BRIGHT CLOUDS BRING GENTLE RAIN
THOUGHT FOR MEDITATION AND PRAYER
I shall read from “The Mount of Blessing,” beginning with the first paragraph on page 170. This page is based on the scripture, “Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil one.”–R. V.
M.B., p.170—”Temptation is enticement to sin, and this does not proceed from God, but from Satan, and from the evil of our own hearts. “God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempteth no man.”
“Satan seeks to bring us into temptation, that the evil of our characters may be revealed before men and angels, that he may claim us as his own… The enemy leads us into sin, and then he accuses us before the heavenly universe as unworthy of the love of God. . . .”
Every temptation resisted, every trial bravely borne, gives us a new experience in character building. The soul that resists temptation through Divine power reveals to the world and to the universe the efficiency of the grace of Christ.
Here is seen that Satan is the great tempter of our souls, that he constantly seeks to make us fall. But he cannot do anything against us if our hearts be right with God, and if we stay within the hedge He has built around us he can succeed only if we ourselves make it possible. If we willingly yield to sin, we thus voluntarily surrender to Satan. Let us not forget that no one can keep on going his own way and at the same time pray the Lord’s prayer without making a liar of himself. But those who wholeheartedly take the Lord at His word and allow Him to direct their steps, they never go wrong. We should pray to be among this latter class.
BRIGHT CLOUDS BRING GENTLE RAIN
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V. T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, NOVEMBER 30, 1946
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
This afternoon we are to study the tenth chapter of Zechariah. To find the time of the fulfilment of its prophecy and of the promises it contains, we need look no further than the first verse of the chapter.
Zech. 10:1—”Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to everyone grass in the field.”
These figures of speech, you know, are not used by Inspiration promiscuously, the term “latter rain” must have its special and accurate significance. Inspiration chose to use the term “rain,” because rain makes things grow and brings abundant harvest. The term “latter” denotes the last rain before the harvest, the rain that completes maturity and that ripens the grain.
The latter rain of Truth, therefore, is the very last, the one that is to develop the people of God for the harvest, for the time in which God separates the wheat from the tares (Matt. 13:30), the wise virgins from the foolish ones (Matt. 25:1-12), the good fish from the bad (Matt. 13:47, 48), and the sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:32, 33). In short, the harvest is the day of cleansing, the day of Judgment, the antitypical Γ4 Day of Atonement, the day in which the sinners are cut off. This spiritual latter rain is, therefore, to do to the church just what the natural latter rain does to the field. Without this latter rain the saints could not develop for the heavenly garner, neither could the tares for the fire. By the “latter rain,” therefore, is illustrated the last shower of Truth. And, too, this last portion of Truth must come as freely to every member of the church who lives just prior to the harvest time as does the rain come to every grass in the field. Just as soon as this final touch of development is accomplished, the sickle is to be put to the precious golden grain. But let us remember that it is not left in the field to rot, it is put into the “barn,” (Kingdom) while the tares are burned, so says the Lord (Matt. 13:30). What is symbolized by the “latter rain”? Is it miracle-working Truth, or is it miracle-working power?—The prophet Joel explains that the miracle-working power comes after both the “former and the latter rain.” Says he:
“And it shall come to pass afterward [after the former and the latter rain—Joel 2:23], that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit.” Joel 2:28, 29.
Plainly then, the “latter rain” is miracle working Truth that causes the saints to mature for the harvest of which the 144,000 are the first fruits (Rev. 14:4). Then, in order to quickly gather the second fruits, God pours His Spirit upon every first fruit saint, (upon “every one grass”) old or young, boy or girl not upon one here and upon another there.
Obviously “bright clouds” represent agencies conveying Truth which they scatter everywhere in the Γ5 Lord’s vineyard–over every church member—”everyone grass,” wheat or tare.
Literally speaking, dark clouds suggest a very heavy and damaging rain that frightens the beholders. Conversely, bright clouds suggest a gentle rain, the kind that descends in such a way so that the ground can absorb all of it. It does not waste itself.
Spiritually speaking, dark clouds would, therefore, represent a source of dangerous reading matter and too voluminous for one to welcome or to comprehend. But bright clouds stand for a source of small, easily comprehended Truth-laden publications packed with “meat in due season,” Truth that comes in portions easy to take in, easy to assimilate all of It, and thus to develop the recipient of It for the “master’s” use and for His service.
Then, too, the spiritual “latter rain” must fall as freely and without cost to the recipients as does literal rain. Thus it is that never before has the world witnessed so much absolutely free literature scattered away as this literature is. Millions! So it is that these small comprehensive publications, the bright clouds, laden with present Truth, are now being scattered as leaves of autumn throughout Laodicea to every church member, “to everyone grass” in the vineyard of the Lord. The final results? “More than one thousand,” attests Inspiration, “will soon be converted in one day, most of whom will trace their first convictions to the reading of our publications.”—”Review and Herald,” Nov. 10, 1885. Accordingly, along with the world’s dark clouds that now hover over those who are pessimistic about the promises of God, there are these bright clouds that hover over the faithful believing and trusting children of God.
And so, Brother, Sister, you need not listen to the voices that urge you to shut yourself in from this gentle rain, or to tuck in under someone’s umbrella. Come out and avail yourself of this much needed shower. It is sent to give you the development which you need, and to enable you to survive the great and dreadful day of the Lord, the Judgment for the Living. Delay no longer, get out in the open and let the precious rain fall upon you, let it soak in through and through lest the angels find you unfit for the “barn” and they cast you into the fire along with the tares. Inspiration makes it as clear as can be made that not a soul (not one blade of grass), can be fit for the Kingdom (“barn”) if it fails to absorb this rain of Truth.
How important then that you should avail yourselves of It. No, you cannot afford to stand dry under the umbrellas of Truth-haters. Get out from under their devilish umbrellas lest you lose out eternally, lest you hopelessly cry out, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jer. 8:20.
Zech. 10:2—”For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd.”
Here is conveyed the thought that this character- building and wisdom and light-importing “rain” that fits one for the society of Heaven, finds the waiting ones listening to idols speaking “vanity” and to diviners telling false dreams, in vain trying to comfort. Will you not heed Inspiration’s Voice and turn away from listening to idols?
Who could they be if not vain self-important Truth Γ8 hating ministers that are idolized by the laity, false preachers trying to comfort by preaching falsehood.
Revival and reformation therefore must do their work among both ministers and laity. Indeed the sheep are troubled because there is no real shepherd any- where, they all have gone their own way!
Zech. 10:3—”Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the Lord of hosts hath visited His flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as His goodly horse in the battle.”
This verse discloses that the Lord has visited His people with revealed Truth preparatory to separating the goats from the sheep whereupon He is to reward the sheep and punish the goats the work of the Judgment for the Living. His visit makes His servants as goodly horses in His vineyard.
Zech. 10:4—”Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together.”
The Lord Himself chooses from Judah the “corner” stone (founder), the “nail” (organizer), the “bow” (the Truth, or instrument by which to gain the victory over the Enemy), and every “oppressor” (ruler). With these He builds the house of Judah.
Zech. 10:5—”And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the Lord is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded.”
The victory shall be so complete that even the Γ9 demons who lead our enemies in the conflict, will themselves be confounded.
Zech. 10:6—”And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them.”
The statements, “I will strengthen,” instead of save, “the house of Judah,” and “I will save” instead of strengthen “the house of Joseph,” imply that the house of Judah is saved before the house of Joseph is, and to save the house of Joseph He strengthens the house of Judah. The second fruits need to be saved, whereas the first fruits need to be fitted for service. Both are gathered into one place, (the “barn,” the Kingdom). The Lord extends this favor to both of them because He has mercy upon them and will treat them as though they had never caused Him to cast them out.
Zech. 10:7—”And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord.”
The fathers shall rejoice and the children shall see it. He shall thus “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers . . . . “Mal. 4:6.
Zech. 10:8—”I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased.”
“They shall increase,” that is, the second fruits Γ10 are to be added to the “firstfruits. ” (Rev. 7:4, 9).
Zech. 10:9—”And I will sow [multiply] them among the people: and they shall remember Me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again [to their homeland].”
Zech. 10:10—”I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them.”
The elect shall be gathered from everywhere, and shall spread as far as the land of Gilead and Lebanon. But even then, the place shall be too small for them.
Zech. 10:11, 12—”And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away. And I will strengthen them in the Lord; and they shall walk up and down in His name, saith the Lord.”
That is to say, the gathering of the people is to be unobstructed. Every hindrance is to be removed. The reign of sin is to be brought to an end. The nations who have enslaved God’s people are to be humbled, and their scepters (thrones) are to be no more.
Be strong in the Lord, walk up and down happy and without fear, saith the Lord.
The work that God has begun in the human heart by Divine light and knowledge, must continually go forward. “. . . Every individual must realize his own Γ11 necessity. The heart must be emptied of every defilement, and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit. It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The same work, only in greater degree, must be done now. Then the human agent had only to ask for the blessing, and wait for the Lord to perfect the work concerning him. It is God who began the work, and He will finish His work, making man complete in Jesus Christ. But there must be no neglect of the grace represented by the former rain.
“Only those who are living up to the light they have, will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it. “Testimonies to Ministers,” p. 507.
Since this Truth is so vitally important do not let any enemy against revealed Truth confuse you. If he tries to convince you against this Truth, you take him to task make him give a more Biblical interpretation of these scriptures. If he cannot give you something better or as good, then tell him to mind his own business and you will mind yours.
THE END OF HUMAN IDOLS AND THEIR WORSHIPERS
A Gem for Reflection and Prayer
I shall read from “The Mount of Blessing,” page 171, beginning with the second paragraph. This reading is a continuation of our last Sabbath’s reading, based on the Lord’s Prayer.
M.B., p.171—”It is not safe for us to linger to contemplate the advantages to be reaped through yielding to Satan’s suggestions. Sin means dishonor and disaster to every soul that indulges in it; but it is blinding and deceiving in its nature, and it will entice us with flattering presentations. If we venture on Satan’s ground, we have no assurance of protection from his power. So far as in us lies, we should close every avenue by which the tempter may find access to us.
“The prayer, ‘Bring us not into temptation,’ is itself a promise. If we commit ourselves to God, we have the assurance, ‘He will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
We shall now kneel and pray that we may realize that sin is blinding and deceiving in its nature; that it leads to dishonor and disaster; and that, to be on the safe side, we must not even so much as contemplate yielding to Satan’s suggestions, for once we venture onto his ground we cannot expect God’s protection. Let us also thank the Lord for the comforting assurance that if we fully commit ourselves to him, He will not allow us to be tempted above that we are able.
THE END OF HUMAN IDOLS
AND THEIR WORSHIPERS
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V. T. HOUTEFF
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, NOVEMBER 23, 1946
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
This afternoon we shall study Zechariah, chapter 13. Let us begin with the first verse.
Zech. 13:1–”In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.”
The phrase “in that day” points back to preceding events, back to the twelfth chapter. There we find that the event is the great mourning in Jerusalem (chapter 12, verses 11-14). So “in that day,” in the day of that great mourning, this fountain is to be opened.
To find the time in which the mourning takes place, it is necessary that we go further back into the twelfth chapter. Better still, we should review the chapter from the first verse on, because there are brought to view seven groups of separate and distinct events, one following the other.
The outstanding events of each group are these: (1) Jerusalem is to be made “a cup of trembling” and the nations of the earth are to be “in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.” (2) “In that day” the nations are to gather together against them. Γ14 (3) “In that day” the Lord is to “smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness,” and He is also to open His “eyes upon the house of Judah.” The governors of Judah are then to say in their hearts, “The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God.” (4) “In that day” Jerusalem is to be inhabited again. (5) “In that day he that is feeble among them” is to be as David; and the house of David is to be as God. (6) “In that day” the Lord is to seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. He will then pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications. (7) “In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem.”
Thus one event is contingent upon another, one following the other, the last of which in this chapter is the great mourning in Jerusalem. In the day of this event of mourning, therefore, the fountain for sin and for uncleanness is opened. Let us now connect Zechariah 13:1 with verse 2.
Zech. 13:1, 2—”In that day [in the day the great mourning takes place] there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.”
Two things now stand out clearly in these verses: (1) that the house of David must come into existence before the cleansing fountain is opened; (2) that the cleansing begins with cutting off the names of the idols, and throwing out of the land the false prophets Γ15 and the unclean spirits.
In our previous study of the tenth chapter of Zechariah, we learned that these idols are the kind that speak; that they are men. There is no doubt, therefore, that these are ministering brethren who preach themselves instead of Christ, and whom the laity idolize. As a result, the laity are blindly following them, and whatever decisions their “idols” make concerning what is Truth and what is error, what is sin and what is righteousness, those are the decisions which the laity does carry out. These “idols,” therefore are creating a situation similar to that which the priests, scribes, and Pharisees created in the days of Christ’s first advent. Consequently, the idol-worshipers are not troubling themselves to personally investigate fresh messages, and they are thereby ignorantly following men rather than Christ and His advancing Truth. These, along with the prophets and the unclean spirits, shall pass out of the land.
Verses 3-5—”And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive: but he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.”
The names of the idols (the flattering titles of men) shall forever be forgotten. In that day, thereafter, neither a false prophet nor an unclean spirit shall be tolerated in the land. In fact, not even a father or a Γ16 mother will then tolerate their own son to pose as such, but they shall deliver him to the executioners. It shall come to pass that the men who are now exalting themselves, and preaching without having been “sent,” shall be ashamed as their eyes come wide open when caught in their fallacies—in false predictions, and private interpretations of the Scriptures. No longer will they wear deceitful garments, rather, they will say, “I am no prophet, not even a pastor; I am only a herdsman, a common farmer.”
The prophet Ezekiel also was given glimpses of this situation: “Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The Lord saith: and the Lord hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The Lord saith it; albeit I have not spoken? Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord God. And Mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of My people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord God.
“Because, even because they have seduced My people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter: Say unto them which daub it Γ17 with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it. Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it? Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in My fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in Mine anger, and great hailstones in My fury to consume it. So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered morter, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Thus will I accomplish My wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered morter, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it.” Ezek.13:3-15.
What a fearful responsibility rests upon those who carelessly handle the Word of God, who pose as soul guardians over the people but who in reality are guarding that no soul escape landing in hell. Both they and their abominations will fall in the ditch. Indeed, if any reform is needed in Christendom, it is certainly needed worst in this one line.
Having now learned better, let us no longer make idols of men; let us no longer give place within us to unclean spirits. Let us rather give the Spirit of God a chance to lead us into His ever-advancing Truth with personal understanding.
Let us be followers of Christ, never again of Paul, of Apollos, of Cephas, or of some other.
Verses 6, 7—”And one shall say unto him, What are Γ18 these wounds in Thine hands? Then He shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends. Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, and against the man that is My fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn Mine hand upon the little ones.”
I have no special comments to make on verses 6 and 7, other than what is commonly understood among Christians.
Verse 8—”And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.”
In this separation, according to verse 8, the people are divided in three parts: Evidently they are the saints, the hypocrites, and the heathen. The two latter parts are to be cut off (separated from the saints), and they are to die. Concerning the future of the former third, let us read
Verse 9—”And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is My people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.”
In this connection, the gospel prophet was instructed to write: “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world Γ19 for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
“Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger. And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land. Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword.” Isa. 13:9-15.
To this warning the prophet Zephaniah adds: “And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof. The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
“That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their Γ20 gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy: for He shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.” Zeph.1:12-18.
These scriptures are self-explanatory, and they make the subject as clear as crystal: As soon as the house of David is set up, as soon as the first fruits reach Mt. Zion and there stand with the Lamb, the cleansing fountain will be opened. Then it is that the great harvest will begin during which every grain of “wheat” shall be put into the “barn, “but every noxious seed burned (Matt. 13:30). Then it is that every good “fish” shall be put into vessels, whereas every bad one shall be cast out (Matt. 13:48). Then it is that everyone having on the “wedding garment” shall be served the wedding supper, but everyone having not the garment on shall be cast into outer darkness (Matt. 22:11-13). }
In the terms of the parables all this can be summed as follows: Those who successfully aim to be spared as “wheat, ” as good “fish, ” and to put on the “wedding garment,” are those who have found the field of great treasure and the pearl of great price and have done all to purchase them.
“So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matt. 13:49, 50.
Solemn times we have come to, Brother, Sister. Now is the time to put on the white garment. Now is the time to buy the field with the great treasure, and Γ21 the pearl of great price. “Shall you? Shall I?” is the great question that we must quickly settle without other people’s influence or interference.
We should now be able to see how the gospel work is to be finished, and that the idea which we have had about it is merely a human fabrication. It is now clearly seen how sinners are made saints, when and how God’s fountain cleanses all penitent sinners making us as white as snow if we let Him. So it matters not what we were yesterday, the important thing is what are we to do today, and what are we to be from this hour on.
Here is seen that if we do not come to the knowledge of the Truth, and if we do not let It do Its intended work in us, we could never be fitted to live in the presence of a holy God. To stand firm against any amount of opposition for this Truth is worthwhile. But to argue, as some do, over a point such as “the three days and the three nights” (Matt. 12:40) with nothing to do about it even if the argument be won, is worse than Pharisaism. The Devil would have us busy ourselves with unimportant matters and with things that we do not understand.
In 1931, after “The Shepherd’s Rod,” Vol. 1, came off the press, we published a two-page article in which we said that what God has led us into is either all Truth or no Truth. Since that time we have published another book and over twenty tracts besides the series of “Timely Greetings,” all containing doctrinal matter. These publications have been scattered far and wide throughout the Denomination, but to this day the Denomination has not once officially attempted to refute any subject in its entirety. They ever try to take away what we have on these scriptures, but never Γ22 give us something better. All we have heard or seen is garbling, or some such procedure as followed by first day keepers while debating with Sabbath keepers.
Do not let the enemies of revealed Truth get by with their garbling, but take them to task with the Bible. I know that it is not a Bulgarian from the Rhodope Mountains who has made scholarly Americans scratch their heads. It is not possible that such a one could have shaken the Denomination from center to circumference. If you do not know Who it actually is, then you had better find out without delay.
THE FATE OF JERUSALEM, THE CALL OF ITS FUTURE INHABITANTS
I shall read from “The Mount of Blessing,” beginning with the second paragraph of page 172.
M.B., pg. 172 — “Christ will never abandon the soul for whom He has died. The soul may leave Him, and be overwhelmed with temptation; but Christ can never turn from one for whom He has paid the ransom of His own life….
“Thank God, we are not left alone. He who ‘so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,’ will not desert us in the battle with the adversary of God and man. ‘Behold,’ He says, ‘I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you.’
“Live in contact with the living Christ, and He will hold you firmly by a hand that will never let go. Know and believe the love that God has to us, and you are secure; that love is a fortress impregnable to all the delusions and assaults of Satan. ‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.'”
We should pray for faith to enable us to know for certain that Christ will never turn away from any of us, and that if we follow Him we shall never fail in our undertakings. We should praise Him for making it possible that though we may, as it were, come upon serpents and scorpions, they cannot hurt us.
THE FATE OF JERUSALEM,
THE CALL OF ITS FUTURE INHABITANTS
– Zechariah 14 –
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, DECEMBER 14, 1946
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
This afternoon we shall study Zechariah 14.
Zech. 14:1 — “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.”
As you know, the subject matter contained in this chapter actually begins in chapter twelve and runs through chapter fourteen. To ascertain who is referred to by the pronoun “thee” in this verse, we must go back to chapter thirteen. There we find that “thee” refers to Jerusalem. It is the spoil of Jerusalem, then, that shall be divided in the midst of her.
Zech. 14:2 — “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.”
In view of the fact that Jerusalem is to be protected by a wall of fire (Zech. 2:5) while the house of Judah reigns there, it is definite that the battle here described must be fought before the house of Judah is established. In that battle the nations will defeat the rulers of the Promised Land. Then it is that the Γ4 house of Judah commences to be set up.
As the warring nations besiege the city, and rifle the houses, also ravish the women, they are by no means righteous nations, but since not all the inhabitants go into captivity, and since all are not cut off from the city, it must be that the wicked are taken away and the righteous left in to join the house of Judah.
Verses 3, 4—”Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.!”
At the time Jerusalem, that now is, falls, the Lord’s feet shall stand upon Mount of Olives and there make a very great valley; that is, remove the obstacles and hindrances, and thus prepare the land for the returning of His people. Then it is that the prophecy of Zechariah 10:8—that the Lord shall “hiss” for His people—will have met its fulfillment.
Verse 5—”And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the, mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.”
Having thus opened the way for the re-establishment of the house of Judah, His people, who beforehand Γ5 have been informed of it through present Truth, will flee to the valley, to where the Lord’s feet stand, as quickly as if they were fleeing from an earthquake; and all the saints thereafter follow after them. There are several facts in this scripture itself which prove that this event is premillenial: (1) Note that the Lord’s feet stand on the mount in the day of the war in which Jerusalem is taken by the wicked nations. (2) Those that flee to the valley do not descend from Heaven. (3) They cannot be the wicked for they do not flee away from the Lord, but flee to Him, to where His feet stand. (4) All the saints follow after them. “Early Writings,” p. 53, makes a double application of this scripture, a post millennial one.
“In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open Mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.” Zech. 12:4.That is, God surprisingly confuses the wicked that they begin to act like mad men. At the time the Lord brings this to pass, He protects the house of Judah.
“In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.” Zech. 12:6.
When the Lord smites the armies of the nations, He also makes the rulers of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood. Thus shall they with the “everlasting gospel” devour all the heathen round about, and thus shall Jerusalem be inhabited safely by God’s faithful people.
So it is that “in the days of these kings [not after Γ6 their days] shall the God of heaven set up a Kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the Kingdom shall not be left to other people, but It shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and It shall stand forever.” Dan. 2:44.
Then it shall come to pass that “many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Mic. 4:2.
Verses 6, 7—”And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark. But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.”
These verses imply that heretofore varying conditions, “clear” and “dark,” have obtained, but that it shall no longer be so. For the word “clear,” in the margin, you note, gives “precious,” and for the word “dark,” it gives “thickness,” indicating that the light is not to be alternately sparing and abundant, thick and thin, light and dark. Instead, it is to be steady, constant. The scripture, of course, is speaking of spiritual light–the Light of Truth, knowledge from God. For example, in the days before Christ’s first advent, there was spiritual darkness. Then His presence gave light for a time, after which followed the Dark Ages of religion. Later, through the Reformation, light again began to shine but very sparingly. Then by the proclamation of the First, Second, and Third Angels’ Messages, the light became brighter. At this time, though, through the prophet Zechariah the Lord promises constant and adequate light.
Verse 8—”And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be,”
The “living waters” must represent living knowledge, living Truth–that is, those who drink, so to speak, of It shall never die.
The “mountains” on the north and on the south cause the “waters” to run only east and west from Jerusalem. Thus shall it be as long as there is summer and winter—as long as this old and worn out earth lasts.
Therefore Jerusalem, the place where the feet of the Lord shall stand, will become the great international and spiritual divide for the everlasting gospel. From the Jerusalem in the valley of the mountains will the angel anew proclaim with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His Judgment [for the living] is come: and worship Him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Rev. 14:7. Then the gathering of the people begins with the plea:
“Come out of her [Babylon who then rides the beast– rules the world], My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev. 18:4. So shall the earth be “lightened” with the glory of the angel, and so shall the saints be gathered from the four corners of the earth.
Verse 9—”And the Lord shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one.”
The Lord reigns first over Jerusalem, and finally after the saints are gathered in from the four corners of the earth He reigns over the whole earth.
Verses 10,11—”All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses. And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.”
These verses need no comment, save that the old popular idea of the establishment of the Kingdom, as you now see, is not God’s idea. We had better take His ideas, and forgo ours.
Inasmuch as time will not permit us to cover the entire chapter today, we shall leave the remaining verses for next week, the Lord willing.
Before closing, though, let us in a few words summarize what we have studied this afternoon. Just before the kingdom of Judah is established in Jerusalem, the city shall be besieged, the houses shall be rifled and women ravished. Not all, though, shall go into captivity. The residue are not cut off from the city, they obviously become a part of the house of Judah. At that time, when Jerusalem has fallen and the Lord has removed all obstacles and hindrances for the gathering of His people, then it is that the house of Judah is reestablished. God’s people shall flee to the “valley” as quickly as though they were fleeing from an earthquake. The Lord smites the armies of the nations, while at the same time He protects and exalts His own people.
Through the prophet Zechariah, God promises to His people in our day adequate and constant spiritual light. From Jerusalem in that day shall flow forth the living Truth. Then it is that “many nations shall come and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord.” What a prospect! And what a tragedy if any of us should fail to do our part to usher in that glorious day.
The Law Of Love
Dig channels for the streams of love,
Where they may broadly run,
And love has overflowing streams,
To fill them every one.
But if at any time thou fail
Such channels to provide,
The very fount of love itself
Will soon be parched and dried;
For thou must share if thou wouldst keep
This good thing from above.
Ceasing to share, we cease to have–
Such is the law of love.
THE KINGDOM OF JUDAH, THE SIFTING OF THE NATIONS
OPENING PRAYER THOUGHT
I shall read from “The Mount of Blessing,” page 174, beginning with the first paragraph. The title of this reading is, “Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory.”
M.B., p.174–”The last like the first sentence of the Lord’s prayer, points to our Father as above all power and authority and every name that is named… Amid national strife and ruin, the steps of the disciples would be beset with perils, and often their hearts would be oppressed by fear. They were to see Jerusalem a desolation, the temple swept away, its worship forever ended, and Israel scattered to all lands, like wrecks on a desert shore. Jesus said: ‘Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. “Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.’ Yet Christ’s followers were not to fear that their hope was lost, or that God had forsaken the earth. The power and the glory belong unto Him whose great purposes would still move on unthwarted toward their consummation. In the prayer that breathes their daily wants, the disciples of Christ were directed to look above all the power and dominion of evil, unto the Lord their God, whose kingdom ruleth over all, and who is their Father and everlasting Friend.”
The disciples expected Jerusalem in their time to become the capital of God’s great Kingdom. But contrary to their expectations, Jesus proclaimed that Jerusalem would become a desolation, and the temple a ruin! Thus again and again we are led to see that we finite beings never know God’s plans. Indeed, we need to pray for His Spirit to lead us on and on, and to point out the right way at every turn as we journey onward to Eternity. Let us now pray that the knowledge of these truths will make us just what we ought to be.
THE KINGDOM OF JUDAH,
THE SIFTING OF THE NATIONS
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V. T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, DECEMBER 21, 1946
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
Last Sabbath we concluded our study with verse eleven of Zechariah 14, and now in order to connect today’s study with last Sabbath’s, we shall briefly review the events concerning Jerusalem, as predicted in the first eleven verses of the same chapter.
The first event predicted is a war against Jerusalem, in which all nations participate. In that war a part of the people in Jerusalem go into captivity, but the rest remain in the city. Moreover, in that day the Lord’s feet stand on the Mount of Olives, and the mountain cleaves toward the east and toward the west, making a great valley. Then to this valley of the mountains, to the place where the Lord’s feet stand, the people of God flee as hastily as if from an earthquake. Thus is Jerusalem to be re-inhabited by God’s own people. Evidently those who are not cut off, those who are left in Jerusalem, must be the faithful that are found therein. But those who flee to the valley to where the Lord’s feet stand–flee to Him, not away from Him—must be the faithful from elsewhere. Plainly, Jerusalem is to become the great gathering place for God’s people.
These are some of the things which our last Sabbath’s study, the first part of Zechariah chapter 14, Γ12 brought to view, and any Bible student should readily see that they are pre-millennial: The people do not descend from Heaven, but instead they flee into the valley. They could not, therefore, be the wicked, for they flee to Him, not away from Him. Now let us continue with the twelfth verse.
Zech. 14:12—”And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.”
In one of the preceding verses we are told that the Lord is to fight against all those who fight against Jerusalem. And now in this verse we are told of the means which the Lord will employ in that warfare. He is not to use man-made weapons, but a plague.
Verse 13—”And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold everyone on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.”
Besides the plague, there shall be a great tumult—a confusion and excitement that will turn every man against his neighbor. Thus shall the Lord defeat the enemies of His people.
Verse 14—”And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen roundabout shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.”
During this conflict of the nations, the Kingdom of Γ13 Judah is to be restored. She also shall fight at Jerusalem, and shall gather to herself the wealth of the heathen.
Verse 15—”And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.”
The plague falls on both man and beast that are found in the tents of the unbelieving.
Verse 16—”And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.”
This sentence of Scripture emphatically implies that all who at that decisive moment refuse to be converted to the Lord, shall perish; only those who worship the Lord at Jerusalem on the feast of tabernacles, shall be spared.
Verse 17—”And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.”
The “rain” will be withheld from all who do not then worship the King, the Lord of hosts, in order that they may fully realize their mistake. Moreover, not only those who shall fight against Jerusalem, but even all the families of the earth shall be thus sifted.
Verse 18—”And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come Γ14 not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.”
If the drought fails to awaken them, then the plague will finally take them. Thus all who have not heard the message will be given opportunity to hear it. If it cannot save them it will eventually destroy them.
Now we see that this event (the Lord’s standing on the mount and the saints’ fleeing to the valley) is not only pre-millennial, but even pre-probationary; that it commences the re-establishment of the house of Judah; that it prepares the way for lightening the earth with the glory of the angel (Rev. 18:1); that it is eventually to bring the end of sinners.
Verse 19—”This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.”
Again we see the necessity of forsaking our preconceptions of the final work of the gospel. No, the Lord will not drop upon the world like a bolt from the sky. He will first magnify His Word, His power, His righteousness and His church or people. He is also to have, as it were, an ark of safety into which to gather His elect and shield them. All these facts, you see, are vividly borne out in this prophecy.
Verse 20—”In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar.”
Bells on horses serve no other purpose than to help their masters locate them. Thus it will be that only those servants whose “bells” (voices) sound “Holiness unto the Lord” can the Lord locate and gather as His Γ15 Own.
Verse 21—”Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.”
This verse is self-explanatory, it needs no comments.
So it is seen that with the establishment of the Kingdom of Judah commences the sifting of the nations. It must be that we are on the verge of witnessing the fulfillment of these prophecies else the Scroll would not have been unrolled so far as to unseal them at this time—certainly not if the Spirit of Truth alone leads into all Truth, and if the Lord gives “meat in due season. ” In view of this, let us wholeheartedly do God’s bidding and sincerely act out our faith in His never-failing Word.