Jezreel Letter # 2
Dear Fellow Member:
The only way for you to escape being taken by wolves in sheeps' clothing is if you ever remember the fact that the Judgment message, the last before Christ comes the second time, is what made us a people; that is, because the message had come, and because it has to be proclaimed, we S. D. A. 's came on the scene, and we certainly want to stay there until the work is finished. We must not become a back number as did the Protestant churches since they rejected the messages one after another. God forbid that we should be "spued out" and lose so late in the day. And what is the truth of the Judgment?--
The Judgment as you know is in two separate and distinct sections, one following the other -- the Judgment for the dead first, and the Judgment for the living last. This we know is so and we must not let subversive influences, even if they be in Seventh-day Adventist's garb, cause us to lose sight of this truth. Our part of the Judgment message since 1844 has been, as you know, to proclaim the Judgment for the dead, not for the living as yet. What is the Judgment for the dead?--
We have been taught by Inspiration that it is to separate the good from the bad, not bodily, but in books, because before the resurrection, the dead have no being, or "portion" "in anything that is done under the sun. " -- Eccl. 9:5, 6. This judgment work is to enable the angels to know who is to come up in the first resurrection, in the resurrection of the holy ones (Rev. 20:4, 5, 11-14), and who is to come up in the second resurrection, in the resurrection of the unholy ones. To this end declares Daniel "the Judgment was set, and the books were opened. " (Dan. 7:10. )
Thus it is that Inspiration calls the judgment work, "the cleansing or the sanctuary" (Dan. 8:14); that is, each professor of religion that ever died since the beginning of sin, is now judged and the case of each decided either to bring him up in the first resurrection or in the second; either to blot out from the records the name of each impenitent sinner, or to blot out for ever from the Book the sins of each penitent sinner. This has been Heaven's work since the year 1844, and every informed Seventh-day Adventist knows it.
Now, since the message of the Judgment for the Living is of far greater importance than the message of the Judgment for the Dead, it is but expected that the Bible will have more to say about the latter than the former. This is so because the Judgment for the Living has to do with the living themselves, with the message bearers, rather than with the dead. In importance, therefore, there is no comparison between the two. How will we get the message of the Judgment for the Living?--
The answer is clear to all: We will get it in the same way we got the one in 1844. Since it then came through Inspiration and through God's own chosen instrumentality, it is certain that the additional message ("Early Writings," p. 277), too, is to come in the same way; that is, by inspiration through God's own chosen agency. Indeed Truth is never revealed in any other way but by Inspiration. See 2 Peter 1:20.
As we had to hear the old message preached before we accepted it, we will have to hear the new message preached, and how shall we "hear without a preacher" (Rom. 10:14)? And as the old message was unpopular in its beginning, scoffed at, laughed at, ridiculed and scorned by men of station and influence, it is certainly expected that the new message and messengers, too, will be received and treated no better but even worse. Then it was strictly an individual matter, no priest or prelate could meddle with the conscience of the other and so it must be now. Every soul is to make his own decision in his secret chamber with the aid of the Spirit of Truth.
Is it possible for one to lose out when the message of the Judgment for the Living begins to sound, though he did not lose out when the message of the Judgment for the Dead sounded? -- The Spirit of Prophecy answers thus: "We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history. " -- ''Life Sketches," p. 196. Yes, this is to be our only fear. Let us, therefore remember, and make positively sure that God is now to lead us in the same way as He did in 1844 and throughout the ages. Make doubly sure that you follow no other kind of leadership, that you let no man divert your attention from this straight path -- that you let no one lead you to believe that God is now leading through every Tom, Dick, and Harry. This we must not forget if we are to emulate and succeed the saints that have gone before us, and if we expect to be saved. If we forget this, then as sure as we stand, men will lead us away from God's message and turn us against His messengers even as the Jewish priests made their followers turn against Christ. God forbid that we should sin against the Holy Ghost by rejecting His message when It comes to us. Only by strictly following this Divine command can we be led right and survive the Judgment for the Living when it starts to "sever the wicked from among the just. " Matt. 13:49.
What is the Judgment for the Living? and what happens with the righteous, and what happens with the wicked, after they are judged? -- In His parables Christ illustrates that the righteous, as good fish, are put into vessels; as wheat, they are put into the barn; and as sheep, they go into life eternal -- they are placed in absolute security--sealed for eternity. But the wicked, as bad fish, are cast out, as tares, they are burned up; and as goats, they are sent into everlasting punishment. "So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. " Matt. 13:49, 50.
Here we see that the judgment work for the living is illustrated in several ways, and is variously called: "Judgment" (Dan. 7:10; Rev. 14:7; 1 Pet. 4:17); "Cleansing of the Sanctuary" (Dan. 8:14); "Purify His Temple" (Mal. 3:1-3); "Harvest" (Matt. 13:30); "Mighty sifting," "purification of the church," (5 T. , p. 80).
Concerning this judgment work, the Spirit of Prophecy has this to say:
". . . But the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will have a people pure and true. In the mighty sifting soon to take place, we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that his fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor. . . . They have not had the light which has been shining in a concentrated blaze upon you. But, it may be under a rough and uninviting exterior the pure brightness of a genuine Christian character will be revealed. " - "Testimonies," Vol. 5, pp. 80, 81.
The fact that the message of the Judgment for the Living is by far more widely treated by all the Bible prophets than is the Judgment for the Dead, is in itself proof positive that it is supremely important. I can, however, treat of it only very briefly in this letter -- only give the gist of it:
As shown before, in the Judgment for the Dead the sinners are separated from the righteous in books only, but in the Judgment for the Living the sinners and the righteous are bodily separated one from the other as Inspiration through the prophet Ezekiel explains:
"And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; and the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem [the church], and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof [in the church]. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity; slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which where before the house. " Eze. 9:3-6.
And through the prophet Malachi we are told that the Lord will beforehand send a messenger, and that after he prepares the way, the Lord will suddenly come to His temple (the church) for no reason other than to purify it, especially to purify the sons of Levi, the ministry. See Malachi 3:1-3. Then, says the Spirit of Prophecy, "Only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [Third Angel's Message] when it shall have swelled into the Loud Cry. " -- "The Review and Herald," Nov. 19, 1908. And to this "startling revelation" ("Testimonies to Ministers," p. 445) the prophet Isaiah adds:
"For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many. 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. For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues, and they shall come, and see My glory. And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the Isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord. " Isa. 66:15-20.
Since the slaughter predicted by the prophet Isaiah takes place among those who profess to be sanctified and purified (falsely believe to have need of nothing more), and since those who escape from among them are sent to the Gentiles to preach the gospel, five distinct and supremely important points stand out plainly: (1) since the victims of the slaughter are those who against their God-given knowledge indulge in swine's flesh and other abominations, and since those who escape are versed in the gospel work enough to be sent to preach it to the Gentiles, the slaughter, therefore, is seen to take place in the church; (2) those who escape, according to Ezekiel, are those who sigh and cry against the abominations, and thus receive the mark of deliverance, (3) since they are sent to preach the gospel to the Gentiles after they escape the slaughter, they are "the remnant," those that are left, the future servants of God; (4) since they are to gather from the Gentiles all their brethren, all that can possibly be saved, they are the ones who finish the gospel work in all the world, (5) since there are two separations -- one from the church (Israelites), and one from the Gentiles, -- those who escape and those who are gathered in -- then the former are the first fruits and the later the second fruits -- those of Revelation 7:4, 7-9, one from the tribes of Israel, and one from the Gentile nations.
All these scriptures and many more, my friend, as you plainly see, refer to the purification of the church, to the great and dreadful day of the Lord (Mal. 4:5), to the Judgment for the Living and the gathering of the saints -- the "harvest" of which every prophet has written, some more and some less. Since this is so you certainly see that our elders are now doing what the priests in Christ's day were doing, and also what the religious leaders down through the Reformation were doing, and are no less determined to keep this message away from the laity, and to thereby deceive even the very elect, the 144,000, the very first fruits of the harvest, those who are to survive the Judgment "in the house of God" (1 Pet. 4:17), the future servants of God!
If this is not the enemy's aim behind these hostile Elders' doings, and if this Truth can be refuted, they would not act like mad men, would not shun discussion with us, would not push us out of the churches in the hope that we cannot come in contact with the laity, would not advise you not to read but burn our literature, would not threaten to excommunicate you for studying this message, but would sit down and refute It if It is incorrect as they sit down with all others that disagree with them.
Can't you see that the spirit which is now manifesting itself through these Truth-hating brethren is the very spirit which manifested itself through the Jews, and through the enemies of Truth during the Protestant reformation, and also in the beginning of the 1844 movement? Do you not see that because they cannot attack this message on It's own merits, they get personal, attack the men in charge and resort to character defamation, to gossip and falsehood, to anything in the hope of turning you against the Message and the messenger. The Spirit of Prophecy predicted the crime in these words:
"I saw that the very spirit of perjury, that would turn truth into falsehood, good into evil, and innocence into crime, is now active. Satan exults over the condition of God's professed people. . . . " - "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, pp. 94, 95.
For the Elders to tell the laity what to read and what not to read, who to talk to and who not to talk to, who to let in their homes and who not to, is to make dolts, automatons, and spiritual invalids of them. The Elders should be told that they are taking even heavier burdens upon themselves than did the Jews or the ministers in our former churches while many of us where studying the Advent message. They can be helped if the laity tell them that this is a matter to be decided between the laity and their God; that if any one is to get into the Kingdom he must get there on his own God-given ability. Show them what the Spirit of God says in the following:
"Precious light is to shine forth from the word of God, and let no one presume to dictate what shall or what shall not be brought before the people in the messages of enlightenment that He shall send, and so quench the Spirit of God. Whatever may be his position of authority, no one has a right to shut away the light from the people. When a message comes in the name of the Lord to His people, no one may excuse himself from an investigation of its claims. No one can afford to stand back in an attitude of indifference and self-confidence, and say: 'I know what is truth. I am satisfied with my position. I have set my stakes, and I will not be moved away from my position, whatever may come. I will not listen to the message of this messenger; for I know that it cannot be truth. ' It was from pursuing this very course that the popular churches were left in partial darkness, and that is why the messages of heaven have not reached them. " -- "Counsels on Sabbath School Work," p. 28.
This is what the phrase "religious liberty" means, my friend. Is this not the proper, honest, and honorable way to deal with the situation? Are you to follow men's sayings, or are you to follow Christ and His Truth? Tell those hostile Elders that their fight is not against "The Shepherd's Rod" but against God and against their own souls.
''. . . Those who train the mind to seize upon everything which they can use as a peg to hang a doubt upon," says the Spirit of Prophecy, "and suggest these thoughts to other minds, will always find occasion to doubt. They will question and criticize everything that arises in the unfolding of truth, criticize the work and position of others, criticize every branch of the work in which they have not themselves a part. They will feed upon the errors and mistakes and faults of others, 'until,' said the angel, 'the Lord Jesus shall rise up from his mediatorial work in the heavenly sanctuary, and shall clothe himself with the garments of vengeance, and surprise them at their unholy feast; and they will find themselves unprepared for the marriage supper of the Lamb. ' Their tastes has been so perverted that they would be inclined to criticize even the table of the Lord in his kingdom. " - "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 690.
". . . The separation," continues the Spirit of Truth, "causes pain and bitterness to both parties. It is the variance which Christ declares that he came to bring. But the converted will feel a continual longing desire that their friends shall forsake all for Christ, knowing that unless they do, there will be a final and eternal separation. The true Christian cannot while with unbelieving friends, be light, and trifling. The value of the souls for whom Christ died, is too great. " -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, p. 83.
Believe me, my friend, that if the message of the Judgment for the Living had not been Divinely revealed to us, if it was less serious than it is, if it had not been as clear as crystal, and if we were not commanded to bring it to you, we would not be hunting God's misled people in the rocks and in the mountains (Jer. 16:16) as it were -- we would not have been put under such a heavy burden and expense by going from door to door throughout the Adventist world in order to rescue them from the Laodicean self-deception; neither could we with our human power so nicely take the insults that are thrown at us almost hourly by men and women who profess to be serving God!
". . . In this time," says the Spirit of God, "the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy, will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ's righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness. . . . Those who have been timid and self-distrustful will declare themselves openly for Christ and his truth. The most weak and hesitating m the church, will be as David -- willing to do and dare. . . .Then will the church of Christ appear 'fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.'" -- "Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 5, pp. 81, 82.
These Davids whom God is now disclosing to view will soon be calling on you to lay down God's plans for you. Please receive these servants of God in this layman's movement with the same courtesy with which you would expect them to receive you.
We come to you with the pure Word of God and all we request of you is to give us an unbiased and unprejudiced hearing when we call on You in your home. Since you see that this letter contains the plain untarnished Truth, then if you hear any one talking against it you can help him by asking him to give you something better on these scriptures if he has it, and if not, to let you alone.
If you are to help the enemies of Truth, tell them their drilling the laity that they have all the Truth, that they need no more, that they have the last message, that the Spirit of Prophecy says so although It says on the contrary, is plain falsehood. Tell them, not the Judgment for the Dead, but the Judgment for the Living is the last message, and they do not have it, and instead of looking for it, they are fighting against it. Tell them that the bible either proves these things so, or It does not; if It does not, then make them tell you where It does not.
The mark of God (Ezekiel 9:4) and the mark of the beast (Rev. 13:16) are here seen to be two opposites as are the two women of Revelation twelve and seventeen -- the true and the counterfeit.
The beast we are told is a man (Rev. 13:18). The demand to worship, obey the beast's command, therefore, is a demand to worship (obey) man in place of God. Both marks are for no other purpose but for to define who is who -- who is for God and who is for the beast. Those who obey God's Judgment message rather than the beast's decree, receive God's mark. And those who obey the beast's decree rather than God's message receive the beast's mark. These two different marks, you see, separate the worshipers of God from the worshipers of men. And since Jesus declares that the separation takes place during harvest, and as you now see that the 'harvest" and the "Judgment" for the living are synonymous terms, then the conclusion is that as the mark of God is urged upon the believers of His Judgment message in the church, and as the mark of the beast is urged upon the worshipers of the beast during the Judgment in the world, the subject becomes clear: The enemies of the Judgment message in the church, and the enemies of the Judgment message in the world are both imbued with the spirit of the beast -- both doing the same kind of work against God's people, first in the church then in the world. The only difference between the two is that in the world the mark of the beast is enforced by civil law, whereas the church it is not, though the enemies against the Judgment message already have done everything in their power to secure the arm of the law against us. It is now left up to every individual member of the church to either take heed to God's Judgment message and receive His mark of deliverance, or to give heed to men's vain talk and die under the slaughter weapons of the angels.
Sincerely yours for gathering the first fruits first,
V. H. Jezreel, H. B. Director of S. D. A. Layman's Movement) 5 T 80, 81