Vol. 1 Timely Greetings Nos. 19, 20
THE ONLY PEACE OF MIND
Numbers 19, 20
Copyright, 1953 Reprint
All rights reserved
THE FATE OF JERUSALEM, THE
CALL OF ITS FUTURE INHABITANTS
THE KINGDOM OF JUDAH,
THE SIFTING OF THE NATIONS
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I shall read from "The Mount of Blessing," beginning with the second paragraph of page 172.
M.B., pg. 172 -- "Christ will never abandon the soul for whom He has died. The soul may leave Him, and be overwhelmed with temptation; but Christ can never turn from one for whom He has paid the ransom of His own life....
"Thank God, we are not left alone. He who 'so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,' will not desert us in the battle with the adversary of God and man. 'Behold,' He says, 'I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you.'
"Live in contact with the living Christ, and He will hold you firmly by a hand that will never let go. Know and believe the love that God has to us, and you are secure; that love is a fortress impregnable to all the delusions and assaults of Satan. 'The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.'"
We should pray for faith to enable us to know for certain that Christ will never turn away from any of us, and that if we follow Him we shall never fail in our undertakings. We should praise Him for making it possible that though we may, as it were, come upon serpents and scorpions, they cannot hurt us.
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THE FATE OF JERUSALEM,
THE CALL OF ITS FUTURE INHABITANTS
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, DECEMBER 14, 1946
- CARMEL CHAPEL
This afternoon we shall study Zechariah 14.
Zech. 14:1 -- "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee."
As you know, the subject matter contained in this chapter actually begins in chapter twelve and runs through chapter fourteen. To ascertain who is referred to by the pronoun "thee" in this verse, we must go back to chapter thirteen. There we find that "thee" refers to Jerusalem. It is the spoil of Jerusalem, then, that shall be divided in the midst of her.
Zech. 14:2 -- "For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city."
In view of the fact that Jerusalem is to be protected by a wall of fire (Zech. 2:5) while the house of Judah reigns there, it is definite that the battle here described must be fought before the house of Judah is established. In that battle the nations will defeat the rulers of the Promised Land. Then it is that the
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house of Judah commences to be set up.
As the warring nations besiege the city, and rifle the houses, also ravish the women, they are by no means righteous nations, but since not all the inhabitants go into captivity, and since all are not cut off from the city, it must be that the wicked are taken away and the righteous left in to join the house of Judah.
Zech. 14:3, 4 -- "Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."
At the time Jerusalem, that now is, falls, the Lord's feet shall stand upon Mount of Olives and there make a very great valley; that is, remove the obstacles and hindrances, and thus prepare the land for the returning of His people. Then it is that the prophecy of Zechariah 10:8 -- that the Lord shall "hiss" for His people -- will have met its fulfillment.
Zech. 14:5 -- "And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee."
Having thus opened the way for the re-establishment of the house of Judah, His people, who beforehand
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have been informed of it through present Truth, will flee to the valley, to where the Lord's feet stand, as quickly as if they were fleeing from an earthquake; and all the saints thereafter follow after them. There are several facts in this scripture itself which prove that this event is premillenial: (1) Note that the Lord's feet stand on the mount in the day of the war in which Jerusalem is taken by the wicked nations. (2) Those that flee to the valley do not descend from Heaven. (3) They can not be the wicked for they do not flee away from the Lord, but flee to Him, to where His feet stand. (4) All the saints follow after them. "Early Writings," p. 75, makes a double application of this scripture, a post millennial one.
"In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open Mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness." Zech. 12:4. That is, God surprisingly confuses the wicked that they begin to act like mad men. At the time the Lord brings this to pass, He protects the house of Judah.
"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." Zech. 12:6.
When the Lord smites the armies of the nations, He also makes the rulers of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood. Thus shall they with the "everlasting gospel" devour all the heathen round about, and thus shall Jerusalem be inhabited safely by God's faithful people.
So it is that "in the days of these kings [not after
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their days] shall the God of heaven set up a Kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the Kingdom shall not be left to other people, but It shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and It shall stand for ever." Dan. 2:44.
Then it shall come to pass that "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." Mic. 4:2.
Zech. 14:6, 7 -- "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark. But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light."
These verses imply that heretofore varying conditions, "clear" and "dark," have obtained, but that it shall no longer be so. For the word "clear," in the margin, you note, gives "precious," and for the word "dark," it gives "thickness," indicating that the light is not to be alternately sparing and abundant, thick and thin, light and dark. Instead, it is to be steady, constant. The scripture, of course, is speaking of spiritual light -- the Light of Truth, knowledge from God. For example, in the days before Christ's first advent, there was spiritual darkness. Then His presence gave light for a time, after which followed the Dark Ages of religion. Later, through the Reformation, light again began to shine but very sparingly. Then by the proclamation of the First, Second, and Third Angels' Messages, the light became brighter. At this time, though, through the prophet Zechariah the Lord promises constant and adequate light.
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Zech. 14:8 -- "And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be."
The "living waters" must represent living knowledge, living Truth -- that is, those who drink, so to speak, of It shall never die.
The "mountains" on the north and on the south cause the "waters" to run only east and west from Jerusalem. Thus shall it be as long as there is summer and winter -- as long as this old and worn out earth lasts.
Therefore Jerusalem, the place where the feet of the Lord shall stand, will become the great international and spiritual divide for the everlasting gospel. From the Jerusalem in the valley of the mountains will the angel anew proclaim with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His Judgment [for the living] is come: and worship Him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters," Rev. 14:7. Then the gathering of the people begins with the plea:
"Come out of her [Babylon who then rides the beast -- rules the world], My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Rev. 18:4. So shall the earth be "lightened" with the glory of the angel, and so shall the saints be gathered from the four corners of the earth.
Zech. 14:9 -- "And the Lord shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one."
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The Lord reigns first over Jerusalem, and finally after the saints are gathered in from the four corners of the earth He reigns over the whole earth.
Zech. 14:10, 11 -- "All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses. And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited."
These verses need no comment, save that the old popular idea of the establishment of the Kingdom, as you now see, is not God's idea. We had better take His idea, and forgo ours.
Inasmuch as time will not permit us to cover the entire chapter today, we shall leave the remaining verses for next week, the Lord willing.
Before closing, though, let us in a few words summarize what we have studied this afternoon. Just before the kingdom of Judah is established in Jerusalem, the city shall be besieged, the houses shall be rifled and women ravished. Not all, though, shall go into captivity. The residue are not cut off from the city, they obviously become a part of the house of Judah. At that time, when Jerusalem has fallen and the Lord has removed all obstacles and hindrances for the gathering of His people, then it is that the house of Judah is re-established. God's people shall flee to the "valley" as quickly as though they were fleeing from an earthquake. The Lord smites the armies of the nations, while at the same time He protects and exalts His own people.
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Through the prophet Zechariah, God promises to His people in our day adequate and constant spiritual light. From Jerusalem in that day shall flow forth the living Truth. Then it is that "many nations shall come and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord." What a prospect! And what a tragedy if any of us should fail to do our part to usher in that glorious day.
THE LAW OF LOVE
Dig channels for the streams of love,
Where they may broadly run,
And love has overflowing streams,
To fill them every one.
But if at any time thou fail
Such channels to provide,
The very fount of love itself
Will soon be parched and dried;
For thou must share if thou wouldst keep
This good thing from above.
Ceasing to share, we cease to have--
Such is the law of Love.
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Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 20
OPENING PRAYER THOUGHT
I shall read from "The Mount of Blessing," page 174, beginning with the first paragraph. The title of this reading is, "Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory."
M.B. p. 174 -- "The last like the first sentence of the Lord's prayer, points to our Father as above all power and authority and every name that is named... Amid national strife and ruin, the steps of the disciples would be beset with perils, and often their hearts would be oppressed by fear. They were to see Jerusalem a desolation, the temple swept away, its worship forever ended, and Israel scattered to all lands, like wrecks on a desert shore. Jesus said: 'Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars.' 'Nations shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.' Yet Christ's followers were not to fear that their hope was lost, or that God had forsaken the earth. The power and the glory belong unto Him whose great purposes would still move on unthwarted toward their consummation. In the prayer that breathes their daily wants, the disciples of Christ were directed to look above all the power and dominion of evil, into the Lord their God, whose kingdom ruleth over all, and who is their Father and everlasting Friend."
The disciples expected Jerusalem in their time to become the capital of God's great Kingdom. But contrary to their expectations, Jesus proclaimed that Jerusalem would become a desolation, and the temple a ruin! Thus again and again we are led to see that we finite beings never know God's plans. Indeed, we need to pray for His Spirit to lead us on and on, and to point out the right way at every turn as we journey onward to Eternity. Let us now pray that the knowledge of these truths will make us just what we ought to be.
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THE KINGDOM OF JUDAH,
THE SIFTING OF THE NATIONS
TEXT OF ADDRESS BY V.T. HOUTEFF,
MINISTER OF DAVIDIAN 7TH-DAY ADVENTISTS
SABBATH, DECEMBER 21, 1946
- CARMEL CHAPEL
Last Sabbath we concluded our study with verse eleven of Zechariah 14, and now in order to connect today's study with last Sabbath's, we shall briefly review the events concerning Jerusalem, as predicted in the first eleven verses of the same chapter.
The first event predicted is a war against Jerusalem, in which all nations participate. In that war a part of the people in Jerusalem go into captivity, but the rest remain in the city. Moreover, in that day the Lord's feet stand on the Mount of Olives, and the mountain cleaves toward the east and toward the west, making a great valley. Then to this valley of the mountains, to the place where the Lord's feet stand, the people of God flee as hastily as if from an earthquake. Thus is Jerusalem to be re-inhabited by God's Own people. Evidently those who are not cut off, those who are left in Jerusalem, must be the faithful that are found therein. But those who flee to the valley to where the Lord's feet stand -- flee to Him, not away from Him -- must be the faithful from elsewhere. Plainly, Jerusalem is to become the great gathering place for God's people.
These are some of the things which our last Sabbath's study, the first part of Zechariah chapter 14,
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brought to view, and any Bible student should readily see that they are pre-millennial: The people do not descend from Heaven, but instead they flee into the valley. They could not, therefore, be the wicked, for they flee to Him, not away from Him. Now let us continue with the twelfth verse.
Zech. 14:12 -- "And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth."
In one of the preceding verses we are told that the Lord is to fight against all those who fight against Jerusalem. And now in this verse we are told of the means which the Lord will employ in that warfare. He is not to use man-made weapons, but a plague.
Zech. 14:13 -- "And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour."
Besides the plague, there shall be a great tumult -- a confusion and excitement that will turn every man against his neighbor. Thus shall the Lord defeat the enemies of His people.
Zech. 14:14 -- "And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance."
During this conflict of the nations, the Kingdom of
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Judah is to be restored. She also shall fight at Jerusalem, and shall gather to herself the wealth of the heathen.
Zech. 14:15 -- "And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague."
The plague falls on both men and beast that are found in the tents of the unbelieving.
Zech. 14:16 -- "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles."
This sentence of Scripture emphatically implies that all who at that decisive moment refuse to be converted to the Lord, shall perish; only those who worship the Lord at Jerusalem on the feast of tabernacles, shall be spared.
Zech. 14:17 -- "And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain."
The "rain" will be withheld from all who do not then worship the King, the Lord of hosts, in order that they may fully realize their mistake. Moreover, not only those who shall fight against Jerusalem, but even all the families of the earth shall be thus sifted.
Zech. 14:18 -- "And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come
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not up to keep the feast of tabernacles."
If the drought fails to awaken them, then the plague will finally take them. Thus all who have not heard the message will be given opportunity to hear it. If it cannot save them it will eventually destroy them.
Now we see that this event (the Lord's standing on the mount and the saints' fleeting to the valley) is not only pre-millennial, but even pre-probationary; that it commences the re-establishment of the house of Judah; that it prepares the way for lightening the earth with the glory of the angel (Rev. 18:1); that it is eventually to bring the end of sinners.
Zech. 14:19 -- "This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles."
Again we see the necessity of forsaking our preconceptions of the final work of the gospel. No, the Lord will not drop upon the world like a bolt from the sky. He will first magnify His Word, His power, His righteousness and His church or people. He is also to have, as it were, an ark of safety into which to gather His elect and shield them. All these facts, you see, are vividly borne out in this prophecy.
Zech. 14:20 -- "In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar."
Bells on horses serve no other purpose than to help their masters locate them. Thus it will be that only those servants whose "bells" (voices) sound "Holiness unto the Lord" can the Lord locate and gather as His
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Zech. 14:21 -- "Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts."
This verse is self-explanatory, it needs no comments.
So it is seen that with the establishment of the Kingdom of Judah commences the sifting of the nations. It must be that we are on the verge of witnessing the fulfillment of these prophecies else the Scroll would not have been unrolled so far as to unseal them at this time -- certainly not if the Spirit of Truth alone leads into all Truth, and if the Lord gives "meat in due season." In view of this, let us wholeheartedly do God's bidding and sincerely act out our faith in His never-failing Word.
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