Seven Letters to SDA 3
LETTER 3 October, 1956
President R. R. Figuhr and
General Conference Committee of Seventh-day Adventists
Takoma Park, Washington, D. C.
"Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand." Joel 2:1.
"A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains." Joel 2:2, first part.
In these Scriptures prophesied by Joel, there is to come a time when God's servants are to blow the trumpet and sound an alarm in His church to warn all that His Judgment day is very near and that all should rend the heart and not the garment. This is a day of darkness and perplexing uncertainties, and all should prepare to meet the Lord in judgment. Truly, just such a day as here spoken of by Joel, is before the people; nevertheless, the Lord's promises are sure to those who turn to Him with all their heart. They shall be delivered!
"As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day." Eze. 34:12.
"A great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness: They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief." Joel 2:2-9.
"Clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict. 'Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,' she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer." - Prophets and Kings, p. 725.
When the church reaches this state of purity prophesied in Joel and Sister White's writings she will, no doubt, have the ark containing the two tables of stone written by the finger of God.
She writes: "Among the righteous still in Jerusalem, to whom had been made plain the divine purpose, were some who determined to place beyond the reach of ruthless hands the sacred ark containing the tables of stone on which had been traced the precepts of the Decalogue. This they did. With mourning and sadness they secreted the ark in a cave, where it was to be hidden from the people of Israel and Judah because of their sins, and was to be no more restored to them. That sacred ark is yet hidden. It has never been disturbed since it was secreted." - Ibid., p. 453.
"When the judgment shall sit, and the books shall be opened, and every man shall be judged according to the things written in the books, then the tables of stone, hidden by God until that day, will be presented before the world as the standard of righteousness. Then men and women will see that the prerequisite of their salvation is obedience to the perfect law of God. None will find excuse for sin. By the righteous principles of that law, men will receive their sentence of life or of death." - " A Message to Our Churches," E.G. White, Review and Herald, Jan. 28, 1909.
" 'And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.' There are abundant evidences of the immutability of God's law. It was written with the finger of God, never to be obliterated, never to be destroyed. The tables of stone are hidden by God, to be produced in the great judgment-day, just as He wrote them." - E. G. White, Review and Herald, Mar. 26, 1908.
"At the judgment this covenant will be brought forth, plainly written with the finger of God, and the world will be arraigned before the bar of Infinite Justice to receive sentence."- Prophets and Kings, p. 187.
". . . the prophet, being warned of God, commanded the tabernacle and the ark to go with him, as he went forth into the mountain, where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of God. And when Jeremy came thither, he found an hollow cave, wherein he laid the tabernacle and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door. And some of those that followed him came to mark the way, but they could not find it. Which when Jeremy perceived, he blamed them, saying, As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gather His people again together, and receive them into mercy. Then shall the Lord shew them these things . . . " 2 Maccabees 2:4-8.
"The solemn scenes of the judgment, the great day of atonement, should be kept before the people, and urged upon their consciences with earnestness and power." - Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 421.
"The announcement, 'The hour of His judgment is come,' points to the closing work of Christ's ministration for the salvation of men." -- The Great Controversy, p. 435.
"We need to humble ourselves before the Lord, with fasting and prayer, and to meditate much upon His word, especially upon the scenes of the judgment." - Ibid., p. 601.
"We are in the great Day of Atonement, and the sacred work of Christ for the people of God that is going on at the present time in the heavenly sanctuary should be our constant study." - Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 520.
These verses of Scripture need little explanation to anyone; and especially to you brethren who are skilled in the work of God. We plainly see that the Lord first sends a warning message to enlighten His people that the "hour of His judgment is come," and that those who escape the judgment (shaking - Testimonies, Vol. 1, p.181) are a mighty and strong people, the like of which has never been.
It is certain that we know of no people today who fit this description; neither do we know of a land on the earth that is like the garden of Eden. Truly the people here projected must be those referred to in Prophets and Kings, "Clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict, 'Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners,' she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer." - p. 725.
And the land before them must be the one which Ezekiel prophesied.
"And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited." Eze. 36:35.
"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." Isa. 54:17.
Sister White explains: "The darkest hour of the church's struggle with the powers of evil is that which immediately precedes the day of her final deliverance. But none who trust in God need fear; for 'when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall,' God will be to His church 'a refuge from the storm.' Isaiah 25: 4." - Prophets and Kings, p. 725.
"In that day only the righteous are promised deliverance. '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? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly . . ." -Ibid.
The above quotations find their true setting in the time of the Investigative Judgment. Fearfulness seizes the hypocrites, and the sinners in the church are afraid of God's judgments when they begin to fall.
The triumphant church with headquarters in a land like the garden of Eden goes as a mighty army throughout the world "conquering and to conquer." These references throw light upon the proclamation of the Third Angel's Message in a light and beauty and splendor as perhaps "we have never before beheld it." Nevertheless, evidence is unmistakably clear and the promises are sure and steadfast. If space and time permitted, it would be shown that every Bible writer has spoken of this same day in which we live.
The question, brethren, is not as to the weight of evidence presented in support of the idea here introduced; but is, "are we willing to relinquish our pride of opinion" and exchange it for a "thus saith the Lord."
With your acceptance of the Angel that has now come to unite His voice with the Third Angel, the work can be quickly finished. At the rate which the church is now carrying the message, a thousand, yea, ten thousand years would not suffice for the finishing of the gospel.
No, brethren, it is not a matter of the weight of evidence. It is a matter of your hearing or being able to hear.
Jesus had the weight of evidence and yet they crucified Him. Will you, brethren, do as did the Jews; and reject the message that He sends to join the Third Angel in the message to be given to the world in the Loud Cry?
Many of you have spent your lives in the work. To fail in making the last step and going the "last mile" would be a tragedy, indeed. Think and pray this thing through, dear brethren.
The word of the Lord is: "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet Him."
"Clearly, then, the bride represents the Holy City, and the virgins that go out to meet the bridegroom are a symbol of the church." - The Great Controversy, p. 427.
"I am often referred to the ten virgins, five of whom were wise and five foolish. This parable has been and will be fulfilled to the very letter, for it has a special application to this time." -- E. G. White, Review and Herald, Mar. 13, 1947 (Reprint).
These statements show that if we get the extra oil (Judgment of the Living) now, and confess our sins while our High Priest is atoning for us in the Sanctuary above, we will be covered in the day of the Lord's fierce anger. If we put on Christ's Righteousness while probation lingers, we will not fall when Michael stands up and puts on His garments of vengeance.
"What time is here referred to? Not to the revelation of Christ in the clouds of heaven . . . . No; but to His return from His ministration in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary . . . . This is the time of reckoning with His servants." -Testimonies, Vol. 2, pp. 190,191.
"Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord." Lev. 23:27.
"Under the Mosaic system the cleansing of the sanctuary, or the great Day of Atonement, occurred on the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month (Leviticus 16:29-34), when the high priest, having made an atonement for all Israel, and thus removed their sins from the sanctuary, came forth and blessed the people. So it was believed that Christ, our great High Priest, would appear to purify the earth by the destruction of sin and sinners, and to bless His waiting people with immortality. The tenth day of the seventh month, the great Day of Atonement, the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary, which in the year 1844 fell upon the twenty-second of October, was regarded as the time of the Lord's coming."- The Great Controversy, p. 400.
Therefore, all are urged to prepare for the Day of Atonement October 22, 1956, as set forth in type and be accounted worthy to stand.
Your brother in Christ,
Ben L. Roden
P.S. October 22, 1956 beginning of investigative judgment at the house of God (Seventh-day Adventist) 1 Pet. 4:17; The Great Controversy, pp. 480,488,435,436,431; Testimonies to Ministers, p. 466; Early Writings, pp. 228,250,254.