The Grains of Ezekiel 4: What is the 430 Year Time Prophecy?

by sighandcry on May 31, 2014


Seventh-day Adventist theology has long used the day for a year principle found in Ezekiel 4:6 to explain a number of time prophecies in the Bible such as the 2,300 days of Daniel 8:14 and the 1260 days/years of Revelation 13:5. In a strange paradox the church is incapable of explaining the 430 day/year prophecy found in this very verse. Is it to remain a sealed vision forever? Certainly not as a timely inspired interpretation has made its way into the church despite rather vigorous opposition. Below is recorded the explanation that was published in 1945 in a tract entitled, “The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 1“. (The detailed chart image above originally and its explanation came from The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 1 which was first published in 1930). Come and see for yourself the amazing truth revealed therein and how its applies directly to our church history and proves once again that God’s true last day church containing all of the fundamental Protestant doctrines is the Seventh-day Adventist from which will soon emerge the 144,000 guileless first fruit servants of God for the Loud Cry.


“Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the city, even Jerusalem.” Verse 1.

Ezekiel was commanded to engrave a city upon a tile and to name it Jerusalem. The material on which the city was to be engraved being everlasting—not subject to decay—it denotes that the city envisioned is one that will stand eternally: a people that shall never die.

“Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes there-of shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.

“But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby. . . .

“And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.” Isa. 33:20, 21, 24.

“And lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about.” Verse 2.

To “lay siege against it” means, of course, to invade it with an army of reformatory workers and compel it to surrender—to come to the knowledge of the truth herein revealed. Very evident it is, then, that the message of the hour, and it alone, should be brought before the people of God.

“And build a fort against it”—make sure that none escape, good or bad.

Then “cast a mount”; spare not effort, and take precaution to secure the city.

“Set the camp also against it”; that is, make a temporary lodging place for your workers, Headquarters from which to carry on the work, and make preparation to remain there until you have conquered the city. This is the devout purpose in building Mt. Carmel Center, this is its given goal.

Also “set battering rams [margin—chief leaders] against” the city “round about.” The instrument with which they batter, of course, is clear, cutting, and convincing Bible truth. And this is the very obvious necessity for having in every branch of the work capable men to wisely lead.

“Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.” Verse 3.

That is, when this takes place in the antitypical house of Judah, it shall stand as a sign by which the antitypical house of Israel shall be warned.

Then it shall come to pass that “when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?

“Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in Mine hand.

“And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.

“And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:

“And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:

“Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be My people, and I will be their God.

“And David My servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in My judgments, and observe My statutes, and do them.

“And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob My servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children forever: and My servant David shall be their prince forever.

“Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

“My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

“And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.” Ezek. 37:18-28.

As a general of armies sets his face against an enemy nation with intent to conquer it, so is antitypical Ezekiel commanded to undertake this urgent “revival and reformation” among God’s people.

“Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.

“He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning, his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.” Ezek. 33:4, 5.

“For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the in-iquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.” Verses 5, 6.

In this parabolic presentation concerning the fate of the house of Israel (the ten-tribe kingdom) and of the house of Judah (the two-tribe kingdom), during their respective captivities among the Gentiles, away from their homeland, stand dominantly to view the fact that while lying on his left side Ezekiel depicts the house of Israel in their iniquity for a period of 390 years, and that while lying on his right side he depicts the house of Judah in their iniquity for a period of 40 years.

“And, behold, I will lay bands upon thee, and thou shalt not turn thee from one side to another, till thou hast ended the days of thy siege.” Verse 8.

Ezekiel’s being immovably bound symbolically projects the certainty and inescapableness of the punishment which his people are for their iniquity to bear during the predicted period of years.

“Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof. . . . And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight. And the Lord said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them.” Verses 9, 12, 13.

This is the punishment which is to be meted to the house of Israel during the years of its captivity among the Gentiles. And as neither sacred nor profane history records that God’s people were ever literally subjected to food so prepared, the fact is conclusively substantiated that this entire prophecy is symbolical. The six grains, therefore, can represent only spiritual food just as do grains elsewhere in the Scriptures.

When do the two periods (the 390 years and the 40 years) begin?—Obviously not at the time Samaria, the capital city of the ten-tribe kingdom, was invaded by Assyria, nor at the time Jerusalem, the capital city of the two-tribe kingdom, was besieged by Babylon, for Ezekiel himself, not a Gentile king, is to lay siege against Jerusalem and take it, not let it escape.

Neither could the period have terminated with Judah’s returning from Babylon to Jerusalem while rebuilding the temple and the city, for Judah was in exile only about 70 years, not 430 years.

And finally, the ten tribes, the house of Israel, have never even to this day returned to their homeland.

The entire symbolism must therefore be prophetic of the church in the Christian dispensation. And as Ezekiel, figuratively God’s servants, has not yet taken Jerusalem, the time of his victory is yet future.

But when exactly does the period begin?—The only logical answer is: When the punishments begin to be meted out. Accordingly, we must ascertain the time when God’s dispersed people have been or are being subjected to eating food prepared as described in verses 9-13.

Since the grains are figurative of spiritual food, doctrines, then the one vessel into which they are originally put can only be figurative of the Bible. And it follows inferentially that in their natural state, before they are baked, they must represent the doctrines uninterpreted, not under-stood; and conversely, when prepared into cakes and baked, they must represent the doctrines interpreted and published, ready to be dispensed and assimilated—preached, believed, and practiced.

During the 390-year period, Ezekiel was to eat the grains sparingly, “by measure,” and defiled, “baked on dung” fire. Fire from wood or coal (natural source) being symbolical of the Holy Spirit’s power (Gospel Workers, pp. 22-23; Acts 2:3), then fire from dung (unnatural and filthy source) must be symbolical of a power foreign to the Holy Spirit: specifically Satan’s, inspiring the human agent to engage in “private” interpretations of the Scriptures—a defiling thing.

The inescapableness of this conclusion is even more fully demonstrated by tabulating the successive periods during which the house of Israel received the six doctrines, symbolized by the six different grains, that were to sustain the people’s spiritual life throughout the 390 years.

It is widely understood that during the period from the canonizing of the New Testament Scriptures to the call of Martin Luther, the Truth was cast to the ground (Dan. 8:12), and that it then began to be lifted, first by the Lutherans’ preaching the doctrine of Faith—the beginning of the Reformation; then followed by a portion at a time, successively by the Presbyterians’ preaching the doctrine of the Holy Spirit; by the Methodists’ preaching the doctrine of Grace; by the First-day Baptists’ preaching the doctrine of Baptism; by the First-day Adventists’ preaching the doctrine of the 2300 days (Dan. 8:14), leading to a correct understanding of the Sanctuary truth; and by the Seventh-day Baptists’ preaching the Sabbath truth. Finally the Seventh-day Adventists, and they only, embraced all these doctrines, but Divinely illuminated.

These six doctrines, along with their interrelated subjects, are the only ones which came to the church from 1500 to 1930. And as no honest Bible student would deny the fact that each in turn has been defiled by man’s private interpretations, additions and subtractions (baked on dung fire), the fact stands out even more clearly that the six grains are symbolical of these six doctrines, and that they have in succession been preached since the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.

Now in bringing into focus another aspect of the analogism,—that each of the grains has the prime characteristic of the doctrine it represents,—the truth will be seen in still brighter rays.

As wheat, the first of the grains in the symbolism, is first in order in man’s physical diet, so Faith, the first of the doctrines in the Reformation, is the first course, first principle, in his spiritual diet. Accordingly, just as without wheat it is impossible to satisfy our physical needs, likewise “with-out faith it is impossible to please” the Holy One or to begin the Christian life.

Similarly, as barley, the second grain in the symbolism, is second in order in man’s physical diet, so the Holy Spirit, the second doctrine in the Reformation, is the second course, second principle, in his spiritual diet. Upon overhearing the Midianite relate that in a dream he saw a barley cake roll into his tent and overturn it, Gideon immediately understood that the barley cake symbolized the work of the Spirit—a revelation to him to go against the Midianites.

Beans, the third variety in the symbol-ism, are third in order in man’s physical diet: likewise Grace, the third doctrine in the Reformation, is the third course, third principle, in his spiritual diet.

And as lentils, the fourth variety of food in man’s physical dietary, is not so universally relished as are beans, likewise Baptism by Immersion, the fourth doctrine in the Reformation, and hence the fourth course, fourth principle, in the spiritual diet, is less commonly esteemed and practiced than is Grace.

The fifth grain, millet, is neither commonly known nor used, and is generally regarded as of little worth, merely a wild grass, though in fact it is valuable for both hay and cereal. So with that which it represents: The 2300 Days, unveiling the commencement of the Judgment, the fifth doctrine in the Reformation, the fifth course, fifth principle in the Christian’s spiritual diet, is known and believed by only a few.

Spelt, the sixth of the grains, “a permanent variety of wheat, common in early times,” perfectly represents the sixth doctrine in the Reformation, the sixth principle in the Christian religion—the Seventh-day Sabbath in connection with the sanctuary, the most ancient, permanent, and least ob-served twain of Bible doctrines.

Final step in the science of cake-making is the baking, then the serving; and final step in the preparation of doctrines is the writing, then the preaching of them.

Though the grains are God’s creation, showing that the respective doctrines which they represent are in themselves Divine truth, yet Ezekiels visionally baking the symbolic cakes of them on dung fire, shows that these doctrines have been defiled—misinterpreted, added to and subtracted from—minced, as it were, and then served.

In subjecting the house of Israel to such a subsistence during the 390 years, and the house of Judah to a fast during the subsequent 40 years, God punished both of them for their iniquity.

Judah’s long fast then ending, they would of course begin to receive clean bread, unadulterated truth, as rapidly and plentifully as their need called for, and henceforth they would eat food and drink water forever without measure and without astonishment. This they shall experience, but not until after the 430 years have ended, in which time the city is to be taken and the people freed from the yoke of all their masters—the hypocritical, the estranged, and the ungodly.

And finally, when Jerusalem, their home-land, the land of promise, is liberated from Gentile rule, “the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled,” then will these emancipated children of the “captive daughter of Zion” (Isa. 52:2), “return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness.” Hos. 3:5. Then will they be reassured forever of an even more abundant supply of pure, undefiled (Inspired) Truth.

And I will “save My flock,” says the Lord “and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even My servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.” Ezek. 34:22-24.

The fact that the people of God have since 1930 been receiving an ever-increasing supply of pure (Divinely revealed) truth at the hands of one, is evidence in itself that not only the defiled feasting and the 390 years have ended, but also the 40-year fast. There is no longer need, therefore, for anyone to subsist on dung-baked cakes, or to fast.

Now, by subtracting the 430 years from 1930 A. D., we get 1500 A. D., the time the Spirit moved to effect the Protestant Reformation. And as the defiled grains (doctrines) were during the 390 years dispensed to the Protestant congregations, and as the 40-year fast (absence of progressive Truth) occurred in the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination, two truths stand out clearly: first, that the Protestants are in this symbolism termed the “house of Israel”; and second that the Seventh-day Adventists are termed the “house of Judah.” Thus the split which God brought into Solomon’s kingdom necessarily symbolizes the split which exists between Sabbath-keepers and Sunday-keepers.

Hark to the messenger of the Lord, warning the Sabbath-keepers of the protracted fast which they were to undergo:

“I am authorized from God to tell you that not another ray of light through the Testimonies will shine upon your pathway, until you make a practical use of the light already given,”—Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 606.

Furthermore, Jerusalem, let it be remembered, is the capital city of Judah. Thus the present siege against the “city” (the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination) is to be a sign to the Sunday-keepers; that is, it is designed to awaken them to a realization of how the Lord is to be worshiped, and where saving truth is to be found; of the commencement of “the great and dreadful day of the Lord,” and of His judgment; also to bring them to a realization that if it first “begin at the house of God,” then “what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” 1 Pet. 4:17.

No longer now need the faithful truth-seeker wander from church to church, groping his way through the dense and endless forest of the world’s religious literature in search of the right church with the right doctrine. Both now stand clearly identified, challenging him who would bear the vessels of the Lord, to be clean, to touch not that which is baked on “dung” fire—that which is inspired not by the Spirit of Truth,—and to be ever acutely mindful that no newly-revealed truth was given to the church during the forty years from 1890 to 1930, and that therefore every claimant to a heaven-sent message during that period was a false one. (For a more detailed explanation of the rejection of the message of Christ’s Righteousness introduced by A. T. Jones and E. J. Waggoner from 1888 to 1890 and the reason for the church entering into an antitypical 40 year wilderness wandering from 1890 to 1930, please click the following link.)

But having the long fast now broken with fresh truth, abundant and undefiled by man’s wisdom, the hungry are now feeding at the bountiful table of the Rod (Mic. 7:14), at which you, dear reader, now sit and are joyously bidden to stay on for the rest of the feast.

Will you not do this? If you will, then just make it known, and the whole bounteous, unmatched, life-saving feast will be placed quickly before you without measure and with out price!

Having now actually arrived at the time of lasting “revival and reformation”— Shepherds Rod, Vol. 1, Tract Ed., pp. 75-85



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