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.
THE HEALING OF THE NATIONS
BL - 11
"In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." Rev. 22:2
The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that Jesus represented Himself as a green tree. "By the green tree, Jesus represented Himself, the innocent Redeemer." D.A. 743:2 While in Psalms 52, David describes the mighty man who is always boasting and who works deceitfully with a sharp tongue like a razor. With lying lips and smooth words, like a smooth moving razor, he quietly but surely deviseth his mischief and devours his prey. This type of person does not care how he gains advantage. If he can further his cause by getting sympathy or whatever method can be used to get a following, we can be assured that it will be cunningly devised. The Psalmist tells us that those who work the works of wickedness instead of speaking righteousness will be destroyed.
In contrast to smooth words and a deceitful tongue, the Bible says that God's servant speaks to His people with stammering lips and another tongue." (Isa. 28:11). He is like David.
"But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever." Ps. 52:8
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.
"And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Ps. 1:1-3
Most, if not all, of God's people seem to forget that the very last work for His church is done by His Spirit and not by might and power. On the other hand, the work for the world will be accomplished by the Lord's mighty power, for He says He will rule all nations with a rod of iron (Rev. 12:5). In the Bible, rulers (leaders) are symbolized by a tree (see Dan. 4). They prosper as long as God's Spirit is directing them, but then men's hearts get lifted up as a result of their accomplishments, God no longer blesses their efforts or directs their steps. The result is inevitable failure.
Jesus said, "Every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." Matt. 3:10. The meaning here is those who do not bear the good fruit of the spirit will be cut down by the angels when they sever the wicked from among the just (Matt. 13). Isaiah explains the same event in the parable of the destruction of the tares, which is the purification of the church. "They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord." Isa. 66:17
The tree spoken of in Isaiah's prophecy has reference to leaders or ministers. The laymen who lean on man and make flesh their arm are confronted by others to explain a certain passage of scripture (especially so if the text contradicts what they teach as truth). Instead of searching out the matter with their inquirers, they go to their minister and take the explanations and decisions he makes and thereby supposedly sanctify themselves and soothe their consciences. These are the people who are eating swine's flesh and the abomination. But you say, Seventh-day Adventists do not eat this abominable food.
"The carcases of every beast which divideth the hoof, and is not clovenfooted, nor cheweth the cud, are unclean unto you: every one that toucheth them shall be unclean.
"And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed." Lev. 11:26, 32
But you say that you only eat the clean meats. This, dear friends, is where you have been fooling yourselves, for the same knife that slices one slices the other – also the cheese. Commercial cheeses are an abomination, and not fit for human consumption. From the Scriptural standpoint, anything bought from the meat counter is unclean. Having the butcher wipe the knife does not make it clean. Slicing off with a clean knife that part which the butcher's knife contacts, does not make the rest of the cheese clean. By coming in contact with the unclean, the whole becomes unclean. The knife that slices the beef and cheese and has come in contact with the swine's flesh must necessarily be washed and laid up 'till evening,' lest it contaminate the clean.
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This, dear friends, is not meant to criticize and condemn, but is to instruct, that your soul may be saved, for Christ will not translate the unclean. (Read Eze. 36) The Lord says, "Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin." Eze. 18:30
God does not condemn anyone for unknown sin. But once there is a knowledge of sin, then to continue the same course of action, is to be guilty of iniquity which leads to ruin. The Lord gives the remedy:
"And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing:" (Lev. 5:5)
"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:" 1 John 2:1
Since each and every one is to be cleansed from his defilements and the wheat and tares both are in the church; then, before the church can be translated without spot or wrinkle or any such thing (Eph. 5:27), there must be a cleansing of the earthly sanctuary (the church) as well as the heavenly. (Read 5 T 211:2; 3 T 267.)
The message of the True Witness to the Laodiceans (the church – Rev. 3:14-22; EW 270) starts the shaking or division in the church over doctrine. Dispute over doctrine is the only thing that ever has caused a real shaking in the church period. While the shaking is going on in the church, regardless of what we may or may have believed, one thing is certain: that some time before Michael stands up to deliver His people, the names of the tares must be blotted from the book of life. For says Inspiration:
"And at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book." Dan. 12:1 last part.
According to this Scripture there is some sort of book work in the books above for the living – blotting out the names of the tares before Michael stands up. Taking the Scripture just as it reads, there would have to be a removal of the names of the tares, or else they would be delivered also. The tares' names are blotted out because they sanctified themselves behind a tree in the garden while they were eating the unclean.
Now for a nature study: You recall the incident when Jesus cursed the fig tree. Read about it in Mark 11. This fig tree that was cursed by Jesus represented the Jewish nation according to the Spirit of Prophecy.
"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 Jews stood forth distinct from all other nations, professing allegiance to God. They had been specially favored by Him, and they laid claim to righteousness above every other people. But they were corrupted by the love of the world and the greed of gain. They boasted of their knowledge, but they were ignorant of the requirements of God, and were full of hypocrisy. Like the barren tree, they spread their pretentious branches aloft, luxuriant in appearance, and beautiful to the eye, but they yielded 'nothing but leaves'...
"All the trees in the fig orchard were destitute of fruit; but the leafless trees raised no expectation, and caused no disappointment. By these trees the Gentiles were represented. They were as destitute as were the Jews of godliness; but they had not professed to serve God...
"Jesus had come to the fig tree hungry, to find food. So He had come to Israel, hungering to find in them the fruits of righteousness." Desire of Ages 582:4, 583:0
The Bible portrays a tree that is symbolic of God's true church today. This tree, children, is called the family tree. 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. The leaves of this tree are not only for the healing of God's people, but are also healing for the nations.
Now this family tree must have food in order to stay alive and produce the leaves and the fruit. Thus it is our purpose not only to point out the people this tree symbolizes, but also what nourishes the tree. This symbolic or figurative family tree is found in the book of Isaiah.
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"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.
A quick look at this prophecy shows us that there are three persons brought to view: Jesse was the father of King David (Ruth 4:22). Since the rod came from Jesse, it must be symbolic of David, Jesse's son. The BRANCH coming from David would symbolize Christ, the Son of David. (Matt. 21:9) – the Son of God (Matt. 1:23).
This prophecy was written by Isaiah, the Gospel prophet, some three hundred years or more after David's time and yet it is written in future tense – "there shall come forth a rod." If Isaiah was only prophesying of the coming of the Messiah and was only showing that He would come through the lineage of King David, why did he use Jesse's name in the prophecy? And why did he say rod instead of David? And why did he put shall come before rod when the Messiah was the only one of the three to come after his time? The other two were many years before him? Why did he not then put shall only before BRANCH and make the prophecy read? and there was a rod that came out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
To answer these many questions in the shortest way would be to say that this entire symbolism has a definite meaning and fulfillment some time after Isaiah's time. Since this Scripture is figurative and is to have a meaning, future from Isaiah; the only people to whom it would have a meaning would be the ones to whom it is divinely revealed. No others would understand it, and this is actually the case. No one before us has ever given an explanation of this entire symbolism.
So, with the proper key, we are enabled to unlock this mystery. Using the wrong key means only to get lost in theory.
The rod which signifies David, the son of Jesse, evidently is where we should find the first key. There are two keys, in fact, which unlock this entire prophetic symbolism: one in the rod and one in the BRANCH. There is no key to this prophecy in Jesse as you can well see, for the Bible tells us he was the father to king David. By the fact that Isaiah states a rod shall come (future) after king David has passed on many years; and that he places the rod before the stem of Jesse in the sentence structure (when he knew that David was Jesse's son) all shows conclusively that we are dealing with a symbolic prophecy which has a definite and significant meaning for God's true people some time before the close of probation.
To find out the meaning of this prophecy, let us take the first mentioned key – the rod. There are several rods mentioned in the Bible. For instance, there is the rod of correction that parents fail to use ofttimes. (Prov. 13:24, 22:15.) There is the "rod for the fool's back." Prov. 26:3. "A rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding." Prov. 10:13. "In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride." Prov. 14:3. "Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell." Prov. 23:13, 14.
There is the shepherd's rod of Moses that the Lord turned into a serpent in Mt. Horeb and before king Pharaoh in Egypt, and which swallowed up the rods of the magicians. Moses pointed his rod out over the Red Sea and the waters parted so Israel could walk across on dry land. He also held up the rod of God until Israel won the battle against king Amalek (Ex. 17:9).
The rod has been used throughout the history of Israel as a symbol of God's authority. Speaking of Moses' rod, the Sp. of Prophecy says: ". . . but God would make that rod the symbol of his power." P.P. 251:2 God says that He will break the heathen with a rod of iron (Ps. 2:9). Jesse will rule all nations with a rod of iron. (Rev. 12:5)
There was Aaron's rod that budded (Num. 17:8) and the comforting rod of Psalms 23:4. Also there is the rod of God that speaks (Micah 6:9) and the one that feeds (Micah 7:14). Inspiration says:
"And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant." Eze. 20:37
There are many more illustrations of the rod in the Bible. But the rod in which we are interested in this study as to meaning and significance, is the rod in the symbolism of Isaiah 11:1.
Speaking of the BRANCH – Christ, Inspiration says: "...and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked." Isa. 11:4, last part.
The rod of His mouth must be a symbol of His Word, for in the Psalms it is written: "Thou shalt break them (the heathen) with a rod of iron;" Ps. 2:9. In Revelation 1:16
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John writes: "...and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword:" "...These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;" Rev. 2:12. "Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth." Verse 16 "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations." Verse 26.
"And she brought forth a man-child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron:" Rev. 12:5.
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 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. This being true, then how can we escape the fact that the BRANCH, which symbolizes Christ (first as the Son of God; and second as the BRANCH, the Word of God), is also a message – movement – since the other two represent messages and movements?
Here we see the family tree in modern Israel that is to produce the pure unadulterated fruit for the Kingdom of heaven – the 144,000 (Rev. 7, EW 15) first fruits (Rev. 14:4). How since the fruit is not to be found on the stem of the tree, nor likewise on the rod of it; in order then for the three to produce fruit it must necessarily grow on the Branch; and that, friends, is the only logical place to find fruit – on the branch of a tree. So we see, from the Scripture, that the rod that produces the fruit does not come out of the mouth of the stem or the rod, but out of the mouth of the BRANCH. (Isa. 11:4; Eze. 19:11-14) – Three steps in all to produce the fruit – Jesse, rod, and BRANCH.
Jesse – first step – gathers the 144,000 (Rev. 14:6-12), the Rod – second step – seals the 144,000 (Rev. 7:1-8), and the BRANCH – third step – marks and delivers the 144,000 (Eze. 9; Rev. 18:1). Scripture ref. (Isa. 58; Matt. 25:31-46)
Although we have not known it before now, this is just what the Spirit of Prophecy teaches. "The truth and work of God in this movement commencing with the labors of William Miller and reaching to the close of probation, is illustrated by these three angels... These angels illustrate the three great divisions of the genuine movement... Seventh-day Adventists hold fast the great Advent Movement (of 1844) hence have use for the messages of 1844. They cannot spare these links in the golden chain of truth that connect the past with the present and the future and show a beautiful harmony in the great whole... I repeat it. The three angels messages symbolize the three parts of the genuine movement." Life Incidents (1886) pp. 306, 307.
"This angel's message of Revelation 7 – the angel ascending from the east – is as important as the first, second, and third angel's messages of Rev. 14:6-11. It must be understood and given to the people at the right time, as also the mighty angel of Rev. 18:1. The loud cry must come at a given time. This angel of Revelation 7, cannot be the third angel, for John's explanation of them differ. The three angels of Revelation 14 are flying in the midst of heaven, or where the sun stands at noon, but the one of Revelation 7, is ascending from the east, or the rising of the sun. The message of this angel has never been understood at any time, nor proclaimed by this denomination or any other people, and only theories have been advanced. It is evident that this truth, as other truths, must come at the right time." 1 SR 15:1
"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; (2) Reformation, and sealing of the 144,000, Rev. 7:1-8; (3) The Loud Cry, Rev. 18:1. The truth of the sealing (144,000) being made known, it is evident that we are in the second period. If we had not known the commencement of the third angel's message in its beginning, we would have had no message. Therefore, we must know the time of the last two periods when they came, being of no lesser importance." 1 SR 32:2.
We have proved from the Bible by the symbolism of Isa. 11:1 that the Rod message and movement is the second step, Rev. 7:1-8. The Shepherd Rod message says that we were in the time of the second step since we were in the sealing time of the 144,000. We will quote it again from Bro. Houteff's own writings.
"The truth of the sealing (144,000) being made known, it is evident that we are in the second period." The Shepherd's Rod Vol. 1 page 32, para. 2, lines 4-6. Then he shows that there is another period or step – message – after the Rod message. He likewise states that there was one period or step before the Rod message which he says is: "(1) Beginning of the proclamation of the true Sabbath," Rev. 14:6-11. The first period, then, would be the proclamation of the three angels messages fused into one message, the Third Angel's message – the Judgment of the Dead. All who die under the
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Third Angel's message come forth in a special resurrection.
According to the Bible and the Sp. of Prophecy, there are three steps, periods, or divisions of the genuine Seventh-day Adventist movement to the close of probation, and there is a movement before the Rod, and one after. It is proof enough for any little child who can count three, that the Rod is the second.
We can prove this the same way we prove the Sabbath. The Bible says that the preparation for the week is the day before the Sabbath (Mark 15:42), and the first day of the week is the day after the Sabbath (Mark 16:1,2). Therefore, anyone with a sound mind and not void of reasoning would agree that the Sabbath is the day between the preparation day and the first day of the week. This is not saying that because the Sabbath is the day in between the other two days and the Rod is the movement between the two other periods, or movements of the genuine three, that it is the Sabbath.
Just because Bro. & Sr. White and Bro. Houteff proclaimed under Inspiration that the three angels' messages illustrate the three parts, periods, divisions, of the genuine S.D.A. movement is no proof that the Rod being the second period, is likewise the second angel. The Bible is the final authority.
The Rod shows that it is the sealing angel of Rev. 7:1-8, and Rev. 7 says nothing about the fall of Babylon, which is the second angel's message. Neither is this saying that because Sr. White was in the time of the first period of the three divisions that the Sp. of Prophecy written by her was the first angel's message. These messages were brought by the prophet William Miller and his helpers. Sr. White's message was the third angel's message – the truth of the heavenly sanctuary and the Sabbath – so she says in Early Writings.
"After Jesus opened the door of the most holy, the light of the Sabbath was seen, and the people of God were tested, as the children of Israel were tested anciently, to see if they would keep God's law. I saw the third angel pointing upward, showing the disappointed ones the way to the holiest of the heavenly sanctuary." E.W. 254:2; 255:0.
This statement explains to us just why Miller and his co-workers kept the first day instead of the seventh-day Sabbath, which the Bible teaches is the true day of worship. It was the third angel who explained that it was the Sanctuary above that was to be cleansed, instead of the earthly. After Jesus opened the door in the most holy place in 1844 to begin judging the dead, Sr. White saw in vision the ark of the testament, and in it she saw the Ten Commandment Law with a halo of light around the fourth which says: "Remember the sabbath-day to keep it holy." Ex. 20:8
Yes, Sr. White was given the third angel's message which is the Sabbath and the Heavenly Sanctuary truth – health reform, dress reform and drug reform – read the Testimonies. The trouble is that the church is following after the world and not following God's instructions given in the Testimonies. Our Seventh-day Adventist doctors and nurses have gone out wholesale for drugs and sold out to the A.M.A., which is a disgrace to the name Seventh-day Adventist. God is dishonored and the truth is made of none effect by neglect of the medium by which the mighty angel is to lighten the earth. Our S.D.A. sisters are wearing low-necked, short sleeved dresses and spiked heeled shoes, rouge, lipstick, and many other things that is contrary to healthful and Christian dress. There's no denying that many of the S.D.A. ministry are eating meat and some of them are eating pork. Some say they cannot get the proper foods they need, so they eat meat. To those who would follow this course: if you are the Elijah's you claim to be, the instructions are, do without something to eat and let the ravens feed you like they did Elijah of old. It is better to lose your life and save your soul. The un–God–like practice of training the S.D.A. young men and sending them into the army where they cannot keep the Sabbath or have a clean diet, is murder of the first degree; for they will not only lose their lives in the time of war, but they will lose their souls. Young men, God calls on you to rise up against such pernicious training and go to work for Him and save your soul. Literature ministry is far better.
You say that they go into the army as missionaries. This is a deception of the first order, for what little missionary work they would be able to do is made of none effect because they are doing the same thing that the other boys are doing, with only slight variations. Besides, their duties as a soldier keeps them busy to where they have very little time to serve God, especially so in time of war.
Wake out of sleep, Brethren, for the Spirit of Prophecy says our young men are not to take part in this war. Just think of what could be accomplished for Christ if all the young men that are going into the army were spending a hundred percent of their time in spreading the gospel. The mighty angel of Rev. 18 has come down to join the third angel now as it swells to a loud cry. Do not try to keep the reins in your own hands as our Brethren did at the General Conference in 1888 at the Minneapolis meeting, to the detriment of your salvation, now that Christ is taking charge of the flock.
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There is another way to prove the Rod message was not the second angel's message. The second angel says, "Babylon is fallen," (Rev. 14:8) which is for that part of the world that represents Babylon. Babylon fell in 1844, about eighty-five years before the Rod. The complete fall of Babylon (Rev. 18:2 second angel) which is given by the angel of Rev. 18:1 has not taken place yet, and won't take place until the Rev. 18:1 angel lightens the earth with his glory. (T.G. 1-21-17 – 1947 Edition).
Sr. White says that the second angel of Rev. 14:8 is repeated, T.M. 59:1. "This same message is to be proclaimed the second time." Then she quotes a portion of Rev. 18:1, and 2: "I saw another angel (message) come down." Now, Bro. Houteff says that when the second angel's message is given again that it is the third angel's message, "Quoting Testimonies to Ministers p. 59: 'This same message (The Third Angel's) is to be proclaimed the second time.' " 2 S.R. 231:0. Now, since the second angel's message says that Babylon is fallen, and the Rod came only to the church; then for it to be the second angel, it would have to declare the church to be Babylon. To say that the S.D.A. church was Babylon, and fell because they rejected the Rod message, is teaching contrary to its message. The Rod proves that the S.D.A. is not Babylon by showing that the Black horses of Zech. 6 are in the north country – Babylon – spiritual darkness; whereas, the grizzled horses, which represent the Laodicean ministry, are retreating toward the south country. There are several statements in the Rod writings, one of which we will quote:
"He foresaw that some movement would arise and claim that the church is 'Babylon,' so gave us the warning that it was false. Read Testimonies to Ministers, pages 49, 53." 1 SR 234:3.
The Rod message proves that it is not the second angel's message, but that it is the first angel's message (final phase). Speaking of S.D.A.: "What, indeed, if she does not now accept and practice the message of very present Truth, the final phase of the First Angel's Message, which is presently announcing the stealthy approach of judgment upon the living." W.H.R. 37:1.
Since the Rod is the final phase of the first angel's message, the very next message or movement in the prophetic chain would be the final phase of the second angel's message which 2 SR 231 declares to be the third angel's message, given the second time (TM 59). The Rod also declares this movement to be the message of Revelation 18.
"The eleventh hour message is none other than Revelation 18 – the loud cry of the Third Angel. Quoting "Testimonies to Ministers," p. 59: "This same message (The Third Angel's) is to be proclaimed the second time. 'And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.' This message is the last that will ever be given to the world; and it will accomplish its work." – The Great Controversy, p. 390. 2 SR 230:3.
"Thus the message of the third angel will be proclaimed. As the time comes for it to be given with greatest power, the Lord will work through humble instruments, leading the minds of those who consecrate themselves to his service. The laborers will be qualified rather by the unction of His Spirit than by the training of literary institutions." G.C. pp. 606, 607.
"The eleventh hour call, in reality, is similar to that of the ninth. The ninth hour call is repeated with additional mention of the corruption in the churches; also light and force is added to it." 2 S. R. 231:2.
This is all very simple and easy to understand. But it all can be very complicated if you do not read with a humble spirit and an open mind. It all depends on what your motive and purpose is. If you have a mind and purpose to promote self and your own schemes (there are plenty doing this very thing from all directions), then you can take the things that are made plain and simple in this article and twist them to mean most anything to suit your purpose.
If you will forget self and come to the study of God's word with a humble and contrite spirit, keeping in mind the symbolism we have explained; and if you have a mind that will count to five; we will square the subjects of the angels and movements from William Miller's time to the close of probation, according to Life Incidents, by E.G. White, Shepherd's Rod Vol. 1, and Isaiah 11.
In this study there are four things to remember: (1) We are teaching you Jesus, self is forgotten. (2) You are little children, heirs of the kingdom – only such will enter (Matt. 18:3); (3) Our study is about nature. "By the green tree, Jesus represented Himself, the innocent Redeemer." D.A. 743; (4) We are studying about His people – His church, and the plan of redemption.
In the family tree of Isaiah 11 there are four parts – roots, stem, rod, and BRANCH. There are only three visible parts of the tree – the stem, Jesse, rod David, and
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BRANCH – Christ. The roots are underneath the surface of the ground, therefore, are not visible. In order to disclose the roots of a tree to view, the husbandman must have His laborers dig around and uncover them. So it is with the spiritual tree. The Husbandman must have His laborers, the Spirit of Prophecy, uncover the roots and disclose them to view.
None of His former laborers have uncovered the roots of the tree of Isaiah 11. If the time has come for the roots to be uncovered, it is the BRANCH'S job to do so, for the BRANCH shall grow out of his roots. The manner in which the roots are disclosed to view will show which is the true BRANCH, and which is the false.
In the first place, the root of a tree is the beginning of it; for the tree grows up from its root. When the tree is grown the branches are beautiful, if properly cultivated.
"True Christianity is a growth. It is plant-like. Christ Himself is represented as a Branch." (Isa. 11:1) 2 TG 45:3.
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. After the rod, there came forth the Branch. We see, by divine revelation, that the stem represents another key to the divine interpretation of this symbolism, as we will see.
We have gone into detail to prove that this family tree represents God's true church in our time, in three divisions – three steps. So the tree, Jesse, sometime before the rod came out, was cut back. This left only a stump. To make this 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. Sounds fantastic, you say? We explain by asking you a question. Why are these things in the Bible like this, and why do they fit so perfectly? The answer is that 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, Isa. 11:1.
The fig tree that Jesus cursed represented the Jewish nation (DA 582), and signified that they had rejected and slain the prophets, including John. Says Jesus:
"The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone presseth into it." Luke 16:16.
After Sr. White's death (in order to revive the church), the Lord sent another message right through the Sabbath School Quarterlies in 1929. One quarter of these lessons, we understand, were mainly written by Elder Andreason, and consisted of the last thirteen chapters of Isaiah, the gospel prophet. These chapters of Isaiah tell of God's kingdom, which Matthew tells us must be preached to all the world before Jesus comes in the clouds.
"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Matt. 24:14.
The end will not come until the Lord has the kingdom for a witness.
"Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
"Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert." Isa. 43:10, 19.
With all the possibilities of war in and around Palestine, there is scarcely any who believe that there will ever be a peaceful kingdom there. This is especially true of Seventh-day Adventists; the very people who should have been teaching the wonderful truth of the kingdom since 1929, the year the message came to them.
The Jews wanted this peaceful kingdom at Jesus' first coming, but they did not want to pay the price in humility. Therefore, He taught them that they would never receive it as a nation. He later instructed His disciples to pray for it (Matt. 6:9-13). Seventh-day Adventists would accept heaven, but not what Jesus wants them to have, which is the kingdom. So all who do not humble themselves and accept what He so graciously offers, will receive just what the Jews received – less than nothing.
Neither His professed people nor the heathen believe that God is able to set up a peaceful kingdom in a world where there is not peace. Nevertheless, there are some who believe, for He says: "...therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God. ...now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?" Isa. 43:12, 19.
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Both those who go down in the slaughter (Eze. 9:5-11; 3T266-7; 5T211-12; 5T505-5T80; 1T190) and those who receive the seal of the angel of Rev. 7:1-8, and the mark by the man in linen (Eze. 9:3,4; TM 444-5), are witnesses that testify to the world that the Lord is God, who is able to perform that which He promises.
"Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and show us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth." Isa. 43:9
The Lord says to let those that have eyes and cannot see; and have ears and cannot hear (verse 8), and all the nations be gathered together, and prove Him wrong. Who is able to keep Him from fulfilling His promise of the kingdom to those who are called by His name?
Just as Jesus' first coming was a test to the Jewish nation when He did not set up the earthly kingdom then; so the opposite is a test to His professed people today. Jesus came in the flesh and did not set up the kingdom; but ratified the kingdom by His death on the cross. By the same spirit and power that was in Elijah, He comes in His Word – His Truth (The Branch, Isa. 11:1) to mark and deliver His people. "... On their foreheads was written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus' new name." EW 15. Saved for eternity; hence, flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of God.
So, just as John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah to announce and baptize the King of glory; and as John was a layman in Judea; so the Lord laid the message and Spirit in 1929 upon Bro. V. T. Houteff, a layman Sabbath School teacher, in one of the denominational churches in California.
Type meets anti-type. John, the type: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." Matt. 3:3; the anti-type: "The Lord's voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it." Micah 6:9. "Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel:" Micah 7:14.
The author of the Shepherd's Rod claimed that these Scriptures applied to the Rod message and Davidian S.D.A. movement. This author makes a comparison between John's message and the Rod movement.
"True, verse three (Isa. 40) found fulfillment in the work of John the Baptist; but the verses preceding and also the verses following, definitely apply to the people in the latter days and only partially to the people in John's day. Therefore the truth stands out boldly that the direct fulfillment of this chapter is found in our time, thus making John's work an ensample of our work. John's work the type, ours the antitype." R1T.G. 36:4.
John proclaimed that one was to come after him. When he baptized Jesus: "... he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matt. 3:16,17.
The antitypical Elijah, John – the Rod (Isa. 11:1) points out that the Rod movement will decrease and the Branch message (Christ in His Word. Rev. 3:20; DA489:5, 490:0) through His messenger will give the increase.
"The message presented here does not bring any new doctrines, or contradict the ones we have, but it does magnify them by showing their true magnitude and importance. Neither does it call for a new movement but it proves that this same movement would merge into a greater one." 1 SR 234:2.
"Who is to bring this revival and reformation, this great change? The BRANCH. And according to Isaiah 11:1-5 the Branch is the Lord the son of David." Rev. 1 Timely Greetings #8, 24:3.
These statements from the Lord's servant shows, as does the Bible, that the Rod would not complete the revival and reformation, but that the great change would be brought about by the Branch. (Read Isa. 11:1-5; Zech. 3 Ch. 6:11-14.)
The Rod message revealed the rod part of Isa. 11:1; but did not explain the full meaning of the BRANCH, nor Jesse, other than Jesse was the father of king David, and that the BRANCH is Christ. It is plain to see though, that since the rod means David in the first place and a message in the second; it would only be reasonable to conclude that Jesse is the father of David in the first place, and the parent message and movement in the second. Likewise, with the BRANCH, which means Christ, the Son of David – Son of God – and second, the Word of God – the Branch – Christ the Word in the beginning, and The BRANCH, the Word in the end; hence says Christ: "I am alpha
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and Omega, the beginning and the ending." Rev. 1:8. "...I am the first and the last." Rev. 1:17.
John says: "...Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29. "Who is to bring this revival and reformation, this great change? -- The BRANCH." The Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world. The Branch brings the great change. His people must be marked for translation. Flesh and blood cannot enter the Kingdom of heaven. R1T.G. 8:24. Hence, the three great divisions of the genuine S.D.A. movement to the close of probation (Life Incidents 306-7): just as Christ revealed the Father (John 12:45), The Son (John 6:35), and the Holy Ghost (Luke 4:14; John 20:21,22), the Trinity (8 Tr 30:0). The Branch reveals the Trinity in the church – Jesse (S.D.A.), Rod (D.S.D.A.), and the Branch (B.D.S.D.A.).
The Third Angel's message under Sr. White was the former rain of truth to bring up the seed that was sown by William Miller. By watering that seed of the first and second angel's messages brought by Bro. Miller with the Third Angel's message, it was multiplied into 144,000 – Spiritual wheat. As it takes a latter rain to prepare the wheat for the harvest, so the Rod – the latter rain in truth – comes in just before the Spiritual harvest in the church – the 144,000 that stand on Mt. Zion (the barn – kingdom Matt. 13:30, Rev. 14:1).
Christ came and cleansed the temple in His day, sowed the seed for the great multitude – such as should be saved. The Branch message brings about the cleansing of the temple in our day (Eze. 9); and at the same time sows seed for the great multitude of Rev. 7:9. As the Spirit was poured out upon the 120 on the day of Pentecost, so likewise the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon the disciples of the Branch, 144,000 on the antitypical Pentecost. There shall come forth a rod out of the stem (stump, margin) of Jesse and a BRANCH shall grow out of his roots.
The rod grew out of the stump of Jesse. Evidently the roots (three angels' messages) of Jesse did not completely die when the tree was cut back. When the good Lord began watering the roots, a rod grew up out of the stump. This signifies that the Rod message sprang right up in the church – from her message.
A Branch shall grow out of his roots. The marginal reference of Isa. 11:1 says: "The Branch of Jesse's roots." This is true in one sense of the word, for the Branch is a result of the three angels' messages. But there is another hidden truth that we should consider.
Jesus says: "I am the root (singular) and offspring of David." Rev. 22:16. "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people." Isa. 11:10.
Jesus is the root of David and He is also the root of Jesse. So the Branch message grew out o f the root of the Davidian S.D.A. movement and out of the root of the S.D.A. movement. Both former message and movements being Christ's, the Branch grew out of His roots. Inasmuch as the roots of a tree are only visible in the tree itself – the branches – so the root of Jesse, that stands as an ensign to the people, and to which the Gentiles seek, is the Lamb of God – the invisible, and Christ in His people – the visible Branch.
"In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel." Isa. 4:2.
Isaiah says that after Israel escapes, the Branch is beautiful. By Bible and the testimonies of the prophets, and by type and antitype, it is plain and simple to see that the Branch message comes before the purification of the church. The Branch of Israel is a glorious ensign, and to it the Gentiles seek. It is also easy to see that if the Branch message does not come before the great change takes place, neither does the Rod, for the Rod says the Branch brings the revival and reformation – the great change. Again let us remember that the rod and Jesse represent messages – so also does the Branch.
"The wise will not let the enemies of Truth fool them. Rather they will do their level best to disillusion these pretended friends, and to encourage them to let the Recruiter anoint their eyes, so they may see that 'In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel' (God's denomination of today)." W.H.R. 53:2.
The Lord's servant tells us here that God's denomination after the purification is the Branch. So this statement, along with Isa. 62:2; 65:15, shows the Branch is the new name of God's denomination. What more proof do you need for the new name of God's church? For more proof, read J.H. Jezreel letter #2. Every one that is left in the land must be feeding on Branch food. (2T.G. 45:3).
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Now to tie William Miller's message in with the three great divisions of the genuine. Life Incidents says that the three angels' messages began with the labors of Bro. Miller. The Bible, in light of the Shepherd's Rod, shows that the "and" between the sixth and ninth hours shows the Miller and White messages are closely related and cannot be separated. If we make Sr. White's message the first angel's message, we would have to remove the "and" between the sixth and ninth hours. We would be guilty of taking away from the Bible, also guilty of moving a block and stirring a pin of the three angels' messages (E.W. 258:3). Such a course would leave the Millerite movement dangling, with no place to anchor in the prophetic chain of Truth.
The lineage of Jesus goes back to the Gentiles. Through the descendants of Lot, a Gentile, Ruth the Moabitist, was the mother of Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David, the father of Jesus, who became a Saviour of the Gentiles. He is also the Saviour of the Jews, throught Boaz, Obed's father. Lot, the father of the Gentile multitude – a lot, Rev. 7:9. This shows that there are two companies – two harvests gathered (144,000 – Israel – S.D.A.) and a great multitude, second fruits, of all nations.
William Miller stood in the gap, as it were, with the first angel's message, between the Gentile Sunday and the Jewish, or Bible Sabbath. Hence, Miller is a type of Obed. There are four movements, beginning with Miller, to close of probation, but five angels. Three angels' messages by Bro. Miller and Sr. White, and two additions to the Third Angel's message – The Rod and the Branch.
You see, friends, the Truth is not so complicated after all. Each time a tree puts on another limb, it is an addition to the tree. Isaiah's family tree, Jesse, was cut back and Jesse became a stump. Out of the stump came forth a rod, and a Branch grew out of his roots. The Branch grew out of the roots of Jesse, because Jesse was a dead stump and the rod had withered, because there was no rain to keep it alive. "...and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither." Amos 1:2. "....and the piece whereupon it rained not withered." Amos 4:7.
The Branch has good firm roots for they are the roots of Jesse. Job explains the situation of Jesse in the tree of Isa. 11:1. He says: "For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant." Job 14:7-9. Isaiah adds to Job's explanation of the Branch – type and antitype (The Branch, Christ, in the flesh, and the Branch message – in the Word).
"For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. Isa. 53:2.
It is true that these scriptures appertained to Christ, but they also apply to the Branch message. Again, brethren, there is just no way around the fact. Since there is a Rod (David) message, and a stem (Jesse) message, there must necessarily also exist a Branch message. This must be true, or else we would have no rule of interpretation to prove that the rod and stem are messages. Besides all this, the Rod message tells us what the name of the purified church (Isa. 62:2; 65:15) will be. We repeat:
"The wise will not let the enemies of Truth fool them. Rather they will do their level best to disillusion these pretended friends, and to encourage them to let the Recruiter anoint their eyes so they may see that 'In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious' ... (God's denomination of today)." White-House Recruiter 53:2.
The Branch brings the revival and reformation, the great change, R1T.G.8:24; the Branch builds the temple, Zech. 6:12; Great Controversy 415:3; 416. "The Branch as man's intercessor," "Zechariah, looking forward to the time of the spiritual temple (the last section of the church) and its construction, says: 'Behold the man, whose name is the branch' " ... "Christ, 'the Branch,' shall grow up out of His place." ... "As this was untrue with the literal temple, the words must apply to the anti-typical one." Vol. 2 S.R. 260.
A plant that comes up from the roots while the tree is green and is being watered is nothing but a sucker (false) and will be cut down in the purging (John 15).
"The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it." John 16:16.
It is my earnest and sincere prayer that all will press into the kingdom... and be healed.
In His Name,
Ben L. Roden