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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

BRANCH

SABBATH  SCHOOL  LESSONS

MONTHLY

Vol. 2No. 1



Branch Ensign



"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,

and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. Isa. 11:1"





LESSON NO. 1


Subject:EZEKIEL 9 in the light of the 430 year PROPHECY.

1.First:Bro. Houteff tells us we will know the exact date of the Judgment of the Living. Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, page 220:3.

"Is there any way whereby we can determine the time of the opening of the seal, and the commencement of the judgment for the living? If God so faithfully revealed to the living the commencement of the judgment for the dead, it can not be possible that He would keep secret the time of the judgment for the living. If He did, we would have no present truth in the time of the last seal; neither could there be justice in such secrecy, nor could such judgment be legal. Therefore, a revelation of the judgment for the living is of as great importance as the revelation or the gospel itself. For the judgment (blotting out the sins) is the crowning act in the gospel of Christ. Thus we conclude that when the seal is opened, and the judgment for the living begins, we must know it. The day of atonement in its type proves the same, for the Israelites were well informed of the event, their duty, and the consequence." 2 S.R. page 220. Also read 2U T.G. 11:13:1.


2.Second:It did not start in 1929 – Tract 3:43:3.

"As the cleansings called for in the parables and in Malachi's prophecy have never taken place, the investigative judgment of the living is obviously, then, yet future."


3.Then:The clue as to when the judgment of the living starts is given in 1 S.R. page 116 – at the end of the 430 year prophecy of Eze. 4.

4.Note:Chart on page 133 of 1 S.R. says the date of 1500 is not exact. Read 1 S.R. page 116:2-3.

"We may suppose the 390 year period began in about 1500 A.D., (when Luther found the Bible), and ended in 1890 A.D. where the 40 year period began, which would end in 1930. However, we cannot point out the exact day or month, or even the year,... The prophecy by Ezekiel gives the information in detail from the beginning of Luther's reformation to Ezekiel 9, marking of the 144,000, and unrolling of the scroll, (not all in regard to this matter is yet understood, nor will it be understood until the unrolling of the scroll.' Volume 6, page 17)."


"It makes it clear that there is a 430 year period from the reformation by Luther to the purification of the church."


5.So we reason:

1.   Luther was only a boy of 17 in 1500.

2.   He had just begun to study for the priesthood in the Catholic Church.

3.   This date marked the reformation in his personal life.

4.   The reformation against the Catholic Church did not begin then – 1500.


6.Therefore:We find the first civil act in Luther's life (legal record) which indicated a reformation against the Catholic Church was his marriage to an escaped nun, Katherine Von Bora, in 1525 (as recorded in "Guiding Lights" by F.E. Cook page 170) at the mature age of 42.

This was contrary to the authority and principles of the Catholic Church which forbade either the priests or the nuns to marry.


7.Adding:430 and 1525 equals 1955 – the end of the 430 year prophecy – and beginning of Ezekiel 9 – Investigative–judgment of the living.

8.Conclusion:
1955 is the beginning of The Judgment of the Living (investigative) to the house of God – The Sanctuary – Davidians who have the greatest light.

"The experience at Sinai is a symbol of the re-organization of the church, – God Himself takes charge of the flock." 1 S.R. page 100:1.


Page 2


9.Now:What is the Investigation like? (Ezekiel 9.)

10.Consider:Brother Houteff's comment on Rev. 11:13 – Timely Greetings, Unrevised, 2-15:12:1.



He classes


    1. Rev. 11:13

    2. Isa. 66:16              All equal to Ezekiel 9.

    3. E.W. p. 270


11.Quote:"A tenth part of the city must represent the Lord's part, the tithe, so to speak. The earthquake therefore represents a shaking in the church of God. The remnant who give glory to God, can only be the faithful who survive the shaking. Thus is the Church purified. This earthquake, then, is symbolical of the slaughter of Ezekiel Nine and coincides with Isaiah 66:16."

"….the Truth stands out that the shaking takes place before the Gospel work is finished." 2 TG 15:12 – Before probation closes for the church!


12.Early Writings p. 270:

".... Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God's people."


13.FOR JUDGMENT MUST FIRST BEGIN AT THE HOUSE OF GOD. 1 Peter 4:17.

14.Bro. Houteff places:

1.   Matt. 25

2.   Eze. 1                    All at Ezekiel 9, see Tract 3:43:3 and 47:3

3.   Mal. 3:1-3


15.Quote:3:43:3.

"As the cleansings called for in the parables and in Malachi's prophecy have never taken place, the investigative judgment of the living is obviously, then, yet future. This investigative work is therefore occasioned by the work of separation in the earthly sanctuary (church), as brought to view also in Ezekiel 9."


16.Quote:3:47:3.

"Inescapably, therefore, the Lord's coming to His temple (Mal. 3:1-3), His coming with all His angels (Matt. 25), and His coming enthroned above the living creatures (Eze. 1), – all three representing the same event, as has been shown, – take place at the beginning of the judgment of the living: the time in which the judicial activities of the heavenly sanctuary extend to the earthly sanctuary – the church." D.S.D.A. then S.D.A.


17.All of which:

BRINGS US FACE TO FACE WITH THE FACT THAT OUR NAMES ARE COMING UP IN THE JUDGMENT OF THE LIVING WHICH STARTED OCTOBER 20, 1955.


"And he who does not reform at the moment he is convinced of the Truth, will not reform later." Ans. Book 2:34:1.


THE BRANCH     


Page 3


POEM


VICTORY!    VICTORY!


When you lovingly and patiently bear with any disorder, irregularity, and unpunctuality, or any annoyance,

That is Victory,

When you are content with any food, any raiment, any society, any solitude and interruption, by the will of God,

That is Victory,

When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good work, when you never long for commendation, when you can truly love to be unknown,

That is Victory,

When you can stand face to face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility and endure it as Jesus endured,

That is Victory,

When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your tastes offended, your advice disregarded, your opinion ridiculed and you take it all patiently and in silence,

That is Victory,

When you are forgotten or neglected, or purposely set at naught and you smile inwardly, glorifying the insult or the oversight, because thereby counted worthy to suffer for Christ,

That is Victory.


ANNOUNCEMENTS


God's people the world over are rejoicing that the "times and laws" the man of sin thought to change are being restored by Inspiration as manifested today through The Branch message and messenger. (Times - Sabbath and Passover; Laws - Moral and Ceremonial.)


Therefore, we are happy to, announce another forward step in the return to God's time. Beginning with these lessons, a monthly lesson study will be published. The first month of the Bible religious year begins with the New Moon Sabbath April 10, 1967, at sundown, until April 11, at sundown. Volume 2, No. 1 of the Sabbath School Lesson Monthly will begin the first Sabbath of the new year, April 15. (Abib 5)


Television has been opened up to the spreading of The Branch message. Recently, Bro. and Sr. Ben L. Roden were featured special guests on a Texas television station. At a later time, our Australian youth were special guests. "Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God." Deut. 32:3.


A new wing is planned for the beautiful reception room of the Branch Sanitarium. The Lord has met our need for a printer, and the young people are taking hold of the work. The volume of correspondence requires additional secretaries. Mail your application to New Mt. Carmel Center if you are qualified.


Purim was celebrated at New Mt. Carmel Center, with young and old in costumes depicting Bible characters of Esther 9. A joyous feast was held for residents and visitors. This year Purim was March 26.


Passover Week will be from Sundown April 24, to Sundown May 1, 1967.



Lesson 1

PART I --- EZEKIEL NINE
In The Light of the 430 Year Prophecy

4-15-67
(Abib 5)


MEMORY VERSE: "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." Amos 3:7.


INTRODUCTION: "Affirmatively stated, all Scripture, not merely a part of It, is inspired. Negatively stated, none of It is privately interpreted, for the reason, that It did not come of men but of God; that is, as the Spirit of God dictated to men, the Scriptures, so the Spirit of God must interpret the Scriptures to men, that no man privately (without Inspiration) is capable of disclosing the sealed prophecies or interpreting any part of them or even capable of understanding their importance after they are interpreted except it be by the gift of the Spirit of Truth." 1 Rev. T.G. 14:16:5.


STUDY HELP: Branch Lesson No 1 (attached)


STUDY AIM: To show through The Branch's Inspired interpretation of the prophecy of Ezek. 4 that the Investigative Judgment for the Living began at the house of God in 1955, and that the Shepherd's Rod message teaches that the exact date would be known.


Questions based on Section 1:


1. Did God faithfully reveal the commencement of the Judgment for the Dead?


2. When? Through what inspired interpreter or prophet?


3. What cannot be possible for God to do regarding the living? Why?


4. Would a 'secret judgment' be just and legal? See Memory Verse.


5. What is of as great importance as the gospel Itself?


6. What is the crowning act in the gospel of Christ?


NOTE--- "Though it is the crowning work of our salvation and of the setting up of the kingdom of Christ upon earth, yet the 'investigative judgment' is one of the least understood and most mystified and confused Bible subjects of the age. Were it not essential to our salvation, the Enemy would not have expended every possible effort to envelope it in darkness. Imperative, then.…to beseech God for the guidance of His Spirit (of prophecy--living prophet) in order rightly to understand this all-important subject." Tract No. 3, page 3:1. (Paren. Supplied)


7. What must we know is opened? Has begun?


8. What does the typical Atonement prove to us?


NOTE--"….after the judgment of the dead which the Church has been preaching for a number of years is over, if the Church does not then receive a new message, the message of the judgment of the living, she will have no message, no oil for the time of the judgment of the living." 2 Unrev. T.G. 11:13:1.


Questions based on Section 2 and 3:


9. Did the Judgment for the Living start in 1929 with the coming of the Shepherd's Rod?


10. In Tract No. 3, dated 1934, did Bro. Houteff say the investigative judgment for the living had started or was yet future?


(Continued 4-22-67)



Lesson 2

PART II --- EZEKIEL NINE
In The Light of the 430 Year Prophecy

4-22-67
(Abib 12)


MEMORY VERSE: "But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort." 1 Cor. 14:3.


Questions based on Section IV, Branch Lesson No 1:


1. At the end of what prophetic period does the investigative judgment of the living commence? Read Eze. 4:3-4.


NOTE--- "The prophecy of the fourth chapter of Ezekiel finds its fulfillment in our day." 1 S.R. 114:1.


2. Is the 1930 date an exact date?


3. Whose reformation does the 430 year prophecy begin with?


4. With what event does the 430 year prophecy close?


5. When the purification or investigative judgment for the living begins, what will unroll? What does the 'unrolling of the scroll' indicate?


6. Through whom does the scroll unroll and announce the date of the judgment of the living?


ANS.--- "All may for a surety know both 'the day' and the Elijah as he proclaims it, because to our surprise he will point out that all the prophets describe the day and also tell what the Lord would have us do while it is approaching and subsequently while we are going through it, and BECAUSE NO ONE BUT ELIJAH CAN PROCLAIM THE DAY (Oct. 20, 1955)." General Conference Special, p. 13:1, 1950 Edition


Questions based on Sections 5 through 8:


7. Why did not Luther's reformation against the Catholic Church start in 1500?


8. What and when was Luther's first civil act?


NOTE--- "Dr. Martin shook the foundation of Rome's claims upon his life by two radical steps.…writing the….theses and taking a wife. His mental break with Romanism came when he placed the theses on the Castle Church door, but it was not until he married that his physical severance became complete. (1525) Martin Luther--God's Man of Destiny, by Miller, page 106.


"This (marriage on June 13, 1525) was the real beginning of the Protestant parsonage..." Martin Luther by Dallman, page 253. (Paren. Sup.)


9. Using 1525 as the beginning of the Protestant reformation, adding the 430 years of Ezekiel 4, when did the Judgment of the Living begin?


10. In 1955, who had the greatest light--Davidians or Seventh-day Adventists?


11. Therefore, according to 1 Peter 4:17, who was judged first?


12. Into whose hands was judgment given in 1955? Zech. 3:6-9.


NOTE--- "Who is to bring this revival and reformation, this great change?--The BRANCH…What can all this mean? -- just this: Joshua is Heaven's appointed judge, ruler. He himself is crowned as such.…Here is seen an organization having a Leader and an under leader--the Lord and Joshua. Thus...whatever...bound on earth...bound in Heaven…" 1 Rev. T.G. 8:24, 26.



Lesson 3

PART III --- EZEKIEL NINE
In The Light of the 430 Year Prophecy

4-29-67
(Abib 19)


MEMORY VERSE: "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" 1 Peter 4:17.


STUDY HELP: Branch Lesson No. 1


STUDY AIM: To show the true meaning of 'Ezekiel Nine' -- that which comes at the end of the 430 years: 1525 + 430 or 1955.


INTRODUCTION: "That part of the Investigative Judgment of the living by which is determined who are to have their sins blotted out and as a result, be given eternal life, is paralleled on earth by the work of the angel with the 'writer's inkhorn,' who is charged to 'mark'..." Answer Book No. 2, p. 41:2.


1. What is the investigation like? Read Eze. 9.


Questions based on Sections 10 through 13:


2. Read Rev. 11:13; Isa. 66:16; E.W. 270. What do all these equal?


3. What does a 'tenth part' of the city represent?


4. What does the 'earthquake' represent? Where?


5. Who survives the shaking? "What do they do?


6. What purifies the church?


7. What is the earthquake symbolical of?


NOTE--- "For by fire (Holy Spirit) and by his sword (third sealing message, The Branch) will the Lord plead (investigative judgment) with all flesh; and the slain (read Eze. 9:5-8) of the Lord shall be many." Isa. 66:16. (Paren. Supplied.)


8. When does the shaking take place?


9. What causes the shaking? Where?


Questions based on Sections 14 through 17:


10. Read Matt. 25; Eze. 1; Mal. 3:1-3. When do these all come?


11. Have these cleansings ever taken place prior to 1955?


12. In Bro. Houteff's time, when was the judgment of the living? See G.C. 490; 1 Rev. T.G. 5:10:0.


13. What scripture brings this judgment work to view?


14. Describe three events that take place at the beginning of the judgment for the living.


15. In the time of the judgment of the living, what extends to the earth?


NOTE--- "A harvest means the 'result of effort,' of toil...So rather than the year's toil being finished at the beginning of the harvest, the heaviest labor of the year just then begins. And though the harvest time is the shortest of all the periods of the harvest year...it takes time. The yield is not garnered by turning the field right into the barn; no, that would be a conglomerate mass instead of a harvest. First the sickle is put to the grain, and next the grain is bound into sheaves, then threshed, after which it is put into the barn (kingdom); AND THEREAFTER THE CHAFF AND THE. TARES ARE DESTROYED (Eze. 9:5-8)." Tract 3:65:0 (Par. Sup.)


16. When did the judgment of the living start? When should one reform?



Lesson 4

PART IV --- THE NEW NAME
In The Light of the 430 Year Prophecy

5-6-67
(Abib 26)


MEMORY VERSE: "And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name." Isa. 62:2.


STUDY AIM: To show that the 'new name' is to be revealed at the end of the 430 years–the time the judgment of the living begins.


INTRODUCTION: "Israel is spelled with six letters. Had this name been more or less it would spoil the picture. Why? Because the six letters indicate the sixth section. Israel the true (the 144,000) are sealed at the close of the fifth section. Had the name been of seven letters, it would denote 'close of probation', instead of 'beginning of harvest'. Israel in the time of harvest will receive a new name by the mouth of the Lord." 1 S.R. 233:3.


1. What does the new name indicate? Isa. 65:15, first part.


NOTE--- "Indicative of the new experience they have passed through, which is the separation, or sifting..." 1 S.R. 155:1.


2. When did the Church receive the new name? Matt. 25:1-13. See Introduction.


NOTE--- "At midnight the cry (message) is heard...The sleepers...awaking...hear the voice (message) of the bridegroom and the voice (message) of the bride." C.O.L. 406:0 (Paren. Supp.)


"When the earnest voice (message) proclaimed at midnight, 'Behold, the bridegroom cometh…the sleeping virgins were roused..." Id. 412:1. (Paren. Supp.)


"…as a people (D.S.D.A. and S.D.A.) we are asleep. God wills that a VOICE (message) shall be heard arousing His people to action." Gospel Workers, p. 300:3. (Paren. Supp.)


"Because I (the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom, The Branch) will publish (voice at midnight arousing virgins) the name (Branch) of the Lord...He is the Rock…." Deut. 32:3, 4. (Paren. Supp.)


"...Laodiceans...awakened by the prophet Elijah."…G.C. Special, 42-43, 1950 Edition.


Read Acts 4:11,12; Rev. 2:17; 3:12.


3. At the end of what prophetic period was the new name revealed? Eze. 4:5-3.


NOTE--- "The time the name is received is at the end of the 430 year period (1525 + 430 = 1955)...Thus, the church is reorganized under a new name." 1 S.R. 155:1.


4. How was the new name revealed? Isa. 62:2; last part; Amos 3:7; Eze. 3:17.


NOTE--- "Let us ever bear in mind that we of ourselves know nothing about God's plans except as told through His appointed servants, the prophets..." 1 Rev. T.G. 7:7:0.


5. How many letters does the new name have? See Introduction.


NOTE--- "The Lord, the Bridegroom--The Harvester, introduced Himself to the '10 virgins' as THE BRANCH (new name) at the beginning of harvest – Oct. 1955, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, –six letter name--B-R-A-N-C-H. Israel, the bride-to-be finds out the new name the introduction (the beginning of harvest), and in the time of or during the harvest she accepts the 'wooing'--Branch letters, and receives the name first by 'promise'--conditional upon her faithfulness in betrothment, (as individuals) and second at the time of the marriage--the promise is fulfilled to the faithful (church as a body receives the new name. Isa. 4:2)." Branch Lesson No 4, p. 1.


6. After the revelation of the new name, what is to be done?


Lesson 4, Page 2


ANS.--- "The time the name is received is at the end of the 430 year period as explained on the chart on pages 112-13. THUS, THE CHURCH IS REORGANIZED UNDER A NEW NAME (The Branch Davidian Seventh-day Adventists). The old name, (Davidian Seventh-day Adventist) being polluted, could no longer be retained. There is no one to go by the old name (original Davidian Association dissolved in 1932)." 1 S.R. 155:1. (Paren. Supp.)


7. What is Inspiration's decree regarding the name, 'Davidian Association?' Amos 1:2; Eze. 17:9, 10; 19:10-14; 21:13.


NOTE--- "Provisional in set-up as well as in name, the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association exists solely to accomplish a divinely appointed work (2nd of three steps, 1 S.R. 32) within the…(S.D.A.) denomination, wherein it therefore strictly confines its activities. As its work therein draws to a close, and the 'servants…are sealed,' (2nd seal of three, D.S.D.A.), its name will be changed… and its purpose and its work will become all-embracing to the gospel…Then Its Constitution and By-Laws as herein codified will become fully operative (reorganized)." Leviticus, Preface, page 1.


8. What began with the revelation of the new name, The Branch? Joel 3:l3 Eze. 9:4; Matt 25:31-33; 24:32-44.


NOTE--- "The prophecy by Ezekiel (430 years) gives the information in detail from the beginning of Luther's reformation (1525, see Lesson 1) to Ezekiel 9 marking (3rd sealing by The Branch) of the 144,000, and the unrolling of the scroll (revelation of new name, Rev 2:17)." 1 S.R. 116:1. (Paren. Supp.)


9. What does the marking and slaying prophecy of Ezekiel 9 mean?


ANS.--- "Had they been faithful to their trust, they would now, recognize the message that is knocking at their door…and would know it is the one variously designated.…judgment of the living...harvest…great and dreadful day of the Lord...Loud Cry...(It commences in the church and ends in Babylon. 2 T.G. 44:33)." White House Recruiter, p. 40:1. (Par. Sup.)


10. What does Ezekiel 9–Harvest–Loud Cry–Rev. 18:1 bring?


ANS.--- "NOW you see that every additional timely Truth brings an additional timely name...you who are not tied to any man, but to Christ, cannot help going on with the Spirit of Prophecy Who Unfolds the Truth and names Its people." 2 T.G. 34:25.


"To get the proper understanding of the third angel's message we shall divide it into three periods: (1) Beginning of the proclamation of the true Sabbath, Rev. 14:6-11 (1844–E.G. White–S.D.A.); (2) Reformation and sealing of the 144,000, Rev. 7:1-8 (1930–V.T. Houteff, Davidian S.D.A.); (3) THE LOUD CRY, Rev. 13:1 (1955–Ben L. Roden, Branch D.S.D.A.). The truth of the sealing...being made known, it is evident that we (Davidians) arc in the second period (third yet to come--"judgment of the living...yet future." 3 Tr. 43:3)." 1 S.R. 32:2. (Paren. Supp.)


11. After Bro. V.T. Houteff's death in 1955, what did the officers of the original Davidian Association proclaim regarding the Association's name and work? See Deut. 31:29.


ANS.--- "Since as we view it, the 'Rod' is not in harmony with the Bible, we are now serving notice that the Executive Council is calling a Special Session of the Association...Council members will tender our resignations...For we do not believe that Ezekiel 4 has a commission for either this Association or Mt. Carmel Center." The Symbolic Code, Feb. 1962, p. 7.


12. What had the 'Davidian Association' officers already secretly done?


ANS.--- The name 'Davidian Association' was secretly changed to 'Heralds of God's Kingdom.' This action was revealed in court testimony in November, 1966. Thus we see that "There is no one to go by the old name, for the ones who were not worthy of having the new name have perished (light gone out–tares bundled for burning) under the figure of the five men with the slaughter weapons of Ezekiel 9." 1 S.R. 155:1. (Paren. Supp.)



S U N D A Y   B L U E   L A W S   A N D   L I Q U O R   T R A F F I C


"Blue Law
Approved
By Senate"

The Waco News–Tribune March 30, 1967

"Liquor Bill
OK Seen
By Connally"


"Behold also the daring impiety of those who, while enacting laws to safeguard the supposed sanctity of the first day of the week (Sunday), at the same time are making laws legalizing the liquor traffic." Prophets and Kings, page 186, by Ellen G. White (Paren. ours)


"Sen. A.R. Schwartz of Galveston, who knew he was fighting a losing battle from the beginning, launched his third weekly filibuster against the (Sunday) bill Wednesday when it was laid out for final passage. Schwartz held the floor for about eight hours before yielding at 8:30 p.m. for a Senate vote. Schwartz announced…he was giving up his filibuster 'for one reason and one reason alone. I want the lieutenant governor to get full credit for passing this bill....I want him to realize that there are other political campaigns in the offering for the future. The chair should get full credit for denying 11,000 Seventh-day Adventist and 200,000-300,000 Texans to be heard, for being able not to abide by their religions and the God-given right to buy on Sunday, go to church on Sunday or go to hell on Sunday if they want to.' " The Waco News–Tribune, March 30, 1967 (Paren. ours)


"The dignitaries of church and state will unite to bribe, persuade, or compel all classes to honor the Sunday. The lack of divine authority will be supplied by oppressive enactments. Political corruption is destroying love of justice and regard for truth; and even in free America, rulers and legislators, in order to secure public favor, will yield to the popular demand for a law enforcing Sunday observance." The Great Controversy, page 592 – Ellen G. White


An eighty year old prophecy by E.G. White meeting its fulfillment in our day.

BEN L. RODEN


THE BRANCH

Rte. 7, Box 471-B

Waco, Texas 76705




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