Problems Involving Ezekiel 9, Scripture, Ellen White, the SDA Church and The Shepherd’s Rod


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Dear Reader,

Don’t even be tempted to shoot the messenger on this issue for I am merely relating the problems that exist. They are as follows:

·       Ellen White says that unsaved SDA’s will fall in the general destruction of Ezekiel 9, the general destruction of the wicked.

·       Ellen White also reapplies Matthew 22:1-10 to the end time in Sermons and Talks, Vol. 1, pp. 4-9.

·       Matthew 22:7 is the same event as Ezekiel 9:6 which was historically fulfilled in A.D. 70, Chapter 1, The Great Controversy.

·       According to Matthew 22:1-10, Matthew 22:7 is clearly fulfilled before the final call to the world (the highways).

·       The Great Controversy, pp. 653-655 qualifies that this particular destruction is of Babylon, see page 653, last paragraph.

·       Ezekiel 9 destruction is to BEGIN with His Sanctuary at Jerusalem, not Babylon.

I have stated the problem and I will let the reader decide for him/herself as to the resolution, but personally, I will have to remain faithful to Scripture when there is any dispute on any spiritual issue. So I will take the view taught in Matthew 22:1-10, and Sermons and Talks, Vol. 1, pp. 4-9, wherein Matthew 22:7 is specifically quoted.

I will tell you why I take that view. It seems reasonable to me that as soon as the Sunday Law is enforced on penalty of no buy/sell and/or finally death, that the Babylonian churches would be more than happy at this opportunity to slay Seventh-day Adventists for the following reasons:

1.    SDA’s have stolen their sheep for over 150 years based heavily on the 7th day Sabbath issue.

2.    Ellen White and God in Ezekiel 8 both say that SDA leaders will teach the necessity of keeping Sunday. This will enrage the leaders of Babylon after SDA’s have stolen their sheep for so long a time on the premise of the Sabbath issue.

3.    The 25 men with their backs to the temple in Ezekiel 8, facing the east and worshipping the sun, is commensurate with SDA leaders instructing their members to keep Sunday when the crunch comes.

4.    SDA leaders have a 25 man Executive Committee at their Headquarters in Washington, just as Ezekiel 8 mentions and Ezekiel 8 is the reason for Ezekiel 9 slaughter.

5.    SDA leaders have already instructed parents in Russia to send their children to school on Sabbath when the Russian government initiated Saturday school sessions.

6.    Ezekiel 5 tells how Adventists will be made a taunt and an instruction. There would be no purpose in God taunting them and using them for any instructive purposes in the General Destruction after probation is closed. There would be a use for such just before the Loud Cry is finished by going to the world.

7.    When SDA leaders instruct their members to keep Sunday, this is going to enrage the Babylonian church leaders and laity (and justly so) and they are going to slaughter, BEGINNING AT HIS SANCTUARY, modern-day, spiritual Jerusalem. That is my position. Ezekiel 9:6, Matthew 22:7 and Testimonies, Vol. 5, 211.


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Chapter 22

1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,

2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.

5 But they made light of it , and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them .

7 But when the king heard thereof , he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.


Vance Ferrell’s and the SDA Church Position on Ezekiel 9


(Quoting Vance Ferrell from this link:


The slaughter referred to in Ezekiel 9 is one of the principle subjects of the Shepherd's Rod teachings. We set forth here a few of the salient features of that teaching in order to compare them with counsels given us by the Spirit of Prophecy.

The Shepherd's Rod leader holds that the slaughter referred to in Ezekiel 9 is a slaughter of Seventh-day Adventists who reject the Shepherd's Rod message, and that it is to take place before the loud cry and the close of probation. Excerpts from his literature on this subject are as follows:

"Had the church as a body, or at least the leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination accepted the message of reform as presented to them in 'The Shepherd's Rod, Volume 1, there would be no necessity for that class to fall by the figure of the five men with the slaughter weapons. It is the reception or rejection of the message that will fix the destiny of the two classes as described in the following testimony: (quotes Early Writings, p. 270)."-The Shepherd's Rod, Volume 2, (1932), p. 218.

In comment on Revelation 3:14-16, he says: "Note that the existence of the present name 'Seventh-day Adventist' is conditional, otherwise the name will be spewed out of His mouth."-The Shepherd's Rod, Volume 1 (1930), p. 101.

Hence, Mr. Houteff reasons: "Thus, the church is reorganized under a new name. The old name, being polluted, could no longer be retained. There is no one to go by the old name, for the ones who were not worthy of having the new name have perished under the figure of the five men with the slaughter weapons of Ezekiel 9. The name only remains for a curse." - The Shepherd's Rod, p.155. And in reference to the "half an hour; of Revelation 8:1, he says: "Thus the silence of half an hour points forward to this great event for the church of God. Its fulfillment would bring us to the time of the harvest, or as it is called, the Loud Cry of the Third Angel's Message of Revelation 18-the last message to the world. Thus, while the five men with the slaughter weapons are taking away those represented by the tares within the church, there will be silence in heaven for about half an hour (seven days), after which the judgment will commence again for those who shall be sealed in the time of the great harvest, which is the end of the world." - The Shepherd's Rod, Volume 2 (1932), p. 217.

Again: "The five agents that destroy the wicked in the church are not forces of nature but men with slaughter weapons in their hands. They are supernatural beings, not natural elements. "- The Answerer, No. 2 (1944), p. 42-43. Although he says that this slaughter will not be performed by the seven last plagues, yet he affirms that "a common end (death) befalls both the wicked in the church of Laodicea, and the wicked in the churches of Babylon. And only those who say, 'We need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God's power as in former days,' think the slaughter is not literal."-The Shepherd's Rod, p. 44

Thus they teach;

1. That Seventh-day Adventists, leaders and people, who reject the message of the Shepherd's Rod will be slaughtered during the half hour of Revelation 8:1.

2. That this half hour will mark the beginning of the time of harvest.


3. That the time of harvest is synchronous with the loud cry of the third angel's message.


4. That the removal of the tares from the church is the same as the slaughter referred to in Ezekiel 9.


5. That the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 will take place prior to the close of probation, and not at or subsequent to the second advent of Christ.  

The SDA Church Position (Still quoting Vance Ferrell)

The Seventh-day Adventist Position Seventh-day Adventists hold that the slaughter of the unfaithful leaders and people in the church, as foretold in Ezekiel 9, will occur after the close of probation, and in the general destruction of the wicked during the falling of the seven last plagues and at the second coming of Christ in glory.

Ellen G. White, in a message of rebuke to those in the church who would excuse wrongdoing among the professed people of God, and who murmur against those who reprove sin, says:

"Unless they repent, and leave the work of Satan in oppressing those who have the burden of the work and in holding up the hands of sinners in Zion, they will never receive the mark of God's sealing approval. They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked, represented by the work of the five men bearing slaughter weapons. Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those 'that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the church. .

"But the general slaughter of all those who do not thus see the wide contrast between sin and righteousness, and do not feel as those do who stand in the counsel of God and receive the mark, is described in the order to the five men with slaughter weapons: Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity; slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary' [Ezekiel 9:56]"-3 Testimonies, p. 267.

Note that, according to Mrs. White's statement, the slaughter foretold in Ezekiel 9 will be fulfilled "in the general slaughter of the wicked" that is to come. When will that be? In Testimonies to Ministers, p. 431-432, Mrs. White indicates that this slaughter will take place during the pouring out of the seven last plagues after the close of probation for all mankind. In another place she describes more fully that awful time of slaughter of those who, both in and out of the church, shall have sinned away their day of grace by impenitence and disobedience. Their awakening in that terrible hour is pictured thus by her pen, calling particular attention to the fate of leaders of apostasy in the religious world generally:

"The people see that they have been deluded. They accuse one another of having led them to destruction; but all unite in heaping their bitterest condemnation upon the ministers. Unfaithful pastors have prophesied smooth things; they have led their hearers to make void the law of God and to persecute those who would keep it holy. Now, in their despair, these teachers confess before the world their work of deception. The multitudes are filled with fury. 'We are lost!' they cry, 'and you are the cause of our ruin;' and they turn upon the false shepherds. The very ones that once admired them most will pronounce the most dreadful curses upon them. The very hands that once crowned them with laurels will be raised for their destruction. The swords which were to slay God's people are now employed to destroy their enemies. Everywhere there is strife and bloodshed.

" 'A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the lord hath a controversy with the nations, He will plead with all flesh; He will give them that are wicked to the sword.' Jeremiah 25:31 . For six thousand years the great controversy has been in progress; the Son of God and His heavenly messengers have been in conflict with the power of the evil one, to warn, enlighten, and save the children of men. Now, all have made their decision; the wicked have fully united with Satan in his warfare against God. The time has come for God to vindicate the authority of His downtrodden law. Now the controversy is not alone with Satan, but with men. 'The Lord has a controversy with the nations'; 'He will give them that are wicked to the sword.'

"The mark of deliverance has been set upon those 'that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done.' Now the angel of death goes forth, represented in Ezekiel's vision by the men with the slaughtering weapons, to whom the command is given: 'Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.' Says the prophet, 'They began at the ancient men which were before the house.' Ezekiel 9:1-6. The work of destruction begins among those who have professed to be the spiritual guardians of the people. The false watchmen are the first to fall. There are none to pity or to spare. Men, women, maidens, and little children perish together.

"At the coming of Christ the wicked are blotted from the face of the whole earth-consumed with the spirit of His mouth and destroyed by the brightness of His glory. Christ takes His people to the city of God and the earth is emptied of its inhabitants." -Great Controversy, p. 655-657.

The statements from the pen of Mrs. White clearly and definitely show that the slaughter foretold in Ezekiel 9 will not take place until after "all have made their decision," and at the time when the seven last plagues shall fall upon those who persist in disobeying God.

Furthermore, in comment on the parable of the ten virgins, Mrs. White makes it clear that there will be no general slaughter of unconverted Seventh day Adventists before the close of probation, for otherwise the unfaithful in the church, as represented by the five foolish virgins, would not be left to be found unprepared for probation's closing hour. The lord's servant says:

The great final test comes at the close of human probation, when it will be too late for the soul's need to be supplied. The ten virgins are watching in the evening of this earth's history. All claim to be Christians. All apparently wait for Christ's appearing. But five are unready. Five will be found surprised, dismayed, outside the banquet hall. Christ's Object Lessons, p. 412.  

Ron’s Commentary: At this stage, I do not understand the disparity between Ellen White’s teachings on the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 and the Bible’s teachings on the same issue, Matthew 22:1-10 and verse 7 in particular. So I am praying about this issue. I am praying for further light. If anyone can shed light on the problems associated with this issue, I am amenable to being taught and retain a teachable spirit. That is the best I can do as a mere human being trying to rightly understand the Word of God and the Spirit of Prophecy gift to the church.


p.s. I do not in any way agree with the false prophet Victor Houteff, that the bad will be shaken from the SDA church. The same author of Ezekiel 9 says in Ezekiel 22:17-31 exactly where the dross (tares) are gathered and burned.