The Seventh-day Adventist Church is very proud of its worldwide evangelistic efforts abroad which includes well over 14 TV Stations, countless internet broadcasts, websites and over 21 radio stations with combined expenditures that sore in the multimillions of dollars. A visit to the expo area at the recent 2015 GC Session held in San Antonio, Texas made this abundantly evident as masses of over the top high dollar displays in every direction were eagerly competing for more money to extract from church members who flocked there in great numbers.
However the Bible tells us in the parable of the ten virgins that some sudden and unexpected crisis arises that will wake up the sleeping virgins. Only the wise who have the extra oil in their vessels will understand the unfolding of events. But as for the foolish virgins who did not make the effort to acquaint themselves with the added truth of the soon coming judgment for the living as the prophecies found in the books of Ezekiel, Isaiah, Zechariah, etc. began to fulfill itself beyond their scope of Divinely revealed knowledge, and as they saw the events of the gospel shaping themselves contrary to their expectations, they became alarmed and confused, and find themselves in darkness.
What is it that can possibly “alarm”, “confuse”, and cause “anxiety” to the foolish virgins that circumstantially is “contrary to their expectations” and “Contrary to their expectations”? What can possibly catch the attention of every Seventh Day Adventist before Ezekiel 9 and the national Sunday law other that to see all of these beloved institutions and ministries go down and end in complete ruin? Are such things predicted in Bible prophecy? The answer is yes. Please follow as inspiration unfolds what is about to take place in our beloved church through the prophet Isaiah.
Jerusalem ruined—Famine for SDA Church Prophesied!
Isa. 3:1 — “For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water.”
The time is at hand when the sinners in Jerusalem and in Judah — the General Conference men and the church as a whole, will not have a drop to drink or a bite to eat….” — Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 5, p. 16
Thought Question: Can it be that the lack of drink and food spoken of in this passage is figurative of a spiritual famine for the word of God? Or, is this a real famine (complete bankruptcy of all tangible goods) coming to our church? The passage below gives us very specific clarification:
Isa. 3:6 — “When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand.”
To say “come and rule over us because you have clothing,” is perhaps equivalent to saying, “If you rule over us you can at least give us something to wear, and this ruin shall be under your control, you can remedy the situation.”
The people’s way of thinking and acting in this soon-coming time of trouble, ruin, and adversity of all kinds, clearly reveals that they are not taking God into consideration, — no, not at all. They are trusting in men and goods. They hope that someone can yet remedy the situation, can save them from ruin. Thus by their calling on men to help instead of calling on God, they are acting as if God has forsaken the earth.
Isa. 3:7 — “In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people.”
The one that is called to rule, also shares the people’s attitude. He declares that he is not able to heal the evil, that he, too, is poor. God, though, makes clear the cause of the trouble: Let us read
Isa. 3:8 — “For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of His glory.”
Not the world, but Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen. Why? — Because their doings and their tongues are against the Lord; that is, they are against His Judgment Truth. What are the eyes of His glory? According to Isaiah 62:3 and 4:5, His glory is the ever-living Zion, His Truth- enlightened church. The depository of His revealed Truth is, therefore, His glory, His seers are His “eyes.” See 1 Samuel 9:9. That is, God’s Spirit-filled servants who lead into all Truth, are the eyes of His glory whom the sinners shamelessly provoke.” — Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 5, pp. 17-18
Jerusalem ruined—Ends in Destruction
Isa. 4:2 — “In that day shall the Branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.”
In that day, — in the day the daughters of Zion become haughty, in the day the seven women take hold of the one man, at that time the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth excellent and comely for them that are the escaped of Israel. From what are His people to escape? Here is the answer:
Isa. 3:1-3 — “For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, the mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, the captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.”
It is obvious that they escape the destruction of these sinners in the church.” — Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 6, p.37-38
The church shall be spoiled
Isa. 33:1 — “Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee.”
Taking into consideration what follows in this chapter and in the next two chapters (for chapters 34 and 35 are a part of the subject that is in chapter 33), it becomes clear that the one upon whom “woe” is pronounced is the church preceding “the great and dreadful day of the Lord,” the day in which the sinners of Zion perish, the day in which the repentant ones are given their reward, — “the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.” Isa. 34:8.
The church is especially pointed out by the fact that, unlike the Old Testament Church, she has been spoiling but has not been spoiled; that she has been dealing treacherously but she herself has not been so dealt with. Inspiration, however, goes on to forecast a reverse of this situation: The church shall be spoiled and dealt with treacherously. His faithful ones in the midst of her, however, shall find grace, for they plead:
Isa. 33:2 — “O Lord, be gracious unto us; we have waited for Thee: be Thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.”
This verse shows that while the pronouncement of woe (Isa. 33:1) is being made, at the same time a deep-rooted reformation is taking place among God’s Truth-seeking people. They are praying, not for themselves alone, but for their brethren also. They fully realize that they are approaching the time of trouble, and their hope lies in the fact that they have waited for the Lord.” — Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 34, pp.10-11
All missionary work from the church to cease
Isa. 33:7 — “Behold, their valiant ones shall cry without: the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly.”
Here we see that those who are proclaiming peace rather than the day of God, shall “weep bitterly.”
Isa. 33:8 — “The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth: he hath broken the covenant, he hath despised the cities, he regardeth no man.”…
In the language of today this verse would read: The missionary routes lie waste; the missionary himself ceaseth; he has broken his contract; he has despised the cities; he regards no man….
Isa. 33:10 — “Now will I rise, saith the Lord; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up Myself.”
At the time the conditions here described materialize, then it is that the Lord will arise and be exalted and lifted up. But to those that are at fault He forewarns:
Isa. 33:11 — “Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath, as fire, shall devour you.”
Turning to the sinners and hypocrites among His people, those upon whom the woe of verse one is actually pronounced, God reveals that the fruit of their doings shall be chaff and stubble, that their own breath shall devour them as if it were fire. Moreover, concerning their followers He adds:
Isa. 33:12 — “And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire.”
Having commenced His purifying work in Zion, He declares:
Isa. 33:13, 14 — “Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge My might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”
When the righteous Judge rises to sift the people, then the hypocrites will not be boasting that they “are just as good Christians as any.” Neither will they say anymore, “We do not need more Truth.” Instead, fearfulness and surprise will overtake them. The greatest and most honorable question will then be, “Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” — Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 34, pp.12-13
Isa. 33:23 — “Thy tacklings are loosed; they could not well strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail Isa. 33:23 — “Thy tacklings are loosed; they could not well strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail: then is the prey of a great spoil divided; the lame take the prey.”
They that obey not the voice of the Lord, are here fore-warned that the day is at hand when they will find themselves unable any longer to gather spoil. Then it is that their spoil shall be divided, and the lame — the seemingly weak and helpless — shall take the prey.” — Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 34, pp.16
What is the meaning of “spoil”?
Isa. 3:13, 14 — “The Lord standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people. The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of His people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.”
This scripture emphatically declares that the Lord is pleading while He stands to judge the people, showing that the Judgment of the Living begins after this announcement of it has sounded throughout Laodicea. The charge against the ancient and the princes (leaders and ministers) is that they have eaten up the vineyard, that they have consumed the entire income, and that they have robbed His people to enrich themselves. It is a known fact that not only the tithe (the only lawful allowance for the ministry) but also the offerings (the portion for the poor) and all else are consumed by the ministry, and that they have turned even the Sabbath and the house of worship into institutions of money raising, using all kinds of means and devices in the name of religion by which to make the poor poorer and themselves richer. Not I, but the Lord is the One Who says so. It is no exaggeration, therefore, to say that the house of God is become a house of merchandise, run by thieves, that the dwelling places of the ancients and the princes thereof are used as pack rat nests, and that the Sabbath day has been turned into a market day. — Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 5, p.21
Let us review a few of the high points of our study:
Upon the unfaithful who are approaching “the great and dreadful day of the Lord,” God pronounces a curse: The church is to be stripped of the spoil which she has acquired and is to be dealt with treacherously just as she has dealt with others.
Very obviously, at the time this pronouncement is made, a deep-rooted reformation is taking place among God’s Truth-seeking people. They recognize the fact that they are approaching the time of trouble, and they are reassured that their stability and strength of salvation are to be found in wisdom and knowledge, in the Spirit and in the Truth for the day. The fear of the Lord is to be their greatest treasure.
When God manifests His power among His people, even the world will feel the effects of it. The missionary routes lie waste, the missionary himself ceases; he regards no man. God reveals that the fruit of the sinners and hypocrites among His people, shall be chaff and stubble; their own breath shall devour them as if it were fire. Fearfulness and surprise shall overtake them.
Then it is that Zion, the church purified, is to be filled with judgment and righteousness. God is at that time to be exalted and lifted up. His people who have walked uprightly, shall be blessed with His Divine care. Their eyes shall see the King and His beauty; the church shall be steadfast and sure, never to be disturbed; the spoil which the denomination has acquired, will be taken by the lame — by God’s true people. They shall be forgiven their iniquities, and their health shall be restored. Yes, the promise to you is sure:…thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward” (Isa. 58:8), if you will but give heed to this solemn warning and remain faithful to it.” —Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 34, pp. 16-17
Conclusion: It is our observation from all of the references presented from the original Shepherd’s Rod message, that the Seventh Day Adventist Church as a corporation and all of its membership will become utterly bankrupt. As stated by Brother Houteff, “the General Conference men and the church as a whole, will not have a drop to drink or a bite to eat . . .”, and also “The one that is called to rule, also shares the people’s attitude. He declares that he is not able to heal the evil, that he, too, is poor.” The Church’s missionary efforts will also come to a complete end! This is certainly an unexpected turn of events. A crisis that is sure to cause us all to seek the Lord more earnestly than we have heretofore.