THE LORD’S ANSWER TO THE INQUIRER OF GOD
TEXT FOR PRAYER
Jesus’ Example in Teaching
We shall read from “Christ’s Object Lessons,” paragraph one, page 21:
“Again, Christ had truths to present which the people were unprepared to accept, or even to understand. For this reason also He taught them in parables. By connecting His teaching with the scenes of life, experience, or nature, He secured their attention and impressed their hearts. Afterward, as they looked upon the objects that illustrated His lessons, they recalled the words of the divine Teacher. To minds that were open to the Holy Spirit, the significance of the Saviour’s teaching unfolded more and more. Mysteries grew clear, and that which had been hard to grasp became evident. Jesus sought an avenue to every heart. By using a variety of illustrations, He not only presented truth in its different phases, but appealed to the different hearers. . . . None who listened to the Saviour could feel that they were neglected or forgotten. The humblest, the most sinful, heard in His teaching a voice that spoke to them in sympathy and tenderness.”
As the people in Jesus’ time were as the people of today, not anxious to learn new Truth, He used Nature to arrest their attention. The prophets were led to use the same method. We, therefore, need to pray for a burning desire to know God’s Truth for today. We need to pray that we do not become self-confident, and satisfied with our attainments in the Word of God; that we lay aside all prejudices and be willing to learn from the “humblest of the humble.”
THE LORD’S ANSWER TO THE INQUIRER OF GOD
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V. T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, AUGUST 9, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
Our subject is found in Ezekiel twenty. This chapter, we will find, contains a prophetic history of the Church from the time of her servitude in Egypt to the time of the sealing of the 144,000.
Ezek. 20:1-8—”And it came to pass in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to enquire of the Lord, and sat before me. Then came the word of the Lord unto me, saying, Son of man, speak unto the elders of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Are ye come to enquire of Me? As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be enquired of by you. Wilt thou judge them, son of man, wilt thou judge them? cause them to know the abominations of their fathers: and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up Mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up Mine hand unto them, saying, I am the Lord your God; in the day that I lifted up Mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands: then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: Γ4 I am the Lord your God. But they rebelled against Me, and would not hearken unto Me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out My fury upon them: to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.”
In the writings of Moses we do not find a record as to the faithfulness of the children of Israel in the land of Egypt. Whether they were good or bad, Moses does not say. But here through Ezekiel we are told what they were. Not all of them, you note, were God-fearing people. This scripture makes clear that even when God called them to move out of the land of Egypt, the majority were unfaithful in their devotion to God.
Verses 9,10—”But I wrought for My name’s sake, that It should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made Myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt. Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness.”
We have now read the record of the Hebrew host, of their spiritual standing in the land of Egypt, and of God’s reason for bringing them out of Egypt. Next we shall read the record which they made in the wilderness.
Verses 11-13—”And I gave them My statutes, and shewed them My judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. Moreover also I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. But the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness: they walked not in My statutes, and they despised My Γ5 judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and My Sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out My fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.”
Here we see that the deeds of the descendants of Jacob were even less commendable in the wilderness than they were in Egypt.
Verses 14-28—”But I wrought for My name’s sake, that It should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out. Yet also I lifted up My hand unto them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands; because they despised My judgments, and walked not in My statutes, but polluted My Sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols. Nevertheless Mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness. But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols: I am the Lord your God; walk in My statutes, and keep My judgments, and do them; and hallow My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God. Notwithstanding the children rebelled against Me: they walked not in My statutes, neither kept My judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted My Sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out My fury upon them, to accomplish My anger against them in the wilderness. Nevertheless I withdrew Mine hand, and wrought for My name’s sake, that It should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth. I lifted up Mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the Γ6 heathen, and disperse them through the countries; because they had not executed My judgments; but had despised My statutes, and had polluted My Sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols. Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; and polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord. Therefore, son of man, speak unto the house of Israel, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed Me, in that they have committed a trespass against Me. For when I had brought them into the land, for the which I lifted up Mine hand to give it to them, then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering: there also they made their sweet savour, and poured out there their drink offerings.”
They were unfaithful in Egypt, in the wilderness, and in the promised land. We shall now read of the results.
Verses 29-36—”Then I said unto them, What is the high place whereunto ye go? And the name thereof is called Bamah unto this day. Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations? For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be enquired of by you. And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say, Γ7 we will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone. As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: and I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God.”
On one hand we see the reasons for elevating the Hebrew host from Pharaoh’s slaves to God’s priests, prophets, and kings. On the other hand we see their scattering throughout all the nations. Next we behold God’s promises of their gathering out of the countries in which they are scattered. This He promises to do with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm.
Verse 37—”And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.”
This verse is somewhat involved and needs to be elucidated with the help of another scripture. Let us turn to Leviticus.
“And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord.” Lev. 27:32.
To determine the Lord’s part, the tithe, the Lord’s lambs, goats, or sheep, were made to pass under the rod. Each tenth then was taken and set aside for the Lord. The statement of Ezekiel twenty, verse thirty-seven, “to pass under the rod,” therefore, Γ8 means to separate His very elect from among the multitude, from among the “tares, (Matt. 13:30) or from among the “bad fish” (Matt. 13:47, 48). And being thus separated, they are counted. So it is that the 144,000 (Rev.7:3-8;14:1) are a separate and numbered company.
Now we see that Ezekiel twenty contains a prophetic history from the time of their sojourn in Egypt to the time of the sealing of the 144,000, and of the gathering of the people.
When God causes His people to thus pass under the rod, He will then bring them into the bond of “the covenant which He made with Abraham, and of His oath unto Isaac; and hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant, saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance.” 1 Chron. 16:16-18.
The promises which they failed to realize, the Lord reassures that He will now let His people have them.
Verse 38—”And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against Me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.”
Here we are plainly told that only the elect will He bring “into the bond of the covenant.” Them only will He bring into the land of Israel. The sinners (tares, bad fish or goats) that are now among God’s people shall be taken out and be no more.
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a net,” said the Lord, “that was cast into the sea, and gathered Γ9 of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. 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. 13:47-50. The separation, the Judgment for the Living, you note, brings the end of the world.
Verse 19—”As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto Me: but pollute ye My holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.”
God has now made clear His “clean work” which He is to do, both for the penitent and for the impenitent. It is now up to them to decide whether to serve Him or to serve their idols they are now not making their decision ignorantly. If they wish to perish they may continue to serve their idols.
Verses 40,41—”For in Mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord God, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve Me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things. I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.”
All these things, you see, take place in the sight of the heathen.
Verses 42-44—”And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up Mine hand to give it to your fathers. And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have wrought with you for My name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord God.”
These things God does for His people, not because they are deserving, but for His name’s sake, because His promise cannot fail. The Kingdom of God, you see, does not begin in heaven, but on earth. And the Kingdom, you now see, is not to be made up of ghosts, but of living human beings, of saints, not a sinner among them.
Yes, the Eden that was lost is to be restored. In fact, the Word plainly declares that Elias must first come and restore all things (Mark 9:12). As Eden was a real home at the beginning occupied by real human beings so shall it be again.
The remaining verses of Ezekiel twenty take up another parable. But as time will not permit us to go into it, we shall bring our study to a close. First, though, let it be noticed that the remaining verses of this chapter, and also chapter 21 have, with this light on hand, become self-explanatory, and you can study them at your leisure. Verse 27 of chapter 21 though, I may touch on now.
Ezek. 21:27–”I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until He come Whose right it Γ11 is; and I will give it Him.”
In these chapters are brought to view both the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In this verse God plainly declares that He was to make three overturnings, and that after that the Kingdom was to be no more until “He comes Whose right it is”; that is, after the three overturnings, He “Whose right it is” shall come and the Kingdom shall be restored.
The first overturning took place when Assyria overturned the house of Israel, the ten-tribe kingdom; the second overturning took place when the king of Babylon overturned the house of Judah, the two-tribe kingdom; and the third overturning took place when Titus in 70 A. D. destroyed Jerusalem. Thus it is seen that we are now living in the period after the third overturning, the period in which “He Whose right it is,” is to come and set up His Kingdom.
The very fact that Inspiration has now unfolded these prophecies, and has brought them to the attention of the church, leads us to know for a certainty that the time for the restoration of the Kingdom is at hand; that we are now in the sealing time of the 144,000; and that if we are faithful we shall be among them, and stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion.
This, Brother, Sister, is the Lord’s Own answer to you.
Your duty is now to accept it if you wish life forevermore. Let not the enemy of Truth bring doubts to your mind, and let no one talk you out of this Truth for the Devil will not stand idly by. He will do all to overthrow you. Check up again and again and see that the Bible teaches this Truth so that you be able Γ12 to hold your own. You cannot afford to lose out this late in the day.
ONE SHEPHERD TO ACCOMPLISH WHAT A MULTITUDE OF THEM FAILED TO ACCOMPLISH
TEXT FOR PRAYER
Why Jesus Taught in Parables
I shall read from “Christ’s Object Lessons,” p. 22, the first paragraph:
“And He had another reason for teaching in parables. Among the multitudes that gathered about Him, there were priests and rabbis, scribes and elders, Herodians and rulers, world-loving, bigoted, ambitious men, who desired above all things to find some accusation against Him. Their spies followed His steps day after day, to catch from His lips something that would cause His condemnation, and forever silence the One who seemed to draw the world after Him. The Saviour understood the character of these men, and He presented truth in such a way that they could find nothing by which to bring His case before the Sanhedrin. In parables He rebuked the hypocrisy and wicked works of those who occupied high positions, and in figurative language clothed truth of so cutting a character that had it been spoken in direct denunciation, they would not have listened to His words, and would speedily have put an end to His ministry. But while He evaded the spies, He made truth so clear that error was manifested, and the honest in heart were profited by His lessons. . . . ” –
Let us kneel and pray that we might be on guard against becoming impervious to the Truth as were the Pharisees, that we might be honest hearted and profit by the Truth that comes to us.
ONE SHEPHERD TO ACCOMPLISH WHAT A MULTITUDE OF THEM FAILED TO ACCOMPLISH
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V. T. HOUTEFF
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, AUGUST 16, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
Let us turn to Ezekiel 34, the chapter we are to study today.
Ezek. 34:1,2—”And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?”
Ezekiel, we read, was given a vision of selfish, greedy, and unworthy shepherds. Now the first thing of importance is to ascertain whether these selfish shepherds lived in Ezekiel’s day, before his day, or after his day. To find this information, let us read—
Verses 23,24—”And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even My servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it.”
The self-centered shepherds against whom the prophet is told to write, are to be replaced by one shepherd, David. When this takes place God’s people Γ15 will then have but one shepherd. This, of course, cannot be Christ Himself, for Inspiration never calls Him David, but rather It calls Him the Son of David. Since God’s people have always had, and still do have many shepherds, the truth stands out as clear as crystal that the David of verses 23 and 24 is yet to come, and that the shepherds whom Inspiration addresses are in particular those whom David is to succeed.
Ezekiel, then, was not given a vision of the shepherds in his day, nor of those before his day, but of the shepherds after his day the day in which God raises up this antitypical David to feed His hungry and neglected flock. God’s people shall then no longer serve strangers, “But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.” Jer. 30:9. Here we see that not only Ezekiel, but Jeremiah also was given a vision of this same truth. Yes, all the prophets.
Ezek. 37:24, 25—”And David My servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in My judgments, and observe My statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob My servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and My servant David shall be their prince for ever.”
Since this is the addition to the “Third Angel’s Message” (“Early Writings,”p. 277) and since it is the message of the hour, consequently the day of the Davidian Kingdom is at hand. Let us turn to–
Hos. 3:4, 5-“For the children of Israel shall abide many Γ16 days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.”
The many days are now almost over and the time for the fulfilment of God’s promises is certainly at the threshold of our time.
Ezek. 34:3—”Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.”
The shepherds in the day the Kingdom is to be set up are accused of taking all they can possibly take from the sheep, and of not giving any care to the sheep. This must not become our practice.
Verses 4, 5—”The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.”
This careless attitude on the part of the shepherds is causing the laity to wander from one ism to another in search of spiritual food and physical care. Yes, they wander, so to speak, from one hill to another, many of whom have figuratively become meat for beasts (isms) because there is no shepherd to care for the sheep, but there are shearers to take the wool Γ17 from their backs, and the fat from under their ribs. Shameful, indeed! And who dare refuse to declare what God says?
Verses 6-10—”My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, My flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the Word of the Lord; As I live, saith the Lord God, surely My flock became a prey, and My flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not My flock; therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the Word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require My flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. “
Let us not fool ourselves any longer. God cannot be mocked. He will not for ever forsake His sheep, neither will He for ever retain untrustworthy shepherds herding His sheep. He will soon discharge them, and will demand that they give an account for their unfaithfulness. So it is that what a multitude of shepherds have failed to do, one shepherd, even David, will, in God’s hands, get done.
Verse 13—”And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.”
In the days of this antitypical David God gathers Γ18 His flock from all the countries where they have been scattered, and brings them into their own land. God will no longer leave them in the mountains and the hills of the Gentiles. “Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel. Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.” Hos. 1:11; 3:5. –
Verses 11-16—”For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search My sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out My sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.”
“….God has promised that where the shepherds are not true he will take charge of the flock himself. God has never made the flock wholly dependent upon human instrumentalities. But the days of purification of the church are hastening on apace. God will Γ19 have a people pure and true. In the mighty sifting soon to take place, we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that his fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor.” –”Testimonies,” Vol. 5, p. 80.
Verse 17— “And as for you, O My flock, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.”
Inspiration now turns from the shepherds and speaks to the flock, to the laity, and warns that there are two kinds of cattle (two classes of laity), rams and he goats. This is therefore a warning to them, and we must not fail to declare it, and they must not fail to hear and to act. For this very cause are the Timely Greetings published and scattered as the leaves of autumn.
Verse 18—”Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?”
Part of the cattle are accused of being selective, of eating and drinking only that which is to their liking, and of tramping the residue. They accept whatever Truth is agreeable to them, but reject the rest. Here we shall cite an example:
“My labor has been most discouraging, as I have seen that what God designed has not been accomplished. . . .These brethren took this position: We believe the visions, but Sister White, in writing them, put in her own words, and we will believe that portion which we Γ20 think is of God, and will not heed the other.” — “Testimonies,” Vol. 1, p. 234.
The rebuke, O ye “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken,” that rested upon the two disciples, is a challenge to each of us. None of us is as great as the Lord, yet He believed all the prophets wrote. Entire belief in the prophets is what makes God’s people great. Here is seen that “whosoever… humbleth himself shall be exalted,” and “whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased.” Luke 14:11.
Well, I for one do not question anything God has spoken through His prophets. I know that He does not lie; that He is well able to direct the writings of His prophets; that He makes no vain promises; that He is able to fulfil all He says; that His prophecies never fail. I take the promises of rebuke as readily as the promises of commendation. I study my duties as laid down by Him with as great pleasure as I study the promises of glory.
Verse 19—”And as for My flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.”
God’s true people, the truly great, accept that which the so-called wise tread down with their feet.
Verses 20,21—”Therefore thus saith the Lord God unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle. Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad.”
There is a class of church members who thrust Γ21 with side and shoulder those whom they dislike, usually those who are not of the same haughty type as themselves. These shall have their punishment. And those who are thus mistreated should never feel hurt, should never become discouraged, for their’s is the Kingdom, so long as they do not “thrust” and “push” others. The doubters and “scatterers” will have their reward.
Verses 22-25—”Therefore will I save My flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even My servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David a prince among them; I the Lord have spoken it. And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.”
The present state of affairs among both ministry and laity will soon have to cease. No longer are the transgressors to commingle with the obedient. No longer are the hypocrite and the sincere to walk together. No longer are God’s people to be obliged to listen to every wind of doctrine. No longer are they to be neglected, or left to suffer and fear.
Since we are now face to face with Inspiration, and are told the difference between right and wrong, we are left without a cloak to hide under. We can now intelligently choose either to serve God or to serve self and man, either to trust in God, to study His Word for ourselves or to trust in men, to have others study It for us and tell us what is Truth and what is error. We can now decide to let prejudice control us, Γ22 or to open our hearts so that Truth can find lodgment there. We can now be as dark objects in the corner, or as bright lights on the top of the mountains. “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Dan. 12:3.
Verse 26—”And I will make them and the places round about My hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.”
We often sing the song, “There Shall Be Showers of Blessing,” but now it is up to us—we can have them or we can run away from them. Those who accept all God gives, all the prophets have written, upon them will the showers fall. “Only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [Third Angel’s Message] when it shall have swelled into the Loud Cry.” —”The Review and Herald,” Nov. 19, 1908.
Verse 27—”And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.”
There shall be showers of blessing, and there shall be a great harvest, too. This shall be when the bands of our yoke are broken, when we are delivered from the hands of those who serve themselves instead of the flock.
Verses 28,29—”And they shall no more be a prey to Γ23 the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid. And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen anymore.”
Not only will God deliver His people from the hands of unfaithful and cruel brethren, but He will also protect them from being a prey to the heathen, and to isms.
Verses 30,31—”Thus shall they know that I the Lord their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are My people, saith the Lord God. And ye My flock, the flock of My pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.”
God does not forsake His flock. He tenderly calls them “My flock,” and reassures them that He is their God. He will, without fail set one shepherd to accomplish what a multitude of shepherds have failed to do. Now is your opportunity to feast on “meat in due season,” at the hand of God’s chosen shepherd, or starve on husks at the hand of a multitude of shepherds.