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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




November 24, 1958
(BL 14)

THE BRANCH
BOX 3088
ODESSA, TEXAS
(Publisher's Note: the foregoing mailing address is no longer in use)

THE STONE

The mountains of Israel are literally covered with stones, so much so that none of the nations desired to have them. For many centuries the land of Palestine has lain desolate just as Inspiration prophesied. (Ezekiel 33:24-29) This shows that the land was to lie waste because of the sins of His people. Since the Jews have come back and are uncovering the rocky soil to beautify the land by taking out the stones and building beautiful buildings with them, all nations want the land. Marvelous things have been accomplished by the Jews in ten short years. In a few years more Israel will be the most beautiful nation in all the world (Ezekiel 36:35; Joel 2:3)

There is no doubt about the restoration of Israel in these last days, for the restoration is taking place right before our very eyes; and all the wonderful prophecies of the Bible (read Isa. chapters 2, 11, 14, 35, 41, 49; Ezek. 36, 37; Isa. 52, 58; Joel 2, 3; Isa. 42, 60, 61, 62, 66; Jeremiah 23, 30, 31) will be fulfilled in their order as God's servants have prophesied. Some say there won't be an earthly kingdom before the millennium because Sr. White wrote: "I also was shown that old Jerusalem would never be built up." E. W. 75:2. Either Sr. White did not know what she was talking about or she meant something else for Jerusalem is being built up. Hundreds of beautiful structures commercial buildings, residences and apartments are being built. There are two large hotels and several smaller ones on the Israel side of Jerusalem. If Jesus were to visit Jerusalem today and had thirty pounds, He could get a room at the King David Hotel, if there were a vacancy. Yes, Jerusalem is being built up. If you were in Jerusalem one quick look would explain to you what Sr. White meant, for Old Jerusalem is in Trans-Jordan territory and there is no building going on there; but just across the line in Israel, Jerusalem is a modern city with much building in progress. The admonition that His people were not to go to old Jerusalem, for "it would take a long while to make a very few of the Jews believe even in the first advent of Christ, much more to believe in His second advent." E.W. 75:2, means just what she said. It is not ". . . the present work (her time) of the Lord, under the message of the third angel." E.W. 75:2.

If we as Seventh-day Adventists are to take this statement in E.W. 75 as meaning what we always thought it meant – namely, that none were ever to go to Jerusalem, then we had better throw out all the scriptures that say otherwise. Even John while on Patmos had a vision of the 144,000 standing on Mt. Zion, Rev. 14:1. Isaiah wrote: "And it shall come to pass in the last days. . . for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." Isa. 2:2, 3. "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek." Isa. 11:10. "And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far". . ."the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. . . "Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them". . . "that men may bring unto thee the forces (wealth) of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought." Isa. 60: 3, 4, 5, 9, 11. To where are they brought? ". . . to my holy mountain, Jerusalem, saith the Lord." Isa. 66:20. "But ye, O Mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land." Ezek. 36:8, 24. "And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. . . And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity whereby they have sinned against me. . ." Jer. 33:7, 8. "After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts . ." Jer. 31:33. "If those ordinances (sun for light by day and moon for a light by night) depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever." Jer. 31:36.

Several years after Sr. White wrote the statement in E.W., God had her write: "When this gospel shall be presented in its fullness to the Jews, many will accept Christ as the Messiah." A.A. 380:2. Whereas the Jews would not accept the second coming of Christ under the Third Angel's message (E.W. 75), we see (". . . under the direction of the Angel who joins the third angel" T.M. 300) many of the Jews will accept Christ as the Messiah. They cannot understand the second coming of Christ under the Third Angel's message. But they surely will understand the Loud Cry of the Third Angel's message as it is proclaimed by that "other Angel" from Mt. Zion (Vol. 6 of Test., 406:5; Rev. 18:1), when this gospel of the kingdom is preached for a witness. Now, read carefully what the Spirit of Prophecy says: "In the closing proclamation of the gospel (Loud Cry), when special work is to be done for classes of people hitherto neglected, God expects His messengers to take particular interest in the Jewish people whom they find in all parts of the earth. As the Old Testament Scriptures are blended with the New in an explanation of

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Jehovah's eternal purpose, this will be to many of the Jews as the dawn of a new creation, the resurrection of the soul. As they see the Christ of the gospel dispensation portrayed in the pages of the Old Testament Scriptures, and perceive how clearly the New Testament explains the Old, their slumbering faculties will he aroused and they will recognize Christ as the Saviour of the world. Many will by faith receive Christ as their Redeemer. . ." Among the Jews are some who, like Saul of Tarsus, are mighty in the Scriptures, and these will proclaim with wonderful power the immutability of the Law of God. The God of Israel will bring this to pass in our day." A.A. 381: 1, 2. G.W. 297-99.

If Jerusalem is not to be built up and no one is to go there, pray tell us, why are the Jews by the thousands going back to the land that God gave them? And if the land of Palestine is never to be built up, what are all these hundreds of buildings that are being, built from the borders of Lebanon to the Negev? If the land is not to be built, why did God tell us this land would be like the "Garden of Eden" (Ezek. 36:35) while the heathen are still round about?"(verse 36); also Joel 2:3. If you cannot give a satisfactory answer, seeing that the building up of the land of Palestine is being accomplished, just as Inspiration has prophesied it would, then you had better wake out of slumber and take God at His word and quit listening to all those false prophets in the church that prophesy lies unto you, if you desire salvation. If you do not believe and you have no faith in God's word, just make a trip to Israel and you will see that these fellows have been pulling the wool over your eyes. You had better wake out of your lethargy before it is too late. Israel is the only nation that believes in the Sabbath as a nation; all other nations, if they profess to believe in God, either teach that Sunday or Friday is the Holy day. Soon they will begin to put pressure on you who keep holy the Seventh day. God advises you to prepare to come to Israel where God's people will gather in preparation to be translated, and where there will be no plagues. (Ps. 91)

How is this kingdom to come about? Jesus said: "The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed." Matt. 13:31. Zephaniah explains how we may know when this kingdom is near to be established.

"Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; . . . before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's anger come upon you." Zeph. 2:1, 2.

Here we see that the "nation not desired" (the Jews) is to gather back to Palestine before the great time of trouble begins. This gathering really took on form in 1948 when Israel became a free state. Verse 3 tells us what we should do at this time. "Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgments: seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger." Zeph. 2:3.

While the Jews are gathering. back to Palestine (just before the great and dreadful day of the Lord) and God's true people are seeking Him righteousness and humbleness, and we know for a certainty where we are today, we also need to know what Inspiration says the nations will be doing at this time. For this information let us turn to Isaiah.

"Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; . . . take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand; for God is with us." Isa. 8:9, 10.

The nations are to be associating themselves in their council meetings as they are doing today, we are told. Nevertheless, their councils will come to nought, and they themselves will be broken in pieces; the reason is because they do not take God into their plans. God is not with them for He is with us – those who love the Truth.

"After Isaiah mentions the ancient Historical confederacy and then the sign of lmmanuel, which we have just reviewed and applied to the experience of the early Christian church history, verse 9 of chapter 8 warns against another association of peoples, saying that this confederacy will likewise surely fail and fall to pieces. And for us, this is the main lesson in these chapters. We are instructed as to what to expect and what to do about it.

"The period we are now in is antitypical Assyria. The Assyrian period is about to pass away and the period of Babylon to be ushered in. But there is another thing that is to happen between the setting up of the confederacy of Isaiah 8:9 and the rise of Babylon: it is the setting up of God's Kingdom. God's people are to be taken to their own land and made free." Symbolic Code Vol. 12, #1, p.p. 6, 7. Also read 1 TGr #22.

The Assyrian will pass through Immanuel's land some time after the Emmanuel (Matt. 1:23) had come – in the Christian period – our time. We are admonished not to walk in his way (verse 11), nor do after the manner of the world. And while the nations are forming their confederacies (which we see today) because they are afraid, the church of God is admonished not to do likewise. . . His people are not to say a confederacy (compromise

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with the world). Nor are we to fear as they fear, for He pleads with us to "Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread." Isa. 8:13.

If we sanctify the Lord in our, hearts, we do not need to be afraid of anything for Inspiration says: "And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel. (S.D.A. and D.S.D.A. – first) for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem." Verse 14.

Sr. White had a vision of the 144,000 (E.W. 15). John also saw this number standing on Mt. Zion. Rev. 14:1. The Spirit of Prophecy says about the vision: "The vision of the prophet pictures them as standing on Mt. Zion, girt for holy service." A.A. 591. "The Lord has a people on the earth who follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth. He has his thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Such will stand with Him on Mount Zion. But they must stand on this earth, girded with the whole armor (all truth) ready to engage in the work of saving souls who are ready to perish." (Great multitude, Rev. 7:9) E. G. White, R. H. April 12, 1898.

The 144,000, Inspiration says, is Israel (Rev. 7:1-8). And the number that no man can number (Rev. 7:9) are of all nations. So it is plain to see that the 144,000 stand on Mt. Zion girded with the whole armor in a last great effort to save the honest from Babylon (Rev. 18:4). At this time Isaiah says: ". . . for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and rebuke many people." Isa. 2:3, 4.

Please notice that Rev. 14 shows that the 144,000 stand on Mt. Zion with the Lamb in probationary time – while Judgment is going on because "the four beasts twenty-four elders" are still around the throne. (verse 3) If probation had closed, the beasts and elders would not be around the throne. And if John had seen them (144,000) in heaven during the 1000 years judging the wicked dead, the Lamb would not be there, for at that time our Saviour does not stand before the throne as a bleeding Lamb, but rather, He is "King of Kings." Inspiration says: "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them . . . and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." Rev. 20:4.

Here Inspiration says that the 144,000 are kings sitting on thrones, but John saw them (Rev. 14) as the first fruits. If they are first fruits standing girt for holy service, we may be assured they stand with the Lamb (Isa. 4) ready to gather in the second fruits (Rev. 7:9), for where there are first fruits we can be sure there will be second. The same reasoning applies here as it does to the two resurrections. (Rev. 20).

Inspiration says that the Lord's Truth is a stumbling stone to both the houses of Israel (Isa. 8:14) – Judah and Israel. If we say that S.D.A is Judah (two tribes) and the other churches are Israel (ten tribes), then, since the 144,000 (Rev. 7:4-8) are of all twelve tribes we may conclude that there will be 24,000 from S.D.A. and 120,000 from the other churches. Then they would gather in a great multitude, second fruits of heathen. But, since Sr. White's first vision was of the 144,000 (E.W. 15) we believe that S.D.A. was organized to gather the 144,000 into the church during the time that Babylon has her moral fall. (Rev. 14:8) (G. C. 339:2). The 144,000 are then to gather into God's purified kingdom the second fruits from the other churches and the world or from Babylon the Great. (Rev. 18).

Now, since the 144,000 are the Seventh-day Adventists and 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes (Rev. 7:4-8); and since the Lord is a stumbling stone and a snare to "both the houses of Israel," there must be some positive way to prove this fact. In the first place, Seventh-day Adventists know that there is a Davidian S.D.A. church. Since the Adventists are Modern Israel (P.K. 417; 5T. 160) and there is S.D.A. and Davidian S.D.A., the names show us quickly that there are two houses of Israel, in modern Israel, the church. Let us not overlook the fact that Inspiration says that the Lord is a stumbling stone (Isa. 8:14) to both S.D.A. and D.S.D.A., Christ being symbolized as a stone (Isa. 28:16) and His being a stumbling stone to both the houses of Israel – both S.D.A. and D.S.D.A. – it is easy to see that He sends a stone message, a message of Himself, that both houses can stumble over if they are not watching. The truth of the matter is that they both think the message they bear is the last, and no more light is to be revealed unless it is revealed through them. The Lord's message, however, comes to them as a snare – it takes them by surprise; and not only them, but the stone kingdom comes as a snare to all people. (Luke 21:31-36).

In other words, the Lord "hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill" (Isa. 5:l) . . . "he looked that it should bring forth grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes." verse 2. "For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel and the men of Judah is his pleasant plant." "And he looked for judgment, but behold, oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry." verse 7. "And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard." verse 3.

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Here we see that the Lord's vineyard that He planted is the house of Israel and when He looked for grapes He found wild grapes. Then there was only one thing left for Him to do, and that was to take away the hedge of Inspiration. This He did by laying away Sr. White in the first instance and Bro. V. T. Houteff in the second. And now He tells His people to judge betwixt Him and His vineyard. Either choose Him or His vineyard. They are at liberty to follow the leadership of either of the houses of Israel (in the houses of wild grapes) without Inspiration, or they have the privilege of following Him inside the hedge of Inspiration (2 TG 46:47:3.) by following present truth.

Let us make this so plain that even the little ones can understand it, even though it does not look as if it could be made any plainer than the above explanation – the admonition is to make it so plain that even the foolish need not err therein. (Isa. 35:8)

Note that Sr. White saw that the 144,000 living saints were sealed in their foreheads with a threefold seal – "God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus' NEW NAME." E. W. 15:1 Jesus says: ". . . I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God which is new Jerusalem . . . AND I WILL WRITE UPON HIM MY NEW NAME." Rev. 3:12.

We know that God's name is in the fourth commandment. The Third Angel's message taught us the seal of God. God gave us this sealing truth through Mrs. E. G. White. (E. W. 254:2). Then the angel (message) of Rev. 7:1-8 ascended from the East with the Truth about the New Jerusalem or Kingdom message. (Palestine is known as the Middle East to all the world). So the 144,000 are sealed by the Davidian kingdom truth which God sent to His people through the Shepherd' s Rod message and its author, Bro. V. T. Houteff: " . . . Hear ye the rod and who hath appointed it." Micah 6:9.

These two messages – the Sabbath and Sanctuary truth and the New Jerusalem or kingdom message – only give us the knowledge of two sealing truths. The full and complete sealing truth is taught by the threefold. Since both of His former servants are in the grave, it becomes evident that for His people to have the knowledge of the third sealing truth (the truth of His new name), there must necessarily be the third inspired message through which God reveals the third sealing truth. It is written "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto His servants the prophets." Amos 3:7.

For many centuries the knowledge of Jesus' new name has remained a secret and now at the proper time He reveals it as a "stumbling stone" to both the houses of Israel. For says Inspiration: ". . . To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna and I will give him a white stone and in the stone a new name written." Rev. 2:17.

The Son of God is the bread of life (manna) and the knowledge of Him is the gospel – the pearl of great price (Matt. 13:46). "Behold, I send an angel (message) before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. But, if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I (Jesus) speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries." Ex. 23:20-22.

The angel (message) that goes before thee has His name in it and His people are admonished not to provoke Him for He will not "pardon your transgressions." But if we will indeed obey His voice (do all the message says) then He will be an enemy to our enemies. Jesus says: "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." John 12:48. "The Lord said moreover unto me; Son of man, wilt thou judge Aholah and Aholibah? Yea, declare unto them their abominations." Ezek. 23:36.

Now let us see who Inspiration says Aholah ad Aholibah are. In the first place, the Timely Greetings says that the women who are at ease (Isa. 32:9) are "Aholah and Aholibah, the figurative names of Judah and Israel." 1 TGr 33:6. The Spirit of Prophecy says: "We are repeating the history of that people." 5T 160:2. Since modern Israel is repeating the history of ancient Israel and the figurative names of ancient Judah and Israel were Aholah and Aholibah; therefore, we do no violence to the text by applying these figurative names to modern Judah and Israel. Furthermore, Ezekiel was commanded to judge – ". . . declare unto them their abominations." Ezek. 23:36. But, since ancient Israel had been assimilated among the nations many years prior to Ezekiel's time and never has been a nation since, and also at that time ancient Judah was in captivity in Babylon, the truth of the matter is Ezekiel never judged either.

Since the text has never been applicable in the past in its fullest sense, then we see no reason to withhold the true interpretation of the figurative names and thereby miss the lesson. One thing is certain – the lesson teaches us that S.D.A. and D.S.D.A. are God's true people. Dear ones, the knowledge of this fact should ease the sting a bit. But only Christ can take away your abominations, if you will let Him, by obedience to the whole truth.

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To further illustrate: "Son of man, there were (are) two women, the daughters of one mother." Ezek. 23:2. Now, since women are symbolical of churches (Isa. 4:1, Rev. 12:1) and S.DA. and D.S.D.A. are modern Israel, therefore only can it be said of them, they are "the daughters of one mother."

"And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah, her sister; and they are mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah." Eze. 23:2,4. Read the rest of the chapter to find out what some of the abominations in the church are. Inspiration says that Aholibah did worse than Aholah. (Verse 11) This is true in face of the fact they profess to believe advanced truth. There is much more evidence in the Rod message for the Branch than there is in the Spirit of Prophecy for the Rod. Therefore, Aholibah is worse than Aholah for not advancing with the Truth. No one, however, will be exempt in the judgment for not advancing with Truth.

In Ezekiel 16 the Lord says: "Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations." Verse 2. Here the prophet is admonished to declare unto Jerusalem her abominations. Since Jerusalem in this chapter applies to the Jews instead of the church, we will not take time and space to study the whole chapter. However, there is a present truth lesson in it for the church. Therefore, we shall study that portion which is present truth for us.

"Wherefore, O harlot, (Jerusalem) hear the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God; Because thy filthiness was poured out, and thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers. . . Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers with whom thou has taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness." Eze. 16:35-37. Zechariah gives the answer to what God means when He says He will bring against Jerusalem all that they have loved and all that they have hated. "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations as when he fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of olives." Zech. 14:1-4.

These verses need no comment save what is meant by: "And his feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives." For the explanation of this statement see Rev. 14:1. "And I looked, and lo, a lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads." Isaiah gives us the answer as to how the Lord will stand there. "And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for upon all the glory shall be a defence." Isa. 4:5.

We understand that Zech. 14:4 has its complete fulfillment at the end of the 1000 years. But when we study the entire chapter together, we see that it has a partial fulfillment before the 1000 years.

Going back to Ezekiel 16, we see now that all that Jerusalem loves and all she hates includes all the nations.

"Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter." Verse 44. Although we as SDAs taught for many years that the Jews would never go back to Jerusalem, we see that we are forced to admit that we did not understand all that is to take place before the Lord comes. The Scripture says that Jerusalem is like in character as Jerusalem of old. Use the proverb, like mother, like daughter.

"Thou art thy mother's daughter, that loatheth her husband (God) and her children; and thou art the sister of thy sisters, which loatheth their husbands and their children (church members); your mother was an Hittite, and your father an Amorite." Verse 45.

The fact that the kingdom of Judah had a sister – the ten tribe Israel (Samaria) – and since this Scripture was written long after the ten tribes were dispersed among the nations, if the text has reference to them, Ezekiel could only be pointing back to the time when they were a nation. But the scripture says that Jerusalem is a sister of her sisters. If sisters, plural, could mean the other cities of Judea, then Ezekiel could be pointing back to Jerusalem in the time of the kingdom of Judah. However, logic and reason disallow this for at the time of ancient Jerusalem the other towns of Judah were not considered as sister churches. At the time of ancient Judah and Israel there were no other forms of worship generally known, and, if there were, it could only have been a type of Pagan worship which, in such case, would not be

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considered a sister to Jerusalem. Therefore, we conclude that the text has its more direct fulfillment when Jerusalem has sister churches. As we study some of the following verses of this chapter, we will see the application. verse 45.

"And thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand: and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand is Sodom and her daughters." verse 46.

If one stood in Jerusalem looking eastward, the location of ancient Samaria would be to the left or north and the place where ancient Sodom stood, the Dead Sea, would more or less be on the right. Jerusalem is almost in line geographically with the upper end of the Dead Sea, with the remainder of the Dead Sea lying to the south or, as the Scripture says, on the right. So far, the text is perfect but a second glance at the Scripture tells us that there is something wrong, for Inspiration says that Sodom is younger than Samaria, even younger than Jerusalem. History tells us that Sodom was destroyed long before the kingdom ever came into existence. Sodom was a city of Gentiles and Lot, a Gentile, was its mayor. Logically speaking, then, Sodom could not be called Jerusalem's sister. But we believe that this Scripture was divinely inspired as well as all other Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16). Therefore, we must sink the shaft of thought (Truth) deeper into the Word of God that we may know the full meaning of this scripture and, therefore, receive a present Truth lesson.

Only could it be said of the Seventh-day Adventist church that she is a sister and yet be older than New Jerusalem, the daughter of ancient Jerusalem Therefore, SDA is modern Samaria ten tribes of the 144,000. The foregoing application is as reasonable and logical as can be made and leaves the mind of the honest with the assurance that he has gained a lesson of worth. But what can be said of Sodom? She is a sister of the daughter of Jerusalem. Keep in mind that Sodom represents the Gentiles. With this key we may be able to unlock the mystery of the other sister. If, then, Sodom represents the Gentiles, or heathen, we may conclude she represents the Sunday keeping churches. Inspiration, however, says she is younger than SDA (Samaria), even younger than Jerusalem. And furthermore, in order to be a sister, Sodom must be a Sabbath keeper, with perhaps heathen (Gentiles) ruling her, because Jerusalem is a Sabbath keeper. The Scripture says that all three loath their husbands. Then who is Sodom, seeing that the daughter of Jerusalem has just passed her tenth birthday, and Sodom is her younger sister? Here is a truth that God has held His hand over for many centuries, to be revealed at the proper time; that the simple things may confound the so-called wise – those that think they know so much. There is only one Sabbath keeping church that "loatheth" her Husband – not following Inspiration, that is under ten years old. The only one we know of that fits this description is DSDA. But, you say, DSDA began in 1930. Perhaps, but she did not become one that loatheth her Husband until after the death of Bro. Houteff in 1955. While the messenger was living he admonished the SDAs to remain in the church, even though he realized that the SDA leaders would cast them out for believing the Shepherd's Rod. But, shortly after Bro. Houteff's death, the rulers at Mt. Camel rejected the Branch message and started a big campaign to get the people to leave SDA (Egypt – Ezek. 17:15; 5T 217) and come to DSDA, thereby creating another SDA church, which makes them under ten years old – younger than the daughter of Jerusalem.

From October 1955 to the spring of 1959 marks the time of the Gentiles "be fulfilled." Luke 21:24.

The Scripture says: " ....until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." Evidently, there is more than one fulfillment of this text. One group may fulfill the text but not do away with it, just as Jesus came to fulfill the law but He did not do away with the law. John the Baptist fulfilled the type of Elijah but he did not destroy the type.

Sr. White and Bro. Houteff both said that Wm. Miller fulfilled the type of Elijah (E.W. 233:1; 2 SR 241:1). In fact, many believe that Bro. Houteff himself fulfilled the Elijah type, but some believe that even he did not destroy the type. It is not, however, clear just what is to happen at the end of the Gentile period here mentioned. Evidently, it marks the end of one thing and the real beginning of something else. One thing we do know, and that is the Gentiles are to lose out.

The Spirit of Prophecy says: "Those who have trusted to intellect, genius or talent, will not then stand at the head of rank and file. They did not keep pace with the light. Those who have proved themselves unfaithful will not then be entrusted with the flock." 5 T 80:1.

Jerusalem is the center of the world and just a fraction below the 32nd meridian. The map shows that the thirty-second meridian runs almost halfway between Dallas and Waco, Texas. Midland is right on the line and Odessa just a fraction below the thirty second. So, standing in Jerusalem, Israel, and looking east, Samaria is on the left and the place where ancient Sodom stood (the Dead Sea) is on the right. Continue to face East, and following the line around the world to the United States and you will

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find that the location of antitypical Samaria (SDA) is to the north – left; and anti-typical Sodom (DSDA) is on the right.

To be sisters means to be of the same family – Sabbath keeping people – the seed of Abraham. Israel, with its government in Jerusalem, is the only nation that recognizes the Sabbath as a nation. So, all Sabbath-keepers who wish to continue keeping the Sabbath day holy, rather than receive the mark of the beast, had better make preparations now to come to Israel. There is an SDA church in Jerusalem and you do not have to leave the church; and besides, you can make a living in Israel as well as where you are.

Jesus said, "Come and see". This is a startling fact, for all other nations will be lined up with those who keep Sunday. Therefore, those who bow to these other nations will he bowing to the beast. ". . . For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." Isa. 2:2.

Friend, why continue to stay in Sodom? Why not let the angel (message) that joins the third angel (T. M. 300; 6T 406; E. W. 277) take you by the hand and lead you out as the angel did Lot? "Now that the city is spiritually called Egypt (SDA) it denotes that it is holding God's people in slavery. The name Sodom (DSDA) denotes that God's true people will have to be rescued from it, as was Lot." 2 TGr 15:12, 1. "THE SAME ANGEL WHO VISITED SODOM IS SOUNDING THE NOTE OF WARNING. ESCAPE FOR THY LIFE." TM 466:1.

"And now she (Sodom) is planted in the wilderness (away from the vineyard) in a dry and thirsty ground. And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rods (prince of the house of David) to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation." Ezek. 19:13,14. God will not use one in DSDA to rule for Him, for fire is gone out of a rod of her branches and has devoured her fruit, and now she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation and it always will be.

From verse 46 on we find that Sodom's failures were because of "pride, fullness of bread, and idleness." Even so, she and Samaria have not committed half the sin or abominations that Jerusalem has done. Verse 51. Because of the magnitude of Jerusalem's sins, the sins of Samaria and Sodom are as nothing. (Verse 52). But when God returns the captivity of Sodom (DSDA) and Samaria (SDA) – the 144,000 – He will return the captivity of Jerusalem (Verse 53). "In the closing proclamation of the Gospel, when special work is to be done for classes of people hitherto neglected, God expects His messengers to take particular interest in the Jewish people whom they find in all parts of the earth." AA 381:1, Rom. 11:24, G. W. 297-99.

When Samaria and Sodom return to their former state (following the Spirit of Prophecy – both SDA and DSDA were led by a prophet – Sr. White and Bro. Houteff) by following the Living Spirit of Prophecy, then Jerusalem will return to her former state of following the living prophets instead of the dead ones. (Verse. 55). But before this He must deal with her for "despising the 'oath' in breaking the covenant." Verse 59. This covenant was made with Israel on Sinai when He brought them out of Egypt. Nevertheless, God will make a new covenant – an everlasting covenant with them (v. 60, Jeremiah 31:31-34). When God gives Jerusalem her two sisters unto her for daughters and makes a new covenant with all, but not by their old covenant, all will loath themselves instead of their husbands (God). (Verse 61; Zech. 12:10). When God establishes His new covenant with Jerusalem, they will know that He is the Lord and they will remember and be confounded and never again open their mouth against Him because of their shame when He is pacified toward them. (Verse 62, 63.).

In the preceding explanation of Ezekiel 16, we have mainly pointed out the mistakes and failures of God's people. There is, however, one bright hope in the ending of this chapter. Although the main part tells His people how bad they really are, in the end He also tells how good they will be when He establishes His new covenant with them. For a true picture of the ending of Ezekiel 16 let us turn to Romans 11. "For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree. For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." Roman 11:24, 25. These two verses give us a true picture of the matter. But we should cherish the following: "And so all Israel shall be saved: (all three sisters) as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. For this is my covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins." Rom. 11:26, 27.

Christ, the Deliverer, made this possible when He died on Calvary, but the sins of Jacob have not been taken away, as yet. We must know, however, that the time of the purging of Jacob's sins is very near, very near, or these things would not have been revealed to us. Take courage, brethren, and be led by the Spirit, ever in prayer lest

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you be taken away in your sins. Our prayer is that the things we have written will not be a stumbling stone unto you, brethren, but rather a deliverer and salvation to both the houses of Israel. Let all beware lest he be caught in the snare of the devil and lose out at the last mile. "The scroll is making a turn. Shall we pray to God that we fall not out by the way in making the bend?" 1 SR 101:3 "This truth, you see, supersedes all truths, for without it your other truths will not profit you, will not take you into the kingdom. It is the last mile of all the miles of our faith through life that takes us Home. We have gone this long: let us, therefore, keep on going right on to glory land, which is no longer beyond the horizon. The mile ahead is indeed the last mile that will take us Home." 2 TGr 44:51.

"Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place." Isa 23:15, 17. Moses prophesied of the Messiah ". . . from thence is the Shepherd the Stone of Israel," Gen. 49:24. "He is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment: A God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation, . . . Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful." Deut. 32:4, 15, 18. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made." John 1:3. There is none holy as the LORD for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. . . who is a rock save our God. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me." 1 Sam. 2:2; 2 Sam. 22:32; 23:3 "For thou art my rock and my fortress . . . my God is the rock of my refuge." Ps. 31:3; 94:22; 118:22.

These Scriptures explain why Paul wrote: ". . . for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." 1 Cor. 10:4.

When Jesus asked Peter, "whom say ye that I am?", Peter answered: ". . . Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Jesus then said: "... Upon this rock will I build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matt. 16:15, 16, 18.

Upon this rock of Truth, that the Father (v. 17) revealed to Peter through the Spirit (not flesh and blood) that Jesus was the Son of God, is what Jesus said He would build His church upon. It is plain to see that the fact that Jesus is the Son of God as revealed through the Spirit, is the rock Christ builds His church on. All through the Old and New Testament Scriptures the Truth is taught that Christ is the Son of the Living God. But the Spirit must first reveal it to every heart, it cannot be revealed by flesh and blood. When we understand Matt. 16:17 it is easy to see why Paul wrote . . . "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of Heaven." (1 Cor. 15:50). Further proof: "But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name. Which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God . . . verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. . .  Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." John 1:12, 13; 3: 3, 5.

Those who believed on Christ's name revealed through the Spirit, "to them gave He power to become the sons of God." Christ came and told the people that He was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and all to whom the Spirit revealed this fact became part of the kingdom. But first, Christ must come and then those who believed Him were His kingdom.

To illustrate: one brother wrote, "I have seen many more mistakes in the branch message. I wonder what was wrong with me when I accepted the branch message. I never loved the message. I found it was hard." The fact that God is going to have a kingdom called by Christ's new name (Isa. 62:2; Rev. 2:17; 3:12), the Truth stands out boldly that Christ must first come and tell us what the name is to be; or He sends an angel (message) revealing His new name, and all to whom the Spirit reveals that name will be a part of the kingdom. They must he born again in order to have a new name.

David went forth to fight against Goliath with his staff (manna) in one hand and a sling and a stone (white stone) in the other and slew the giant. David said that the battle was the Lord's. So it is today. All those who do not have a love for the Truth will lose out, for the battle is the Lord's. Of course, the message is hard, even a stumbling stone and a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel. (Isa. 8:14). By close observation one will find that there is also gentleness, a kindness, to break the flinty heart. So, to all who fight against the Truth: if the stone of love cannot break their flinty hearts, the Rock of Truth will grind them to powder.

"Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the Scriptures, the Stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?" Matt. 21:42. To those who do not have the Truth He says: "Therefore say I unto you, the Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given

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to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whosoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." Matt. 21:43, 44.

Those who fall on the Stone and are broken will go forth like David of old ". . . and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; . . . for they shall be as the stones of a crown (head stone), lifted up as an ensign upon his land." Zech. 9:15, 16. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord, of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone (stones of crown) thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it." Zech, 4:6, 7. "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure." Dan. 2:44, 45.

We see that it is the headstone (remnant) that receives grace and not the mountain (church). After the mountain becomes a plain, God will give grace to those who are left. Like David, the true Davidians will go forth leaning on their staff (the Lord) and with the sling stone (message) not feeling worthy to wear the King's armor, but having faith that they will have the victory. For the battle is the Lord's. Let us therefore, "make a joyful noise to the 'rock of our salvation.'" Ps. 95:1. "Ye, also, as lively stones . . . Unto you, therefore, which believe, he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed (Alpha), the same is made the head (Omega) of the corner. And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word being disobedient whereunto they were appointed." 1 Pet. 2:5, 7, 8.

Here Inspiration tells us that it is the sinners who are offended at the preaching of the Word (Truth). Let us not be confounded, dear children, but rather let everyone repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

"Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it . . . Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." Heb 4:7. The Lord' s word is certain and his promises sure for He says: "Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. For behold the stone (message) that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving hereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day." Zech. 3:8, 9.

The Lord declares that it is certain He will bring forth His servant the BRANCH, for the BRANCH is engraved (written, Ex. 28:11) in the stone (message) that He laid before Joshua. John puts it this way... "And will give him a white stone and in the stone a new name (BRANCH) written (engraved)." Rev. 2:17. It is also written (engraved) in the Stone (message) that the Lord of hosts will remove the iniquity of the land in one day. (Rev. 2: 17) All should praise the Lord for He is going to have a pure church and a pure people and then the work will quickly be finished and all His saints can go home to glory. "Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. O, let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for Thou shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon the earth. Selah. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised." Ps. 67: 3, 4; 113:3.

Regardless of how much evidence one gives from the Scriptures there are some who will always want to question and quibble and say: "Give us a sign. Have any of the leading brethren believed, where are your members? Are there many who believe as you do? Is not this Branch just an offshoot of the Shepherd's Rod?" To such questions Jesus said in His day: ". . . an evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign: and there shall be no sign given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Matt. 12:39, 40.

The evildoers in Christ's time witnessed the sign of Jonah but to no avail, seeing that they had an evil heart of unbelief. Inspiration says: "And speak unto him, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is the BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne: and the council of peace shall be between them both." Zech. 6: 12, 13.

Since Inspiration says that the BRANCH is to build the temple, logic tells us that it is not the Stem – Jesse (SDA). It is not the message that was to gather the 144,000 that builds the temple, nor the Rod message (DSDA) that tells us about the Davidian kingdom and seals the 144,000, but rather, it is the Branch that marks and delivers

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the saints, the 144,000 – the message that tells of the STONE, the ROCK of AGES. Therefore, those who are getting off the Branch and back onto the Stem or Rod, those who remain and set their stakes and refuse to advance with the light as the scroll unrolls, will not be stones of the temple but, rather, they will be only wood for the fire. Ezekiel explains perfectly what we are trying to say: ". . . and the east wind (Hos. 13:15) dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; (top of Carmel withers, Amos 1:2); the fire consumed them. . . . This is a lamentation (tragedy) and shall be a lamentation (mourning). Therefore, I will judge you, O house of Israel, everyone according to his ways, saith the LORD GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the LORD GOD; wherefore, turn yourselves, and live." Ezek. 19:12, 14; 18:30-32.

So we see perfectly that it is not the councils of the nations, but it is that council between the BRANCH (Christ) and Joshua that will bring peace and everlasting happiness. From these explanations by the Arm of Inspiration, the subject is as clear as the noonday sun that it is not the Rod with the Davidian name written on it which is laid before Joshua, but, rather, it is the Stone with the BRANCH name engraved.

Furthermore, Inspiration declares through the servant of the Lord: "Who is to bring this Revival and Reformation, this great change? the BRANCH. . .  . Joshua is well instructed that the burden and the ingenuity for building this spiritual temple belongs to Him whose name is the BRANCH. He is to grow up out of His place. To Him be the glory. He alone is to be exalted. . . He alone is to build the temple of the Lord. . . In other words, as members of the 'House of David', Joshua authorizes them to engage in the work. So, Joshua is responsible to the Lord, but his helpers are responsible to Joshua. Here is seen an organization having a leader and an underleader – the Lord and Joshua." 1 TGr 8-24:3-27: 1-26:3. Finally, Brethren: "In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel." Isa. 4:2. . . . (God's denomination of today.) WHR 53:2.

"Now you see every additional timely Truth brings an additional timely name. And you who have not been baptized in the name of the church but in the name of Christ through the Truth of the Spirit, cannot help going on with the Spirit of Prophecy Who unfolds the Truth and names its people." 2 TGr 34-25:1. (1 TGr 9-12:2)

Wherefore, this timely Truth has revealed to us the name (Isa. 62:2) of the church purified, this no one can deny. Although the logical name of the church is to be Davidian and Seventh-day Adventist till the kingdom is set up (2 TGr 34-25:0) the name of His servant from thence will be called by Christ's new name – BRANCH. It is ordinarily to be expected that when a virgin marries the Bridegroom she would necessarily take His name. And since this is to be a church wedding, the Bridegroom announces His name to the bride-to-be and sets the wedding date and His Father invites the wedding guests. "You could not, therefore, dear children, afford to calmly stand by (not prepare for the wedding), dreaming of being rich and increased with goods, in need of nothing, while in fact you are spiritually poor and naked. And you will stay that way if you neglect to advance with the Truth for this time." 2 TGr 34-25:1.

Whereas the visible church's name is Davidian and Seventh-day Adventist, the invisible church is BRANCH. For, said Jesus: "I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. . . . I am the vine, and ye are the branches: . . . for without me ye can do nothing. If ye abide in me, and my words abide it: you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." John 15:1-7.

Regardless, dear friends, what you call yourselves you are, nevertheless, Branches. You are either true branches or false branches, and if you abide in the true Vine and bring forth fruit, He will purge you that you may bring forth more fruit. So what kind of Branch are you? "Because I will publish the name (BRANCH) of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he." Deut. 32:3, 4.

Those who take part in publishing the new name of Jesus (Rev. 3:12; E.W. 15) will be ascribing greatness unto our God and speaking forth words of judgment. Not only this but Jesus said..."Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall he done unto you." "Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth (mouth piece). My doctrine shall drop as the rain . . . . Because I will publish the NAME of the LORD." Deut. 32: 1, 2, 3.

Publishing the name of the Lord (BRANCH) is our doctrine, and though it is hard (rock-like) to the disobedient, it nevertheless is a gentle rain like dew to the tender Branches. Dear friends, are you ready to stand for Truth and take your place in

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the work of publishing the new name BRANCH throughout the church? You can see that Jesus' new name is the last sealing truth (doctrine) of the threefold seal of the 144,000. (E.W. 15; Rev. 3:12). Now, as the first showers of rain have begun to fall for the new crop on the fields in Israel, the seeds of Truth are being sown in the hearts of His church to bear fruit in the great harvest (John 15:2). The showers that are falling in Israel to bring up the literal crop, we are told, will soon turn into a downpour. So, likewise, the gentle rain that is now falling is the former rain for the great harvest (Loud Cry). And when the "latter rain" (Holy Spirit's power) is poured upon the church on the day of the antitypical Pentecost after the worthless material has been removed in the slaughter of Ezekiel 9, she will be clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness, to enter upon her final conflict. "Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners, she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer." PK 725:1.

Dear little flock, some have already gone to the land God promised Israel to make preparation so that you might likewise come. So won't you now put on the whole armor of truth and righteousness that you may be delivered when the death angel passes through the city (church)? It is taught in the Spirit of Prophecy and Davidian message (Shepherd's Rod) that there will be an earthly kingdom. For many years some have been spending their strength and means in an all out effort to point out the wonderful prophecies of the kingdom before the millennium (9T 63) which are promises to God's true people. Until now we have only been preaching, but now God says to get your stuff and go into captivity. That is, go before the kingdom of God is actually set up, or while the nation not desired (Zeph. 2:1) is building up the land. True, Ezekiel was writing about the experience of Judah going into Babylon. But we must remember that the Jews were already in captivity some years before Ezekiel was called to the prophetic office. Therefore, he was only making a record of this experience. Since Inspiration says: "The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision," Ezek. 12:23 we see that this vision by Ezekiel is in effect in our time – in the twilight (v. 6) just before it gets dark, the time when darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people. (Isa. 60:2)

You say, there is going to be war in the Holy Land. Right you are. Some, though, go ahead in fulfillment of the Scriptures for a sign to you. They go, bearing the reproach, and taking no thought of their lives. They go, seeking death that you, dear brethren, might "consider" the kingdom and live, and if we die, we die. This may sound foolish to some. Remember, though, that God's people have always done foolish things according to the way the carnal mind thinks. Prepare to follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth that you may stand with Him on "Mount Sion" (Rev.14:1) . . . "for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." Isa. 2:2. "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh." Luke 21:20, 28. "Now learn a parable of the fig tree (church DA 743:2). When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: Matt. 24:32. "So, likewise, ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand." Luke 21:31.

In these verses there are at least two good signs for the righteous: First, the armies compassing Jerusalem. Let us think. On the South of Israel the Egyptian armies are ready to march on Jerusalem, on the S. East is Saudi Arabia; East, Jordan; Northeast, Syria; and North, Lebanon. All of these Arab nations are antagonistic toward Israel, with perhaps Egypt, Syria, and Jordan leading the way. Jordan is held back because of her relations with the allied nations. Just last month the United States and England withdrew their armies from Lebanon and Jordan. Brethren, could we say that this is the sign that God's people have been looking for these many years? Now the armies have withdrawn, and there is more or less a lull, but we may be assured that the respite will be a short one, and when hostilities start, the nations will be back to the destruction of Jerusalem. (Zech. 14:1-4). Desire of Ages 633:3 tells us what is to happen. Read GC 36:2. This is the sign of the kingdom of God and our redemption. This is interesting if not alarming. When Jerusalem falls God sets up His kingdom. Jesus says, "Come and see." Cannot you hear His voice?

Second sign: There is a tender branch growing in the fig tree (church) Matt. 24:32. Friends, there is a Branch-kingdom movement within the church, whether we know it or not. This is the sign and this is the parable that Matthew admonishes us to learn: the fig tree, modern Israel (the church) – the tender branch, very young movement (the Branch) within the church. "This generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled." Matt. 24:34. Praise God for these signs!

Whereas the evil and the adulterers are asking for a sign, no sign is to be given them, save the sign of Jonas. The Lord says: "And the head of Ephraim is Samaria (not Jerusalem), and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son (not God). If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established." Isa. 7:9.

The sinners in the church are looking for a sign today just as they were in Christ's day; but like those wicked men then, the disobedient today will not be looking for the sign that God pleases to give them. God tells the Ahaz of today to ask of Him a sign

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either in the "height above or depths below" (v 11) but he says: "I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord, (v. 12). "And he said, Hear ye O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?" (v. 13). The house of David today is so sure they know what is going to happen that they won't trouble God by asking of Him a sign. But in this very way they trouble Him.

"Therefore, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings." (Read also verses 17-20). "And it shall come to pass in that day that a man (not a woman) shall nourish a young cow and two sheep. And it shall come to pass for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall everyone eat that is left in the land." Isa. 7:14-16, 21, 22.

Isaiah, chapters 7-10, are interlinked prophecies, and should be studied together in their entirety. But since we have limited time and space, and also since the Lord's servant has given much information on them, we shall consider only a few high points. This will give light to all as the scroll unrolls to illuminate our paths, to keep us from stumbling and losing sight of Jesus.

Go back and restudy the limited lesson we gave on chapter 8 in this letter, then study the references that we will give and look at it in the light of present truth, and you will be greatly benefitted. The applications made by the Spirit of Prophecy are not to be discredited, but as the scroll unrolls we will see new beauty in His word.

In the Scriptures quoted above, find pointed out:

1. The time in which the virgin gives birth to the child – (type of Christ) . . . "but Christ Himself is also a type." We learned that Immanuel (meaning God with us) could represent only His true followers, the born-again Christians." (Sermon by Bro. V. T. Houteff, on March 14 and June 30, 1942. Reprinted in the Symbolic Code, Vol. 12, #1, p. 6:0. Read page 7). At this time the child, God with us, eats the butter and honey, but he does not yet know how to choose the good and refuse the evil. (v. 16).

2. The time in which he eats the butter and honey after he is left in the land (v. 22), last part. . . The time, our time, just before the purification of the church, the time in which Israel (the church) and Syria (the nation) that abhor Judah, are forsaken of both her kings.

But this confederacy of Israel and Syria against Judah avails them nothing for God will bring Assyria upon them. Even Assyria herself is to fall, and while she is falling, God sets up His kingdom which shall never be destroyed. (Dan. 2:44, 45): "for He will hiss for the fly that is in Egypt and the bee that is in Assyria." Isa. 7:18. God will call the 144,000 to their home land while Assyria falls (E.W. 250:0; 272); and then while they (144,000) are giving the call to "come out of her my people," the woman, Mystery, Babylon the Great will be riding the scarlet colored beast of Rev. 17. So we see plainly that, while Assyria is falling and the kingdom is being set up, the Leopard-Like Beast is passing off the scene and the two-horned beast speaks as a dragon. In other words, the scarlet colored beast brings to an end the rule of the Leopard-Like and two-horned Beasts. If anything is clear, this one thing is. Light is shining on our pathway. Read Tract 14, p. 31-40, 47; 2 TGr 45;19:4, 20:25; Tract 6:27-32, 42; 2 TGr 41: 19.

In the birth of this child we see that not only Christ is a type but that Mary (Jesus' mother) is also a type. Woman is a symbol of the church (Rev. 12). For a virgin (church) to give birth to a child (movement within the virgin) could only be symbolized by a church that had not known man, or one who had not given her message to the world. The virgin had not gone out into the world to make a home for herself, but rather, stayed at home in order to help her dear old mother. There is only one such church in existence today that fulfills this prophecy and that church is Davidian Seventh-day Adventist. Likewise, there is only one movement within a virgin movement that so perfectly fits the type and fulfills prophecy, and that child is the Branch – the ones symbolized by those who are eating the butter and honey (Christ with us). (Tract 14:33:0) "But since ancient Assyria overthrew the Israel-Syrian confederacy centuries before Immanuel was born, and since modern Assyria overthrew the church-state alliance of the Middle Ages centuries after He was born, logic demands that as Syria, Judah, Israel, and Assyria are types, so also Immanuel must be. Wherefore, the virgin-birth prophecy does not refer alone to the birth of Christ, but even more significantly to His followers – the birth and development of Christendom. Correspondingly, Maher-shalal-hash-baz must be symbolical of another group in the Christian era. And, as he knows only to say 'my father, and my mother,' while Immanuel (Christ in the person of His people) knows to refuse the evil and choose the good, Maher-shalal-hash-baz manifestly cannot symbolize any who lived before Immanuel.

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"Still further, the fact that both were to be born into Judah (the church), one of the Spirit and other of the flesh, is conclusive evidence of their being, as the prophet says, for 'wonders' and for 'signs' of two classes of church members, living at the same time." Tract 14:34, 35. So this answers the questionings – "where are your members?" "Is not this Branch just an offshoot from the Shepherd's Rod – a carpenter's son, an illegitimate child?" But we see that the child, like Christ, is begotten by the Holy Spirit. "Who is to bring this revival and reformation, this great change? – the Branch." 1 TGr 8:24; 3. The BRANCH builds the temple with those who eat Branch food – butter and honey ". . . for butter and honey shall everyone eat that is left in the land." Isa. 7:22. "That is the child – His people when they have become mature, born again Christians." Symbolic Code Vol. 12:7, 3.

"True Christianity is a growth. It is plant-like. Christ Himself is represented as a Branch (Isa. 11:1) and His kingdom as a mustard seed (Matt 13:31, 32), which, after it is planted becomes a tree, the greatest of its kind. But since the literal tree must necessarily feed on physical food, likewise the spiritual tree must necessarily feed on spiritual food on such as the Branch Itself was fed." 2 TGr 45:3.

Isaiah, chapter 8, is a continuation of chapter 7, which is shown by the word "moreover", showing that something happens immediately after the virgin gave birth to the child. A comment on the first four verses of the chapter will make our subject exceedingly clear and all the honest in heart will be greatly benefitted by the lesson.

"Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man's pen concerning Mahershalalhashbaz." Isa. 8:1. There is much to be written (great roll) with a "man's pen" concerning Mahershalalhashbaz. "And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah, the priest, and Zechariah, the son of Jeberechiah." (v. 2) There are also faithful records kept to witness to the Truth. (read v. 3)

The faithful record of God's servant puts the key in our hand to unlock the mystery of the child born to the prophetess. ". . .Wherefore, the virgin-birth prophecy does not refer alone to the birth of Christ, but even more significantly to His followers – the birth and development of Christendom. Correspondingly, Mahershalalhashbaz must be symbolical of another group in the Christian era. And as he knows only to say 'my father and my mother', while Immanuel (Christ in the person of His people) knows to refuse the evil and choose the good, Mahershalalhashbaz manifestly cannot symbolize any who lived before Immanuel. Still further, the fact that both were to be born into Judah (the church) one of the Spirit and other of the flesh, is conclusive evidence of their being, as the prophet says, for 'wonders' and for 'signs' of two classes of church members, living at the same time." Tract 14, 34:2; 35:0.

These two children, Immanuel, those born after the Spirit, and Mahershalalhashbaz, those born after the flesh ". . . are for signs and for wonders in Israel (SDA), from the LORD of hosts," Isa. 8:18, that her alliance with Syria will in reality, profit her nothing, that both will be taken captive by Assyria.

Here we see that the scroll has unrolled and exposed the General Conference plans to confederate with the world in order to war against Judah, (144,000). But the church is taken in the snare, for at this time the Two-Horned Beast speaks as a dragon, makes an image to the Beast – the Assyrian period. But do not fear, dear ones, for Michael will stand up and deliver His saints into the Kingdom, every one whose name is found written in "the book." (Dan. 12:1) Jacob, the 144,000, returns to the land that God gave to our fathers, (Ezek. 37:25) and this is his time of trouble. Assyria herself, however, will fall, and Babylon the Great will come up in her place (Rev. 17) and bring on the great time of trouble.

We are told that Mahershalalhashbaz is born in Judah after Immanuel, but that both classes of Christians live at the same time. Or in other words, there are two groups of Sabbath-keeping Christians, both born of Judah who are for "signs" and "wonders" to SDA (Israel). "Consequently, they must attain to this knowledge (of Bible) in the Assyrian (Protestant) period, for the confederacy of Israel and Syria, let us remember, was to be broken by Assyria after Immanuel was born but before He could 'refuse the evil, and choose the good;' and not only after Mahershalalhashbaz was born, but also before he could say 'my father and my mother.' And the fact that the church is still imperfect, shows that even the 'born-again' Christians are to this day unable to choose consistently between good and evil, and that those who are merely born after the flesh are so undeveloped as to be unable even to lay positive claim to knowing their father (God) and their mother (the Church)." 14 Tr 36:0.

The Immanuels, those eating the butter and honey, are not developed enough in Bible knowledge to consistently choose the good and refuse the evil. But Mahershalalhashbaz does not even know his father (God) nor his Mother (the Church). We might say the latter class represents the unconverted in SDA, but in reality they are depicted as the sinners in Zion, and although they do not know their father (God) they most certainly know who is their mother (the Church), for it is the unconverted who are in the

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majority and, therefore, in control of the church. But Mahershalalhashbaz does not know who is his mother. This class must represent those who do not know God, who are outside of the mother church. And since they are represented as a child movement born after the Immanuel child and since they are born of the prophetess (following her private interpretations of the prophetic writings) (Isa. 8:3), there is only one conclusion, and that is, this class represent those who did not follow God when the Immanuel (Branch) was born. Therefore, of them only could it be said here that they do not know their mother (Church) for their mother is the prophetess and they do not know it. The present DSDA movement very evidently is the child represented in the prophecy of Isa. 8: 1-3 and before this child has the knowledge to cry my father (God) and my mother (Church) the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.

Therefore, there are three sealing Truths for the 144,000 (E.W. 15; Rev. 3:12), God, (Rev. 14:6-11 – SDA) New Jerusalem (Rev. 7:1-8 – DSDA) Jesus' new name (Rev. 18:1 – Branch). Now it is plain to see that the message (Mouth of the Lord) must come before Michael stands up. Any message other than the three mentioned here, regardless of how high sounding the title, are not of God. They are designed to confuse God's people, and lead souls astray. The Judases, the Herods, the Sauls, the Ahabs, the Jezebels, the hirelings, the Korahs, Dathans, and Abirams, are making an all-out effort to destroy the child Immanuel. But, since God is with us, their efforts will avail them nothing for the true Davids, Elijahs, Josephs, and the child will escape their grasps and they themselves will fall into the pit. (Rev. 11:13).

And though the Assyrian be successful in killing the Two Witnesses (Rev. 11:7), he nevertheless is destined to fall (Isa. 30: 31) when God's people turn to Him. "The Assyrian is to fall because of his wickedness, and because God's people return to Him; because of a thorough revival and reformation." 1 TGr 24-16:1. "When God's people cast away all their idols, fully turn to Him, then it is that the Assyrian falls." id 17:9. "Through His messenger He is urging His people to perform their vows, for He is to take away the wicked from among them. Assyria is to vacate and give room to Judah. 'For through the voice of the Lord shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.' (Isa. 30:31) '. . . Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited. And he shall pass over to his stronghold for fear and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, Whose fire is in Zion and His furnace in Jerusalem.' Isa. 31:6, 9. The purification (Judgment) here you see, is conducted from Zion and Jerusalem." 1 TG 15-16:0-2.

". . . the children of Israel, return and seek the Lord, their God, and David, their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days." Hos. 3:5.

The events that are immediately before us and which are to transpire in quick succession are the standing up of Michael (Dan. 12:1); the two-horned beast (the 6th, Rev. 17: 10) makes an image to the Beast (Rev. 13:11); but the Assyrian who smites with a "rod" (Isa. 30:31); (Rev. 13:5) will fall, that is, he will give way to the scarlet colored beast and Babylon the Great. (Rev. 13:7, 8; Rev. 17.) The time of trouble starts with the nation represented by the two-horned beast, and extends to other nations. At this time Jacob will be delivered, everyone whose name is written in the "book." This is his time of trouble, "but he shall be saved out of it." Jer. 30:7. "For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his (Assyria) (Rev. 17:10, first part) yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bands, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: But they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them." Jer. 30:8, 9. After seeing Jacob escape his grasp, the dragon will become so furious that this trouble will extend to all nations. (Rev. 17: 12-14). This is the great time of Trouble but it is cut short in righteousness. (Rev. 17: 10, 14, 16.)

To the little flock who are torn and bleeding as a result of the dragon's roar, Jesus has raised His glorious right arm and lightened your pathway ahead. (EW 15). Be strong and of good courage, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall." Mal. 4:2.

Yours to fall on the STONE and be broken,
that we may not be ground to powder,

Ben L. Roden

NOTE: Emphasis and brackets in quotations ours unless otherwise indicated.

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