CURRENT EVENTS, THE PALESTINE SITUATION, AND HOW CLOSE THE SEPARATION?
TEXT FOR PRAYER
I shall read from Christ’s Object Lessons, beginning on page 130 with the second paragraph:
“This experience gives every teacher of truth the very qualifications that will make him a representative of Christ. The spirit of Christ’s teaching will give a force and directness to his communications and to his prayers. His witness to Christ will not be a narrow, lifeless testimony. The minister will not preach over and over the same set discourses. His mind will be open to the constant illumination of the Holy Spirit….
“When we eat Christ’s flesh and drink His blood, the element of eternal life will be found in the ministry. There will not be a fund of stale, oft-repeated ideas. The tame, dull sermonizing will cease. The old truths will be presented, but they will be seen in a new light. There will be a new perception of truth, a clearness and a power that all will discern. Those who have the privilege of sitting under such a ministry will, if susceptible to the Holy Spirit’s influence, feel the energizing power of a new life. The fire of God’s love will be kindled within them. Their perceptive faculties will be quickened to discern the beauty and majesty of truth.”
Here we are told that old truths will be presented in new life; also that Bible symbolism will be revealed. This is the very thing we have now seen with our own eyes. We should pray that God’s people be able to recognize that the old truth is now set in a new light and that new life is being given to it.
CURRENT EVENTS, THE PALESTINE SITUATION, AND HOW CLOSE THE SEPARATION?
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, NOVEMBER 6, 1948
I have been asked to give a study on current events, on the Palestine situation, and on the separation caused by the slaughter that is forecast in Ezekiel’s vision.
I wish that I could tell you all you want to know, but I cannot say how soon the separation, the purification of the church, (Testimonies, Vol. 5, pg. 80), will take place. God alone knows the time. All I know is that it cannot take place before we prepare the way, before our God-given work in connection with Ezekiel 9 is done. Then it will come to pass that the Lord will suddenly come to His temple (the church) and purify the sons of Levi, the ministry (Mal. 3:1-3). But those who receive not the mark will fall under the slaughter weapons of the angels as did the unfaithful “first born” in the night of the Passover in the land of Egypt.
I am, however, certain that God will not keep us ignorant of the things we ought to know. If it becomes necessary for us to know ahead of time the day and hour of the purification of the church, the antitypical Passover, we will be told. Yes, we shall know at least as much in advance as Moses knew about the Passover in his day. He did not know months ahead the day and hour of the events that were then to take place, but he was instructed of his and of the people’s duties and of what to expect from day to day. Neither did he know beforehand that they were to come up against the Red Sea, but as the cloud led them there, and as the Egyptians followed close behind, he was then told what to Γ4 do. Moreover, at the time they crossed the Sea he did not know that they were to spend forty years in the desert nor that the grown-ups among them were to perish while on their journey to the Promised Land.
Thus must it be today, because “the secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deut. 29:29. God knows how to lead and how to save. I cannot, therefore, give you light beyond what inspiration makes known. I can only speak of the things that are revealed.
The most exciting current event that we know of is the presidential election which stands only two days in the future. As the nation sees it, this is now the biggest thing in the world, even though many will not get what they want, for each one of the different parties has named its own nominee on the presidential ballot, but only one president is to be elected.
All seem to think that peace and prosperity depend upon the man they put in the White House. Upon the authority of the Word, though, I stand to tell you that regardless who is put in office there will be no peace and desirable lasting prosperity, for God is left out of the plans which have been devised although He alone can give what we are after. And now how may we know that God is not taken into partnership? The clue that gives the answer is this:
If the church members themselves leave God out of consideration and go to men for counsel instead of to God, then how can one expect the world to go to Him? I have in my possession hundreds of letters from our own Denomination which prove this very thing! They give me this information by saying:
“I never read your literature, and never will; our ministers have investigated your teachings and they have found them to be false. We have all the Truth; we need nothing more. Take my name off your mailing list.”
Practically all of these brethren that are trapped by the Laodicean “having need of nothing” idea attempt to refute the message of present Truth by quoting from Sister White’s writings, in spite of the fact that their quotations are irrelevant to the subject and misconstrued in their own minds. All quote passages which the leading brethren have cunningly passed on to them in their brochures against us, and all of them sing the same Laodicean song which the leading brethren have put into their mouths.
These things again and again prove that instead of using their own God-given reason, the multitude are led by the minds of a few hostile brethren. Passages, though, such as the ones I am about to read to you, are kept away from them.
Let me now read these simple and to the point lines of inspired Writ which need no comments:
“Introduce nothing that will cause dissension, without clear evidence that in it God is giving a special message for this time.
“But beware of rejecting that which is truth. The great danger with our people has been that of depending upon men, and making flesh their arm. Those who have not been in the habit of searching the Bible for themselves, or weighing evidence, have confidence in the leading men, and accept the decisions they make; and thus many will reject the very messages God sends to His people, if these leading brethren do not accept them. Γ6
“No one should claim that he has all the light there is for God’s people. The Lord will not tolerate this.” – Testimonies To Ministers, pp. 106, 107.
“We must study the truth for ourselves. No man should be relied upon to think for us. No matter who he is, or in what position he may be placed, we are not to look upon any man as a criterion for us. We are to counsel together, and to be subject one to another; but at the same time we are to exercise the ability God has given us, in order to learn what is truth. Each one of us must look to God for divine enlightenment. We must individually develop a character that will stand the test in the day of God. We must not become set in our ideas, and think that no one should interfere with our opinions.” – Id., pp. 109, 110.
“God wants us to depend upon Him, and not upon man. He desires us to have a new heart; He would give us revealings of light from the throne of God.” – Id., pg. 111.
“…Whatever may be his position of authority, no one has a right to shut away the light from the people. When a message comes in the name of the Lord to His people, no one may excuse himself from an investigation of its claims.” – Counsels On Sabbath School Work, pg. 28.
Does not the Denomination’s perverted trend in finding Heaven-revealed Truth prove to you that God is left out of consideration, that in His place are put those who are supposed to be His servants? What else can it be if man is consulted when the Spirit of God should be? Are we not told by the Scriptures that the Spirit Himself is to lead us individually into all Truth? that we are not to make flesh our arm by having someone else decide for us what is Truth and what is error? Are we not denying the Spirit and our connection with Heaven when we take a substitute? And still worse Γ7 is it to go for advice to one who is already against that which you expect him to approve or disapprove. If God can teach the cattle individually to seek water in the lower lands, not on the top of the mountains and hills, and to search for a place of warmth where the wind does not strike, then why can he not personally show us what is Truth and what is error?
Were the founders of the church directed into Truth by the counsel of the priests and rabbis, or by the Spirit of God in their hearts? Are we not individually told: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every Spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.” 1 John 4:1, 2.” Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thess. 5:19-21.
Moreover, Amos by the eye of Inspiration looked down through the centuries, deep into the Christian era, and declared:
Amos 1:2 – “The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.”
This scripture, you see, reflects the tragedy which took place on the top of Carmel in the days of Elijah. Here we are given the hint that there is to be another show-down between the prophet of God and the prophets of Baal. The prophets of Baal in our day even boast that they are not inspired, that what they teach and preach is what they themselves discovered by deep study and research! They even sneer at those who claim to be inspired of the Lord! They seem to think that God has forsaken the earth; that He cares not to send His Spirit as in former time; that men are now so wise that what the Spirit can do for them, they themselves can do even Γ8 better! The truth is, though, that if there ever was a need for inspired interpreters of the Scriptures, it is today while many winds of doctrines are blowing from all directions, bringing in confusion, dissension, and disaster everywhere. No one sees eye to eye!
Of this sad condition the Spirit of Prophecy warns:
“Those who allow prejudice to bar the mind against the reception of truth can not receive the divine enlightenment. Yet, when a view of Scripture is presented, many do not ask, Is it true, – in harmony with God’s word? but, By whom is it advocated? and unless it comes through the very channel that pleases them, they do not accept it. So thoroughly satisfied are they with their own ideas, that they will not examine the Scripture evidence, with a desire to learn, but refuse to be interested, merely because of their prejudices.
“The Lord often works where we least expect Him; He surprises us by revealing His power through instruments of His own choice, while He passes by the men to whom we have looked as those through whom light should come. God desires us to receive the truth upon its own merits, – because it is truth.” – Testimonies To Ministers, pp. 105, 106.
The world has never seen a more religious group, nor a more praying and pious people than were the priests, scribes, and Pharisees in Christ’s day. Yet they were the very ones who protested against Christ’s teachings, who spread prejudice and confusion among the people and who kept them in darkness! Yes, they deceived a whole nation. Finally, if the Jewish Sanhedrin was not to be trusted at Christ’s first advent, then how do we know that the Christian’s Sanhedrin at Christ’s second advent is to be unquestionably correct? It was the Sanhedrins of the middle ages and down to this day that have fought against any Divinely led Γ9 Reformation. And let me read to you of that which took place in the pioneering days of the Denomination:
“But the churches generally did not accept the warning. Their ministers, who as ‘watchmen unto the house of Israel,’ should have been the first to discern the tokens of Jesus’ coming, had failed to learn the truth, either from the testimony of the prophets or from the signs of the times. As worldly hopes and ambitions filled the heart, love for God and faith in His word had grown cold; and when the advent doctrine was presented, it only aroused their prejudice and unbelief. The fact that the message was, to a great extent, preached by laymen, was urged as an argument against it. As of old, the plain testimony of God’s word was met with the inquiry, ‘Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed?’ And finding how difficult a task it was to refute the arguments drawn from the prophetic periods, many discouraged the study of the prophecies, teaching that the prophetic books were sealed, and were not to be understood. Multitudes, trusting implicitly to their pastors refused to listen to the warning; an others, though convinced of the truth, dared not confess it, lest they should be ‘put out of the synagogue.’ The message which God had sent for the testing and purification of the church, revealed all too surely how great was the number who had set their affections on this world rather than upon Christ. The ties which bound them to earth were stronger than the attractions heavenward. They chose to listen to the voice of worldly wisdom, and turned away from the heart-searching message of truth.” – The Great Controversy, pg. 380.
If such has been the experience of the past, and if we all had to make up our own minds for or against the Advent truth in opposition to the decisions of the priests and ministers in our former churches, and if this was the only method of finding Truth then, why should it not be so now? Have we now become less capable than we Γ10 were before becoming Adventists? Are our prayers now failing to bring results? Has the Spirit left us? or have we turned away from Him? There is but one honest answer that can be given:
The church is drifting with the world and she, too, is expecting the world’s great men, not the Spirit of God, to tell her what is Truth and what is error, whom to put in office and whom not to. “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.” Lam. 3:40.
The idea that we, as Seventh-day Adventists, have all the Truth we need, that we are “rich and increased with goods,” in need of nothing more, is the idea with which the Sanhedrin in Christ’s day indoctrinated the minds of the people, and to this day the Jewish nation has not recovered from the effects. Do not our Seventh-day Adventist brethren therefore stand in the same degenerating position of rejecting any light that God may send, if it does not agree with their ideas? And even if Christ Himself should bring it down, and if it disagree with theirs, would they not like the Jews of old be dangerously tempted to crucify Him if they could? O the great need for revival and reformation! And if such be the condition of the people in our own church, then what can be expected elsewhere? Return unto Me, for why should you perish? is Heaven’s cry.
These are some of the current events which show that humanity is drifting farther and farther away from God and drawing closer and closer to individual self. If we take God into partnership, we will have peace, security, and prosperity. But as it is now, we as a nation and as a people are headed for trouble and uncertainly at home, and for war abroad, while the church sleeps on.
Now as to what I think about the Palestine situation itself: I think the Jews need to have a place to go Γ11 to, but I do not think God is leading them. If God drove the Jews from His land because of their wickedness, because He no longer could tolerate them, then it is certain that He is not leading them back to it now while they are of the same mind and just as hostile against His only Son as they were two thousand years ago. The Jews, therefore, are taking the land on their own responsibility, and when the “times” of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24) end, the new State of Israel, as they call themselves, will then vacate the land much faster than they can now take, it, unless they take God into the land with them.
God is nevertheless to have a people there, but they will be the kind He tells of in the Scriptures, some of which I shall now read:
Jer. 30:18-22 – “Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof. And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them. And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto Me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto Me? saith the Lord. And ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.”
Jer. 31:6-10, 34 – “For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God. For thus saith the Lord; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise Γ12 ye, and say, O Lord, save Thy people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn. Hear the Word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock…. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Hos. 3:4, 5 – “For the children of Israel shall abide many 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.”
God will have a people in the land all right, but they all shall know the Lord. Those, therefore, who are now trying to establish themselves in Palestine are not that people. To learn who the people are that will inherit the land, read Tract No. 8, Mount Zion At The Eleventh Hour.
But, you say, is there no prophecy concerning what the Jews are doing today in Palestine? Of course there must be a prophecy. Let me read it to you:
Zeph. 2:1-3 – “Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord’s anger come upon you. Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.”
These verses of Scripture, you note, are to meet fulfillment just before the “day pass as the chaff,” before the fierce anger of the Lord breaks upon the nation not desired. And while this undesired nation is gathering together, then it is that all the meek of the earth, those who have borne the Lord’s message “before the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (the church), are counselled to still seek meekness. There are, therefore, two peoples brought to view in these verses – the nation not desired and the meek of the earth.
Now in view of the fact that there is but one such undesired nation, the Jewish, and none other, that is hated by all nations, this scripture cannot possibly apply to another people. Also the fact that now while we are broadcasting the message of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, the day before the day of the Lord’s anger, the undesired Jews world over are gathering together in Palestine–I say in view of all these things now contemporaneously taking place, the truth of the Scriptures boldly stand out, showing that the anger of the Lord is to fall upon the Jews unless they reform, and not they, but “the meek of the earth” are to inherit the land. And so according to Scripture, Jew and Arab alike are to go out of the Promised Land, and the meek of the earth to march into it.
How are they to get there, and who is to open the way? – The answer to these questions we shall find in–
Zech. 14:4, 5 – “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. 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.”
The Lord Himself, you see, is to open the way for the returning of His people.
Isa. 11:11, 12, 16 – “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth…. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.”
Isa. 27:12, 13 – “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.”
The Lord opens the way, and the Lord gathers His people.
Now about the war as it stands today. Tract No. 14, War News Forecast, which came out several years ago, tells the truth concerning World War No. 2 and its outcome. The Tract gets its light from Nahum’s prophecy. The war there predicted, the prophet declares, is fought in the day of the automobile, in the day men “run to and fro,” while the “chariots…rage in the streets,…justle one against another in the broad ways…while [running] like the lightnings,” – in our time. That war, the tract’s appendix – Time and Chance Solve Mysteries – proves, is World War No. 2. The prophet saw one that dasheth in pieces (Hitler) daring his enemies to prepare against him. Then the prophet saw the worthies of him who dasheth in pieces (Hitler’s worthies) stumble in their walk (fall by mistake in their march for victory). And so it came to pass that after Hitler opened his guns against the nations around him, and started breaking everything to pieces, the allies went to prepare for war.
Hitler caused his worthies to stumble by waging war against Russia while in war with Great Britain, and by going after Greece and Egypt rather than crossing the English channel when England, unknown to him, was almost to give up. Thus his worthies stumbled and never rose again. Finally, Hitler disappeared and hostilities ceased. But according to Nahum’s prophecy, and also according to current events as broadcast by news reports everywhere, the war is still on; it has not actually ceased, but is only making a turn for the worse, yes, and it is only a matter of time before it will become even hotter than it was previous to Hitler’s disappearance.
Moreover, there has been no official declaration as yet that the war is over. No complete settlement with Γ16 the powers which fought in the war has as yet been reached. Anyone can see that the world is fast getting ready to resume the war with a mightier and final blow if possible. Anyone can see, too, that the war was not won for the good of Great Britain, but for Russia, and that following the cessation of hostilities conditions have caused the world to consolidate into two great and hostile blocks, – the Western and the Eastern blocks, – not to mention the wars and rumors of wars all around us. This happened because Great Britain allied with atheistic Russia, a government that is against God and His church. Thus Great Britain put greater trust in God’s enemy than in God Himself, and that is why the war is yet to be fought.
And now while the cold war between the east and west is on, the churches, too, by the Amsterdam confederacy, are enlarging the size of each block. Both radio broadcasts and newspapers declare that all the churches except the Roman and the Russian orthodox churches did send representatives to the Amsterdam assembly. The Russian orthodox church, you know, is the Greek orthodox church. And why do you suppose the church that is in Greece joined the confederacy, but the church that is in Russia did not? Only because of fearing the “block” they are in. The churches, too, are taking sides with their respective block – Eastern or Western. (What will the Roman church do? She, too, will of necessity eventually join the Western block.)
Does it not look to you as though the world is getting ready for a church and state government? I have repeatedly pointed out that the world is unwittingly making a mighty effort to saddle the scarlet-colored beast of Revelation 17 and to mount there on BABYLON THE GREAT. We are headed for the church and state government which BABYLON THE GREAT symbolizes while riding the scarlet-colored beast, and when the war gets “hot” again, Babylon may then replace the United Γ17 Nations thereafter. So it is seen that the world in its attempt to overcome the obstacles with which it is confronted, is as it were jumping out of the fire and falling into the frying pan, only because it is not taking God into partnership.
The world sees communism as a hydra-headed monster behind a bush, and the nations are already, so to speak, smiting their knees one against the other while they look at it. Their safety, however, does not depend on fear and armament, nor on the man we elect for president, but on God, on Him Who holds the earth in space, and Who still rules the affairs of mankind. From the dawn of history till today the great nations that have fallen, fell when they were best armed and most independent of God. This should be a great lesson to all, but who realizes it!
God, therefore, for the sake of His own will puts in the hearts of the communists, or communist-like powers (the ten horns of the scarlet-colored beast who hate the woman, hate religion, as does communism) to “give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” Rev. 17:17.
Now, the statement to “give their kingdom” implies that they have a kingdom to give. In verse 12, however, we are told that they “have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.” When both statements are put together then the statements say that communism could have a kingdom, could rule the world, but “God hath put in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” They, therefore, only receive power as kings one hour with the beast, after which they destroy the woman, the church and state system, and take the kingdom to themselves (Rev. 17:17). (For a detailed exposition of the seventeenth chapter of Revelation, read Tract No. 12, Γ18 Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, pp. 30-33).
Just how this is to come about, I do not know; but I do know that the greatest of all wars is to be fought about the holy land; “Behold,” says the Lord, “the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 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.” Zechariah 14:1, 2.
This prophetic statement, “God hath put in their hearts…to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast,” proves true what I tried to say awhile ago: That when any nation became great and on its own, without God, built a gigantic war machine for defense and aggression, then it was that that nation came to naught. The tranquility and prosperity of any nation and people, therefore, depends on their stand with God, not on their military strength.
Let me now remind you what Inspiration has to say of the association of nations and peoples according to current events. For light on the subject we turn to the eighth chapter of Isaiah’s prophecy. Time will not permit me to re-study with you the whole chapter, and I do not think it is necessary, for we studied it not long ago. You remember that the chapter unveils a confederacy which ancient Israel, the ten-tribe kingdom (the church), made with ancient Syria, a sovereign power of the world, to war against Judah, a sister kingdom (church). Inspiration makes a type of that church and state confederacy, and by it definitely points out the trend which the nominal churches and the sovereign powers of the world are to take now in the antitype. It makes known, moreover, that they will not prosper in it.
I shall now read to you what God Himself thinks of it:
Isa. 8:8-10 – “And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel. Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.”
According to St. Matthew, chapter 1, verse 23, the name Immanuel belongs to Christ, and by interpretation it means “God with us.” Plainly, then, the exclamation “O Immanuel,” shows that Inspiration is speaking to Christ. And since He could not be thus addressed before He was born of a woman and received the name Immanuel, it is obvious that this association of peoples is to be found in the Christian era, in the era in which Immanuel lives.
Now the statement “Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us,” plainly says what I tried to tell you – that the nations, including the churches, have left Immanuel, “God with us,” out of their plans, that what they are trying to do they are doing on their own initiative and resources for the words “God is with us” coming from one who is not with the assemblies of the people, clearly implies that Immanuel is not with them, and that therefore their work shall come to naught.
From these scriptures it is seen that the current events brought about by the two opposing blocks, the east and the west, are not going to work out according to human planning, that the plans made by the confederation Γ20 of nations and people are to come to naught except they consult God and take Him into partnership.
Let us now hear what the Lord would have us do, the stand He would have His people take:
Verses 11, 12 – “For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.”
The fear which the people fear is not to be our fear; neither are their plans to be our plans. Our duty is to–
Verse 13 – “Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.”
To sanctify the Lord is to be all for Him, to have no one else in His stead, to put your entire trust in Him, not making flesh your arm, for He alone is able to see you through. And though you should be the only one in all the world to take such a stand, He will not fail you. If such be your case, you will then become Heaven’s greatest hero.
Verse 14 – “And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”
This truth, you note, will now, just as has any Divinely-revealed truth at any time in the past, become a rock of offense and a snare to many – yes, as Christ Himself became such to the Jews – because rather than taking their stand firmly for Divine truth, they are becoming as hostile against it as were the Jews in Christ’s day. Since the prophecy continues through the Γ21 ninth chapter, we shall read–
Isa. 9:20, 21 – “And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm: Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.”
Such will be the results of rejecting God and His counsel. All who take their stand with the multitude against God’s people will find themselves in the same predicament as the Midianites found themselves in Gideon’s time – as the light breaks out they will kill one another, but the faithful will be delivered. This, however, is not all:
Isa. 8:15 – “And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.”
According to this scripture many of them will find “the rapture” not to their liking and not according to their teaching of it. The Lord’s command is:
Verse 16 – “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples.”
A “disciple” is one who follows Christ on and on in Divinely-revealed Truth which he accepts not because others do, or do not, but because the Father which is in Heaven has through His Spirit personally convinced him of it (Matt. 16:17) – because independent of what others do or say he is personally persuaded by the Spirit. And the “testimony” is His living Word passed on by His chosen and Spirit-filled messengers – “the Spirit of Prophecy” at work (Rev. 19:10). Hence to bind up the testimony among His disciples is to confirm “the Spirit of Prophecy” among them and them only. And to seal the law Γ22 among them is to have the law authorized and fortified by Truth, to have them see the necessity of keeping it, and to have them calmly say–
Verse 17 – “And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth His face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for Him.”
Verse 18 – “Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in Mount Zion.”
Soon it will be seen that those who take a firm stand on the side of Truth will be for signs and wonders.
Verse 19 – “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?”
Here the world is shown to give greater attention to Spiritualism than to a “thus saith the Lord.”
Verse 20 – “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.”
God’s people will know that those who take a stand other than the one which Truth here sets forth, are so doing because the Spirit of Truth is not dwelling in their hearts. And let us remember that to make flesh your arm, to consult man when God should be consulted, is every bit as bad as to consult the spirits of Darkness.
“Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of Γ23 great kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil.” Joel 2:12, 13.
THAT WHICH IS TO BE DURING THE TIME OF THE END
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, NOVEMBER 27, 1948
MT. CARMEL CHAPEL
In order to know what takes place during the time of the end, we must first know where the time of the end begins and ends. We must know both ends if we are to know what takes place between. Now, to find when “the time of the end” begins, let us turn to–
Dan. 11:40 – “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.”
In this verse of Scripture there are five clues to be carefully noted: (1) that the war mentioned in this verse is the last conflict between the two kings recorded in the prophecy of Daniel 11; (2) that it is a losing war for the king of the south; (3) that it is fought at the time of the end, not before, in, or after; (4) that the king of the north becomes great while the king of the south declines; and (5) that the statement, “at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him,” very obviously marks the beginning of “the time of the end.”
If, therefore, we find the year this prophesied war began, we shall have established the beginning of the “time of the end.”
Since the king of the south pushes at the king of Γ25 the north, it follows that the king of the south is the aggressor, feels himself strong to attack. He nevertheless loses out and the king of the north overruns him, becomes great – takes many countries, including the following:
Dan. 11:41 – “He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.”
Here it is seen that the king of the north grows very great during the time of the end. He takes “the glorious land” (Palestine), and besides taking many other countries, he also takes Edom and Moab and Ammon (the Arab countries) which nevertheless in time “escape out of his hand” – free themselves. Moreover, says the scripture:
Verse 42 – “He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.”
This definitely shows that “in the time of the end” one great power which has been ruling these countries, among which are included Egypt and Palestine, loses them and becomes small, while another power takes them and waxes even greater.
For centuries the Ottoman empire ruled these countries, and history records that the first Turkish reverses on land occurred about 1699. Ever since, Turkey has been declining and the Christian nations gaining, but it is Great Britain in particular that has taken the countries mentioned by name in this prophecy. She is the one who has taken many other countries besides these and has waxed great during the decline of the Ottoman empire.
Obviously, therefore, these historic facts, besides Γ26 others we have not mentioned, prove that rising from the jungles south of Palestine, the Ottoman empire, next after the Ptolemies, holds the title “king of the south”; and the nations north of Palestine, the Christian nations rising from the Roman empire (and now Great Britain in particular) hold the title “king of the north.” And since the decline of the Ottoman empire began in 1699, and the growth of the British Empire began during the same time, then the beginning of the eighteenth century is therefore the beginning of the “time of the end.”
Finally, since we now see that the wars of the Mohammedans with the Christian nations are mentioned in prophecy with special emphasis that Egypt and Palestine are, during the time of the end, ceded to the king of the north as part of his trophies, these kings are positively identified. And the fall of the one with the growth of the other after the Treaty of Corlowitz in 1699 by which “Mustapha II agreed to renounce his claims upon Transylvania and a large part of Hungary, to give up Marea to Venetians to restore Polalia and the Ukraine to Poland, and to leave Azov to the Russians” (Twentieth Century Cyclopaedia, Vol. 6, pg. 247) certainly establishes the beginning of the time of the end.
Verses 43, 44 – “But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.”
These verses reveal that after taking Egypt and Palestine, the king of the north enters into another war, not on account of the king of the south, not with Turkey, but rather due to rumors from the east and from the north that trouble him. These cause him to go forth with Γ27 great fury to destroy many. But he conquers nothing worth mentioning, and according to the verse that follows he is afterward threatened with coming to his end. This particular war, therefore, brings the first reverses to the king of the north since the reverses of the king of the south in 1699.
Germany and Russia from the north, also Japan from the east, the rumors which put Great Britain and her allies into World War II, are therefore the “tidings” which brought the war and which, though supposedly the war was won, weakened rather than strengthened the British Empire.
Verse 45 – “And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”
The only portion of Daniel 11 yet to be fulfilled is this verse, the last of the chapter, and since these prophecies are made to be understood only when they are being fulfilled or after fulfillment, verse 45 is not as clear as we should like to have it. Consequently concerning the place of his tabernacles and his end, also as to whether another Christian power shall inherit the title “king of the north” before verse 45 is fulfilled, only time itself will positively portray the whole truth.
The thing that Inspiration makes altogether clear is the fact that the king’s next stand is his end, while all look and listen, but none come to his help.
Since we have established the time of the beginning of “the time of the end,” let us now establish the end of “the time of the end.” For light on the subject we turn to–
Rev. 19:19-21 – “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make Γ28 war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”
“The beast,” “the false prophet,” and “the remnant” are here mentioned. Who are they?
First the beast and the false prophet and then the remnant, those that are left, are cast into the lake of fire. Since the “beast” and the “prophet” are special world entities, the remnant (those that are left) represent the rest of the unrepented world sympathetic with the beast and the prophet. The destruction of the prophet, the beast, and the remnant, therefore, is the end of the world – the terminus of the time of the end.
Besides these verses of Scripture, the twentieth chapter of Revelation reveals that with this last pre-millennial event in the drama of sin, the millennial reign of Christ and the Church begins (Rev. 20:1-3), in the end of which time shall arise all who had no “part in the first resurrection.” Verses 5, 6.
Now we have seen that “the time of the end” spans from the commencement of the decline of the Ottoman Empire, to the end of the world, and that the end of the world is the end of all people but the Church – “those who lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
Let us now see what takes place between these two sign posts. We shall continue with Daniel’s prophecy through the twelfth chapter.
Dan. 12:1 – “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”
“And at that time” – that is, at the time the king of the north comes to his end (chapter 11, verse 45) – shall Michael stand up and deliver His people, the Church, all who are written in the Book. What else takes place?–
Verse 2 – “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
Here is projected a resurrection of a mixed multitude, wicked and righteous – foolish and wise. This resurrection, then, is not the pre-millennial “first resurrection,” nor the post-millennial resurrection of the wicked (Rev. 20:5, 6), but a special one. If the wise who turn many to righteousness are of the resurrected in this special resurrection, and if they shine as the stars forever and ever, then this special resurrection takes place in probationary time.
Verse 4 – “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
The understanding of the book and of the words of it, were to be sealed to the time of the end. During the time of the end, therefore, the book was to be opened. Knowledge was also to increase. Moreover, many were to run to and fro; that is, communication was to speed up greatly. All this we have already seen takes place during “the time of the end.” Thus there is no room for doubt as to the time in which we are living – the time of the end.
Verses 8-10 – “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.”
Here Inspiration itself explains that no one, not even Daniel himself could possibly understand the book before the time of the end. And too, while the wicked were to continue doing wickedly, many were to be purified, made white and tried; that is, the purification of the church, the cleansing of the Sanctuary (Dan. 8:14), was to take place during the time of the end. In the words of the prophet Malachi the cleansing of the Sanctuary is preceded by this announcement:
Mal. 3:1-3 – “Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ sope: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.”
Rather than say “Sanctuary,” Inspiration in this instance says “Temple.” And rather than say “cleansing,” It uses the terms refining and purifying. The Apostle Peter, though, chooses to call the cleansing of the Sanctuary, “Judgment” in the “house of God”:
1 Peter 4:17, 18 – “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Γ31 Gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
In the parable, however, Jesus explains the cleansing of the Sanctuary thus:
Matt. 13:30 – “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into My barn.”
Here it is made clear that in this instance the wicked among the righteous are likened to tares, and the time of the cleansing itself, the Judgment, is likened to a “harvest,” but that the cleansing itself is likened to a separation of wheat and tares.
Again, in verses 47 and 48 Christ draws a parallel between the Church a “net”; the people he likens to “fish,” and the purification to a separation, whereas in Matthew 25 He calls the purified Church the Kingdom of God, and the people He likens unto “virgins,” and the cleansing He illustrates by a door which lets in the wise but keeps out the foolish. But His second parable of Matthew 25, the separation, we are told, is to be like a master who comes to reckon with his servants. Those who have done nothing good for the advancement of His kingdom (who have not traded with and increased His talents – Matt. 25:27) are cast out, there to gnash their teeth in “outer darkness.” (Matt. 25:30.) In His third parable the separation He likens to a shepherd who separates the goats from the sheep (sinners from the saints); the goats are condemned to die but the sheep are given the right to the Kingdom.
The prophet Ezekiel, however, explains the cleansing of the Sanctuary from still another angle:
Ezek. 9:1, 2, 4, 7 – “He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar…. And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof…. And to the others He said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eyes spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And He said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.”
Besides this vivid illustration, Inspiration, through the prophet Daniel reveals that the Sanctuary is to be cleansed not only from sinners, but from doctrinal error, too, for one angel inquired,–
Dan. 8:13, 14, 17 – “…How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the Sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And He said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.… Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.”
The daily, the desolation, also the Sanctuary and the host pertain both to the doctrines and the people. Both are to be cleansed. And the angel explained that Γ33 the cleansing of the Sanctuary (cleansing it from both error and hypocrisy) takes place after the 2300 days, during the time of the end.
Moreover, through the prophet Zechariah the Lord makes another remarkable illustration which points out that the saints themselves also are to be cleansed:
Zech. 3:1-5 – “And He shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And He answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him He said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by.”
While we have already seen that the house of God is to be cleansed from error and from Hypocrites, here in Zechariah’s prophecy we see that the saints themselves are cleansed from their sins – their filthy garments are taken away, and clean and beautiful garments are given in their place. This phase of the cleansing is again illustrated by the wedding garment. (Matt. 22:11).
And now let me remind you that after the tares are taken away, “the wheat” is not left on the field where it grew (that is, the saints are not left where they were), but it is put into “the barn.”
Furthermore, after the “bad fish” (hypocrites) are cast out, the “good fish” (the saints) are then put “into vessels,” are not left in the “net” (not left in the place Γ34 where the cleansing occurred). Consequently when the church is thus cleansed, the saints are removed from their former place and put in a safe place – away from all worldly influences and environments. Having been cleansed, they are necessarily thus kept clean. And where is that place? The Revelator has the answer:
Rev. 14:1, 4, 5 – “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads…. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.”
The cleansed ones you see, are the 144,000, and they are taken to Mount Sion.
Plainly, then, the cleansing is in two sections. The 144,000 guileless saints who are sealed from among the tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:4-7), the church, are but the first fruits. They are taken to Mt. Sion. Finally after the purification, or cleansing, of the church has taken place, then the great multitude of Revelation 7:9 are gathered out of all nations. They constitute the second fruits, for where there is no second there can be no first.
Where is Mt. Zion? Let Micah the prophet tell us:
Micah 3:12; 4:1, 2 – “Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest…. But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto Γ35 it. And 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.”
This is Inspiration’s own explanation of the place which the purified church is to occupy. Here we are told that though the ancient kingdom, the Jewish, whose place stood on Mount Zion, was to be demolished from the foundation up, we are nevertheless at the same time promised that the Kingdom will be restored in the last days and that it will be exalted above all other kingdoms, above all “mountains” and “hills.”
Again says the Lord:
Ezek. 36:23-25 – “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.”
We are here told that the final cleansing of the saints, the cleansing that removes all the marks of sin, is performed after God takes His people from among the heathen and from all countries, and brings them into their own land.
Verse 26 – “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.”
When the saints get to the Promised Land, then the sin-indulgent heart, the stony heart, is taken away and a heart of righteous desires, a fleshy heart, is given. No longer will God’s people fight temptations from within in order to do righteousness. To them, in the period of the fleshly heart, it will be natural to do righteousness whereas now during the period of the stony heart it is natural to do unrighteousness.
Verse 27 – “And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.”
The Spirit of God, moreover, will be freely given to the saints, and thus will they become perfect eternal beings, perfectly capable of walking in God’s statutes and His judgments.
Verse 28 – “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.”
They are to dwell, not in some other land, says the Lord, but in their own land, in the land He had anciently given to their fathers. They are to dwell in Palestine.
Now you plainly see that the unconverted Jews who are endeavoring to take the land of Palestine are not the people of whom these passages of Scripture speak. Now you see that Arab, Jew, or Gentile, all will eventually have to move away and give room to God’s clean and purified people.
Joel 3:1, 2 – “For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for My people and for My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the Γ37 nations, and parted My land.”
Here you have it stated as plain as it can be that when God brings back the captivity of His people, then He will gather all nations in the valley of Jehoshaphat and plead for His people – for His second fruits – after He takes the first fruits to Mount Zion.
Isa. 2:3 – “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
Joel 3:20, 21 – “But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the Lord dwelleth in Zion.”
Thus will the saints be enabled to live eternally.
Isa. 33:24 – “And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.”
And what else will be said after the people are gathered and cleansed? Just this:
Rev. 22:11 – “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”
The completion of the cleansing brings probationary time to a close – the sinner is forever to stay a sinner, and the righteous forever righteous. Then those who find themselves out of the holy land will wail and gnash their teeth. They will in anguish say:
Jer. 8:20 – “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”
The land, moreover, shall be divided among the tribes but not as divided anciently. Time will not permit me to read the whole account of the division, but, here I have it reproduced in a map which shows that the land has never yet been thus divided. Each tribe is to get a full-length strip from the east to the west. The portion of Dan is the first on the north and the portion of Gad is the last on the south. In chapters 47 and 48 of Ezekiel you will find the full description of this division of the land.
Furthermore, the land itself shall be cleansed; for says the Lord:
Ezek. 38:14, 16; 39:4, 7, 9-14 – “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 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…. 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…. 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…. 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 Γ40 the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search.”
Still further, you will now note that all these wonders God does for His people, not because they have been good, or because they are now good, but for God’s own great name. Listen to what the Lord Himself says:
Ezek. 36:22-24 – “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. 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.”
According to this, God restores the land to His chosen people, not because they as a people are good, but because he wants to vindicate His own name among the heathen.
As the time approaches for the cleansing to take place a call for spiritual awakening will be made:
Isa. 52:1 – “Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.”
Inspiration here declares that after this call for revival and reformation, from then on the sinners will not be permitted to have any part among the people that have been cleansed.
The prophet Nahum, too, is a witness of this call Γ41 for Reformation. He writes:
Nah. 1:15 – “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.”
Here you see that the announcement of this long-expected event is to be made by someone’s publications. Moreover, he publishes peace and thus announces the restoration of the Kingdom. This is the only peace that the world can have. There is to be no other. Those who keep God’s solemn “feasts” and perform their vows shall have this peace. None others shall.
In our study today we have summarized some of the things which will take place during the time of the end, but the most important thing, so far as you are concerned, is the decision you are now left to make.