Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, Nos. 5-6

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A FEAST THAT ROLLS AWAY THE VEIL, OPENS THE GATES, AND CAUSES DEATH TO FLEE AWAY

TEXT FOR PRAYER
Turn From Debate; Present The Truth

   I shall read from “Christ’s Object Lessons”, beginning on page 40, the last paragraph—

  “Instead of discussing erroneous theories, or seeking to combat the opponents of the gospel, follow the example of Christ. Let fresh truths from God’s treasure-house flash into life. “Preach the word.” “Sow beside all waters.” “Be instant in season, out of season.” “He that hath My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord.” “Every word of God is pure. . . .Add thou not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”

   We should pray this afternoon for the ability to follow the example of Christ in teaching. We should also pray that we shall remember that we are instructed not to engage in debate with those who disagree with us; that Christ did not debate, and neither must we if we are to win; that God will supply us with fresh truths to bring to the people; that if such truths do not convince the opposers of the “everlasting gospel,” nothing will, even if the dead should arise for a witness against them; that we exalt the Bible above all other books; that we measure all else with the Bible yardstick, and forever break all other measuring sticks.

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A FEAST THAT ROLLS AWAY THE VEIL, OPENS THE GATES, AND CAUSES DEATH TO FLEE AWAY

Text of Address by V. T. Houteff,
Minister of D. Seventh-day Adventists
Sabbath, September 6, 1947
Mt. Carmel Chapel
Waco, Texas

The text of our study this afternoon is Isaiah 25 and 26. In order properly to orientate ourselves to the subject matter, we shall begin with the sixth verse of chapter twenty–five. Afterwards we shall study the first five verses.

Verse 6—And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. 

First of all we should find the truth of this figurative mountain. For this information we must go to the last verse of the twenty–fourth chapter, because the story of the twenty–fifth chapter begins with the previous chapter. We shall read these verses connectedly:

Isa. 24:23; 25:6—Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients gloriously. And in this mountain (Mount Zion) shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.

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   Here you see that “Mount Zion” is the mountain on which the Lord will prepare a feast for all people, a feast of tempting things. There will the people gather together.

Verse 7—And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covenant cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.

When the covering under which the nations now stand, rolls away, then shall they find themselves in the open—vulnerable to “wind” and “storm.” Yes, when the veil which now hangs over all peoples of earth, is pulled down, then shall they see that which they cannot now see. And what then?

Verses 8-10—He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation. For in this mountain shall the hand of the Lord rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under Him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill.

To make these great events possible, not only the ones who at that time rule the land, but Moab, too, we see, shall be trodden down. And who could Moab be if not the Arabs who now lay heavy claim to the land of Palestine? Soon the world will find that God has not forsaken the earth, and that God is master of the situation.

Verses 11, 12—And He shall spread forth His Γ5 hands in the midst of them, as He that swimmeth spreadeth forth His hands to swim: and He shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands. And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall He bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust.

   These verses hold the fact before us that it matters not what kind of fortification men may devise, such shall nevertheless be brought down as a straw when the Lord manifests His power. Having now clearly seen this wonderful Bible Truth, let it be you to say:

Isa. 25:1—O Lord, Thou art my God; I will exalt Thee, I will praise Thy name; for Thou hast done wonderful things; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.

Here we are shown that as a result of this revealed Truth, some will truly accept the Lord of the Bible as their God, and will pledge to exalt Him and ever to praise His wonderful name because they see that He has done wonderful things. His counsels of old will they not turn down because they will know from experience that His counsels are faithfulness and Truth. They will from personal experience know God’s power and say:

Verses 2,3—For Thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built. Therefore shall the strong people glorify Thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear Thee.

The city of this verse must be the one first mentioned in Isaiah 24:

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   “The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in. There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction. When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done.

“They [those who are not shaken down] shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord, they shall cry aloud from the sea. Wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the fires, even the name of the Lord God of Israel in the isles of the sea. From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous [as a result, there shall be converts made from the four corners of the earth].

“But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously. Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth.” Isa. 24:10-17.

The following quotation from the Spirit of Prophecy adds light to these verses:

   “I saw jets of light shining from cities and villages, and from the high places and the low places of the earth. God’s word was obeyed, and as a result there were memorials for Him in every city and village. His truth was proclaimed throughout the world.”— Testimonies, Vol. 9, pp. 28 and 29.

Isa.26:1-In that day shall this song be sung Γ7 in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.

   The song for the majesty of the Lord is therefore to be sung in the Promised Land, and there will the saints have a city that cannot be shaken down, for it is to have salvation for walls. Then it shall be said:

Verse 2—Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the Truth may enter in.

Here is taught that all this takes place in a day of salvation, in a day that the gates can be opened for a righteous nation to enter in. Yes, a whole nation, of such as should be saved, not a sinner among them, shall then respond to the call, “Come out of her My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

Verses 3,4—Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusted in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.

Although throughout the years of history nations have developed great power, yet not one has retained that power forever. But we are here reassured that those who trust in the Lord Jehovah shall have eternal peace and everlasting strength.

Verses 5-10—For He bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, He layeth it low; He layeth it low, even to the ground; He bringeth it even to the dust. The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of Γ8 the needy. The way of the just is uprightness: Thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just. Yea, in the way of Thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for Thee; the desire of our soul is to Thy name, and to the remembrance of Thee. With my soul have I desired Thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek Thee early: for when Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord.

   These verses plainly tell us that when the judgments of God fall upon the earth, the righteous minded will learn righteousness; but the unrepentant sinners will not learn righteousness regardless what is done for them. And this is why they are to be barred from the congregation of the righteous. The righteous, however, even now feel the Lord’s mighty hand and painfully they declare:

Verse 11—Lord, when Thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of Thine enemies shall devour them.

Indeed, when God’s hand is lifted up to deliver His people, the wicked will not see it. But after the righteous are delivered, the wicked will clearly see and envy, but it shall be to their shame and too late to do them any good. Even now while “the latter rain” is falling, the self—righteous who imagine that they have need of nothing, are either running away from it or pulling their raincoats over their heads. The seekers of righteousness, though, come out in Γ9 the open. Thus they learn to say—

Verse 12—Lord, Thou wilt ordain peace for us: for Thou also hast wrought all our works in us.

This can be said only by those who allow the Lord to perform His work in their hearts, so that they may praise Him:

Verses 13-16—O Lord our God, other lords beside Thee have had dominion over us: but by Thee only will we make mention of Thy name. They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast Thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish. Thou hast increased the nation, O Lord, Thou hast increased the nation: Thou art glori­fied: Thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth. Lord, in trouble have they visited Thee, they poured out a prayer when Thy chastening was upon them.

These verses declare that Israel of the promises, not the unbelieving Jew, have increased in number since having been removed from their land, since having been scattered to the ends of the earth. While this chastening (being driven away from their land) is still upon them, they pour out prayer and say:

Verses 17, 18—Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in Thy sight, O Lord. We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabi­tants of the world fallen.

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   Here is shown that the eyes of the penitent are to be opened; they are to see themselves as God sees them, and confess that they have heretofore failed in their efforts, that they have travailed, have been in pain, but have brought forth only “wind,” as it were, while the im­penitent think that they themselves are rich and increased with goods, are doing a great deed, and are in need of nothing.

Yes, the church may now boast of her achievements, of her so-called large membership, but not long hence will she, too, discover that she has failed to finish her work, that the world is still destroying the earth, that her people are unsaved and that rather than having brought forth salvation, she has brought forth nothing but “wind.”

   “In the mighty sifting soon to take place, we shall be better able to measure the strength of Israel. The signs reveal that the time is near when the Lord will manifest that his fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor.” —Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 80.

Verse 19—Thy dead men shall live, together with My dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

Not only the living, but the dead also shall be gathered into the “strong city.” We already hear the Lord pleading with us all, saying:

Verse 20—Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

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   This plea shows that we are approaching the time of trouble and that God is anxious to have us under­cover. The wise will hear Him and will accept the chambers, the protection He provides for them.

Verse 21—For, behold, the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

   All these truths which God is now bringing to our attention, point to one thing: That the great and terrible day of the Lord is at hand, that He is soon to manifest His power and shake the earth so that everything that cannot be shaken may stand. Are you not glad, Brother, Sister, that God is giving you first opportunity to get ready for the day of God, to hold fast to His ever-increasing Truth?

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LEWDNESS FLEES AWAY AT CHILDREN’S PROTEST! REVIVAL AND REFORMATION WIN

TEXT FOR PRAYER
How To Secure Imperishable Knowledge

   I shall read from “Christ’s Object Lessons”, beginning on page 41, paragraph three—

   “In turning from God’s word to feed on the writings of uninspired men, the mind becomes dwarfed and cheapened. . . . The understanding adapts itself to the comprehension of the things with which it is familiar, and in this devotion to finite things it is weakened, its power is contracted, and after a time it becomes unable to expand. All this is false education. The work of every teacher should be to fasten the mind of the youth upon the grand truths of the word of Inspiration. This is the education essential for this life and for the life to come. And let it not be thought that this will prevent the study of the sciences, or cause a lower standard in education. The knowledge of God is as high as heaven and as broad as the universe. . . .Let the youth seek to grasp these God-given truths, and their minds will expand and grow strong in the effort. It will bring every student who is a doer of the word into a broader field of thought, and secure for him a wealth of knowledge that is imperishable. . . . Such an education will restore the image of God in the soul.”

   What a lesson not only for the youth but for the adults as well! Let us pray that we might realize the importance of studying inspired Truth; that we might realize it does not eliminate the study of true science; that to devote our lives to the Word of God is to obtain a great treasure of wisdom; that thus is the image of God restored in the soul.

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LEWDNESS FLEES AWAY AT CHILDREN’S PROTEST! REVIVAL AND REFORMATION WIN

Text of Address by V. T. Houteff,
Minister of D. Seventh-day Adventists
Sabbath, September 13, 1947
Mt. Carmel Chapel
Waco, Texas

   Our subject is found in the first and second chapters of Hosea. We shall begin with—

Hos. 1:2—The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea. And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord. 

We immediately see that this wife and these children symbolize God’s people departing from Him, and that such a wicked act, He calls whoredom.

Verses 3-4—So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son. And the Lord said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. 

God’s reason for thus naming Hosea’s first visionary son, was to signify that in a little while He was to avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, who was then the king of Israel. Then declared the Lord:

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Verse 5—And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel. 

To break the bow would mean to break the nation’s military strength. The history of this is recorded in 2 Kings 10, 11.

Verse 6—-And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Lo­ruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away. 

This child’s name was to denote the complete destruction of the house of Israel, the ten–tribe kingdom. This destruction, we know, was accomplished by the king of Assyria, who scattered the people throughout the cities of the Medes. The history of this is found in 2 Kings 18:11—”And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.”

Verse 7—But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen. 

The Lord promised to spare the house of Judah from the invasion of the king of Assyria. The history of this incident is recorded in 2 Kings 19:35—”And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.”

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Verses 8,9—Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. Then said God, call his name Lo-Ammi: for ye are not My people, and I will not be your God. 

The name of the third child was to signify that though Israel and Judah were God’s chosen people, the day was fast approaching in which they would no longer be called His people. The fulfillment of this phase of the prophecy brings us to the Christian era.

Verse 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. 

In spite of the calamities that were to overtake the children of Israel, they were to become very numerous. And when they are thus greatly multiplied, they are again to be called the sons of God. And so here we see a prophecy of the rebellion of God’s people and God’s rejection of them, as well as their repentance and re– acceptance by Him.

Let us here for a moment discuss the titles “Judah” and “Israel.” When superficially read these titles are as a rule misconstrued and made to mean the identified Jews. But we must not be superficial readers and thinkers. Let us be deep Bible students. Now, everyone knows that the identified Jews of today are but a handful—certainly not as the sands of the sea. The innumerable children of Israel, therefore, cannot be the unbelieving Jews of today. Besides, the Γ16 identified Jews of today are not the descendants of the ten-tribe kingdom, but of the two-tribe kingdom. Who, then, is this multitude of people referred to in Hosea’s prophecy?

   We must not overlook the fact that the Gospel of Christ divided the house of Judah into two sects— Jewish and Christian, that the Christian church for about four years after the resurrection of Christ consisted practically only of Jews. Plainly, then, the original Christians were full-blooded Jews,—the Christian church is only a branch of the Jewish church, but they and their descendants have, through the years, lost their racial identity. Then, too, the descendants of both Israel and Judah who through the years of captivity lost their identity as did the Jews who embraced Christianity, according to prophecy must also have greatly multiplied. Plainly, then, many who are taken as Gentiles, are but unidentified descendants of ancient Judah, Israel, and the Jewish Christians. The Christian church herself is, as we have seen, a Jewish-Christian church.

These descendants of Jacob, who were assimilated by the Gentile nations, therefore, were to multiply as the sand of the sea. They are the ones who, after becoming Christians, are again called the sons of the living God.

Of those who first embraced the Christian faith, the Apostle Peter speaks thus: “Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Pet. 2:10.

And the Apostle John says: “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the Γ17 sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” John 1:12.

   Now we see that the prophecy of Hosea 1 begins with the house of Israel and Judah, and brings us down through the stream of time to the Christian era. For light on the church in the Christian period, we turn to

Verse 11—Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel. 

The Word of God, therefore, definitely declares that the subjects of the torn-down kingdoms—Judah and Israel—as Christians, along with the Gentiles that have joined them, will gather together and appoint themselves a king.

In a similar symbolism, the prophet was told that after many days of obscurity and wandering, “shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king [evidently David is the “one head” whom they appoint], and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days.” Hos. 3:5.

Continuing with the same family illustration, and pointing to the Christian era, the Lord commands:

Hos. 2:1—Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; and to your sisters, Ruhamah. 

Here we see that the names of the two children of chapter 1 are again mentioned, but the first two letters of each name have been dropped:

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Lo-ruhamah has become Ruhamah, and Lo-Ammi has become Ammi. Now the fact that these are the brother and sister of Jezreel, bears out the truth that the one whom the Lord commands to speak to them, is Jezreel, the first-born of the three. He is to deliver the message to his brethren, Ammi and Ruhamah.

Now, what is it all about? —It is not too difficult to see. The one to whom God speaks, Jezreel, represents a prophet. His brother and sister, Ammi and Ruhamah, can only represent the church membership, both male and female. In actuality Jezreel must deliver God’s message to them. And here is the message:

Verse 2—Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not My wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredom out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts. 

The fact that God Himself calls the prophet Hosea’s visionary wife His own wife, reveals that she represents the church, that Hosea represents God, and that while Jezreel represents the mouthpiece of God, Ammi and Ruhamah represent the church membership. In childhood (Hosea 1), they represent the Old Testament church, the Hebrews, but in their youth, having their names altered, (Hosea 2), they represent the New Testament church, the Christians.

Now that the laity, at the command of God are through a prophet to plead with the church, therefore, the reformation here called forth is sponsored by Inspiration and carried out by the laity. It is the long expected revival and reformation to the Laodiceans, and hence a layman’s Γ19 movement called forth by the revived Spirit of Prophecy.

   From this prophecy, you see, the Denomination is by God Himself charged with “whoredom,” with having illicit connections with the world. This lewdness she must give up if she is to obtain favor with God.

These are not man’s words, you understand, but God’s. And should we not be grateful that He is doing everything He can to save us? The church must repent, says the Lord:

Verse 3—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. 

The Denomination often boasts of gain in mem­bership (children), but God charges that those whom she brings in are illegitimate children! And how could it be otherwise if the church herself is corrupted with the world? What else could her converts be? What would free them from the worldly influences, if she (the ministry), is herself tainted with the practices of the world? Indeed her converts cannot be lawful children.

Verse 5—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.

The church has gone after the world because she mistakenly thinks that her support comes from worldlings, from her “lovers.”

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Verse 6—Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.

Here we see that the church proposes, but that God disposes; her plans do not work out as expected—she loses her way as does a ship without chart or compass drifting at sea.

Verse 7—And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now. 

Again we see that trials and adverse circumstances are for our good, for thus is the church brought to her right senses.

Verses 8-12—For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal. Therefore will I return, and take away My corn in the time thereof, and My wine in the season thereof, and will recover My wool and My flax given to cover her nakedness. And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of Mine hand. I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her Sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make then a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them.

From these verses we see that it was just such a departure from God that caused the church in her early Christian era to lose her path and all Γ21 her possessions, including her feast days, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.

   This is exactly what happened when the “Dark Ages” of religion began. The Pagans in whose clutches the church fell were no more to blame for the church’s going into darkness than were the Chaldeans of destroying Judah and her temple. The real blame falls on the church herself. And this should be a lasting lesson to each of us, that we should never again have illicit connection with the world, should never depart from the Lord.

Now, let us read what other experiences the church was to go through:

Verses 13,14—And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat Me, saith the Lord. Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. 

Notice that the Lord visits the church not when she is in good spiritual standing with Him, but when she is in her greatest idolatry. Indeed, He could not visit her at a more opportune time, because only when she is in greatest darkness can she possibly discern light. And her condition, you know, can never improve unless He should call on her. Thus it was in John the Baptist’s day, also when the Protestant reformation came, and thus it is today. God knows how to save. Saving is His chief concern.

   “God requires certain things of His people; Γ22 if they say, I will not give up my heart to do this thing, the Lord lets them go on in their supposed wise judgment without heavenly wisdom, until this scripture [lsa. 28:13] is fulfilled. You are not to say, I will follow the Lord’s guidance up to a certain point that is in harmony with my judgment, and then hold fast to your own ideas, refusing to be molded after the Lord’s similitude. Let the question be asked, Is this the will of the Lord? not, Is this the opinion or judgment of _________?” —Testimonies to Ministers, p. 419.

    And what is God’s promise now to His church?

Verse 15—And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. 

As a result of her vineyards’ being restored, and also of her being given the valley of Achor for a door of hope, the church is to sing as in the days of her youth, as when she came up out of Egypt and lodged in the Promised Land. What could her vineyard be but her own land? And if the valley of Achor is for a door of hope to her, what can it be but what it was in Joshua’s time—removal of the Achans of today from her midst (Hos. 2:15)? Indeed, this is her only hope—in fact, even more so than it was in the day of Israel’s defeat at Ai, the gate to the Promised Land.

   “The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. The Lord commissions His messengers, the men with Γ23 slaughtering weapons in their hands: ‘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.’

   “Here we see that the church—the Lord’s sanctuary—was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God’s power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus peace and safety is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs, that would not bark, are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children, all perish together.” —Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 211.

Verse 16—And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call Me Ishi; and shalt call Me no more Baali. 

So it is that after the hypocrites and sinners are taken out of the way, the church shall no longer call the Saviour Baali (Lord), but she shall call him Ishi (Husband). The significance is that then He will truly be her husband, whereas now He is to her as it were only some great Γ24 personality.

Verse 18—And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. 

Here is peace, the only peace that one can have today if he so desires. This is peace overflowing with safety. The saints, after the sinners have been removed from among them, need not fear beasts, fowls or creeping things of the ground, neither gun nor sword; they shall lie down in confidence and assurance that nothing shall hurt them, for He “Whose fan is in His hand, . . . will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matt. 3:12.

Verses 19-21—And I will betroth thee unto Me forever; yea, I will betroth thee unto Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto Me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord. And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth. 

In saying that the Lord will hear the heavens, and the heavens the earth, Inspiration actually says that when these things take place on earth, the Lord is to be in the midst of His people, that He is to speak from earth and His subjects in heaven shall hear Him.

Verse 22—And the earth shall hear the corn, and Γ25 the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.

   To hear the corn, the wine, and the oil is to hear them speak, and since real corn, wine, and oil cannot speak, they must be figurative of spiritual food and drink—figurative of the mighty message in the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And by the fact that the people of the earth shall hear Jezreel, the mouthpiece of God, it is made clear that the call, “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), will accomplish its appointed work. Those who come out, go into the aforementioned place of safety. And those who do not hear Jezreel shall perish as did the Jews who rejected the prophets in their day.

Let us now review our study of today by following this graphic illustration:

Γ26

   Here we see Jezreel, Lo-ruhamah, and Loammi as little children pictorially representing the kingdoms of Israel and Judah in their calamities, a complete but brief history of the Old Testament church and her people.

Then we see that the letters “Lo” are dropped from the names Ruhamah and Ammi, denoting a change of names—Jews called Christians,—meaning “mercy” and “My people” instead of “no mercy” and “not My people.” Jezreel’s name, though, remains the same, and as he represents the prophets of God in all times, this shows that they are the descendants of Jacob and therefore we must hear and obey them.

The family as little children representing the people of the Old Testament church, and as youth representing the New Testament church, show that spiritual growth has been made through the stream of time, that they are now grown, able to take “strong meat,” and truly to be the reformers to the church, and the missionaries to the world.

   We also see that the same mother and the same father, along with the same children, represent both the Old and New Testament churches; that the descendants of Jacob in reality are the old olive tree (Rom. 11:24), that the only way the Gentiles can get into the kingdom is for them to be grafted into the old olive tree. Jew or Gentile, all must join it if they are to be in the kingdom. This can be done only by our own consent and action now while the Spirit is pleading with us, and while the Lord stands ready to do the work. No one need be excluded. No one need remain a lukewarm Laodicean unless he so chooses. My hope is that all will chose life Γ27 rather than death.

   Next we see that the church as a whole, as a family, is composed of a father, a mother, and of sons and a daughter, that the father is God; that the wife is the ministry (those who bring in converts); that the children are the laity. We see also that the church (woman) was married to the Lord in her youth, in the day she came out of Egypt; that although the ministry as a whole never advanced from one truth to another, the church (wife) continued by being replaced by new and successive ministers time and again. And now that she is deep in whoredom, obviously she is again to be replaced by a new ministry, and thus will she become faithful to our Father; that this will be accomplished by taking away the sinners from her midst. Then will she be given her vineyards, and then will she and all her children live in peace and safety.

   Clearly, then, lewdness shall actually flee away, and this revival and reformation brought forth by this layman’s movement shall accomplish its given work. And so, you see that as a result of the childrens’ protest, the whole family of God shall live happily in peace and safety forevermore.