THE CHRISTIAN’S LAND RENOVATION AND HEART OPERATION
TEXT FOR PRAYER
The Bible–Unquestionable Authority
I shall read from “Christ’s Object Lessons,” beginning on page 38 with the last paragraph–
“The teachers of Israel were not sowing the seed of the word of God. Christ’s work as a teacher of truth was in marked contrast to that of the rabbis of His time. They dwelt upon traditions, upon human theories and speculations. Often that which man had taught and written about the word, they put in place of the word itself. . . . The subject of Christ’s teaching and preaching was the word of God. He met questioners with a plain, “It is written.” “What saith the Scriptures? “How readest thou?” . . . Christ’s servants are to do the same work. In our day, as of old, the vital truths of God’s word are set aside for human theories and speculations. Many professed ministers of the gospel do not accept the whole Bible as the inspired word. One wise man rejects one portion; another questions another part. They set up their judgment as superior to the word; and the Scripture which they do teach rests upon their own authority. Its divine authenticity is destroyed. . . . He pointed to the Scriptures as of unquestionable authority, and we should do the same. The Bible is to be presented as the word of the infinite God, as the end of all controversy and the foundation of all faith.”
We need to pray this afternoon for help never to set aside God’s Word for human theories and speculations, but always to teach the plain truths of the Bible according to the Spirit, the only unquestionable authority—the end of all controversy, the foundation of our faith. Let us kneel.
THE CHRISTIAN’S LAND RENOVATION AND HEART OPERATION
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V. T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, AUGUST 23, 1947
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
Our subject for this afternoon is the Christian’s land renovation and heart operation. This subject we find in the thirty-sixth chapter of Ezekiel.
Ezek. 36:1-10—”Also, thou son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the Word of the Lord: Thus saith the Lord God; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient, high places [the places of worship in the Promised Land] are our’s in possession: therefore prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen, and ye are taken up in the lips of talkers, and are an infamy of the people: therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the Word of the Lord God; Thus saith the Lord God to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are forsaken [by His people] , which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about; therefore thus saith the Lord God; Surely in the fire of My jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea [now Arabians], which have appointed My land into their possession with the joy of all their Γ4 heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey. Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and in My fury, because ye have borne the shame of the heathen: therefore thus saith the Lord God; I have lifted up Mine hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame. But ye, O Mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to My people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown: and I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded.”
These verses, now seen in the framework of the message of the hour, show that the time of the Gentiles is at an end, that God’s elect are to return and forever possess their land!
Verses 11-14—”And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even My people Israel; and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them of men. Thus saith the Lord God; Because they say unto you, Thou land devourest up men, and hast bereaved thy nations; therefore thou shalt devour men no more, neither bereave thy nations any more, saith the Lord God.”
These verses cannot be misconstrued to mean the Γ5 return of the Jews from Babylon, because here it is said, the land shall “devour men no more, neither bereave thy nations anymore,” whereas history shows that since the Jews” return from Babylon, the land has devoured—there has been no lasting peace. Moreover, this chapter is in particular speaking about the “house of Israel,” the ten-tribe kingdom, which has never to this day returned since it was scattered by the Assyrians.
Verses 15-22—”Neither will I cause men to hear in thee the shame of the heathen any more, neither shalt thou bear the reproach of the people any more, neither shalt thou cause thy nations to fall any more, saith the Lord God. Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before Me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. Wherefore I poured My fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: and I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned My holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of His land. But I had pity for Mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for Mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. “
By these scriptures it can now be understood that God does not do this because His people of yesterday Γ6 or of today have been good, but because He must vindicate His name, and He must let the heathen know that they were able to drive His people out of the land only because He allowed them to do so on account of the iniquity of His people.
Verses 23-26—”And I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”
Plain it is to see that before you and I can be ready for translation, we must first be ready to go into the Promised Land, there to be cleansed, there to have our stony hearts removed. Yes, the only way to have this heart operation performed upon us is to let the Lord first gather us from among the heathen and bring us into our own land. For “then will I,” says the Lord, “sprinkle clean water upon you,” and “a new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.”
In the face of this, I should like to know who could ever live with Christ during the thousand years without having first gone to the land, there to be cleansed and there to receive a new heart?
Verses 27-32—”And I will put My Spirit within you, Γ7 and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. “
The Lord knows how to save: He had His people dispersed throughout the nations so that when He brings them back home they will remember the result of their evil doings, and so lothe their iniquities.
Verses 33-36—”Thus saith the Lord God; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the Garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that 1 the Lord build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it. “
All these wonders, you see, the Lord performs in the land of Israel and in the sight of the heathen. These are necessarily premillennial events.
Verse 37—”Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.”
God’s elect, this verse declares, will be praying for the fulfilment of these scriptures. What are you doing, Brother, Sister? Are you praying for these things? Or are you fighting against them? You dare not say, “It matters not,” for such an attitude of unbelief will keep you out of the Kingdom just as surely as it kept the antediluvians out of the ark.
Verse 38—”As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the Lord.”
Is there still a doubt in the hearts of any of you? O, how could there be a doubt? These verses, you see, do not really need any interpretation whatever. There is no plainer doctrine in the Bible. You cannot close your eyes to it and yet expect to be counted among the believers of the Word of God.
Now we see that there must be land renovation and heart operation—that God’s Kingdom begins on earth in the sight of the heathen, that it is to be as real as anything, and that there is to be neither a sinner in It, nor a stony heart in It. Is this not more appealing than the imaginary, the much spiritualized, kingdom so often heard of?
Elijah shall indeed come first and restore all things. And we shall finally be what Adam was in the beginning, live in the Garden of Eden, and feast on the tree of life.
It Shall Be Well With Thee
Be tranquil, O my soul,
Be quiet every fear!
Thy Father hath supreme control,
And He is ever near.
Never of thy lot complain,
What ever may befall,
Sickness or sorrow, care or pain,
“Tis well appointed all.
A Father’s chastening hand
Is leading thee along;
Nor distant is the promised land,
Where swells the immortal song.
O, then, my soul, be still!
Await heaven’s high decree;
Seek but to do thy Father’s will,
It shall be well with thee.
THE DEAD AND THE LIVING MAKE UP THE WHOLE HOUSE OF ISRAEL; GOG FAILS
TEXT FOR PRAYER
The Teachings of Men Versus
The Teachings of The Spirit
This afternoon I shall read from “Christ’s Object Lessons,” page 40, paragraphs 1 and 2—
“. . . In the sermons from many pulpits of today there is not that divine manifestation which awakens the conscience and brings life to the soul. . . . There are many who are crying out for the living God, longing for the divine presence. . . . Let the word of God speak to the people. Let those who have heard only traditions and human theories and maxims hear the voice of Him whose word can renew the soul unto everlasting life. Christ’s favorite theme was the paternal tenderness and abundant grace of God; He dwelt much upon the holiness of His character and His law; He presented Himself to the people as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Let these be the themes of Christ’s ministers. Present the truth as it is in Jesus. Make plain the requirements of the law and the gospel. Tell the people of Christ’s life of self-denial and sacrifice; of His humiliation and death; of His resurrection and ascension; of His intercession for them in the courts of God; of His promise, “I will come again, and receive you unto Myself.”
We need to pray for help to learn how to teach as did Christ, how to value the teachings of the Spirit above the teachings of men, and how to present the Word as It is in Jesus, making plain the Truth. This is our great need.
THE DEAD AND THE LIVING MAKE UP THE WHOLE HOUSE OF ISRAEL; GOG FAILS
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V. T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, AUGUST 30, 1947
MT, CARMEL CHAPEL
Our subject today is found in Ezekiel, chapters 37 to 39. These chapters are long, and time will not permit us to read every verse, nor even to comment much on them. And so we shall not try to cover all the verses in chapters 38 and 39, nor say all that can be said. The verses we omit, however, really need no comment, for with this light at hand as you study the chapters at your own leisure the truth of them will stand out brightly.
Ezek. 37:1-12—”The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And He said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, Thou knowest. Again He said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: and I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Γ12
So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said He unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
“Then He said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.”
Here we see how the dead are to be raised: First the bones are gathered together bone to bone. Next the flesh is added, then covered with skin, and finally breath is given them. In The Genesis we are told that Adam’s body was made from clay, then breath was put into his nostrils and he became a living soul. By combining air with the clay the man became a living soul. So the Scriptures reveal that the resurrection is but a re-creation. Man receives a new body out of the old but in order to be the same man that once lived and died, then made alive again, he necessarily is given the former intellectual knowledge and memory of his life’s experience. Truly the living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything all the while they are in their graves. Eccles. 9:5, 6.
Verses 13, 14—”And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put My Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.”
Not only will He raise His people from their graves, but He will also bring them into the land of Israel. The dead to live again is indeed a miracle but not much greater than for a worm to bury itself in the ground or to inclose itself in a cocoon or the like, then to go in the state of unconsciousness, change its form and become a beautiful butterfly cruising through the air instead of crawling on the ground. This and other wonders do not seem miracles because they are common daily occurrences. If in the beginning God could create the earth out of nothing, He can re-create man much easier when to start with, He at least has man’s bones and his intellectual knowledge of good and evil.
Verses 15-19—”The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah [the two-tribe kingdom], and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, And write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim [the ten-tribe kingdom], and for all the house of Israel his companions: and join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, Γ14 and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in Mine hand.”
Here we are plainly told that the two ancient kingdoms, the types, He is to restore and join–and so bring out the antitype.
Verses 20, 21—”And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land.”
The faithful from among the descendants of Israel that were scattered throughout the nations will, we are concretely told, be gathered and brought back into their own land. These descendants of the tribes of Jacob we must not however construe to be the unbelieving Jews of today who are trying to gain possession of Palestine. The Kingdom here predicted, you note, is to be made up only of converts to Christ mostly from the tribes who were scattered and lost sight of among the Gentile nations, including the descendants of those who made up the early Christian church, of those who no longer called themselves Jews, but Christians. These, besides those of the Gentile nations who join Christ, are obviously to make up this premillennial Kingdom in the Promised Land.
Verse 22—”And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.”
This consolation, you note, is permanent. And since there are no sinners in It, it obviously, as shown elsewhere in our literature, is the result of the “Judgment in the house of God” (1 Pet. 4:17) —the Judgment for the Living, the purification of the church, the separation of the bad fish from the good— (Matt. 13:47,48), the cleansing of the sanctuary (Dan. 8:14) — the harvest of the firstfruits: the 144,000 that stand on Mount Zion with the Lamb (Rev. 14:1) —”the remnant.” Then follows the ingathering of the second fruits.
Your knowledge of these things, though, will not benefit you if you do not make a desperate effort to be one of, or one with the 144,000. You, moreover, must have this extra oil in your vessels (Matt. 25:1-12) now while it is so freely dispensed. To get it later will not profit you, for the late comers will find the door closed. Their knocking on the door will only cause them to hear the Master say, “Depart from Me,” “I never knew you.” (Matt. 7:23). Indeed, you must immediately avail yourselves of this light-giving oil now while It is brought to your doors if It is to do you any good.
Verse 23—”Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be My people, and I will be their God.”
After the subjects of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel are gathered from among the heathen nations and they themselves become a nation and a kingdom “then” they are to be cleansed, and not before say the Scriptures. From these you see that this is the work Γ16 of the cleansing of the Sanctuary (Dan. 8:14), the purification of the church (“Testimonies,” Vol. 5, p. 80) —the cleansing of the temple (Mal. 3:1-3) —the harvest time—blotting out the sins and defects of the penitent and doing away with the impenitent. It is the Judgment for the Living that purifies the church. It sets her apart from the world, and fits her for the gathering of the people (Rev. 18:4)—makes her the ark for today, a place of refuge for all who wish to escape the plagues. Thereafter the saints remain clean. They sin no more. They are God’s clean and faithful people forevermore. There has never, therefore, come to God’s people a more important message than this.
Verses 24-28—”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 prince for ever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.”
Plainly, then, all these things take place in the sight of the heathen that they may see and know what God has done for His people. Thus will they know that He has loved them.
Ezek. 38:1, 2—”And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.”
Gog is here said to be the chief prince, the king of Meshech and Tubal. These two cities, Meshech and Tubal were anciently situated in Asia, south of the Black Sea, where the Turkish Empire now is.
Verse 8—”After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.”
The “many days” after which Gog is visited are the thousand years. The latter days in which Israel return to their land, and the time in which God shall go against them are premillennial.
Verse 9—”Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.”
The expression, to “ascend, and come like a storm,” suggests that these things are to take place in the time of the airplane.
Verses 10-12—”Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: and thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates. To take a spoil, and to take a prey; Γ18 to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods that dwell in the midst of the land.”
As the land of Israel shall have no visible human protection whatsoever, it will appear to Gog that he should have no difficulty robbing the people of the land.
Verse 13—”Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?”
These neighboring countries and people that ask Gog to tell them his mission, evidently are not allied with him.
Verses 14-17—”Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when My people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: and thou shalt come up against My people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against My land, that the heathen may know Me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes. Thus saith the Lord God; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by My servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?”
Clearly, this Kingdom of Israel is set up in the latter days, in the days before the millennium, for after the Kingdom is set up, Gog opens war against It. Indeed, this cannot be after the millennium, for then all the nations from the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog with them, shall encompass, not the mountains of Israel, but the new Jerusalem. Furthermore at that time the slain shall not be buried but burned to ashes (Rev. 20:9,10; Mal. 4:1).
Verse 23—”Thus will I magnify Myself, and sanctify Myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.”
Ezek. 39:l-7—”Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee,O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: and I will turn thee back, and leave, but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: and I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God. And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the Lord. So will I make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let them pollute My holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.”
Gog, you see, shall fail to rob God’s people. He will instead perish in the mountains of Israel.
Verses 8-15—”Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God; this is the day whereof I have spoken. And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: so that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord God. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The Valley of Hamon-gog. And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them: and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord God. And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon-gog.”
As these verses need no comment, we pass on to
Verses 22-29—”So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day and forward. And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they Γ21 trespassed against Me, therefore hid I My face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid My face from them. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for My holy name; after that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against Me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid. When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies” lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide My face any more from them: for I have poured out My Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God.”
I do not know of any chapters in the Bible that are more explicit than these chapters of Ezekiel. They need no interpretation whatsoever. But in spite of it the Denomination ignores them as though they were not in the Bible. And even now, rather than teaching the soon fulfilment of these chapters, the setting up of the Kingdom, the ministers are doing all they can to confuse the laity and to enshroud the Scriptures in mystery! So there is evidence upon evidence that the angel of the church of the Laodiceans is blind, and yet knows it not.
Now at this crossroad, the eternal destiny of all God’s servants is to be settled. Now they must take either the step that Paul was forced to take on the way Γ22 to Damascus, or the step that Judas took in the upper room after the Master washed his feet. This is, you see, not man’s talk; it is God’s, the Bible’s.
You are now given the opportunity to be a Daniel, a Job, a Stephen, a Luther, a Miller, or a White. I hope that none of you choose to be a scribe or a Pharisee. They were geniuses to find fault, but too stupid to see Truth. Such you know have never led anyone into Truth, but have ever kept even whole nations away from It. They are geniuses at their wicked profession.
The Cloud and Fire
As of old when the hosts
Were compelled in the wilderness
Trusting they in their God
to lead the way
To the light of perfect day.
To and fro as a ship
without a sail,
Not a compass to guide them
through the vale,
But the sign of their God was ever near,
Thus their fainting hearts to cheer.
All the days of their wand”rings
they were fed
To the land of the promise
they were led;
By the hand of the Lord,
in guidance sure,
They were brought to Canaan’s shore.
So the sign of the fire by night,
And the sign of the cloud by day,
Hov”ring o”er, just before,
As they journey on their way,
Shall a guide and a leader be,
Till the wilderness be past,
For the Lord our God
In His own good time
Shall lead to the light at last.
—C. A. Miles