages 70, 71. (parentheses theirs)


*      *      *


1.
HOW DID THE WILLOW TREE DEVELOP AS TIME WENT ON? Eze. 17:5, 6


2.
WHAT DOES THIS REPRESENT? Eze. 17:5, 6; Jer. 2;21; Hos. 10:1-4


NOTE -- " 'A spreading vine of low stature' – as long as God was leading the church through the Living Spirit of Prophecy (E.G. White) it was a willow tree. Sr. White was this great eagle. Amos 3:7. 'Testifiedst...By THY SPIRIT in thy prophets.' Neh. 9:30. (margin, in the hand of thy prophets). When General Conference was organized, the church was no longer led by the Spirit of Prophecy, but by a governing body. At this time she became a spreading vine of low stature' – The Third Angel's Message spread out vine-like, in all directions – to many nations." – J.H. Jezreel Letter No. 1, page 5


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Lesson 4, page 2


3.
HOW IS THIS CHANGE SHOWN IN ANOTHER PROPHECY? Isa. 11:1.


NOTE -- "There is something peculiar about the family tree prophesied by Isaiah, and that is, the rod came from a stem (stump) and not the roots. This shows that there was a tree which had been cut down before the rod came forth…To make the application in our time: the stem of Jesse represents the S.D.A. church after losing the Spirit of Prophecy, the living voice – Mrs. E.G. White .... we have found in our study that the church is symbolized by a green tree, when the living Spirit of Prophecy is guiding her. When the prophet dies, the church is depicted as a stump – a dead tree – until another prophet is raised up; for example, the stem of Jesse." – The Healing Of the Nations, page 7


4.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE BRANCHES AND SPRIGS ON THE VINE IN THE PARABLE? Eze. 17:6.


NOTE -- "It (the Third Angel's Message) went with the underlying principles of God's Grace (root of the Gospel) also inspired word (branches) and uninspired interpretations (sprigs), which produced both converted and unconverted in the church.' - J.H. Jezreel Letter No. 1, page 5. (first parenthesis added).


5.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CHURCH DURING THE TIME OF THIS SPREADING VINE? Isa. 30:1-3; Eze. 19:1-3.


NOTE -- "The church has turned back from following Christ her Leader, and is steadily retreating toward Egypt. Yet few are alarmed or astonished at their want of spiritual power. Doubt and even disbelief of the testimonies of the Spirit of God, is leavening our churches everywhere. Satan would have it thus. Ministers who preach self instead of Christ would have it thus. The testimonies are unread and unappreciated." – Testimonies, Vol. 5, page 217.


"The ways and works that have been developed in Battle Creek since the General Conference of 1901, cause me to tremble for those who are there; for many have been acting as if blinded by satanic agencies." "I am instructed that those who follow on in a wrong course....are revealing the stubbornness of Pharaoh." "I am sorry, so sorry, that men will be willfully obstinate, as was Pharaoh the king of Egypt..." – Series B, No. 7, pages 52, 19, 20.


6.
WHAT ONLY COULD SAVE THE VINE FROM DYING? Zech. l0:1.


NOTE -- "...nothing but a message with 'healing in its wings' will heal the Laodicean mind of its spiritual sickness....To investigate and to study is one's only salvation....So he must study as never before!" – Answerer Book No. 1, pp. 72, 75.


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Lesson 5

THE SECOND GREAT EAGLE

Jan. 10, 1970


MEMORY GEM: Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary." – Ps. 68:9


STUDY AIM: To show what the coming of the second great eagle represents and what he does for the languishing vine.


INTRODUCTION: "Through the chosen nation, God had purposed to bring blessing to all mankind. 'The vineyard of the Lord of hosts,' the prophet declared, 'is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His pleasant plant.' To this people were committed the oracles of God....But ancient Israel did not fulfill God's purpose. The Lord declared: 'I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto Me?' 'Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself.'...Of special value to God's church on earth today...are the messages of counsel and admonition given through the prophets who have made plain His eternal purpose in behalf of mankind." – Prophets and Kings, pages 16-22.


"The Lord planted His church as a vine in a fruitful field....But this vine of God's planting has inclined to the earth and entwined its tendrils about human supports. Its branches are extended far and wide, but it bears the fruit of a degenerate vine." – Testimonies, Vol. 5, page 240.


*      *      *


1.
WHAT WAS EZEKIEL SHOWN COMING TO THE AID OF THE VINE? Eze. 17:7.


2.
HOW DID THIS EAGLE DIFFER FROM THE FIRST GREAT EAGLE? Eze. 17:7.


NOTE -- "Another great eagle" – not the eagle of verse 3, but the same as 'another angel' in Rev. 14:8 is not the same as the angel of Rev. 14:6. Further, inspiration says he had great wings – not 'long-winged.' This suggests a shorter time prophecy (430 Years of Ezekiel 4 )." – J.H. Jezreel Letter No. 1, page 5.


3.

TO WHAT IS THE COMING OF THIS EAGLE LIKENED, AND WHAT DOES HE REPRESENT? Eze. 17:7; Ps. 80:8; Ex. 4:1-4, 20; Eze. 20:9, 10, 33-37; Mic. 6:9; 7:14,15.


NOTE -- "...we call to mind that Moses at the age of 40 attempted to deliver Israel, but failing, he ran away. Adding these 40 years to 1850 A.D. (the year which gave birth to the First Testimony for the church, addressed to the 144,000, Israel of today), we arrive at 1890, the time the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination organized the National Religious Liberty Association, which likewise failed to fulfill its purpose...the church was in 1890 left to enter a forty-year


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Lesson 5, page 2


antitypical wilderness wandering, matching Moses' attempt and, failure to deliver ancient Israel; also his running away into the wilderness....Forty years after his first attempt to deliver the children of Israel, Moses was finally sent back into Egypt and was then enabled to break the Egyptian yoke. Adding these 40 years to 1890 AD, we are brought to 1930...the arrival of The Shepherd's Rod, demanding obedience to God's law, declaring the truth of the 144,000, and announcing that this is the time for their deliverance from Gentile rule. Hence, anyone can see that the 430 typical years (study the Tract in detail for the full explanation)...match the 430 antitypical years from the time Luther discontinued his study of law and began the study of the Bible, to the year in which The Shepherd's Rod proclaimed the sealing of the 144,000, the deliverance of modern Israel." – The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1 (pocket edition), pages, 68-71.


"Since these prophecies (of the 430 years of Ezekiel 4 and Genesis 15:13) have not been explained by Sr. White, the truth stands out that the 'great wings' (truth) on this great eagle is none other than the Shepherd's Rod Message. The second great eagle represents Bro. Houteff, the one who brought the message." – J.H. Jezreel Letter No. 1, p. 5.


4.

WHAT WORK DID THIS EAGLE ACCOMPLISH AND WITH WHAT RESULT? Eze. 17:7; Ps. 68:9; 72:6; 147:8; Isa. 55:10, 11; Hos. 6:3; Job l4:7-9.


NOTE -- "...the spiritual 'latter rain' must fall as freely and without cost to the recipients as does literal rain. Thus it is that never before has the world witnessed so much absolutely free literature scattered away as this (Shepherd's Rod) literature is. Millions! So it is that these small comprehensive publications, the bright clouds, laden with present Truth, are now being scattered as leaves of autumn throughout Laodicea to every church member, 'to every one grass' in the vineyard of the Lord....Come out and avail yourself of this much needed shower. It is sent to give you the development which you need, and to enable you to survive the great and dreadful day of the Lord, the Judgment for the Living." – Timely Greetings Vol. 1, No. 17 (Revised), pages 5, 7.


" 'The wings of one color' – (second eagle) shows a reformatory message – no new doctrine – He just watered showing the true 'magnitude and importance of the message of the first eagle. This is further illustrated by the fact that her 'roots' (foundation principles of the church) did bend toward him.' The branches (inspired truth handed down from the willow tree) shot forth toward him (second eagle) that he might water (nourish) it, 'by the furrows of her plantation' (where it was planted in S.D.A. church). The church (vine) had become dry and unproductive – badly in need of inspiration to renew her spiritual life. Since the branches shot forth toward the second eagle, it is easy to see that in the midst of the vine, a towering tree of inspiration grew up. It shows other branches of inspired interpretation were added to the tree which was designed to take the place of the willow tree." – J.H. Jezreel Letter No. 1, page 5, 13.


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Lesson 6

THE WITHERING OF THE ROD

Jan. 17, 1970


MEMORY GEM: "Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the wind of the Lord shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up..." – Hos. 13:15.


STUDY AIM: To show that God's church, without the Spirit of Prophecy, is as a tree devoid of life – withered – dry and unproductive.


INTRODUCTION: "When the truth we now cherish was first seen to be Bible truth, how very strange it appeared, and how strong was the opposition we had to meet in presenting it to the people for the first time; but how earnest and sincere were the obedient, truth-loving laborers! We were indeed a peculiar people....But while the light has continued to increase, the church has not advanced proportionately...Those who do not advance will retrograde, even on the very borders of the heavenly Canaan." – Testimonies, Vol. 5, page 534.


*      *      *


1.

WHAT GREW UP FROM THE VINE AS A RESULT OF THE WATERING BY THE SECOND EAGLE? Eze. 17:7, 8.


NOTE -- "Since the branches shot forth toward the second eagle, it is easy to see that in the midst of the vine a towering tree of inspiration grew up. It shows other branches of inspired interpretation were added to the tree which was designed to take the place of the willow tree." – J.H. Jezreel Letter No. 1, page 5.


2.
HOW IS THIS ILLUSTRATED IN ANOTHER PROPHECY? Isa. 11:1.


NOTE -- "The rod of His mouth and the sword of His mouth are synonymous terms meaning His Word (Truth). Therefore, the prophetic term, 'There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,' (Isa. 11:1) means a prophetic message. There is no way of getting around the fact that the rod is symbolical of a prophetic message. Prophetic messages produce prophetic movements. Jesse, the place from whence the rod sprang is likewise symbolic of a prophetic message and movement." – The Healing of the Nations, page 4.


"After Sr. White's death (in order to revive the church), the Lord sent another message right through the Sabbath School Quarterlies in 1929..." – Ibid., page 7. It was to "prepare the Church for the Kingdom and lead her out of Egypt. A Sabbath School teacher, Bro. V.T. Houteff, was given an understanding of the message and through the Lord's direction it developed into the Shepherd's Rod movement." – 11th Hour Extra – Riddle #1, page 4


3.

IN SPITE OF THE WATERING WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS TREE? Eze. 17:9;


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Lesson 6, page 2


Eze. 19:10-13; Amos 1:2; Jude 12.


NOTE -- Here is Bro. Houteff's own prophecy – "True we are establishing our headquarters on this mount that is found in prophecy, but our stay here shall be very, very short....It might be interesting to know that the naming of our 'camp' 'Mt. Carmel Center' came about in the same way as the naming of our publications 'The Shepherd's Rod,' for we did not know before hand that it was in prophecy until after our attention was called to Mic. 7:14 and Amos 1:2. In the prophecy of Amos we read: 'The Lord will roar from Zion; and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherd's shall mourn', and 'the top of Carmel shall wither'…Hence, before that time the top of Carmel must have been green with pasture otherwise there would be nothing to wither; that is, though Carmel has now plenty of pasture (present truth), when probation closes it shall be deserted ('wither')...As the Lord has never left His people in darkness, we find the work of the Shepherd's Rod clearly outlined in prophecy throughout the Bible, and the only reason that our leading brethren cannot see the truth in it and do not know 'who hath appointed it' is because they are trying to see it through dollars and cents instead of through the Spirit of Prophecy, the eyes for the church, through which only can they see the truth." – The Symbolic Code, Vol. 1, No. 14, (August, 1935), pages 5-7.


"When the Spirit of Prophecy ceased at the death of E.G. White, and the former and latter rain (Joel 2:23) ceased with the death of VT Houteff, the churches of S.D.A., and D.S.D.A. became dry 'as a vine planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground'." – The Man On The White Horse, page 53.


"The Shepherd's Rod movement was raised up in the midst of the Seventh-Day Adventist church to prepare her for the 'Loud Cry.' Contrary to its expectations, this 'high tree' – Davidians – did not finish the work for the church in the world – give the Loud Cry. It cannot, for it withered in the furrows of its plantation – where it grew in the S.D.A. church – J.H. Jezreel Letter No. 1, page 6.


4.
WHAT WAS IT THAT CAUSED THE ROD TO WITHER? Eze. 17:10, 19:12; Amos 4:7.


NOTE -- "Without water, a plant cannot continue to grow. So it was with the Davidian movement after the death of Brother V.T. Houteff. The Latter Rain (Joel 2:23) message of the Shepherd's Rod ceased, and without Inspiration the movement came to naught in a few years..." – The Man On The White Horse, page 54.


5.

WHAT DOES THE EAST WIND REPRESENT IN THE SCRIPTURES? Gen. 41:1-7, 25-28; Ex. 10:13, 14; 14:21; Job 27:21, 22; Jer. 18:11-17; Hos. 13:15.


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Lesson 7

THE KING OF BABYLON -- Part I

Jan. 24, 1970


MEMORY GEM: "... If thou wilt assuredly go forth unto the king of Babylon's princes, then thy soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and thou shalt live, and thine house." – Jer. 38:17 last part.


STUDY AIM: To show what happened to ancient Judah, a type of the church, as a result of her refusal to listen to the messages given her through the prophet of God.


INTRODUCTION: "God had pleaded with Judah not to provoke Him to anger, but they had hearkened not. Finally sentence was pronounced against them. They were to be led away captive to Babylon. The Chaldeans were to be used as the instrument by which God would chastise His disobedient people. The sufferings of the men of Judah were to be in proportion to the light they had had, and to the warnings they had despised and rejected. Long had God delayed His judgements; but now He would visit His displeasure upon them, as a last effort to check them in their evil course." – Prophets and Kings, page 425.


*      *      *


1.

AS ADVENTISTS, WHAT HAVE WE BEEN TAUGHT IS THE MEANING OF EZEKIEL'S PARABLE? Eze. 17:11-14.


NOTE -- "Under the parable of two eagles and a vine, is showed God's judgment upon Jerusalem for revolting from Babylon to Egypt." – S.D.A. Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, page 634.


2.

WHAT WAS TO BECOME OF JUDAH AS A RESULT OF THEIR REVOLT? Jer. 21:1-14; 25:8-11; 34:1-3; 2 Kings 25:1-30; 2 Chron. 36:11-20.


NOTE -- "In the ninth year of Zedekiah's reign, 'Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem,' to besiege the city. The outlook for Judah was hopeless. 'Behold, I am against thee,' the Lord Himself declared through Ezekiel. 'I the Lord have drawn forth My sword out of his sheath: it shall not return any more....Every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water.' 'I will pour out Mine indignation upon thee, I will blow against thee in the fire of My wrath, and deliver thee into the hand of brutish men, and skillful to destroy.…The remnant of Judah were to go into captivity, to learn through adversity the lessons they had refused to learn under circumstances more favorable. From this decree of the holy Watcher there could be no appeal." – Prophets and Kings, pages 452, 453.


3.

WHAT DID THE LORD COUNSEL THE MEN OF JUDAH TO DO? Jer. 27:12-22; 37:1-21; 38:2, 3,14-23.


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Lesson 7, page 2


NOTE -- "The Lord designates the oath and covenant to Nebuchadnezzar as His, doubtless because made in His name (2 Chron. 36:13). Furthermore, as the arbiter of history, the Lord planned that the Jews should at this time submit themselves to the yoke of Babylon (Jer. 27:12)." – S.D.A. Bible Commentary, Vol. 4, page 636 (parenthesis theirs).


"….the princes, enraged over the repeated counsels of Jeremiah, which were contrary to their set policy of resistance, made a vigorous protest before the king, urging that the prophet was an enemy to the nation....The cowardly king knew that the charges were false; but in order to propitiate those who occupied high and influential positions in the nation, he feigned to believe their falsehoods.… There was (however) still opportunity for the king to reveal a willingness to heed the warnings of Jehovah, and thus to temper with mercy the judgments even now falling on city and nation. 'If thou wilt assuredly go forth unto the king of Babylon's princes,' was the message given the king, 'then thy soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and thou shalt live, and thine house: but if thou wilt not go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand.' " – Prophets and Kings, pages 455-457.


4.
WHAT COUNSEL WAS GIVEN TO THOSE LEFT IN THE LAND AFTER NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S SIEGE? Jer. 42:1-22.


NOTE -- "Released from prison by the Babylonian officers, the prophet chose to cast in his lot with the feeble remnant, 'certain poor of the land' left by the Chaldeans to be 'vinedressers and husbandmen.' Over these the Babylonians set Gedaliah as governor. Only a few months passed before the newly appointed governor was treacherously slain. The poor people, after passing through many trials, were finally persuaded by their leaders to take refuge in the land of Egypt. Against this move, Jeremiah lifted his voice in protest, 'Go ye not into Egypt,' he pleaded." – Ibid., page 460.


5.

WHAT WAS THE PEOPLE'S RESPONSE TO THE ADVICE, AND THE RESULT? Jer. 43:1-13; 44:11-14.


NOTE -- "...the inspired counsel was not heeded, and 'all the remnant of Judah...even men, and women, and children,' took flight into Egypt. 'They obeyed not the voice of the Lord: thus came they even to Tahpanhes.'...While the Lord would not spare those who turned from His counsel to the seductive influences of Egyptian idolatry, yet He would show mercy to those who should prove loyal and true. A small number that escape the sword shall return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah, He declared; 'and all the remnant of Judah, that are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know whose words shall stand, Mine, or theirs'." – Ibid., pages 460, 461.


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Lesson 8

THE KING OF BABYLON -- Part II

Jan. 31, 1970


MEMORY GEM: "Satan's snares are laid for us as verily as they were laid for the children of Israel....We are repeating the history of that people." – 5T: 160.


STUDY AIM: To show who the King of Babylon really is and to see the antitypical fulfillment of his coming to Jerusalem in the light of present truth.


INTRODUCTION: "In the closing years of Judah's apostasy, the exhortations of the prophets were seemingly of but little avail; and as the armies of the Chaldeans came for the third and last time to besiege Jerusalem, hope fled, from every heart. Jeremiah predicted utter ruin; and it was because of his insistence on surrender that he had finally been thrown into prison. But God left not to hopeless despair the faithful remnant who were still in the city. Even while Jeremiah was kept under close surveillance by those who scorned his messages, there came to him fresh revelations concerning Heaven's willingness to forgive and to save, which have been an unfailing source of comfort to the church of God from that day to this." – Prophets and Kings, page 466.


*      *      *


1.

HOW HAS THE LORD GRAPHICALLY DEMONSTRATED THE TRUE IDENTITY OF THE KING OF BABYLON? Gen. 11:4-9; Dan. 4:1-37.


NOTE -- "We need to know, if we do not already, that the Lord is King over all the earth. The people of Shinar learned to their dismay that He was the King of Kings. He was certainly the King of the tower builders and ruled to change their plans. When Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar, 'Thou art this head of gold'...he was in reality saying that God was this head of gold and he, the King, was only the Lord's servant. We can see the connection with heaven and earth in Dan. 4:22....To know that the God of heaven was also the God of earth and a King of heaven and earth a King of Kings, even the King of Babylon - was a hard lesson for Nebuchadnezzar to learn." – 11th Hour Extra – Riddle #1, page 3.


"The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. All kings, all nations, are His, under His rule and government. His resources are infinite. Those upon whose actions hang the destinies of nations, are watched over with a vigilance that knows no relaxation by Him who 'giveth salvation unto kings' to whom belong 'the shields of the earth"." – Review and Herald, March 28, 1907.


2.

HOW MANY TIMES DID NEBUCHADNEZZAR COME AGAINST JERUSALEM IN THE TYPE? 2 Kings 24:1-7, 8-16, 17-20; 25:1, 2.


3.

HOW DO THESE COMINGS OF THE KING OF BABYLON APPLY TODAY?


-18-


Lesson 8, page 2


NOTE -- "When Elders A.T. Jones and E.J. Waggoner brought the message to General Conference in 1888 at Minneapolis, the brethren would not accept the message, although Sr. White (type of Jeremiah) said it was of the Lord....By rejecting the Lord's message they figuratively put His servant in prison....But, Jeremiah prophesied that the Chaldean King would return. Sr. White prophesied the return of the 1888 message....About 40 years later in 1929, the Lord did send the message through the Sabbath School quarterlies….Sr. White's predictions met a partial fulfillment as did Jeremiah's at first, for on the second return of the Chaldean King only a part of the Jews were taken....Likewise, on the second return of the message of righteousness by faith only a part of Judah was taken captive and led away into the figurative land of the Chaldeans - Mt. Carmel Center....It was not until the third siege that Jerusalem finally and completely fell....So, likewise it is the third decree of the Great King of Babylon – the King of Kings, the Lord of hosts – that will in the end, set His people free from Babylon and Egypt today....The first besieging...by the Lord sending the angel (message) of Rev. 18:1 to release His people was in 1888...and the second was in 1929....The third decree was in 1955 by the BRANCH, the Lord Himself taking the reins (TM:300) in His own hands through the message to join the two sticks and place them on Mt. Zion." – 11th Hour Extra – Riddle #1, pages 4, 6


4.
UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES DID THIS FINAL SIEGE START? Eze. 17:11-21; 24:1-3.


NOTE -- "These Scriptures… are a parable, so it is not the real coming of the King of Babylon...but rather a likeness to that event. It must mean that the one to whom the Lord gave the message which effects the reform, was to go to Jerusalem ('This Jerusalem, of course, is not really the geographical Jerusalem, but a city that stands for what Jerusalem itself stood' - 2 T.G.r. 39:10) on a certain day. Since Ezekiel was in captivity when he got the vision from the Lord, then it must mean the ninth year of his captivity....The tenth day of the tenth month in our time would be October 10 - nine years after the one who was to deliver the message had been taken captive by the former message of the King of Kings. Davidian Seventh-day Adventists, because of their advanced light…were recognized at this time by the Lord as Judah. Therefore, on October 10, 1955, the third and last siege started." – Ibid., page 7.


"Sad to say, though, the leadership at Mt. Carmel is disregarding the counsel and warning from the Lord. Like Zedekiah, they send their ambassadors (hunters) into Egypt (S.D.A.) to get horses and much people. Nevertheless, the organization will come to its end. Pharaoh (S.D.A.) with all his mighty army is unable to keep it from dying. Even if they should get the whole Denomination, still the Lord says He will rend the leadership from Mt. Carmel." – J.H. Jezreel Letter No. 1 (1956), page 6. Florence Houteff and her Council failed thereby fulfilling the Branch interpretation of this prophecy.


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Lesson 9

PLANTED IN THE MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL

Feb. 7, 1970


MEMORY GEM: "The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God." – Isa. 10:21.


STUDY AIM: To show that the Lord Himself in taking over the final work, has assured its success by the establishment of His Kingdom.


INTRODUCTION: "Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning ... when the work goes forward under the direction of the angel who joins the third angel in the message to be given to the world. 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." – Testimonies to Ministers, page 300.


*      *      *


1.

WITH THE DRYING UP OF THE ROD (LATTER RAIN) WHAT WORK WAS IMMINENT? Jer. 5:23, 24; 51:33; Joel 2:21-27; Rev. 14:14, 16.


NOTE -- "The fact that the plant withered shows outright, that the rain had stopped and the field was ready to be turned over to the Lord, the harvester." – J.H. Jezreel Letter No. 1, page 6.


2.

WHEN THE HARVEST BEGAN WHAT DID THE LORD DO TO SAVE THE LIFE OF THE TREE? Eze. 17:22, 23.


NOTE -- "In verse 3 the first great eagle came to start the Harvest – Judgment of the Dead. Verse 7 tells how the second great eagle came to water the field (church) but in verse 22 the Lord did not send an eagle to harvest the 144,000 – first fruits of the Living, Rev. 14:4; but is doing the harvesting HIMSELF! (Eze. 9:3; Rev. 14:4). When the bud of a plant is cropped off, the plant becomes unproductive and will never again bear fruit. A tender one (truth) 'cropped off' of the twigs (of Shepherd's Rod Message) is the budding truth of how the Kingdom is to come into existence." – Ibid., page 7.


"The highest (greatest) branch (truth) of the high tree (Shepherd's Rod Message) is the purification of the church and setting up of the Kingdom. The young twigs (truths connected with the 144,000) are cropped from the high tree. A tender one (the bud of the tree) is cropped off of the young twig, then set or grafted back into the base of the tree, causing it to flourish. The tree (church) is never again to be without 'water' – The living voice in her midst – 'The Spirit of Prophecy. We know this because the Lord says He is going to put His Spirit


-20-


Lesson 9, page 2


back into the church and it will become a goodly tree in the height of the mountains of Israel. Under this tree all fowl of every wing shall dwell. Truly this is the picture of the Kingdom Church – the time when the Gentiles come bending unto her." – Ibid., pages 6, 7.


3.
HOW WAS THIS PLANTING DEPICTED IN TYPE? Eze. 17:22, 23.


NOTE -- "During the long years of their exile He had given them many opportunities to return to their allegiance to Him. Some had chosen to listen and to learn; some had found salvation in the midst of affliction. Many of these were to be numbered among the remnant that should return. They were likened by Inspiration to 'the highest branch of the high cedar,' which was to be planted 'upon an high mountain and eminent: in the mountain of the height of Israel.' " – Prophets and Kings, page 599.


4.

TODAY HOW HAS THIS PROPHECY BEGUN TO BE FULFILLED? Isa. 10:20-26; 11:1-16; Jer. 23:1-8; 32:36-44; Eze. 20:33-44; 36:22-38.


NOTE -- "The Branch has gone ahead to Israel to prepare the way for the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy that 'out of Zion...the law…the word…from Jerusalem.' Ezekiel foretold this going to Israel, and 'The Ministry' (Sept. 1960)…published the fulfillment of it...'For the first time in the history of Zionist colonization, an organized Christian group has been granted official status in Israel as recognized immigrants and land settlers, with all the rights of material and moral aid involved. A year and a half ago, five families of Seventh-day Adventists from the United States and Canada immigrated to Israel to till the land and build new homes. They joined the cooperative village of Amirim in Galilee, where they were welcomed by Jewish peasants. The newcomers have now been recognized by the Settlement Department of the Jewish Agency....' The Branch has arranged for you to be on hand when the law goes forth from Zion!" – The Star and the Trumpet, pages 3, 4.


"There will be political asylum for Sabbath-keepers in...(Israel) during the great time of trouble. The Branch has opened up the way for you. The twig is planted on the mountains of Israel...and there are houses waiting for your occupancy...Act fast, the Sunday laws are declared constitutional." – Dear Kingdom Bound Saints, page 4


5.
HOW HAS THE LORD SUMMARIZED THIS PARABLE? Eze. 17:24.


NOTE -- "And all the trees of the field...shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree (the tree that came up as a result of the labors of the 2nd eagle), have exalted the low tree (low willow tree… – 3rd angel's message), have dried up the green tree (Amos 1:2; 4:7 – Davidian movement to the church only), and have made the dry tree to flourish (loud cry of the 3rd angel's message by the 144,000 guileless servants)." – The Family Tree – Isa. 11:1, p. 5.


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MAIL BAG


Dear Brother and Sister Roden:


We want to let you know how grateful and thankful we are for the many good lessons contained in the Sabbath School Lessons, including the Flying Roll which we received some time ago. How fortunate we were to hear about the things contained in the booklet and to know what the seal of God and the mark of the beast really is. We could never fully understand the meaning of the confederacy being a snare and a trap and many will fall and be taken in it. The Lord has never left His people in darkness. We can see that the prophecies are outlined throughout the Bible, and brought to light at the right time. It is a wonderful message and we feel so unworthy but we shall keep on praying for you all. God bless you all. Yours to follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth and finally stand on Mt. Zion.


North Carolina


*      *      *


Dear Brother:


Very many thanks to you for I have today received your leaflet sent to me. I have really enjoyed its message. I wish you would continue to send similar leaflets to me. Christ is indeed coming soon so we have to be watchful, because all the signs have been fulfilled. I would appreciate it very much to hear from you personally as letters of such kind are always encouraging. I hope to hear from you again. Greetings to you, your brother in Christ.


Ghana, West Africa


*      *      *


Dear Brother Roden:


Thank you so very much for being so attentive to my various and sundry inquiries regarding the materials you have sent me with special emphasis on your letter of July 30 and the two copies of the Branch Sabbath School Lessons....Do keep up our correspondence as I want to learn more about the Branch message - I hope I shall be able to visit the brethren in Waco someday and speak of those things which mean so much to all of us, if you have time, I would like to know something about the Community life at the New Mt. Carmel Center, and the requirements for entering there - pray for me that I will follow the Lord where He wants me to go. Yours in the blood of the Atonement.


Tennessee


-22-


Dear Sirs:


I have just finished reading your Tract #8, 1953 Reprint, which helped me so much in my intensive study of Mt. Zion and the 144,000. So, I would appreciate your sending me the detailed report of the 144,000, Tract #1 – "Pre-Eleventh Hour Extra." Also please send me a complete study of Hosea 1 and 2 – Tract #4 and any others that you can send me. I was born in 1888....Thank you.


Oregon


*      *      *


Dear Brother:


For many days I was unaware about your welfare. On December 55th, I received a copy of Sabbath School Lessons from the Universal Publishing Association,…Mount Carmel Center. I am very much pleased with the copy of Sabbath School Lessons...I request that you pray for my poor Hindu family and relatives....Our Davidian brethren are very much interested to study your literature, so please send me each of whatever literature you have so that I can distribute to all whom I meet in different people in my visit in different places….The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ with His Spirit be with you and bless you all. Amen. A brother who is waiting for His coming.


India


*      *      *


Dear Brother:


Forgive my simple ways in writing, I only pray you can understand me. But I just want to say that I love God, and this is what I find in the message from the Branch. I know it can only be inspiration that prepares Scriptures and messages that unite from Ellen G. White up to V.T. Houteff, and right up to you. If you possibly can please send me all the message you have there is so much treasures in which I must study out. Yes, the Lord has truly blessed me, glory be to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Sincerely,


Massachusetts


*      *      *


Dear Brother Roden:


…The more I learn of Christ the Branch, the less worthy I feel to speak His


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name, yet at the same time I know there is salvation in no other....You know, back in 1959 I had a letter from one ____, a Davidian, who wrote he had just been to _____ and had "disfellowshipped a number of people and more would be getting the same later." At this time both he, and the people at Mt. Carmel ceased to correspond with me, leaving me thinking they had scrubbed me too. I had no contact with any practicing believers until the Branch came to me almost 10 years later. That first study I received on the "Three Harvest Feasts" was so very unexpected. At first glance I thought it was Davidian because of the address. I noted "Branch", and the different insignia, but as Br. Houteff had taught the Branch would come I wasn't really surprised. That is, not until I opened it and started to read. Just about every feeling a man can have must have flushed through me as I read. Before going very far I realized this was too big for me to handle alone, so I prayed for guidance in choosing truth and refuting error, then settled down to check out every word with the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. At the end of the study I knew beyond any and every shadow of doubt, this was inspired truth, the restoration of all things was here. Of course I immediately wrote the Branch asking for more literature, which you so kindly sent along....It's quite a shock to find that DSDA headquarters had rejected the Branch even before I came to the knowledge of the "Rod" message. How easily I could have taken the wrong stand. This, I believe, is the reason for those 10 years of nothing. The Lord taught me the "Rod" message, then cut me off from DSDA until they had destroyed themselves. Then, when he had taught me to be humble and to love His ways above all else. He brought to me the Branch message to prepare me for the Kingdom....I pray for you all at the head of the work often, may God be with you in Spirit and in Truth. Yours to see the Branch established.


Australia


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Dear Sir:


Please send me a sample of all tracts, booklets, magazines, etc. which you publish, or other information about your organization.


California


*      *      *


Dear Elder Ben L. Roden:


Greetings in the lovely name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whose we are and whom we serve. By His grace I am being grown in the truth. I have long delayed to write this letter as I have been sick and very busy with all my pro-


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grams. First of all I should request The Branch Sabbath School Lessons from Vol. 4, No. 6. I have received up to No. 5....We have been studying these lessons and translating in our Tamil languages for the use of thousands in our state. Moreover, I have been moved by the Spirit of the Lord to follow the counsels given through the Branch literature. I am very much thankful to Mrs. Ben Roden, who sent me two pamphlets along with a message letter....I have completed the translations of these two pamphlets "God's Holy Feasts" and "God's Covenant" for printing. But first of all somehow I felt that the pamphlet sent along with the Branch S.S. lesson...entitled "As Birds Flying" must go out from the printing press printed in the translated pages as a forerunner of these other pamphlets. Yes, the final warning should go from Jerusalem to all the corners of the world. I feel that I must be prepared to do my best to the Lord when the call is give to me also. Please pray for me also. I know that I am not allowed to do this because I am a minister in our SDA Church. But dear Brother what can I do than to obey my Lord. So I have determined to follow Him – because He is my Lord and the aim and purpose of my conversion is to do so, whatever the cost. Even though I have no money and help from here, I have this life and I must do my part for my God for which I have been called and chosen....With love and prayers, very sincerely yours.


India


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Dear Brothers:


Thank you for sending me the two articles "Why Perish" and "The Flying Roll." I have read them through several times and find that I am beginning to understand them better, somethings are sharp and clear others I don't get, let me explain. I sympathize with the person from Iowa whose letter was in the Sept. S.S. lesson. I must be something like that. I enjoyed the blue sheet on the Arab-Israel war but I was much more stirred by the chart on the April S.S. lesson where it says Great change through the Branch building of the Spiritual temple. And on page 3 of Vol. 3, No. 5 – "Keeping the commandments and statutes of the Lord then is the shield and light of your life. This system of worship you see is truly the righteousness by faith that brings the righteousness of Christ in the people of God." As I reread the Flying Roll last night and began to understand a little more the great effort that Satan is making to prevent this great Present Truth from being proclaimed I was frightened and thought of Jesus' question in Luke 18:8. When the Son of man cometh will He find faith on the earth? There is a great work to be done at this time and we are so few it will have to be done through the power of God, and if we have faith and trust and hope God can do it with us. God has used one man before many times, and can do it today. How small was the chance that I could find the Branch just when I was ready to accept present truth?...Sincerely


New Hampshire


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ANNOUNCEMENTS


The festival of Purim is almost upon us once again. Here at New Mt. Carmel young and old alike are eagerly making costumes and scenery to be used by the children of the Branch Elementary and Junior High School in their annual portrayal of the story of Esther and the deliverance of the Jews. Last year the enactment of this dramatic chapter in the history of God's chosen people was vividly brought to our attention by the school children and was so well received by our visiting guests that repeat performances were staged. The occasion was highlighted when the children were asked to appear for an interview in costume on Television. We are hoping that this year's tableau will be even more successful than the last. We invite as many as can come to be at New Mt. Carmel for the festivities or at least to observe it where ever you are remembering God's mercy of old and His promises for the future. Read P.K. 598-606. Purim this year falls on March 22 & 23. May the Lord richly bless all who celebrate this feast in sincerity and truth.


*      *      *


A senior Second Tither from Nebraska has moved to Mt. Carmel to enjoy fellowship in the community and another family is preparing to join us right away.


*      *      *


Those receiving bundles of Sabbath School Lessons for distribution or group study and who still wish to receive extra copies should notify the office as soon as possible. Beginning with Volume 5, in April, only those who order anew will receive more than an individual copy of the lessons. The ever-increasing demand for lessons from interested ones the world over make this necessary. That no one be disappointed through shortage of lessons, we will appreciate your cooperation in this matter, and will be able to plan ahead the number of copies needed.


*      *      *


The growing demand for higher quality and increased quantity in our Printing and Mailing Departments necessitates the installation of an Offset printing machine and other office equipment to meet the expanding volume of work. A step of faith has been taken in this direction and several types of machines needed in these departments have been ordered. Those who have the burden of the work at heart and who are moved by the Spirit to assist in bearing the cost of this equipment are invited to share the financial responsibility and the attendant blessings.


*      *      *


Several representatives of the various factions of Davidian Second Tithers have been meeting with us in an effort to unite the different groups and appoint a board to relieve the Court of the responsibility and management of New Mt. Carmel property. All feel the need of settling this matter once and for all. Suggestions and assistance from all Second Tithers are welcome.


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Into New
Territory
in Africa


"In heathen Africa,...and in all the dark corners of the earth, God has in reserve a firmament of chosen ones that will yet shine forth amidst the darkness, revealing clearly to an apostate world the transforming power of obedience to His law. Even now they are appearing in every nation, among every tongue and people; and in the hour of deepest apostasy, when Satan's supreme effort is made...these faithful ones...will 'shine as lights in the world'." – Prophets and Kings, page 189.


These words of Sister White take on new meaning as we see the results of increased literature work in foreign fields during the past year. A great harvest of souls has been brought to a knowledge of the Branch message. In recent weeks, letters from Africa and interested ones the world over have flooded the office. From Ghana, Uganda, Malawi, Liberia, Nigeria and Zambia many are taking their stand for the message of the 'Loud Cry' Angel as He joins with the third angel in the final work.


Cause in Nigeria Advances in Spite of War and Unrest


After nearly two years of hearing nothing from the believers in Nigeria (because of the war), we have, at long last, had several letters from their leader. He states that, after their having been scattered for some time, and having lost all their belongings, a number of them have succeeded in getting together again and are working on reorganization. Although nearly every family has lost one or more members, some sixty persons have survived the hardships

 

The Message
on the March

Branch
Work Being Established


africa

caused by the internal struggle going on in that country. These faithful souls are eager to re-establish contact with the Truth.


Good Results From Literature Evan- gelism in Zambia


Several letters have been received of late as a result of the literature ministry in Zambia. The most recent development being a request from a church of over seventy members for literature and Branch Sabbath School Lessons.


"Let us rejoice that a work which God can approve has been done in these fields. In the name of the Lord, let us lift up our voices in praise and thanksgiving for the results of work abroad." – Testimonies, Vol. 6, page 28.


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