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Just as the sealing message has closed with remarkable advancement each of its seven eventful years, so it has closed 1937 with the amazing improvement that all Mt. Carmel's employees are now to be compensated for their work, instead of their working for nothing, and Mt. Carmel's caring for their expenses.
Moreover, we, as leaders in this reformatory work, are now able to set for all Present Truth believers the right example in respect to paying tithe and free-will offerings. That is, besides making free-will offerings, Mt. Carmel's inhabitants are now paying a double tithe on all their increase, which rule of practice will bring our individual tithe and offerings up to between 25% and 30% on all our personal "increase," thus bringing us up to the ancient Jewish standard of benevolence, which is explained in the following quotations:
"While we speak of the tithe as the standard of the Jewish contributions to religious purposes, we do not speak understandingly. The Lord kept His claims paramount, and in almost every article they were reminded of the Giver by being required to make returns to Him. They were required to pay a ransom for their first-born son, for the first-fruits of their flocks, and for the first gathering of the harvest. They were required to leave the corners of their harvest-fields for the destitute. Whatever dropped from their hands in reaping was left for the poor, and once in every seven years their lands were allowed to produce spontaneously for the needy. Then there were the sacrificial offerings, the trespass-offerings, the sin-offerings, and the remission of all debts every seventh year. There were also numerous expenses for hospitalities and gifts to the poor, and there were assessments upon their property.
"At stated periods, in order to preserve the integrity of the law, the people were interviewed as to whether they had faithfully performed their vows or not. A conscientious few made returns to God of about one-third of all their income for the benefit of religious interests and for the poor. These exactions were not from a particular class of the people, but from all, the requirement being proportioned according to the amount possessed. Besides all these systematic and regular donations, there were special objects calling for free-will offerings, such as the tabernacle built in the wilderness, and the temple erected at Jerusalem. These draughts were made by God upon the people for their own good, as well as to sustain His service.
"There must be an awakening among us as a people upon this matter. There are but few men who feel conscience-stricken if they neglect their
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duty in beneficence. But few feel remorse of soul because they are daily robbing God. If a Christian deliberately or accidentally underpays his neighbor, or refuses to cancel an honest debt, his conscience, unless seared, will trouble him; he cannot rest although no one may know but himself. There are many neglected vows and unpaid pledges, and yet how few trouble their minds over the matter; how few feel the guilt of this violation of duty. We must have new and deeper convictions on this subject. The conscience must be aroused, and the matter receive earnest attention; for an account must be rendered to God in the last day, and His claims must be settled.
"The responsibilities of the Christian business man, however large or small his capital, will be in exact proportion to his gifts from God. The deceitfulness of riches has ruined thousands and tens of thousands. These wealthy men forget that they are stewards, and that the day is fast approaching when it shall be said to them, 'Give an account of thy stewardship.' As shown by the parable of the talents, every man is responsible for the wise use of the gifts bestowed. The poor man in the parable, because he had the least gift, felt the least responsibility, and made no use of the talent entrusted to him; therefore he was cast into outer darkness.
"Said Christ, 'How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!' And His disciples were astonished at His doctrine. When a minister who has labored successfully in securing souls to Jesus Christ, abandons his sacred work in order to secure temporal gain, he is called an apostate, and he will be held accountable to God for the talents that he has misapplied. When men of business, farmers, mechanics, merchants, lawyers, etc., become members of the church, they become servants of Christ; and although their talents may be entirely different, their responsibility to advance the cause of God by personal effort, and with their means, is no less than that which rests upon the minister. The woe which will fall upon the minister if he preach not the gospel will just as surely fall upon the business man, if he, with his different talents, will not be a co-worker with Christ in accomplishing the same results. When this is brought home to the individual, some will say, 'This is a hard saying;' nevertheless it is true, although continually contradicted by the practice of men who profess to be followers of Christ.
"God provided bread for His people in the wilderness by a miracle of mercy, and He could have provided everything necessary for religious service; but He did not, because in His infinite wisdom He saw that the moral discipline of His people depended upon their co-operating with
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Him, every one of them doing something. As long as the truth is progressive, the claims of God rest upon men to give of that which He has intrusted to them for this very purpose. God, the Creator of man, by instituting the plan of systematic benevolence, has made the work bear equally upon all according to their several abilities. Everyone is to be his own assessor, and is left to give as he purposes in his heart. But there are those who are guilty of the same sin as Ananias and Sapphire, thinking that if they withhold a portion of what God claims in the tithing system, the brethren will never know it. Thus thought the guilty couple whose example is given us as a warning. God in this case proves that he searches the heart. The motives and purposes of man cannot be hidden from Him. He has left a perpetual warning to Christians of all ages to beware of the sin to which the hearts of men are continually inclined.
"Although no visible marks of God's displeasure follow the repetition of the sin of Ananias and Sapphira now, yet the sin is just as heinous in the sight of God, and will as surely be visited upon the transgressor in the day of judgment; and many will feel the curse of God even in this life. When a pledge is made to the cause, it is a vow made to God, and should be sacredly kept. In the sight of God it is no better than sacrilege to appropriate to our own use that which has been once pledged to advance His sacred work.
"When a verbal or written pledge has been made in the presence of our brethren, to give a certain amount, they are the visible witnesses of a contract made between ourselves and God. The pledge is not made to man, but to God, and is as a written note given to a neighbor. No legal bond is more binding upon the Christian for the payment of money, than a pledge made to God.
"Persons who thus pledge to their fellowmen, do not generally think of asking to be released from their pledges. A vow made to God, the giver of all favors, is of still greater importance; then why should we seek to be released from our vows to God? Will man consider his promise less binding because made to God? Because his vow will not be put to trial in courts of justice, is it less valid? Will a man who professes to be saved by the blood of the infinite sacrifice of Jesus Christ, 'rob God'? Are not his vows and his actions weighed in the balances of justice in the heavenly courts?
"Each of us has a case pending in the court of Heaven. Shall our course of conduct balance the evidence against us? The case of Ananias and Sapphira was of the most aggravated character. In keeping back part of the price, they lied to the Holy Ghost. Guilt likewise rests upon every individual in proportion to like offenses. When the hearts of men are softened by the pres-
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ence of the Spirit of God, they are more susceptible to the impressions of the Holy Spirit, and resolves are made to deny self and to sacrifice for the cause of God. It is when divine light shines into the chambers of the mind with unusual clearness and power, that the feelings of the natural man are overcome, that selfishness loses its power upon the heart, and that desires are awakened to imitate the Pattern, Jesus Christ, in practicing self-denial and benevolence. The disposition of the naturally selfish man then becomes kind and pitiful toward lost sinners, and he makes a solemn pledge to God, as did Abraham and Jacob. Heavenly angels are present on such occasions. The love of God and love for souls triumphs over selfishness and love of the world. Especially is this the case when the speaker, in the Spirit and power of God, presents the plan of redemption laid by the Majesty of Heaven in the sacrifice of the cross. By the following scriptures we may see how God regards the subject of vows:--
"'And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes concerning the children of lsrael, saying, This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded. If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.' (Num. 30:1, 2.) 'Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error; wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?' (Eccl. 5:6.) 'I will go into thy house with burnt-offerings; I will pay thee my vows, which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.' (Ps. 66:13, 14). 'It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make inquiry.' (Prov. 20:25). 'When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it; for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a free-will offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the Lord thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth.' (Deut. 23:21-23).
"'Vow, and pay unto the Lord your God; let all that be round about Him bring presents unto Him that ought to be feared.' (Ps. 76:11). 'But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even His meat, is contemptible. Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord. But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt
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thing; for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and My name is dreadful among the heathen.' (Mal. 1:12-14.)"--"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 4, pp. 467-471.
Furthermore, Mt. Carmel is paying salaries not only to all her regular workers, but also to all her students, thus enabling them to defray a part of their expenses, which privilege of self-help not only reduces their parents' burdens, but also, at the same time, teaches the students to bear responsibilities, and to become self-supporting, which both the parents and the schools have failed to do, with the deplorable result that after the youth have passed school age, they are unable not only to make a living for a home, but also to make even their own living, and are consequently a burden to themselves and a curse to the world; whereas, they should be a blessing to all.
This 1938 remuneration system applies to all the children from four years up, as set forth in the following supplementary by-laws to the constitutional rules and regulations of the General Association of The Shepherd's Rod Seventh-day Adventists:
"This Association shall consist of dependent and independent departments.
"THE DEPENDENT DEPARTMENTS shall be: the Educational, Ministerial, Benevolent, and the General Office.
"For the upkeep of the educational department there shall be required an offering of 5% the net income of all Present Truth believers. This offering, from others than those at Mt. Carmel, shall be used especially for the upkeep of the children in school, whose parents are financially unable to do so, and for the upkeep of the school premises.
"The school board shall accept no more students until additional room has been provided to take care of them, and until present truth believers respond to their duty and maintain the students in school.
"The Ministerial Department--workers and Present Truth publications--shall be maintained by the first tithe. All over and above the expenses of this department, shall be used for the purchasing of construction materials for the building of institutional edifices at Mt. Carmel Center.
"The Benevolent Department shall be maintained by the second tithe, of which the 5% of school dues is a part, and all the offerings that are not directed to any specific fund. The funds of this department are to take care of all worthy charitable cases.
"THE INDEPENDENT DEPARTMENTS are the Mercantile, the Farm, Tenement, Culinary, Laundry, and Medical.
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"All manner of purchases shall be made through the Mercantile Department.
"The Farm shall sell all its produce to the Mercantile, Department.
"Profits accruing from the Mercantile, the Farm, the Tenement, the Culinary, the Laundry, and other Departments, shall be used to pay off Mt. Carmel's Real Estate mortgage and for the purchasing of building materials to be used at Mt. Carmel.
"The Medical Department shall, to maintain itself, make, for all services a nominal charge. There shall be no profits accruing from it. Patients not able to care for their Sanitarium expenses, shall be aided by the Benevolent Department.
"All manner of articles given to the institution, the Benevolent Department shall sell to the Mercantile Department, and the proceeds shall be given to those who need the articles, and the Mercantile Department shall sell them at cost to the recipients. "The case of each Present Truth believer shall be considered upon its own merit.
"All full-time workers at Mt. Carmel shall receive for their labor 14c an hour, by which to take care of their immediate expenses. The Association shall pay the expenses of the children whose parents as well as themselves reside at Mt. Carmel.
"As some men's work is worth more than that of others, and as some lines of work should pay more than others, the Association shall further compensate each worthy worker by a bonus, the amount of which shall be determined in accord with each case, and thereby also equalize the difference between those whose labor is worth less and those whose labor is worth more.
"The aforesaid bonus may be paid upon one's final settlement with the Association, or it may be paid before, depending upon the decision the Association shall make. However, if there should arise some unexpected expense against any one who has a bonus accruing, and that one is financially unable to take care of such an emergency, he may draw on his bonus, and thereby take care of his need.
Student Labor and Maintenance
"The students are to be divided into four groups.
"Class I shall be composed of those who are between four and eight years of age, and are to receive 3 1/2› an hour for twenty-six hours of manual drill a week, which earning will amount to 91› a week, as against $3.23 a week for room, board, and laundry, leaving a deficit of $2.32, plus the amount of tithes and offerings on the
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91›, which deficit the parents, or guardians, of these children are to send to them weekly.
"Class II shall be made up of those who are from eight to thirteen years of age, and they shall receive 7 1/2› an hour for their twenty-six hours of manual drill, bringing them $1.95 a week against a weekly expense for board and room and laundry of $4.00, leaving a deficit of $2.O5 plus the amount of tithes and offerings on the $1.95, which the parents, or guardians, are to make up, and which they must remit to this class of children each week.
"Those from thirteen to seventeen years of age shall compose Class III; they shall receive 9› an hour for their twenty-six hours of manual drill, bringing them $2.34 a week against $4.30 a week for room, board, and laundry, leaving a deficit of $1.96, plus the amount of tithes and of offerings on the $1.96 for their parents, or guardians, to remit to them each week.
"Class IV is to be made up of Senior students, the quality of whose work entitles them to labor not less than eight hours a day as apprentices in various departments; they shall receive from 9 to 13› an hour (depending upon their capabilities), or from $4.14 to $5.98 a week, less tithes and offerings, against living expenses of $4.30.
"The earnings of each group shall be subject to double tithes and free-will offerings."
Trade and Exchange Currency
"The General Office of the Association, shall issue $25,000 in "Trade Currency" and $5,000 in money exchange currency against its real estate property. With the Trade Currency it shall transact business with all its immediate departments, and pay the salaries of all its employees residing at Mt. Carmel Center. All such residents shall trade at Mt. Carmel Center with the above mentioned Trade Currency.
"The Trade Currency shall consist of penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half dollar, one dollar, five dollar, ten dollar, and twenty dollar denominations, whereas the money-exchange currency shall consist of one, five, and ten dollar denominations. The latter shall be redeemable either in trade or United States money.
"Money other than Mt. Carmel Currency received by any Mt. Carmel resident, shall either be converted into trade or money-exchange currency at Mt. Carmel exchange office, or be deposited in the Bank of Palestina of Mt. Carmel Center, and the depositor shall be entitled to withdraw the same at will, if there be no other arrangements made.
For the Sake of the School
As the labor of most of the students is not only unprofitable, but also costly to the institu-
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tion (for it takes the teachers' time to look after them while they are accomplishing but very little), and as their labor is not put into some kind of industry that would bring an income to the institution, this compensation policy can maintain itself only at the expense of the institution, and is devised only as a means to insure the perpetuity and the prosperity of the school, also to teach the children the value of a dollar, and to bear responsibilities, so that while they are getting their education they can at the same time be learning how to make a living.
Maintenance of the Educational Department
There are a number of children whose parents are financially unable to maintain them in school, and as Mt. Carmel, their spiritual mother, desires to save all her children, she has adopted them. But as her support must come from all Present Truth believers, she is herein making known to all, her wants for these children.
It has been estimated that the average offerings received from Present Truth believers amount to about 2% of their "increase," and that it takes from 5% to 8% to maintain the school. Hence, Mt. Carmel in no uncertain words requests that all Present Truth believers contribute not less than 5% of their increase to this needy fund. In other words, if one's income is $15 a week, his first tithe will amount to $1.50 for the ten percent tithe, and 68c for the 5% school maintenance, which will make a total of $2.18.
If all Present Truth believers respond to this urgent and worthy call, then the problem of maintaining the school and of securing a Christian education for the children will be forever solved. But be it known, Brother, Sister, that if you fail, then your failure will hinder Mt. Carmel in doing for your children that which the Lord expects her to do, and which must be done if they are to be saved. Such a neglect now, will bring ruin upon both old and young.
In the Nov.-Dec. issue of the Code, page sixteen, paragraph seven, the word "not" was unintentionally dropped out.
"Furthermore, Mt. Carmel will labor hard and do all possible to convert the children inside a certain period of time. Then those who are not of age and who fail to be thus converted to the Lord, Mt. Carmel must, to her sorrow, return home."
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Owing to the fact that most Present Truth believers do not fully comprehend the true meaning of the words, "...The Lord will work in this last work...in a way that will be contrary to any human planning" ("Testimonies to Ministers," p. 300), Mt. Carmel finds herself harassed with many peculiar problems, gratuitous and unwarrantable.
Hence, she finds herself expending an excessive share of her time and energy helping persons who, though themselves should be helping others, are instead busy doing what they assume to be their God-given duty--questioning and criticizing the work of God, and demanding that we give account of our mode of conducting the Lord's work.
Others, though directing their attention in channels other than that of handling the Lord's interests, yet presume to set themselves as our criterions in one respect or another, then proceed vigilantly to watch everyone but themselves, unmercifully measuring every shortcoming and imperfection, and then exacting conformity to their own precise and narrow standards--an arrogant license which no man has the right to expect, much less impose, or demand.
Fault - Finding
"It is strange how oblivious we can be of our own faults and of the blemishes in our own character, and how clearly we can see the faults and blemishes of other people. Finding so much wrong in others is not a flattering indication of what our hearts contain. We ought to be very quiet and modest in criticizing others, for in most cases we are just telling the world what our own faults are. Before we turn our microscopes on others to search out the unbeautiful things in them, we had better look in our mirrors to see whether or not we are free ourselves from the blemishes we would reprove in our neighbor. There is a wise bit of Scripture which bids us get clear of the beams in our own eyes, that we may see well to pick the motes out of the eyes of others."--"In Green Pastures," pp. 39, 40.
Experience has proved that those who are so zealous that others be above reproach, are, themselves, more reproachable than those for whom they profess to be so concerned, for now, after only a few short months, they are either on their way or are already out of the message which they not long ago so confidently believed to be the truth. Thus they clearly show that the motives behind their great concern to correct others, were engendered, not by a pure and all-consuming zeal for the prosperity of the sealing message and its
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advocates, but rather by the power of the arch-deceiver whose determined purpose is to foment trouble and discourage and dishearten as many as possible, thereby making the truth of none effect.
Such cases have been obtaining among Present Truth believers, not only in the field, but also among those right at Mt. Carmel, where the enemy knows that his accomplishment will be the greater if he succeeds in his cunningly-devised scheme to thwart the work.
There are but few, if any, Present Truth believers, those at Mt. Carmel not excluded, who fully realize what the "camp" really stands for, or the reason why any of us are here. Moreover, we find it surpassingly hard to make Present Truth believers sympathetically to understand the pioneer stage in which Mt. Carmel is at the present, most significant evidence of which is seen in the fact that when applicants are asked why they desire to come here, the most of them answer, "to learn the message," or "to become better Christians," or "to get away from the world," etc., etc. There is nothing wrong with such desires in themselves. However, Mt. Carmel has not yet reached the stage where she can serve such needs in the way she is expected to.
Many, upon arriving here, think that they must spend the greater part of the day in the class room, and they expect to receive their wings simply by our laying hands upon them, and when finding this to be impossible, they conclude that the trouble is due to Mt. Carmel instead of to themselves. Consequently, they begin to search for wrongs, to pick flaws, to criticize, and to appoint themselves to the business of making good things out of bad matters--thus getting out of their place.
Therefore, in order to save those who are in this way so easily led into the enemy's ranks, Mt. Carmel is herein solemnly announcing to all that from now on she is accepting none but workers until at such a time when she shall be able to take in the worthy poor, the sick, and the aged, and those who wish to take a short ministerial course.
Moreover, our advice to those who wish to become subjects of the kingdom, is that they take heed to themselves by watching their own steps rather than watching the steps of others, for if they turn their eyes from their own feet and focus them on the steps of others, they will surely fall off the narrow path of light, and plunge into the bottomless abyss of perdition.
Do not insist upon any one's measuring up to your opinion of yourself; make not your business
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that of finding fault with others, nor of advertising their sins; expect no one to confess to you any sins other than those committed against you personally; and never from any man demand an apology or confession.
That Code readers may surely know and understand that those who continue in the evil habit of watching others instead of themselves, will never see the glory of the kingdom, each is enjoined carefully to study the following plain, positive statements from the Spirit of Prophecy:
"You have yourselves thrown open the doors for Satan to come in. You have given him an honored place at your investigation, or inquisition meetings. But you have shown no respect for the excellencies of a character established by years of faithfulness, jealous, revengeful tongues have colored acts and motives, to suit their own ideas. They have made black appear white, and white black. When remonstrated with for their statements, some have said, 'It is true.' Admitting that the fact stated is true does that justify your course? No, no. If God should take all the accusations that might in truth be brought against you, and should braid them into a scourge to punish you, your wounds would be more and deeper than those which you have inflicted on Bro ............ Even facts may be so stated as to convey a false impression. You have no right to gather up every report against him, and use them to ruin his reputation and destroy his usefulness. Should the Lord manifest toward you the same spirit which you have manifested toward your brother, you would be destroyed without mercy. Have you no compunctions of conscience? I fear not. The time has not yet come for this Satanic spell to lose its power. If Bro. ........... were all that you represent him to be which I know he is not--your course would still be unjustifiable.
"When we listen to a reproach against our brother, we take up that reproach. To the question, 'Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in Thy holy hill?' the psalmist answered, 'He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor.'
"What a world of gossip would be prevented, if every man would remember that those who tell him the faults of others, will as freely publish his faults at a favorable opportunity. We should endeavor to think well of all men, especially our brethren, until compelled to think otherwise. We should not hastily credit evil reports. These are often the result of envy or misunderstanding, or they may proceed from exaggeration or a partial disclosure of facts. Jealousy and suspicion, once
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allowed a place, will sow themselves broadcast, like thistledown. Should a brother go astray, then is the time to show your real interest in him. Go to him kindly, pray with and for him, remembering the infinite price which Christ has paid for his redemption. In this way you may save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins."--"Testimonies for The Church," Vol. 5, pp. 57-59.
"...Satan exults over the condition of God's professed people. While many are neglecting their own souls, they eagerly watch for an opportunity to criticize and condemn others. All have defects of character, and it is not hard to find something that jealousy can interpret to their injury. 'Now,' say these self-constituted judges, 'We have facts. We will fasten upon them an accusation from which they cannot clear themselves.' They wait for a fitting opportunity, and then produce their bundle of gossip, and bring forth their tidbits.
"In their efforts to carry a point, persons who have naturally a strong imagination, are in danger of deceiving themselves and deceiving others. They gather up unguarded expressions from another, not considering that words may be uttered hastily, and hence may not reflect the real sentiments of the speaker. But those unpremeditated remarks, often so trifling as to be unworthy of notice, are viewed through Satan's magnifying glass, pondered, and repeated, until mole hills become mountains. Separated from God, the surmisers of evil become the sport of temptation. They scarcely know the strength of their feelings or the effect of their words. While condemning the errors of others, they indulge far greater errors themselves. 'Consistency is a jewel.'
"Is there no law of kindness to be observed? Have Christians been authorized of God to criticize and condemn one another? Is it honorable, or even honest, to win from the lips of another, under the guise of friendship, secrets which have been entrusted to him, and then turn the knowledge thus gained to his injury? Is it Christian charity to gather up every floating report, to unearth everything that will cast suspicion on the character of another, and then take delight in using it to injure him? Satan exults when he can defame or wound a follower of Christ. He is the 'accuser of the brethren.' Shall Christians aid him in his work?
"God's all-seeing eye notes the defects of all, and the ruling passion of each; yet he bears with our mistakes, and pities our weakness. He bids his people cherish the same spirit of tenderness and forbearance. True Christians will not exult in exposing the faults and deficiencies of others. They will turn away from vileness and deformity to fix the mind upon that which is attractive
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and lovely. To the Christian every act of faultfinding, every word of censure or condemnation, is painful.
"There have always been men and women who profess the truth, who have not conformed their lives to its sanctifying influence; men who are unfaithful, yet, deceiving themselves, and encouraging themselves in sin. Unbelief is seen in their life, their deportment, and character and this terrible evil acts as does a canker.
"Would all professed Christians use their investigative powers to see what evils needed to be corrected in themselves, instead of talking of others' wrongs, there would be a more healthy condition in the church today. Some will be honest when it costs nothing, but when policy will pay best, honesty is forgotten. Honesty and policy will not work together in the same mind. In time, either policy will be expelled, and truth and honesty reign supreme, or, if policy is cherished, honesty will be forgotten. They are never in agreement; they have nothing in common. One is the prophet of Baal, the other is the true prophet of God. When the Lord makes up His jewels, the true, the frank, the honest, will be looked upon with. pleasure. Angels are employed in making crowns for such ones, and upon these star-gemmed crowns will be reflected, with splendor, the light which radiates from the throne of God.
"Our ministering brethren are too often imposed upon by the relation of trials in the church, and they, too, frequently refer to them in their discourses. They should not encourage the members of the church to complain of one another, but should set them as spies upon their own actions. None should allow their feelings of prejudice and resentment to be aroused by the relation of the wrongs of others; all should wait patiently until they hear both sides of the question, and then believe only what stern facts compel them to believe. At all times, the safe course is not to listen to an evil report, until the Bible rule has been strictly carried out. This will apply to some who have worked artfully to draw out from the unsuspecting, matters which they had no business with, and which would do them no good to know.
"For your soul's sake, my brethren, have an eye single to the glory of God. Leave self out of your thoughts as much as possible. We are nearing the close of time. Examine your motives in the light of eternity. I know you need to be alarmed; you are departing from the old landmarks. Your science, so-called, is undermining the foundation of Christian principle. I have been shown the course you would surely pursue, should you disconnect from God. Do not trust
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to your own wisdom. I tell you, your souls are in imminent peril. For Christ's sake, search and see why you have so little love for religious exercises.
"The Lord is testing and proving His people. You may be just as severe and critical with your own defective character as you please, but be kind, pitiful, and courteous toward others. Inquire every day, Am I sound to the core, or am. I false-hearted? Entreat the Lord to save you from all deception on this point. Eternal interests are involved. While so many are panting after honor, and greedy of gain, do you, my beloved brethren, be eagerly seeking the assurance of the love of God, and crying, Who will show me how to make my calling and election sure?"--"Testimonies for The Church," Vol. 5, pp. 95-97.
"There are many matters in connection with the work of God with which you find fault, because it is natural for you to do so. And since you have turned your face against the light God revealed to you in regard to yourself, you are fast losing your discernment, and are more than ever ready to find fault with everything. You give your opinion with dictatorial confidence, and treat the queries of others in regard to your opinion as personal abuse. True refined independence never disdains to seek counsel of the experienced and of the wise, and it treats the counsel of others with respect."--"Testimonies for The Church," Vol. 4, p. 240.
"... Your wife is engaged too much in seeking spot and stain upon the characters of her brethren and sisters. While seeking to weed the gardens of her neighbors, she has neglected her own. She must make most diligent efforts in order to build up a spotless character. There is the most fearful danger that she will fail here. If she loses Heaven, she loses everything. Both of you should cleanse the soul-temple, which has become terribly polluted...."--Id. p. 337.
"I saw that some are withering spiritually. They have lived some time watching to keep their brethren straight,--watching for every fault, to make trouble with them. And while doing this, their minds are not on God, nor on Heaven, nor on the truth; but just where Satan wants them,--on some one else. Their souls are neglected; they seldom see or feel their own faults, for they have had enough to do to watch the faults of others without so much as looking to their own souls, or searching their own hearts. A person's dress, bonnet, or apron takes their attention. They must talk to this one or that one, and it is sufficient to dwell upon for weeks. I saw that all the religion a few poor souls have, consists in watching the garments and acts of others, and finding fault with them. Unless
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they reform, there will be no place in Heaven for them, for they would find fault with the Lord himself.
"Said the angel, 'It is an individual work to be right with God.' The work is between God and our own souls. But when persons have so much care of others' faults, they take no care of themselves. These notional, fault-finding ones would often cure themselves of the habit if they would go directly to the individual they think is wrong. It would be so crossing that they would give up their notions rather than go. But it is easy to let the tongue run freely about this one or that one when the accused is not present."--"Testimonies for The Church," Vol. 1, p. 145.
"...TAKE HEED LEST YE FALL"
In the October 13, 1937, RECORD, "Official organ of South-western Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists," in an article under the title, "Satan Still at Work," there occurred a charge against a statement found in the February, 1937 "Symbolic Code," p. 8, par. 8, and another charge against a later explanatory statement in answer to the former charge, found in the July issue, p. 2, par. 7. Says THE RECORD:
"In the February issue of a paper called THE PROPHETIC CODE, there appears the following statement which was referred to in THE RECORD some months ago:
"'The working out of divine design, in ordaining and establishing, on Friday, the sixth day of creation, the marriage institution, and on the seventh day, the Sabbath, thus gave type both to the re-establishing of these institutions, and the restoring of them to the sanctity and beauty of their first estate. And as we must observe the Sabbath on the seventh day, likewise we ought to solemnize marriage on Friday, the sixth day of the week.'
"Now," continues THE RECORD, "contrast this statement with the following blank denial of it in the July issue of the same paper:
"'Any one, who having a decent degree of care and understanding while reading the full accounts of the above mentioned wedding, will quickly see that the RECORD'S charging that the announcement advocates "the idea that marriages should always be performed on Friday" is strictly another case of reading into the "Shepherd's Rod" that which they do not contain--nay, even suggest, much less state.
"The first statement says 'as we must observe the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week, so we ought to solemnize marriage on Friday, the sixth day of the week.' In the face of this print-
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In mail which is addressed to the General Office, and which contains requests directed to the Academy, or to any of the departments, kindly write out the requests on a separate sheet of paper, so as to avoid confusion and difficulties in filing.
In the case of letters written directly to the Academy, please address them as follows:
Mt. Carmel Academy
Mt. Carmel Center
"...TAKE HEED LEST YE FALL" RIGHT SIDE
ed statement, the second paper says it did 'not contain--nay, even suggest, much less state' such a thing."
While we would charitably believe that THE RECORD is honestly making the above charge against us, yet we are nevertheless certain that the author of the article in THE RECORD has not arrived at his conclusions from a deep study of the Code, but rather from mere surface reading and snap judgment of it, the fact of which is further attested to by his miscalling "The Symbolic Code," "The Prophetic Code." Says the Spirit of Prophecy:
"But few comprehend the ways and works of God in the mysteries of His providence. They advance a few steps, and then are unable to touch bottom or shore. It is the superficial thinker who deems himself wise. Men of solid worth of high attainments, are the most ready to admit the weakness of their own understanding. God wants every one who claims to be His disciple to be a learner, to be more inclined to learn than to teach.
"How many men in this age of the world fail to go deep enough. They only skim the surface. They will not think closely enough to see difficulties and grapple with them, and will not examine every important subject which comes before them with thoughtful, prayerful study, and with sufficient caution and interest to see the real point at issue. They talk of matters which they have not fully and carefully weighed."--"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 4, p. 361.
Our statement in the July, Code, Vol. 3, No. 7, Col. 1, Par. 7, the writings do not contain--nay, even suggest, much less state,") is an answer to a later issue of THE RECORD, which charged us with having said, "marriage should always have been performed on Friday;" a statement which we have never made.
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The facts are these: We said that as the marriage institution was ordained on the sixth day, and the Sabbath on the seventh, and as we keep Sabbath on the day it was instituted, "likewise we ought to solemnize marriage on Friday, the sixth day of the week," by which statement we mean to say that this is what we ought to do in the future, as Elijah is to "restore all things," whereas, THE RECORD charged us with having said "that marriage should always have been performed on Friday," making it appear that the Code is charging sin against those who have married on another day. Therefore, against such an idea we wrote:
"Any one, who having a decent degree of care and understanding while reading the full accounts of the above mentioned wedding, will quickly
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Josiah's Or John's Prophecy Fulfilled?
QUESTION NO. 185:
"Was Josiah Litch correct in his prophecy of the fall of the Ottoman Empire on Aug. 11, 1840?"
The Ottoman Empire did not fall at all; instead, Turkey "placed herself under the control of Christian nations."--"The Great Controversy," p. 335.
Here follows an extract from a letter, written by Dr. W.S. Butterbaugh, M.D., giving facts concerning the incorrect date of Josiah Litch's prediction, as based on a supposed fulfillment of Rev. 9:5, 15:
"In the interest of the truth, we should know that both Miller and Litch based their latter deductions upon statements from the historian Gibbon, these statements supposing that Othman (Osman) first invaded Nicomedia in 1299, which date historians did not change until 1916, when later investigators corrected it to read 1301, thus rectifying a discrepancy of two years.
"The Rev. Alexander Keith, writing in 1832, several years before Litch formulated his prediction that the fall of Turkey should take place on Aug. 11, 1840, called attention to this error made by Gibbon. In Keith's work, 'The Signs of the Times,' Vol. 1, p. 311, published in Boston in 1832, we read:
"'It was on the 27th of July, in the year 1301, erroneously stated by Gibbon in 1299, of the Christian era, that Othman first invaded the territories of Nicomedia.'...
"From a work entitled 'The Foundation of the Ottoman Empire' by the Century Company, New York, I herewith quote:
"'One of the principal tasks of this book is to correct the fundamental misconception of the foundation of the Ottoman Empire....No re-
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see that the 'Record's' charging that the announcement advocates 'the idea that marriage should always have been performed on Friday,' is strictly another case of reading into the writings of 'The Shepherd's Rod' that which they do not contain--nay, even suggest, much less state."
Moreover, we are sorry that our brethren have fallen so low in the scale of wisdom and dignity as sarcastically to call the foregoing words "doctrines of devils," although our position is based on solid facts of scripture while their fault-finding is based on nothing but the carping cavils of the blind in the past. "Wherefore," says the apostle, "let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." "Be not high minded, but fear." "Condescend to men of low estate." (I Cor. 10:12; Rom. 11:20; 12:16.)
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS RIGHT SIDE
cord exists of any battle fought, or of any conquest made. In 1299, Osman took up his residence in Weni Scheii. In 1300 he had succeeded in submitting to his authority a part of ancient Phrygia and Bithynia. The early European historian makes the wildest statements about Osmon's field of action. In 1301, 12 years after Osmon began to form his state, he fought his first battle and came into direct contact with the Bysantine Empire....Hammer and Jorga both give the year 1301. Muralt has the battle in 1302....It is hardly probable that they made any attack on Nicomedia at this time.'--Extract culled from pp. 22-34.
"If Osman took up his residence in Weni Scheii in 1299, which was two years to his first battle, it is not at all likely that the year 1299 can be relied upon as a day for the founding of the Turkish Empire. The following letter from John W. Taylor, Dept. of Greek of Chicago University, merits careful consideration....
"'Pachymeres (De Adronico Palaelogo) book IV, chapter 25, recounts the defeat of the Romans fighting for the Greek Emperor Adronicus near Nicomedia and dated July 27. The year is not given, as the system of dating was not yet introduced into Greece from the Western Empire. The chronology employed by Gibbon and other recent writers on the period, is based on a Latin work,...Chronologus, by Petrus Possinius, a Jesuit scholar writing at Rome about 1660. He constructed a chronological table for the events, chronicled by Pachymeres, using as evidence eclipses of the sun or moon described by historians and dated by astronomers, Arabian and Ottoman records, which were dated by the Hegira, or documents written by the Latins dated by the Christian system.
"'The date of the event in question is inferred from the following circumstances. Possinius was
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able to establish by a Latin document that Adronicus formed an alliance with the Roman general Rozericus in the last months of 1302. Surmising that he was driven to this by a series of reverses, one of the last of which was the defeat of the Persians under Altman (Othman or Osman) on July 27, Possinius placed this event in 1302. H.A. Gibbons in his 1916 edition of the "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" evidently preferred to put it back to 1301. The earlier editions gave 1299, the year in which Possinius put the assembling by Altman of the marauders which later won the battle referred to. The authority of Possinius thus points rather to 1301 than to 1299 for the battle near Nicomedia. Edward Gibbon in writing his work seems to have thought it was more probable that the battle immediately followed the collection of the force in that it was the immediate occasion of the alliance between Adronicus and Rozericus. I should be inclined to agree with the 1916 edition and place the battle in 1301, or even in 1302...
(Signed) JOHN W. TAYLOR,
Department of Greek,
University of Chicago.'
The above evidences, concerning the mistaken basis upon which Josiah Litch predicated his prediction of the Ottomon Empire's falling in 1840, removes from 1840 to 1842 or 1843, the fulfillment of his prophecy.
Thus, not only the foregoing evidences prove that Litch's prophecy did not fulfill the prophecy of "The Revelation," but also "The Great Controversy" records that Litch's own prediction, and not that of John, was thought to be fulfilled. Hence, Litch's prediction being erroneously based on "The Revelation," was more of a providence than a fulfillment of the Revelator's prophecy.
Moreover, the prophecy of the Revelation calls for slaying the "third part of men" (Rev. 9:15), whereas, in the supposed fulfillment of Litch's prophecy, no one was killed!
Who Is the "Elect Lady"?
QUESTION NO. 186:
Who is the "elect lady and her children" spoken of in the second epistle of John?
We do not know who is the "elect lady and her children" of John's epistle, unless it be the mother of Jesus and her other children.
Honesty Leaning Against Inconsistency?
QUESTION NO. 187:
Did not Sister White say to those present at a certain conference meeting, "Some food for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus"? If she
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made the above quoted statement, then how do you account for it inasmuch as all who were present at that conference are now supposed to be dead? Would not such an eventuation militate against the inspiration of her writings?
Before we answer as to whether or not the fore-going statement concerning the vision be correct, we would like to ask if a statement of like character in the writings of the prophets would also militate against the inspiration of the Bible?
Those in whose eyes Sister White's statement seems incorrect, and who thus think her writings are invalidated, to be consistent, must also think so of the Scriptures, for the following scriptural statements, too, are of a similar character and appear to be no less contradictory than does Sister White's statement.
Isaiah, the prophet, wrote, "Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorest shall be forsaken of both her kings." (Isa. 7:14, 16.) Matthew explains: "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel; which being interpreted is, God with us." (Matt 1:23.)
No one would question but that Isa. 7:15 is a prophecy of the birth of Christ. But while it is easy to explain Isa. 7:15, it is not so easy to explain Isa. 7:16, for the two kings there mentioned were the king of Syria and the king of Israel (Isa. 7:1), who forsook the land when the king of Assyria came against them centuries before Christ was born, although the prophet said: "Before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorest shall be forsaken of both her kings."
If the seekers for hooks and crooks, upon which to hang their doubts, can understand Isaiah's prophecy, along with a number of other prophecies, then they may claim the authority to pass judgment upon the work of the Spirit of God whether it be in the Bible time or in our time, and then we would be compelled to accept their interpretation of Sister White's statement in Vol. 1, p. 132.
Again, Christ speaking to His disciples, said: "Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come" (Matt. 10:23), but Paul declares that in his time the gospel was preached unto every creature under heaven. (Col. 1:23.)
No genuine Christian would dare question the truthfulness of either Christ's or Paul's statements, diametrically opposed though they be. At the same time all of us know that the gospel was preached to them all, and that nearly two thousand years have gone by and the Son of man has not
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yet come. Hence, as Christ's and Paul's, also Isaiah's, statements are no less contradictory than Sister White's statement, how then can anyone, on exactly the same ground, honestly accept the former and reject the latter? The fact is that those who condemn Sister White, would just as soon condemn the prophets and Jesus Christ if they crossed their path.
Those who cannot explain the many seemingly contradictory statements in the Scriptures, but who yet believe them to be inspired and correct, should, to be honest with themselves and consistent with their position, do likewise with the statement in Vol. 1, p. 132, and instead of condemning, they should admit their inability to explain the Word of God privately (without the Spirit Who inspired it).
The fact that they do not understand the Scriptures any better than they understand the Spirit of Prophecy, shows that their criticism does not prove the writings of Sister White uninspired, but rather that it proves themselves uninspired--"wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." (Rev. 3:17.) To them says Jesus: "I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see." (Rev. 3:18.)
The trouble does not lie with the writings of the prophets, but rather with you men who have sinned against the Lord. "For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath He covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which man deliver to one that is learned, saving, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: and the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." (Isa. 29:10-14.) "And there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err." (Isa. 30:28.) "For the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him." (Isa. 30:18.)
Abraham could not understand how the prom-
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ise in Isaac was to be fulfilled and at the same time he be offered for a burned sacrifice, but Abraham knew that wisdom did not die with him, and thus he left the perplexing problem for God to work out. As Abraham became the father of the faithful because he believed, though he did not understand, then if we are to become "the children of Abraham," we, too, must lay aside all egotism and pride of opinion, and do as did he. Says God:
"Hearken to Me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you." (Isa. 51:1, 2.)
As the denomination has never practiced making a record of persons present at any conference meeting, no one knows whether or not all are dead that were present at that particular meeting of which Sister White speaks. In fact many of them who were then young must yet be alive. At any rate, as this is not the only thing in the Word of God that they cannot satisfactorily explain, it is better to wait until God Himself explains it, than to throw away a carload of jewels for a supposed lump of dirt.
If you are impatient, sit down quietly and talk with Job.
If you are just a little strong-headed, go see Moses.
If you are getting weak-kneed, take a good look at Elijah.
If there is no song in your heart, listen to David.
If you are a policy man, read Daniel.
If you are getting sordid, spend a while with Isaiah.
If you feel chilly, get the beloved disciple to put his arms around you.
If your faith is below par, read Paul.
If you are getting lazy, watch James.
If you are losing sight of the future, climb up the stairs of Revelation and get a glimpse of the Promised Land.
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