MT. CARMEL’S TRUMPETER

PRESENTS

PRESENTATION NO. 7

PART ONE

SECTION I

HOW TO STUDY THE SROD MESSAGE

Text of Address By The Lord’s Ordained Minister
Lennox Sam
Minister of Davidian Seventh-day Adventists
Mt. Carmel, Waco, Texas.
“Where Truth can Enter”

PRAYER THOUGHT

Our prayer thought is taken from Timely Greetings, Volume 2, Number 2, page 13, paragraph 2:

Why Jesus Taught in Parables.

2TG2: 13.2: “And He had another reason for teaching in parables.  Among the multitudes that gathered about Him, there were priests and rabbis, scribes and elders, Herodians and rulers, world-loving, bigoted, ambitious men, who desired above all things to find some accusation against Him.  Their spies followed His steps day after day, to catch from His lips something that would cause His condemnation, and forever silence the One who seemed to draw the world after Him.  The Saviour understood the character of these men, and He presented truth in such a way that they could find nothing by which to bring His case before the Sanhedrin.  In parables He rebuked the hypocrisy and wicked works of those who occupied high positions, and in figurative language clothed truth of so cutting a character that had it been spoken in direct denunciation, they would not have listened to His words, and would speedily have put an end to His ministry.  But while He evaded the spies, He made truth so clear that error was manifested, and the honest in heart were profited by His lessons….”

Amen. What a wonderful thought! Let us remember that the Saviour understood and still understands the character of men. That is why we need to follow a “Thus saith the Lord”.

What should we pray for before viewing this presentation?  Let us petition the Throne of Grace that we might be on guard against being impervious to the Truth as were the Pharisees; that we may be honest hearted and profit by the Truth that comes to us.

HOW TO STUDY THE SROD MESSAGE

Let us begin with the Rod’s instructions on why we must study and how we must study.

We will read a statement taken from:

SR1: 204.2: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim. 2:15.  “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: And be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Pet. 3:15.  The commandment in the Bible is that a Christian must study, and that he also must give an answer to every man.  …. answer with meekness and fear.

Here we see that the study of the Word of God is a command from our Heavenly Father. This is why we must study.

SR1: 184.1: If a father commands his son to do a certain thing and that son refuses to obey, he has dishonored his earthly father, and is become a transgressor of the fifth commandment.  But if one is asked to do a certain thing by his heavenly Father and should refuse to respond to the call, such a person has dishonored his heavenly Father, and is become a transgressor of the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”  In fact, he is breaking the first four commandments which are honor to God, while the last six are love for man.  “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” Jam. 2:10.

Amen. The study of the Shepherd’s Rod Message is a command to God’s people; you and I are commanded to study to show ourselves approved unto the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  God never commanded us to have a man or a committee study for us, but instead the command from our Heavenly Father is: “Cease ye from man whose breath is in his nostrils.”  Every individual, committee, or group of individuals who believe that it is their responsibility to determine for God’s people what is Truth and what is error, is appointed and organized by the author of confusion.

Let us hear from the gospel prophet, Isaiah:

Isa. 28:9       Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? [them that are] weaned from the milk, [and] drawn from the breasts.

Isa. 28:10    For precept [must be] upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little:

Isa. 28:13     But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

The word “precept” is not overused, it is “precept upon precept, precept upon precept.” What is a precept?

Let us check and see what Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary has to tell us about the word “precept”.

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary:

Precept:

1 : a command or principle intended especially as a general rule of action

2 : an order issued by legally constituted authority to a subordinate official

synonyms see LAW

This word “precept” is synonymous with the word “law.”

What is a law?

Law:

3 : a rule of construction or procedure

We must learn to recognize God’s revealed precepts, use them in our study, and not be afraid of being accused of over-using God’s precepts in the study of His Word. Isaiah was not afraid of using the words “precept upon precept, precept upon precept.” Accordingly, when you have established a precept, you need to use that precept in order to understand the Word of God.

Let us hear the Apostle Paul’s commentary on the same matter (of those that are still on the breast).

Heb. 5: 13-14:  For every one that useth milk, is unskillful in the Word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

My dearly beloved brothers and sisters, if you are still sucking the breasts of your spiritual mother (the Davidian ministers or teachers et al) you are still a babe.  The Spirit cannot teach you knowledge and make you to understand doctrine if you are not weaned from the breasts. Too many Davidians are depending upon their teachers and the BRCs to tell them what is truth and what is error, thus making themselves spiritual invalids and unskillful in the Word of righteousness.

Let us hear about our predecessors and learn from them, and also establish some precepts as we go along.

We will begin in:

TN4: 6.3: The Jews before Christ’s day, and ever since, thought they had all the truth there was to know.  True, they had the Bible.  But their consequent misunderstanding of the plan of God, and resultant  over-confidence in themselves, led them to feel that they were rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing.  It was this attitude that caused them to turn a deaf ear to the teachings of Christ the King of glory.  Thus their misconception of the Truth, and their prejudice against light upon the Word of God, so robbed them of the knowledge and the wisdom of Jehovah that they were finally led, to their everlasting shame and condemnation, to commit the terrible crime of taking the life of the Son of God.

The multitude of the opposing doctrines among the varying Davidian groups of today puts us in a worse condition than that of the Jews of Christ’s day. The rule or precept that we must receive from this statement is that we should not become over-confident in ourselves.

Let us start our list of precepts:

Precepts of Studying the Truth:

  1. Do not become over-confident in yourself – TN4: 6.3

 

That is an important precept!

Let us hear the following paragraph.

TN4: 6.4: This fearful guilt, however, does not lie upon the hapless Jew alone.  The Christian church as well, in each of her succeeding periods, has in effect crucified the Saviour afresh in rejecting His messages of Present Truth to them.  So it was in the days of Luther, of Knox, of Wesley, of Campbell, of Miller and of Sister White.  And so it is today with all who are failing to take special heed to avoid the enemy’s ever-set snare.

What is the Present Truth for today?  I say the Truth coming from the Lord’s Storehouse: The Davidian Seventh-day Adventists Association, f/k/a Wave-sheaf Ministries.

Let us read the next paragraph.

TN4: 7.1: Now the only safe and sane procedure is to read closely every page of the solemn message contained herein.  Let not a line escape your attentionStudy every word carefully and prayerfullyBe an earnest and diligent student of the Truth.  “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”  1 Thess. 5:21.

Notice that the admonition is to the individual, not to a committee. Stay away from committees — especially those with the acronym BRC.

There are several precepts in this statement so let us list them.

Precepts of Studying the Truth:

  1. Do not become over-confident in yourself – TN4: 6.3
  2. Read closely every page of the solemn message – TN4: 7.1
  3. Let not a line escape your attention – TN4: 7.1
  4. Study every word carefully and prayerfully – TN4: 7.1
  5. Be earnest and diligent in your study of Truth – TN4: 7.1

 

Let us hear the next statement:

TN4: 7.2: As their record shows, the Bereans made a thorough and unbiased investigation of the messages which came to them, that they might know whether “those things” were so.  In so doing they were neither misled by the enemy nor reproved by Inspiration, but rather were led by their open-mindedness to keep pace with the Truth, and were honored for their noble course.  But the priests, whom God had previously made recipients of the Word, upon learning that the common people were hearing the Truth gladly, came and confused them.  For this, those dignitaries were condemned — and all who gave heed to their voice rather than to the then unpopular one, were thus misled.

TN4: 7.3: These things being written for our “ensamples,” let us not fail to emulate the “more noble” example of the Bereans! Only thus can we honestly exercise our judgment; otherwise we repeat the folly of the Jews who were led astray by the so-called wise teachers of Israel.

Remember, Present Truth is always unpopular truth; especial unpopular with the teachers of the established man-made doctrines.

Let us list the precepts we have just received.

Precepts of Studying the Truth:

  1. Do not become over-confident in yourself – TN4: 6.3
  2. Read closely every page of the solemn message – TN4: 7.1
  3. Let not a line escape your attention – TN4: 7.1
  4. Study every word carefully and prayerfully – TN4: 7.1
  5. Be earnest and diligent in your study of Truth – TN4: 7.1
  6. Make a thorough and unbiased investigation of all messages that come to you – TN4: 7.2

 

The next statement is taken from:

TN5: 6.2:Do not read the Word in the light of former opinions; but, with a mind free from prejudice, search it carefully and prayerfully.  If, as you read conviction comes, and you see that your cherished opinions are not in harmony with the Word, do not try to make the Word fit these opinionsMake your opinions fit the Word.  Do not allow what you have believed or practiced in the past to control your understanding.” — Messages to Young People, p. 260.

There are a few precepts here too.  Let us list them.

Precepts of Studying the Truth:

  1. Do not become over-confident in yourself – TN4: 6.3
  2. Read closely every page of the solemn message – TN4: 7.1
  3. Let not a line escape your attention – TN4: 7.1
  4. Study every word carefully and prayerfully – TN4: 7.1
  5. Be earnest and diligent in your study of Truth – TN4: 7.1
  6. Make a thorough and unbiased investigation of all messages that come to you – TN4: 7.2
  7. Do not read the Word in the light of former opinions, but, with a mind free from prejudice. – TN5: 6.2
  8. Do not try to make the Word fit your opinions. Make your opinions fit the Word. – TN5: 6.2
  9. Do not allow what you have believed or practiced in the past to control your understanding. – TN5: 6.2

 

Let us hear the next statement taken from the same tract:

TN5: 6.4: Any explanation of a prophecy which adds to or takes from any part of relevant scripture in order to harmonize the interpretation, can only be false. When the Spirit of God interprets the Scriptures, He does not in any way need to alter any part of Them in order to make the explanation fit that which is being unfolded.  When, moreover, the true interpretation of a prophecy is made, it always contains a lesson of present truth “adapted to the necessities of God’s people” (The Great Controversy, p. 609) at the time the scripture is revealed.  Knowing this, Satan is continually Paving the Way for Sinning Against the Holy Ghost.

Thus the enemy will always bring the error first in advance of the forthcoming truth.

Let us list a very important precept:

Precepts of Studying the Truth:

  1. Do not become over-confident in yourself. – TN4: 6.3
  2. Read closely every page of the solemn message. – TN4: 7.1
  3. Let not a line escape your attention. – TN4: 7.1
  4. Study every word carefully and prayerfully. – TN4: 7.1
  5. Be earnest and diligent in your study of Truth. – TN4: 7.1
  6. Make a thorough and unbiased investigation of all messages that come to you. – TN4: 7.2
  7. Do not read the Word in the light of former opinions, but, with a mind free from prejudice. – TN5: 6.2
  8. Do not try to make the Word fit your opinions. Make your opinions fit the Word. – TN5: 6.2
  9. Do not allow what you have believed or practiced in the past to control your understanding. – TN5: 6.2
  10. Do not add to or take from, any relevant statement in order to harmonize it with your belief system or explanations. – TN5: 6.4

 

The last and final precept for this section is found in:

3SC1: 11.1.1: “Moreover, whatever interpretation we may place on any statement in reference to any truth, must be in harmony with every other statement on the subject.  …….…”

This is a very, very important precept.

Therefore, our understanding of any subject must be the result of a thorough study of every statement on the subject and all statements must harmonize; recognizing that any new light on the subject as the truth progresses may necessitate a change in your understanding at that particular point — which demands that we study each reference in the order of its publication.

Logical Precept:

Understand each statement separately, and then bring them all together one by one in their chronological order. The reason for so doing is because we are studying a progressive revelation of truth. Our final understanding of the subject must be one in which all statements are in harmony; expecting our understanding to change as we add each statement.

Now you are ready to Study The Shepherd’s Rod Message, but before you begin you:

 

  1. Must understand that attending studies given by a minister or Bible worker is not studying the SROD message, as commanded by the Lord in 2Tim: 2:15.
  2. Must read all of the publications of the Shepherd’s Rod Message, from The Shepherd’s Rod Volume 1 to Volume 10 The Symbolic Code No. 2, the last publication by the prophet, both of these inclusive. If you have not read all of the SROD publications in their entirety, you are not ready to study the message! And if you have already been studying the message and you have not yet read all of the publications in their entirety, then you should stop immediately and begin reading the publications that you have not read. After you are finished reading, if the Spirit has not already placed in your heart a subject to study, you must seek His help as to which subject to begin your study. You may be surprised to know that you may need to study more reforms and comply with them before you are ready to study the doctrines.
  3. And before you begin you must re-read and periodically read the instructions given in 8SC1-12: page 12. Remember, reread 8SC1-12: page 12; the article is entitled “The Key to the Science of Holiness”and 9SC1-12: page 7, entitled “Lay not again the Foundation of Repentance.” After you are finished reading carefully and prayerfully these two articles and have decided in your heart, to strive with everything inside of you with the help of the Holy Spirit, to follow each instruction to the letter, you are ready to study the SROD Message and taste the sweetness of it, for it is like honey from the honeycomb!

In our climactic guidelines, we will read an illustrative story; the illustration in this story is many times misconstrued.

TN3: 103.3: To illustrate thus getting a wrong idea of a thing from a wrong view of it: a child who accompanies his mother to a zoo, and who has never seen a  peacock, suddenly comes upon one in full tail-spread going away from him, and creating to his uninitiated eyes the illusion of a large walking fan!

back-of-peacock-display-tract3-a

TN3: 104.1: Thrilled with the illusory wonder before him he excitedly exclaims the sight, only to have his mother disenchant him with the disillusioning assurance that it is only a peacock! On another occasion, however, when accompanying his father to the zoo, the child again sees a peacock, but this time in full front view presenting a sight apparently entirely new and different. Quickly he turns with excited questions to his father, who tells him that it is a peacock!

peacock-frontTract-3

TN3: 105.1: Whereupon the argument begins, with the son protesting that the peacock which he and his mother had seen, looked nothing like this one. And unable to reconcile, as simply major and minor aspects of the same thing, that which he now sees from the front, or main point of view, and that which he before saw from the rear, or foreign point of view, his mind gropes in confusion wondering whether to believe Father or Mother.

Note that the front view is the main point of view, whilst the rear view is the foreign point of view.  This point is almost always lost — the rear view in the illustration is a foreign point of view. — Here ends the story. Let us now hear the irony given by the ROD in the interpretation of this story:

TN3: 106.1: So it is with the Bible when one looks at a subject from a standpoint foreign to the author’s. He finds discrepancies in the position held by the one who sees the subject through the author’s eyes. In order consequently, to maintain the false idea resulting from his foreign point of view, he is led to resort to outside sources: to one commentator or the other; to this version or to that; to technicalities and inferences of language: in the Greek, in the Hebrew, in this, in that, or in the other (languages, none of which it is likely he himself either reads or writes); or to referring to this or that so-called original manuscript (which in all probability he has never seen).

TN3: 106.2: At the end of this long winding road, he has succeeded only in magnifying from a mole hill to a mountain one passage of scripture, and in reducing from a mountain to a mole hill, or entirely setting aside, another passage of scripture, all because the Bible, which the Lord has placed in his hands, does not support his idea. These pretentious procedures are calculated to demonstrate his scholarly attainments in the hope of lending to his false idea such an appearance of authority as to compel their acceptance by all who come in contact with his theory.

TN3: 106.3: Concretely: It is never fair when treating of the subject of the judgment, to give first and foremost consideration to any writing which deals directly with the subject of salvation, while only incidentally referring to the subject of the judgment. Take for example Paul’s statement:

Let us look at some logical precepts gleaned from the irony of this story.

Logical Precepts:

  1. See the subject through the eyes of the author. (The only way we can do that is by studying every statement he makes on the subject.)
  2. Do not magnify one statement while reducing another, or entirely setting aside another statement because the SROD does not support your idea.
  3. Always give first and foremost consideration to statements dealing directly with the subject of study over any statement only incidentally referring to the subject.

With these logical precepts, and precepts that we have gone over, we will now illustrate how to study a particular subject.

Let us say we would like to study the 7 last plagues. If you do not have a computer you will have to use the 1958 index, but stay away from the last 16 pages which pertain to the additions made to the ROD message after the prophet’s death.  Some refer to them as the new Codes; they are simply additions to the Rod. I strongly suggest that you get yourself a computer or find someone that has one and will let you install the folio database and use it when you are ready to study.

If you do not have a folio CD of the SROD message, I suggest you get a copy. You can download it from our website www.gadsda.com.

Let us begin with if you do not have a computer:

The first thing we want to do is to find the Bible text in which the 7 last plagues are revealed. We all know the Bible text is Revelation Chapter 15 verses 1-8 and 16 verses 1-21.

Let us get our index and begin our search.

For those of you who do not know what the index looks like, this is the index:

How to study the SROD Message

We will go to the page depicting Revelation Chapter 15 and we will list every reference — I said list every single reference listed next to each verse that we need to study.

Listing Every Reference
Listing Every Reference P.2

Always read the complete paragraph to get the contextual understanding of the statement under study.  Also read the previous and subsequent paragraph or paragraphs to get the continuity of the thought so as to further understand the context of the statement.  Remember that the surrounding words or phrases take precedence in understanding the context of the word or phrase under study.

Let us now do the same on the computer.

SROD FOLIO ON THE COMPUTER

We will go through studying the subject: “The Seven Last Plagues,” using the Folio Shepherd’s Rod CD. Many of you are familiar with the use of this CD, so I don’t need to go into much but for the sake of some little pointers.

I will just point out to you that in the bottom left-hand corner there are 6 tabs which allow you to either look at the screen in “All” mode which shows you the references, the actual reference, the hits and the book:

“All” mode

“Browse” mode will show you the book and the reference only:

“Browse” mode

The “Document” mode will show you the references only in the book itself; there is no list of any other parts of the folio — only the document itself.

“Document” mode

And you have “Content,” which shows only the books:

“Content” mode

Then you have the “Hits”; all the hits that show up on your search:

“Hits” mode

I kind of like the “All” mode because you can see your hits, the book, and the reference:

“All” mode Search

Click on the binoculars which is the “Advanced Query”

Advanced Query

The “Advanced Query” window appears:

Advanced Query Search

We are going to use opening quotation marks (“), type: seven last plagues; and then we shall then close Quotation marks (”):“seven last plagues”

Advanced Query Search

And we have 62 hits. Hit okay (OK) and you will find your first hit:

Search Results

To advance the hit, click on the advance button and it will go from one hit to the next:

Next Hit

If you want to go back to a hit, press the back arrow key:

Previous Hit

You may also advance the hit on the keyboard by pressing F4, and reverse the hit with the keyboard shortcut SHIFT+F4.

Once you get to a reference, you want to read the paragraph before the reference, the paragraph of the reference, and the paragraph after the paragraph of the reference.

We can see that the phrase which we are searching is in paragraph 1 of page 219:

Search Results

We shall read paragraph 3 of page 218 and paragraph 2 of page 219 of The Shepherd’s Rod Volume 1; that way, we shall have the full understanding of the context of the phrase we are searching, or the subject. We shall also have an understanding of the continuity of the thought that the prophet is trying to bring forth in the topic which he is discussing in that particular paragraph. It is very important for us to read before and after.

You may say: “But if I have 62 hits, and I read one paragraph before and one paragraph after, then I am tripling the number of hits! Does it mean that I have to look at 186 hits?” Yes, that is what it means; that is the only way you can fully understand the subject. If you only want to have a superficial understanding of the subject, well then, just look at the paragraph — but that would not lead you to have a in-depth understanding of the subject.

But then again I would add something even more. Let us go back to the advanced query. This time, instead of putting in any quotation, we want to put in the word “plag” followed by an asterisk: plag*. We see the word plagiarizing in our search:

Search Results for Plag*

As we don’t really want “plagiarizing,” let us go back add a u and the asterisk: plagu*

Search Results for Plagu*

We have 198 hits, and they are all the references pertaining to “plague” and “plagues.”

Now, this is the correct way to study. Look at all the references because the Rod tells us that all the references on a subject must harmonize, which means that we must look at all the references. Many of these references will be repeating; after you have gone through probably a good 10% of it, you begin to see the same thought being reiterated, or the same reference repeated in several different places; you are thus able to speed up at that point.

When I first go through my hits, I quickly scan the paragraph to try to determine the contextual setting. For example, if I am dealing with the first plague, and the next one I am to deal with is the seventh plague, I will put all the references dealing with the first plague in one group and all those dealing with the seventh in another group. I might have references dealing with situations during the seventh plague, situations after the seventh plague, or situations before the seventh plague — what I will do is put all the references together divided into their categories. Once I have done that, then I am ready to look at these references carefully and prayerfully, reading every word and every phrase. If I do not know the meaning of a word, I look up its meaning to get a thorough understanding of the statement at hand.

Now, with that done, one may say: “Brother Sam, there are probably going to be over 300 hits that I will have to look at!” Well, is your soul salvation important? Mine is, and so I have to look at 300 and something hits — and I have looked at that many and more for subjects I am studying. It does not happen in one sitting, it will probably take weeks or months depending on the thoroughness of your study.

My position is: I need to know the study. I am not trying to learn the study so I can go and teach it to somebody, no; I need to fully understand the subject so that I may live by it, be transformed, be blessed, and be sanctified by what I am reading. It also helps you to know the subject thoroughly so that when someone brings a foreign idea, you can readily recognize it; you don’t have to spend that much time investigating what they are saying because you have already dealt with it.

Never allow anyone to study or determine for you what is Truth and what is error; that will lead you wherever they are going! And that is not to God’s Kingdom. If you do not have the Shepherd’s Rod Folio CD, you need to get one immediately. If you would like, you may give us a call at +1-254-855-9539 or write us at info@gadsda.com.

May God bless you as you study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

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