A DEAD TOP, AN OFFSHOOT, OR AN UPSHOOT – WHICH?
TEXT FOR PRAYER
Fidelity to Principle
For our prayer thought this afternoon, I shall read from Testimonies, Vol. 5, page 43, the first paragraph:
“We have marked illustrations of the sustaining power of firm, religious principle…. The gaping lions’ den could not keep Daniel from his daily prayers, nor could the fiery furnace induce Shadrach and his companions to fall down before the idol which Nebuchadnezzar set up. Young men who have firm principles, will eschew pleasure, defy pain, and brave even the lions’ den and the heated fiery furnace, rather than be found untrue to God. Mark the character of Joseph. Virtue was severely tested, but its triumph was complete. At every point the noble youth endured the test. The same lofty, unbending principle appeared at every trial. The Lord was with him, and his word was law.”
Let us now pray that we shall have the religion of David, of Daniel, of Joseph. These men were but youth when they entered upon their respective careers, yet they were as firm in their convictions as the needle to the pole. They did not digress from a single righteous duty or principle, regardless of pressure or circumstances. Their stability of character and zeal to make the world better, persuaded the Lord to make them kings. Now we ought to pray that we be not obstructionists, but that we be builders in the highway of civilization; that rather than merely take up space, we be fruitful vines in God’s great vineyard.
A DEAD TOP, AN OFFSHOOT, OR AN UPSHOOT – WHICH?
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, JANUARY 1, 1949
All people down through the ages that have ever embraced a fresh message from God, were branded as “offshoots” and considered dangerous – something from which one must beware lest he be shot at, as it were, stabbed, trapped, or something as bad, or hard to tell what.
As you know, we, too, are branded as such and are accused of leaving the Denomination even as much as were the apostles accused of leaving Judaism and taking up Christianity. Actually the apostles had left nothing, for they not only took along with them every truth Judaism had, but they went on with the fresh Truth of God also, whereas Judaism fell back. The apostles, moreover, would have remained in the synagogue if the Jews had not driven them out. For this the apostles were called “offshoots,” or the like.
We likewise have not pulled away from the Denomination, but have been cast out of our respective churches and forced to go by another name, Davidian Seventh-day Adventists, – and all this for no other reason than for Γ4 embracing the additional Heaven-born Truth which gives power and force to the Advent message (Early Writings, pg. 277), and which makes us better Seventh-day Adventists than we have been or could otherwise be.
Now, if we be “offshoots” for walking in the light which heaven sends from time to time to lead God’s people in the way of Truth and Righteousness, then I should like to know what our brethren think they themselves are, for by the same token of logic the Mother Denomination, the Seventh-day Adventist, is itself an offshoot from another denomination. Moreover, this is also true of all the Protestant denominations, for they are the offshoots of the Catholic; and the Apostolic is an offshoot of the Jewish. Who, then, outside of the Jews is not an offshoot? In fact, if we go as far back as Abraham’s time, we will find that even the Jews were an offshoot of something before their time. If offshoots are therefore to be shunned, hated, and abhorred, then why are there any Christians at all? And if this is an eye-opener to those who think themselves something other than an offshoot, they should now without delay apply for admission to the Synagogue, or else begin to behave like God’s men.
Do you, Brother, Sister, see that if it had not been for the “offshoots,” for those who had backbone of their own to stand up for present Truth, for “meat in due season” (Matt. 24:45), none of us would ever have had a chance to become Christians – Protestants, Adventists, or Davidians. We all would have been members of the God-forsaken Synagogue, if of anything. In fact, Γ5 we would have had no Bible religion at all, for the Jews themselves have departed even from what little they had retained of it 2000 years ago. Should we, then, not be thankful for the faithfulness of the offshoots who have gone before us (if such they be) and of whom Christ is the first? I, for one am proud to be called an offshoot with my Lord. I, therefore, like to be an offshoot, but would dislike to be a dead top.
Our hostile brethren, though, are mistakenly calling us “offshoots.” Rightly we should be called “upshoots,” for that is what additional Truth does to the Church and to anyone who accepts it. A tree that does not put forth an upshoot in the season it should, is either dying or is already dead. Plainly, then, without us “upshoots,” the brethren would have no chance to survive the Laodicean malady, and no chance to reach the Kingdom of glory. They will, while dying, forever be dreaming of being rich and increased with goods, though in fact the Lord Himself points out that they are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:17), and know it not. How thankful they ought to be to us who have withstood their fiery darts for the sake of Truth!
In the twentieth chapter of Matthew we find five such upshoots. Would you like to know who these upshoots are? To facilitate the study of them, I have prepared this chart, and now is your opportunity closely to look at it and faithfully to consider it.
This chart is a reproduction of the parable found in the twentieth chapter of Matthew, the parable in which the Lord points out that the Householder, God, in the course of time hired laborers on five different occasions.
Let us now read the parable itself:
Matt. 20:1-7 – “For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.”
The first laborers, of course, were the Jews in Moses’ day. Now since the next, the ones that were hired at the third hour were the Christians, it follows that the day (the twelve allegorical hours of the parable in which the hiring is actually carried out) is symbolical of a period of time. It is the time in which the written Word of God, the Bible, appears and shines directly to mankind – the period since Moses’ day.
Inasmuch as the first laborers, the Jews, were the ones hired “early” in the day, the day Moses began to write the Bible (the light from God) and caused It to shine upon the world, brought the day, the word “early” therefore implies that the period which preceded the Γ8 appearance of the Bible is the parabolical night, when there was no Bible on earth. There was no direct spiritual light, but only indirect – moon fashion. Finally, then, the period before Moses and the period after Moses (the period without the Bible and the period with the Bible) complete the cycle of twenty-four symbolical hours on which the Lord based His parable, and of which this chart (page 6) is a reproduction.
We have now seen that the absence of Bible light before Moses’ time caused the time to be symbolized by night, and the presence of the Bible light since Moses’ time, caused that period to be called the day.
The first group of laborers being the Jews, and the second the Christians, the next three calls consequently point to other three groups in the Christian era who have been commissioned to go into the vineyard. There they are to preach something as original as was the ceremonial system of worship which Moses preached; and also as original as the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ which the apostles preached, for the message of the one must be comparable to the message of the other; that is, if the first two messages were original, the last three must also be original. The only such original message given after the preaching of the apostles is the 2300 prophetic days of Daniel 8:14. It being first preached by the First-day Adventists soon after 1820 A.D. (The Great Controversy, pg. 331), and being the third message in the line of the parabolical calls for servants, shows that in the stream of the parabolical time, the hour struck six in 1820 A.D.
The next call for servants to preach something just as new and as original came in the year 1844. It was the cleansing of the Sanctuary after the 2300 prophetic days were passed, and was preached in connection with the seventh-day Sabbath. That group of servants called themselves Seventh-day Adventists. They proclaimed, “Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Rev. 14:7.
The ninth parabolic hour, therefore, struck with the rise of the Seventh-day Adventists. But the fact that there is another call for servants, that of the eleventh hour, the last, points out that after the message of 1844 there is to be another such original message and also a new group of servants to proclaim it. This message, the eleventh-hour message, moreover, is to be a laymen’s movement, for the laborers were found idle and in search of employment in the market place.
The “market place” where the Master is said to have gone after such employment-seekers, is, of course, the church, for the Lord chooses His servants only from among His well-informed people.
Should we be reminded again and again that in the introduction of each message the Householder was compelled to hire new servants from among the laity? And did not the ministers always stand aloof, doing all they could to prevent others from coming in touch with the messages? What a weighty thought! What a responsibility Γ10 rests upon the brethren who are now shepherding the flock!
The question “Why stand ye all the day idle?” is very definitely saying that those who are hired are not of those who were already at work, not of the ministry. And the answer, “Because no man hath hired us,” makes it emphatic that the eleventh-hour workers are of the faithful laity, of those who are anxiously waiting to serve the Lord, but who previously have not been given the opportunity.
Of this last message Inspiration warned the Denomination by leaving on record the lines which I shall now read:
“I saw,” says Sister E.G. White, “angels hurrying to and fro in heaven, descending to the earth, and again ascending to heaven, preparing for the fulfillment of some important event. Then I saw another mighty angel commissioned to descend to the earth, to unite his voice with the third angel, and give power and force to his message…. This message seemed to be an addition to the third message, joining it as the midnight cry joined the second angel’s message in 1844.” – Early Writings, pg. 277. And what should that message be if not an urgent preparation for the judgment of the living?
Again I read:
Let Heaven Guide
“Prophecy must be fulfilled. The Lord says: Γ11 ‘Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.’ Somebody is to come in the spirit and power of Elijah, and when he appears, men may say: ‘You are too earnest, you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way. Let me tell you how to teach your message.’“ – Testimonies to Ministers, pg. 475.
(If you wish to study the parable in all its details, you may do so by reading The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 2, pp. 222-239.)
Now you see that the so-called “offshoots” Christ Himself calls God’s servants. We can therefore honestly and sincerely ask, Can the church and the world get along without the unpopular “offshoots”? The answer is simple: If they could have gotten along without the early-hour servants, and without the servants of the third, sixth, and ninth hours, then the church and the world could get along without the eleventh-hour servants (the so-called offshoots), too. But in such a sad condition, what would the world be like?
Moreover, since the announcement of the separation of the saints from the sinners originates with the eleventh-hour servants, and since they are to cry aloud and say, “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.” (Isa. 52:1): and also to say “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, Γ12 keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.” (Nah. 1:15); it follows that without the eleventh hour message and servants, the Church, Zion, would be left sleeping forever, never to behold the feet of him who brings these good tidings, of him who publishes peace, and never to put on her beautiful garments, never to be fitted for the Kingdom.
I say that if left in such an unhappy and unholy state the very elect would forever remain unclean and unsanctified – deceived! And since the eleventh-hour servants, the Davidians, are the ones unto whom the message of this cleansing, “the Judgment of the Living,” is committed, then those who on account of it are our enemies, those who are doing everything they can to keep the common people ignorant of the Truth and from coming in contact with It, are the very ones who are endeavoring to deceive “the very elect,” if possible. Thank God that it is impossible.
We should, therefore, now proclaim these good tidings of peace even with greater zeal than ever, for commands the Lord:
“Say unto the house of Israel,” the church, “Thus saith the Lord God;… 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 counties, Γ13 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. 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. 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.” Ezek. 36:22-28.
It will not do for us lightly to pass over these verses of Scripture as we and the whole Denomination have been doing heretofore. All of us should carefully note that the Lord is to sanctify Himself by taking His elect from among the heathen, and out of all countries, and bring them into their own land, into the land of their fathers. “Then,” when they return into their father’s land, says the scripture, will He sprinkle clean water upon them, and thus shall they be cleansed from all their filthiness and from all their idols. Then and there they are to be given a new heart, and a new spirit, and be made to walk in God’s statutes and to keep His judgments. To this adds the Lord:
“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. 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 Γ14 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 I the Lord build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it.
“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. 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.” Ezek. 36:32-38.
No one dares say that these promises have taken place, and no one dares say that they are post-millennial. Think on them and study them over, Brother, Sister. Do not lightly dismiss them, for they are your life. They mean your salvation, your destiny, your eternity. No one is fit to live and reign with Christ during the thousand years who does not participate in this cleansing.
Finally, those who cast us out, and who speak evil against us, those who are desperately fighting to keep the message from the people, I am sure you now plainly see, are the very ones who are used by the rebel leader to deceive “even the very elect if possible” (Matt. 24:24). They are those who cast us out of the churches Γ15 which we helped build; those who are threatening the laity, forbidding them to read the literature, and commanding them to consign it to the stove in order to keep them ignorant of God’s message for the hour. All their efforts, though, will come to naught as verily as did the efforts of the leading Jews against Christ’s first advent.
For this obvious reason the church cannot get along without us “offshoots,” or rather “upshoots,” and yet be saved for eternity. Let me now read God’s promise and encouragement for us all:
“Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at His Word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed” (Isa. 66:5)
Are The Davidians, Their Message, And Their Success In Prophecy?
Now to this question, I say that they must be if God is responsible for their coming into being. Please turn with me to–
Hos. 1:10 – “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not My people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. Then shall the children of Judah and the Γ16 children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land for great shall be the day of Jezreel.”
Here you see that the Jews were to be rejected from being God’s people, and you well know that this came to pass when the Lord said unto them: “Behold your house is left unto you desolate.” Matt. 23:38.
The prophecy nevertheless continues and projects to the gathering time, the time God’s penitent people appoint to themselves one head, a king. These, of course, are not the unconverted Jews of today, but they are the descendants from among those who have been assimilated by the nations and by the Christian church, from those who have lost their identity and who are now “as the sands of the sea” in number, but who now as Gentiles (gentiles to their own and to the world’s short-sighted knowledge) have accepted Christ. (You who have missed my past studies on the subject, may read Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 29 and Tract No. 8, Mt. Sion at the 11th Hour, pp. 7-17.)
Who is the earthly head, king, whom the Scriptures say the people “appoint” at the gathering time? – Let us read,
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, Γ17 and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.”
In this part of the prophecy, you see, we are told that after they have sojourned among the Gentiles for “many days” without a king, and without any sign of identification (having been entirely lost sight of as a nation and as a people), they shall finally have antitypical David rule over them. This would not be ancient David as he was already dead when this prophecy was made. Neither could this promised David be Christ Himself, for Christ is the son of David (Matt. 22:42), not David himself; and if He shall, moreover, sit on the throne of David (Lu. 1:32), then David must have a throne for Him to sit on.
Furthermore, you will note that Hosea 1:11 promises that great shall be the day of Jezreel. And who is Jezreel? – Well, in this chapter you find that he is Hosea’s first-born son in the allegory. In that part of the allegory which belongs to the Judean dispensation, and which is found in the first chapter of Hosea, the names of the two younger children are prefixed with “Lo.” But in the part of the allegory which applies to the Christian dispensation, to the gathering time, as seen in chapter 2, the letters “Lo” are dropped out, just as the title “Jews” we find dropped out by the New Testament church and the title “Christians” taken instead. (You will find a detailed study of these chapters in Tract No. 4, The Latest News for “Mother.”) The second chapter of Hosea begins with the command:
Hos. 2:1-5 – “Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah. Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not My wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts; lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst. And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms. For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.”
Obvious it is that God is commanding Jezreel, the first-born of the three children, to speak to his brother Ammi and to his sister Ruhamah, who in the allegory are symbolical of the laity, both male and female. The mother whom they are commanded to reform is, of course, symbolical of the ministry, of those who bring forth converts into the church family. The one to whom God speaks (Jezreel), therefore, is symbolical of a prophet. Here you plainly see that the “revival and reformation” does not come through the ministry (the mother) but through the laity, the children, and that the ministry (the mother) is in even greater need of reformation than the laity, for the mother is being accused of disloyalty and is by the children advised to reform. This is indeed a laity-movement directed by the Spirit of Prophecy, by Jezreel’s heaven-inspired effort and message.
The fact that the day of Jezreel is to be great, together Γ19 with the fact that he is a symbol of a prophet, prove that not only the Davidian message itself is in prophecy, but that so also are its success and the need of reformation therein recorded. Here you see that the Enemy’s wicked effort to squelch the message and to make Jezreel’s work of none effect will come to naught, for “great shall be the day of Jezreel,” says the almighty One, while He brings all His people out of the land (Hos. 1:11).
The message to the Laodiceans, too, is directed to the ministry, for says the Lord:
Rev. 3:14-16 – “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; … I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.”
Here, too, the angel (the ministry), who has charge of the church, is again reproved and plainly requested to reform.
Ezekiel also is a witness of this “startling revelation,” for he declares that the cleansing begins “at the ancient men which were before the house” (Ezek. 9:6). Let us turn to Ezekiel’s prophecy:
Ezekiel 9:1-10 – “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 glory of the God of Γ20 Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon He was, to the threshold of the house. And He called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side; 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 eye 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. And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt Thou destroy all the residue of Israel in Thy pouring out of Thy fury upon Jerusalem?
“Then said He unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The Lord hath forsaken the earth, and the Lord seeth not. And as for Me also, Mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head.”
Not in the world, but in Judah and Israel, in the Γ21 church, the iniquity is great, and there the slaughter takes place. Moreover, the multitude that is brewing and fostering the abominations are unconscious that they are acting as if the Lord had forsaken the earth, as if He has left it for them to run it and to do with His people as they please.
Here you see what it means to hear the Rod, and what it means to close your ears to it.
The purification of the Church (the judgment of the living) is, through the prophet Daniel in chapter 7, verse 10, called the judgment, and in chapter 8, verse 14, is called the cleansing of the Sanctuary. Christ, though, in one of His parables likens the cleansing to a harvest in which the tares (sinners) are burned, and the wheat (the saints) are put into the barn (into the purified Church-Kingdom). Next He likens it to a net from which, after being drawn to shore, the bad fish (sinners) are cast out, and the good fish (saints) are put into vessels.
When those who do not receive the mark, and thus not the seal, are put away, then the church will appear “fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners” (Prophets and Kings, pg. 725), and “only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [The Third Angel’s Message] when it shall have swelled into the loud cry.” – Review and Herald, Nov. 19, 1908.
Let us now see what takes place after the abomination-loving multitude fall under the slaughter weapons of the angels; let us see what is done for those who are left. To see this we again go to Ezekiel’s prophecy:
Ezek. 37:16-28 – “Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim 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, 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.
“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:
“And I will make them one nation in the land upon the Γ23 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.
“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 dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be My people, and I will be their God.
“And David My servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in My judgments, and observe My statutes, and do them.
“And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob My servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and My servant David shall be their prince for ever.
“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.”
Here you see that not only will God cleanse His church (Judah and Israel) by taking away all those who pollute His house of prayer, but that afterwards He will gather into His purified church all the dispersed who have descended from both the Kingdom of Israel (the ten tribes) and of the Kingdom of Judah (the two tribes) – all who are now out among the nations, not in the church of the Laodiceans. He will make them one nation, over which, prior to the Millennium, shall rule antitypical David, their king. No more shall they be annoyed by the heathen; no more shall they be among the sinners; no more shall they be fed by a multitude of shepherds, but only by one – by God’s appointed shepherd. Great, indeed, shall be the day of Jezreel! His efforts and the efforts of his co-workers, the laity, shall succeed whether the mother (the ministry) hears or forbears.
Plainly, you see, the Davidians, their message, and their success are in prophecy.
Is The Shepherd’s Rod Literature
Also In Prophecy?
To this question the prophet Micah answers:
Mic. 6:9 – “The Lord’s voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and Who hath appointed it.”
You have now heard God Himself recommend that you hear the Rod – yes, The Shepherd’s Rod, for since Micah’s day The Shepherd’s Rod is the only rod that Γ25 has spoken, the only rod that can be read and listened to. The wise shall see its name, and hear its voice and also Him Who has appointed it. They shall fill their vessels with the extra “oil” (Matt.25:4), says the Lord.
Thus it is seen that not only is the Rod literature in prophecy, but that you are advised to hear it. If you neglect this opportunity, naturally you will be found with the sinners fostering the abominations in the church. But if you now give attention to the Voice of God through the Rod, you will receive God’s sealing approval.
What Will The Saints Do After The Separation?
For light on this subject, we turn to Isaiah, the prophet–
Isa. 66:15, 16, 19, 20 – “For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many….
“And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles.
“And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in Γ26 chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.”
After the slaying of the sinners who say in their hearts that the Lord delayeth His coming, and who eat and drink with the drunken (Matt. 24:48, 49), then it is that the Lord sends those who escape from the slaying of the Lord on a missionary tour; He sends them, you observe, to the Gentiles, to the nations that as yet know not God and His message. The escaped ones bring to the house of the Lord all their brethren, all that will be saved. Thus is the gospel work finished, and thus are God’s people saved and called out of antitypical Babylon (Rev. 18:4) into a clean place where there is no sin and no danger of Babylon’s plagues falling on them.
I am sure that you now plainly see why the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists are not “offshoots” but rather “upshoots,” and what it means to hear the Rod and Him Who has appointed It, as well as what it means to turn your back against It.
You can now intelligently make up your own minds as to what stand you will take. You may either take your stand with the opposers against Truth and reformation, or you may take your stand for God’s Truth with His messengers, and by reforming your own lives you may lead others to do the same. Whatever you decide you will know that it is your own choice. God, though, Who really knows what is best for your own interest advises Γ27 you to follow Him to do what Truth instructs. I hope this will be your whole-hearted choice and thus the joy of your life, that you will never consent to be a “dead top,” but that you will anxiously decide to be a living “upshoot.” I also hope that none of you will let the enemies of God talk you out of these revealed truths on these men-forsaken Scriptures, for you already know that the opposers of the Truth have nothing official, nothing authoritative, and nothing logical or meaningful to offer you on these heretofore unrevealed truths. Yes, I hope that you will not trade these “pearls of great price” for rubbish and stubble.
THE SIGNS OF CHRIST’S SECOND COMING OR THE SIGNS OF THE KINGDOM–WHICH?
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
JANUARY 22, 1949
We as students and gospel teachers have for years dwelt heavily on the signs of Christ’s second coming, but not at all on the signs of the Kingdom. As a result of this, Christendom has theoretically merged the signs of the Kingdom with the signs of the second Advent.
Something similar to this is what the Jews of old did when they were expecting the Messiah’s first appearing. According to their private understanding they deeply studied the signs of the restoration of the Kingdom, but not so much of the signs of the Messiah’s coming. Thus it was that when they were told that the Messiah had come but not the time to restore the Kingdom, the leaders of the Jews, taking for granted that their private (uninspired) interpretation of the Scriptures was infallible, rejected the message of that day. Then in an attempt to safeguard their influence upon the common people and to subjugate them to their way of thinking, they crucified the Lord, their Saviour and King as they did also kill the prophets who went before Him. Their insistence that the Kingdom be restored in their day, though, profited them nothing.
The fact that Christendom itself is divided and confused, one believing one thing and another something else, is in itself sufficient evidence that besides being in total darkness of the signs of the Kingdom because of private interpretation of the Scriptures, Christendom must be in darkness of many other things as well. In such a confused state of faith, Christendom is definitely no more led by the Spirit of Truth than were the rebellious Jews. Past experience teaches, however, that to try to convince the multitude of this fact would be as formidable a task as to convince the Jews even to this day that Christ is the Messiah that was to come. The difficulty, of course, lies in the fact that hardly a theologian allows for the possibility that his understanding of the Bible might be at least in a measure erroneous, and that Inspiration might almost at any moment manifest Itself anew, unroll the scroll and bring forth timely Truth, “meat in due season,” and thus expose their private concoctions of so-called truth.
Now with all respect and sincerity, by the authority of the Scriptures and by virtue of the facts before me, I say that it would be easier for a chicken to find its roost in the blackest of the night than for uninspired mind to unveil the prophecies and the parables. The difference between the two is that the chicken realizes the futility of trying to find her roost after sunset, but the self-willed man does not realize that he cannot unveil Truth at his own will and without light from above.
We as Christians have obviously failed to note that if the secret things of God, matter not how simple, were Γ31 to be unsealed at anytime by anyone, Inspiration would never in the first place have concealed them in symbols and parables. Christendom is still blind to the fact that to attempt to break into the mysteries of God would be to attempt to defeat His purposes; yes, to try to break into the Divine code, is to try the impossible. For example, even when the time did come for the Book sealed with seven seals to be unsealed (Rev. 4 and 5), no one in heaven or on earth was able to do so, but only “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” could break the seals and look into the things which afterwards were shown to John, the Revelator. And though John wrote them, he himself could not before time explain them. Then how can we do such before time and without the Inspiration of the same Spirit Who indicted them? The Word of God plainly warns:
2 Pet. 1:19-21 – “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
No one, say the Scriptures, can privately (without Inspiration) unfold the prophecies, for, reasons the Apostle, as prophecy came not by private effort – not by the will of men, but by holy men and the Spirit – neither can it therefore be of private interpretation, but only by holy men led by the Holy Spirit. Moreover, even Γ32 after prophecy is thus interpreted, only to the righteous (the penitent) is given the gift of understanding it (Dan. 12:10).
Since we as a people know some of the signs of Christ’s second coming, and none of the signs of the Kingdom, we had better now concentrate on the signs of the latter.
Matt. 13:24-30 – “Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the Householder came and said unto Him, Sir, didst not Thou sow good seed in Thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto Him, Wilt Thou then that we go and gather them up? But He said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 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.”
This parable of the Kingdom, you note, contains three periods of time: First, the period of sowing the seed – the time of Christ’s ministry; second, the period of growing – the time from the ascension of Christ to the harvest; third, the time of harvest – a short period of Γ33 time “at the end of the world” (Matt. 13:49), the period in which the earth is lightened with the glory of the angel (Rev. 18:1), and in which all God’s people are called out of Babylon (verse 4). Then those who did not respond to this gathering call will cry out: “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jer. 8:20. The “harvest,” therefore, is “the end of the world.” Verse 49. It commences in the church and ends in Babylon.
The work of the harvest, very obviously, is synonymous with the Judgment that decides who are tares and who are wheat–who are to be burned and destroyed as noxious weeds, and who are as precious wheat to be admitted into “the barn,” the Kingdom. Thus it is that the Judgment is the cleansing of the sanctuary (Dan. 8:14), “the house of God,” the temple to which the Lord suddenly comes and purifies His servants, the Levites. Here is the way the latter scripture reads:
Mal. 3:1-3, 5 – “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’ soap: 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.… And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift Γ34 witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not Me, saith the Lord of hosts.”
How many yields of fruit is the harvest to give? – If the 144,000 are the “first fruits” (Rev. 14:4), then there must be “second fruits,” for where there is no second there can be no first. The word “firstfruits” absolutely necessitates second fruits.
Where do the first fruits come from, and where do the second fruits come from? – We are plainly told that the first fruits are Israelites – all from the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:4-8). Israel certainly stands for the church membership at the time they are sealed; the title “Israel” cannot be construed to mean the world. The firstfruits, therefore, are harvested from the church itself at the time the separation begins. The word “sealed” means placed in a safe place – sealed. This is exactly what the apostle Peter says:
1 Pet. 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 gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
Now, then, if the Judgment begins first in the “house of God,” in the church, then it will end in the world, outside the church circles. The parable of the “net” Γ35 and the Revelation of John very briefly and concisely bring this truth still better to the surface.
Matt. 13:47-50 – “Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
Clearly, the net represents the gospel church into which are caught both hypocrite and saint. Accordingly, in the time of the firstfruit harvest (the Judgment “in the house of God”) “at the end of the world” (verse 49), the angels sever the wicked from among the just, not the just from among the wicked. But in the second fruit harvest (the Judgment in the world) the separation is the reverse: the just are taken out from among the wicked, not the wicked from among the just, so says The Revelation: “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev. 18:4. Plainly, the Judgment “in the house of God” is the harvest in which the hypocrites as “tares” are burned, but as bad “fish” they are cast out. In the Judgment in Babylon (in the world), though, not the bad, but the good are taken out and brought into the purified house of God where there is no sin and no sinner, and where there is no danger of the plagues. This same truth concerning the house of God again Γ36 comes to us in these words:
Isa. 66:15, 16, 19, 20 – “For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many….And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard My fame, neither have seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.”
Again we here see that those who escape the slaying of the Lord “in the house of God” (obviously the firstfruits, “the servants of God”), are sent to the nations who know not God, and from there they bring all their brethren (the second fruits) to the purified house of God where there is neither sin nor sinner, and where the plagues of Babylon therefore do not fall.
We have now positively seen that there are first and second fruits: one from the church – the 144,000 sons of Jacob; and one from all nations – the great multitude which no man can number (Rev. 7:9).
Who gathers the firstfruits if the firstfruits gather the second fruits? – Let us find our answer by reading–
Rev. 14:14-19 – “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud One sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in Thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for Thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And He that sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to Him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in Thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in His sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.”
Here we are again told that there are two reapings, one by the Son of Man, and another by an angel. The reaping by the Son of Man precedes the reaping by the angel. “Son of Man,” therefore, gathers the firstfruits, and the angel gathers the second fruits. (The vines, not the fully ripe grapes, he casts in the wine press.) The Son of Man Himself obviously reaps the firstfruits because His servants (figuratively the angel of the church of the Laodiceans) are in no condition to do such a work, for they themselves are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked,” and know it not (Rev. 3:14-18).
Looking down to this very time, the Spirit of Prophecy in Isaiah’s day said:
Isa. 63:5 – “And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore Mine own arm brought salvation unto Me; and My fury, it upheld Me.”
Here you note that when the time came there was not even one among His servants “to uphold” the work of the harvest, and consequently the Lord Himself did the work without them.
For the second reaping, however, He uses His guileless “servants,” the “firstfruits,” the 144,000, as prefigured by the angel with the sharp sickle (Rev. 14:17, 18). And just as there are two fruits and two reapings from two different places, the church and the world, there are, as shown before, also two ways of harvesting: at first the bad are cast from among the good, and at last the good are called out from among the bad.
These are some of the signs and events that precede the Kingdom of glory, the second coming of Christ. Then, too, there are other signs, the first of which is seen from the parable of Matthew 25.
Matt. 25:1-12 – “Then shall the Kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and Γ39 went forth to meet the Bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the Bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the Bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But He answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”
In this parable it is seen that the church is likened to ten virgins, five of whom do not avail themselves of extra oil – special Truth for this time, that is, these five do not give heed to the truth of the Judgment of the living, the separation or purification of the church. When the cry is made, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him,” all ten virgins see that the light of their lamps is going out; they see that the message of the Judgment of the dead is passing. Quickly then, the five wise virgins refill their lamps with the extra oil which they have stored in their vessels, and go on to meet the Bridegroom. But the five foolish virgins, those who thought there was no need for extra oil, no need for an extra message, the message of the Judgment Γ40 of the living, find themselves in gross darkness. Yes, they find themselves without the light which the message of the Judgment of the living unfolds. Upon discovering their foolish neglect, they rush to obtain oil, light on the subject, but in the meantime the door has been shut (probationary time for the virgins, the church, has closed). When they call for admission they are politely told by the Lord Himself, “I know you not.”
The sign of the coming Kingdom which this parable brings forth, is obviously the special message (the extra oil) which announces the Judgment of the living, the message which awakens the open-hearted Truth seekers, and which dooms its opposers, the hypocrites and lukewarm in the church – those who are satisfied and think themselves rich and increased with goods, in need of nothing (in need of no timely Truth), those who never awake to the fact that they are absolutely destitute. Mind you, these are not my words, read what the Lord says to Laodicea:
Rev. 3:14-18 – “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and Γ41 white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”
Another view of this tragic truth is given in–
Luke 14:16-24 – “Then said He unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: and sent His servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his Lord these things. Then the Master of the house being angry said to His servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as Thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that My house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of My supper.”
In this parable are seen two periods of time. The first period is while the gospel has “bade many” (verse 16) to the marriage supper, the time from the Apostles to the time of His last servant with the last message Γ42 God sends to His people, the time all things are “ready.” The next period is the time in which His last servant served (verse 17). This servant is sent, we are told, at “supper time,” at the end of the day, indicating that he bears the last message. Moreover, he is at first sent to those who have previously been “bidden”; that is, to those who were already in the gospel truth, in the church. At the outset he is to contact a class of people deeply engrossed with the cares of this life, and is to tell them that “all things are now ready,” that if they wish they can now prepare and go to the wedding, there to enjoy the Bridegroom’s banquet. This is the last call for the supper.
But what happens? – They excuse themselves from having anything to do with the banquet just then. Some lay the blame on their professions, while others blame having to make a living for the family. Whereupon the Master of the house angrily sends His servant to the poor and to the afflicted, to those who are hungry and not too busy to take heed, to those who are not so encumbered with business and home that they cannot answer His call. This very thing takes place in the “city” proper – the church. The poor, those who realize that they are not “rich and increased with goods,” come in, but still there is room for more.
Then it is that the Lord of that servant commands that he should go after those who are on the highways and hedges – those outside the church circles, even to the ends of the earth (the “hedges”). But before the servant goes to the highways and hedges on his last Γ43 mission, the Master emphatically informs him that those who had been bidden and who excused themselves from coming in, are to be entirely excluded from the banquet; that none of them will be permitted even to taste of His supper; that by turning a deaf ear to the call these have closed their own probationary time, and that there is now nothing that can alter the situation. After this the servant’s compelling cry goes out to the nations and the Master’s house is filled, the wedding takes place, and the Bridegroom serves all that are in the house, but none others.
This same event is again given from another point of view. This time by the gospel prophet:
Isa. 52:1, 2 – “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. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.”
This particular prophecy discloses that while the church, Jerusalem and Zion, is asleep and naked with the unclean in her midst, and in captivity among the Gentiles (away from her own land), an awakening cry, a message, comes urging her to arise and put on her beautiful garments, for the wicked, declares the cry, will no more come into her, for they are to be utterly cut off.
The signs of the Kingdom, you see, are even more important for one to observe than are the signs of Christ’s coming. If one should miss the signs of the Kingdom, then the knowledge of the signs of Christ’s coming would profit nothing, for all such will be frightened at His appearing and say “to the mountains and rocks. Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Rev. 6:16, 17.
Are the efforts to set up the pre-millennial Kingdom – the purified church – accompanied by great signs and wonders, by noise and pomp? To this question the Lord answers–
Matt. 13:31-33 – “The Kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. Another parable spake He unto them; The Kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”
Zech. 4:6 – “Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”
Not a blast or a boom, and not a bust either, but the plain, quiet Truth, Brothers, Sisters, is what saves you and brings the Kingdom into being.
What is this pre-millennial Kingdom like? And what other signs precede its establishment? The answer to this question comes through Ezekiel–
Ezek. 36:23-28 – “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. 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. 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.”
Here are additional signs, signs which are displayed within and without the man himself: the scars and defects which sin has written upon the bodies of God’s people are washed away; also the sin-hardened heart is carved out of them and a new, tender heart that delights in keeping God’s statutes and judgments, is set in.
When does this take place? – After God takes His saints “from among the heathen,” “out of all countries,” Γ46 and brings them into their “own land,” say the Scriptures. Thus shall they dwell in the land that God anciently gave to their fathers, and thus shall they be His people and He their God. Here you see that no one can meet God face to face and live with Him eternally without first having this body-cleansing and heart-changing experience.
Very evidently none who remain ignorant of these signs of the coming Kingdom will have this experience and consequently shall never enter into it, never be fitted to live and reign with Christ.
Since these signs are so vital to salvation, they should no longer be overlooked, but should receive first consideration if we expect Christ’s second coming to be for our good, not to our damnation. Indeed, for this obvious reason it is at this late hour this important message is brought to our attention.
This great Truth is again foretold in the words of Zechariah–
Zech. 12:5-14; 13:1-5 – “And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God. In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. The Lord also shall save the tents of Γ47 Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.
“In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
“In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; all the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart….
“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no Γ48 more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive: but he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.”
The revival and reformation herein presented – mourning and heart searching caused by appreciativeness of God’s great mercy and goodness – shall be in the day the governors of Judah say, “The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength,” in the day the Lord makes even the most feeble among them as David, and the house of David as God, as the angel of the Lord.
When this thorough reformation takes place then the cleansing fountain shall be opened to the whole house of David. In that day the wicked shall be cut off and kept out of the house of David, and the false teachers, “prophets,” shall feel ashamed of having ever taught their private interpretations of the Scriptures. Then shall men fully realize that though they could be taught by men to keep cattle, yet no man could teach them to prophesy; that this office is restricted to the Spirit of Prophecy, that no prophecy of the Scriptures is of Γ49 private interpretation.
Is this cleansing, heaven-fitting pre-millennium Kingdom, set up in probationary time? – To find our answer we shall turn to the prophecy of Micah–
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 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.”
Here we are told that in the latter days, in our time, the ancient Kingdom that was destroyed will be reestablished and exalted above all other Kingdoms. Then people shall “flow into it” because “the law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” The gospel work, therefore, is to be finished while its headquarters stand in the Holy Land. Thus the Kingdom is set up in probationary time, in time of salvation and judicial purification, for after it is set up other people from many nations flow into it.
This is what the Bible says, and certain it is that Γ50 this is what is to be, for not even the Devil can defeat God’s plans or cheat His people. Oh, yes, the Devil will try to explain away what these Scriptures say, but he can never make them say something other than what they do say. Besides, anyone taking the Devil’s word in preference to God’s, deserves the Devil’s reward, and I am sure he will not be cheated out of it.
Since these signs of the times, in addition to others, are of far greater importance than the “Lisbon earthquake,” “the dark day,” and “the falling stars,” we had better awake to the demand which they impose upon us, and which are bound to fit us for the second coming of Christ and for a home in His Kingdom if heeded. But if these signs cannot awaken us, then it is positive that they will cause us to slide down into the bottomless pit while dreaming of being rich and increased with goods, in need of nothing, supposedly on the way to the glory land. What a disappointment and what weeping and gnashing of teeth that would be!
Who is to drive the Gentiles out of the land? – The answer is in
Zech. 1:14-17, 20, 21 – “So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction. Therefore thus saith the Lord; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: My house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of Γ51 hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem…. And the Lord shewed me four carpenters. Then said I, What come these to do? And He spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.”
Obviously one part of the Gentile nations shall come against the part that is in the Holy Land, and chase them out to make room for God’s people. Then will the Lord’s feet stand on Mount Olives and the Mount shall cleave in the midst thereof and make therein a very great valley. Thus shall the Lord open the way for His people to flee there to the “valley” where the Lord’s feet stand, and all the saints with them (Zech. 14:4, 5).
This truth, you see, supersedes all truths, for without it your other truths will not profit you, will not take you into the Kingdom. It is the last mile of all the miles of our faith through life that takes us Home. We have gone this long; let us, therefore, keep on going right on to glory land, which is no longer beyond the horizon. The mile ahead is indeed the last mile that will take us Home.