Greetings Brethren!

by sighandcry on August 27, 2009

Welcome to The Shepherd’s Rod Speaks blogsite!

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord” to hear the plain facts and present truth about The Shepherd’s Rod Message directed to all Seventh-day Adventists, who, like the noble Berean’s, are willing to investigate for themselves and hear both sides of the story before passing judgment on what it teaches. This site only speaks for the original published message that was brought to the Seventh-day Adventist church by the late Victor T. Houteff from 1930 to 1954, and thus is not associated with a number of splinter groups and their teachings that have arisen since 1955.

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The End of Human Idols and Their Worshipers

by sighandcry on April 23, 2016

david-asscherick

Today God’s remnant Seventh-day Adventist church is filled with human idols and those who follow their favorite preacher or evangelist rather than God’s Word. One wonders when all of this will come to and end and Christ’s true followers will come to a point where all see eye-to-eye and speak the same things. The answer is found in the thirteenth chapter of Zechariah as expounded in the following sermon address first delivered in 1947. Come and hear that you may know the truth that will set you free from human idols that speak vain words in the name of religion.

TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, DECEMBER 7, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
WACO, TEXAS

This afternoon we shall study Zechariah, chapter 13. Let us begin with the first verse.

Zech. 13:1 — “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.”

The phrase “in that day” points back to preceding events, back to the twelfth chapter. There we find that the event is the great mourning in Jerusalem (chapter 12, verses 12- 14). So “in that day,” in the day of that great mourning, this fountain is to be opened.

To find the time in which the mourning takes place, it is necessary that we go further back into the twelfth chapter. Better still, we should review the chapter from the first verse on, because there are brought to view seven groups of separate and distinct events, one following the other.

The outstanding events of each group are these: (1) Jerusalem is to be made “a cup of trembling” and the nations of the earth are to be “in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.” (2) “In that day” the nations are to gather together against them. (3) “In that day” the Lord is to “smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness,” and He is also to open His “eyes upon the house of Judah.” The governors of Judah are then to say in their hearts, “The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God.” (4) “In that day” Jerusalem is to be inhabited again. (5) “In that day he that is feeble among them” is to be as David; and the house of David is to be as God. (6) “In that day” the Lord is to seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. He will then pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications. (7) “In that day” there is to be a great mourning in Jerusalem.

Thus one event is contingent upon another, the last of which is the great mourning in Jerusalem. In the day of these events, therefore, the fountain for sin and for uncleanness is opened. Let us now connect Zechariah 13:1 with verse 2.

Zech. 13:1, 2 — “In that day [in the day the great mourning takes place] there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.”

Two things stand out clearly in these verses: (1) that the house of David must come into existence before the cleansing fountain is opened; (2) that the cleansing begins with cutting off the names of the idols, and throwing out of the land the false prophets and the unclean spirits.

In our previous study of the tenth chapter of Zechariah, we learned that these idols are the kind that speak; that they are men. There is no doubt, therefore, that these are ministering brethren who the laity are idolizing. As a result, the laity are blindly following them, and whatever decisions their “idols” make concerning what is truth and what is error, what is sin and what is righteousness, those are the decisions which the laity does carry out. These “idols,” therefore are creating a situation similar to that which the priests, scribes, and Pharisees created in the days of Christ’s first advent. Consequently, the idol-worshipers are not troubling themselves to personally investigate fresh messages, and they are thereby ignorantly following men rather than Christ and His advancing Truth. These, along with the prophets and the unclean spirits, shall pass out of the land.

Zech. 13:3-5 — “And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord; and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive: But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.”

The name of the idols (the flattering titles of men) shall forever be forgotten: Men shall never again be known by such titles. Thereafter neither a false prophet nor an unclean spirit shall be tolerated in the land. In fact, not even a father or a mother will then tolerate their own son to pose as such, but they shall deliver him to the executioners. It shall come to pass that the men who even now are exalting themselves, and, worst of all, are preaching without having been “sent,” shall be ashamed as they see their foolish teachings, predictions, and private interpretations of the Scriptures. No longer will they wear deceitful garments. Rather, they will say, “I am no prophet, not even a pastor, I am only a herdsman, a common farmer.”

The prophet Ezekiel also was given glimpses of this situation: “Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The Lord saith: and the Lord hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The Lord saith it; albeit I have not spoken? Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord God. And Mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of My people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord God.

“Because, even because they have seduced My people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter: say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it. Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it? Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in My fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in Mine anger, and great hailstones in My fury to consume it. So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered morter, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Thus will I accomplish My wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered morter, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it.” Ezek. 13:3-15.

What a fearful responsibility rests upon those who carelessly handle the Word of God, who pose as soul guardians over the people! Both they and their abominations will fall in the ditch. Indeed, if any reform is needed in Christendom, this one is.

Having now learned better, let us no longer make idols of men; let us no longer give place within us to unclean spirits. Let us rather give the Spirit of God a chance to lead us into His ever-advancing Truth with personal understanding.

Let us be followers of Christ, never again of Paul, of Apollos, or of Cephas.

Zech. 13:6, 7 — “And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in Thine hands? Then He shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends. Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, and against the man that is My fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn Mine hand upon the little ones.”

I have no special comments to make on verses 6 and 7, other than what is commonly understood among Christians. It is plain to see, though, that after the Lord’s shepherd is smitten, then it is that the Lord will separate His people.

Zech. 13:8 — “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.”

In this separation, according to verse 8, the people are divided in three parts: Evidently they are the saints, the hypocrites, and the heathen. The two latter parts are to be cut off (separated from the saints), and they are to die. Concerning the future of the former third, let us read–

Zech. 13:9 — “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.”

In this connection, the gospel prophet was instructed to write: “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

“Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger. And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land. Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword.” Isa. 13:9-15.

To this warning the prophet Zephaniah adds: “And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof. The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.

“That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness. A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for He shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.” Zeph. 1:12-18.

These scriptures are self-explanatory, and they make our subject as clear as crystal: As soon as the house of David is set up, as soon as the first fruits reach Mt. Zion and there stand with the Lamb, the cleansing fountain will be opened. Then it is that the great harvest will begin during which every grain of “wheat” shall be put into the “barn,” but every noxious seed burned (Matt. 13:30). Then it is that every good “fish” shall be put into vessels, whereas every bad one shall be cast out (Matt. 13:48). Then it is that everyone having on the “wedding garment” shall be served the wedding supper, but everyone having not the garment on shall be cast into outer darkness (Matt. 22:11- 13).

In the terms of the parables all this can be summed as follows: Those who successfully aim to be spared as “wheat,” as good “fish,” and to put on the wedding garment, are those who have found the field of great treasure and the pearl of great price and have done all to purchase them.

“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.

Solemn times we have come to, Brother and Sister. Now is the time to put on the white garment. Now is the time to buy the field with the great treasure, and the pearl of great price. “Shall you? Shall I?” is the great question that we must quickly settle without other people’s influence or interference.

We should now be able to see how the gospel work is to be finished, and that the idea which we have had about it is merely a human fabrication. It is now clearly seen how sinners are made saints, how God’s great fountain is capable of cleansing all of us, of making us as white as snow if we let Him. So it matters not what we were yesterday, the important thing is what we are to be from today on.

We should not be among that class of people who quarrel over trivial matters, but who do not care to discuss weighty subjects such as this. If we do not come to the knowledge of the Truth, if we do not let it do its intended work in us, how can we ever be fitted to live in the presence of a holy God? You see, believing or not believing in truths such as this, really means something. But to argue, as some do, over a point such as “the three days and the three nights” (Matt. 12:40) with nothing to do about it even if the argument be won, is worse than Pharisaism. The Devil would have us busy ourselves with unimportant matters and with things that we do not understand.

Well, let me tell you something: In 1931, after The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 1, came off the press, we published a two-page article in which we said that what God has led us into is either all truth or no truth. Since that time we have published another book and over twenty tracts besides the series of the Timely Greetings, all containing doctrinal matter. These publications have been scattered far and wide throughout the Denomination, but to this day the Denomination has not once officially attempted to refute any subject in its entirety. They ever try to take away what we have on these scriptures, but never give us something better. All we have heard or seen is garbling, or some such procedure as followed by first-day keepers while debating with Sabbath keepers.

I know that it is not a Bulgarian from the Rhodope Mountains who has made scholarly Americans scratch their heads. It is not possible that such a one could have shaken the Denomination from center to circumference. If you do not know Who it actually is, then you had better find out without delay.” — Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 18

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SDA church baptisms

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has passed a new milestone and are very proud of it as reported in the latest issue of the Review and Herald.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s official membership has topped 19 million for the first time in history, and the number of local churches has doubled worldwide to more than 80,000 in just two decades, according to newly released figures.

And the church leaders are very happy to proclaim that this is the marvelous work of the Holy Spirit.

“Praise God for the wonderful growth,” said Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the Adventist world church. “It tells me that even with the appropriate and careful auditing of membership records worldwide that Secretariat has initiated in the last few years, God’s Word is going forward in a marvelous way through the power of the Holy Spirit, and God’s work is expanding.”

Elder Wilson goes on to proclaim that this continued growth in church membership is a result of proclaiming the three angel’s messages and the leading of the Holy Spirit. And soon the church will soon receive the latter rain to amplify this work even more.

The spurt in church growth indicates that Total Member Involvement is alive and well, Wilson said.

“It shows that Total Member Involvement is a reality since church members and pastors have been extremely active in soul winning and reaching into new, unentered areas,” he said. “The fact that we have over 69,000 companies in addition to the organized 81,551 churches is a sign of a tremendous, proactive proclamation of the three angels’ messages and the leading of the Holy Spirit.”

But, he said, church members should only give God the glory for this growth, realizing that “He is preparing His people for the soon-coming latter rain of the Holy Spirit when He will amplify what His people are doing.”

“With 7.4 billion people on the Earth, it would appear that 19.1 million Seventh-day Adventists is a small amount,” he said. “However, when the latter rain falls, God’s people and His Bible truth will be propelled into prominence so that all can make a decision for the Lord and the three angels’ messages that point people to Christ, His righteousness, and the true worship of God.Is is possible that this continued growth in church membership is not the work of the Holy Spirit but actually the work of the enemy to flood God’s remnant church with tares in an effort to destroy the true teaching of the three angel’s message, a judgment hour message which includes the soon coming judgment of the living?

If Elder Wilson and the church leaders where aware of the correct understanding of the vision in Revelation chapter 12 and the sealing of the 144,000 in chapter 7 they may not be so enthusiastic about calling this rapid growth in church membership the work of God. Does God really need 19+ million people to proclaim the Loud Cry under the latter rain power of the Holy Spirit? Not according to what the Bible teaches. In fact, only 144,000 who are to be sealed alive from the Seventh-day Adventist church are going to be the ones who will receive the latter rain power of the Holy Spirit to gather in a Great Multitude (Rev. 7:9) from the fallen churches constituting Babylon (Rev. 18:4). Below are links to prior posts on this website which plainly teach lessons from Revelation chapters 7 and 12 that directly contradict this ambitious program of continued church growth.

The woman and the dragon of Revelation chapter 12

The sealing of the 144,000 as found in Revelation chapter 7.

How is it possible that the church leaders could be so wrong in their understanding of Bible prophecy? Is the situation any different than in the days when Christ came to His beloved church and found them in total darkness regarding the many prophecies foretelling of His first advent? Unfortunately not, the church leaders today who reject the true message of revival and reformation coming from the original Shepherd’s Rod message are in a state of complete blindness as evidenced by their belief that they must continue to add members to the church roles without considering that God wants quality, not quantity and that the repetition of the three angels messages with power and force (Early Writings, p. 277) must include the judgment of the living which first begins at the house of God (1 Pet. 4:17) and results in the sealing of 144,000 future evangelists who will then proclaim the final gospel message to the world. Perhaps our church leaders should consider the consequences of rejecting the message of present truth God has sent into His last day church to prepare a people to receive the latter rain power of the Holy Spirit according to God’s plan, and not that of man.

“Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” — Matthew 15:12-14

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Democracy, Communism, Catholicism, or Protestantism–Which is Next?

March 19, 2016

The present world is in a great state of commotion and many wonder what is coming on the horizon. Who will next rule the world, will it be a democracy, communism, a one world government combined with a one world religion? For a concrete answer we need to turn to the infallible word of God [...]

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A Response to Some Claims of Literal Last Day Feast Keepers

February 27, 2016

What Statutes are we to keep today? (for Part 1 of this series, please click the following link: “How Do We Keep the Feast Days Today?”) Going through the section of scriptures, which embody the statues and judgments (Exo. 21-23), the portion that feast keepers claim is still literally binding is found in verses 14 [...]

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How Do We Apply the Feast Days Today?

February 21, 2016

At a recent early morning Sabbath School lesson study the teacher made several references to the importance of the ceremonial sabbaths in addition to the Seventh-day Sabbath but stopped short of explaining how they are to be applied today after the cross. He also made a point about the pope addressing the US Congress on [...]

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An Invitation for Laodicea to Come and Investigate

February 6, 2016

This week we continue our introductory concern for the Laodicean Seventh-day Adventist Church to come and investigate her true condition before God and realize she has many things to learn, and many, many to unlearn in regard to God’s soon coming kingdom. The following appeal comes from the original Shepherd’s Rod tract publication entitled, The [...]

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Seven Questions for the Laodicean Church of Revelation

January 30, 2016

Dear Brethren in Laodicea, do you know that prophecy positively declares that the people of God in the Laodicean church are in a critically dangerous condition and know it not? Well, Brethren, whether or not you realize it, whether or not you believe it, that precisely is the case. And if you hope to enter [...]

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Who Are the “Nominal Adventists”?

January 23, 2016

It is common to hear many independent Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) ministries refer to a group of “nominal adventists” who will become our worst enemies when the Sunday law is enforced. Here is a youtube video that makes this incorrect assumption. A popular reference from the Spirit of Prophecy used to bolster this position is as [...]

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Is the Seventh-day Adventist Church Babylon?

January 17, 2016

There are professed believers in the three angels messages who look at the deplorable spiritual condition of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and come to the faulty conclusion that this makes the church Babylon so therefore it is past time to separate from her fellowship. The S.D.A. Reform Church and some groups from the “home church” [...]

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Cry Aloud, Spare Not: Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist Church Appoints Transgender Elder!

January 9, 2016

We live in a world where iniquity abounds and the love of the truth is waxing cold in the hearts of many, even within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. As a case in point we just received a report about the Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist Church has just set a very disturbing precedent by publicly announcing the [...]

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