9. The Bundling Experience (Gleaning Time Is Now)

By John Thiel, Facing Last Day Perils Conference, Study 9, mp3

This meditation is in reference to what the angels the reapers, are doing in the time of harvest. It’s really hard for us to visualise what Jesus was teaching when he taught about the harvest and the angels reaping, but we want to try and understand the experience of the bundling.

Matthew 13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one];

Now we come to the reaping:

Matthew 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

The commencement of the three angels’ messages is the commencement of the harvest. Unfortunately, many people read this scripture to be applicable to the literal coming of Jesus, but the utterance of Jeremiah 8:20 will one day be heard:

Jeremiah 8:20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.

What does that suggest? It suggests that the people on the earth will discover that they are not saved. They will still have opportunity to cry that. Most people see the harvest in such a way that when Jesus comes it’s all too late. But it is before Jesus comes that the harvest is ended, in terms of the bundling. They will wake up too late to find out that they are bundled in the wrong bundle.

The brief scripture proof that the harvest is the end of the world can be found in Daniel 8:19, where the prophecy of the 2300 days was given. The angel came to explain to Daniel that that vision of the 2300 days is to indicate the end of the indignation.

Daniel 8:19 And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end [shall be].

As the prophecy of the 2300 days culminated, it takes us from 457 B.C., when the rebuilding of Jerusalem was declared by the three decrees to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem, all the way to 1844. In 1844 was the beginning of the time of the end. The language of that is repeated also in Daniel 7:19-22, which brings another date in reference to the time of the end.

Daniel 7:19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others,

He is referring to the four beasts that he saw in the vision, the fourth beast being of course the representation of Rome.

Daniel 7:19 …exceeding dreadful, whose teeth [were of] iron, and his nails [of] brass; [which] devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; 20 And of the ten horns that [were] in his head, and [of] the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even [of] that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look [was] more stout than his fellows. 21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 25 And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy [it] unto the end.

Here is the time period. This beast with its seven heads, one of its head became the papacy, the Roman papal church, which was a continuation of the Roman Empire; and he would rule on the earth for a period of time in which God’s people would be severely persecuted. It would be for a time and times and the dividing of time. This same period is repeated frequently in Revelation as well. How long did the Papacy rule and oppress God’s people? It was from when he received his full reign until the end. That was 1260 years and it concluded when Napoleon took the Pope prisoner in 1798.

The Bible identifies the time of the end both with 1798 and with 1844. We then have the judgment connected with the time of the end, because it says that the judgment shall sit. That of course is directly related to 1844 when Jesus went from the holy place into the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary which was the day of atonement and which represented judgment. The harvest is the end of the world, the end of the indignation, and it commenced there and the angels began their reaping. Who are the angels?

We just read in Daniel that the judgment shall sit and in Revelation 14:6 the first angel starts, and what does he say?

Revelation 14:7 …Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come

Here is the first reaper. He announces and here are the people who are going to pay attention to it and they’re now being cut with the message.

Then comes the second angel and he identifies Babylon, the tares. He says, here are the tares, be careful wheat.

Revelation 14:8 …Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Then comes the third angel and he is exactly one of the reapers.

The looker-on may discern no difference; but there is One who said that the tares were not to be plucked up by human hands lest the wheat be rooted up also. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then the Lord sends forth His reapers to gather out the tares {TM 234.2}

Can you see the second angel saying Babylon is fallen? Gather out the tares.

Then the Lord sends forth His reapers to gather out the tares and bind them in bundles to burn, while the wheat is gathered into the heavenly garner. {TM 234.2}

What is this?

The time of the judgment is a most solemn period, when the Lord gathers His own from among the tares. {TM 234.2}

What does it say? A period, it’s not a day. It is exactly what happened in the day of harvesting in Christ’s time. The reapers were doing physical reaping and the harvest time was a period of time because it was not just a few days of running a header through a crop, like it is today. I was watching this once on a documentary in Africa where they went out to harvest. This really wise man had established a certain kind of position where in that poor country on the board of the desert, he had a beautiful, flourishing countryside. He had this beautiful crop and now he had the whole village go out and he sent the young men out ahead to go and cut the millet crop. Then he sent the young women to go and gather them and separate them into bundles. Then he sent the old men to follow and weave them together so that they could then be hung up. It is a beautiful description of what Jesus is talking about. It took a period of time. That is the work of the harvest of souls, as a symbol.

I then saw the third angel. Said my accompanying angel, “Fearful is his work. Awful is his mission. He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal, or bind, the wheat for the heavenly garner. These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention.” {EW 118.1}

Ever since he commenced his work, what year was that? 1848. From that date onward, he was bundling the wheat. 2014, is the harvest nearly over? Awful. It’s to do with souls.

The angel is to place a mark upon the forehead of all who are separated from sin and sinners, and the destroying angel will follow, to slay utterly both old and young. {5T 505.2}

The angel is sealing and he places a mark in the forehead of who? Of those who are bundled, separated from sin and sinners. The subject is the bundling experience, and here is this solemn statement. What does that actually mean? There are going to be people who will be segregated from sin and from sinners. Awful, this should occupy our whole mind, our whole attention.

Our purpose now is to know what perplexity we will meet in this bundling time and receive comforting guidance to meet it successfully and not to be bundled with the tares. Is this an important subject? We need to know the experience, the perplexity; we need to come to understand what it means to face the perils of this. To be bundled with the wheat is our desire is it not? We want to be bundled with the wheat. It has been going on and here we are at the very end of the harvest. It started back in 1848. The bundling started back there? Stop to appreciate what this means. Where are we today?

When the harvest came to its end in the time of Jesus and the bundles had already been bundled but there were still a few more isolated wheat stalks hanging around, who followed them in the harvest? It wasn’t quite finished yet. Who followed the main team? The gleaners did. Because it is written that not a single grain of wheat will fall to the ground in this separating time. The gleaners come and pick up the individual stalks that are still on the ground. Do you think we are in the gleaning time, or are we still waiting for a big bundling? Whether we believe it or not, the bundles have already been bundled for a long time. We are in the gleaning time picking up a few more wheat stalks here and there. This is serious. What does that mean? What? The great majority around us are bundled and there are still a few that are to be bundled? Who are all these other bundles of wheat and tares? It’s a horrifying thought.

We read some references that really qualify the wheat whereas under the third angel the warning was anyone who worships the beast and his image will burn, that’s the tares. But here are the people who are to be bundled as the wheat. We want to be among them.

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

That’s the wheat. The third angel is announcing them, here are the bundles. Who are they? The saints that have patience. They keep the commandments of God and they have the faith of Jesus. These are none other but the wise virgins. As we see it in Daniel 12, they are in the period of the wise ones who will understand what is going on, they will be made white and tried in this period of time.

We further appreciate this aspect. She talks about the whole world being on the train to destruction:

A train of cars was shown me, going with the speed of lightning. The angel bade me look carefully. I fixed my eyes upon the train. It seemed that the whole world was on board, that there could not be one left. Said the angel, “They are binding in bundles ready to burn.” Then he showed me the conductor, who appeared like a stately, fair person, … He said, “It is Satan. I asked the angel if there were none left. {EW 88.2-3}

You can imagine, she saw the whole world on board and she says, is there none left?

He bade me look in an opposite direction, and I saw {EW 88.3}

What did she see? Get this very clear in your mind:

I saw a little company traveling a narrow pathway. All seemed to be firmly united, bound together by the truth, in bundles, or companies. Said the angel, “The third angel is binding, or sealing, them in bundles for the heavenly garner.” This little company looked careworn, as if they had passed through severe trials and conflicts. And it appeared as if the sun had just risen from behind a cloud and shone upon their countenances, causing them to look triumphant, as if their victories were nearly won. {EW 88.3}

Here you have the preparation of your mind. From these statements to the fact that it is a little company; the rest of the world is going to perdition and they’re in bundles too. This little company is bundled together because they stand firmly on the truth. That binds them together. While the others have all other kinds of ideas and teachings and reasons for being bundled and they’re all bundled without the truth. What else? They looked careworn, as if they had passed through severe trials. Do you look careworn? Are you going through severe trials? If we want to remain faithful and be the people that God is binding, this is our predicament. Don’t worry. I am too, but I rejoice through it all because I see these beautiful stories and the Lord is hard at work to polish us.

The binding experience makes them look careworn.

“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die” (Revelation 3:2). This is our work. There are many ready to die spiritually, and the Lord calls upon us to strengthen them. God’s people are to be firm to duty. They are to be bound together by the bonds of Christian fellowship and are to be strengthened in the faith by speaking often to one another about the precious truths entrusted to them. Never are they to quarrel and condemn. They are to unite upon the importance of obedience to God’s law. {HP 182.5}

They keep the commandments and have the faith of Jesus, that’s what their occupation is all about. The experience of being bundled with these people is clearly brought to our attention here. They are bound together by the bonds of Christian fellowship and are to strengthen each other. How are we to strengthen each other? By speaking often to one another about the precious truths entrusted to them. What do people often talk about in the church? What is the predominating subject matter of conversation? Here is the bundling experience. They are bound together by fellowship, conversing about the precious truths entrusted to them and never are they to quarrel. Never are they to condemn. They are to unite upon the importance of obedience to God’s law.

We are in this world to meet with persons of varied minds and different temperaments, and you must consider that they do not differ with you any more than you differ with them. . . . We are to cultivate forbearance, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, and love and be bound together by the ties of human brotherhood. {OHC 239.2}

Being bound together by the truth includes human brotherhood. That means that we are going to meet each other with our different minds and different temperaments and that is why we must never quarrel and never condemn. The moment I hear of somebody condemning another, I remember this. We are not to quarrel or condemn in this binding experience.

All who profess to be children of God should unceasingly bear in mind that they are missionaries, in their labors brought in connection with all classes of minds. There will be the refined and the coarse, the humble and the proud, the religious and the skeptical, the confiding and the suspicious, the liberal and the avaricious, the pure and the corrupt, the educated and the ignorant, the rich and the poor; in fact, almost every grade of character and condition will be found among the patients at the sanitarium. {CH 398.3}

She is talking here about the sanitarium, but the purpose here is to remember where we all come from with our different minds.

These varied minds cannot be treated alike; yet all, whether they are rich or poor, high or low, dependent or independent, need kindness, sympathy, and love. By mutual contact, our minds should receive polish and refinement. {CH 398.3}

Where are we polished and refined? Isn’t it in the church? As we exercise our minds with all our different backgrounds, with all our different make-ups, we are being refined and polished in this period of time as we are being pressed together.

By mutual contact, our minds should receive polish and refinement. We are dependent upon one another, closely bound together by the ties of human brotherhood. {CH 398.3}

When we are bound together with all our different minds in the church we are to have an understanding of the experience of the bundling. With all these different minds the Lord is bundling us together because we are all embracing the same truth, but how our minds comprehend that truth varies in principle; and how to continue to bundle together is to be our consideration.

Heaven, forming each on other to depend,
A master, or a servant, or a friend,
Bids each on other for assistance call,
Till one man’s weakness grows the strength of all. {CH 398.3}

Can you grow a strength from weakness? This is what we’ve got to remember. We are bound together according to the following statement:

Those who, in the spirit and love of Jesus, become one with him, will be in close fellowship one with another, bound together by the silken cords of love. {RH, October 5, 1897 par. 8}

We are bound together by the truth, bound together by the human brotherhood and here we have a third item: bound together by the silken cords of love.

As this bundling work is taking its course in the time ever since 1848, while this is transpiring and the faithful are bound like that, what of their fellow brethren that are not being bound together in wheat? Remember the foolish virgins. What do we experience as the bundles are bundling and we may have been part of a bundle but we’re coming out of that bundle? How does that happen? What is the experience?

Isaiah 66:2 For all those [things] hath mine hand made, and all those [things] have been, saith the LORD: but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

Who are the people that are bound together? They tremble at the word. They love the truth and they embrace the truth and they become wise virgins. He looks to them, to them who are poor and of a contrite spirit and who tremble at His word.

Isaiah 66:5 Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

Can you see that this is to do with the bundling? As one company bundles together and claims that the Lord is on their side, they shoulder and push out the ones that are trembling at the word and those ones are bound together by the truth. But as they get pushed out, what do the others say? Let the Lord be glorified! But it’s the harvest time and He will come and appear to the joy of those who have been pushed out, but to the shame of the others. This is the experience of the bundling.

I saw a number of companies that seemed to be bound together by cords. Many in these companies were in total darkness; their eyes were directed downward to the earth, and there seemed to be no connection between them and Jesus. {EW 240.1}

These companies don’t seem to have Jesus there but then:

But scattered through these different companies were persons whose countenances looked light, and whose eyes were raised to heaven. Beams of light from Jesus, like rays from the sun, were imparted to them. An angel bade me look carefully, and I saw an angel watching over every one of those who had a ray of light, while evil angels surrounded those who were in darkness. {EW 240.1}

We are looking at these bundles bound together in darkness, but among them were those who were illuminated from heaven.

I heard the voice of an angel cry, “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.” {EW 240.1}

These people upon whom the light is can hear that call.

A glorious light then rested down upon these companies, to enlighten all who would receive it. Some of those who were in darkness received the light and rejoiced. Others resisted the light from heaven, saying that it was sent to lead them astray. The light passed away from them, and they were left in darkness. Those who had received the light from Jesus joyfully cherished the increase of precious light which was shed upon them. Their faces beamed with holy joy, while their gaze was directed upward to Jesus with intense interest, and their voices were heard in harmony with the voice of the angel, “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.” As they raised this cry, I saw those who were in darkness thrusting them with side and with shoulder. Then many who cherished the sacred light, broke the cords which confined them and stood out separated from those companies. As they were doing this, men belonging to the different companies and revered by them passed through, some with pleasing words, and others with wrathful looks and threatening gestures, and fastened the cords which were weakening. These men were constantly saying, “God is with us. We stand in the light. We have the truth.” I inquired who these men were, and was told that they were ministers and leading men who had rejected the light themselves, and were unwilling that others should receive it. {EW 240.2}

This was the description of the beginning of the bundling but it’s been going on ever since. Is this repeated through history? Here is the experience. You can study this all in theory, but when you look at the experience, wow, it makes so much difference. We need practical meditations.

There is something even more specific as we explore the experience:

I see perplexities on every side. As character develops man and woman will take their position, for varied circumstances brought to bear upon them will cause them to reveal the spirit which prompts them to action. {1888 995.2}

Are you noticing here what the separating exercise in this experience is? What differentiated the wise virgins and the foolish ones? Character. Here in the binding you have exactly the same experience. As the character of people is being affected by circumstances brought to bear upon them, this will cause them to reveal the spirit which prompts them to action.

Every one will reveal the character of the bundle with which he is binding himself. {1888 995.2}

Can you see the living experience? Different characters will bind together, and it is the circumstances that will cause them to be rebuffed by certain characters and bound together with other characters. Every one will reveal the character.

The wheat is being bound up for the heavenly garner. The true people of God are now bound up for the heavenly garner. {1888 995.2}

When did she say that? In 1888. The people of God are now bound up for the heavenly garner. If you read these things in their right settings you begin to realise, where are we today? If already in her day the experience of the 1888 message caused her to say that the experience of this has bound people for the heavenly garner back there already, the wheat is being bound. The true people of God are now bound up for the heavenly garner. Present tense.

The true people of God are now pulling apart, and the tares are being bound in bundles ready to burn. {1888 995.2}

Here is the testimony of Jesus saying that this has been going on all this time. Some people don’t like me saying what I say but I say it because I know it’s written.

The true people of God are now pulling apart, and the tares are being bound in bundles ready to burn. Decided positions will be taken. Satan will move upon minds that have been indulged, upon men who have always had their own way, and anything presented to them in counsel or reproof to change their objectionable traits of character is considered faultfinding, binding them, restraining them, that they cannot have liberty to act themselves. The Lord in great mercy has sent messages of warning to them, but they would not listen to reproof. Like the enemy who rebelled in heaven, they do not like to hear, do not correct the wrong they have done but become accusers, declaring themselves misused and unappreciated. {1888 995.2}

This is the experience of binding. What is written of the numbers that are left worldwide?

Isaiah 1:8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. 9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, [and] we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

Is the church and the world becoming increasingly and obviously like Sodom and Gomorrah? How many are left? A very small remnant worldwide as this bundling is going on.

Mark that this has been going on since 1848. In 1888, there it was happening and here we are in 2014. This experience has intensified.

Amos 5:2 The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; [there is] none to raise her up. 3 For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out [by] a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth [by] an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel.

It’s the city of the 144,000. Although the house of Israel is as the sand of the sea, only a remnant shall be saved. It is out of the great multitude of Christians in the last bundling time that there are 12,000 out of each tribe worldwide. You put a 144,000 over the whole world. How many cities do you have in the whole world? Somebody tried to count them and there are more than a hundred and forty four thousand cities in the world. You scatter 144,000 from 1848 to the end over so many cities. It’s very discouraging, but let us not come to the wrong conclusion. There are many people who will be saved who have not yet been bound but have died. This must be taken into consideration as well.

Jeremiah 3:14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: 15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

What is the work of a minister? To give you knowledge? That’s not all. To give you understanding. That’s tough work. I stand here to testify of that. It is hard work today. But God will send us ministers and pastors according to His heart not according to our heart. That is what makes this whole experience so deplorably overwhelming because it’s only a very small remnant. If we want to be among that remnant we have to meet this experience, it cannot be missed. I cannot avoid it, as much as I may want to.

The message is; Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers.

What are the chambers in which they are to hide?– They are the protection of Christ and holy angels. The people of God are not at this time all in one place. They are in different companies, and in all parts of the earth; and they will be tried singly, not in groups. Every one must stand the test for himself (RH Nov. 19, 1908). {4BC 1143.6}

Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

This is the experience ever since the snowballing of information, since the renaissance, since the up building of information, and the information, the knowledge was increased as people ran to and fro, today and then.

What is God doing? What is He calling for? What is the call as this bundling is coming to its conclusion in this horrifying experience that we have been reading about? Remember that it was the circumstances that will bring this about, showing what character we are and binding our characters together.

Isaiah 8:12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all [them to] whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.

These people were in bundles and the faithful ones were being shouldered out; and these other men were going around saying, this is the bundle, this is the church, we are the ones. But here it says, say ye not a confederacy to them who say that. In other words, sorry, I’m not going to bundle with you.

Isaiah 8:13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and [let] him [be] your fear, and [let] him [be] your dread. 14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.


Isaiah 8:16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.

The sealing, the binding. Here lies the horrible demarcation point:

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.

Are we really understanding what this is saying? There is light in many places. They are all preaching, but if they are not preaching the entire testimony and the law in its completeness, in this sealing time, there is no light in them. This is terrible, stop saying that I hear people say. You think you’re the only one that’s telling the truth. I’m not the only one. I know that there are others, but the fact is that if we are going to stand on the platform of original Adventism in regards to its truth and we develop character according to that truth, then it says here that you can only bundle with those who are standing perfectly on the truth which involves the law and the testimony.

In all our great cities there will be a binding up in bundles by the confederacies and unions formed. Men will rule other men and demand much of them. The lives of those who refuse to unite with these unions will be in peril. Everything is being prepared for the last great work to be done by the One mighty to save and mighty to destroy. Some who have had great light have had an almost uncontrollable desire to bind all our medical institutions under the supervision of one power. {4MR 71.3-4}

Take that in principle when people want to bind together according to their expectations.

I am instructed to say that this desire is prompted by the same spirit that in the world manifests itself in the efforts of the unions to become a controlling power. The work that God has given His people to do is to bind up the testimony, and to seal the law among His disciples. {4MR 71.4}

In other words, don’t talk so much about binding yourselves together with some sort of company. Say ye not a confederacy. It says, bind the law and the testimony among His people. This is what the angels are doing. The angels are preaching; and that which has been preached by the early Adventists through to 1888 and then onwards, that which has been preached was the source of the binding which bound people according to their response to that. Today people are responding and saying the old Adventist message with all its values and all its characteristics is not binding anymore, we’ve got some new light. What does that mean? They are binding in bundles, they are not the bundle of the Lord. That is the reality.

What does the call to seal the law among His disciples include?

On this perilous journey we should be a stay to one another. It is not safe for any of us to stand alone. We must be bound together by the cords of truth and love. Let us press together, allowing nothing to weaken the bonds of union, so that if one should slip and fall, others can lift him up. We must not think that no responsibility rests upon us in the case of our brother; but we should ever manifest the tenderest interest in one another’s welfare, and should seek to be helpful to those around us. Being thus bound together, and to the great heart of Infinite Love, the powers of darkness cannot harm us; and when the storms of temptation and persecution break upon us, we shall not be swept away. {ST, December 10, 1885 par. 4}

This is the experience of the bundling and the call for us to enter intelligently as well as spiritually into this bundling leaves us with no shadow of doubt as to what we should do.

May God grant us a memory of these words.


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